The heretical gospel of Creflo Dollar
January 16, 2010
One of the most popular televangelists people watch and support these days is the aptly-named Creflo Dollar, founder of the 24,000-member World Changers Church International in College Park, Georgia. His Changing Your World television program is aired worldwide on several networks. Unfortunately, Dollar holds no degree in theology, and his message is almost entirely focused on the prosperity message.
It is common for teachers of false doctrine to redefine the nature of God. A Jehovah’s Witness denies the three-personed nature of the Godhead, considering Jesus to be the archangel Michael incarnate. A Mormon considers Jesus to be one of many gods and the spirit brother of Lucifer. It becomes painfully apparent that without a correct understanding of the nature of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, people find themselves worshipping a false god.
Creflo Dollar teaches that ‘Jesus didn’t come as God, He came as a man, and He did not come perfect… ‘How many of you know the Bible says God never sleeps nor slumbers? And yet in the Book of Mark we see Jesus asleep in the back of the boat. This ain’t no heresy. I’m not some false prophet. I’m just reading this thing to you out of the Bible.” (Changing Your World, December 8, 2002).
This teaching flatly contradicts John 1:14, which reads ‘The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.’ The Word—God in Jesus Christ—became flesh, not the other way around, and to claim that God was anything less than perfect is heresy. Jesus was the God-Man and as such He had human limitations, such as having to eat and sleep like the rest of us. Carrying Dollar’s teaching to its logical conclusion means that Jesus was a sinner.
Dollar’s next strategy is to elevate man to the status of godhood. ‘I’m gonna say to you right now that you are gods, little “g.” You are gods because you came from God and you are gods’ (Changing Your World, September 15, 2002).
Isaiah rejects Dollar’s claim when he writes, ‘”You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me’” (Isa. 43:10).
Dollar attempted to prove while in conversation with Kenneth Copeland that we have equality with God:
In Philippians chapter 2, I want you to look at verse 5…. ‘Let this mind, let this attitude be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.’ So now, what mind, what attitude is it that you want me to make sure that this same attitude is in me?… ‘Who being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God.’…Now, if I’m to take what he said here and put it on, then my whole attitude now should be I have equality with God….Now somebody says, well it’s hard to think that way. Well, keep saying it….Talk yourself into it (Believer’s Voice of Victory, May 23, 2002).
God has already responded to Creflo. ‘To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal? says the Holy One. Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name’ (Isa. 40:25-26b). It is nothing less than blasphemy to try and claim that we have equality with God.
In context, Philippians 2:5-11 tells us that just as Christ, who is greater than us, humbled Himself, so we are to humble ourselves in relation to each other. This is just the opposite of Dollar’s explanation. He is asking his followers to exalt themselves, while Jesus makes it clear that ‘whoever exalts himself will be humbled’ (Matt. 23:12).
Psalm 111:10a states, ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.’ By treating God as an equal, however, Dollar doesn’t appear to exhibit any reverential fear of Him whatsoever.
Having led his followers to believe that they are little gods who have equality with God, it follows that they should have everything their hearts desire. They thus believe that they simply can’t be happy without money. ‘See, there are some people that believe not in prosperity….They don’t want to hear about that God is a God that wants to put money in your hand….Well, you need to hear about money, because you ain’t gonna have no love and joy and peace until you get some money!’ (Praise the Lord, TBN, June 20, 1999)
This teaching inevitably leads to a different gospel than the one in the Bible. Dollar questions: ‘What’s the Gospel to those who are poor? Prosperity! What’s the Gospel to those who lack? Prosperity! And if you don’t preach it, then you won’t be able to do anything about the poverty situation.’ (Ibid., April 1, 2004)
Jesus often healed the blind and the lame, but the Gospels fail to give us a single example of Jesus bestowing riches on the poor.
Dollar maintains that material possessions are important for preaching the gospel “because you have a world of people out there that don’t know your Jesus, but when they start seeing you with their stuff, they’re going to want to know how you got it and they’ll want you to introduce them to the Jesus that’s able to open doors up without the college degree’ (Ibid., April 6, 2000). Dollar’s gospel has people coming to Jesus for material gain instead of forgiveness of sins.
Scripture clearly teaches us not to labor for earthly goods. Matthew 6:19-20 says, ‘Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.’
The Word of God promises that trials will come ‘so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed’ (1 Pet. 1:7). The church ignores Christ’s words at its own peril.