But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God's word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ. - 2Corinthians 2: 14-17 (ESV)
It had to happen sooner or later in the landscape of false teachers. If you hang around long enough, your false doctrines are bound to start tripping over one another. Such is the curious case of Creflo Dollar. For well over the past decade Pastor Dollar has been the poster child for tithing teaching, as well as general prosperity heresies. Tithing however was his thing. Long before Robert Morris started talking about cursed money from God, Creflo was the originator. It was no small thing for him either. It was the core of his teaching. He was passionate about it to the point of death. Consider this actual quote from a sermon:
I mean, I thought about when we first built "The Dome," I wanted to put some of those little moving bars and give everybody a little card. They'd stick it in a little computer slot. If they were tithing, beautiful music would go off and, you know, "Welcome, welcome, welcome to the World Dome." But"if they were non-tithers, the bar would lock up, the red and blue lights would start going, the siren would go off, and a voice would go out throughout the entire dome, "Crook, crook, crook, crook!" Security would go and apprehend them, and once we got them all together, we'd line them up in the front and pass out Uzis by the ushers and point our Uzis right at all those non-tithing members 'cause we want God to come to church, and at the count of three "Jesus"-es we'd shoot them all dead. And then we'd take them out the side door there, have a big hole, bury them, and then go ahead and have church and have the anointing. Aren't you glad we're under the Blood of Jesus? Because if we were not under the Blood of Jesus, I would certainly try it. - Creflo Dollar
So once upon a time, Creflo Dollar took tithing so seriously that if it were not for the blood of Jesus he would try to kill the non-tithers in his congregation. That sounds pretty serious to me. Yet something has happened to Mr. Dollar in recent days. He has been hit upside the head with what I call the grace stick. He has embraced the false theology of hyper-grace put forth by Joseph Prince. This is the old antinomian heresy that says believers do not need to concern themselves ever with the law. That the law has no place in the life of a believer. I started noticing this teaching in Dollar's sermons last year when he remarked that a Christian should not even have the Ten Commandments hanging in their home. I could go into length about this particular heresy but I have already written extensively about it. Just search my website for Joseph Prince and you will find plenty of meat to chew on from God's Word regarding hyper-grace. Instead, let us today take a look at the problem Mr. Dollar faces and how he recently tried to solve it. The problem of course is that tithing is part of the law. So what we have is a collision of false teachings that Creflo must address. He cannot continue to preach hyper-grace and teach tithing. They are simply incompatible unless you try and get cute, which is exactly what Dollar does here:
The above link is to a recent sermon called "The Liberty to Tithe." In it, Creflo Dollar walks a razor's edge of truth and deception to try and make sure that his cash cow does not run dry when he finally admits that he has been wrong all these years. For over 15 years Dollar has preached tithing as a demand. A compulsory system. A way to avoid being cursed. He has abused Malachi, as every tithing teacher has, along with many other Scriptures to try and make sure his people give World Changers Church the first ten percent of their income. That said, the first curious thing to me in watching this is that there is no admission or acknowledgement of the past 15 years. Not even a simple, "my bad." No, despite this sermon completely eradicating his teachings from the past 15 years, Dollar acts as if he never supported tithing. That he is now trying to correct all the other bad teachings that are out there on tithing while never admitting he is the grandfather of them. The shameless gall is quite astonishing. Now let us look at all of the low points in this teaching. First of all, Dollar goes to Abram to try and prove his tithing replacement theology he has dubbed, "Honor Giving."
After his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King's Valley). And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.)And he blessed him and said, "Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth;and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!" And Abram gave him a tenth of everything. - Genesis 14: 17-20 (ESV)
Walk with me now down the slippery slope of false teaching:
1) Dollar correctly states that the declaration of God delivering Abram's enemies into his hands is favor. He then takes that truth and allegorizes it to our lives by asking if we have ever felt like God has shown us favor as well. The answer of course is yes. He then "prophesies" over his congregation that this year, if they do not rely upon themselves, that God will deliver their enemies into their hands. Seriously, all of them. This of course is the absurdity of preachers like Dollar. To claim prophesy is to claim a direct Word from God. Creflo is claiming God told him that every single one of the people sitting there would have their enemies delivered into their hands. What utter foolishness. It is no wonder Dollar teaches this since he is a huge proponent of the word faith heresy and has taught before that we are all "little gods."
2) Now that he feels he has established his foundation, Dollar embarks on a journey through Scripture to get to the inevitable point that while tithing is no longer required, you still should be giving him your money. This journey starts in Romans, where Creflo says that he believes he knows what is going on inside of Abram, when he gave this tithe to Melchizedek.
When Gentiles who have not the [divine] Law do instinctively what the Law requires, they are a law to themselves, since they do not have the Law. They show that the essential requirements of the Law are written in their hearts and are operating there, with which their consciences (sense of right and wrong) also bear witness; and their [moral] decisions (their arguments of reason, their condemning or approving thoughts) will accuse or perhaps defend and excuse [them] - Romans 2: 14-15 (AMP)
Those who follow my writing know I do not use the Amplified Bible. The primary problem with it is that it blows up the text to provide every possible meaning for words used without regard for what the author actually meant when using the word. Dollar uses it however so he can seize upon the usage of "right and wrong." This is the second part of his logic. That man instinctively knows inside of himself right versus wrong.
3) To prove this he now takes us to Genesis and the creation of man. Dollar claims that because God breathed life into Adam He imparted a part of Himself into man. That part Dollar teaches is this same instinctual knowledge of right versus wrong. There is of course one major problem with this circular scriptural reasoning. It is not biblical. Even if somehow you take Romans 2 to mean that there is an innate instinct within us for knowing right from wrong, to assign that directly to Abram when he decided to tithe to Melchizedek is simply a fairy tale. As for the relation to the creation account Dollar falls short as well. His claim in this video is that Adam did not need a written code to know right from wrong because he had a piece of God inside of him, which again is the instinctual quality to understand right from wrong. This is not true:
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." - Genesis 2: 16-17 (ESV)
These verses eviscerate Dollar's teachings on two levels. First of all, Adam did have a "code" if you will. He had a direct Word from God. Do not do this, period. It did not need to be written down. It was told to him directly. On a more exciting level however is Dollar must have forgot what this tree was. It was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Before eating the fruit, Adam and Eve actually had no such knowledge. They did not know good and evil or right from wrong. It was not "instinct" that taught them right from wrong, it was their eyes being opened once they ate from the tree they had been commanded not to eat from. Sorry Pastor Dollar but we just went a long way for nothing scriptural.