Glenn Chatfield, of The Watchman’s Bagpipes, has reviewed a book by Joyce Meyer exposing her dangerous teachings (Eph. 5:11).
Someone gave my wife a book by Joyce Meyer, titled: Enjoying Where You Are On the Way to Where You Are Going. I have read in many places on the Internet and in many of the books and journals in my library about how bad a teacher Joyce Meyer is. So getting a first-hand look at one of her books was something I normally wouldn’t have accomplished because I refuse to pay good money for bad teachings! However, since my wife was given this book, I decided to review it. This article is the review I did of this book, and if you don’t have the book for reference, you won’t get the full effect, but there should be plenty here to demonstrate why Meyer is not a credible teacher.
To begin with, Joyce Meyer is a proponent of the heretical Word-Faith teachings, part of the extreme end of charismania. This doctrine comes out in her teachings. (This alone is a reason to avoid her!) This review isn’t as in-depth as it could be, simply because I didn’t want to expend the time. When citing Scripture I will use the Amplified Bible unless otherwise noted, because that is what Meyer uses.
p.9 Meyer quotes a paraphrase of Matthew 11:29. The paraphrase is the problem. Matt. 11:29 says, ”You will find rest for your souls,”while the paraphrase says, ”You will discover the meaning of your life.” Jesus has just offered the gospel, i.e., salvation through him. That is the meaning of “rest” for our soul – it is the “rest of salvation,” the rest of knowing our sins are forgiven. It has nothing to do with discovering “the meaning of your life.” Another problem with the paraphrase is that it says the yoke of Jesus is ”the burden of responsibility I give you.” The “yoke” is the yoke of service to Jesus! He just offered salvation and now He is saying to place yourself under the yoke of service to Him. Compare to Matt. 23:4 where He talks about the burden of the Pharisee’s yoke. While this may not seem to be a very serious error, and the rest of Meyer’s message in this chapter is satisfactory, I immediately become concerned as to her ability to rightly divide the Word (2 Tim. 2:15).
Chapter 2: One of the problems with this chapter is Meyer’s use of Deut. 30:19 as an application to the Christian. This verse, in context, is addressed to Israel and Israel only. If she wanted to use this as a principle or analogy, she should have stated so. Her examples from the New Testament were sufficient. To rightly divide the Word she should delete all references to Deut. 30:19 from this chapter.
p.17 Meyer states, in regards to Israel, ”The Promised Land was always available, and yet the Israelites wandered around in the wilderness forty years. Deuteronomy 1:2 states that the geographical distance of their journey was actually an eleven-day trip. They were all around the Promised Land, close to it, even at the border, but refused to go in. They sent in spies to see if it was really as good as it sounded, but they did not enter. And the Bible tells us the reason they did not enter was unbelief. (Heb. 4:6 KJV).”
This statement gives the impression that Israel chose to wander for the 40 years when they could have gone into the Promised Land at any time. When Heb. 4:6 says it was because of “unbelief” that they wandered, the writer is stating it was their unbelief which led to the punishment of God, which was 40 years of wandering until the rebellious generation were all dead, as described in Num. 14 and Deut. 1. The Promised Land was not ”always available” to Israel during that 40 years because God would not allow them to enter.
Another concern is with her use of KJV for this proof text instead of the Amplified Bible as she did for all other quotes in this chapter. Her point is to make unbelief the reason Israel did not enter the land when Numbers and Deuteronomy plainly say it was rebellion and disobedience that led to the punishment. In fact, of the 19 English translations I looked at, only KJV, Revised English Bible, Today’s English Version and J.B. Phillips say “unbelief” instead of “disobedience” at Hebrews 4:6. One could argue that it was unbelief that led to the disobedience, and that is all well and good, but if Meyer had used the Amplified Bible it would have said “disobedience” and that wouldn’t have fit her scenario. Although Meyer’s good point of the chapter is well-taken, I now become more concerned as to her ability to rightly divide the Word of God.
p.30 Meyer states that 1 Chron. 22:13 “warns against dread.” This text does not warn against dread, rather it encourages against it – That is a big difference! Meyer then states that dread “will also hinder our prosperity.” She follows this with Heb. 11:6 about how God rewards those who seek him. This is typical “name it and claim it” doctrine. Nowhere does Scripture say dread will hinder our prosperity, and Heb. 11:6 has nothing to do with financial rewards. She then leaps to the conclusion that dread is void of faith, and therefore, according to Romans 14:23, is sin. Common sense says that dread does not exclude faith. Jesus plainly seemed in dread of the crucifixion, but he lack no faith. The context of Romans 14:23 has to do with whether one’s faith permits eating certain items and, if not, to that person it is sin. It has nothing to do with dread vs faith. Meyer has again demonstrated her inability to rightly divide the word.
pp.31-32 Meyer, at the bottom of p.31 begins a sentence completed at the top of p.32. She says to let her book be a “point of contact.”This is an occultic divination activity which is practiced by many in the Word-Faith movement.
p.33 Meyer talks of the “labor of reasoning.” Then on p. 35 she says,“The doubtful, negative mind is filled with reasoning.” This denigrates reasoning but we are called by God to be reasonable people. We are to “test everything” (1 Thes. 5:21), which requires reasoning skills. The Bereans are praised in Acts because they used reasoning to determine the truth of what they were hearing versus what the Scripture said. This is typical of the Word Faith heresy – the denigrating of thinking and logic skills.
p.36 Meyer quotes John 10:10 about enjoying living “abundantly,” but John was not talking about a hedonistic enjoyment of life, which is what Meyer is implying here. When the Scripture talks of enjoying life, it is talking about enjoying fellowship with God, enjoying the fact that we are free of our bondage to sin. Meyer makes it more of a celebration – almost a “party” mentality. However, our joy is to be in the Lord.
p.38 Here is a classic example of taking Scripture out of context. Meyer quotes John 6:29 as, “Jesus replied, ‘This is the work (service) that God asks of you: that you believe.…’” Meyer then proceeds to tell us all we have to do to please God is believe, with no subject of the belief being identified. Word Faith teaches that faith is a power in and of itself, and this paragraph is leading in that direction. The problem is that John 6:29 continues with, “…in the One Whom He has sent – that you cleave to, trust, rely on and have faith in His Messenger.”The passage defines the subject of faith; i.e., the work of God is to have faith in Jesus as our Savior. Again, this shows Meyer’s lack of being able to rightly divide the word of God.
p.40 Meyer says we make a much bigger deal out of sin than God does. If that is the case, then how does she explain the entire Bible’s teaching against sin, and that God had to provide a Savior to atone for sin? I think Meyer takes sin too lightly. Meyer then goes into some “name it and claim it” teaching with the idea that “receive” and “believe” are synonymous. She is obviously setting the stage for the remainder of the book.
p.42 Meyer says, “…the Gospel is supposed to bring great joy – not condemnation for sin.” However, I don’t think she really makes it clear what the joy is. We have to understand the “good news of a great joy” as being the joy of knowing we have our eternal life secured now in Christ. I think it is important that we do remain “sin conscious” in order to examine ourselves in our relationship with God, applying 1 John 1:9. Although I think this is what Meyer is trying to say, it doesn’t come across clearly.
p.44 Meyer equivocates with the word “life.” She says, “…He is Life, and my conclusion was that I could not enjoy God unless I learned to enjoy life.” Whereas Jesus is “life” in the sense of what he is giving to us (in all its facets, including eternal life), Meyer wants to enjoy “life” in the sense of being in the world and alive and “living it up,” so to speak. Either that, or she doesn’t plainly state what she means, at least to this reader. Meyer says, “A few years ago, the Lord said to me, ‘Joyce, I am not nearly as hard to get along with as most of you think I am.’” Is she saying she received a direct revelation from God? This statement seems to substantially reduce the holiness of God.
p.45 Here is where we really begin to get into the Word Faith teachings. She says “Faith is a force…” and then proceeds to go into unbiblical teaching about what faith is and what it does. She talks about faith being in the heart and being in agreement with the mind. The problem here is that the “heart” is the mind. I don’t know who this Ben Campbell Johnson is, but his talking about faith “actualizing” what one says is definitely of the Word Faith doctrine.
Read the rest here.