Evangelist Joyce Meyer recently admitted that in the past, her views on the “prosperity Gospel” were “out of balance.”
Meyer, who has received much criticism for her preaching on the prosperity Gospel, shared with her Instagram followers the dangers in taking such theology too close to heart.
“I’m glad for what I learned about prosperity, but it got out of balance,” the well-known Christian author and speaker said. “I’m glad for what I’ve learned about faith, but it got out of balance.”
Meyer noted that this sort of theology led her to believe that the reason others experienced calamities was due to a lack of faith.
“Every time somebody had a problem in their life, [I thought] it’s because they didn’t have enough faith. If you got sick it’s because you don’t have enough faith. If your child died, it’s because you don’t have enough faith,” Meyer said.
She explained that she has since learned that faith doesn’t ensure that everything will be perfect, but rather it means simply putting your trust in God in all things.
“Faith is something God gives you that you need to use and release in your life. It’s a powerful force but it’s not just an automatic, you put your trust in God, you put your faith in Him,” Meyer added.
Meyer’s announcement came as a surprise to some, as she has been a major proponent of the prosperity Gospel in the past.
In a June 2015 column for The Gospel Coalition, Russell S. Woodbridge, co-author of “Health, Wealth & Happiness: Has the Prosperity Gospel Overshadowed the Gospel of Christ?,” stated that the prosperity Gospel had risen in popularity in the U.S thanks to “Joel Osteen, T. D. Jakes, Joyce Meyer and others.”
In a separate Huffington Post article, Pastor Rick Henderson argued that listening to preachers like Joel Osteen or Joyce Meyer would be detrimental to one’s long-term relationship with Jesus.
“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,” Henderson wrote.
Pastor John Piper has also spoken in-depth about the dangers of the prosperity Gospel.
In a video for his ministry, Desiring God, Piper argues that a huge component of the prosperity Gospel is wealth.
He points out that Paul talks about the dangers of money in 1 Timothy 6:6-10:
But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
“In other words, the very thing that leads people to suicidal piercings of pain is nurtured and cultivated by the prosperity preachers,” he notes. “They are encouraging that this suicidal behavior happens. That is abominable.”
“It’s because riches are such dangerous things. They’re not a blessing usually, they’re usually a curse. People are cursed with riches; they’re destroyed by riches,” Piper added.
He goes on to point out that “it’s not sinful to make a lot of money, but sinful to keep a lot of money.”
Meyer’s Instagram video has gained a lot of support, garnering over 100,000 views since it was posted.
One Instagram user commended Meyer for admitting she was wrong:
“God honors a repentant and humble heart who can admit they are wrong!” a user named Mylestan wrote. “This is awesome.”
Another user with the username pleasingtothepotter commented, “What an amazing God we serve. I am glad to see Him at work here. I had stopped watching you the past few years because of what you were teaching, Joyce. I’m glad to see that God is continuing to work in your heart. You have a tremendous following which affects the lives of many. I know God is pleased hearing your confession and speaking His truths. May He continue to bless you and yours in all your endeavors.”