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I never watch Nightline, usually we’re watching Jay Leno or playing Guitar Hero. But tonight something caught our eyes as we flipped past ABC. It was Creflo Dollar defending his mega-prosperity ministry & church. He, along with others (Benny Hinn, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland of Texas, David and Joyce Meyer of Missouri, Randy and Paula Whitewho are divorcing by the way, of Florida and Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Ga.), are being investigated by Senator Grassley (apparently) for their mega-money lifestyles that include private jets, Rolls Royce’s, mansions, etc. During the interview Dollar gets blasted for not turning over his personal financial records, to which he (Dollar), says that he is making a stand for all ministries because it’s their constitutional right… ugh yeah, thanks dude. To me it sounded a lot like spin, as he explained away all the money and prosperity teaching. On the other hand, his church has done a lot of great charity work, and he has personally as well. So what to think?

Now I’ve spent a fair amount of time watching TBN – there’s not much on there that makes me proud to be a Christian. And I honestly don’t know how I feel about people like Creflo Dollar. But as we were watching this TV special, my wife asked the question, “How do you feel about that?”. And it really got me thinking.

First off, I always think: who am I? I mean here’s a guy who has a church of almost 40,000 people! And I always believe that God is in control and can take someone out whenever he wants to, so obviously, this pastor is still in leadership. But as we were watching the interview one thing that really shot up some red flags were his comments on Jesus being a rich man – which is his belief. That one really threw me for a spin. I don’t know what Bible he reads, but in my Bible Jesus was definitely not rich according to the world’s standards, and in his time the majority of the population were poor. And we haven’t even cracked the lid on the whole “Prosperity Teaching” of these types of ministries.

Anyway, what I think, for what it’s worth is that God’s purposes are accomplished despite of man. This man may be the leader of a church and a mega-ministry, but it’s God who does the work in people’s hearts, and it’s Gods church – not any mans. So I’m not worried tonight, although I do have a bad taste in my mouth. I just don’t like giving people more reasons to lose faith in God’s church… (not that I do much better).

What do you think?

Designer. Communicator. Solutions Architect. Husband. Father of 4. Friend of God. I've dabbled in building, graphic design, worship, music, media, communications, connections, leadership, and now I'm an executive pastor at Rancho Community Church in Southern California.

19 Comments

  1. Personally, the more I study the ‘prosperity’ gospel I see that it’s no gospel whatsoever, and am led to believe that if someone is/was/were saved under such a ministry it would be the equivalent of the few who actually genuinely meet Jesus within Mormanism, or even Islam, for that matter, and are later, by God’s grace, drawn out from there into a genuine fellowship. So, a ‘church’ of 40,000 counts for little if it’s 40,000 lost people.

  2. truth is truth… and sometimes it needs no defense – but will rise to the surface eventually.
    sadly, the people under this kind of teaching will one day realize that its not true. and, unfortunately, our brothers and sisters in the faith who are spreading this belief system will stand accountable. God doesn’t play with false teachers…
    this prosperity gospel stuff makes me sad. sad because people really really really need Christ in their lives. but, they come to Him because they need “money” or “food” or a better job or just nicer clothes… under this teaching, they come to Him for what He can DO, not for Who He IS.

    makes me real sad

  3. I’ve never given Dollar much attention and I wish I had caught Nightline. I began reading their article and was stunned and offended that I had to read all 3 pages.

    Why he says he’s doing it seems legit. People DO need to learn to balance their check book and budget and do their finances! Good things to learn but it’s not fundamental to the gospel and to use the pulpit to do it?! So we focus on peace? love? grace? and that takes a back seat to finances?!?!? Who in their right mind does that?

    And personally, just me, I would be DISGUSTED if the people in my congregation gathered up 280k and spent it on a freakin’ car! My goodness, I would quit on the spot b/c I would then have validation that everything I was trying to teach them about God had fallen on deaf ears. A CAR!! Seriously!

  4. Good ol’ Cref. Man…I’ll tell you what…the prosperity stuff doesn’t sit too well in my gut. If Jesus wants us all rich, then what about third world countries. That would probably get explained away by saying they’re in sin or something.

    There is none good…no, not one. The way I see it is that some people have a lot…some people don’t. I love Jesus regardless of my bank account, which honestly could use a little prosperity right about now.

    Paula White is ditching her man, eh?

    As Beyonce would say, “to the left, to the left, everything you own in the box to the left…”

    Who’s to judge…I just know for me, I don’t agree.

  5. Here’s my problem with the whole “prosperity gospel.” It ignores a BIG part of God’s word. Over and over (something like 2,000 times) God talks about the poor. His heart for them. Our responsibility to care for them. Somehow, the whole idea of God using riches as a “blessing” for obedience doesn’t make sense with what he actually says in his word. It seems to me that those who believe the prosperity gospel and being rather selective about the parts of God’s word they are reading.

  6. Tell the Christians in Darfur that their prosperity is tied to their spirituality mr dollar. safe theology is a farse. as Christians we signed up for tribulation. praise God I have had it really good. sorry, i get pretty pissed at the prosperity gospel.

    John Piper nails it HERE 

    You have to hit that link

  7. yeah its sad that these guys do this. i like Derek Webb’s song Beloved “don’t you ever let anyone tell you that there’s anything that you need, but me.”

    “Seek first the kingdom of God” (not prosperity) “and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” – Mathew 6:33

  8. eric

    Love it Vince…

    This one’s a little lighter…

  9. I find myself saying this over and over again.

    Look with what you are dealing! In this case, it applies to BOTH sides of such “ministries”. One side can’t bunk and fool the other side with the other side falling for it!

  10. gawdat

    i love jesus and his kingdom . those saints manifest kingdom of God which is very prosperous and very glorious and rich,
    prosperity like healing and deliverance is manifestation of kingdom of God , blessing , blessing ,,,,,why many christian jealous of prosperous saints ……i do applied bible in my life …my life now is very abundant and peacefull and fruitfull
    thanks of those men of God who carry joseph anoint to rule in the end over their brothers who wanna one day kill him….

  11. I think you are right in your views. And I think you respect the privacy of the high profile people. But what can I expect out of a man whose name is Creflo Dollar. His name even sounds like a money pit. I don’t mean to be rude. I probably am just ignorant about what Creflo means.

    Tim Lawsons last blog post..Eubank Tornadoes & My Romantic(?) Brother

  12. Margaret Smith-Leddy

    I attended pastor Dollar’s church for three years during the 1990. I was a christian who believed in tithing and offering before I went there. When my previous pastor was finished collecting 4 or 5 offering for building fund and other programs, I did not even have enough left over to pay my necessary bills for my family.
    At pastor Dollar’s church I was amazed that he only collected one offering. I was taught how to carefully manage my finances, how to live debt free, how to manage within my means and to owe no man anything but to love him. I was finally free of the chaos, it was the first time in my life that I was able to live these words, “my need are met – and i’m out of debt.” It was so liberating to experience this freedom in Christ. Today I am living a prosperous and satisfying life, according to John 10:10 and I am able to help others who have a need according to 1Cor. 9:8, Praise Jesus for the teaching of God’s divine order.

  13. Jesus died to redeem man from the curse of the law. If you will look in your bible (not what no man say but what God say let every man be a lier and God be true) galatians 3:10 & deuteronomy 28 you will see the blessings and the curses. When you see all the curses that is what Jesus redeem every born again person with his blood but if you don’t believe and receive them you will never see them come true in your life and you will think everyone that does have those blessings in their life is of the devil or not right but actually God takes pleasure in the prosperity of his saints (children). How dare you christian accuser (that is what the bible call satan accusser of the brethen) say bad things about men and women of God prospering because you are not shame on you. Last thing here what you respect always move toward you and what you disrespect move away from you this explains why the promises of God doesn’t come on you as does these men and women. I celebrate every kingdom citizen that is prospering not only of being saved (that is part of curse that Jesus paid for with his blood) but every area of life.

    • Nick D.

      Sidney, thank you for your comment. Just pray for Alex as he clearly has been blinded by the enemy to keep him in poverty and bondage. Be blessed and continue to prosper in every area of your life!

  14. Sidney, I have to point out the obvious – that comment is a mess.

  15. Nick D.

    2 Corinthians 8:9 -“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.” It doesn’t say Jesus was always poor. On the cross He became poor so we can be rich. How can we fulfill the grey commission without money? Satellite tv all over the world must be free, right? Plane tickets must not cost money. Feeding the poor is completely doable without money, correct? No, we, the body of Christ needs the money to establish God’s Kingdom in the earth. Why, then if the body of Christ isnt supposed to be WEALTHY, does Solomon say, “the wealth of the wicked shall be laid up for the righteous”? Having money and being wealthy isn’t a sin. Why is it ok for rappers to be wealthy when all they Sonia corrupt teens but as soon as a man of God becomes wealthy, all crap hits the fan. Why would God want the wealth He created in this earth to be in the hands of the devil? The wealth transfer is about to manifest and the body of Christ is going to be super wealthy, I suggest you change your mind because I don’t want you sitting back watching other Christians becoming rich and you sitting on the bench and. It participating. God created the gold, money represents the gold, and it was meant for His children. Not the devil. The second definition for recession is “a return of ownership to a former possessor”. The reason all these men in the world are losing their money is the recession…the money is returning to God and will be distributed to His people. I hope this changes your mind. It’s ok to have money, just don’t let money have you. Be blessed sir.

  16. Nick D.

    One last thing, why did the roman soldiers want to gamble on Jesus’ robe (John 19:23-27)? They were going to divide it but it had no seams and they didn’t want to rip it. Why is that? Probably because He was poor, right? Come on now, those were designer clothes!

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