Evangelist Joyce Meyer is having some second thoughts about the prosperity gospel teachings of her ministry, according to the Christian Post, which transcribed comments posted on her Instagram account.
Popular televangelist Joyce Meyer has admitted that her beliefs in prosperity and faith were at times “out of balance.” When bad things happen to people, such as the death of a child, Meyer said she now understands that it’s not because they didn’t have enough faith.
“I’m glad for what I learned about prosperity, but it got out of balance. I’m glad for what I’ve learned about faith, but it got out of balance,” she said. “Every time somebody had a problem in their life, [I thought] it’s because they didn’t have enough faith. If you got sick it’s because you don’t have enough faith. If your child died, it’s because you don’t have enough faith,”…
“Well, that’s not right! There is nowhere in the Bible where we’re promised we will never have any trouble. I don’t care how much faith you have, you’re never going to avoid having trouble in your life. Jesus said, ‘in the world, you will have tribulation but cheer up, I have overcome the world,’” she added.
We don’t say this often on this site, but Meyer is right about that last bit. Jesus never says anything close to that. In fact, Jesus tells his followers to expect trouble as a result of following him.
Of course, her critics have been saying all this for a long time, just like they’ve been saying God doesn’t grant Christians prosperity and wealth. Meyer just never cared. Which is a big deal when you realize she was the subject of an investigation regarding donations to her ministry:
Over a decade ago, the U.S. Senate launched an investigation into Meyer’s ministry and those of five other pastors. Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley raised questions about the personal use of church-owned airplanes, luxury homes and credit cards by pastors and their families. As a result, she made changes in how Joyce Meyer Ministries governs their ministry and set compensation.
In 2003, the St. Louis-Post Dispatch also reported that Meyer’s ministry owned a $10 million corporate jet, a $2 million home and $107,000 silver-gray Mercedes sedan, which her husband drove — all of which she reportedly attributed as “blessings from God” at the time.
It’s very convenient to say you overstressed the importance of prosperity to the gospel when you have a private jet waiting for you after the sermon is over. For some reason, prosperity mattered quite a bit when it helped her get richer. Not so much now that she’s routinely grouped with other Christians known for using religion to benefit themselves.
If Meyer is truly repentant of her ministry’s teachings, will she remedy that by donating her proceeds to organizations that help the poor? (It’s not like she’ll be left penniless. Far from it.) Does she talk about how to have faith when you have literally nothing?
Like all prosperity preachers, wise listeners ought to take her words with a few grains of salt.
(Screenshot via YouTube)