Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Goofball televangelist Joyce Meyer, in addition to being a theological abomination, is also getting rich off the backs of the poor dopes who send money into her ministry.

Meyer's inexplicable worldwide ministry is based in the St. Louis area, and the newspaper there has started doing a little checking into her act. According to one of the stories in an outstanding investigative series on Meyer that is being run in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Joyce Meyer says God has made her rich.

Everything she has came from Him: the $10 million corporate jet, her husband's $107,000 silver-gray Mercedes sedan, her $2 million home and houses worth another $2 million for her four children — all blessings, she says, straight from the hand of God.
But, of course, those blessings have come through a lot of hard-working, misguided folks who think that the swill Meyer preaches has anything to do with authentic, historic Christianity. They send her money, expecting that their money is being used to further the gospel. Apparently, however, a lot of it isn't.
Meyer is fond of nice things and is willing to spend for them. From an $11,000 French clock in the ministry's Fenton headquarters to a $105,000 Crownline boat docked behind her vacation home at Lake of the Ozarks, it's clear her tastes run more to Perrier than to tap water.

"You can be a businessman here in St. Louis, and people think the more you have, the more wonderful it is," Meyer said in an interview. "But if you're a preacher, then all of a sudden it becomes a problem.

"The Bible says, 'Give and it shall be given unto you.' "
No, it "suddenly becomes a problem" when you spend people's tax-deductable gifts on vacation homes and boats. It's weird how you look all through the New Testament and can't find one vacation home or closet full of designer clothes among the disciples. They did have a boat, I guess, although it sounds like it was a rickety old rowboat used for fishing.

So, Granny, when you send in your $20 check, just know that it's one drop in a very large bucket that Joyce will be using to doll up the office:
A Jefferson County assessor's list offers a glimpse into the value of many of the items: a $19,000 pair of Dresden vases, six French crystal vases bought for $18,500, an $8,000 Dresden porcelain depicting the Nativity, two $5,800 curio cabinets, a $5,700 porcelain of the Crucifixion, a pair of German porcelain vases bought for $5,200.

The decor includes a $30,000 malachite round table, a $23,000 marble-topped antique commode, a $14,000 custom office bookcase, a $7,000 Stations of the Cross in Dresden porcelain, a $6,300 eagle sculpture on a pedestal, another eagle made of silver bought for $5,000, and numerous paintings purchased for $1,000 to $4,000 each.

Inside Meyer's private office suite sit a conference table and 18 chairs bought for $49,000. The woodwork in the offices of Meyer and her husband cost the ministry $44,000.
The sad thing is, scam artists like Meyer and Benny Hinn and Robert Tilton are the public faces of "Christianity." The vast majority of non-Christians in this country directly equate "Christianity" with "the goofballs with big hair who are always asking for your money on TBN." Of course, Meyer's preaching has little to do with the central message of the Bible--Christ's atonement for sins (and our reconciliation with God through Him), and has much to do with God as a cosmic butler, who is at our service and brings us what we want when we order him too. As the close of the article says:
None of her critics seems to rile Meyer. She says her material success is a reflection of her commitment to God.

As she puts it: "The whole Bible really has one message: 'Obey me and do what I tell you to do, and you'll be blessed.'"
And then I'm sure she blew her nose in a $100 bill.

No comments: