To those who are
aware of Joyce Meyerís ministry, I need to inform you of some things God
has prompted us to perceive.
One of the
greatest dangers to Christians is that which Paul warned about in Acts
20:30, where he said:
Even from your
own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away
disciples after themselves (NIV).
I donít think
anyone deliberately distorts the truth, but it happens. And the effect is to
draw away disciples after themselves instead of after Christ.
Last night, my
wife mentioned something about Joyce Meyerís ministry as I was going to
sleep, and at that moment I was given some words of knowledge. These words
came into my mind ó that Joyceí ministry is now a ministry of self-help,
and her teaching one of Christian humanism.
If you read her
magazines it does not take much insight to see that she heavily promotes herself.
Her picture is everywhere in its pages; her articles, while containing some
truth and usefulness to many people, end up pointing people to her.
Surreptitiously, she can easily become a mediator before God in place of
Christ, and end up as an icon in her sector of the Church. Pages in her
magazine are devoted to advertising her wares, rather than teaching the Word
of God. Her magazine is not much different from a commercial catalogue.
embarking on a wrong route when they exploit the Word of God through
commercialisation. In every magazine there is a strong emphasis on
contributing financially to her efforts for the Kingdom. And she refers to
her work as if it were the only part of the Work of God that matters. There
is little or no mention of othersí work. Where are the apostles, prophets,
and other evangelists? They have a part in building up the whole body of
Christ, too, but it seems she is only intent on focusing the attention of
listeners to her and what she has to say.
On a taped
message some time ago, she mentioned how she was challenged by a prophetic
word that said something indicating she should withdraw from too much
involvement in festivities to do with Christmas. But she dismissed that word
with some rational explanation and justified her continuance in Christmas
celebrations with a good dose of humanism.
I wrote to her
some time afterwards, hopeful that she would be willing to see that
Christmas has no biblical foundation and should not be observed by
Christians. Whether my communications reached her, I donít know. It is
hard reaching evangelists who are located behind such thick walls. There are
so many layers of human organisation to penetrate before you reach the
person you are sent to.
Emphasis Moving From Spiritual to Physical
that time she has veered off on a tangent. Her emphasis is now placed on the
need to physically establish the superstructure of Joyce Meyer
Ministries, and overlooks the spiritual composition of the body of
Christ Ė that Godís people are joined by the Spirit across
denominational and organisational barriers.
The physical is
not the Church. The Church is the people of God. And the people of God are
those in whom Godís Spirit is at work, where God is preparing the
character-imbued individuals who will reign with Christ in the era to come
on earth. Thus, the Church is a spiritual organism. But Joyce no longer
emphasises this in her bid to physically establish her ministry and invite
For example, on
page 8 of the February 2000 Life in the Word magazine, she writes:
"Remember, as you help build Godís house, He will build your
house." The subtle implication is that the establishment she is
constructing is Godís house. This emphasis is not foreign to the cults. It
is what has cloned millions of people into becoming dutiful automatons,
faithfully (often blindly) giving their support to a human enterprise that
is outside the ideal purposes of God.
On page 7 of the
January 2000 issue of Life in the Word she writes: "This is
PARTNER MONTH [whatever that hype means]... If you have not yet joined Life
in the Word partner family, please do it now. If you are already a
partner, this is the perfect time to consider increasing your partnership
commitment. This is a new year, a new move up to a new level with God."
What is that if
not a very subtle insinuation that the more you give, the more you will be
blessed spiritually? It encourages the false doctrine of the Pray-and-Pay (Ďprosperity
gospelí) evangelists who interpret physical giving with spiritual getting.
It leans right into the devilís lap which Benny Hinn once warned about,
saying "You donít give to get!" Indeed, you donít. But the
effect of this emphasis is to inadvertently lead gullible people to feel
guilty if they donít increase their physical support of her ministry.
It is akin to
the teaching of the Catholics in the Dark Ages, who promoted indulgences to
redeem themselves from purgatory. Just pay more to the Church and you will
spare yourself the penalty of some sin. The Church even put prices on
various sins according to their dastardliness in their eyes! That is how the
Catholic harlot became the wealthiest Church in the world. Through fear and
intimidation she coerced people into parting with money.
While I am not
suggesting that Joyce Meyerís tactics are this cheap, what I feel God is
pointing out is that the emphasis has veered off on a tangent, which, if
unchecked, will cause the Holy Spirit to be quenched and her teaching to be
She is a very
effective speaker, but if that is continued alone without the guidance of
the Spirit of God, another relatively worthless denomination will be the end
result, not what God originally intended. When men and women stand in the
limelight the holy Spirit gets less of a look-in. It is hard finding a
correct balance in handling mass publicity and demand. Jesus often responded
by withdrawing to a mountain alone. He never planned how He would make His
When we first
bought some of Joyce Meyerís tapes, there were several that contained some
valuable information to those on our mailing list. In Africa, particularly,
there is so much hunger for truth and teaching. The need for teaching
materials is colossal! You could Ďdumpí everything you have to try and
satiate demand there, and it would seem like a drop in the ocean!
I wrote to
Joyce, asking for permission to copy her tapes to send to the African
brethren. I made it clear that the object was not to make any profit. (We
get nothing from Africa except requests for materials, and news of God
moving there.) It was to supply their needs.
personally by saying that she would permit us to make one copy only for
them. In other words, we would have had to buy all her tapes over and above
the one copy, to send at our expense to Africa. The expense would have been
astronomical, and her profits would have been equally large!
Iím sorry, but
that is commercialisation of the gospel. It does nothing for the true
furtherance of the Kingdom of God.
David Wilkersonís ministry, equally large in its outreach, has the
excellent policy of permitting others to copy his tapes for free
distribution. That is the way it should be! No restrictions should be placed
upon the spreading of truth.
In our ministry,
I mention that people are free to copy and distribute anything we produce,
so long as it is not plagiarised and credit is honestly given to the source,
and it is not done for profit. If anyone abuses these provisos, they have to
answer to God not me for their violation of my trust.
Once, when I was
considering another ministry, God spoke to me and said "I am not found
in the institutions of men." This was to do with Derek Prince
Ministries becoming an institution. The same can be said of any large
ministry, when it forgets its calling and becomes a business or an
institution governed by men instead of the lead of the Holy Spirit. And the
larger these corporate structures grow, the more satanic elements are able
to infiltrate them.
I hope this
little explanation is helpful to you. It is not meant to be hurtful to Joyce
Meyer, or unduly critical of her activities. But it is always worth
remembering that if we are not in the will of God, we are giving place to
the devil. And he has done more than enough damage in the Church of God!
Heap, 22nd January 2000