Remembering Joey Martin Feek

[Editor: In 2016, readers of this blog were most touched by the series of articles we posted on the life-ending journey of Joey Martin Feek. It has been one year since her passing, but millions of people were blessed by her story of courage and faith. The following post, A Proverbs 31 Woman, was our most-read article last year.]

I have shared with my readers the faithful journey of Joey Martin Feek as she battled the aggressive cancer that finally ended her life. Her husband Rory made the announcement on his blog:

My wife’s greatest dream came true today. She is in Heaven.

The cancer is gone, the pain has ceased and all her tears are dry. Joey is in the arms of her beloved brother Justin and using her pretty voice to sing for her savior.

Joey said:

I pray that one morning I just don’t wake up. But I don’t fear anything because I’m so close to God and we’ve talked about it so many times. I know he’s close. And I know he loves me. I’m really at peace. I still believe there’s healing in prayer.

I’ve prayed and prayed and prayed I’d discover I was healed. But I realized I was healed in a different way. I was healed in my relationship with Christ, because it just drew me closer.

Joey was just a small town girl (Alexandria, Indiana) who loved horses and cowboys. Her dream was to go to Tennessee and get discovered on Music Row in Nashville. That’s where she met her future husband, Rory. He was performing at the iconic Bluebird cafe, and Joey fell in love. “I’m gonna marry that man,” she told friends. But when Rory started talking about his daughters, Joey thought her feelings were mistaken.

Two years past when Joey attended a Singer/Songwriter’s night at the same cafe, and Rory (by providence?) was scheduled to perform. Joey learned that he was not married, but a single dad raising two teenage girls. They started dating, and within four months became husband and wife. Rory said, “I couldn’t believe that a woman like her would want a man like me.”

Joey put her singing career on hold as she lived the life of a country gal on the couple’s farm south of Nashville. She raised chickens, planted a garden, cooked, cleaned and mended, was mother to Rory’s two girls — she was, indeed, a Proverbs 31 woman. Even in her last days, Joey was preparing the seedlings for the Spring planting. Sadly, she won’t be here to harvest their fruit.

Joey Martin Feek was an amazing woman. When Bathsheba was counseling her son, Solomon, she certainly had someone like Joey in mind.

Proverbs 31:10-31

10 An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels.

11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.

12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.

13 She looks for wool and flax
And works with her hands in delight.

14 She is like merchant ships;
She brings her food from afar.

15 She rises also while it is still night
And gives food to her household
And portions to her maidens.

16 She considers a field and buys it;
From her earnings she plants a vineyard.

17 She girds herself with strength
And makes her arms strong.

18 She senses that her gain is good;
Her lamp does not go out at night.

19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hands grasp the spindle.

20 She extends her hand to the poor,
And she stretches out her hands to the needy.

21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household,
For all her household are clothed with scarlet.

22 She makes coverings for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.

23 Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.

24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies belts to the tradesmen.

25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the future.

26 She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

27 She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.

28 Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:

29 “Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all.”

30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.

31 Give her the product of her hands,
And let her works praise her in the gates.

Today, Joey Martin Feek is inside the gates of heaven singing for her Savior. Blessed be His name.

Recommended:

Rory’s WordPress blog: This Life I Live

Joey+Rory Facebook

Copyright © 2017 Eternal Christ

Amazing Grace

What God made from the dust He has returned to dust. Millions of people — I pray you were one — followed the end-of-life journey of Joey Martin Feek. For any who are walking that difficult road I want to offer you my heartfelt prayer that our blessed Lord will be a comforting source of peace and strength to you and your family.

Though we continue to mourn the loss of a beautiful spirit I am compelled, once again, to challenge the heretical teaching of those who preach the false gospel that is Word of Faith. You see and hear them all day on Christian television and radio — Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Fred Price, Kenneth Hagin, Creflo Dollar and many others.

Rod Parsley, for example, said:

Don’t you pray ‘If it’s Thy will.’ Perfect faith cannot exist where the will of God is not known. Did you hear me? I said healing is not a promise, it’s an established fact. First Peter 2:24 records that sickness was defeated as a result of the stripes Jesus bore on His back. When the Roman cat-of-nine-tails whistled through the air and stripped His back until His flesh hanged round His legs like ribbons, every lash laid on Him purchased healing for our sick bodies. Because Jesus bore those stripes you don’t have to be sick anymore.[1]

Messiah Gate has recently published articles on 1 Peter 2:24 so we won’t revisit that except to say that the Word of Faith interpretation of Peter is wrong.

In a recent article I posted the following:

There was an incident where the faith healer told a disabled man to get out of his wheelchair and walk. Well, the man got up and fell … repeatedly. The pastor screamed at the man for his lack of faith. He commanded him over and over to get up and walk — only to fall again and again. The stunned assembly watched in gasping disbelief at the abuse inflicted upon this helpless person. The pastor (Andrew Womack) had the nerve to share this story on TCT, and with no remorse for it was the man’s fault that he was not healed.

Perry Stone recalled a service where he and others were performing a laying on of the hands:

There are some people who when you touch them you can feel the anointing. When you lay your hands upon them there is a surge of power (as when the woman reached out to touch Jesus). Others, it’s like laying your hands upon a rock — there’s nothing. [2]

Womack and Stone both explained that they had confidence in their ability to transfer the healing power of the Holy Spirit, but the afflicted person had to possess the power of faith to receive it. As hard as it was to watch the crippled man fall, a mystified Womack insisted that it was the lame man’s fault that he was not healed.

The assertion of faith healers is that you are not healed either because of a lack of faith, or unconfessed sin. This is what caused me to fall away in my early Christian walk because I listened to (and believed) these false teachers. I mean, let’s call them out — Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen, Joseph Prince, Robert Schuller, Oral Roberts, Jesse Duplantis, Clarence McClendon and most of what you see on TBN, TCT and The Church Channel. Did I mention Daystar?

It’s a gospel call to health and prosperity. Just name it and claim it is the pulpit mantra. T.D. Jakes, citing the example of blind Bartimaeus, said:

It was not what was in Christ’s mouth that got him healed. The power was in Bartimaeus’ mouth. He would have whatever he said. And Jesus was saying ‘My hands are tied because I can’t do any more for you than what you say.’

If the power of life and death is in the tongue and you can have whatever you say and if you’ve been praying and praying and praying and you finally got God’s attention and now He’s looking at you and saying ‘What do you want?’ … What do you want? Name it, baby, name it … Declare it! Speak it! Confess it! Get your list out! [3]

To a degree, yes, we must have faith, but even that is a gift from God. When Jesus returned to Nazareth it is recorded that He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief (Matthew 13:58). How might we judge the crippled man whom Andrew Womack could not heal? That a man bound to a wheelchair made the effort to attend a faith healing service would seem to suggest that he at least possessed a mustard seed of faith. Why, then, wasn’t he healed?

Perry Stone suggests that without the anointing of God you cannot receive healing. So, if I’m anointed by God I will be healed? Maybe the Jewish scriptures can help us to understand. When Elisha was preparing to succeed Elijah he asked the prophet to bless him. We read from the Masoretic text as translated by the Jewish Publication Society (1917):

And it came to pass, when they were gone over (the river Jordan), that Elijah said unto Elisha: ‘Ask what I shall do for thee, before I am taken from thee.’ And Elisha said: ‘I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.’2 Kings 2:9

Was this double-dose anointing enough to preserve Elisha’s life? Safeguard him from affliction? Well, no. Only a few chapters later Elisha is confined to his sick-bed:

Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he was to die; and Joash the king of Israel came down unto him, and wept over him (2 Kings 13:14).

There was no miracle healing for Elisha, but there was a miracle after he was buried.

And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a (marauding) band; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha; and as soon as the man touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet (2 Kings 13:21).

That was quite an anointing Elisha received. He died — yet a dead man lived. As Christ died (and was resurrected) so shall we live also. The mystery of the Gospel, hidden in the Jewish scriptures, is yet again revealed. And by this interpretation we correctly understand what Peter was saying — that by the wounds of Christ we were healed of our sin condition. Sin is a fatal disease, but the healing is in the blood of Jesus.

The Word of Faith movement grew out of the Pentecostal movement in the late 20th century. Its founder was E. W. Kenyon, who studied the metaphysical New Thought teachings of Phineas Quimby. Mind science (where “name it and claim it” originated) was combined with Pentecostalism, resulting in a peculiar mix of orthodox Christianity and mysticism.

At the heart of the Word of Faith movement is the belief in the “force of faith.” It is believed words can be used to manipulate the faith-force, and thus actually create what they believe Scripture promises (health and wealth). [Ed: God is subject to these laws according to WOF.]

From here, its theology just strays further and further from Scripture: it claims that God created human beings in His literal, physical image as little gods. [4]

Creflo Dollar (sounding so much like the Serpent to Eve):

I’m gonna say to you right now that you are gods, little ‘g.’ You are gods because you came from God and you are gods. My whole attitude now should be I have equality with God. Now somebody says, ‘Well it’s hard to think that way.’ Well, keep saying it … Talk yourself into it. [5]

So, we can talk ourself into health and wealth — visualize it and possess it? Where is that taught in Scripture? It’s not. It is New Age mysticism and idolatry.

If Jesus had commanded a crippled man to rise from his wheelchair what do you think the result would have been? Or consider this — does a dead man have faith? I’m speaking of Lazarus. By whose faith was he raised, but by the power of Almighty God.

In her final days Joey Martin Feek said:

I’ve prayed and prayed and prayed I’d discover I was healed. But I realized I was healed in a different way. I was healed in my relationship with Christ, because it just drew me closer.

And what of the over two million people who said a prayer for her? Were they all lacking in faith? Even Paul who discovered that (in his affliction) the grace of God was sufficient enough.

Amazing grace, indeed.

Notes:

1. Christianity Still in Crisis?, Bob Hunter, Christian Research Journal, volume 30, number 3 (2007).

2. Manna-Fest, Perry Stone, published on Mar 4, 2016.

3. Source, see #1.

4. Is the Word of Faith Movement Biblical?, Got Questions.org.

5. Source, see #1.

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Copyright © 2016 Messiah Gate

A Proverbs 31 Woman

I have shared with my readers the faithful journey of Joey Martin Feek as she battled the aggressive cancer that finally ended her life. Her husband Rory made the announcement on his blog:

My wife’s greatest dream came true today. She is in Heaven.

The cancer is gone, the pain has ceased and all her tears are dry. Joey is in the arms of her beloved brother Justin and using her pretty voice to sing for her savior.

Joey said:

I pray that one morning I just don’t wake up. But I don’t fear anything because I’m so close to God and we’ve talked about it so many times. I know he’s close. And I know he loves me. I’m really at peace. I still believe there’s healing in prayer.

I’ve prayed and prayed and prayed I’d discover I was healed. But I realized I was healed in a different way. I was healed in my relationship with Christ, because it just drew me closer.

Joey was just a small town girl (Alexandria, Indiana) who loved horses and cowboys. Her dream was to go to Tennessee and get discovered on Music Row in Nashville. That’s where she met her future husband, Rory. He was performing at the iconic Bluebird cafe, and Joey fell in love. “I’m gonna marry that man,” she told friends. But when Rory started talking about his daughters, Joey thought her feelings were mistaken.

Two years past when Joey attended a Singer/Songwriter’s night at the same cafe, and Rory (by providence?) was scheduled to perform. Joey learned that he was not married, but a single dad raising two teenage girls. They started dating, and within four months became husband and wife. Rory said, “I couldn’t believe that a woman like her would want a man like me.”

Joey put her singing career on hold as she lived the life of a country gal on the couple’s farm south of Nashville. She raised chickens, planted a garden, cooked, cleaned and mended, was mother to Rory’s two girls — she was, indeed, a Proverbs 31 woman. Even in her last days, Joey was preparing the seedlings for the Spring planting. Sadly, she won’t be here to harvest their fruit.

Joey Martin Feek was an amazing woman. She was, in fact, the kind of woman I searched for my whole life … but never found. When Bathsheba was counseling her son, Solomon, on the nature of a worthy woman she certainly had someone like Joey in mind.

If it be God’s will may I one day find such a woman.

Proverbs 31:10-31

10 An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels.

11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.

12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.

13 She looks for wool and flax
And works with her hands in delight.

14 She is like merchant ships;
She brings her food from afar.

15 She rises also while it is still night
And gives food to her household
And portions to her maidens.

16 She considers a field and buys it;
From her earnings she plants a vineyard.

17 She girds herself with strength
And makes her arms strong.

18 She senses that her gain is good;
Her lamp does not go out at night.

19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hands grasp the spindle.

20 She extends her hand to the poor,
And she stretches out her hands to the needy.

21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household,
For all her household are clothed with scarlet.

22 She makes coverings for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.

23 Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.

24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies belts to the tradesmen.

25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the future.

26 She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

27 She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.

28 Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:

29 “Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all.”

30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.

31 Give her the product of her hands,
And let her works praise her in the gates.

Today, Joey Martin Feek is inside the gates of heaven singing for her Savior. Blessed be His name.

Recommended:

Rory’s WordPress blog: This Life I Live

Joey+Rory Facebook

Copyright © 2016 Messiah Gate