Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen, two of the most popular Christian ministers in America, have been called out again for their prosperity-heavy messages. This time by Pastor Rick Henderson, whose blog post “Why I Called Out Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer” has gone viral.
Henderson, a pastor from Utah, has received more than 500 comments on his recent post explaining why he felt compelled during a sermon at his South Mountain Community Church to call out Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen as “false teachers.” In the lengthy post, Henderson cites several reasons, including Biblical passages, why he believes the teachings of Osteen and Meyer are ultimately dangerous.
For example, concerning Joyce Meyer, Henderson insists that:
1. She teaches that Jesus literally stopped being the Son of God on the Cross: http://craigbrownsreformedtheology.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/clip-6-joyce-meyer.mp3
2. She teaches that Jesus went to Hell and became the first-born again man: http://craigbrownsreformedtheology.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/clip-7-joyce-meyer.mp3
3. She teaches that Jesus paid for our sins in Hell: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwNfOaxIcOM
4. She teaches that words have power and you can release the power of Heaven through your words: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DInxKmfgts0
5. She teaches that you need special revelation from God to understand what she teaches because it is NOT contained in the Bible: http://craigbrownsreformedtheology.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/clip-2-joyce-meyer.mp3
6. She teaches that she is no longer a sinner: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dmHJdM63hk
The Utah pastor goes on to name financial concerns and accountability concerning Meyer, concluding:
What I wrote and linked in the first section should have been enough to completely remove her from our sphere of trust. Her doctrine is horrific. Her hermeneutics are horrible. She is a woman who seems to have an unrestrained love for money and applause. Her finances are questionable at best. Her example is questionable at best. Her impact on desperate people here, as well as churches and pastors around the globe is wildly destructive.
I lament with you a sense of loss if she was a teacher you trusted. I lament that someone who is so wrong has so much influence with so many. I do not regret, however, pointing to her as a false teacher and as one who should be rejected.
As for Joel Osteen, who Henderson says is “confused on theology,” he adds:
He has much of the same doctrinal misunderstandings as does Joyce Meyer. They come from the same tradition. His doctrine is difficult to discern for many because he won’t talk about doctrine. He won’t talk about theology. He quickly back pedals when asked hard questions, as seen here in an interview with Larry King: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKF_QgNezBY
In fairness, Joel published a letter of apology after this interview: http://www.joelosteenblog.com/2005/07/13/joel-osteens-letter-about-the-interview/
While I commend him for his humility and courage to publicly declare that he was wrong, this is just one of too many instances. He frequently misunderstands important matters of faith and doctrine when being interviewed. He repeatedly gets the Gospel wrong. And he does so when talking to millions.
Regarding Osteen’s suggested prosperity teachings, Henderson says:
Joel teaches that we open ourselves to God to get more from God. He teaches that we use our words to speak into existence a better reality. This straight from the Word of Faith Movement. This is not what is taught throughout the New Testament. Consider what the Apostle Paul wrote. And remember that he wrote this while in prison.
The excerpts here, of course, do not do Henderson’s blog post full justice. So to get a clearer understanding of his Biblical defense, you must read his original blog post titled “Why I Called Out Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer” here: http://churchismessy.com/2013/08/05/why-i-called-out-joel-osteen-and-joyce-meyer/
Henderson writes of himself on his website Churchismessy.com:
My name is Rick Henderson. I like to describe myself as: A happy husband. Proud father. Friend of Jesus Christ and desperate to introduce him to others.
I am the Pastor of Adult Ministries at South Mountain Community Church, in Draper, Utah. I’m passionate about loving well, thinking hard and inviting others into the messy affair of grace. There is nothing significant about me. And when I forget that fact, I have the words of Paul to remind me,
“God chose the things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considered important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.” I Corinthians 1:28-29 (NLT)
So, this blog represents the thoughts of an unimportant man who wants to love well the most important thing of all.