by Matt Slick
Joyce Meyer was born on June 4, 1943. She is married, has four children, and lives outside of St. Louis, Missouri. She runs the Joyce Meyer Ministries organization (joycemeyer.org). When examining the site’s statement of faith, we are glad to see an affirmation of the Trinity, that man is a sinner, that without Jesus we can have no relationship with God, that salvation is a free gift, and eternal hell of conscious damnation. There is a concern with the statement on “divine healing” since there are so many aberrant groups that also affirm divine healing but say Christians must claim it and people who are sick are in sin. However, I am not aware of what Meyer’s position is on this.
The Joyce Meyer Ministry takes in a great deal of money. She travels in a private jet and has several multimillion dollar homes.
“While Meyer’s previous salary is unknown, a recent series of investigative articles in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch revealed Meyer’s ministry purchased for Joyce and Dave a $2 million home, a $10 million private jet, and houses worth another $2 million for the couple’s children, who also work for the ministry. The articles also outlined Meyer’s recent personal purchases, including a $500,000 vacation home. Meyer, 60, lives in Fenton, Missouri, near St. Louis.” (1/1/2004, http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2004/januaryweb-only/1-19-13.0.html)
Having a lot or a little money is neither good nor bad. If she has earned it all fairly through her work, fine. Nevertheless, this article will focus on her teaching–not on her finances. Let’s take a look at scripture and then Joyce Meyer’s teachings.
First, what does the Bible say?
It is absolutely necessary that we, Christians, use biblical discernment when supporting any preacher and/or teacher of the gospel. It is irrelevant whether or not we like the person, think the person is a good speaker, or if the person says things that are uplifting. Instead, we must be as noble as the Bereans.
- “Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so.” (Acts 17:11).
- “Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that in us you might learn not to exceed what is written, in order that no one of you might become arrogant in behalf of one against the other.” (1 Cor. 4:6).
If the Bible says that even Paul was checked by scripture and that we are not to exceed scripture’s teaching, then aren’t we obligated to judge what Mrs. Meyer says against the word of God? Of course we are. It is not enough to just believe what she says, no matter how good the words are or how well she presents them. Let’s not be taken in by a public figure who is confident, assertive, and appears to be biblical. Our duties as Christians include biblical discernment–which can only be done by examining what she says and comparing it with scripture.
What does Joyce Meyer teach?
For the most part Joyce Meyer preaches a positive, biblical message that is of great value to many people. We applaud her desire to be biblical, to point women to godly submission and humility, to trusting God, being loving, to have value based in what Christ has done for us, etc. These are all good. However, there are some very significant errors that need to be addressed. Some of them are so bad that she is outside of biblical orthodoxy and must be considered a false teacher. Let’s take a look at what Joyce Meyer has said.
Following is a list of quotes from Joyce Meyer, along with responses.
- Jesus stopped being the Son of God: “He could have helped himself up until the point where he said I commend my spirit into your hands, at that point he couldn’t do nothing for himself anymore. He had become sin, he was no longer the Son of God. He was sin.”
- Response: This is heresy. Jesus did not ever stop being the son of God. Essentially what she is saying is that Jesus stopped being divine, the eternal son, second person of the Trinity. This is an attack on the very nature of Christ, and it is a dangerous false teaching. Joyce Meyer needs to repent and retract this statement. There is no place in Scripture that says Jesus stopped being the son of God. She’s adding to the word of God and placing in the hearts and minds of listeners false doctrine.
- Jesus was born again: “The minute that blood sacrifice was accepted Jesus was the first human being that was ever born again,” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neKsa_74w7k&feature=related)
- Response: This is just plain wrong. Being born again means to be saved from the wrath of God for a person’s sins (Eph. 2:1-3), to have a new birth (John 3:3), and to be regenerated (2 Cor. 5:17). Mrs. Meyer is simply wrong biblically. Why does she teach this? It can only be because she has bought into many of the errors of the Positive Confession movement where it is sometimes said that Jesus lost his divine nature, went to hell, finished the atonement in hell, and was born again! This is a serious error since it implies that Jesus needed to be changed . . .
- Jesus paid for our sins in hell: “He became our sacrifice and died on the cross. He did not stay dead. He was in the grave three days. During that time he entered hell, where you and I deserve to go (legally) because of our sin. He paid the price there.” (The most important decision you’ll ever make, by Joyce Meyer, second printing, may 1993, page 35)
- Response: This is blatantly wrong. Jesus did not pay the price of our redemption in hell. He paid the price on the cross. It was finished on the cross when he said, “It is finished” (John 19:30). Also, consider the following verses:
- Col. 1:20, “and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.”
- Col. 2:14, “having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.”
- 1 Pet. 2:24, “and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.”
- Jesus went to hell in our place and was tormented: “Jesus paid on the cross and went to hell in my place. Then as God had promised, on the third day Jesus rose from the dead. The scene in the spirit realm went something like this: God rose up from his throne and said to demon powers tormenting the sinless son of God, ‘let him go.’ Then the resurrection power of Almighty God went through hell and filled Jesus. On earth his grave where they had buried him was filled with light as the power of God filled his body. He was resurrected from the dead–the first born again man.” (The most important decision you’ll ever make, by Joyce Meyer, second printing, may 1993, page 36)
- Response: Where does she get this completely fictitious dialogue between God and the demon powers? It is made up, not founded in scripture, and mistakenly assumes that Jesus went to hell, the place of torment and suffering after he died on the cross. The Bible does not teach any such thing. However, it does say that Jesus descended into the lower parts of the earth (Eph. 4:9). This can mean that Jesus was physically buried or that Jesus went to Hades to inform those who had already died about who he was and what he did on the cross or it can be referring to his incarnation as is contrasted with his ascending into heaven (Eph. 4:10). But there is simply no reason to believe that Jesus suffered in hell and finished the atonement there. See response to Quote 1.
- If you don’t believe Jesus went to hell, you cannot be saved: “His spirit went to hell because that is where we deserve to go . . . There is no hope of anyone going to heaven unless they believe this truth.” (The most important decision you’ll ever make, by Joyce Meyer, second printing, may 1993, page 37)
- Response: This is an amazingly bad statement on her part. She is saying that you cannot be saved from your sins unless you believe that Jesus went to the hell where we deserve to go. This is a modification of the gospel message that saves as is found in 1 Cor. 15:1-4 that states it is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Nowhere in scripture are we told to believe that Jesus suffered for us in hell or that he went there–where we deserve to go. This is very wrong and is heretical.
- We are called little gods: “I was listening to a set of tapes by one man and he explained it like this..this kind of gets the point across . . . he said why do people have such a fit about God calling his creation, his creation, his man not his whole creation, but his man, little gods? If he’s God what’s he going to call them but the God kind? I mean if you as a human being have a baby you call it a human kind. If if [sic] cattle has another cattle they call it cattle kind. I mean what is God supposed to call ‘em? Doesn’t the Bible say we are created in his image? Now you understand I am not saying you are god with a capital G. That is not the issue here so don’t go trying to stone me or yell blasphemy at me.” “The Bible says right here John 10:34 . . . ‘and Jesus answered is it not written in your law I say we are gods.’ So men are called God’s by the law . . . “(Joyce Meyer). (www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrP3OLCH9GI&feature=related)
- Response: In this clip she goes on to quote John 10:34 where Jesus says to the Pharisees “you are gods” which is a quote from Psalm 82:6, which is an imprecatory Psalm of condemnation for the unrighteous judges. Psalm 82:7 says, nevertheless you will die like men. She then turned to Psalm 82 and went through it. The video stopped, so I do not know what she would have said about the next, all important verse.
- Joyce Meyer said she is not a sinner: “I am not poor. I am not miserable and I am not a sinner. That is a lie from the pit of hell. That is what I were and if I still was then Jesus died in vain. I’m going to tell you something folks. I didn’t stop sinning until I finally got it through my thick head I wasn’t a sinner anymore. And the religious world thinks that’s heresy and they want to hang you for it. But the Bible says that I am righteous and I can’t be righteous and be a sinner at the same time.” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dmHJdM63hk)
- Response: Mrs. Meyer needs a lesson in basic Bible. 1 John 1:8 says, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” Notice that John the apostle says “we.” He is including himself with sinners. Also, Paul said in Rom. 7:19-20,24, “For the good that I wish, I do not do; but I practice the very evil that I do not wish. 20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not wish, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me . . . 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?” Is Joyce Meyer better in Christian character than John and Paul? I think not. Mrs. Meyer fails to recognize her own sinfulness and so mistakenly denies her own sinfulness. I can only conclude that this false teaching comes from pride because it certainly isn’t biblical.
- The host of hell were literally on Jesus and were laughing: “They were having the biggest party that had ever been had. They had my Jesus in the floor and they were standing on his back jumping up and down laughing. And he had become sin. Don’t you think that God was pacing, wanting to put a stop to what was going on? All the host of hell were upon him. Upon him. Up on him. The angels were in agony. All the creation is groaning. All the host of hell was upon him. Up on him. They got on him. They got him down in the floor and got on him and they were laughing and mocking. Ha ha ha ha. You trusted God and look where you ended up. You thought he’d save you and get you off that cross. He didn’t, ha ha ha.” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwNfOaxIcOMhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwNfOaxIcOM)
- Response: Where did she get this–in the sacred Book of Joycemeyeronomy? It is certainly not in the Bible, and yet she has no problem teaching it as an authoritative truth. Does she not know that the Bible says not to exceed what is written (1 Cor. 4:6)? Yet, she has done exactly this. She is in grave error and has violated God’s word that says that Jesus bore our sins in his body on the cross (1 Pet. 2:24) and finished the atonement on the cross (John 19:30)–not in hell at the hands of demons! There is no way demons were literally standing ‘on’ Jesus. Meyer is in gross error!
- Joyce Meyer gets revelation knowledge: “The Bible can’t even find any way to explain this. Not really that is why you have got to get it by revelation. There are no words to explain what I am telling you. I have got to just trust God that he is putting it into your spirit like he put it into mine.”
- Response: Revelation knowledge? Is she on par with the apostles who received revelation knowledge from God himself? Or how about the Old Testament prophets? Does she, like them, also receive revelation knowledge from God? If so, how would we know if it were true or not? The answer is simple: we test what she says against Scripture, and it is obvious that she is getting a lot of things from somewhere else that contradict the word of God.
Joyce Meyer is a preacher
As unpopular as it might be to say, Joyce Meyer is wrong for occupying the position of a preacher of God’s word. Not only does she preach false doctrines but she also functions as a preacher by teaching God’s word, exegeting it, applying it, and telling people what to believe . . . in public. She is out of place for doing this. She speaks as a minister of the gospel teaching with authority. She needs to stop. If you doubt this and if you also believe the word of God, then please see the article Should women be pastors and elders?