Theologically Sound. Culturally Relevant.

Joyce Meyer

Is Joyce Meyer A False Teacher?

Category 5

Verdict: Joyce Meyer teaches Christological heresies and the Prosperity Gospel

Preface

Part of how this Discernment ministry operates is taking in reader questions about prevalent teachers. Our members voted Joyce Meyer to be the next subject of research. You can make a request here and see our answered verdicts here.

Bio

Joyce Meyer is a well-known American speaker, author, and television personality born on June 4, 1943. She has been a prominent figure in the Christian community for decades.

Meyer grew up in a difficult childhood, marked by physical abuse. She later converted to Christianity in 1976, which significantly changed her life. She began her career in the ministry as a volunteer at a local church and gradually worked her way up.

In 1985, Meyer founded her own ministry, Life in the Word, which later became Joyce Meyer Ministries. She began hosting a radio show, “New Life in Christ,” which eventually led to her own television show, “Enjoying Everyday Life.” Her teachings are primarily based on biblical principles, focusing on personal growth, spiritual development, and overcoming life’s challenges.

Throughout her career, Meyer has authored over 100 books, many of which have become bestsellers. She has been recognized for her work with several awards and honors, such as the NRB Hall of Fame Award and the St. Louis Christian Honor Award. Meyer’s ministry has expanded over the years, and she has become a popular figure in the Christian world. She continues to preach and teach, sharing her message with millions of people around the globe.

Egalitarianism

Joyce Meyer is, for all intents and purposes, a female pastor which is inherently unbiblical. This alone would make her a minimum Category 1. However, starting position and motivations should be taken into account, as certain factors make being a female pastor worse than others such as deconstructing from orthodox as opposed to coming up in a heterodox tradition.

Christological Heresy

There is no shortage of ministry efforts that have labeled Joyce Meyer a false teacher based on her teaching which can be characterized as sloppy and intentionally provocative. Matt Slick of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry (CARM) has done the best work on Joyce Meyer in written form to date.[1] His evidence is as follows:

Jesus ceased being God on the cross

“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.”[2]

Jesus is coeternal and coequal with the other members of the Trinity. At no point does Jesus cease to be divine. This statement by Meyer is categorically heretical, and she spoke it while preaching which raises the standard she has made for herself.

Jesus in Hell

Joyce Meyer teaches that Jesus was tormented in hell as a punishment for our sins. This is blatantly incorrect. This teaching is taught in her book, The Most Important Decision You Will Ever Make (pages 35-37).

In John 19:30, Jesus said, “It is finished!” This meant that the punishment for our sins was paid. The Apostle’s Creed states that Jesus descended into Hell, but this is not meant to suggest that Jesus was tormented there. Rather a more prevalent view in Christianity is the “Harrowing of Hell.”

The significance of this error is that she teaches that the work of Christ on the cross was insufficient in its atonement. Moreover, God is the judge, jury, and executioner reigning even in hell, so this represents a greater Christological error than it appears.

Not A Sinner

Joyce Meyer famously preached that she is not a sinner pitting eternal categorizations of saints and sinners against the fact that Christians continue to struggle with sin.[3] This further demonstrates an inability to teach because she does not make clear these distinctions, instead choosing to be provocative and take shots at the “religious world.” 1 John 1:8 teaches that all Christians continue to struggle with sin even though we are not categorically sinners.

Little Gods Heresy

Joyce Meyer has taught a doctrine known as “little gods” using John 10:34 where Jesus references Psalm 82:6. Joyce Meyer has an overly literal view of the Psalm.[4] Psalm 82:6 is best understood as a reminder that all humans have a divine purpose and are called to play a role in God’s plan for the world. This interpretation is supported by the context of the verse, which discusses the responsibilities of judges and rulers to uphold justice and protect the vulnerable.

The “little gods” teaching is considered heretical by many Christian theologians and denominations because it deviates from the fundamental belief in the singular, all-powerful, and omnipotent God. This teaching is primarily associated with the Word of Faith movement and certain Charismatic and Pentecostal churches.

According to the “little gods” teaching, humans are said to possess divine nature and power, and they can exercise this power to change their circumstances and the world around them. This belief is often based on a particular interpretation of certain Bible verses, such as Genesis 1:26-27, which says, “Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness,’… So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

However, this teaching is considered heretical because it misunderstands the nature of God and humanity. It confuses the distinction between the Creator and the created, leading to a belief that humans have the same power and authority as God. This contradicts the core Christian belief that God is the one and only all-powerful, all-knowing, and eternal being.

Moreover, the “little gods” teaching can lead to a misguided understanding of salvation, as it suggests that humans can achieve their desires and overcome their problems through their own power. This downplays the importance of faith in Jesus Christ and the role of God’s grace in the process of salvation.

In conclusion, the “little gods” teaching is considered heretical because it misunderstands the nature of God and humanity, and it contradicts the core Christian belief in the singular, all-powerful, and omnipotent God. It can also lead to a misguided understanding of salvation and the role of faith in Jesus Christ.

Prosperity Gospel and Conclusion

There is ample evidence to confirm the findings of many that Joyce Meyer is a false teacher. The most notable would be the “little gods” heresy and the Christological errors, which other discernment ministries, perhaps, should have emphasized more as pressing problems with Meyer’s teachings.

More commonly, Joyce Meyer represents a segment of pastors who function as motivational speakers whose main message is positivity. This has gotten her lumped in with the Prosperity Gospel and the broader Word of Faith movement. Her ministry is full of many of the same sales techniques of Prosperity preachers who milk their audiences of indulgences.[5]

A lot of people might not realize just how large Meyer’s ministry is. When receiving between $5-10 million in PPP loans in 2020, Joyce Meyer Ministries reported 402 jobs of which 500 was the cutoff.[6] Joyce Meyer might be the most profitable female pastor to have ever lived. Antiquated estimates have her net worth around $8-10 million all from ministry.

Joyce Meyer is a Prosperity preacher, but her other heresies are perhaps a greater reason to mark and avoid.


[1] https://carm.org/preachers-and-teachers/joyce-meyer/

[2] Ibid

[3] https://youtu.be/4pYmjeJB9hg

[4] https://youtu.be/9-hsd7MTq24

[5] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNiCLz9IH-g

[6] https://evangelicaldarkweb.org/2020/12/18/exclusive-these-pastors-and-churches-took-millions-in-ppp-loans/

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