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Lanston Pinto wrote:

Hi, guys —

One of my youth leaders loves Joyce Meyer's T.V. shows. They always intently listen to her.

Now personally, I believe we don't have to listen to Joyce Meyers because as she is not a Catholic. Her interpretation of the Bible could be incorrect but this is only my opinion.

  • What would be your views on preachers like Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyers?
  • Is it OK to listen to them?

Lanston Pinto

  { What is your view on preachers like Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyers; should we listen to them? }

Mike replied:

Hi Lanston,

Thanks for the question.

This is a common question; it's even in our searchable knowledge base. There are a lot of quick answers there, so give it a try.

I searched the knowledge base for you and found this web posting that should help:

Personally, I would not listen to any of them. Although they can provide very good examples by their good works and deeds, what they believe and preach omits key Catholic teachings, if not, indirectly preach against our beliefs. Put another way, let me ask you a question:

  • Would someone who wants to be a faithful Catholic listen to a group that doesn't believe in what their Church believes in on a regular basis?

My colleague may have more to add.


John replied:

Hi, Lanston —

Joyce Meyer actually has a lot of good things to say about every day practical applications of the Scriptures to your daily life. Her message for the most part is positive and it relates to good Christian living. She doesn't really get into a lot of deep theology.

Of all the Word of Faith preachers or teachers, she's the most balanced but it is someone you need to listen to very critically. She does not have the benefit of 2,000 years of Catholic Tradition so when she teaches, she is apt to make Christological mistakes.

Obviously as an Evangelical, her views on justification are going to differ from the Catholic understanding.

Joel Osteen is much more problematic as a Word of Faith teacher goes. He focuses way too much on prosperity and so forth.

The whole Word of Faith Movement is an excess. Yes, there is spiritual power, in The Word spoken in faith and in obedience to God but that does not mean if we find any old Scripture passage in the Bible, we can speak it and claim it for our own prosperity.

What happened with the movement is they found a piece of truth and build a whole theology around it, to the point where people have faith in their faith as of opposed to God. This focus on one aspect of Christian truth is not atypical and restricted to this movement. It has indeed been the root of just about every Christian heresy from the beginning.

Unlike Mike, I take a different approach. I take the attitude that, first and foremost, I need to be grounded in sound Catholic theology and Mike would agree with me there but we differ in that I am willing to listen and indeed learn from our Evangelical brothers, especially when it comes to practical applications of the Scriptures to our every day lives . . . and, Yes, Joyce is very, very, strong in that area.

She teaches people how to move on with their lives by forgiving others, by refusing to wallow in hurt and past misfortunes and it is all based on applying the Scriptures to everyday life.

This is an area where our priests, deacons, and teachers often fail. They approach the Sacred Scriptures as a handbook of principles for daily life and while Scripture's primary purpose is the Divine Revelation of God in the Person of Jesus Christ. It is also a very practical book meant for our daily instruction. In fact many Old Testament books, known as the Wisdom Books, were specifically written for that purpose.


Lanston replied:


That was great insight and I received two different viewpoints.

Now I can forward this e-mail to some of my friends and inform them about your viewpoints.

Thanks a lot and God bless you and your team.

I have received so many answers from your team to questions which have help me to know and strengthening my own beliefs.


John replied:

Happy to help.

Just so you know where we are coming from, I'm a former Pentecostal/Baptist Minister so for starters, I'm much more familiar with these preachers. Also having had experience in the Protestant tradition, I'm familiar with the notion of simply gleaning that which seems right from a sermon and spitting out what doesn't.

Mike is cradle Catholic, who has never really been exposed to these preachers or the notion of regularly having to filter what is being preached from the pulpit in the same way. Sure, a well catechized Catholic can spot an error when it comes from the pulpit but that doesn't mean he's trained to take what is good (from what is being said) while leaving the heretic stuff behind.

And in the technical sense, yes, Joyce Meyers is a heretic. Heretic simply means she holds to doctrinal errors. All Protestants do and sadly some Catholics do too.

I still will catch her during the mornings hours at times. I know some of my friends in the Protestant world still do. So I partially do it, to see if she's spewing anything crazy. Which by the way, over the years she has. All Word of Faith Ministers have. I also get her Face book blurbs. Today she put out a quick message:

"Don't forget to pray your way through the day!"

Now there is nothing particularly profound in that exhortation but it's certainly not erroneous and certainly not anti-Catholic. In fact, it is pretty good advice! Here is another quote she posted:

"Receiving the power of the Holy Spirit in your life is not about getting a goose bump or having a feeling. It's about truly wanting the ability to do God's will, desiring to live a holy life and wanting the fullness of God within you."

Again, a very practical admonition to not go chasing after experiences or emotional responses, rather a message of seeking God for the sake of doing His Will, being holy, and having a strong relationship with Him.

So Joyce is pretty practical. She has really helped women who have been molested to heal appropriately. She is very strong on teaching people to forgive and get rid of bitterness.

The reason Mike and I differ, is simply because Mike hasn't been exposed to some these preachers but he is right . . . always proceed with caution even when listening to a Catholic preacher or teacher. Lord knows we have our share of nut jobs.

The key is growing in your own Catholic faith. Study the Catechism alongside the Bible and if anyone, be they Catholic or Protestant, says something that doesn't sit right (and the Holy Spirit will usually let you know) . . . check it out . . . see what the Catechism says or by all means shoot us an e-mail.


Lanston replied:


Thanks a lot John. Knowing your background helps a lot and it's good to know that if I have any doubts, I can shoot you an e-mail.

I totally agree with you. Over the years, I have learned to listen to preachers, carefully scrutinizing what they are saying and discerning their understanding with the Church's because I wouldn't want to pass on the wrong Gospel Message to others.

I am involved in the Charismatic Renewal here in Oman. Now one of the main problems with the Charismatic ministry is that a lot of Protestant talks could be preached by Catholic preachers to the people.

I love the Charismatic Renewal and I think its such a big blessing to churches in the Gulf as well as in India but, as you said, the Holy Spirit will let us know when something is wrong.


John replied:

That's good to hear Lanston.

Just don't forget to learn what the Church teaches.

I too have been associated with the Renewal but even in Catholic Charismatic circles, there is a tendency to reject some Catholic teaching, or embrace Protestant heresy, when Catholics are poorly rooted in the Church's Teachings.


Lanston replied:


  • Finally, does the Church have a list of doctrinal errors?

I mean I know some of the common ones such as the Rosary, Mother Mary, Praying to statues, etc. but is there a list of them somewhere on your web site.

I don't know all of them and it would be good to know them.


John replied:

Well actually, Catholics should pray to statues.

We use statues, pictures, paintings, and Icons as reminders and points of contact for our faith but we aren't praying to piece of stone or plaster.

It is one thing for a Catholic to choose not to use statues or images in their prayer life, or even not to ask for the Blessed the Mother's intercession — it is another to reject the doctrine behind these practices.

No Catholic has to ask for Mary's prayers or has to pray the Rosary, although it is a highly effective prayer. In many cases, it's not someone's particular spirituality.

I certainly ask Mary to pray for me, along with the other Saints but I'm not inclined to pray the Rosary in my personal prayer life; I don't use a whole lot of rote prayer in personal prayers. I simply pray extemporaneously, whether I'm praying directly to God or asking the Saints to join me in prayer.

The problem comes into play, when Catholics deny the doctrine of the Communion of Saints, or when they deny the doctrine of purification after death. Sometimes Charismatics, who hang around Protestants, even pick up more serious errors in the area of salvation.

That doesn't mean they shouldn't:

  • hang around Protestants
  • nor pray with them
  • discuss the faith, or
  • even listen to their preaching from time to time

but they need to first get grounded in their own Catholic faith.


Mike replied:

Hi Lanston,

John did a stellar job in addressing this issue as a whole.

I take my view because, though I know a lot about the faith, as a cradle Catholic, I don’t feel comfortable discerning truth from error when it is mixing in a Protestant sermon. For that reason, I error on the side of ensuring I know and keep the faith.

Very few Catholics have the gift John has so I would view him as the exception.

You said:

  • Finally, does the Church have a list of doctrinal errors?

I mean I know some of the common ones such as the Rosary, Mother Mary, Praying to statues, etc. but is there a list of them somewhere on your web site.

As John said, what you are referring to are not doctrinal errors but doctrinal errors are derived from Catholic practices and customs related to these issues.

This page will give you the basis Christological Heresies in Church history.

I think it is safe to say that most Christian heresies have there root in not totally knowing:

  • Who is Jesus Christ?
  • Who is Jesus’ Mother, Mary?
  • Who is St. Joseph? and
  • Who are the Saints?

When we make up our own definitions that vary from the Church’s definitions, we end up in heresy.

I hope this helps,


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