And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for their own good and the good of their children after them. I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. - Jeremiah 32: 38-40 (ESV)
I have discovered when you write in a discernment ministry you can tend to start to feel numb to the false teachings you hear day in and day out. You can begin to feel calloused over when you constantly have to hear the most egregious abuses of the Bible used to shred the precious sheep of God. I have heard many people who literally start to blame the people who sit under the false teachings. Who almost excuse the wolves because the sheep are just so stupid to them that they start to believe they deserve it. But when I read the Gospel accounts I do not see a Jesus who does not care when the one sheep is lost. I see a Jesus who goes out and brings him back because as the Bible says, the Lord does not actually want a single person to perish. Yet somehow, when I start to feel this callous developing the Lord always brings to my attention something so abhorrent in His eyes, that it reignites a holy righteous anger inside of me. Not that I am holy or righteous because I am not. I am nothing before His majesty. But there are sheep still being mangled every day. Being led to a slaughter while being promised it is paradise. When I watch and listen to sermons like the one linked above, the Lord reminds me why He instructs those who are charged with truthfully dividing the Word that we must also rebuke those who do not. It is not enough to just proclaim the true Gospel. We must expose that which is false.
The above sermon was given just days ago by Creflo Dollar. While many might simply shake their heads in an understanding fashion and move on, it is important to remember this is a man who claims to pastor 25 different churches. Whose reach is international enough that he recently thought nothing of asking for 65 million dollars in donations to buy the Rolls Royce of private airplanes. This writing however is not about that. It is about the sermon above. The reprehensible lies it contains. The unimaginable mutilation of Scripture it contains. In the hope that just one person sitting under this deception might be freed. All of heaven will rejoice for that one. This teaching from Dollar is 90 minutes long and it is all about you giving him money. In the middle of a series about how the Gospel accounts were technically part of the Old Covenant and therefore obsolete, Creflo realized that his old tithing arguments would no longer stand. The actual time he addresses tithing however is very limited. The vast majority of this sermon is just an obliteration of the Bible to make people feel as if it is our right as Christians to be rich. He even opens the main thrust of the message by calling the opposite notion the "deepest rooted deception in the world." That it is the devil who has devised this plan to keep the prosperity gospel down as a way to "contain the church." Here are some of the ramblings:
"The devil don't mind the world driving new cars but he wants you to keep buying used cars."
"You accept the leftovers of the world - God doesn't want you to have hand me downs!"
"God wants to see His kids operate as kings! I've never seen no poor kings!"
"How can God get anything done when His church is so deceived?"
"Don't let them shame you out of your blessing! I'm a king's kid!"
This is all in a matter of a few minutes mind you. It is all absurd heresy. I am tired of coddling wolves. Beloved, if you truly believe any of these quotes, I fear for your salvation. Now hear me very clearly. I am not saying that God wants all believers poor. That is missing the point. The argument Dollar is making is that it is our right to be rich. In this very sermon he claims this right is part of the redemptive work of the cross! He claims that if you are not rich it is because you have not believed and received it. What damnable lies from the pit of hell. So according to Creflo Dollar, all of our Christian brethren in third world countries living in poverty are simply lacking faith. The next quote he uses as an entree to turn Jesus Christ into Donald Trump:
"Then they have the nerve with their ignorant selves to use Jesus as an example and that's a plain indication of people that aint never read their Bible."
Dollar then uses this as a springboard to mangle several Biblical accounts of the life of Jesus. I will try to briefly go through them to highlight how low this man will go to prop up his premise that Jesus was somehow affluent:
1) "God wanted Him to have some semblance of what he left so He sent kings so they could bring Him some gold, frankincense and myrrh. Money was trying to find Him!"
No Creflo. First of all there is no Biblical support that these men were kings. They were Magi, probably astrologers, probably from what was then Persia. The gold was a symbol of divinity. The frankincense was a symbol of holiness and righteousness. The myrrh symbolized affliction and suffering. These are the grandest theological points here and to Creflo it meant that "money was trying to find Him?" That is how cheaply Pastor Dollar sells out our Savior. Not to mention, the Bible offers zero information on how much gold was actually brought. Most speculate that it might have been used to finance the trip to Egypt to avoid the persecution from Herod. Either way, there is nothing in the Bible to indicate that somehow this made Jesus wealthy. Prior to His ministry He was a carpenter, not a millionaire.
2) "Jesus wasn't poor - tell that to Peter! When they had to pay their taxes they just went fishing! I know Peter was upset when Jesus had to go because Jesus knew where the money was at! That aint poor!"