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July 5, 2022

Dr. Michael Brown Defends Tithing While Creflo Dollar Repents in Favor of Greasy Grace

By Anthony Wade

Creflo Dollar has now come out against tithing? A sure sign the apocalypse is upon us...


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The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. - 2Corinthians 9:6-7 (ESV)

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Eight years ago, Creflo Dollar got hit upside the head with the grace stick. Suddenly he was fully embracing the antinomianism teachings of Joseph Prince. He even went as far to preach that Christians should not have the Ten Commandments hanging in their houses. The law? That was for suckers because we got grace! This created a theological problem for Creflo, which I wrote about in 2014. His new beliefs conflicted with his old beliefs. In order to go full greasy grace, one must come against the Law of Moses in the life of the Christian. Thou shalt not? Nah, don't worry about it! Grace covers you! The problem is tithing is part of the law and nobody preached more tithing than Creflo Dollar. He was the forerunner of the abusive tithing teacher. He taught that we were little gods. He taught seed theology where you just had to plant money with him, and God would give you harvest in your life. Creflo beat this into his sheep until he had established a personal net worth of over 27 million dollars. So, with his sheep lying in bloody submission all around him, Creflo rolled out the new grace message. He tried to have it both ways, never acknowledging the conflict and instead claiming that the ten percent was just a starting point. So, he ignored the obvious disagreement his own teachings held and asked for more money. Apparently until last week when in a sermon he appeared to denounce tithing. Let us reason once more through part of this transcribed sermon (thanks to Protestia) to see what the Dollar-Man might be up to.

"I want to start off by saying to you that I'm still growing, and that the teachings that I've shared in times past on the subject of tithing were not correct. And today I stand in humility to correct some things that I've taught for years and believed for years, but could never under understand it clearly, because I had not yet been confronted with the gospel of grace, which has made the difference." - Creflo Dollar

Let me be clear. This opening is appreciated. This is 100% true for all of us. Anyone can realize later in their preaching that they had something wrong. Myself being saved in a Charismatic church believed several things incorrectly that I had to come to grips with in my ministry work. Returning my Assemblies of God credentials was not easy for example, but it was the right thing to do based on how far off the rails they had gone. So, admitting you have been wrong is terrific, but the way is disturbing because Creflo is essentially saying he is abandoning one false teaching for another. Believing that Christians have no use for the law is heresy. That heresy is just as bad as tithing and creates just as many victims except the tither is not subject to errors related to their salvation. The other point here is the time. As stated, Creflo, by his own admission, was "confronted with the gospel of grace" at least eight years ago! What has he been doing since then? Preaching grace and tithing! He has still been fleecing his flock for at least eight years after embracing the false grace theology. All of this points to a pastor who has proven himself disqualified.
"I won't apologize because if it wasn't for me going down that route, I would have never ended up where I am right now. But I will say that I have no shame at all, at saying to you, 'throw away every book, every tape, and every video I ever did on the subject of tithing, unless it lines up with this'. I've done some corrective teaching in Atlanta last 10 years, but not to the degree of what we're getting ready to do now." - Creflo Dollar

That has to be the stupidest rationale for not apologizing I have ever heard. Realize that he would not be apologizing just for the false teaching but for the robbery that ensued from it. Twenty-seven million dollars' worth of apologizing. Throw away the books, tapes and videos? How about refunding their money Creflo? It is interesting that he feels as if he started to correct over the past ten years but now, we should be getting ready for the whole enchilada. Paint me skeptical as it was only 2015, after he was introduced to grace, that Dollar asked his sheep to pay for a new 60-million-dollar private jet.

"So why is this important? Because religion is sustained by two factors, fear and guilt. And if there's one subject that the church has used, for a long time, to keep people in fear and guilt, it is in that subject of tithing, and it has to be corrected, and it's got to be corrected now. I may lose some friends, preachers may not ever invite me no more, but I think I already been through that, so it doesn't matter." I want you to get to a particular place where you understand that he is not requiring New Testament believers to operate in the Old Testament system of tithing, which included a blessing and a curse. If you're under grace, Jesus took the curse away, and you already blessed. - Creflo Dollar

Wow, this is stunningly correct and the point even Joseph Prince could not see. Fear and guilt are wielded viscously by many churches and giving is usually one of the favorite cudgels used. Catholic churches routinely tells congregants what they will be giving towards new building projects based on their family salary. If not met, public shaming or expulsion may even occur. Most evangelical churches are not so overt but the pressure is definitely on. I have seen hirelings steal church memberships from people there decades before them because they refuse to be public about their giving. Dollar is also right that under the Old Testament law, there were untold blessings for obedience and untold curses for disobedience. Of course, no one could keep the entire law, which is why God sent His only Son to earth to begin with.

"Alright now watch this. The New Testament talks about the importance and the benefits of giving, that's what it talks about. We are to give as we are able. And sometimes that means giving more than 10%. Sometimes that means giving less. It all depends on the ability of the Christian and the needs of the Body of Christ. So every Christian should diligently pray and seek God's wisdom in the matters of participating on how much you should give. That's the whole point. We're Christians now, under the grace of God, we have a relationship with God. We need to be talking to God about giving us wisdom in our giving." - Creflo Dollar

It feels almost dirty saying this but Creflo Dollar is correct. He is referencing the key verses for today which outline what New Testament giving should look like. First off, we are still bound by a general principle of sowing and reaping, which is supported elsewhere in scripture. This is to prevent those who might think they can get away with being cheap or overly frugal when it comes to kingdom matters. Secondly, we must decide how much to give and that giving should never be reluctant or under compulsion. This eliminates tithing from consideration because tithing by definition is under compulsion. God loves a cheerful giver! By the way, if you and the Holy Spirit decide on ten percent, knock yourself out but do not call it tithing! So, while I applaud Mr. Dollar for this newfound correct theology, this is not repentance. Do not confuse it beloved. The bible gives us clarity on any subject and for this we turn to the story of Zacchaeus the Tax Collector. As a tax collector, he had routinely cheated his own people out of their money, much like Creflo did for decades. Faced with his own sin at an invitation from Jesus, here was how Zacchaeus responded:

'But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount."' - Luke 19:8 (NIV)

Just as a baseline, Zacchaeus decided to give away half of his wealth and on top of that, pay back anyone he cheated four times the value of the cheat. While I am sure this still left him very well-off, it showed true contrition. I am sure Zacchaeus did not say he would not apologize, even though he could have used the same lame excuse Creflo provided. Could you imagine the reverberation throughout the halls of the NAR and apostate church if Creflo Dollar donated 13.5 million dollars to charity and agreed to buy back all of the false teaching materials he sold over the years? Some would still cry for his scalp because that would still leave him with ten million or so but c'mon. Citing Zacchaeus as the model, I think I would be fine with that except his insistence on now teaching greasy grace. The abusive tithe teacher part of his life and ministry? I would close the book on it. But not now. Not under these "I won't apologize for anything" conditions.

The first link above was to the transcribed sermon from Protestia but the second was found on Dr. Michael Brown's website today in response to the Dollar story. It is a simple repost of a three-minute teaching Brown did on tithing. There was simply so much wrong in these three minutes that it deserved a response. Brown actually tries to split the bill more than Dollar. Now, Dr. Brown is too learned to try and pretend that tithing as a part of the law, is still required today and he says it is not. That is unfortunately the last truth he utters here. Brown's claim is that while not "law", tithing is still a spiritual "principle" of sorts. This is the sort of false teaching that tithing teachers flip to when busted for their "law" adherence. Suddenly now tithing becomes a principle or they change the name to "first fruits." Either way it is deceptive beyond words, especially since the key verses show that God already explained New Testament giving. He does not need Michael Brown to invent a new principle or change tithing into first fruits. The first defense offered by Brown is that tithing existed before the law, citing Genesis 14 and 28. This was one of the first false tithing teachings I refuted in my book about tithing lies. The deception is in conflating the tithing system, with individual instances of people giving a "tithe", which simply means ten percent. Let's turn to Genesis 14, which deals with Abram:

Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything. The king of Sodom said to Abram, "Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself."

But Abram said to the king of Sodom, "With raised hand I have sworn an oath to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the strap of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, 'I made Abram rich.' I will accept nothing but what my men have eaten and the share that belongs to the men who went with me"to Aner, Eshkol and Mamre. Let them have their share." - Genesis 14:20-24 (NIV)

So yes, Abram did give a tenth of the spoils of war, not from his personal wealth, to the king but then decided to give all of the spoils to him, so he could not claim to have made Abram rich and take God's glory. Other than the initial give of ten percent what does this have in common with "tithing"? Absolutely nothing. If this is the basis for modern day tithing then we all should give only from our spoils of war and then it should be 100%. As bad an example this is, Genesis 28 is even worse:

Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear so that I return safely to my father's household, then the Lord will be my God and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God's house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth." - Genesis 28:20-22 (NIV)

The journey Jacob is referring to will see him become married and wealthy. Is this text an example of faith-based tithing? Absolutely not! This is Jacob making a prid-quo-pro arrangement with God. If you do all of this for me Lord, then I will give you a tenth. Heck, I am sure a lot of Christians would be quick to make the same deal but that does not make it tithing. Just as a final note here, the bible never actually returns to this story, so we do not know if Jacob ever even followed through. Remember, he is not Israel yet! Dr. Brown then cites Proverbs 3:9-10 as directing us to give our first fruits to God. While Brown does not entirely cross the line as tithing whores do in claiming first fruits is the same as tithing, Brown dances around the matter. He ties Proverbs 3 to Matthew 6, which encourages us to seek first the kingdom of God.

So, let me be clear in closing. God should be first in our lives. New Testament giving still says we should give. We should do so cheerfully. If you have found a true church that does not compromise the gospel of Jesus Christ then pray for what He wants you to give each week. Sometimes it will be more than 10%, sometimes less. Maybe sometimes He will want you to give to that person in need. The church is not the building - we are the church. Maybe sometimes He will want you to pay down a debt, or even heaven forbid, take a vacation. The object is that you develop a close prayer relationship with God and give cheerfully as you have agreed. Do not let anyone guilt you, bully you or make you afraid. Do not let anyone turn the notion of giving to God first with the old Mosaic Law legal concept of tithing. No compulsion!

The truly sad thing is pastors constantly sell God short by demanding tithes. If they ever left it up to the believer and the indwelt Holy Spirit, they would get far more than 10%. Perhaps they cannot chance it because of how few true believers there actually are in the apostate church. Without the indwelt Holy Spirit, the things of God are utter foolishness to those who are perishing. Under those conditions it would not surprise me if only 5% were tithing at all and if 80% gave less than 2% of their income, which are the actual stats for the church today but that is a subject for another devotional on a different day.

Reverend Anthony Wade - July 5, 2022

Authors Bio:
Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.