Joyce Meyer and False Confidence in Self

ImageFor starters, this post has been breaking my heart the past few weeks. For large amounts of time I had locked away a portion of my heart, convinced that people that listen to Joyce Meyer do not exist. The only people that listen to Joyce Meyer are ghosts and people

It confounds me that for all the advances of feminism and the empowerment of women in modern culture (which I’m all for), that we still have women that allow themselves to listen to this. I am honestly convinced that Joyce Meyer is an insult to the intelligence and theological brevity of all women in the world. She is evidence that we, as the human race, have not gone far enough in the elimination of inequality between sexes because people still listen to her mind-numbing ignorance.

I seriously believe that. The same goes for men, that we have sure a derelict of godliness and Berean spirit that we listen to Joseph Prince, Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar e.t.c. It confounds me, that we as a human race, have catapulted technologically so far in the past century, but still follow these ritualistic, materialistic gods of wheat and rain. Never before in history have we had so much access to theological resources, but we seem to be in the greatest times bereft of seeking after God.

The Confidence in Self

Anyway, upon recommendation, I was listening to some Joyce Meyer the other day. The talk, I deign to describe it as a sermon, was on “Seven Secrets of a Confident Woman”.

I didn’t really understand the structure of the talk. The talk seems to be a lot of stories told in succession like a comedy routine. I guess it was entertaining, with chuckle or hint of laughter was merely another soul going to hell.

It was only thirty minutes in that the seven steps began. Of which, the first step toward becoming a confident woman was “knowing that God loves you”. She was very adamant on how important it was:

“Step one: Here’s what I want you to do. Tonight this is probably the most needed message we can preach…I want you to take one giant step of faith out of your boat of insecurity and I want you to say “God loves ME”…I want you to say that a hundred times every day out loud.

Go look at yourself in the mirror and say “God loves me” and if there’s someone out there who won’t think you’re full of yourself (source)

That’s a lot of times. The core of what Joyce Meyer seems to be preaching is that the love of God is the cure to our own insecurity and fears. The positive affirmation of God’s love towards us should drive us to confidence. This “confidence” is expanded on later:

“Be confident enough to confront fear and live the life you want to live. If we have low confidence or lacking in confidence, then really we are lacking in faith. But faith is confidence”

Really, the faith and confidence that is being preached here is the faith and confidence that looks inwards, rather than outwards. God’s love is the activator for living the best life now, rather than the primary motivator for life. It’s a poor view of God, and a poor view of grace if it only repairs our insecurity. If God’s love can merely make us live better lives then what a poor eternity we must be heading towards.

This really demonstrates the broken view of the brokenness of mankind and the underestimation inertia of man’s hearts.

                    Because, surely, God loves me. It should surely drive me towards the enormity of the undeserved grace, not the confidence of entitlement.

God loves me despite all my sin and failures. Furthermore, when there was no hope for eternity, God sent His Son to die on the cross for me. Daily, I don’t love God–but daily, God’s grace extends greater everyday. God’s love towards us is simultaneously rending and repairing our hearts.

The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved

In the Gospels, the apostle John often refers to himself as the “disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 21:20). To the modern reader, it might seem self-promoting or prideful to identify themselves as beloved by Jesus.  However some scholars have argued that it is a mark of humility, the writer of the Gospel was deliberately obscuring his identity to magnify Jesus.

I feel that’s really the attitude for all of us, that we are ones “whom Jesus loves”. Because Jesus loves us, we become more and more the background. Martin Smith argues that “the disciple is never named, never individualized, so that we can more easily accept that he bears witness to an intimacy that is meant for each one of us”. This shows that the Apostle John wasn’t really concerned about standing out and being a legendary saint of the Church, rather He was content for Jesus be the center of His life.

God loving us doesn’t bring us more and more confidence, it brings us closer to God. By consequence of the cross we are able to approach the throne of God with confidence through Jesus. The love of God instills humility, and is diametrically opposed to the confidence that Joyce Meyer is propounding.

The Loss of Confidence

God loves me. It should drive me towards humility and service, not self-empowerment and self-esteem.

Try saying “God loves me” without any sorrow about our rebellion against God. It’s a very high estimation of yourself to be able to look at yourself in the mirror, and say that God could love this man. Me. If people that thought that insecurity was the only thing between God and man, then they merely need a therapist. Therefore, it is not insecurity that affects me, but a false sense of security around the depraved state of my soul.

It is a delusional person to say that God loves me and is intimately involved with me, and because of that he lets me continue in my self-destructive route. God surely would hate me if I was not rescued from my own wretchedness.

Counter to what Joyce Meyer preaches, the gospel reaches those in low esteem. It brings in a new system: a system of grace. This system is counter to the rash capitalism of the world which weighs karmic scales for our sins. It doesn’t give us more material blessings or leaves us alone to help ourselves. It isn’t a soothing ointment or chicken soup for the soul–it is a new body, new earth, new heaven.

 

 

 

 

The biggest failure of the prosperity gospel is that it doesn’t think big enough. Material and existential things are exactly that: material and existential. God is longing to do so much more in our lives than give us confidence. Surely God loves us. He loves us SO MUCH. Oh gosh, he surely loves us so much. I cannot express it in words eloquently enough. Insecurity and confidence to do things is only the shoreline of the vast ocean of God’s love for us.

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About JN
what happened to dignity / never see it on MTV.

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