Question from a Site Viewer
Is Joyce Meyer a reliable teacher?
I have a family member who loves Joyce Meyer and her church relies upon Meyer’s Bible studies. Is she a Bible teacher you would recommend?
You ask about Joyce Meyer. I have not followed Jocelyn Meyer much. I know that in some Christian circles she is well-liked and in some she is considered as teaching heresy. Yet, the statements that are cited as being heretical are simply quotes from here or there, not a systematic teaching as far as I have been able to tell. I am reluctant to judge someone based upon an errant, random statement. I have read the doctrinal statement of her ministry and am in agreement with it. She appears to hold to the Nicene Creed which is an important gauge of orthodoxy. She also emphasizes the study of Scripture, our identity in Christ, and overcoming temptation. There is much I like about her website and the teachings therein.
Yet, I have some problems with her as well. First, the lifestyle she lives seems extravagant to me. And she does not apologize for the opulence. While I do not believe that ministers of Christ need to take a vow of poverty, money and things do not stop attaching themselves to us simply because we are ministers of Christ. I was worried about the opulent lifestyle of Jim and Tammy Bakker back in the 80’s, before their ministry came tumbling down. I am equally worried about Joyce Meyer. Where our treasure is tells us much about where our hearts are.
Second, she teaches a charismatic message of prosperity in our spiritual, emotional, physical, and financial areas of life. She states that these blessings are then to be used to bless others and not to be used solely for financial gain. While I agree that we who are His people are blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 1:3), this does not mean that we are prosperous in this life. Our spiritual, emotional, physical, and financial lives may come under severe attack, as Job shows us, as also Jeremiah describes in Lamentations 3, as Christ displayed in His life where even His spiritual life was agonizing with His Father in the garden, and as Paul and Peter so strongly teach. Paul goes so far as saying that if we did not have hope of the resurrection, we are of all people most to be pitied (1 Corinthians 15:19). In fact, suffering is part of the gift God has granted His people (Philippians 1:29). Paul teaches contentment when abounding or suffering need (Philippians 4:11-12). I fear that the prosperity teaching will lead to an unreal expectation of what God will do, and a loss of faith when adversities seem to pile on.
Even though I am concerned about her opulent living, I commend her for being open about it. She fully complied with the requests of the United States Senate when they looked into her finances, and her ministry is a member of the evangelical financial monitoring group, something that other questionable ministries have refused to do. According to her site, over 80% of what comes into the ministry goes out through ministries. And the ministry makes its independently audited financial report free for anyone to review through the Internet.
The bottom line is that because I do not think that prosperity is the road of the believer on this earth (although there may be exceptions), I would not recommend Joyce Meyer. While she has much to say with which I agree, and I believe that she is a sister in Christ, I believe that scripture is clear that this life is a pilgrimage of trouble with our treasures laid up elsewhere. Christ not only suffered for us, but He left us an example that we should follow in His steps (1 Peter 2:21). I do not find the prosperity gospel, even the somewhat toned-down prosperity teaching of Joyce Meyer, to be Biblical.
I hope this helps.