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Monday, October 16, 2006

Here I go....

I've been thinking about this post a lot. I've done a bunch of internet homework, etc. Then, with my hubby's help, I realized that I was preparing to attack Joyce Meyer personally-and we all know that is not the thing to do. So instead I'm going to tell of my experiance and opinion of women like her.
Around this time last year we attended a Joyce Meyer Conference with my parents. My mom had been watching her on t.v. and buying her tapes for a couple of years. I remember asking my mom if it was right for a woman to be a pastor when I was a kid, and at the time I believe she told me she was uncertain. At some point she decided that it was indeed alright. I think the reason she started watching Joyce was that she was having more and more time alone in the evenings. I was dateing or just married and my brother had started going out with his friends and then also dateing. Then of course there was the feminist appeal. As I've said before my mother is a professed feminist. Joyce talks a lot of empty nesting and how women can be strong independantly. My mother depended on my brother and I for company, amoung other things. I think my mother found "comfort and strength" from the female preacher.
I started getting into biblical womenhood and wifehood.... I don't know...maybe a year and 1/2 ago. I craved anything that I could learn. I started listening to my mother's tapes. Joyce reminds me of Dr. Phil. He braggs about his tell-it-like-it-is attitude, and so does she. She was brash and brazen, with her gruff voice. I felt she was very Confident- and isn't that what we are all supposed to be striving for: confedance. She made me curious about her.
My husband didn't want to go to the conference-but I carried on until he gave in. I was still new. The first day of the two day conference I was less than impressed. We probably spent 5 hours there, and she "preached" for 30 minutes. I figured out later that "sermon" was mostly for her t.v. show. The rest of the time was one commercial after another for her ministry. GIVE US MONEY! was the theme. They would show the different countries they helped and the smaller programes that they supported. Needless to say hubby wasn't happy. In fact he was down right bored, and I was disappointed and embarassed. The next morning the session was to last until noon. There were a couple more commercials, but then she came out for what seemed to be a longer "sermon". She did talk for several minutes. Then there were a couple of songs. Towards the end of the last song a woman just below the stage started shouting. We were several balcanys up, but we could here the noise. My mother remarked that she was prophesing. When the music stopped, Joyce confirmed it. Then she started talking about spiritual gifts. She talked as if she had planned her next "sermon" around it. I think now how convienant that was. What a great segway. Then she began, seemingly out of the blue, speaking "in tongues". I had never really seen it before. My first thought was that it was gibberish. She made no attempt to translate for us, and in fact made the bold statement that it was her special language to God. She said that she sometimes didn't even know what she was saying herself, but that God knew. Then she encouraged the rest of the crowed to join her. She sent out blessing for us to recieve the gift, as if it was coming from her. My husband was at the end of his rope. He grabbed up my hand and told me we were leaving. As we were filling past people I looked over at my parents-my mother was crying deeply moved by the display and my father was dosing off to sleep. When we got out into the large hallway of the conference center hubby led me over to a table and said we would not be going back in. At this point I was confused and a little scared. I didn't care to see anymore either. We sat, mostly silent for a long while. I could tell my hubby was more than annoyed. Finally, he told me that he didn't think any of that was right. He said that God is not about confusion or chaos and thats what that was. He said that we may have been the only ones feeling that way out of hundreds of people, but that he couldn't sit there while feeling that it was wrong. We stayed out in the hall talking it over for the rest of the morning. When it was over, nobody said much in the car on the way to the other place we were going that weekend- a local festivale. My mom remarked that we left in the middle of the best part, as if we were indeed seeing a show.
In the weeks following I studied the word about tongues and female "preachers". I came to several conclusions. The first one: Theres no way a woman can be a preacher without having authority over men. The bible clearly states that women shouldn't have authority over men either in the home or the church. Two: Tongues shouldn't be spoken by women. Paul says that women should be silent in the church, and I think that it applies to this as well as women giving their opinions in church. We find in Titus that women should be soft spoken and not make specticals of themselves- and that is surely what I witnessed. Three: Translation must follow tongues-if tongues is to exist at all. Shortly after my study, during a discussion with hubby we decided that we didn't believe in tongues at all for the present day. A couple of months later, when I realized I needed to, I repented to my husband about manipulating him into going. He is a great man, and said he forgave me. I think now, and shake my head. If only I had headed my husband's wisdom and good sense we would not have wasted our money on that weekend. Yet, I do think it was another lesson for me to learn.
I seriously don't want to seem condemning of Joyce personally. Over-all she seems to be a nice woman. But, I think her teachings are wrong and the way she runs her ministry, its a business really, is wrong. Recently, I noticed several other women putting themselves in leadership roles and becoming evangelical "stars". I won't go ahead and name names- but I imagine you have an idea of one or two. I'm not even going to tell you that they are wrong-I'll leave that up to your husband to decide. I am going to tell you that all this worries me. Women are so vulnruble. They so want to be validated, and even loved by this other woman. Again, I bring up Titus. The older women are to teach the younger ones the right ways. I'm sorry to say but I think the enemy has turned this around as well. There are some very famous older women trying to teach younger ones the wrong ways. The bible says for women to be keepers at home, and for all of these women "stars" it is impossible. They live out of buses going from one "gig" to the next.
The next time you sit down to listen to the new upcoming woman speaker or even preacher I want you to think about it is all.
I will be taking comments, although moderated. I accept constructive critisim, but any terribly negative comments with be deleted from my email and my mind. I felt, and my hubby too, that this was something I needed to post about and I refuse to feel bad about it. I hope it will help someone currently looking for the right answers in the wrong places.


Susan said...

You've done some excellent studying and thinking. I agree with you completely, and I also agree that women should be warned about these "ministries." Older women are to teach the younger woman all the things listed in Titus 2, and "being confident" and feeling good about yourself are not among those things. I believe that we will feel confident and good about ourselves if we do the things that God deemed important for us to do! Thanks so much for your post. I'm adding to my list of "worthy reads" in my sidebar!

Dawn Marie said...

I agree with you about Joyce Myers. I, for one, do not believe that women ought to be Pastor's of a church. I know a few women who are and I really think it's a pride issue. So many say they are "called" by God to preach, but I don't think that's true or else the Word of God would be wrong when saying a woman ought not to teach and must be silent in the church. Many women excuse these verses. Now I am not saying that women can't evanglize, but to take that autority and go over their husbands, or if they are single, God, is wrong.
Even when I first got saved I didn't care for Joyce. I didn't care for TV evangelists period. Still don't.
I appreciate you for sharing your story.
Maybe more women will keep their pride at the door and start being submissive to their husbands or fathers if they are not married.
I am not trying to sound mean, cuz I am not, just trying to express myself, and it's sounding mean, but it's not meant to be.

Amy said...

Thanks for sharing your story. A family member on my husband's side is very enamoured with Joyce Meyer. I was already uneasy because she was in a pastoral role, but it helps to hear what the conference you attended was like - solidifies my uneasiness.

Bethanie said...

Thanks for the comments Ladies!

Terri said...

Excellent post, Bethanie! Thank you for sharing your convictions. I agree completely. And you have a wise husband! :) God bless you, dear sister.

Tammy said...

A very well-thought out post! I agree with you!

Mary said...

Well, I learned a lot! I've only heard "of" J.M. thru my mil, who liked her for a while. I'd kind of dismissed her when I realized she was a "woman" preacher. Very interesting to hear your on-the-premises appraisal of her ministry! Wow. You did a great job. And I'm very impressed with your hubby, as always. You do a wonderful job representing him here on your blog!
Thanks for writing this up.

Bethanie said...

Thanks Mary!

MInTheGap said...

I think you're spot-on, Bethanie, as to your understanding of the scriptures regarding women pastors, etc. It's amazing how much stuff is in the Word of God that people have either "explained away" as being cultural or had to "work around" to get what they wanted done when it should be all about what God wants done.

Keep standing for what is right!

Bethanie said...

Thanks. You know I've been thinking a lot about how people can seem to ignore whole parts of the bible because they don't feel comfortable about it or whatever. How can they call themselves bible believing christians, when they don't.

Leigha said...

I was finally able to find this post you were talking about..and I totally agree with everything you wrote. Your post really affirms my feelings on this topic. For lack of better words, women like this disgust me. It's so sad to me that women like her are "preaching the word of God," yet they can't see clearly what the word of God really says about their life. But on another note, I don't think any human being--woman or man--should be in the spotlight..we are here only to glorify God, not to uplift ourselves!

Bethanie said...

Thanks leigha!

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