3 Some people may contradict our teaching, but these are the wholesome teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. These teachings promote a godly life. 4 Anyone who teaches something different is arrogant and lacks understanding. Such a person has an unhealthy desire to quibble over the meaning of words. This stirs up arguments ending in jealousy, division, slander, and evil suspicions.5 These people always cause trouble. Their minds are corrupt, and they have turned their backs on the truth. To them, a show of godliness is just a way to become wealthy.
I absolutely refuse to watch TBN and many of the other “Christian” television stations. Does this shock you? At first, I thought there was something wrong with me, because many other believers love televangelists like Creflo Dollar, Jesse Duplantis, Benny Hinn, T.D. Jakes, Paula White, Joyce Meyer and so many others. Therefore, something has to be wrong with me, right?
However, as I searched the scriptures and compared the gospel preached by these people, to the Gospel of Christ, I discovered that they were preaching a false gospel. Not only that, but in addition to deceiving many good men and women who are seeking the truth, these false teachers and false prophets also fleece their followers.
5 These people always cause trouble. Their minds are corrupt, and they have turned their backs on the truth. To them, a show of godliness is just a way to become wealthy.
These men and women make the proud and boastful claim that they need your money in order to save a lost and dying world. However, when Jesus walked this earth as a man, He touched the hearts of a lost and dying world, without pilfering anyone for money. Furthermore, when the apostles went to Jerusalem, Judea, and the uttermost parts of the world, they did so without begging for money. Indeed, the gospel was shared by many of them, as they fled from persecution. Not only that, the Apostle Paul, who traveled through many countries, sharing the gospel to a lost and dying world, was careful not to be a financial burden on the people that he served…
17 If I were doing this on my own initiative, I would deserve payment. But I have no choice, for God has given me this sacred trust. 18 What then is my pay? It is the opportunity to preach the Good News without charging anyone. That’s why I never demand my rights when I preach the Good News.
12 When I was with you, I certainly gave you proof that I am an apostle. For I patiently did many signs and wonders and miracles among you. 13 The only thing I failed to do, which I do in the other churches, was to become a financial burden to you. Please forgive me for this wrong!
14 Now I am coming to you for the third time, and I will not be a burden to you. I don’t want what you have—I want you. After all, children don’t provide for their parents. Rather, parents provide for their children. 15 I will gladly spend myself and all I have for you, even though it seems that the more I love you, the less you love me.
9 Don’t you remember, dear brothers and sisters, how hard we worked among you? Night and day we toiled to earn a living so that we would not be a burden to any of you as we preached God’s Good News to you.
You see, Paul wasn’t interested in how much money he could get out of believers; he wanted to win their hearts. Paul truly sought to save a lost and dying world. Today’s televangelists, evangelists, teachers and various other ministries could learn from his example. For though many of these ministries claim they want to seek and save the lost, their lifestyles paint a different picture.
Let’s look at Creflo Dollar, whose website, on Friday, March 13. 2015, announced a new project entitled, Project G650.
According to this video, the ministry’s current jet is over 30 years old and is now out of service. Therefore, they now need a new one, which will cost $65 million dollars. Really??? He and his ministry team aren’t able to fly commercial flights, like the rest of us???
In doing research on Dollar’s life and ministry, I discovered that his church began in the Kathleen Mitchell Elementary School cafeteria in 1986, to a congregation of eight. In the years following that, his ministry began to grow, and eventually moved to a chapel. Around this time, Creflo Dollar began preaching on the radio, and he began having four services on Sundays. The church continued to grow, from the tithes, offerings and donations they received from parishoners and people around the world, and World Changers Church International (WCCI) eventually built moved into the World Dome, a sanctuary that seats 8500 people, located in College Park, GA. This $18 million dollar church was built from the donations of many men and women, with no bank financing. WCCI also has a church in New York as well.
The ministry isn’t all that has prospered since its humble beginning; Creflo and wife, Taffi Dollar have also prospered. Though he has refused to disclose his salary for many years, it is estimated that Mr. and Mrs. Dollar’s net worth is $27 million dollars, much of which has come from the tithes and donations of many men and women like you and me.
When giving to a ministry, I want to be a good steward. I want to know that my offerings are going to help the needy, widows and orphans, as well as the disabled. I want to know that the money is being used wisely, according to God’s will, and not the will of a greedy man. I would be very angry to think that I have given money to bring the gospel of Christ to those who have never heard Jesus’ name, and to help those who in need of food, money and shelter, according to God’s will, only to find it has been used to line the pastors’ pockets.
2 Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful.
8 Heal the sick, bring the dead back to life, heal those who suffer from dreaded skin diseases, and drive out demons. You have received without paying, so give without being paid.
8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!
Pardon me, but I have to ask, how much of the money that is donated to the ministry, for the salvation of souls and to help those in need, is actually going to the needy? Dollar and his wife not only have a net worth of $27 million dollars, as I stated earlier, but he also owns two Rolls Royces, a $1 million dollar home in Atlanta, and a $2.5 million dollar home in Manhattan.
With all of this wealth, I find it very brazen for Dollar to ask 200,000 members to donate $300 so that he can get a new jet! After all, his wealth has come from the donations of many people who have a net worth of little or nothing, because he preaches a false prosperity message and claims that if his congregants will give at least ten percent of their income, they too will prosper. Frankly, with his wealth, Dollar can either purchase his own jet, or he can do as the rest of us do, and fly the friendly skies on a commercial airline!
Beloved reader, true ministry begins with you and me, not with some preacher, who is more interested in what you can give him, instead of how he can help you. Do you want to reach a lost and dying world with the gospel? Then share the Good News with your neighbors, your coworkers, and the people you see on a day to day basis. Pray for them. Love them. Talk to them about Jesus, not about your church. This is how souls are won, not by sending your hard earned money to a charlatan who preaches a false gospel.
Finally, since I have shared my concerns about Creflo Dollar and his ministries and net worth, I would be remiss if I did not address one other scandal that was in the news in 2012. On June 8, 2012, Creflo Dollar was arrested for Simple Battery Family Violence and Cruelty to Children for allegedly throwing his fifteen year old daughter on the ground, choking her, punching her and hitting her with a shoe. The girl’s nineteen year old sister witnessed the alleged assault and told the same story her sister did, when questioned. Below is his daughter’s 911 call.
Dollar told a different story, stating that he and his daughter were arguing over a party that he said she couldn’t attend because of her bad grades. He stated that after entering the kitchen and asking why she was upset, his daughter was disrespectful to him, and he tried to restrain her. After restraining her, he said that she began hitting him, and he wrestled her to the floor and spanked her. Below is a copy of the actual police report for Creflo Dollar’s arrest:
On the Sunday following his arrest, Creflo Dollar spoke to his congregation, and listeners all over the world, about his arrest. Below is the video of his address.
Now, here is the issue I have with Mr. Dollar’s address… Firstly, I want to address the congregation’s response, when Dollar entered the pulpit. I was greatly disturbed by the standing ovation and the cheers and whistles that arose in support of him. With absolutely no evidence of his guilt or innocence, the congregation loudly cheered this man, who had been accused of abusing his daughter. The congregation gave no thought for the troubled teen. Now, please understand, when I refer to Dollar’s fifteen year old daughter as a troubled teen, I am in no way implying her guilt or innocence in telling the truth. Either way, this was a traumatic event, and anyone would be troubled by what allegedly happened. On the other hand, if she did indeed lie, as Dollar’s statements implied, she would still be considered troubled, for contriving a lie. In their loud cheers for her father, who was potentially her abuser, the congregation made it clear that she and her feelings were unimportant.
Secondly, I want to address the following statement by Creflo Dollar, by sharing his own words from this address… “I will never put any fault on my children as Jesus would never put any fault on me. I love her with all of my heart. Amen?” That statement, sounds as though it comes from a benevolent and loving father, doesn’t it? However, in keeping it in context with this very same address to his congregation, and all, throughout the world, who view this statement, I have to ask, who, then, if not his daughters, is he faulting? Certainly not himself!
- “As everyone knows, raising children in our culture of disrespect, is a challenge and a responsibility for all of us who are parents.”
- Isn’t this just another way of saying that his daughter was disrespectful, and in so doing, isn’t he putting the fault on her, something he said he would “never do”?
- “The truth is, she was not choked. She was not punched. There were not any scratches on her neck, but the only thing on her neck was a prior skin abrasion from eczema. Anything else is an exaggeration and sensationalism.”
- It was his daughter who called 911 and also reported to the deputy that she had been choked and punched. Therefore, isn’t this just another way of saying his daughter exaggerated and resorted to sensationalism (another way for calling her a liar)? Again, wasn’t this something he said he would “never do”?
- “I mean, I can’t imagine. If I punched my kid, (emphasizes by punching open palm) I would hurt her. If I choked my kid, you would see visible signs on her neck. But to come and take a picture of a mark that’s been there for ten years, and not have enough intelligence to at least ask the parent what it is, is appalling.”
- Let’s remember that Creflo Dollar had been accused, by his fifteen year old daughter of choking and attacking her. Don’t you think the officer asked the girl what the mark was from? Why would he ask the alleged perpetrator of a crime how she got the mark? How likely would he be to tell the truth? I wonder, how likely was he telling the truth in this statement? Also, let’s not forget that her nineteen year old sister corroborated her statement.
- “Again, I would never approach one of my children to inflict bodily harm. I love my children enough to establish proper boundaries and help them make right choices.”
- Again, he is implying that his daughters are lying about what happened. I do believe that he was trying to establish proper boundaries and help them make right choices, but I also believe that it is entirely possible he lost his self-control in the heat of the moment, and threw his daughter to the floor, choking, hitting, and punching her.
- “I will never put any fault on my children as Jesus would never put any fault on me. I love her with all of my heart. Amen?”
- His entire statement has one goal… to deflect the blame off himself, by placing the blame onto his daughter.
- “I want to say this very emphatically: I should have never been arrested. Never! And when the facts of this come out, you will be appalled.”
- Again, though he doesn’t actually say the words, his statement implies that his daughter lied about his assault on her.
- “You’ve got to understand something. It’s not as much against me as it is against this message of grace. The devil knows in order to discredit the message, you have to first of all discredit the messenger…”
- Here, Dollar implied that his daughter was used by the devil.
- “… I want to close and I’ll have nothing else to say about this. I want to close in the book of Psalms, chapter thirty-five, and it’ll describe to you, what is going on. Verse eleven, Psalms thirty-five…
11 Malicious witnesses testify against me. They accuse me of crimes I know nothing about. 12 They repay me evil for good. I am sick with despair. 13 Yet when they were ill, I grieved for them. I denied myself by fasting for them, but my prayers returned unanswered. 14 I was sad, as though they were my friends or family, as if I were grieving for my own mother. 15 But they are glad now that I am in trouble; they gleefully join together against me. I am attacked by people I don’t even know; they slander me constantly. 16 They mock me and call me names; they snarl at me.
17 How long, O Lord, will you look on and do nothing? Rescue me from their fierce attacks. Protect my life from these lions! 18 Then I will thank you in front of the great assembly. I will praise you before all the people. 19 Don’t let my treacherous enemies rejoice over my defeat. Don’t let those who hate me without cause gloat over my sorrow. 20 They don’t talk of peace; they plot against innocent people who mind their own business. 21 They shout, “Aha! Aha! With our own eyes we saw him do it!”
22 O Lord, you know all about this. Do not stay silent. Do not abandon me now, O Lord. 23 Wake up! Rise to my defense! Take up my case, my God and my Lord. 24 Declare me not guilty, O Lord my God, for you give justice. Don’t let my enemies laugh about me in my troubles. 25 Don’t let them say, “Look, we got what we wanted! Now we will eat him alive!”
26 May those who rejoice at my troubles be humiliated and disgraced. May those who triumph over me be covered with shame and dishonor. 27 But give great joy to those who came to my defense. Let them continually say, “Great is the Lord, who delights in blessing his servant with peace!” 28 Then I will proclaim your justice, and I will praise you all day long. (Psalm 35:11-28 NLT)
Creflo Dollar continued, as though this next passage was a part of Psalm 35, but it wasn’t….
10 Pour out your unfailing love on those who love you; give justice to those with honest hearts. 11 Don’t let the proud trample me or the wicked push me around. 12 Look! Those who do evil have fallen! They are thrown down, never to rise again. (Psalm 36:10-12 NLT)
Now, as you read the scripture above, imagine that you are Dollar’s fifteen and nineteen year old daughters, who signed a witness statement against him. Certainly the pastor’s word, this “man of God” carries more weight than a disrespectful fifteen year old and her nineteen year old sister, who are both indirectly referred to as “malicious witnesses” accusing him of crimes he knows nothing about. After all, he has always taken care of them, even when they were sick, and he’s fasted and prayed for them, and look how they have repaid evil for his good. See how gleefully they have joined together attacking him? Because of their behavior, they have caused people he doesn’t even know to slander him…
Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever had a pastor preach a message against you personally, but I have. I pray this has never happened to you, because there is nothing more painful than to have the word of God aimed as a weapon of destruction against you. It doesn’t matter whether you are truly in the wrong or not. It is painful to be exposed, and know that there are others who are listening to the sermon, who also know that the pastor is using you as an example. God’s word is not intended to be taken out of context to condemn or destroy someone else. As you read the scripture in the way Mr. Dollar presents it, he is the victim of a terrible injustice.
Finally, after praying for God’s intervention, just as David prayed against those who treated him injustly, Dollar curses his attackers (in this case, his fifteen year old and nineteen year old daughters, who called the police and signed the report against him) asking God to humiliate and disgrace them, and cover them with shame and dishonor. Regardless of who was speaking the truth, or who was lying, how do you think Dollar’s daughters felt as they listened to their father’s speech that morning? Do you think they were drawn to God? Or did they feel shamed and humiliated by Him?
The assault charges against Mr. Dollar were eventually dropped in January, 2013, in exchange for him attending a pre-trial intervention program, which included him attending an anger management program. In addition, Dollar had to pay $1,072 dollars in fees and court costs.
There are many reasons to be wary of this man’s teachings. His sermons usually revolve around a prosperity message with money and personal wealth as the focus. It’s the kind of message that people want to hear; the kind of message that makes them happy, but is it true?
3 For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will reject the truth and chase after myths.
This is why I strongly urge you, beloved reader, to seek God’s face. Study His word for yourselves. When someone preaches or writes a post (including me), read the scriptures to see if what this person is preaching or teaching lines up with what God says. Then, if it doesn’t, find someone who speaks truth, while you continue to study God’s word.
Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world.
15 Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.
Finally, beloved reader, pay attention to the way leaders conduct themselves, when preaching, and when they’re not in front of a group. What does he/she like to talk about most frequently? If the person talks mostly about money, that’s because this is what is most important in his/her heart. How does he/she treat his/her followers? Does this person like to serve, or does he/she expect to be served? For a true leader will lovingly and joyfully serve his/her followers, expecting nothing in return.
18 But whatever comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this is what makes a man unclean and defiles [him].
12 So then, whatever you desire that others would do to and for you, even so do also to and for them, for this is (sums up) the Law and the Prophets.
43 But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give His life as a ransom for many.
The scriptures above are the qualifications of a true leader, given to us by the King of all other kings, and the Lord of every lord. If the minister you have been following does not meet these qualifications, prayerfully seek one who does. This person should be willing to give to his/her followers, not to take. In light of this, where does Creflo Dollar fall in the spectrum? You decide.
Cheryl A. Showers