Thursday, April 24, 2014

Our roles as woman in the faith part 3: be discerning about our theology. This keeps us strong, AND helps the men in our lives

This is part 3 of a three-part series on woman of the faith and how satan is exploiting our specific vulnerabilities in order to infiltrate the faith with false doctrines.

In part 1 I looked at what the female's vulnerabilities are, from scripture.

In part 2 I looked at places where satan is operating in order to bring these false doctrines. Women are in the home, and so satan brings the doctrines into the home, as it is stated in 2 Timothy 3:6, "For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions,"

Instead of these false teachers accomplishing their leaven-spreading, via personal visiting inside homes as the scripture indicates was done in biblical days, in today's world, false teachers come into the home via Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and blogs. And unlike the old days when there were designated male teachers and elders matured in the faith over time and learned under an educational setting or from another elder, now anyone can become an instant Christian pundit and theologian, including women. And unlike the old days where in order to listen to these teachers, one had to attend a church or revival speech, buy a book, or go to seminary, now these false teachers' reach is anytime and anywhere at the click of a button. Of course satan makes hay with this and promotes his doctrines of demons very easily today.

Tickled ears leads to dead faith. Wikimedia commons
One of the most influential false teachers worming her way into homes to seduce women into false beliefs is Joyce Meyer. Joyce Meyer’s reach on social media is astounding. She receives more re-tweets on Twitter than the Miami Heat and CNN Breaking combined.

In this 2012 article titled “How Joyce Meyer Dominates Twitter”,

The pillars of social media are YouTube, Facebook, Disney … and Joyce Meyer Ministries, according to a ranking released this week. Social media analytics group Track Social ranked the top public Twitter brands and found that @JoyceMeyer was retweeted more often than any other brand, topping ESPN, the Miami Heat and CNN. That's right - Fenton-based Joyce Meyer Ministries was hotter than Jeremy Lin last month."

Their top 10 ranking of retweets per day:

1. Joyce Meyer Ministries
2. ESPN
3. Joel Osteen Ministries
4. Miami Heat
5. Breaking News
6. NBA
7. CNN Breaking News
8. Los Angeles Lakers
9. Chicago Bulls
10. BBC Breaking News

In 2012 Meyer had 750,000 followers and 11 months later, by November 2013, she had 2.5 Million, by April 2014 it was up to 2.75 million. Do you believe that?!?! I was astounded myself when I read it. Meyer’s message goes out tonearly 3 million people per day. Besides ranking "first in retweets, Joyce Meyer Ministries ranked first in overall social media marketing, first in social engagement and first in social buzz."

I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you,
not sparing the flock; Acts 20:29. Wikimedia Commons

What makes the Joyce Meyer Twitter feed so popular? The account only tweets a handful of times a day, but the tweets' messages - "We're never hopeless with God. All things are possible through Him!" - give the direct inspiration that all 750,000-plus followers can share.”

Ear tickling. She has the same thing other false teachers have, a winsome personality, Christian-sounding language, and friendly approach to sin, with rare talk of holiness. Add a mega dose of word faith prosperity and you have a winning combination. Apparently.
We should inculcate a desire for women to increase their knowledge of God's word and the Lord and to be more competent theologians. ~Mortification of Spin.

This reach should be a God-given blessing. Imagine the power of the Gospel infiltrating millions of homes, and minds! But the Gospel is not the message Joyce Meyer promotes. She tickles ears and presents doctrines of demons, there fore this reach is not a blessing. It is a curse.

The following excerpt is from a pastor who became fed up with the false message of this woman and called her out from the pulpit. I agree with doing that, because many of the congregation read or follow false teachers, without their pastor knowing who is reading what. It is good once in a while to make a blanket warning about the false ones so that the sheep know who the wolves are. In 2012, Pastor Jim Murphy did this in a message called The Subtlety of Satan, (and included Beth Moore in the stuff he planned to root OUT of the Sunday School curricula, bookstore, and library).

Why I Called Out Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer
By Rick Henderson, August 5, 2013
I have been preaching for 20 years. Yesterday I did something that I have never done before in a sermon. I publicly called out false teachers and named them by name. I said,

If you listen to Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer, if you take what they teach seriously, it will not be good for you. It will be detrimental to your long-term growth as a follower of Jesus.
And that is why we press upon you so hard, because ultimately these false teachers want your destruction. They will make a shipwreck of your faith. We care about you so deeply we are willing to risk your ire and our friendship to tell you these things.

If a book is on the Christian bestseller list, you probably shouldn’t buy it. ~Todd Pruitt, Mortification of Spin.
Pastor Henderson continued, and I agree with this completely...I haven't written about Meyer before now because I thought it was so obvious she's false, but no. I was wrong.

"I used to think that their error was so blatantly obvious that they could just be ignored. I was wrong. They are massively growing in popularity in the evangelical world and are seen as credible and helpful. ...When I first heard her tell her story I was deeply moved and impressed. She is an amazing example of overcoming hurts and abuse. She will forever have my admiration and respect in that regard. Furthermore, she gives spectacular advice. If my wife or if one of my daughters went to her in a moment of crisis, I believe they would return with magnificently helpful advice. If they went to her for teaching, they would return with deadly heresy."

And that is how Meyer - and all false teachers - hook you. Satan appeared to be helping Eve in the garden. The false ones use the bible. Of course they will have a bible in their hand, quote it, use it. If they failed to quote the bible it would be obvious they were false. If they quoted Buddha or the Koran, it would be obvious. But they use the bible. It is a matter of HOW they use the bible that makes discernment difficult. Charles Spurgeon said discernment isn't just detecting between right and wrong it is discerning between right and almost right.

But here is why I thought it would be obvious Meyer is false. Meyer has said,

"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... He was resurrected from the dead - the first born-again man."

Listen to Meyer actually saying her many heresies here, and here, or go to Pr. Henderson's link above for the full explanation. More links will follow below.

But in just the 100 words above, Meyer is denying the ---
•Location of the atonement, (Meyer says it was the cross AND hell)
•The sufficiency of the cross in the atonement (the cross wasn’t enough, Jesus had to go to hell also)
•Sinlessness of Jesus (you only need to be born again if you’re a sinner, Jesus was never born again, He was sinless. Hebrews 4:15)

And we haven't even discussed Meyer's word-faith/prosperity gospel nor her failure in financial accountability with the millions she has raked in.

Husbands, brothers, pastors, your women are vulnerable to satan in massive ways in this technological day and age. Your message from the pulpit is only one of many she listens to each day. You compete with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, mommy blogs, radio while she is commuting, tv preachers while she is folding laundry at home, and the doctrinally disastrous music of her teenage children.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Miss Auras By Sir John Lavery ca 1900
So what can we do?

Pastors, guard your flock. Actively. Name names. Be aware of the books and other material people are placing in the church library. Do a once-over of the Sunday School curriculum now and then. Apostasy is rising so fast, curricula that were acceptable even five years ago are no longer. I refer you to Jim Murphy's sermon above, "The Subtlety of Satan." As Carl Trueman mentions on the radio show linked here and below, ("Extra Special Revelation"), don't do it in a cavalier manner that offends, but in a way that provokes interest and further questions.

Husbands, guard your wives. Check in with her on her spiritual needs in terms of books and devotionals. Sarah Young's Jesus Calling devotional is currently sweeping Christian circles and it is a devotional that is not only blasphemous but is rank heresy. Same with Ann Voskamp's devotional. Same with anything by Beth Moore. And Joyce Meyer. Help her be discerning and select appropriate spiritual material. It is one of the joys of male leadership and one of your duties too. (1 Timothy 3:12).

Women, you don't HAVE to choose books or devotionals just because a woman wrote them. As a matter of fact, there are many great books and devotionals out there that men wrote and I guarantee they are usually meatier. Randy Alcorn's "We Shall See God" is great. I contains Spurgeon devotions on heaven intertwined with Alcorn's devotional thoughts. It is a good way to be introduced to Spurgeon AND eschatology. It's eating meat but in little bites.

Wives, becoming theologically sharper prepares you to help your husband and also demonstrates your devotion to him and his spiritual well-being. (1 Peter 3:1; Ephesians 5:33).

How can we challenge women to be good theologians? Housewife Theologian Aimee Byrd Aimee Byrd was asked on the Mortification of Spin show
"There are no books telling men how to take out the trash for God but there seem to be a lot of books out there for women on how to get skinny for God, how to do the laundry better. ... Theology is a very practical thing. What we believe about God shapes our decisions every single day. Pastors, elders, and the church in general should be encouraging to women to be growing in their theological study.
Byrd (she's good!!) recommends for women, the Abridged John Owen book "Communion with God." Rather than the treacle that passes for spiritual meat by Sarah Young of Jesus Calling, if you want to commune with God, this abridged and modernized paperback is a great start. It is also a great way to be introduced to the Puritans.

Training Hearts, Teaching Minds: Family Devotions by Starr Meade is also recommended
There is not a lot of teaching in Jesus Calling about the person of God and the work of Jesus Christ.
~Aimee Byrd

On the 30 minute Mortification of Spin radio show, a recent discussion by Carl Trueman, Todd Pruitt, and Aimee Byrd revolved around women and their desire to "hear more from God", Jesus Calling, and why women are falling for these kinds of books and what pastors can do about it.

Men and women, it's good to ponder the following question: how can the church help women be more discerning? Our church's Discipling pastor said "Pray for like-minded women."

Prayer! In addition to requesting wisdom and discernment of God, ask Jesus to increase your discernment. Do we think this isn't one of the good gifts He wants to give us?! (Matthew 7:11). It is aligned in His will for us to be pure and holy (Titus 2:4-5) so we can honor Him in Spirit and truth. (John 5:23).

Pray for courage. It takes boldness to approach a person who asks you if you have read the latest Joyce Meyer book or done the latest Beth Moore study to disabuse them of the helpfulness of either of those women teachers. It should be done sensitively. You don't want to make someone feel stupid for having already chosen to read a particular book, follow a certain blog, or taken a specific course. But share we must.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I hope this three part series has helped you, my sisters. I love my brethren and it wounds me to think of even one of you hurting from having fallen under the sway of a false teacher or a bad doctrine. Please consider these things, test what I've said against scripture, and pray for wisdom and discernment for the Spirit to apply what He knows you need to your heart and mind. He is coming soon, our Groom. We honor him by remaining as pure as possible, persevering to the end as holy saints.

Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple." (1 Corinthians 3:16-17).

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 1:27)

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, (Titus 2:12)


6 comments:

  1. Elizabeth, your conclusion is the icing on the cake. Excellent exhortation to women believers. Chapeau au loin!

    My husband and I constantly pray for God's discernment, to clearly see truth from error (more correctly, as Spurgeon said, between right and almost right), for the wisdom to apply that discernment to our lives, and for the courage to speak up when we hear falsehood. We guard our hearts and our doctrine very carefully.

    Personally, we have nothing to do with any form of social networking. We read very few blogs, and we listen to very few preachers/teachers. Everything gets vetted through the written word of God. As the word says in Proverbs, he that walks with the wise will become wiser still; but the companion of fools will come to ruin.

    Jim Murphy's sermon: love love love. Would that there were more pastors like him. I am always encouraged when a pastor is bold and calls out false teachers, and especially love when a pastor will refer to said false teacher as a heretic.

    That said, I had NO idea that Joyce Meyer had that big of a following. That quote she made about Jesus being born-again... blasphemy!

    Wow, Elizabeth, this blog series of yours has just made me praise God that I either never heard of, or had no interest in, any of these women heretics. THANK YOU JESUS CHRIST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    -Carolyn

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  2. I used to be a Joyce Meyer junkie. I attended several of her conferences. I'd watch her show at least once a day--sometimes even watching the same broadcast again to reinforce what I heard. I read a lot of her books, listened to her tapes, and watched her videos. And then...I started to pull away. I think it began when she changed the name of her ministry from "Life in the Word" to "Enjoying Everyday Life." Then I started to see her name as a false teacher appear on discernment sites I visited. At first I thought the judgments were harsh, but as I grew in knowledge and wisdom as a result of my own study in the word, I had to admit they were right. And I realized why she changed the name of her ministry because she truly wasn't living a life in the word.

    I find it hard to believe that one person can write as many books, speak at as many conferences, travel the world on missions-related trips, etc., as Joyce does in one year. I suspect that she probably has ghost-writers writing for her--putting her name on a book would ensure more sales than some unknown writer. Plus I began to notice that some of her later books were just a rehashing or combining of things from previous books. What a racket!

    Almost every day I have Facebook friends--some of whom aren't even Christian--who post Joyce-isms. That's because her blurbs are devoid of the gospel message and palatable to all. Even when they mention God it's not in a threatening or convicting way. Plus her words contain some truth...but not THE truth...so people are easily swayed. "Yep, that sounds like something from the bible," they'll think and drink in whatever Joyce says.

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  3. Elizabeth,
    Maybe I'm stupid, I don't know, but please tell me what she is trying to say here:

    "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... He was resurrected from the dead - the first born-again man."


    Kim

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    1. Beats me; sounds like pulp fiction of sorts. Con-fu-sing, just like Meyer.

      Alberta Gal

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    2. Hello Kim,

      I'm sorry it took a few days to respond. I didn't mean for these many days to go by. Meyer is saying several things here and none of them biblical.

      She is saying that Jesus went to hell. (This is biblical, He descended and preached victory to the spirits Jude mentions are imprisoned there). Ephesians 4:8-10, 1 Peter 3:18-20. At that time, hell and paradise were in the same location, inside the earth (presumably). When Jesus ascended, he took the saints with Him to heaven and emptied Paradise out. (Ephesians 4:8–10). Now when people die in Jesus they go to heaven above but when the unsaved die their spirits still go to hell to await judgment.

      When Meyer says, however, that the demons were tormenting Jesus in hell she is way, way, way off base. The demon spirits are chained there in the lowest abode until the day of judgment. (1 Peter 3:19, Jude 1:6).

      Her statement that the demons were tormenting Him and jumping on Him makes Him subject to satan, AND satan the king of hell. Neither are true. God is sovereign at all times and Jesus was clear that He chose this path, (John 10:18). Further, Jesus went there to proclaim HIS triumph, not to be tormented BY them.

      There is absolutely nothing in the bible that says God rose up from His throne and nothing in the bible that says He said "Let Him go." This is a pure lie, which false teachers do all the time. They deceive. (2 Peter 2:1, 1 Timothy 4:1). That's what they do. We even know why they do it. To get your money. (Titus 1:11, 2 Peter 2:3- the reason the lucre is filthy in this context is because false teachers lie about Jesus to get your money)

      Finally, Meyer contradicts herself. She says Jesus is sinless in one sentence, then says in the next that He is born again. One is only born again if they were born the first time in sin. When we repent of sin and make Jesus Lord it's when we become born again. Jesus was always Lord and never had to repent. He was "born of woman", (Gal 4:4) "begotten", (John 3:16) not 'born-again'.

      In those few sentences she is attacking the location of the redemption (hell not the cross), attacking Jesus's sovereignty (by subsuming Him to satan's torment), elevating satan (to king of hell), and accusing Jesus of being a sinner, ('born-again, an attack on His holiness). Pretty good false teaching, that ole crafty satan!

      Joyce Meyer will pay for the things she has said against Jesus. She is living a rich life now but will pay richly for her blasphemies in hell. This isn't mean. It is a fact.

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  4. I am really enjoying your articles.

    I think that Joyce Meyer has got some things wrong, but I have heard her teach the gospel and she was spot on. I am sure God is still able to use her to bring people to Christ.

    To be honest I don't believe women should have any spiritual authority or even preach, but I have grown spiritually from a few very recent Joyce Meyer videos. I actually think that Joyce in 2015 has improved and understood her doctrine better than in times past. I am not a fan of hers by any stretch, I don't watch her very regularly or even own any of her books - but I have her app on my phone. I feel she herself has grown in knowledge and the stuff she has taught in the last year has been biblical.




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