To Read or Not to Read: Filled with the Spirit

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Alright, so this has been a long time coming, this post. I have yet to read a book (since starting this blog) that I really had an issue with. You know what I mean right? A book that does not sit well with you, you don’t agree with it, you start to wonder why you are reading it. In the past I would have stopped reading it, but now I thought maybe I would be doing  a disservice to this community if I didn’t put up with a book that I didn’t agree with.
My thoughts are that maybe someone else has already read this book, and she understands it and can explain to me that I didn’t read it right, and what I missed. I can admit I am wrong sometimes! Or I will be helping someone else who isn’t sure about this book – I mean if someone had told me this book wasn’t great I wouldn’t have read it.
So here’s the first not super flattering review – please don’t take offense as these are my personal opinions.

Filled with the Spirit: Understanding God’s Power in Your Life
By Joyce Meyer
I picked up this book as part of my search for more information on the Gifts of the Spirit. I am sad to say that this book did not sit well with me. I really wanted to stop reading, but at the same time I feel that if this blog were full of positive reviews I wouldn’t be true to myself. I mean if I were talking to girlfriends I would say when I came across a book that I completely disagreed with – right?

So here are some reasons that this book didn’t jive with me.

Meyer’s major point was that the gift of tongues is still a gift that every one receives from the Spirit. All we have to do is ask for it. Now mind you, I believe that the gift of tongues might have a great use, but I don’t agree with her reasoning (she says we need a special language to pray to God so Satan won’t hear (p 121) which I have never heard before, and can’t find in scripture). My thoughts on the gift of tongues are that the Spirit will use this power when God needs to touch someone and His servant doesn’t speak the same language – meaning the language is one that used vernacularly – like Spanish, French, Russian, Chinese. Meyer tells us that she received the language of Latin. Last time I checked there isn’t a country that speaks Latin and only Latin. Why would such a language bring any glory to His Kingdom?

Now if this was just an issue with a difference of opinion no biggie, the book has some nice little lines about turning to God during life’s struggles and enjoying the baptism of the Holy Spirit. However the next reason is why I felt I needed to write this post.

I do not agree with the way Meyer treated her Biblical quotes. She gives tons of scripture as she discusses the gift of tongues, but she also uses brackets and parenthesis to change words and add in extra words so that the scripture would better fit her point. My faith is based on the concept that the Bible is God’s word and it is perfect and infallible. So there is no need to adding extra words into scripture. But I do not think it is alright to tweak scripture to make your own point.

Sure as humans we are prone to misunderstanding, and that is where discussion of scripture comes in as we try to completely understand the intricacies of God’s word, but we don’t have to add anything as we do this. I believe that is part of the gifts of the Holy Spirit – the knowledge of believers to grasp all the points God made in His Word.

Here is a sample of this addition/change to scripture:

From Meyer – page 56:
And it shall come to pass in the last days, God declares, that I will pour out of My Spirit upon all mankind, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy [telling forth the divine counsels] and your young men shall see visions (divinely granted appearances), and your old men shall dream [divinely suggest] dreams.
Yes, and on My menservants also and on My maidservants in those days I will pour out of My Spirit, and they shall prophesy [telling forth the divine counsels and predicting future events pertaining especially to God’s kingdom].
And I will show wonders in the sky above and signs on the earth beneath…   (Acts 2:17-19)
From BibleGateway.com NIV
17 “‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
18 Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.
19 I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
        (Acts 2:17-19 NIV)
Notice that in the quote from Filled with the Spirit there is no mention of which version of the Bible was used. If you look at the copyright page five different version were mentioned as being used - the Amplified is credited with most... which might be the root of my issue...


Now please understand I don’t mean to tear down Joyce Meyer at all as a person, I might just not have the clarity to truly understand this book yet. Or she could have been misled when she wrote this book. Or the Lord has put us on such different paths we won’t truly understand the other’s views while in this skin. I just disagreed so much with the points in this book and felt I had to be honest on here. So please no hate comments. Like I said in the beginning if you have read this book and it hit you as great, please share with me what I might have missed.

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8 comments

  1. I so appreciate your honesty and think you raise important points. Happy Wednesday! Oh, and you wrote a really fair review in the sense you communicated honestly your thoughts and opinions about what you read, with the whys. I have not written a negative book review as of yet, for the same reason as you (I think)- I just don't push through it I am not connecting with it!

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    1. Thank you so much - this was a difficult post to write - I'm glad it came across honestly

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  2. I think you did a good job as well. I don't think we should be afraid to disagree with each other as Christians. I have found people/books that I disagree with as well. And you did so respectfully. I haven't seen or read that book but I haven't been in a bookstore lately.

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    1. I agree with you, disagree isn't picking a fight or trying to upset someone. We need to find a place where we can feel free to share our thoughts when our thoughts are well considered and not meant to hurt but rather to start a discussion. Thank you for joining this dialogue!

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  3. I appreciate your honest review here.

    I also have an issue with the way Meyers adds to Scripture to make her point of view. She adds to 'and they shall prophesy'...saying it means: [telling forth the divine counsels and predicting future events pertaining especially to God’s kingdom]

    A.W. Tozer once said:

    "The New Testament gift of prophecy was not to predict - but to tell forth what God has to say and to proclaim God's truth for the present age."

    When it comes to New Testament prophecy, I agree with Tozer. I've seen to many people hurt by those who claim to be able to 'predict' the future. I don't understand why people insist on adding to the Word of God.

    John warns us of adding to the words of prophecy, which I believe 'predicting' the future does:

    "For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book..." Revelation 22:18

    There's my two cents. :) Hope it's taken in love for the truth. :)

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    1. Thank you for sharing - I was going to look up some information on just this point and just ran out of time.

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  4. Hi Marissa!!

    It's great that you had the boldness to share your opinion on a book! :) Bravo to you! :) That takes courage and I commend you for it, I definitely agree with you on the tongues thing. I was surprised to see that we agreed because I have met people who believe as Joyce Meyer does and I can respectfully disagree with them. lol :) But I fully agree with you totally! :)

    When it comes to the Bible verses thing, I wanted to clarify that...I watch a lot of Joyce Meyer (I grew up on her since my mother loved her and now as an adult-I do too now). Joyce uses the Amplified Bible for most of her books and sermons/shows. So those additions are not hers, they are the way that the Amplified Bible is written. In the Amplified Bible is mostly a study resource because it gives you the full meaning behind the texts...the English language isn't as descriptive as Greek and Hebrew and so if you want to get the FULL meaning of the text then using the Amplified Bible is a great study tool...so that's why she uses it a lot. So it's not her adding words, it's the amplified Bible enhancing the reader's understanding of the original text. :) I just wanted to clarify that so you could have the correct information. For example, you can see that the verse is exactly the same on Biblegateway.com
    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=acts%202:17-19&version=AMP

    I pray that this helps!! Thank you for this wonderful blog! :)

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    1. Thanks for the information - to be honest I had a feeling it was a translation thing, but just didn't have the time to search through the many available options - I know bad excuse. And I do agree that the English Language doesn't do Hebrew and Greek justice, however I think it gets tricky when we try to translate by simply adding more words... not that I have a better option!

      Thank you for you great comment! And I really haven't had any issue with Meyer before, it's just this particular book didn't sit right...

      Hope you stop by often, I'd love to hear more!

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