According to Rick Henderson, pastor of Adult Ministries at South Mountain Community Church, Draper, Utah, and blogger at churchismessy.com, listening to the words of Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer can be very dangerous and may negatively affect one’s growth as a Christian.
Henderson says that at first he thought that Osteen and Meyer could be ignored because their teachings were so obviously wrong, but he has since noticed that they have a massive following in the evangelical world, so he thought it was about time people were told the truth.
Osteen and Meyer both preach a form of twisted Christianity, according to Henderson. It teaches that in order to get what you want from God, you have to have to do three things—be obedient, give and have faith. He continues that they are part of what is known as the Prosperity Gospel, The Word of Faith Movement or the Seed of Faith Movement.
Meyer is a fine example of someone who has overcome hurt and abuse, says Henderson and if you went to her in a moment of crisis, you would probably get sound advice, but if you went to her to learn about doctrinal truth then you may come away with some deadly heresy.
According to Henderson, here are some of the false teachings that Meyer subscribes to:
1. Jesus stopped being the Son of God on the Cross – Meyer thinks that when Jesus said He commended His spirit into the hands of His Father, He could not help Himself anymore because He had taken on sin and He was sin.
2. Jesus went to Hell and became the first-born again man and while He was in Hell, Jesus paid for our sins there. “You cannot go to heaven unless you believe with all your heart that Jesus took your place in hell,” from the book “The Most Important Decision You Will Ever Make,” by Meyer.
3. Meyer says that she is no longer a sinner.
Henderson goes on to say that in third world countries, Meyer is believed because she is endorsed in the U.S. and unlike over here where many books are available to disprove her doctrines, uneducated pastors are doing their best to teach the truth without as many resources.
As for Joel Osteen, Henderson believes that he is confused theologically. Henderson adds that Osteen believes and teaches many of the same things as Meyer because they both come from the same tradition.
Henderson goes on to say that Osteen never really gets into deeper questions about theology and if he is pushed to answer hard questions, he quickly backpedals. The problem is that Osteen’s mistakes about theological truths are told in front of millions of people who then believe the mistake. He adds that Osteen is either incapable or unwilling to understand the truth of the Gospel and how it relates to people’s lives.
In the book “Your Best Life Now,” Osteen writes that “If you are believing for your child to find God, go help somebody else’s child to develop a relationship with God. If you’re struggling financially, go out and help somebody who has less than you have … if you want to reap financial blessings, you must sow financial seeds in the lives of others … If you want to see healing and restoration come into your life, go out and help somebody else get well.”
However, Henderson says that this teaching is a false Gospel because Osteen teaches that in order to get more from God; we must open ourselves to God. He adds that we should listen to what the Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4:10-13 while he was in prison about being content with what God gives you.