Thursday, April 22, 2010

"Pray For Me And Leave Me Be!"

The ministry of Joyce Meyer has been filled with controversy for a number of years. Many claim that she is simply bilking the flock of God in a womanly way. After 80 books, national and international television and radio broadcasts, annual conferences and a host of other ministry marketing schemes, she has got to be hailed as one of the most prolific sellers of the gospel of our time. 

Remember this, out of $100 Million raised annually by her organization, only $14 million is spent on humanitarian aid and relief efforts. Although Joyce receives less than .5% of ministry proceeds in salary, the question is raised is the ministry "right sized" in proportion to what it is supposed to do?

The following is an interview recently completed by ABC News's Nightline. Please note the answers to the questions asked and judge biblically whether her expectations are biblically centered. I've enclosed a few excerpts that I thought were interesting:

The Jet 

Q: So if Jesus were here he's have a coorporate jet?

Meyer: He might today, maybe they weren't available then so...y'u-know it's like, why can't you look at the good I'm doin'?"..."She is helpin' so many people, y'u-know, we can, we can just allow her that one luxury, because man, she's worked hard for 32 years, she's helped a lot of people, she's given up her privacy...So, it's like; is there no reward for anybody that's doin' what I'm doin? y'u-know do we only have to just suffer and never have anything so people will be happy?"



The Money

Meyer: You see giving, is a major part of the whole Christian dogma...

Q: But do you believe that is someone gives money to the ministries that more will come back to them?

Meyer: Yes. Absolutely.

Conclusion

Aside from the doctrinal errors of Joyce Meyer, which I haven't discussed here, I would like to pose  additional questions:

  • Can a ministry be so commercialized until ministry becomes secondary?

  • Has God called ministry to be commercialized in this sort of fashion?

  • Should ministers seek to accomplish and do what Joyce Meyer and other mega-ministry preachers are doing? 

Blessed!

13 comments:

  1. Now, personally, I'm not angry regarding the jet if you're that busy. People get all kinds of expensive cars and nobody says too much of anything. I believe both can be problematic however.

    The commercialization of ministry is another thing to me however. I understand people put things together and it costs money, but the greater question is should that even be done?

    I will soon be releasing a new book...one thing I'm not doing is placing it with a large publishing house. Another thing I won't be doing is selling all copies, I plan on giving some away as I minister and allowing individuals to contribute towards them. That's doesn't mean they won't have a price tage but I don't plan on being so caught up in commercialization until I can't minister with what God has given me.

    So what's wrong with that picture? Is something like what I describe and what Joyce is doing (which I believe are two different things)biblical concepts?

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  2. "y'u-know it's like, why can't you look at the good I'm doin'?" what good?

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  3. Blacks,

    It's a brain fog going on I believe. She thinks that in spite of her false doctrines such as Jesus redeeming us in hell instead of on the cross that she is doing good...he Jesus would have opted for a Jet if one were available in his time, when the biblical Jesus traveled by foot even when mules and horses were available. the only time the scripture accounted him as riding a mule was during the triumphul entry and even that was borrowed.

    So there is a real disconnect and so much commercialism that these people can't see the door and then they create doctrines to affirm their practices. Doesn't matter if it's in the bible or not and that's the sad part.

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  4. In the 20th Chapter in the Book of Act's the Apostle Paul said~ "And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there"

    This should be our attitude! "I'm going, bound in the spirit" Paul didn't claim that he was going to be a great success or that the heavens were going to open and bless his endeavor, No, he said I don't what's gonna happen to me, but I'm going!

    The over commercialization of the ministry has become an epidemic. The true danger in this is not so much in becoming a "Mega Ministry" but in loosing sight of Gods plan for the ministry and in conflating our ideas about success with Gods will and his plans for our work.

    As for that privaye jet.... And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin" Romans 14:23.

    If your conscience is clear before God then happy flying, only know that, as I once said of a pastor whore pinky ring with a diamond the size of a 50 cent piece "people my not be able to focus on the message for being so focused on the ring"

    I'm new to your sight and find it completely amazing.
    Thank you.

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  5. R,High,

    Thanks for stopping by and please feel free to chime in regularly.

    I agree, the problem is not with the size of the ministry, it's with the application and consistency of biblical facts and principles. Will the minister and ministry remain true to teh word? Or will there be a deviation and allowances whereby we "justify" our sins and excesses?

    Now, some contend that churches were never supposed to be big and ministers were never supposed to have such followings, but those are other questions for another post I suppose...I will say that when men make gods out of the works and acts of other men, there's a problem!

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  6. I'll say this for Joyce Meyer, two years ago, when Senator Grassley requested for the the financial statements of six evangelical ministries, her ministry was one of the first, if not the first to provide the information. She didn't whine, complain and drag her heels like Creflo and Copeland (who never provided the requested information). I give her kudos and that says a lot for her integrity.

    Sure, she's taught some doctrinal errors, but I read somewhere online that she stated she had repented of some of them. I don't know which ones exactly. Maybe you can do a write up of some of her doctrinal errors. I'd love to read it and do a study.

    I have a problem with some of these ministers buying jets in the name of their ministries, with ministry money and yet using those planes for private purposes. Especially when they promise their donors that the jet will only be used for the work of the ministry and yet they end up using it for personal stuff. Ken Copeland is an egregious example of this.

    This has nothing to do with the topic but I would just like to add that in reading the Pauline Epistles, I've been struck by how Paul was cognizant and understanding of the financial situation of the Christians that he was asking money from. In 1Cor 16:2, he talked about the Corinthians setting aside a sum of money on the first of every week in keeping with each person's income. No promises of instant payback from God, no gimmicks. We need that in our churches today.

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  7. I wanted to add a quick correction to my earlier post. It seems Kenneth Copeland Ministries did provide the necessary documents to Senator Grassley.

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  8. Now, there are some who really want what she is able to do...I mean, I don't know a preacher who doesn't like a crowd...

    The problem here is excess and what is done or compromised to appease a crowd.

    It's also like this, a Bishop once told me that as the church grows larger don't speak of your salary in terms of round numbers. he said laying it out that way will scare most ministries. he said talk in terms of % (percents) He said when that's done it's more palatable.

    Like this...A church paying a Pastor $100,000 per year seems like a lot of money. But a church paying a pastor 10% of annual gross revenues (AGR)is much more palatable. Now when that church reaches $1 Million is AGR the salary is $100,000. People will sign for a 10% whereas a $100,000 is less palatable.

    Now, this is can be a trick, however it does have some validity. Joyce at $900,000 was making less than 9 % of ministry AGR She now makes less than that at $250,000 per year or 2.5%. The case can be made that she is earning far less than anyone else responsible for producing such revenues. However the numbers sound large.

    Same time anyone with that sort of income generally has a limo, a driver, maid and butler and the whole nine. I mean go to downtown Chicago at about 4:30PM everyday and you'll see how the rich and famous live. These preachers may have some of that but most of that they don't have.

    What isn't considered is the average income of teh people. I prefer to live at the average income of the congregation. In my case I work outside the ministry, so it's not a problem at present, but if I weren't working other than ministry, I would try to find an average income to live at.

    How that's done is another issue. Many modern churches require income statements at membership. how Joyce would do that is another issue as most of her contributors don't belong to her church as she does not pastor a church...

    I say all that to simply say that this is a complex issue, but one that a right heart will find the right path with and through. When that money gets to rollin' it reveals the hearts...

    Personally, even if I had the money for a jet and it wouldn't be missed, i'd like to think my "reward" is something much greater than that.

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  9. Well the President earns $400,000 annually (plus expenses paid) while Bill gates earns about $7.8 Billion annually with about a $1 Million of that being salary.

    I'll bet none of use will march on gates for tax relief or expansion of any entitlement programs...

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  10. Pastor,

    I concur w/your statement, just because you can do something, or say something, doesn't always mean you should. I'm reminded of scripture, "Don't let your good, be evil spoken of."

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  11. You said "Aside from the doctrinal errors of Joyce Meyer"..what are the doctrinal errors?If there are any I think they should be exposed so all can avoid them and people who preach them.Seems as though you threw a stone but hid your hands.

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  12. PJ,

    You said:"Seems as though you threw a stone but hid your hands"

    Uuhh, say again??? The errors of Joyce Meyer would certainly have taken the topic way off of the subject at hand. You can start with THIS PIECE and build montains o top of that.

    Like I said, her scriptural errors aren't the topic here however, but just in case you weren't aware that would be a start.

    Thanks.

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  13. Hey Harvey!

    I use to follow the teachings of the Word of Faith teachers. Thank God Christ opened my eyes up to see it for what it is. I pray for God's mercy to fall upon Joyce Meyer.

    Take care.

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