biblical discernment, Christian doctrine, Christianity, false doctrine, false teachers, Joyce Meyer, mysticism, new spirituality, prosperity gospel, Word of Faith heresy
Another excellent article from John Caldwell’s blog, which follows on from his previous article “Does it Matter What Gospel We Accept?”.
Joyce Meyer hugely popular, and widely influential in many countries. She is one of many false teachers who has spoken at the annual conference of Brian Houston’s Hillsong cult here in Australia (see related article here). As Christians, it is our duty to use discernment to compare what pastors, teachers and authors are saying to the Word of God.
In this article, John exposes Joyce Meyer’s false teaching from a Biblical perspective. This article has a wider application to the many similar false teachers out there, including Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, Brian Houston and countless others!
What is wrong with Joyce Meyer’s Teaching?
by John Caldwell
A few days ago, I posted an extract from a piece of writing I am working on which explores false teaching. Here is what I wrote:
“Whichever brand of false teaching was being peddled, the results were the same – they left those who fell for it worse off. Those who fall for the empty promises of false teaching always end up short-changed. Instead of deeper spirituality they end up with less spirituality; instead of freedom they find bondage and instead of greater spiritual experience, they find themselves robbed of genuine spiritual experience. False teaching will always draw people away from Christ; consequently those who embrace it will find themselves devoid of many of the blessings of Christ.”
Now, the extract above, simply summarises what the New Testament shows us about false teaching. I never named anyone, I never directed it at anyone, and I never even applied it to charismatic teachings. Hence, I was somewhat bemused when I received the following response from a loyal follower of all things extreme charismatic:
“You risk bringing the wrath of Almighty God upon you”
There were several other responses, none of them very coherent. However, the exchange emphasised an important truth for me, it seems the only unforgivable ‘sin’ in the modern charismatic world is for a believer to exercise discernment and question false teaching!
Read the rest of the article here.
Alan G Phillips Jr said:
Word of Faith theology is doing untold damage to a clear presentation of God’s love through Jesus Christ. Many competent scholars and ministers have already confronted key leaders of this destructive movement. John MacArthur, Hank Hanegraaf, Richard Abanes, R. C. Sproul and others have confronted and effectively defeated the deceptive arguments and scripture twisting promoted by these “preachers” and “teachers” of “another Gospel” (Galatians 1:6-9).
These authors have already called these false teachers out by name in many good sources, so it is not my intention to do that again here.
Instead, I would like to briefly identify several destructive consequences of this modern heresy that continue to hurt many people both in and outside of the church today:
1. Word of faith teachings set up a group of “super apostles” (See 2 Cor. 12:11) over and against common followers of Jesus. By doing this, they violate the command against partiality found in James and profess apostolicity they do not have.
2. Material wealth becomes the ultimate mark of who is “blessed” and who is not. This assumption completely bypasses scriptures against corrupt riches and Godly examples like Job who lost material possessions through no fault of their own.
3. Thus, there is little room for persecution in Word of Faith theology, unless understood as the burden of being “blessed” materially.
4. A robust view of sin is replaced by a strong polemic against thinking incorrectly and “negative” confessions. These are the new targets for Word Faith teachers steeped in their New Thought roots.
5. In a stealth sort of way, Word of Faith advocates ridicule, blame, target and manipulate the poor. By making personal trials the sole responsibility of each individual believer’s thought process and faith profession, they spread the blanket of blame.
6. Finally, related to this point is an incipient libertarianism in Word of Faith teachings. Since individuals are to “blame” in their religious system for lack of faith or positive confessions, the Christian community is typically absolved of any collective responsibility for bad things that happen to others. Thus, in the end, Word of Faith embraces a “spiritualized” survival-of-the-fittest mentality, denying mercy, compassion and grace to the spiritually “inferior.”
Word Faith is not historic Christianity. In the end, it is toxic, religious bullying, at odds with the love of Jesus Christ. Those who have the time or inclination, should read the following sources, continue to pray and study God’s Word:
Hanegraaf, Hank. Christianity in Crisis: The 21st Century (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2012).
Hanegfaaf, Hank. Counterfeit Revival (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2001).
Horton, Michael Scott, ed. Power Religion: The Selling Out of the Evangelical Church? (Chicago: Moody Press, 1992).
Horton, Michael, ed. The Agony of Deceit: What Some TV Preachers are Really Saying (Chicago: Moody Press, 1990).
MacArthur, John F., Jr. Charismatic Chaos (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1993).
MacArthur, John. Strange Fire: The Danger of Offending the Holy Spirit with Counterfeit Worship (Nashville, TN: Nelson Books, 2013).
The Narrowing Path said:
Thank you for your excellent comment and book recommendations! I agree wholeheartedly with your summary of the toxic consequences of imbibing the WOF lies.
I have known WOF people who have remained in extremely abusive, dangerous relationships due to their belief that they simply needed to ‘speak blessings’ over their spouse and their situation, and things would get better. When things didn’t get better, they blamed themselves and their lack of faith and just kept trying to speak more positive words to create a different reality. What devilish bondage this ‘system’ is. (Even as I am typing this, I can feel my blood pressure rising!)
Alternatively, I have seen people justify leaving their spouses (or dumping friends), who are not considered ‘spiritual’ enough (often it turns out that the abandoned spouse is the only real Christian in the relationship). Usually their church and pastor is very supportive of such people getting rid of ‘negative influences’…especially those pesky spouses/friends that try and warn loved ones of false teaching and wolves that fleece flocks of their hard-earned cash.
Alan, I wonder if I could publish your comment as an article? If so, please let me know. I can be contacted through the blog email (email@example.com) or here in the comments section.
May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ richly bless you and keep you, and make his face to shine upon you!
In Christ’s service,
Alan G Phillips Jr said:
Yes that would be great. Sorry it took me awhile to get back to you. I was busy moving and teaching. Thanks for featuring my comments as an article.
The Narrowing Path said:
Wonderful, thanks! Will let you know as soon as it is up. Feel free to comment on anything else you find interesting or helpful.
In Christ, Sherryn
Trying to reach you Alan! Michelle Ciociola
Joyce is an example of 2Thessalonians 2:4 being fulfilled. She encourages folks to seek inner revelation, and admits to receiving revelations direct from God. She has allowed the temple of God (know ye not that ye are the temple of God) to be inhabited with the enemie and his lies as her guide. “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie”. …..And why would this happen?……”And with all deceivableness in them that perish, because they received not the love of the truth (Bible) that they might be saved.”
John Caldwells blog is removed…
The Narrowing Path said:
Thanks so much for letting me know. I can’t find a new blog link, or any reason why the blog is no longer active!