It's was like any other Monday morning. I was preparing a couple of bottles of milk for my four-month old daughter Eden because she always wakes up screaming, “feed me.”
Afterwards, I sat on my couch to check Facebook. I was scrolling through my newsfeed and came across a post about the prosperity preacher Creflo Dollar. In the article, he was telling his congregation he was justified for asking the public for money to buy a sixty five million dollar jet. Dollar claimed he has places all over the world where people need his help, and that a personal jet would enable him to travel with convenience. I was immediately outraged at what I believed to be deception coming from Creflo’s lips. I mean, real anger enfolded my mind in such a way that it was hard for me to think straight. So without thinking about It, I immediately went to my page on Facebook and typed the status “Creflo Dollar is a false teacher and do not listen to anything he says.” That post started a war of back and forth comments on my page. The next day after prayer and a conversation with my pastor, I realized the status probably wasn't the smartest approach. I publicly apologized to my social media friends and followers for the chaos I might've caused. But the apology I made was not a reflection of my position on Dollar’s teaching. I stood firm on what I said about Creflo Dollar and still do to this day.
I would be lying if I told you that I didn't question the anger I was feeling though. I even asked God if there was some sort of ill will in my heart towards men like Creflo that displeased Him. Honestly, I struggled with it all week.
On a car ride to church that Sunday, I shared my thoughts with my wife Jackie. I expressed to her the hatred I felt for that type of teaching. She looked at me with this “duh” look on her face, and said, “You should hate it because it's evil!” Instantly it clicked! Although Jackie reiterated what I already knew about the prosperity gospel, I believe God answered my prayer through that simply statement. It was like God was saying “No son, you should hate the prosperity gospel because it's evil!”
My issue with Creflo Dollar and other prosperity teachers is not solely that they seek expensive cars, homes, and jets. It's that they preach a “gospel” foreign to the Bible and that is evil. Their teaching is a complete contradiction of the gospel in the scriptures. In one interview I watched, Creflo Dollar was asked if God wants us rich on earth. He replied confidently, “I believe so.“ But scriptures like 1 Timothy 6:6- 10 communicate a different truth.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.”
The prosperity gospel is evil because it offers natural men exactly what they want. Not God, but natural possessions.
The question we should ask ourselves is why a preacher would offer the very thing the Bible calls a snare, the very thing that leads many to destruction. I believe it's because the preacher himself lusts for these things. A great way to gain riches is to sell the hope of riches to other earthly men who desire them as well.
But what's worse is that men like Creflo fly to developing countries and tell some of the poorest people in the world that if they sow a seed of faith God will heal their families and take all their problems away through financial blessing. Where is that in the Bible? He doesn't tell them Godliness with contentment is great gain. He doesn't encourage the persecuted church in Africa with verses like 1 Peter 3:14.
“But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled. “
He tells some of the most desperate people in the world that sowing a seed of money to him is the way they will be blessed.
Telling unconverted men that God will make them rich if they sow a great seed of faith; will not lead them to desire God, but only what God can give them. I truly believe Creflo and men like him are the type of men Paul was referring to in 2 Corinthians 11:13-15.
“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.”
I've seen many interviews of people who said they follow Creflo Dollar’s ministry and applied his teaching to their life and were blessed with a home, cars, etc. That might be true. However they fail to realize that just because someone offers you earthly possessions through their teaching and you receive those things does not mean they or their teaching are of God. Satan himself tempted Jesus with earthly possessions in Matthew 4:3-11. He offered Jesus food when Jesus was fasting. He went as far as offering Jesus great kingdoms if he would simply bow down and worship him. The things Satan tempted Jesus with were not inherently bad, but his motive was evil. He wanted Jesus to deny His Father in return for riches. Please understand, that Satan uses men on earth to do the same thing. To offer you earthly possessions, and deceive you into believing that God has blessed you with those things. I'm not saying God doesn'tbless his children with homes, cars etc. What I am saying is that it is very possible for us to gain such possessions by listening to false teachers like Creflo Dollar without ever truly gaining God himself. Impersonating Godliness is one of Satan’s many schemes and he uses men like Creflo Dollar to help him deceive many.
My heart’s prayer is for all who follow Creflo Dollar is that God will reveal two truths to them.
One, that some have been greatly deceived by a man who doesn't preach the Christ of the scriptures for their sake, but teaches heresy in pursuit of his own selfish gain. Even if your soul was saved while you were under his ministry, it was in spite of him, not because of him.
Also, that they consider the description found in 2 Timothy 4:3
“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions.”
I find it very interesting that Paul said many will not endure sound teaching. I believe many have lost the patience required to embrace sound doctrine. We want to be pleased this instant. We covet temporary material gifts instead of receiving true, lasting satisfaction offered to us through Christ Jesus.
Woe to those who in selfish ambition and greed exchange the truth for teachers like Creflo Dollar to suit their own passions. If this is you, please repent and reject that teaching. Please.
“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world but in the end lose his soul?”
I pray that we all see true satisfaction is found in the person of Christ alone. Not in the prosperity gospel. For it is a different gospel, a false gospel. Understanding this, no matter how much financial gain we have on earth Christ alone should be our true treasure. Matthew 13:44 describes the kingdom of God like this “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. This is how the life of a true disciple looks. One who will give up all they have for surpassing worth and joy of knowing Jesus Christ. Christ alone should be our pursuit and all things will be added to us according to His will. Christ alone is the treasure for the man who lives in a developing country and must fish every day in order to feed his family. Christ alone is also the treasure for the middle-class American who wants to provide a “good life” for their family. He is the treasure for us all. Seek Christ himself. You will find him and your soul will be blessed forever.