A Different Perspective On The Creflo Dollar Debacle

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Many are running to criticize Creflo Dollar because he asked for donations for an extremely expensive jet. But criticism is a thin line to walk and before you do it, you have to be sure you have all the right information.

 

The Rundown

 

So here’s a rundown of things we know about the situation . . .

1. We know he wasn’t telling the truth about the necessity for it in order to meet the needs of his schedule.

 

 

. . .  Wait, no we don’t.

 

2. Alright fine. But we do know he is being greedy.

 

 

. . . No, we don’t actually do.

Attempting to measure greed in another person is extremely difficult. You may be greedy for feeling like you needed the computer/iPad/Whatever that you’re using right this moment to view this article. You may be greedy for wanting to have a nicer car.

Now, I’m willing to  concede that these examples are much  less expensive than what he was asking for, but is that how you measure greed? By the amount of money something costs?

While we may feel there is evidence of greed here, we don’t know for certain.

 

3. Maybe so. But we know he isn’t sorry for what he asked for and doesn’t see it as a mistake.

 

 

. . . Um . . . . Still wrong.

Evidence that he does could be the fact that he took down the video.

 

4. We know he had wrong motivations for asking.

 

. . . And where do you keep your crystal ball?

 

5. Okay, okay. But we definitely know everything that was said in the video so there is absolutely no chance that things have been taken out of context.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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No.

In fact, at this point, we can’t even be positive there was ever a video.

 

In Summation . . .

As you can see, we have quite a strong case for why it was necessary to attack this man.

By the way, is that how this whole, “being a Christian” thing works? We pounce on one another when we make a mistake (assuming this was a mistake)?

. . . Really?

Some argue, “he is a public figure so its okay to talk bad about him.”

It is? And what Scripture says its okay to talk trash about men of God in high rankings of leadership?

I can think of quite a few that say not to speak evil of one another. Not to sow division among the brethren. But I can’t think of one that says we are supposed  to talk crap about leaders—even when they have done something wrong.

Others will claim they’re issuing a rebuke to Creflo.

Come on, now.

Creflo isn’t following you on Twitter, reading your Facebook feed, or subscribed to your YouTube channel.

There is a word for talking negative about people when they are not present . . . And it ain’t, rebuke.

Now, here’s what we really do know: the Bible tells us that love rejoices in the truth. It’s always willing to believe the best about every person. It covers a multitude of sins.

Gossip, backbiting, sectarianism, and division are all works of the flesh.

Since we don’t know the man’s heart, why don’t we all take a moment to analyze the one we do?

God Wants You Wealthy: An FAQ On One of the Most Controversial Issues in the Body of Christ

 

 

 

 

The Bible teaches that God wants His children to be wealthy (not necessarily millionaires, please don’t misunderstand me—but wealthy. ie, To have an abundant supply enough to meet all their needs, and more left over).

 

Let’s begin.

 


Objection/Question

“All the first century Christians including the apostles were poor and struggled to get even the most basic of necessities.”

ANSWER:

A few things about this:

Firstly, this isn’t entirely true. There were Christians in the early church who lived in abundance  (1Tim 6:17).  Paul had his moments as well (Phil 4:18).

Secondly, I’m going to say something that I have never heard anyone else say on this subject: Aclose examination of the Bible will reveal that the only instances poverty was condoned were in connection to persecution or the preaching of the Gospel.

See, the modern Western world of Christianity is vastly different from that of first century Christianity. Back then, many believers were being put to death. They were run out of their homes and cities and forced to live in hiding. Many were stripped of all worldly possessions and thrown in prison.

Why? Because they had low paying jobs? Because of a recession? Because of a bad economy? No. It was because of their faith in Christ and the preaching of the Gospel.

So here’s the thing—If that is why a believer is struggling financially, neither I nor any prosperity teacher I know would have a beef with that type of a situation. Persecution is a mark of the Christian and the Scriptures are crystal clear on that.

But let’s get back to the original objection—- if we wanted to do a comparison between Western Christianity, and First Century Christianity, we would need to be fair and ask the question like this: If there were no persecution, and early Christians were practicing the wealth-building principles of the book of Proverbs by working hard, spending responsibly, and being charitable, would most of thembe poverty stricken?

When put in this light, a whole new perspective arises, doesn’t it?

The thing is, we really don’t have that sample to draw from when it comes to the New Testament. As previously mentioned, early believers were under severe persecution which led to severe poverty. The closest thing we would have for an accurate comparison is the Old Testament. Here, followers of Jehovah had periods of time where they were under no persecution. And when we study these instances, what we find is a pretty consistent pattern of prosperity.

 

 

Objection/Question:

“Proponents of the Prosperity Gospel are out to get money. They twist the Word of God in order to make the preaching of the Gospel a money making venture.”

ANSWER:

I can’t argue this. I have seen it many times. However, the old saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water” applies here. There will always be bad examples in Christianity for ANY doctrine. So we need to be fair and look at the idea itself, apart from any of it’s abuses.

 

 

Objection/Question:

“These teachers wouldn’t dare spread such a message in third world countries where people are severely poverty stricken.”

ANSWER:

Actually, I think you’ll find this message is often even more wide spread in these types of countries than it is here, in America. I’ve spoken to multiple missionaries who tell me this is the case.

Really, if it’s in the Bible, then it needs to be preached everywhere, regardless of outward circumstances, or popularity.

 

 

Objection/Question:

“If God wants us rich why are there so many poor, struggling Christians? And why does it seem it is only working for these Faith Teachers?”

ANSWER:

Let’s broaden this scope a bit to include anything that God wants for us. When we do, we find that most Christians are not living up to their potential in MANY areas. They are depressed, divorced, struggling with multiple sins and bad habits. None of these are God’s Will yet MOST believers find themselves still in bondage to them.  Why would we assume that the fact that God wants us rich and prosperous would somehow work automatically when these other things don’t?

As far as the, “faith teachers” who it seems to work for—- Again, you have to think of this like any other topic. How would you like to hear a pastor teach about being free from lust while he is committing adultery? Or a Bible teacher on having the joy of the Lord while he is miserable? Or someone else talk on witnessing to the lost when he has never led someone to the Lord?

We view a person as an authority in any field in which they are able to achieve an uncommon level of success. There is nothing suspicious or underhanded about leaders leading by example.

 

 

Objection/Question

“People who see you driving expensive cars and living in big houses will be motivated by the wrong reasons to get saved.”

ANSWER:

First of all, our duty is to preach the Word of God regardless of what motivates people to get saved. Secondly, one could argue that Peter was motivated by the wrong reason to follow Christ in Luke 5 after Jesus blessed His fishing business so much so that his boat almost sank. Yet, even though he had experienced, “divine prosperity” it still caused him to realize he was a sinner and needed Jesus (vs 8). Same with those who believed and followed Jesus after He multiplied the fish and loaves (John 6:26). Regardless, what some may consider, “the wrong reason” could be the only way some may realize their need for salvation and follow Jesus.

 

 

Objection/Question

“The Bible says the love of money is the root of all evil.”

ANSWER: That’s true. It’s very wrong and very destructive to pursue money or to be greedy. It’s unbiblical to elevate anything or anyone above a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and our allegiance to Him.

 

 

Objection/Question

“Jesus said don’t lay up treasures for yourself here on earth.”

ANSWER:

This passage actually presents a problem for the non Prosperity crowd more than it does Word of Faith people. Because if you’re WOF, you believe God has provided for you riches. So you’re not laying up anything. It’s a gift God has given you and you are simply RECEIVING it.  On the other hand, if you don’t believe God wants you to be rich and that you shouldn’t be storing up for yourself  treasures,  then what are you doing with a bank account?

 

 

Objection/Question

“The Bible says to be content with just food and clothing.”

ANSWER:

This is another of what I call, “self hanging” arguments. In other words, the passage challenges more than just what is known as the, “Prosperity Gospel.” Because if you live in America and have a computer, car, tv, iPhone, iPad, etc then we must ask, Are you being content with just food and clothing? And why are you saving up all that money for a vacation?

 

 

Objection/Question

“Jesus told the rich young ruler to sell all he had before he could follow Him.”

ANSWER:

He also told Zacchaeus (another rich man) nothing of the sort (Lk 19:2-5). So what should we take away from these stories?  If it’s that we should not put riches before God—- I agree. If it’s that we should sell all we have and follow Jesus—-lead the way, chief.

You first.

 

 

Objection/Question

“There just isn’t any solid biblical evidence for this doctrine.”

ANSWER:

Well that depends on what you mean by, “solid biblical evidence.” All I can do is tell you what the Bible plainly says. To me, that’s solid. I get that there are other criteria many of us look at. Commentaries, digging around in the original languages, etc. Those are all fine and good (heck, what you’re reading now could technically qualify as Bible commentary) but at the end of the day, the emphasis should be on what the Bible says. Not on what we think it says. Not on what we think it means, or what others say about it, but what God Himself, actually wrote down for us.

So here are a handful of my personal favorite passages on the subject.

By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honor, and life

(Proverbs 22:4 KJV)

 

Through wisdom is a house built. And by understanding it is established. And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.

(Proverbs 24:3-4 KJV)

 

Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished, but he that gathers by labor shall increase.

(Proverbs 13:11 KJV)

 

“Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold NOW IN THIS TIMEhouses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.”

(Mark 10:29, 30 ESV)

 

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.

(2 Corinthians 8:9 NKJV)

 

Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us RICHLY ALL THINGS TO ENJOY

(1 Timothy 6:17 NKJV)

 

Therefore let no one boast in men. For ALL things are yours: whether  . . . THE WORLD or life or death, or THINGS PRESENT or things to come ALL are yours.

(1 Corinthians 3:21, 22 NKJV)

 

And if you’re tempted to doubt what is included when the Bible says, “ALL” in the above verses, this passage has always helped me to keep from trying to put a lid on it . . .

He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

(Romans 8:32 NKJV)

 

Conclusion

 

At this point, I’d like to open the floor to hear from you.

What are you thoughts on this subject?

Would early Christians have prospered if not for persecution?

What is your take-away from Jesus’ words to the rich young ruler?

How does one avoid laying up treasures here on earth?

Should God’s Will for prosperity be expected to work automatically when His Will in so many other areas of our lives does not?

 

In Defense of Victoria Osteen

 

 

Okay so I keep hearing about Victoria Osteen’s statement of, “doing good for you and not for God.” I’ve watched the video clip. I’ve heard what Bill Cosby had to say about it. I’ve seen the reactions and the accusations from the Christian community (which are all done in absolute love and with the best intentions—and not at all because we just don’t like the Osteens).

And I gotta say . . . I agree with Victoria.

. . . At least in part.

Granted, I think if she had it to do over again, she may have reworded it. So far, I have not heard her issue any type of clarification, although that may be forthcoming.

Regardless, if we just take the statement she made, and think about it, there isn’t really that much wrong with it. What this really comes down to is whether its right for Christians to seek rewards by serving God.

“We as Christians need to be Christ centered. Not man centered. Selfless not selfish. Full of Christ not”—-Okay okay, we get it, Mother Theresa.

Fact is, we all serve God for ourselves. Of course, not just for ourselves. But anyone who tries to tell me they are not motivated by the promises of heaven, eternal life, or joy unspeakable I just don’t believe is being honest. A quick way to demonstrate this would be to ask ourselves a simple question: Would I still serve God, if I knew I had to spend my life here on earth completely miserable and then die and be in hell forever?

If you answer, yes, then you’re still trying too hard.

There isn’t anything wrong with seeking rewards. The Bible is full of them. And they are often stated as a means of motivation for obedience to God. Deuteronomy 28 is a good example which culminates in chapter 30 where God says, “I put before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Choose life therefore so that you and your children will live.” He tells Israel why they should choose life—so they will live. The promise of blessings were used as a reason to obey God.

Nearly the entire first half of Proverbs chapter 3 instructs us to keep God’s commandments because they will add riches, health, and longevity to our lives.

Honestly, I just thought of these passages right now. I’m sure if you or anyone else were to sit down and give the topic some consideration, you would realize the Bible validates man’s desire to seek things for himself.

Op!—-Just  thought of another one . . .

Romans 2:6-7(NET)
“He will reward each one according to his works: eternal life to those who by perseverance in good works seek ( SEEK! that means that’s what they’re trying to get from it) glory and honor and immortality,”

I realize the, “In Thing” right now is to be critical of the Osteens . . .  Or any minister who is on television . . . Or, really . . .  Pretty much anyone who isn’t us. But Christians need to remember we are called to love.

“That doesn’t mean I turn a blind eye to the evils and deception of false doctrine that itches the ears which froths”—-hold up there, Billy Graham. I did not say it did. But what it does mean is that we must always be willing to believe the best (1Cor 13, AMP). That usually doesn’t come naturally for most of us.  So, chances are, our first reaction to things like this will be the incorrect one.

Let’s just everyone stand back, take a deep breath and ask ourselves, “Did I hear that correctly? Is there something I’m missing? Maybe they misspoke.”

I personally don’t listen to Joel because I have a hard time following what he’s saying. So I’m not at all trying to be a defender of his ministry. But I do believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt.