Three years have now passed since our viral video with Doreen Virtue released on YouTube.
We have heard from thousands of people from literally all over the globe through social media and emails. A majority of the communication has been extremely encouraging and positive, which has blessed us in so many ways, knowing that God has used us as a mouthpiece of truth to be able to minister to so many people who have been wounded and deceived by the Word of Faith/Prosperity Gospel movement. We are so grateful for all the rich conversations and connections we have made these last few years with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ across the world.
There have been some mean-spirited and anger-filled comments and emails questioning our motives as well, but honestly, those have been very few and far between.
We did try our best to engage in conversation with those who were upset with our video and our desire to call out a famous (false) Bible teacher and the dangerous teaching that goes along with it all, but we also wanted to address some common complaints that were heard from among the offended.
One of the common issues raised is that we shouldn’t attack Joyce because of all of the good she has done for people in their walk with Christ.
But is there really good to be found in false teaching?
As a new believer, I (Emily) listened to Joyce’s podcast and watched her videos on YouTube religiously almost every day. I remember at the end of one of the programs, the announcer was talking about one of their offers for product and rattled off the address to Joyce Meyer Ministries. It was only 45 minutes from my house! I had no idea! I remember telling God: Lord, I know that I don’t know a lot right now as a believer and it’s going to take some time, but one day I will work at that ministry. I would make that faith declaration often for the next four years until it became reality in May 2013.
Looking back, I can say that perhaps it may appear that some of Joyce’s teachings helped me on my walk with God as an immature believer simply because not all of her teaching is heretical. There is some truth to be found in what she teaches.
Yet, even if some fruit of her ministry looks, sounds, and tastes good doesn’t mean her ministry as a whole is good for the Christian diet; We must look at the root of her teaching.
At the root, we will find the fruit produced from false teaching will inevitably be bad because bad trees do not produce good fruit. The fruit of false teaching will not nourish one’s soul or renew one’s mind in the long-run because even a little error mixed in with a lot of truth will leave you starving and lead you astray in the end caught up in the thorns and briars of deception.
Jesus warns us about false teachers in Matthew 7:
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits”(vs. 15-20, ESV).
That is why deception from false teaching is so dangerous. It can go unnoticed if one is not constantly studying the Word of God (IN CONTEXT!). Being a Biblically illiterate Christian opens oneself up to an attitude of “well, that sounds Biblical…look, there is the verse in black and white!” But that verse is most likely being twisted and taken out of context to fit the agenda of the teacher. Always remember, friends, context is king!
Even if you begin to notice error (especially when it comes to essentials of the faith that begins to push the boundaries of orthodoxy), you have to resist the temptation to remain loyal to your favorite teacher because of that good you may find or experience in your own life (remember, it is God who causes the growth in a person, not a teacher who is merely sowing and watering). “Eat the meat and spit out the bones” is usually what comes to mind with this temptation to remain listening to teachers who walk in error. God’s Holy Word is not a chicken wing!
This mentality is not Biblical whatsoever.
Soon that error will begin to distort the truth you may already know. Deception is often progressive.
We are not to tolerate error or dance around it; we are called to mark and avoid false teachers because their teaching is what causes division in the Body of Christ.
17 Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. 18 For those who are such do not serve our Lord [a]Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.(Romans 16:17-18, NKJV).
False teaching is a sticky trap for the undiscerning; It is subtle because it is often masked in truth and its teachers look like sheep, so we let our guard down. But Jesus is very clear. False teachers are not innocent sheep, for at the core, they are “ravenous wolves” and their teaching lead sheep away from the Good Shepherd, not closer to Him, because most often, the teaching is very man-centered in nature, as we see in the WOF/Prosperity Gospel/NAR movements.
Take a look at how Peter describes false teachers and prophets (this is very sobering):
“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. 2 Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; 3 and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment; 5 and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a [a]preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; 6 and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter; 7 and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men 8 (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds), 9 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from [b]temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who [c]indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority.Daring, self-willed, they do not tremble when they revile angelic [d]majesties,11 whereas angels who are greater in might and power do not bring a reviling judgment against them before the Lord. 12 But these, like unreasoning animals, born as creatures of instinct to be captured and killed, reviling where they have no knowledge, will in [e]the destruction of those creatures also be destroyed,13 suffering wrong as the wages of doing wrong. They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are stains and blemishes, reveling in their [f]deceptions, as they carouse with you, 14 having eyes full of adultery that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children;15 forsaking the right way, they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; 16 but he received a rebuke for his own transgression, for a mute donkey, speaking with a voice of a man, restrained the madness of the prophet.
17 These are springs without water and mists driven by a storm, for whom the [g]black darkness has been reserved. 18 For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error, 19 promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved. 20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21 For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them. 22 [h]It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A dog returns to its own vomit,” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.”(2 Peter 2, NASB).
When Paul gave his resignation at Joyce Meyer Ministries, he presented a document he wrote as to why Joyce’s teachings are full of error. You can view that document here so you can understand why we have grounds to call Joyce a false teacher.
The very end of the manifesto truly reveals the heart behind why we feel called to not only warn people about Joyce Meyer, but many other teachers in the Word of Faith movement that she endorses and is connected to.
“Lastly, it is my deep conviction that Holy Scripture is being misrepresented by Joyce Meyer as well as Joel Osteen, John Gray, Steven Furtick, Ed Young, Beth Moore, Christine Caine, and many other Word of Faith teachers that Joyce associates with and endorses. I wish no ill towards Joyce Meyer nor anyone at Joyce Meyer Ministries. I do, however, pray that people will begin to read and study the Bible in context and that Joyce would repent for misrepresenting the Holy eternal Word of God for 40+ years.”Paul Massey
Our issues are not concerning Joyce as a person; our issues are with the theology she endorses and teaches and has for decades.
We pray you hear our hearts in all of this, friends. This isn’t a vendetta against Joyce (or any of the teachers in the WOF/Prosperity Gospel/NAR movements); it is not about a smear campaign to defame her/their name or tear her/them down. We know she/they is/are made in God’s image and deserve(s) respect. In that, we pray God would open these teachers’ eyes to the deception they are under and that He would grant them repentance for twisting His Holy written Word that has lead millions of sheep astray before it is too late for them.
We humbly ask that you would pray for us as we move forward in ministering to those who have been caught in the trap of deception of these dangerous movements and are in need of healing and guidance as well as ministering to those whose eyes are currently blinded by lies. May God be glorified in and through everything we say and do.
Soli Deo Gloria
30 thoughts on “Is there really good to be found in false teaching?”
Thank you for coming forward publicly; you both must be facing a lot of persecution for that. But this is helping so many people! Bless you both!
Also, I heard a (casual) confession from her (possibly Oct 2019) that she took the prosperity teaching too far. If are still looking into this problem, you seen any change in her teaching since that point? I have a friend who liked her for years and although I was heartbroken about her abusive life growing up, I never did follow her. Thank you.
Thank you for your encouragement! We are familiar about this confession, as we talk about it in our interview. This response by a pastor clarifies a little more about why that confession was not the same thing as repenting for her false teaching. There are many who have been led astray, sadly. Unfortunately, she has never recanted for false things she has said in the past and has become even more man-centered in her teaching. The mere fact that she frequently speaks at Lakewood (Joel’s Osteen’s church) is proof she has not stopped preaching the prosperity gospel. We pray she would repent and stop teaching error. Thanks again for reaching out.
I was watching many years Joyce`s TV shows and I didn`t realize that she had so must false teachings.
These TV programs are entertaiment of darkness;
Something sounds good but behind the wall is darkness. God always speaks through His Word.
It is most important to read His Word, Bible.
The scriptures says the Son of Man does not have a place to rest His head, and I think Jesus literally meant that. But alas even in mission field here in India, these teachings have been planted to get more believers. When I think about it much, I wonder how can we fix this mess.
Amen. We think of that often and the best we know to do is expose the error and point others to the pure gospel.
I am an messianic Jew and I believe Rauch lead me to your story and yes, He is cleaning house but HIS AGENDA of heaven will be fulfilled and all people line up with Him. He is causing people to repent the new apostolic move is here and He is doing by the FIRE and aWIND of His Spirit and no false teachers at all. Evidence of His tangible Spirit is what people feel and know to change their souls and minds, to truly change their soul and so they will have good fruit of righteousness and not demonic junk. A Zion of people that know Him intimately and OBEDIENCE and not their agendas. I encourage you to keep representing the Messiah because the truth HIS that is His real name is Yeshua and He was and is Hebrew Israelite and He never changed His Word, Constantine did. Read the real history. He never changed. He says, My Ways are not your ways and thoughts are not your thoughts. Come higher In Me for I seat in heavenly places. The real walk is fasting and prayer and having the real essence of His Spirit and know Him and what He is truly saying and He is angry at that modern church and He does not have nicely words to say either. My sister and my brother stay the narrow path in Him. Shalom in His Love
Thank you for sharing your story. I really appreciated you sharing your experiences. I would like to read the document that you compiled.
Thank God.Go in Peace, Be glad and rejoice in Him. Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior.
I am very interested in what you have to say as I too have been led to conviction regarding the “interpretations” of the Word. There are those who are now teaching publicly and decry one version of the Bible over another, bashing anyone not “their version” This is a big problem right now.
This is a society of the cult of new, but that is the way of the world.
The only new a Christian should seek is Jesus and His “renew”. That is the abundant life, not the things you hold in your hand, The Kingdom is at hand, to quote the Master. What will the world grab ahold of from false teachers.
What you describe is not a Word of Faith Problem. It is systemic and worldwide. We need the Holy Spirit and His discernment in all the churches claiming to follow Jesus. I was led to your interview with Doreen regarding a specific request I asked the Lord this morning. The answer came though your teaching. He is using you both as He will use us all if we surrender. Bravo for your courage to speak and take a stand.
Your interview and the posts i’ve read helped me to confirm the disconfort i’ve been feeling at the ministery I attend. I checked the people the church leading pastors follow and most follow Joyce Meyer and others with the same sort of speech and behavior that goes against God’s teaching. I ‘m knocked down. Lleft 2 ministeries for same preachong misbehavior and got to one equally decieving. I’m grateful but kind of lost on where to turn to(to God of course , i know.).
The bookstore at the ministery i attend sells a whole bunch of joyce’s and , because i had heard about all this, it really botthered me seeing her books filling shelves and being kind of reading reference by many people. When i watched your interview and 2 others, last week, i checked who’s following who on social media and paying more attention to the preachings….. God bless [email protected]
May God bless you both for revealing this wonderful apt truth…He who has an ear, let him hear what the spirit says to the churches…. Love you both and May God grow your ministry by touching more lives. Amen!
Thank you so much for the encouragement! God bless!
Hi! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook
group? There’s a lot of people that I think would really appreciate your content.
Please let me know. Thanks
Hi there, yes, you may share it.
Thank you for shedding light on this. I attended Joyce Meyers women’s conference in Anaheim, CA last September. I have one of her older books, “Eat the Cookie, Buy the Shoes”, and I’ve listened to her in the past. I enjoyed the praise and worship for sure and found Joyce to be funny. Christine Caine was one of her guest speakers. I bought her book. While I enjoyed my time overall and was with a friend, in my heart the tug I felt and couldn’t fully shake (it sort of irritated me) was the many offerings and subtle, or not so subtle, pressure to give, and give again, and buy products. I remember coming home from that and telling my husband that it really kind of bothered me. I did not care for that at all. She compelled you to give almost to the point of shaming you to give.
Anyway, thank you. I watched your video about leaving her ministry and it certainly has caused me to better examine my own truths and to move in a better, gospel oriented direction. Thank you!
I really appreciate that you are speaking out against false teachers and have turned to the Bible only for your answers.
What is your belief on why we are baptised?
I saw the video by Chris Rosebrough and he mentioned Ephesians 2:8-9 and said that faith is a gift from God. Somehow I can’t see this scripture saying that. I know God helps us with our faith but I’ve never thought of that as being a gift from God like grace and mercy. What is your thought on that scripture?
Emily and Paul,
As my husband and I are currently experiencing a dramatic shift in our faith because of the veil being removed from our eyes, we found your interview with Doreen and are blessed by the confirmation for our return to the truth. We are processing and confessing our sin of not being watchful and testing everything against the Word, and falling into deception with most of the teachers you site as false teachers. We are so humbled and remorseful that we left our first love. We were both brought up in sound biblical churches, but we moved to the northwest (the most un-churched place in America at the time) thinking we could make an impact. We stumbled badly and were deceived by the feel good and tolerance movements that adopt the WOF/Prosperity teaching, even though we sensed it was wrong at first. Satan is sneaky. I know this sounds crazy, but we are somewhat grateful for the COVID19 pandemic. It is without a doubt what caused us to seek truth and here we are. We are so grateful that in our prayers, the spirit made intercession for us because we did not know what to pray and how deep we had fallen. He did tell us to “be brave”. At the time, we were not sure what that meant. Now we see that we will have to be brave and strong to leave behind thoughts, people, teachers, friends, churches, music that are false. I honor your bravery! Thank you.
Thank you too for your comment!
My husband and I are also where you guys are; shocked at how much subtlety of false teaching we had become immune to over the years. We saw the gross error but missed do much of the more subtle stuff…
Yes indeed, this time of being at home is a time of deepening prayer and study for us too…
Rediscovering the true Gospel.
The Lord is refining his true Church for sure.
And thanks you a million times dear Paul and Emma for your testimony and ministry!
I was so amazed and blown away by your interview with Doreen. I never really liked Joyce much but occasionally listened when she came on the radio in the background…
I rush to turn her off now!
Thank you so much for the encouragement…all glory to God!
I am finding your blog compelling!
I saw JM years ago a the Hershey arena and was stunned that the ‘book sales’ went on during her preaching time. I felt like I was at a rock concert with the attendees bustling around. JM compares herself to Elijah inferring she is a great prophet ( from the east to the west)
Not a fan!!
We’ve often thought of Joel Osteen as the ‘Antichrist’ with no mention of sin and salvation.
Recently I’ve discovered the outrageous salaries/ worth of these preachers begging for money from innocent believers! My respect has dwindled for them AND they may be valid Bible believing preachers! I just think if you have a heart for God you live on a reasonable (comfortable income) and pour the rest into the ministry- NOT MEGA WEALTH!!!
Please share what preachers you feel preach the truth! We just LOVE Tony Evans!!
Thank you for the encouragement! Our three favorite preachers are R.C. Sproul, Paul Washer, and Justin Peters. We have learned a lot from them.
I actually started watching Joyce in my mid 20s and I was a really immature believer, two years passed and I felt a strong leadership of the holy spirit to discontinue watching it,which I immediately obeyed. I find that the teaching of Charles Stanley, Rick Warren and John Piper to be grounded in biblical truth. Once again, thank you for your courage, “blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake”. Will be praying for you daily. Risha
Thank you again…check into Rick Warren a little more. His gospel is a bit man-centered (not God-centered) in its presentation. This is a clip about Warren: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWM3I88J2VI&t=25s
Thank you for your honesty and openness. I’ve been brought up in churches with false doctrine and have just been coming to realize in the last few months. I was even a part of a ministry school and now realize that the whole time the Gospel was left out — all the pastors wanted to talk about was “how much God loved me” and “love the sinner, hate the sin”. I’m appalled after realizing how many famous pastors are preaching the word of faith and prosperity gospels. I’m thankful for people like yourselves who aren’t afraid to stand up for the truth. Thank you for your testimonies!
All glory to God! Thank you so much for sharing that with us!
May I simply say what a comfort to discover somebody that really understands
what they are discussing on the internet. You definitely know how to bring a problem to light and make it important.
More and more people ought to check this out and understand this side of your story.
I was surprised that you are not more popular because you definitely possess the
All glory to God! Thank you for the encouragement!
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