Publisert av: For the Little Prince - Per | mars 30, 2008

Pastor Manning: Is His Appraisal Of Joyce Meyer Accurate?

The Ministry of Joyce Meyer

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It is important to know that I have respected and appreciated

the ministry of Joyce Meyer.   ‘Beauty for Ashes’ is a story

that I thought was especially well written and painfully real.

As recent as November 7, 2007, she has been under the

scrutiny of a Senate Investigation in to her financial practices.

She has been criticized for her excessive lifestyle in recent

months.  It is my hope that, as before, she is able to overcome

this temporary set back.

I wish her well.   Sandy S. Zoo

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en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joyce_Meyer

Joyce Meyers began leading an early-morning Bible class at a local cafeteria and became active in Life Christian Center, a charismatic church in Fenton. Within a few years, Meyer was the church’s associate pastor. The church became one of the leading charismatic churches in the area, largely because of her popularity as a Bible teacher.[1] She also began airing a daily 15-minute radio broadcast on a St. Louis radio station.

In 1985, Meyer resigned as associate pastor and founded her own ministry, initially called «Life in the Word.» She began airing her radio show on six other stations from Chicago to Kansas City.

In 1993, her husband, Dave, suggested that they start a television ministry.[1] Initially airing on superstation WGN-TV in Chicago and BET, her program, now called «Enjoying Everyday Life,» reaches a large audience.

In 2004 St. Louis Christian television station KNLC, operated by the Rev. Larry Rice of New Life Evangelistic Center, dropped Meyer’s programming. Rice had been a longstanding Meyer supporter, but claimed that her «excessive life style» and teachings which often «go beyond Scripture» were the impetus for canceling her program.[2]

In late 2000, she opened «St. Louis Dream Center,» a social service outreach and ministry in the O’Fallon Park section of St. Louis.

[edit] Teaching

Meyer’s teaching style differs from that of many Christian speakers. She frequently talks about overcoming obstacles and finding strength to deal with difficult circumstances. She shares her views on how to deal with everyday life situations, often drawing on her own experiences.

Meyer speaks candidly and with a sense of humor, sharing with her audience her own shortcomings and taking playful jabs at stereotypical church behavior. A particular crowd favorite is the «robot» routine, in which she goes into a stiff-armed imitation of a robot chanting, «What about me? What about me?»[3]

[edit] Criticism

Critics question the legitimacy of Meyers’ theological education. According to Joyce Meyer Ministries, Meyer earned her doctorate degree from Life Christian University in Tampa, Florida (specific source: http://www.jmmindia.org/jmmnew1/biography.asp). LCU admits that it is not accredited by a governmental agency recognized by the U.S. Dept. of Education (specific source: http://www.lcus.edu/questions.htm). Meyers does however hold an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from an accredited institution, Oral Roberts University, in Tulsa, Oklahoma (specific source: http://www.jmmindia.org/jmmnew1/biography.asp).

Meyer, who owns several expensive homes and travels in a private jet[4], has been criticized by some of her peers for living an excessive lifestyle.[2] She claims that she doesn’t have to defend her spending habits because «there’s no need for us to apologize for being blessed.»[4] Meyer also alludes to a double standard in the criticism of her lifestyle, saying, «You can be a businessman here in St. Louis, and people think the more you have, the more wonderful it is…[b]ut if you’re a preacher, then all of a sudden it becomes a problem.»[4] She claims that she receives no net salary from the ministry by earning much more from book sale royalties from outlets outside of her ministry, and then contributing the rest of it back to the ministry.[5][6]

In response to financial criticisms, Joyce Meyer Ministries claim to have made a commitment to maintain transparency in financial dealings,[7] publish their annual reports,[8] have a Board majority who are not Meyer relatives[9] and submit to a voluntary annual audit.[7][10] Currently this ministry is receiving a «C» rating (81-90) in financial transparency from Ministry Watch.[11]

In May 2001, Joyce Meyer Ministries hired a convicted child molester named Richard Leroy Jones to work as a pastor in her «Dream Center» youth ministry. The ministry was reportedly aware of Jones’s criminal record when he was hired, but believed that he was not a danger to the children because he was not allowed to be alone with them. Jones left the ministry in 2003, shortly after his criminal history was reported in local news outlets.[12][13]

[edit] Post-Dispatch retraction

In 2005, Joyce Meyer Ministries complained that two articles about the ministry—one in the St. Louis Post Dispatch‘s May 1st edition, the other in the April 18th edition—contained factual errors. Editors reviewed a transcript from a ministry press conference held by the ministry, records cited in the stories, and Tuft’s notes. They discovered what they claimed to be numerous errors and issued a 577-word apology in the June 19 edition. The paper also reprimanded the stories’ writer, Carolyn Tuft, and suspended her for five days without pay.

However, the Post-Dispatch stands by its reporting in the 2003 series, much of which was written by Tuft.[14] An arbitrator later reversed the suspension, but found that Tuft’s errors were serious enough to warrant a written reprimand. [15]

Tuft’s errors of fact were extremely minor. The primary facts of her report have not been disputed, and, in fact, it has become the basis for a Senate investigation of Meyer and other «prosperity gospel» preachers by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.

[edit] Senate Investigation

On November 6, 2007, United States senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa announced an investigation of Meyer’s ministry by the United States Senate Committee on Finance.[16]Grassley asked for the ministry to divulge financial information [17] (Grassley’s letter)[18] to the committee to determine if Meyer made any personal profit from financial donations, citing such expenses as a $23,000 commode, a $30,000 conference table and requested that Meyer’s ministry make the information available by December 6, 2007. The investigation also aimed to scrutinize five other televangelists: Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Eddie Long, Paula White, and Creflo Dollar.[19] However, the facts concerning the probe were erroneous, Meyer continues to operate with financial accountability ([1]

The ministry website explains that the $23,000 commode was a chest of drawers purchased at $230.00 among 68 pieces of furniture that were purchased for their offices. Their website states, «The $23,000 purchase price of this chest of drawers was actually an errant value assigned by the selling agent after the transaction was complete for the entire sixty-eight piece lot. Joyce Meyer Ministries humbly regrets not paying closer attention to specific ‘assigned values’ placed on those pieces that have now led to gross misrepresentations.» [20]

Joyce Meyer Ministries responded with a newsletter to its e-mail list subscribers on November 9, 2007. The organization referred to its annual financial reports, asserting that, in 2006, the ministry spent 82 percent of its total expenses «for outreach and program services toward reaching people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as attested by independent accounting firm Stanfield & O’Dell, LLP.» The message also quoted an October 10, 2007 letter from the Internal Revenue Service which stated, «We determined that you [Joyce Meyer Ministries] continue to qualify as an organization exempt from Federal income tax under IRC section 501(c)(3).» The same information was also posted to the ministry website.

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