I saw the link to this article on my Twitter feed. I wanted to share it with my readers.
Joyce Meyer Teaching the “Relationship over Religion” Heresy
By Anthony Wade
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. — James 1: 26-27 (ESV)
She is one of the most popular “preachers” for women today. She is one of the most sought after conference speakers for the entire Purpose Driven Industrial Complex. She is Joyce Meyer and she is one of the most dangerous false teachers alive. She blends a folksy mix of prosperity gospel, word faith heresy and NAR theologies to create a hodgepodge mess that could lead most people far astray from the biblical God and Christ. She has openly taught and believed that Jesus Christ was born again, which would mean that He sinned. She openly teaches that Jesus stopped being the Son of God on the cross. She openly teaches that Jesus went to hell to pay for our sins where He was tormented and if you do not believe that then you are going to hell yourself. Meyer has taught that we are “little gods” a common word faith heresy practiced by the likes of Creflo Dollar and Kenneth Copeland. Not only is she a little god but she claims that she is not a sinner. A great deal of the teachings she provides she claims direct revelation from God to explain their extra-biblical nature. Her wealth is estimated in excess of 15 million dollars as she preaches about God wanting you rich beyond your dreams of greed. She owns a 10 million dollar private airplane. This can literally go on and on beloved. She is a wolf plain and simple and has been devouring the sheep of the Lord and those seeking God for many many years. It is always fascinating when someone so popular and false takes pen to paper to write so that we might gain a direct insight to how flawed her hermeneutics and understanding of Scripture is. The above link is to a recent article she published on Charisma Magazine’s website where she shares what she did when she realized that the devil had robbed her. Let us reason together beloved:
“I’ve been robbed! That is one of the first revelations I had after I started diligently studying the Word and realized I wasn’t living the life Jesus died to give me. At first it made me mad, but it was the truth I needed to hear to help me begin an amazing transformation to a life I can honestly say I now enjoy. For many years before this, I was a Christian but I wasn’t serious about my walk with God. As a result, I was miserable. I didn’t have any real peace or joy, and I felt guilty most of the time. Thankfully, God showed me through John 10:10 that I didn’t have to be miserable and I could have abundant life in Christ.” — Joyce Meyer
We start with such thick irony, which is often the case with false teachers who cannot properly divide the Word of truth because they do not respect it. When you approach the Bible to proof text your pre-drawn conclusions, it is of little wonder that you cannot actually hear what God is truly saying. So Meyer’s opening contention is that once she started diligently studying the Word God gave her a revelation through John 10:10, which is the premise and underpinning of this article by Meyer:
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. — John 10: 10 (ESV)
I’ve been robbed! That is the revelation Meyer claims God gave her when she read John 10:10. To this I would ask if she only read John 10:10 in a vacuum because then I might be able to understand how one might get confused. This is a perfect verse for us to learn about the importance of context beloved. For years I too thought that this verse is clearly teaching that Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy. I know I have heard it preached from pulpits by solid preachers as well. So what is the problem when you actually read the context? The thief Jesus is warning us about is not the devil.
‘”Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.’ — John 10: 1-11 (ESV)
The imagery is quite clear. This is the Good Shepherd teaching. The contrast Christ is drawing is between the Shepherd and the thief. The teachings of Jesus versus the false teachings that seek to steal the seed of the Gospel from your heart and thus destroy and kill your future hope. And what exactly is that future hope beloved? What is the abundant life Meyer is selling here? She is selling the abundant temporal life, which is consistent with prosperity preachers but that is not what Jesus is saying here. What did Jesus come to bring us beloved? Was it for an extra car in the driveway or a snazzy corporate jet? No! It was for eternal life and the promises found in Jesus to attain it. This is a subtle nuance to grasp but Meyer is right to list the fruit of the Spirit but she lists them as a means to have an abundant life now. Yes a yielded life to Christ will result in the fruit for this life but it is rooted in the eternal not the temporal. Peace, joy, self-control are all important for believers but that is to help us overcome this world through Christ not pitch a tent towards Sodom. The fruit is also what allows us to stand out to the lost. So that they might want what they see we have. So if the Good Shepherd comes to bring eternal life and that is only accomplished through the preached Gospel then we know the enemy is the false teachers who do not preach the Gospel, such as Joyce Meyer. Therein lies the irony. The devil did not rob you Joyce, whoever preached falsely to you did. Now you have become the thief and the sad irony is that you believe God led you to John 10:10, ignored the surrounding 15 verses, so that you could life your best life now and missed the larger point about the Gospel and eternal life. Meyer would continue:
“But I needed to change! I remember asking God to show me what I needed to do to become the person 2 Corinthians 5:17b (AMP) said I should be: “A new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]…” Have you ever thought, “If I’m so new, why do I act like the ‘old me’?” Well, becoming a “new creature” from the inside out is a process that takes time. When we accept Christ as our Savior and we’re born again, we receive the nature of everything God is in seed form. 1 John 3:9a (AMP) says, “God’s seed [His principle of life, the essence of His righteous character] remains [permanently] in him.” Seeds have to be watered and take root before they can produce fruit. And the fruit of having life in Christ is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23). It’s the ability to deal with challenges and overcome them by God’s grace so others will see Christ in you and want what you have. The key to experiencing this life is identifying how the enemy works in our lives to steal what God has given us.” — Joyce Meyer
Onward she ploughs through faulty theology because she is still under the false impression that the enemy here is Satan and he is trying to steal her joy and peace etc. What is missing from this section however is what we are made a new creation from and the answer is sin. That is because we have a new relationship to sin and are reconciled to the Father through which now have a ministry of reconciliation. That is what the Gospel is beloved. It is a ministry that reconciles the lost people of this world to the God who created them. The section of Scripture she cites here is rich with deep and profound theology regarding the Gospel, eternal life, and the cause of Christ but she has minimized it down to not behaving better or overcoming carnal challenges in this temporal life. This is a recurring theme from false teachers. Instead focusing on the eternal they focus on this world. The blessings are for this life. The fruit of the Spirit is to leverage a better temporal life. To Joyce Meyer God has given us stuff and the devil likes to steal it but she has referenced two Scripture sets; both of which contain so much more power and life than she is able to grasp hold of.
“In John 10:10, Jesus tells us we have an enemy–the devil–who wants to keep us from God. But when you read the whole chapter, you see that Jesus is talking about the system of religion, which is perpetrated by the devil. Because the last thing the devil wants you to know is how much God loves you and how a personal relationship with Christ gives you access to everything he’s stolen from you.” — Joyce Meyer
No Joyce. That is not the enemy Jesus is referring to in that passage. He is referring to false teachers who would distort the Gospel of Jesus Christ, such as you. If this was not bad enough though Meyer now goes completely off the rails. Beloved, there is absolutely nothing in the tenth chapter of the Gospel of John that speaks against organized religion, nor speaks for this relationship theology that has infected so much of Christendom in these last days. Not even a scintilla of a whiff of what Meyer alleges. Because she never correctly handled the Word to begin with she is being led down the bunny trail in her mind about the devil trying to steal things from you. Her solution? Make everything personal and eliminate all accountability. This is a cancer within the body of Christ today. Do you want to know who instituted this horrific notion of religion? God did. Just read the key verses today! God is speaking about a religion that is pure and undefiled. Yes there can be abuses within religious systems. We see that obviously through the Pharisees in the Gospels. You do not throw the baby out with the bathwater however. It is interesting that Jesus boils down religion that is pure into two coherent thoughts. Take care of the neediest people and do not become stained by the world. What do we see today instead? A church that is wholly enamored with itself and the cult of personalities it creates that is completely in love with the filth of this world. They openly admit it! They seek relevance with the world. Andy Stanley’s church recently did 90’s boy band music for worship, including sexually charged lyrics. Perry Noble once famously did Highway to Hell. Hillsong sleazed up Silent Night and danced their way through “I like to Move It, Move It.” The sermons are no better. Instead of repent for the kingdom is at hand we hear nothing but a slop of self-help and motivational speaking designed to make THIS life better. Are we sensing the theme yet beloved?
“When I realized that God loves me unconditionally and that He has a plan for my life, it helped me understand that He wanted an intimate, personal relationship with me. I discovered that the Christian life is not about religion but relationship. Because religion is a thief that keeps us from becoming transformed into the image of Christ.” — Joyce Meyer
Now Meyer goes full Purpose Driven with the horrible teaching about a grand purpose for everyone’s life that raises unrealistic expectations about something God never said. God knows your life because He sees all time but not everyone is going to have some marvelous dream destiny thingy just because people refuse to understand the context of Jeremiah 29:11. What is telling is that she admits that when she realized something God never said, that helped her understand that He wanted an intimate relationship with her. This is the parasitic nature of false teachings and how they steal things from us beloved. God never promised a grand purpose for our lives and He never said He wanted an intimate relationship with us. Now, if you want to have an intimate relationship with God I suggest you start with His Word. Let’s go to Acts and see what the early church did. Were they all seeking some experiential personal relationship? No. They fellowshipped together. They studied together. They broke bread together. You know — religion. Perhaps one of the most blasphemous things I have read in a long time is the notion that religion, which God instituted, is a thief keeping us from being transformed into the image of Christ. Look how close she gets to the truth beloved. False teaching is the thief because it steals the keys to the kingdom and hides them from those who need the Gospel. It is false teaching that keeps you from being transformed into the image of Christ. It is Joyce Meyer.
“Now, when I say “religion,” I’m not talking about going to church; it’s important for us to go to good churches where the Word of God is taught and we can grow spiritually. I’m talking about a performance mentality that says it’s what we do that determines whether God approves of us or not. A religious attitude says, “If I just pray more or read the Bible more or do more good things or go to church on a regular basis, then God will be happy with me.” It gets us on a treadmill of feeling obligated to do certain things to please God.” — Joyce Meyer
Yes, we can’t feel obligated to the Creator of the universe — how horrible! Perhaps realizing the onslaught of criticism she was going to receive for such a heretical article, Meyer tries to have it both ways but fails miserably. You do not get to slander religion, promote this false relationship theology, and then pretend you didn’t just say what everyone can see you said. It is not a matter of God being happy with me. It is about me wanting to please God. We do not read the Bible or pray because we think it wins us points with God but because God has commanded us to and we are obedient. It is not a matter of obligation Joyce but rather of transformation. You know, the thing you claim to be chasing.
“Relationship with God is based on the truth about His love for us and tells us who we are in Christ. We learn how much God loves us and that it’s because of what Jesus did for us on the cross–through the sacrifice He made–that we have what we need to be everything God created us to be.” — Joyce Meyer
Meyer is just careening from one false theology to another as we now enter into the sloppy agape portion of the article. Note the last sentence here. That we have everything we need to be everything God created us to be. Once again the purpose driven heresy wrapped up in the prosperity gospel. Do you have your ten million dollar Learjet and your two million dollar mansion? What has the devil stolen from you that you need to fulfill this grand purpose He never actually promised you? By the way, if relationship is based on the truth, what is she inferring religion is based on? Beloved this is straight up demonic.
“It’s good for us to pray, read the Bible, go to church and do things for others to make their lives better. But it’s important for us to do these things as a response to what God has done for us, not to get Him to love us. Salvation is God’s gift to us, and we show our love for Him by the way we live for Him. That’s relationship, not religion. Having new life in Christ is so amazing because through it, we become the home of God. His Spirit comes to live in us and work with us, bringing restoration and wholeness to every area of our lives. Then, as we learn to follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit, we can receive everything God has for us and take back what belongs to us!” — Joyce Meyer
No Joyce it is not relationship. That is a made up theology originating in your wickedly deceitful heart. If we think that religion is a dirty word then we eliminate huge swaths of the New Testament. We suddenly are accountable to no one. We become our own authority. All decisions in our walk are guided by our feelings masquerading as spirituality. Then there is the relationship side of this equation. What is the nature of the relationship? There is only one that is true and that is His Lordship to our servanthood. The friend of God theology however has convinced generations of people that Jesus is their buddy. Their ever-present wingman. A cosmic busboy to clean up their mess and a cosmic ATM for their flow of blessings. If the relationship is accurate then He is our Lord and we need to do as He says. Where do find what He has said? The Bible. You know, all of those pesky things we feel “obligated” to do.
Beloved this is a perfect picture of the anatomy of a false teacher at work. We ran the gambit in this one little article of so many false teachings that Jesus taught us will steal, kill and destroy. It really is a shame because she touched on so many life giving Scriptures and then sucked the life right out of them. Neutered them to the point of spiritual impotence. This false relationship theology has been spreading for a couple decades now. There is no clearer strategy from the real enemy, Satan, than to have God’s own people denigrate the very vehicle He has chosen to deliver the Gospel — the church. Religion can be pure and undefiled if we would just insist on taking care of people and if we would simply not become sullied by this world. This entire article and the vast majority of false teachings today are overly focused on and enamored with this world. They pretend to be above the muck and are merely rolling around in the mire for Jesus but the filth and stain of this world is evident. You can see it with every secular song sung in worship. You can see it in every sermon about you and this life. You can see it in every article written by people like Joyce Meyer who ironically tries to teach from the tenth chapter of John and confuses the devil with herself.
Reverend Anthony Wade — August 15, 2017