Why Creflo Dollar Needs His Dollars

By John Bloom | 11/08/2007


Every time we write about Creflo Dollar we have to point out that this is not one of those fake news articles we've sometimes managed to foist onto the public, and that the name Creflo Dollar was not used by Charles Dickens to describe a wheezing barrister in a pub, nor was it invented by a heavy-handed satirist attempting to lampoon a greedy Ukrainian.

No, Creflo Dollar is a real person, one of the six televangelists who got letters from the Senate Finance Committee on Monday, asking them to send in detailed accounting statements proving that they're not converting church money to their personal use.
Creflo Dollar Posters
More specifically, Creflo Dollar is the pastor of World Changers Church International of College Park, Georgia. Presumably he chose that name himself, completely free of fear that it would be soon be better known as Money Changers Church International by the 30,000 members who weekly enrich its coffers and make it possible for Creflo to maintain the two jets—one Gulfstream 3 and one Lear—that he uses to shuttle back and forth between Madison Square Garden (where he does a Saturday night service for an audience of 6,000) and Atlanta (where he does a Sunday morning service), not to mention occasional visits to his offices in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia and Nigeria.

Creflo's wife Taffi Dollar—and here we remind you once again that we are not lapsing into fiction at any point during the creation of this article—Taffi Dollar is responsible for the household budget at the $3 million Dollar mansion in Atlanta, and the more modest $2.44 million Dollar condo overlooking Central Park in Manhattan.

Asked about the Dollar dollars by CBS News yesterday, Dollar said it was untrue that he had two Rolls-Royces (we'd actually heard it was two Rolls-Royces and one Humvee, but who's keeping track?)—that he only had one Rolls and it was given to him by his congregation as a surprise. He also said he did not give $500,000 of church funds to fellow "prosperity gospel" evangelist Kenneth Copeland on the occasion of Copeland's 40th wedding anniversary—although he did not say how much he did give—so we want to be very careful when we say that the annual budget for Dollar's operation, his overhead dollars, is about $80 million. (Note to Creflo: Get back to us if we're a little off on that number.)

The interesting aspect of this story, however, is that so many of these prosperity-gospel guys do funnel money back to Copeland in so many ways that it almost looks like a pyramid scheme. Actually that's too harsh—what it really resembles is the marketing structure of Mary Kay Cosmetics, set up so that every time a salesperson recruits another salesperson, he or she gets a cut of the commission. And the reason that all roads lead to Copeland—see our summary of Copeland's organization in the investigative cartooning feature "Lifestyles of the Rich and Religious"—is that he's the granddaddy of what goes by many names—like "positive confession"—but is most commonly called "Word Faith."

If you look for the theological origins of "Word Faith," you end up in Tulsa, of course, and specifically at RHEMA Bible College in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, which was founded by Kenneth E. "Papa" Hagin (1917-2003), the man who pretty much created the American-style health-and-wealth preaching so familiar from late-night television. Copeland was a student there, as well as at Oral Roberts University, which veers close to RHEMA in its theology but is not always on the same page. (Truth be told, every prosperity preacher is his own theology school, since part of the basis for the teaching is direct special revelation from God, which makes all these guys the heirs of the original gnostics.) But if RHEMA had a creed, it would go something like this:

  1. God's covenant with Abraham means that God has to deliver on his part of the deal, so anything you ask for in the name of Jesus, God is required to give you. (Should we quote some Janis Joplin lyrics here?)
  2. Man is equal to God in every respect. Or, in the words of Copeland, "You don't have a God in you! You are one!" (Tom Cruise would like this one.)
  3. Jesus was not the son of God, he was a man empowered by God to be just like God, and everyone who knows this can do the same thing. (We're not sure we have this one exactly right, but it's basically "Be Jesus, go ahead, He won't mind, you're soulmates.")
  4. Jesus went down into hell where he took on Satan's nature, until he was born again, and re-emerged to start the church. (Presumably they preach this one on Halloween.)
  5. Anything you speak and believe, with understanding, will come true just as you want it. (Yes, this seems like it's the same as number one, but that one is about what God has to do, and this one is about what you have to do. It's the "positive confession" part, the idea that your thought processes can command God to act.)
  6. God promises in Isaiah 53 to heal every physical illness of anyone who has faith. (As our mentor Ole Anthony once said, "Then why aren't there thousands of 200-year-old billionaires in Tulsa?")
  7. Any Christian who believes in poverty is outside God's will. (Well, take that, you cloistered loser in the hairshirt.)

There are more, but these are the biggies. I would imagine that at this point you're starting to see why taking away Creflo Dollar's dollars could amount to more than just a little lifestyle adjustment. It pretty much goes to the heart of the whole Kahuna.


Comments(490)

Anonymous | 03:40 pm on 1/30/2008

I know of one very important subject he doesn't teach...Fruit of the Spirit....Calling someone an "idiot"....sounds like more of the world to me.

Anonymous | 07:32 am on 10/22/2008

you people need to really think about what you are doing.forget about critism.there is a real hell and a real heaven.people,you need to focuse on your eternity.Jesus loves you.he wants us to focus on him in heaven,not on earth.we all need to love one another.most important we all have a responsibility,which is to preach the gospel to the world.we need to increase heaven not hell.may GOD bless you all.

Anonymous | 12:36 am on 6/12/2008

What was Creflo's Dollar's father's, father's real name?. Any relation to Eddie Money, Johnny Cash or 50cents/

Anonymous | 10:25 am on 10/10/2009

I've read Dr. Dollar was born Micheal Smith. We'll know one day

Anonymous | 06:17 pm on 11/09/2007

Because he already changed his name to "Cashflo" Dollar.....

papabear | 11:52 pm on 11/11/2007

is his theme song MONEY by pink floyd

Anonymous | 02:09 pm on 12/11/2007

I heard it was "Creep-yo Dollah"

BJ | 02:57 pm on 11/14/2007

I heard his name used to be Crefelo Penny, but Copeland made him change it to something that sounded more prosperous.

Anonymous | 05:11 pm on 12/05/2007

...or mo-flo dollar

aeon | 06:45 pm on 7/04/2008

repent and be saved. it is written touch not mine anointed and do my prophets no harm.

Lafe | 09:15 am on 7/24/2008

Comment to Aneon:

Your use of the phrase...touch not my anointed and do my prophets no harm is taken out of context.
That does not apply to charlatans and merchandisers of the saints.
If you would take the time to study that bible phrase and how it was used, it was used at at the time that the Israelites were moving out of Egypt and were travelling to the Promised Land.
God told the surrounding nations not to touch his people and not to
bother with his prophets since they were his anointed people.
Now, that phrase is being used as a "stick" to scare off any comments someone makes against a charlatan or a quack who is out to
exploit God's people.
The doctine of the WOF (Word of Faith) movement is heretical and is not of the Word of God and thus is subject to being reproved and corrected with the hopes that the people caught up in that heresy will come to their senses and flee.
Dollar is out for Dollar. Copeland is out for Copeland....Meyers
is out for Meyers. Their god is the dollar...not submission to the will and work of the Holy Spirit.
Just because a person labels something with the word Christ or Christian does not legitimate it. Examine...examine...examine.
Acts 17:11.
Regretably, too many people who follow the Copelands and Hagins and
Dollars have the same larceny in their hearts that such a money message appeals to their lust of the flesh and they support it and it is tough to leave a movement when for years you supported it with
your outlandish giving and now it is found out to be bogus.
Test the spirit by the spirit. Simply examine their core beliefs up against the template of the Word of God and you will see that they
are in conflict. Between the Word of God and the man made doctrine of demons of the woofers (Word of faith preachers), which one would you want to be identified with when Jesus returns for his true Church? I thought so.
Here is a test: Ask these woofers instead of asking you to build their personal kingdoms with monthly donations of 5 or 10 or 100 dollars or a "special God anointed offering of 1000 dollars, have them GIVE TO YOU a monthly offering and see if what they tell you to do will happen for them. I DARE YOU.
Now, you see. It is all to flow to them..NOT TO YOU. It is about
giving to their kingdom...not yours. If they believed what they preached, they would be sending out THEIR monies to you in order to get that "proverbial" 100 fold return.
Try this at home: Get 100 of your friends and neighbors and you all send them a letter telling them that God told you to tell them that if they send YOU a love offering of 100.00 a month, they are going to be blessed. Don't hold your breath!!!

Anonymous | 10:27 am on 5/09/2009

First of all God's Kingdom does not work by lies. So why would we send a letter like that. Second of all do you know what he does with his money, perhaps he is blessed because he gave first. Regardless of how you feel about his ministry, God never ask you for your help to bring him down, Jesus went to the cross without you but for you. Vengeance is the Lord's! God will take care of Creflo if he is out of order, just like he will take care of you if you are out of order. God told his people to watch out for the sheeps and wolves we must read the word our selves and the Holy Spirit will direct our paths. Jesus came so that we could have life and have it more abundately. I wonder why so many Christian's are sitting in church suffering and are in lack? Maybe because they don't know what their salvation consist of? Faith comes by hearing the word of God and the people are parishing from a lack of knowledge!!! Don't put someone down until you sit under him and tried the word for yourself. Hearing one seromon on TV is not good enough, because you would hate for someone to hear one of your sermons and say you are not of God.
Different people need a different messages. I was tired of hearing about getting saved. I needed to hear about what to do after you get saved and the world trails come against you.
No I do not go to Creflo Dollar's Church, I attend a Baptist Curch that consist of about 600 members. What I hear from Creflo is all the answer's I needed to "Hold on", "Wait on the Lord" "God will take care of you" etc. Onces you get save you better know a lot more of the word then just all of those whooping messages that will leave you wanting what they were whooping about.

Avalanche | 08:20 pm on 10/24/2010

THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!!!! Someone with a mind for once. I dont go to his church either but it is interesting that those who bash on those who are prospering in their lives are the ones who are living in lack and in what I call broke mentality. I heard that there is two ways to build the tallest buidling: 1, work hard and smart and build up to be the tallest, or tear all the other buildings down to make yours look like the tallest...hmmm. Most of the people here do the second one.

sharon | 12:28 am on 5/01/2011

touch not my anointed can also mean with words especially if you dont know what you are talking about

Lin | 12:41 pm on 11/09/2007

Hey, even if he is using the money for his own personal use, this guy is a brilliant "religious business" man! He knows he's dealing with a not too bright, easily manipulated, kind of people. I wouldn't blame this guy for his business smarts, but for the really stupid, poor kahuna's who follow him! P.S. And I'm not one of them!

Jay | 03:51 pm on 11/09/2007

Creflo, Schmeflo. Shucks. I was hoping to read something on how Joyce Meyer is going to explain that $23,000 commode.

Anonymous | 06:18 pm on 11/09/2007

Jay,
I think she has that because she truly thinks her *$%& don't stink!!

Anonymous | 04:17 pm on 11/09/2007

Just once on any of these televangelist shows, I would like to see all the microphones fail. Then I'd like to see all the lights fail. Then I'd like to see all the projection TVs fail. Then I'd like to have the ear monitors fail. And then we're going to see whether any of them can hold up under pressure. All this "larger than life" persona is going to suddenly become something akin to The Emperor's New Clothes.

BJ | 02:59 pm on 11/14/2007

I think God has tried that a few times, but Satan keeps getting the credit.

Dr. Liam | 12:29 pm on 11/10/2007

I grew up in pentecostal church in rural OK and even considering
attending Oral Roberts U back in the 60 s
but 20 years later when I first came across the literature of these people ( and seeing them on tv--if you can stomach it but I
have insomnia sometimes and do channel surf) I wondered how they could so pollute the teachings of Jesus as revealed in the Gospels and knew that the reason they had so many followers is that if they taught His message of dying to the self, no one would listen, but if you tell people exactly what they want to hear then they will listen and eventually send you lots of money.

The same has been true in US politics starting with Reagan--tell
people what they want to hear ( mix in just enough truth to make it sound correct) and you can always defeat someone who tells you tough things ( as Jimmy Carter did in 1980).

Jr. Bush learned very well from THE GREAT ACTOR.

So these evanbelists are a sign of what has happened to the US
culture going back to the dismal failure in Vietnam.

As a people, we would rather hear what we think might be true and not the real truth ( which at times is difficult to face up to).

And it is a byproduct of the enviorment of greed and consumerism
that has become in reality the "NEW RELIGION" of the US.

Oliver Stone`s Gordon Gecko ( WALL STREET) was a prophet 20 years ago with the movie and the line "GREED IS GOOD!".

As you sow, so will you reap.

We, the US citizens have set the enviorment that made it possible for all these "prosperity preachers" to flourish at an exponential
rate.

And of course the prosperity flows only one direction.

What did Janis Joplin sing 40 years ago?

OH LORD , WON`T YOU BUY ME A COLOR TV?
OH LORD, WONT` YOU BUY ME A MERCEDES BENZ?
MY FRIENDS ALL DRIVE PORCHES,
THEY MUST MAKE A MINT....

Compared to these rascals today her requests were actually very
modest. Only a Mercedes ( not a Rolls or Bentley or Ferrari?)
and only 1??

In their ( these evanglist`s ) minds she was a very small thinker.

We are in many ways as guilty as they are, as the corrupt politicans are.

Jesus came and told the people the truth and for that they killed him.

It seems that a lot of people did not like what he was saying.

marg dolan | 06:13 pm on 11/14/2007

You think too much, Darling.....all that time you could have had a wonderful relationship with Jesus. Don't WASTE the rest of your life!

Siarlys Jenkins | 08:26 pm on 11/21/2007

God gave me a brain to think with, and I use this precious gift every day in every way I can. That is my relationship with Jesus, because as my pastor, who firmly condemns the "Money Cometh" nonsense always taught, "the gift is not for you." It is to share with all the rest of God's creation. Thank God for thought. As for those who choose not to think, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

Anonymous | 03:35 pm on 3/18/2008

Hi Marg. I appreciate your sincerity. However, what do you mean by "had a wonderful relationship with Jesus"? Scriptures tells us that we need to love our neighbor, encourage one another, and go to the outer edges of the world and share the good news. Part of this forum from what I've read (aside for some people's negative comments) is doing just that.
You need to know how to defend your faith (Peter 3:15).

Anonymous | 12:59 pm on 7/06/2008

I think you people criticizing these servants of God,are just looking at the wrong side of the thing because you just cant see the truth. And the truth is that whatever you say and do against these people,you are just doing the job of the devil .Why can't you look at the lives of people that have been changed and transformed positively by the teachings of these servants of God? They have a gift that they are using for the kingdom of God.They are not perfect,but examine what is said,and keep the right thing.
God help you all.

Jean-Francois | 06:16 am on 7/06/2008

Dr. Liam makes a good point here. Consumerism is the real North American religion: we shop for religion like we do for a pair of jeans, we consume it for our personal satisfaction and delude ourselves in our egocentrism and self-indulgence thus perverting the Gospel and dishonoring Christ's memory. Leaving aside obvious Biblical references like the parable of the rich man, Christ's life as an example of simple living, etc. I would like to tackle the issue from another angle.

Think about the relevance of the pro$perity Go$pel in other, poorer parts of the world and what socioeconomic and cultural variables are required for the emergence of such a philosophy here. The pro$perity Go$pel is the product of a system, world-view and lifestyle that requires and perpetuates injustice and economic disparities to function. The prosperity gospel is incomprehensible and irrelevant in a country whose culture has not been colonized [as thoroughly] by consumerism and individualism and is not as wealthy as ours. Try selling that tripe to a Christian Sudanese mother who's been mutilated and contracted AIDS after being gang-raped by a Janjaweed platoon (so much for health) and who fled certain death, abandoning all possessions (so much for wealth); or to the teeming masses of exploited Chinese migrant workers who have their rights and dignity trampled upon every day (yeah those that manufacture all the useless shit we buy with our credit cards); or the starving millions of Indians and Africans and one realizes the absurdity and perversity of such doctrine.

The material possessions and wealth touted by these preachers as prosperity and divine blessing depend on the exploitation of our fellow (wo)man or neighbor if you prefer. Virtually every modern commodity and consumer good we obtusely think is a necessity for survival was produced at great human and environmental cost in poorer nations, often exploiting the weakest in society (women and children--the Bible refers to them as widows and orphans). While we are all guilty to an extent of participating in this system, I do believe it is an ethical responsibility to reduce one's participation in injustice to a minimum. But this "Gospel" does the opposite: it encourages a lavish lifestyle (even by middle-class standards in comparison to most ppl in world) but if we take Hinn and his ilk as examples of divine blessing and what we deserve according to them we would need a whole lot of cheap labor to maintain our lifestyle. Who doesn't want to live like Creflo does? The Prosperity Gospel "commodifies" God and promotes a blinding selfishness while disregarding our brothers and sisters and ultimately God's Kingdom. It is a doctrine of spiritual poverty.

We're living in a bubble, an artificial world not unlike the Roman Empire and we don't realize it: our wealth, power and splendor, only equaled by our decadence, depend on slave labor. What we eat, wear and buy and how much of it comes from them. Yes slavery is alive and well, but it's no longer in our backyard so outta sight, outta mind right? We are, in a sense, the "cows of Bashan who are on Mount Samaria, who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, who say to their husbands, "Bring something to drink!" Amos speaks of. Just like Israel, our prosperity and lifestyle are rooted in our moral and spiritual corruption. If you think God cares whether you're poor or not, think again. I suspect God thinks what we call wealth and prosperity is trivial, God cares about our hearts, not our money. And don't lie to yourself and others when you say you want to be prosperous to glorify God--its for yourself. Save the rest of us the re-hashed hypocritical christianese pieties. Divine blessing is in giving to others what was given to you, and true prosperity has nothing to do with being rich or poor.

We've bought into a mentality that is a self-perpetuating destructive spirit that is an anti-Kingdom of God. It degrades man by denying him his God-given dignity as a free creature made in His image, it numbs and kills the soul and destroys God's Creation in the process. It has nothing to do with Christ's liberating teaching--I cannot imagine him teaching that crap the poor of his time.

Anyone with a bit of spiritual discernment or a vague understanding of how the world works for a vast majority of humanity sees the prosperity gospel phenomenon for what it really is: idolatry. Out with Jesus' message of self-denial, in with Mammon's "Golden Calf". Time to get back to basics: the OT prophets' concerns for justice and righteousness and the Beatitudes.

Sorry for the stream-of-consciousness spiel, I had to blow some steam. Shalom.

Anonymous | 10:33 am on 7/26/2008

UMMMMM, that makes me think. I was brought up in church. As a child my parents would make me go to church but, as I got older I stopped going because I seen the way church people (pastors) were acting. I know that you should not base you life on what they do in there life. but, are they not suppose to set an example? How do they expect people to come to Christ if they are acting the same as someone who is not a christian.

Anonymous | 02:24 pm on 11/10/2007

"Crapflo" is not a long way from "Creflo" and is, I think, a bit more descriptive.

Anonymous | 03:23 pm on 11/10/2007

Great article. These people thumb their noses at those dumb enough to give them their money. The very people who contribute to them are seeking Jesus and are being conned. I have noticed that all of them justify their "ministries" with the Old Testament picking out a few words and giving them the twist needed to insure that get more money. They are either shyters or are totally ignarant of the Word of the Lord. I wonder why no one has even mentioned the papa
son duo, the Cerullas. Theirs is the most blatant of all.

Becky | 10:26 am on 6/27/2008

I guess the god you serve is not more than able to deliver his people. Mine God is, and He is more than able to protect His people if they are being conned as you say. In all the comments posted none have mentioned the countless numbers of people who are born again at these ministers meetings. It has been my experience that when others emphasize the faults of any minister few if any of them have lead anyone to Christ or even attempted to share their faith and produce fruit of their own. If they are not against us, leave them be, vengance is the Lord's not yours! Lay your own crown at His feet and let God determine if their's is acceptable, unless you truly believe you are their congregations savior.

Joshua | 07:28 pm on 11/10/2007

Creflo Dollar is what the bible talks about in 2 Peter 2:1 and his followers and the followers of the prosperity gospel are the folks mentioned in 2 Timothy 4:3-4

http://youtube.com/watch?v=A3xbXvCnqCU

Richard | 07:41 am on 11/11/2007

One has to admit that these millionaire preachers of (some type) of the gospel are living the American Dream.

(I lump them together with Mel Gibson who cashed in on the myriad flocks of the faithful with a SNUFF FILM.)

Agony is agony and wealth from God is wealth from God and mindless blather is mindless blather: figuring out how to cash in on that is American entrepreneurship of the very highest order.

Anonymous | 09:34 am on 11/11/2007

This note is from the other side of the globe - when it's 12 noon in California, it's 12 midnight where I live!

For a nation so steeped in modernity, science and technology, how is it possible that so many of the US citizens get to follow
such superstitious reductionistic model of Christian Faith?

Does it mean perhaps that the poor farmers among whom I live are more reasoned thinkers and seasoned believers and as such less vulnerable to be cheated?

How come the "FAITH' of men and women like Ambrose, Chrysostom, Augustine, Aquinas, Ignatius of Loyola, Luther, Calvin, Mother Teresa, and Thomas Merton suddenly producing such bad witnesses?

What happened to the "intellecus quaerens fidem" - Why the intellect does not question the praxis of Faith?

These flashy and empty men are merchandizing Jesus and his gospel...
Followers of other Faiths would have a good laugh !!!

JP | 11:15 pm on 3/04/2008

It looks like the poor farmers aren't in bad company.

dj | 09:41 am on 11/11/2007

Dr. Liam just can't keep his comments on politics & corrupt conservative leader points out of his convo. whatever, you are just another liberal dude who only sees republicans are corrupt, not good old fun luvin' dems. most all politians have an agenda reguardless of party so let's keep it real.
I am not defending creflo & the others but I have one point. does it not take money to turn the world? preach the gospel, make a ligit production(whittenburgdoor) to attract the world to consider thruths spoken by us believers? sometimes it can get twisted but there are ministries out there who use money generated for good, not just personal stuff. It's funny how most of you out there have already made a "judgement" on this guy due to what the media & your perception of him has givin you...maybe we should reserve that part for God.

Stop Simplistic Thinking | 11:05 am on 11/11/2007

I think your dismissive tone and false logic are exactly what Dr. Liam is talking about. The "profit at any price" and "there is nothing wrong with being rich" culture provide fertile manure for these televangelists. The televangelists use the same rationalizations for their excess that corporate executives use. Our whole culture is awash in getting more for "me" and to hell with "you". If "you" can't make it, its your own fault. Now we know this is the creed of the prosperity preachers, but doesn't it sound a lot like a political creed?
As for "it takes money to turn the world", where is that in the Bible? I know that "The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil" is in the Bible. And the story of the rich young ruler who walked away rather than give away his money and follow Jesus. Our "what is wrong with having money and being comfortable" rationalizations reveal us as rich young rulers at heart. We say we want to follow, but on our terms so we make every effort to make our wealth ok. After all, we use some of it for good, you know.

As for "some ministries do good", what does that have to do with the excesses of prosperity preachers? Yes, some ministries do good. Some large ministries with lots of money use all of that money to do good. Some small ministries with very little money do lots of good. What does that observation have to do with Creflo Dollar?

Jesus was sad when the rich young ruler turned away. The ruler may have asked his friend, "what's wrong with having a lot of money? After all, I do some good with it." Our culture of "wealth without limit" and "greed without conscience" prove, and our constant efforts to rationalize it show, that we have turned away from Jesus' call.

Bob Barnes | 10:20 pm on 11/22/2007

Well said!
Our congregation (about 25 folk) just completed our annual busines meeting. We discovered that we had spent 77% of our income on benevolence, missions and other service oriented Christian organizations. We hope to do better next year.
We will not, however, demand that God do anything. Neither will we condemn anyone who speaks a message about the true God (See Philippians), but rejoice that Christ is preached.

anonymous | 04:04 pm on 11/05/2008

The problem with the rich young ruler wasn't that he was rich. The problem came when he would rather hang onto those riches than obey what Jesus asked of him. He LOVED his money more than God.

Anonymous | 10:27 am on 11/11/2007

I would watch what you are posting and saying about these Ministers.
I would very much watch your words, and what you say, because they will come back on you.

- I know that a lot of you are the poverty mentality Christianity that says you can not have no money at all. If you look at jesus when He was on this earth, He was worth probably around 300 million dollars. God does not want His Children to be broke.

Watch your words and what you say about Creflo and these other 5 ministers, you do not know them, you just make judgments from what you here on Tv, And make sure you look at your on life.

Stop Simplistic Thinking | 11:12 am on 11/11/2007

Would you be so kind as to post Jesus' balance sheet when He was on earth? Was most of his $300 million in real estate, or was He fully invested in the stock market?

revsally | 04:24 pm on 11/11/2007

I'm afraid you're going to have to quote me chapter and verse on that one. I don't recall Jesus ever saying anything about gaining wealth for oneself.

I do, however, recall him saying plenty about selling all we have and giving to the poor, to lay up treasures in heaven rather than on earth. I recall a parable of a rich fool who, when his life was demanded of him had nothing to show for it but some new barns and a good crop.

I am not "down" on televangelists across the board. One thing many do encourage is to step out in faith that God will cover our needs. However, I cannot justify opulence under the guise of God providing for our needs.

Anonymous | 08:51 am on 3/04/2008

Maybe God just wanted to stir up the self righteous pharisees of today, just as Jesus upset the closed intellectual minds and the hard hearted hypocracy of His day.
All Old Testament prophets had a bad press. When has God ever given His great teachers an easy or popular message to deliver? Our Heavenly Father has always delivered offense to the religious and worldly of the earth. That is why we who believe should not be offended at being called stupid. 'For His ways are not our ways', i.e. -man's logical self sufficient and independent ways. When will man ever learn of the love that is God.
'Out off the heart the mouth speaks.'

Jean-Francois | 02:16 pm on 8/08/2008

Whoa, I'm getting riled up for a (patronizing) rant. It's funny how this issue really strikes a chord in me. Are you saying the prosperity gospel isn't popular? Because the mega-churches that are filled to the brim are precisely these. If they spoke the truth, I doubt they would be full of self-serving consumers who think that because Solomon was rich that they're entitled by faith to royal riches. Comparing Creflo $ to the prophets of old?!? In a sense, we are the 'cows of Bashan' Amos rebukes in YHWHs' name.
Are you implying that the 'religious' (read: pharisees?) and worldly of the earth are offended by this 'truth'? I am not one of those people who believes that to be a good Christian one must be poor like a 19th c. Irish Catholic family! But I seriously consider Jesus' numerous warnings about the temptation of wealth, material possessions and power and how they warp one's soul. Our middle-class consumer lifestyle is pure luxury, opulence and decadence to most of the inhabitants of this planet--past and present. Let alone these preachers' corporate exec lifestyles. I wonder what Jesus would have said to us today. Modesty, humility and true generosity seem to be qualities that are absent here. They constantly appeal to peoples' egos and desires. And pardon my cynicism, but their 'giving' seems more like good PR to gain legitimacy and make money from their TV shows. "Wow, look at all those fly-ridden African kids they're feeding! What good Christians!" Although they give a lot, they give of their surplus, not of what they 'need'. Remember that poor old lady Jesus talked about? I will respect these people the day they adjust their discourse away from spiritually vacuous materialism and act on their alleged 'attitude of wealth' and give of what they 'need'. That's sacrifice; that's bearing another cross with them; that is brotherly love and solidarity; that's the Kingdom of God. With what is going on in the US right now, there hasn't been this good an occasion to give and help one's fellow man in a long time.

I would also like to point out that your erroneous and anachronistic understanding of 'for his ways are not our ways' cannot be an excuse which dispenses you or any other Christian of critical thought--a capacity God graded you with and a duty he commanded you. The ancient writers who wrote our holy book were wise and no doubt reflected quite a bit about life and God. Their lives were not ones of ignorant bliss, luxury and overconsumption--they were grounded to the realities of life: life was fragile, hard and short. They had no time to waste with a 'prosperity gospel'. Needless to say, construing 'his ways' and 'our ways' as referring to logic/rationality imposes mental concepts foreign to the biblical authors. Logic came with the Greeks; before that, Israelites thought with their kidneys and livers. 'Ways' don't refer to intellectual thought, but righteousness in action. The Hebrew language is remarkably poor and cannot express much abstract thought--it is visceral. STUDY your Bible & Hebrew, your history and anthropology and use your brains instead of regurgitating memorized and misinterpreted Bible verses to defend whatever it is you hold dear. Seek the truth.

I am sorry if I offend anyone's patriotic sensibilities here but it is no coincidence that this debate comes from, is sustained in, and to a large extent is only contained to, the USA (unfortunately their accumulation of wealth through TV broadcasting allows them to export their garbage overseas and they are gaining some popularity). Nowhere else in the world (except perhaps Islamic republics) would people so easily confuse their faith with politics, belief in a particular socioeconomic model, and a dualistic worldview while ignoring the contingency of this go$pel to the vicissitudes of history and their specifically American context. Maybe if there were less inequality within the US and a generally better educated population this gospel would stand no chance. But there's no shortage of poor and oppressed who are desperate for a piece of the shrinking American pie. Nor is there a shortage of reactionary fundies who've only been around for a little more than a century. If you want revival and spiritual maturity, forget Creflo et al. look to Whitefield, Wesley, and examples of old. How about preaching about Christian love and solidarity in action among brothers and sisters and with our neighbors and fellow countrymen? Indeed you are right, "Out of the heart the mouth speaks".

The American Dream is just that, a Dream. Most people cannot and will not achieve it--but I guess you have break a few eggs to make an omelet right? And remember that the American dream comes at a cost: social and environmental degradation on a global scale. The slave ain't in your backyard picking cotton anymore; he's on another continent picking bananas, sowing your 100$ jeans, making your computer. But who cares right, I can buy all this useless crap for cheap and when it goes outta style in a few months, I'll just buy more of it! Outta site, outta mind...

A seminarian | 02:35 pm on 11/12/2007

You say that people *just make judgments from what you here (sic) on TV." Well, are not these ministers the very ones who unashamedly promote themselves on TV? If they pursue the medium of television as their primary mode of communicating to people, then people are fully justified by making judgments upon what they hear and see on TV.

Should you choose to read any of the synoptic gospels, Matthew, Mark, or Luke (especially if you use a study bible like the Oxford Annotated), you will likely find Jesus saying a great deal in condemnation of wealth. He often says to those who would follow him: "Take nothing with you" (Mark 6.8, Luke 9.3). He explicitly proclaims that one cannot serve both God and wealth (Matt 6.24, Luke 16.13). Jesus also proclaims that it is 'impossible' for a rich person to enter heaven (Matt 9.24, Mark 10.25, Luke 18.25).

I would like to see the critical scriptural evidence that Jesus was worth *probably around 300 million dollars.* Is that counting for inflation over the course of 2000 years?

A seminarian

Anonymous | 07:44 pm on 11/18/2007

Actually, his awesome personal accountant (Judas) had a high yield savings account and some mutual funds... that and a 2000 year old Bentley is really worth something now...

Siarlys Jenkins | 08:30 pm on 11/21/2007

So if Jesus was worth $300 million, how come the apostle who was entrusted with the money bag thought it worthwhile to sell Jesus out for 30 pieces of silver? Why didn't he just take the $300 million and catch a ship to Rome?

Cramer | 09:19 pm on 11/30/2007

If these men are of God why do they not serve as Jesus did? Why don't they give what they take in and live a modest life like Paul preached? Why don't the ones who claim to heal in God's name go into hospitals and end all pain? And most of all why is everything dependent on someone's faith? You need to turn off the television, stop defending these people and READ the Bible.

Anonymous | 12:31 am on 1/05/2008

AMEN! People like going to these feel good churches where they don't preach about sin and just how to get rich quick. Jesus said don't store up your treasures here on this earth but store up your treasures in heaven. Wonder if Creflo will take his millions and rolls with him when he dies. DOUBT IT! People open your eyes, you are in bondage in believing all this wealth prosperity. This is not of the Lord. Read your Bibles and quit listing to man's interpretation of the Bible. It might surprise you, Those who take out and add to the Bible will be cursed. It's just a matter of time.
BIBLE - Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth

God Bless!

PimpAlert | 02:29 pm on 12/11/2007

TO: Anonymous | 10:27 am on 11/11/2007

WOW!! I've heard the lying, twisting, prosperity gospel before, but never that Jesus was worth around 300 million!! You get my KoolAid vote for the day!! No, make that the month!!

Who's your pastor? He must really be a fleecer...King fleecer!!

Was that $300 mil in the bag that Judas carried?

And what would you say to the poor? That they live under a curse? B/c Jesus said the "poor will always be with you." So does that mean that Jesus thought they were cursed too. Or is he the one that cursed them? How stupid is that?

If Jesus wants us all rich, then why aren't YOU? How come it's just these prosperity pimps who are filthy rich? The congregation is still getting by, but the preacher has two jets, two mansions, a Rolls Royce, etc?

Also, did the WHOLE ENTIRE congregation know that they were buying Cashflo, Crapflo, Creepyo, a Rolls? Probably not....it usually just comes from the board and the elders who are bought off paid employees and family. The the whole congregation presents it to him and most of the congregation are just as "surprised" as he is!!

Can't you see what a scam that is? And do you have any scripture PROVING that Jesus was worth $300 million? No? I didn't think so!!

Go back to sleep now, little dumb sheep, Jim Jones and Creflo are calling you for your KoolAid!!

These are not men and women of God, they are wolves in sheep's clothing that the whole New Testament talks about for your itching ears only!! Quit being lazy, open your bible and read!! Quit letting these pimps tell YOU what "God said."

What a crock! Ugh!

Anonymous | 12:36 am on 1/05/2008

These prosperity preachers or teachers or whatever you wanna call them will be held accountable for misleading their sheep. I just can't believe that people are so mislead and can't see the truth when it's there in their hands, (READ YOUR BIBLE). This is God's truth. Man's interpretation is for their own personal gain. Question them and give them scripture that goes against what they are preaching. Bible says you cannot serve God and Mammon.
Open your eyes and take the scales out of your eyes so you can see the truth and get out of these cults that are running rampant everywhere. The Bible talks about false prophets, if you truly read your Bible, you will be able to point these false prophets. What did he say to the apostles, leave everything behind and follow me. They didn't take any money, clothes or anything with them. Creflo Dollar you and the rest should be ashamed of yourselves.

Anonymous | 04:12 am on 1/17/2008

"I would watch what you are posting and saying about these Ministers.
I would very much watch your words, and what you say, because they will come back on you."

What? Are they in the Mafia or something?

Maybe they are going to tell God on us? Ohhhh.... I'm scared.

Someone once said "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s". Who was that, now? Ah, yes... Jesus. It seems that the televangelists have forgotten that.

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