Chris Tomlin Promotes False Teacher Joyce Meyer

Josh Buice

Christian-Concert-Chris-Tomlin-Joyce-Meyer

On any given Sunday morning, millions of Christians within the context of thousands of local churches around the world are singing songs written by Chris Tomlin. According to the latest statistics from CCLI, he has 8 of the top 100 songs in the Christian song industry at the time this article is published.

Back in 2013, Eric Marrapodi and Tom Foreman published an article on the CNN website titled, “Chris Tomlin, king of the sing-along” where they stated the following:

CCLI estimates that every Sunday in the United States, between 60,000 and 120,000 churches are singing Tomlin’s songs. By extrapolating that data, Rachinski [of CCLI] says, “our best guess would be in the United States on any given Sunday, 20 to 30 million people would be singing Chris Tomlin’s songs.”

Chris Tomlin was born in Texas and relocated to Atlanta to start Passion City Church with Louie Giglio. At 50 years of age he’s considered to be the most prolific singer-songwriter in the contemporary Christian music industry. To some, he’s the modern day Charles Wesley. This is especially true of those who have grown up singing his songs on the radio, in their worship services, at the gym through their air pods, and at popular evangelical conferences.

His career has led to almost unparalleled success in the Christian music industry as he receives a major slice of the multi-million dollar payout from CCLI (Christian Copyright Licensing International). He has crossed over into the Country Music world and performed on the big stages at popular events and conferences like Passion and Sing with Keith and Kristyn Getty.

Need for Discernment

In recent days, the buzz around evangelicalism centered on a post that Chris Tomlin published on Instagram that read:

Wonderful night at the 40th anniversary of the Joyce Meyer conference…grateful to be a part of the celebration!

In that simple post on Instagram, Chris Tomlin was doing far more than celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Joyce Meyer conference. Chris Tomlin, the most prolific musician within the contemporary Christian music industry celebrated and promoted one of the most dangerous false teachers of our day—Joyce Meyer. While many people were shocked by this alignment, in all reality Chris Tomlin is far more consistent than many would like to believe.  

Chris Tomlin, the most prolific musician within the contemporary Christian music industry celebrated and promoted one of the most dangerous false teachers of our day—Joyce Meyer.

Tomlin has been a supporter of groups like Elevation Worship, Bethel Music, and Hillsong for many years. This is not his first time to align with false teachers. This situation with Chris Tomlin illustrates the reasons why Christians are called to exercise discernment regarding who they allow to shape their lives within conferences, books, and songs. Everything that claims to be Christian is not necessarily Christian, and that goes for industries, bookstores, conferences, and personalities.

Joyce Meyer has been teaching false doctrine and leading people astray for many years, and if Chris Tomlin had a desire to protect God’s people—he would have chosen to decline an invitation to celebrate her ministry when Meyer invited him into her circle. Instead, Chris Tomlin accepted the invitation and then used his platform to promote her to the millions of people who follow him around the world.

Christians are called to exercise discernment and this is critically important as it pertains to the Bible teachers we listen to and the musicians that we allow to influence us (1 John 4:1; Col 2:8).

Christians are called to exercise discernment and this is critically important as it pertains to the Bible teachers we listen to and the musicians that we allow to influence us (1 John 4:1; Col 2:8). A lack of discernment will lead people to embrace error and false teaching that if not checked and corrected—will lead to destruction. False teaching ultimately presents a false gospel with a false hope that leads people to a very real hell.

Is Joyce Meyer a Heretic?

I often caution people to use the term “heretic” carefully. It’s a word that has a technical meaning. It literally means that the person who is a heretic is one who has swerved from the truth and is embracing and teaching a false gospel known as heresy. This technical term should not be thrown around lightly or used to describe someone who simply disagrees with you on tertiary matters. Yet, as we examine Joyce Meyer and her teaching, we see that she fits the clear description of a false teacher (heretic) who plagues God’s people.

2 Peter 2:1 – But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.

False teachers are very crafty in how they approach God’s church. There has always been a desire for false teachers to infiltrate the church to cause problems and confusion. We see examples of this in Acts 20, 2 Peter, and the book of Jude in the New Testament.

False teaching ultimately presents a false gospel with a false hope that leads people to a very real hell.

Joyce Meyer’s False Teaching

Joyce Meyer the Preacher

As a preacher of God’s Word, Joyce Meyer is in violation to 1 Timothy 2-3 regarding the qualifications of an elder and the function of the office of elder in the preaching and teaching of Scripture. She clearly preaches and teaches to mixed audiences, thereby exercising authority over men as she postures herself as a preacher.

Jesus Stopped Being the Son and Became Sin

“He could have helped himself up until the point where he said I commend my spirit into your hands, at that point he couldn’t do nothing for himself anymore. He had become sin. He was no longer the Son of God. He was sin.”

This is in clear violation to John 10:30 – “I and the Father are one.” Jesus also claimed to be with the Father from the beginning (John 17). For Jesus to cease to be the Son would be for Jesus to cease to be divine—causing him to be less than God.

Jesus Went to Hell and was Tormented

“He became our sacrifice and died on the cross. He did not stay dead. He was in the grave three days. During that time, he entered hell, where you and I deserve to go (legally) because of our sin. He paid the price there.”1Joyce Meyer, The Most Important Decision You’ll Ever Make, (May 1993), 35.

On the very next page of her booklet, she writes:

“Jesus paid on the cross and went to hell in my place. Then as God had promised, on the third day, Jesus rose from the dead. The scene in the spirit realm went something like this: God rose up from his throne and said to demon powers tormenting the sinless son of God, ‘let him go.’ Then the resurrection power of Almighty God went through hell and filled Jesus. On earth, his grave where they had buried him was filled with light as the power of God filled his body. He was resurrected from the dead – the first born again man.”

Then, she makes this very troubling statement:

“His spirit went to hell because that is where we deserve to go… There is no hope of anyone going to heaven unless they believe this truth.”

In a sermon, Joyce Meyer made the following blasphemous claim about the host of hell tormenting Jesus:

“They were having the biggest party that had ever been had. They had my Jesus on the floor, and they were standing on his back jumping up and down laughing. And he had become sin. Don’t you think that God was pacing, wanting to put a stop to what was going on? All the host of hell were upon him. Upon him. Up on him. The angels were in agony.  All the creation is groaning. All the host of hell was upon him. Up on him. They got on him. They got him down on the floor and got on him, and they were laughing and mocking. Haha haha. You trusted God, and look where you ended up. You thought he’d save you and get you off that cross. He didn’t, ha ha ha.”

The erroneous teaching of Joyce Meyer that claims Jesus went to hell and suffered for sin is in violation of Jesus’ own words in Scripture. In Luke 23:43, Jesus told the man on the cross next to him, “today you will be with me in paradise.” This blasphemous teaching also denies the sufficiency of Jesus’ death on the cross and Jesus’ words where he claimed to fulfill the righteous demands of the law by saying, “It is finished” (John 19:30). For more on this issue, you can reference an article titled, “Three Reasons Why Jesus Did Not Go To Hell When He Died” that addresses this issue.

Jesus Was Born Again

In her booklet, “The Most Important Decision You’ll Ever Make” she claims that as Jesus was raised from the dead, he became the very first born again man.

“He was resurrected from the dead – the first born again man.”2Joyce Meyer, The Most Important Decision You’ll Ever Make, (May 1993), 36.

In John 3, Jesus had a conversation with Nicodemus where he coined a phrase, “You must be born again.” The teacher of the Jews did not understand Jesus’ words, but the point was clear—sinners have to be born again spiritually in order to be saved from the wrath of God and to be reconciled to God. In doing so, there is an exchange that happens whereby the sins of God’s people are placed on the Son and the righteousness of Christ is imputed (credited) to the account of the sinner. Jesus pays for the sin in his death and by faith the sinner receives the righteousness of Christ. To suggest that Jesus needed to be born again is to malign his character and to misrepresent the entire point of Jesus’ earthly ministry.

The false teaching of Joyce Meyer is not a new development. It has been a consistent pattern and the foundation of her ministry for years. In her booklets and sermons, she blasphemes Jesus, misrepresents his character, and teaches erroneous and damnable heresies that plague the minds of people who sit under her teachings.

The Scriptures are clear as it pertains to false teachers. In Acts 20, Paul warned the elders of the church at Ephesus by saying:

Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them (Acts 20:28–30).

In Jude, we find the following language about contending for the faith:

Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. or certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ (Jude 3-4).

As Jude warns, certain people creep into the church who pervert the grace of our God as they deny Jesus. Interestingly, false teachers often replace the Jesus of Scripture with their own version of Jesus. This is was common in the first century and it remains common in our present era as well. The church needs discernment.

When we call out false teachers publicly and warn God’s people, we are not being divisive. Instead, we are aligning ourselves with the ministry of Jesus and Paul who both loved the church of God.

While it should not give us great joy to call names publicly, at times it’s necessary to warn God’s people of dangerous teaching and dangerous personalities. When we read the New Testament, we find that Jesus called out the names of the Pharisees and Herod (subsequently calling out the Herodians) in Mark 8:14–21. Jesus was issuing a warning to his disciples regarding their false teaching and sinful practices. Paul also named names of divisive people in his letters—including both enemies of the cross to avoid and brothers and sisters who need to be corrected in love (2 Tim 4:14; 1 Tim 1:20; 1 Cor 5). When we call out false teachers publicly and warn God’s people, we are not being divisive. Instead, we are aligning ourselves with the ministry of Jesus and Paul who both loved the church of God.

Beware of people who seek to pervert the gospel and use popular celebrity figures and musicians such as Chris Tomlin to platform their theology. Mark such individuals and avoid them.

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References

References
1 Joyce Meyer, The Most Important Decision You’ll Ever Make, (May 1993), 35.
2 Joyce Meyer, The Most Important Decision You’ll Ever Make, (May 1993), 36.
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Josh Buice

Pastor Pray's Mill Baptist Church

Josh Buice is the founder and president of G3 Ministries and serves as the pastor of Pray's Mill Baptist Church on the westside of Atlanta. He enjoys theology, preaching, church history, and has a firm commitment to the local church. He also enjoys many sports and the outdoors including long distance running and high country hunting. He has been writing on Delivered by Grace since he was in seminary and it has expanded with a large readership through the years.