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Prosperity gospel bandwagon hits Port Moresby


Joyce Meyer is a 66-year old American preacher and a proponent of the ‘God wants you to be seriously rich’ school of charismatic Christian evangelism.

She’s been a guest at Brian Houston’s sometimes controversial Hillsong Church in Sydney, which has the same ‘prosperity gospel’ tendency (in fact Brian was the warm up act for Joyce’s recent three day Moresby gig).

It's claimed her TV and radio programs are broadcast in 25 languages in 200 countries – including PNG – and it seems Joyce has written no less than 70 books.

According to Wikipedia, Joyce frequently talks in her teachings about overcoming obstacles and finding strength to deal with difficult circumstances, drawing candidly and with humour on her own experiences.

And PNG blogger and occasional PNG Attitude correspondent, Emmanuel Narokobi, a self-confessed Catholic who says he needs to lift his game, has written:

“If faith can move mountains then right now faith has brought us a private jet flying, multimedia, multi-staged, multi-screened, multi-million kina concert extravaganza and all for the people for the price of nothing. All they want are your souls, well I shouldn’t put it that way, but all they want is for you to take part in their brand of faith.” [See Emmanuel’s blog here.]

So Joyce the Voice made a flying visit to Port Moresby in her new Gulfstream jet to teach people, as Emmanuel puts it, “that God desires material prosperity for those He favours. Material prosperity in this theology not only includes financial prosperity but success in relationships and good health as well.”

Joyce arrived in PNG last week to be greeted by an enthusiastic crowd that The National said was “yearning for a glimpse of her”. Not that it did The National’s prosperity any good, the newspaper's website has been shut down subsequently after coming under serious cyber attack from some ungodly hackers.

Joyce’s team preceded her three-day ‘Festival of Light’ (24-26 July) with a five-day medical mission, which offered free treatment to 4300 people, 1000 of whom committed their lives to the Lord on the spot. And Joyce also popped out to Bomana gaol to meet some of the guests.

Steve Grace, whose Christian band warmed up proceedings, writes in his blog: “When half the population of the capital city turns up to hear some good Bible teaching and worship the Lord together, you just know that God is at work in a nation… It was an estimated crowd of 400,000 - the largest gathering for a Christian event in PNG’s history.”

Steve went on: “People came with a great expectation and hunger. Joyce’s Bible-based practical preaching was warmly received by the PNG people. Thousands made decisions to live for Christ each night and everyone who attended received a small booklet called A new way of living. It was like witnessing a phenomenon.”

Joyce Meyer makes $100 million a year. As the St Louis Post-Dispatch has editorialised, “In the Gospel of St Matthew, Jesus says, ‘It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.’ Ms Meyer would seem to believe she can make the squeeze.”


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Kange Nga Kona

I am glad so many PNGeans turned up in huge numbers to hear from Mrs Meyer. I never turn on the TV to listen to live broadcasts from her, or other TV evangelists for that matter, but, when I do, there are commercials every minute trying to persuade people to purchase something from their ministries.

For example, Joyce Meyer Ministries sells what they call a "Holy Water" with a small cloth. They claim that, when you use some on your body, you will be healed completely of your diseases, financially blessed, etc etc.

This scares me to death because my Bible tells me that it is through Jesus Christ, the Son of God, that I will be saved, healed and blessed. So I hold on to that faith in GOD.

I am bad at listening to/watching TV evangelists, but if they do something good to win a soul for the Lord, that's something good for them and only GOD will judge their actions and deeds.

Most of these so called TV evangelists were under scrutiny from the US Senate Committee on Finance (Joyce Meyer was one among the many TV evangelists) on how they spend the donations given by people.


I recall my days on the outstations when one allegedly christian sect with Saturday services would have a thousand to Saturday lunch and then the other allegedly christian sect with Sunday services would have the same thousand to lunch and Sunday services.

Another allegedly christian sect would patrol the villages in each census division on an annual basis collecting their tithe. As the collectors visited each village they would tell them the amount that the previous village collected and urge them to better it. And so the gravy train rolled on until, at the end, they would visit the early villages again to urge them to contribute more.

The problem that occurred from time to time for us was that they would time their visits to happen before the council head tax collection started and often the villagers would complain to the council patrol that they had no money because of the church collection.

Thank God I'm an atheist!

Emmanuel Narokobi

Thanks for your kind words Paul. She actually never spoke about money on both occasions I went along to hear her speak. Not that I'm trying to defend her or anything but from what I saw she really does not stray far from what I understand from my catholic upbringing, her delivery is different from other churches.

But the scale and the power she has is scary and as you pointed out if the message is distorted then it will reach the millions she speaks to.

Coming from a land where everything is big, bold and flashy it was only a matter of time before a christian faith would emerge with the very same qualities that make the US what it is today.

Paul Oates

Hi Emmanuel,

Visited your blog and think its a great site mate. Very impressed. Thanks to Keith Jackson for the link from his 'PNG Attitude' site

Ref. your comments on this subject. I also wouldn't wish to set myself up as an authority on the Christian religion. The nub of the problem as I see it however is in the message of this organisation and whether that message conflicts with what was claimed Jesus said about material wealth and the accumulation of material wealth.

As to the welcome provided by Papua New Guineans to this organisation, I confess to being a trifle apprehensive. Recent PNG history is awash with examples of how some people who feel they have very little in material goods can be easily swayed by a slick presentation and some weasel words.

I agree with you that if the reception given to this group is an indication of how PNG can 'girap', that is a very desirable thing. Unfortunately I can't see how a travelling road show can do this when after the two promised PNG performances, it departs back to where its power base and the money is. Perhaps if I were cynical, I could suggest that audiences in the US and the so called developed world will be 'doused' with a dose of colourful, 'feel good' pictures of how 'The Word' is being spread abroad. "Help continue this work by making more donations on the way out or preferably by regular direct debit please".

History is replete with examples of how the basic Christian doctrine has been manipulated to suit the occasion or for the benefit of the person who stands to gain. Look at the beginnings of the Mormon faith or even many so called established Christian sects. The Spanish Inquisition comes readily to mind.

What's the answer? Look at the original message. Keep it simple and don't get diverted by those who are in it for their own gain. Judge a person by their actions, not by their words.

Paul Oates

Emmanuel Narokobi

LOL yeah, you can say that Murray. But seriously being there myself she's just like a Tony Robbins only with gospel band backing her up.

What I was personally amazed at was how so many people in Port Moresby could peacefully congregate and reflect on an issue, and at night time too. Which makes me wonder what elements of that gathering could be recreated to educate the masses on changing not just their spiritual selves but their daily lives in regards to politics and attitudes and making everyone more productive.

Anyway just some thoughts...

Murray Bladwell

Isn't it great that our PNG friends now have the opportunity to see how a cargo-cult really operates!

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