Creflo Dollar Says: “Don’t Let Facebook Bring a Curse”

"I respectfully disagree with Mr. Dollar and suggest that any of the members of the church I pastor who wish to criticize me publicly or privately are free to do so.  I take the position of David who said, 'Let them alone.  God has bidden them to speak.' (II Samuel 16:11) "

Wade Burleson

Fan of Dollars

(pun intended)

Have you seen this Creflo Dollar video where he says:  "We gotta be careful when we hear about the failures of appointed leaders that we don't open our mouth up and let Facebook bring a curse on us"?   Take a look…

Did you catch Dollar's warning:  "I'm not gonna join up with the accuser of the brethren."  Why is he demanding that his followers cover their leaders?  Could it have anything to do with his arrest last summer?

Yes, the World Changers International founder and pastor was arrested and charged with simple battery and child cruelty.  Fox News 5 featured the news story this way:

  Here is how the Examiner covered it:

"On the morning of June 8, 2012, Creflo Dollar, founder and pastor of World Changers International, was arrested. He was charged with simple battery and child cruelty. The arrest came after he was alleged to have beaten his 15 year old.

Will World Changers Intl followers support their leader? According to Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, Dollar was taken into custody, at his home, after his 15 year old daughter called to report that her father had choked her, punched her, threw her to the ground, and hit her with the shoe.

During the police investigation, Creflo Dollar said that he had told his daughter that she could not go to a party. She became very disrespectful. He attempted to restrain her. He admitted to spanking her and wrestling her to the floor. He said that he did so because she hit him."

You can listen to the 911 call featured by the Examiner.com

Now take a look at Creflo Dollar addressing the members of his church after his arrest.

Several years ago we spent an entire month exposing the prosperity preachers, and Creflo Dollar was one of the individuals we discussed.  We are grateful that there is a vocal opposition to the prosperity preachers like Dollar.

And finally, here is Creflo Dollar warning that those who don't tithe deserve to be shot! 

Perhaps this background information puts into perspective why Creflo Dollar expects his followers to cover their appointed leaders no matter what.  We haven't been able to find any further information about the charges against Dollar, who was released by posting a $5,000 bond.  Does anyone know the status of the charges brought against him by his own daughter?!   We will try to keep you apprised of any future developments.

Lydia's Corner:   Numbers 6:1-7:89   Mark 12:38-13:13   Psalm 49:1-20   Proverbs 10:27-28

Comments

Creflo Dollar Says: “Don’t Let Facebook Bring a Curse” — 68 Comments

  1. Think I’m going to put this on my Facebook. I’m not afraid of any curses from any old false profit.

  2. I remember hearing about Creflo Dollar so much, I looked up a biography of him. My roommate’s comment on the biography:

    “This guy’s the archetype of the Crooked Televangelist.”

  3. I wasn’t in his house during the altercation so I can’t really know what happened, but I do have quite a bit of respect for law enforcement and its ability to detect signs of abuse. But that’s not what struck me about the video of his explanation to the church.

    When he entered, he got quite a standing ovation, accompanied with a lot of cheers and obvious adulation. In my mind I immediately thought of Jesus saying “Why callest thou me good….?” For the rest of the video, and the others, I could not get that thought out of my mind.

    He said “things escalated”. I believe I heard that. My dad always told me “Where one WILL NOT, two CANNOT fight. That worked every single day we were raising our two children. And it works to this day (through 53 years’ marriage).

  4. He said “things escalated”.

    He did say they escalated. She walked away, and he followed her. She said she didn’t want to talk about it, and WELL he decided he did.

    Most realize when things are heated, and someone walks away? Its best to leave it alone, and wait for things to cool down. When you don’t things tends to happen, and items are said that can’t be taken back. I would assume that is the reason you wait for the cooling off period to end. You have to wait for 2 rational cooler heads to prevail.

    Most people realize even though they WANT to continue the conversation you can’t. You will not be heard, and you also may say and do things in anger. Then you have those that feel they are entitled to the conversation come hell or high water, and they are also tend to be the ones that blame others when things go south.

    When you pop your child because she won’t finish the heated conversation? Its hard to say you don’t have to fight back. He handled it awful, and all he had to do is admit it. Most may not have HIT in response is similar circumstances, but goodness knows we have all handled things awful.

    Parents aren’t perfect, and goodness knows I have made my share of mistakes. We have to be good parents, and admit error at times … no matter how much it hurts the pride, ego, etc. (laughs) It earns respect etc. Its a teaching moment if you will.

    Then you have those that allow their ‘leadership’ to go to their heads, and use their position as an excuse. Humility is shown as weakness. Speaking about their error is gossip, bitterness, etc. Its not just present within the church, but all throughout history of human kind. Its hardly a gender deal either. To me they turn from leader to coward too quickly when they allow their position to go to their head. No one is all that – as the kids say today.

    When I heard speeches about curses on facebook? I feel sorry for them first of all, because they see it as a threat to their power. Their thirst for position outweighs their rational thinking. Its sad.

  5. ‘Touch not God’s anointed.’ This one teaching has caused such immeasurable abuse it sickens me. My heart grieves…

  6. When he entered, he got quite a standing ovation, accompanied with a lot of cheers and obvious adulation. — Bob Cleveland

    “THE VOICE OF A GOD, NOT OF A MAN!
    THE VOICE OF A GOD, NOT OF A MAN!”

    He said “things escalated”. — Hannah Thomas

    Is that anything like “Mistakes were made(TM)”?

  7. He comes across as a man who can’t hear “No.”

    Or anything except “Yes, Sir!”

    And can’t say “Sorry.”

    Isn’t used to it.

    Won’t take it.

    Not from anybody.

    Not church.

    Not family.

    Not even God.

  8. about the FB comment and maybe even Wartburg Watch I sometimes wonder if a lot of people would never say what they feel to someone face to face, but readily speak their mind to a computer screen behind closed doors. I understand there are situations where one wants to speak face to face, but cannot. But the far majority use their keyboards with a lot of ranting. Its kind of cop-out. Would anyone agree with that? How does God get glorified in any of that? There are some who have been hurt and need to share like this , but many many many more who jump on the bandwagon. Kind of like this neighbor lady I knew. Every time the fire truck went by her house with sirens blaring she screamed for the kids to get in the car and she would go racing over it.

  9. Mike: I say this respectfully, as a reasonably regular poster here, but I believe you have a point. Something I always try to bear in mind – and I admire D+D’s willingness to grasp this nettle – is that this is a difficult tightrope to walk.

    On the one hand, there are victims out there who are genuinely like the “orphan and the widow” often spoken of in the OT, i.e. people who were preyed upon and struggled from a position of disadvantage and weakness. It’s not as simple as just telling them to “forgive”, because they were accused by people who were themselves unrepentant, unforgiving, and stripped them of the authority that one needs in order to forgive in the first place. I genuinely believe that the existence of blogs like TWW helps these people, even if only because it shows them that they’re not alone and that they are allowed to feel, “that was wrong”. Those who abused them are not demigods and are not subject to different rules from everybody else.

    On the other hand, the goal must always be to strengthen and support the fainthearted and weak, not to infantilise them. The last thing I want to do is help pull a believer out from under a self-righteous and arrogant strong leader, to make them a self-righteous and bitter ex-member. That can happen. The question needs to be asked.

  10. Mike, I have seen people lose a lot by going face to face. And guess what? Nobody cared. They were expendable. And then the whole thing is turned on them: What is their credibility. Can they prove it in a way that others will accept, and on and on.

    There are not witnesses to molestations except the victim and the perp. There are not witnesses to sociopaths because it takes a long time to figure it out and they have ways of hiding the results of their behavior.

    My position is that if someone wants to be taken seriously as a PUBLIC teacher of the Word and they spend time marketing themselves, their books and conferences then they are fair game for Bereans and those who see questionable behavior.

    It is no longer a one way street. They don’t control the message anymore.

  11. Mike: I totally disagree with your comment. This is a safe place for people to come and say whatever they want and feel safe that not only is it OK to say it, but it does glorify God. It has led to things like E-Church.

    I’m sorry but I am going to be blunt here, not only do you have no right to say what does and does not glorify God, but to come here and say it’s a cop out is wrong on your part. You obviously have never been spiritually abused, but your statement is a form of such abuse. Again, I totally disagree with your statement.

  12. If we can get the state and county this guy lives in then looking up the case details shouldn’t be hard. Every state and county has a site like this one for Montgomery County, MD:

    http://casesearch.courts.state.md.us/inquiry/processDisclaimer.jis

    Typing in Lou Gallo or Charles Mahaney brings up the lawsuit filed by Susan Burke.

    Interestingly every individual named in the suit but Mahaney, Ricucci, and ECELBARGER, FRANK have been served. I know nothing about Ecelbarger but Mahaney and Ricucci should be easy to find.

    Are they dodging process servers by hiding under the kitchen table and sending the women to answer the door? I can see it now – the Sheriff comes to door looking for C.J. Mahaney and Carolyn Mahaney claims he’s not available to accept the suit because he’s fighting for his 27th amendment right (yes that’s a joke) to not be held accountable for anything he’s ever done because he’s C.J. Mahaney, celebrity pastor extraordinaire. Hasn’t the Sheriff/private process server heard of him?

    If so it’s just one more example of the Mahaney’s clan approach to godly masculinity.

    :-)

  13. If this wasn’t so sad it’d be hilarious…it’s like a poorly written sketch poking fun at the prosperity gospel. Nothing weirder than real life.

  14. When someone who is a pastor, and held to a higher standard, gets before a public audience and spreads such nonsense, it is only appropriate to address it publicly. I challenged Creflo Dollar publicly on my blog last week, too. No curse yet.

  15. Mike

    As one who is a nurse, with a husband who is a cardiologist, whenever  I see a fire truck flying down our street, I offer our assistance. We have been able to help in planes and restaurants as well. So, be careful when you make assumptions about those who “chase” fire trucks.

    When we first started blogging, we were anonymous because out husbands were fearful for our safety. As time went on, they, and began to see that anonymity gave many the courage to tell their stories. We became so convinced of this fact that we put our names to this blog in order to support those who needed to remain anonymous. These stories must be told for the church to confront its very real problems.

    So many people have been abused by the church that they are fearful that they will be abused, once again, by self-righteous Christians who seem to believe that they have the “biblical” way to deal with problems. Pain runs deep and it is causing the church to lose members. Surely you are aware of the rising category of the Christian “nones”, those who still believe but have been devastated by the church?  Please click on the stories of abuse at SGM at the top of our home page and see if you might find it within yourself to understand the pain of those abused by today’s Pharisaical leaders.

    Also, tune in tomorrow as I tell the story of a “none” that I met on a train in Panama. May God give you a heart full of mercy to those who have been shown little grace.

  16. There are not witnesses to molestations except the victim and the perp. There are not witnesses to sociopaths because it takes a long time to figure it out and they have ways of hiding the results of their behavior. — Anon1

    I gotta keep repeating this:

    A successful pedophile and/or sociopath is a master at camouflaging what they are. If they weren’t, they would have been caught long ago.

    And from personal experience, successful sociopaths present themselves as “angels of light”. Sociopath S**t Don’t Stink. Nobody is as concerned, as compassionate, as helpful, as truthful, as innocent, as righteous, as Godly, as loving as a sociopath — until the instant you have outlived your usefulness.

  17. Mike,

    How interesting that you spoke to us from a computer screen behind closed doors. Why haven't you challenged us face to face? Welcome to the 21st century.

    I agree with Anon 1. When these leaders take on a public persona, they open themselves up to a public response. I hope they're listening.

  18. Creflo is a Word-Faith preacher. He has specifically named E.W. Kenyon, Kenneth Hagin, and Kenneth Copeland as his influences.

  19. I don’t understand how pastors like this get such a following? I could not attend a church with that kind of teaching. But I don’t know enough about the altercation between Creflo Dollar and his daughter to judge it. I pray that God will protect his daughter no matter where the the truth is.

    No attacks from me towards Mike’s comment either. It made me think about when I’ve crossed the line between honest questioning to unhelpful ranting. Usually, my conscience stirs me when I’ve gone too far. Thank you Mike for making me think.

  20. I knew there was going to be some flak coming my way. But in no way am I saying that victims should not be telling their stories here. I’ve had my own stories (of spiritual abuse) told here as well. What I was referring to is the non-involved victims who look in on the outside and use this media platform as a way to state their own (often negative opinions). It is a safe way to engage the wrongs in the world without confronting (even in a loving way). Non1 says, Mike, I have seen people lose a lot by going face to face. And guess what? Nobody cared. They were expendable. And then the whole thing is turned on them: What is their credibility. My response” Jesus never said standing for right was going to be warmly received. He only promised the opposite. We are to be salt and light even in dark places and sadly those places are most often in the church. Its not wrong to post here, but if you never confront wrong face to face in your own sphere of influence what does that do for anyone? I admit its a hard place to be in. I confronted my senior pastor and his staff over the hiding of sexual abuse. It was a cover up and I could prove it. No one wanted to listen in the church, not even lead elders. I was made a lightning rod. Lies were openly told about me to the staff of a 100. I was an ordained officer in that church and either people turned on me or didn’t want to talk to me anymore. I was confronting the pastor who was a god there. After months of rejection I made the difficult decision to take the matter to the national offices. Lawyers were involved, the media. It created a firestorm. I was seen as a troublemaker and lost every friend I had in a church of 4500. I took a face to face stand to help victims, demanding a meeting with the senior pastor which I got. He was yelling and angry and refused to apologize. I am not the sort to do this. I am a quiet natured person and a peace-maker. I sit in the back and am more or less seen as just a nice guy. I have never confronted anyone like this in my life. And I paid a price for what I did…a price I’m still paying after 4 years now. My wife has suffered greatly as a result. But she as well as myself knew I did the right thing. When I was rejected I didn’t stop confronting. It got really bad for me and I was in the fire for more than two years. I know what rejection is first-hand. But we cannot hide behind our fear of being rejected regardless of what it costs us. Jesus set the example for us and we need to keep that in mind all the time. I was scared because of the threat of lawsuits, and could have lost everything. At one point I was scared for my life and wife’s. So I am very very aware of the victimization of innocent people in the church. But at the same time I know we have to be courageous and willing (often just plain obedient)in proclaiming righteousness, no matter what price we have to pay.

  21. I can see it now – the Sheriff comes to door looking for C.J. Mahaney and Carolyn Mahaney claims he’s not available to accept the suit because he’s fighting for his 27th amendment right (yes that’s a joke) to not be held accountable for anything he’s ever done because he’s C.J. Mahaney, celebrity pastor extraordinaire. — Not a Mohler Fan

    Is that anything like Steven King’s “To an alky, the Constitutional Right to My Next Drink must be protected at all costs”?

  22. Mike, thanks for sharing your story and bless you for standing up for what was right.

    Wouldn’t things have been easier for you and your wife if you had the support of some members instead of forming their own opinions without knowing all the facts? Because I see most posters here providing a great deal of support and encouragement to those who are or have experienced abuse of some kind in their churches. We provide validation so they know they’re not crazy and they’re not alone.

    I call it “one anothering” in the body of Christ…. rejoicing with those who rejoice and weeping with those who weep.

  23. Pastors like this are insecure and afraid. We need more strong, confident pastors who actually trust the Holy Spirit to be at work in their congregation. (And kudos to those pastors who already do!)

    If a critic speaks up and they have a legitimate concern, then thank goodness they spoke up! They are hurting and they need help.

    If a critic speaks up and they’re trying to cause trouble, pray for the situation and handle them with grace. It’ll work itself out – either they’ll come to their senses or they’ll end up looking like the troublemaker they are.

    The worst pastors are the insecure and fearful ones. Come to think of it, that applies to leaders in general.

  24. The Good News is That Mohler Doesn’t Seem to Have Much of a Fan Club and His PR Department Failed to Get My Review Taken Off Amazon

    Thanks, Dee.

    Interestingly, Mohler’s new book on conviction only has 2 reviews up, one from me and one from Adrian Warnock, who appears to believe he has no financial stake in promoting the Mohler industry.

    You can’t make this type of stuff up – Warnock and friends live on a different planet.

    Also, to Amazon’s credit, it did not erase my review even though 2 people have marked it helpful and 52 have marked it unhelpful. It appears that Amazon doesn’t like PR departments messing with its ranking system.

    There’s hope for the world.
    ;-)

  25. Also, Mike, while I agree that some people do end up using anonymous communication in unproductive ways, my comment would be that it’s not your job (or their pastors, or anyone’s) to police their sin life. That’s exactly the problem with churches like Mars Hill, Acts29, and the other Calvinista congregations. It usually leads to sin-sniffing and other harmful behaviors.

    Trust the Holy Spirit to be at work in a believer’s life. Don’t try and do that work yourself. Maybe a person is righteous in their anonymous twittering, and maybe they’re not. But it’s not up to you to say.

  26. All I Could Find Was a Civil Case for Creflo Dollar

    Info pertaining to any charges pending against him should be on the site below but all I found was an old civil case. It’s possible the charges were dropped and the arrest record was expunged since no follow-up info appears to be available anywhere.

    http://www.fultoncountydocket.com/

  27. Mike…would I say what I’m saying online to people face to face? You betcha. If I gave you my legal name, you could find pictures of me standing in front of the outlets of the so-called church of $cientology, holding a sign with some fairly pointed language on it. I am not afraid to back up what I think with in-person action if I deem it’s necessary.

  28. @NotaMohlerFan: Well, there’s an easy answer to that question. He wasn’t charged in Fulton County but in Fayette County. (Yay, Atlanta with how many different counties in the metro area?) There’s been no action on the case since June 11, when he entered an appearance.

    http://www.fayetteclerkofcourt.com/webFormFrame.aspx?page=main

    Search on “Criminal” and use only his last name, DOLLAR. It will pull up several, but you want DOLLAR, CREFLO AUGUSTUS.

  29. Copy of Police Report for Creflo Dollar Appears to Be Getting Hundreds of Thousands of Hits on Scribd and Seems Legit

    The following supposed copy of the police report pertaining to Creflo Dollar’s apparent arrest (Dollar doesn’t seem to be denying the arrest) for domestic violence has been viewed several hundred thousand times on Scribd, and no one seems to be alleging that it’s false. It also has case numbers and other details that make me think it’s real:

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/96436578/Creflo-Dollar-Arrest-Report

    However, I don’t see any follow-up info pertaining to the case or even any record of the arrest in Fulton County’s Criminal Database. Thus I’m still guessing that the charges were dropped and the arrest was expunged from the record.

  30. Thanks, Southwestern Discomfort – serves me right for using Wikipedia to figure out where he lives. :-)

  31. Mike,

    Would I say stuff face to face to people? I got one even better, I get on local radio and call politicians and religious leaders out…and do so with my name. I literally have had people come to the station to whip me after we got off the air.
    We were involved in school bond election and things got so heated we were asked to leave from the local “Gospel” station because they were afraid of losing sponsorship.
    We simply moved to a bigger secular station that understands the concept of the the First Amendment.
    Am I afraid to call people out on stuff face to face….

  32. Mike

    Deb and I, along with some friends, confronted a poorly handled pedophile situation at a former church. We spoke loud and clear and even wrote it down. We were denounced in writing and rumors were spread about us. One of the people even admitted to spreading the rumors. I was so upset and ashamed that my church would respond in this manner that it caused me to reevaluate my thoughts on leadership and the church.

    I still remember becoming so frustrated that I said I hoped the leaders involved has some floaties to help them in the abyss. Not subtle but I was hurting for those injured as well as myself since I couldn’t believe that leaders and pastors would respond in such a retaliatory way. That comment caused a major ruckus with a former friend (who was still mad that I wasn’t a YEC) who denounced me throughout the church. You see, I lived it out, openly, and the pain was real.

    You can be sure that, if I were in a situation in which I was introduced to any of the number of folks we have discussed on this blog, I would say the same thing to their face. However, I will no longer be shocked, let down or surprised when these things happen in churches, etc. which may help me nuance my approach. Now I truly understand that the supposed spiriitual giants of this world have lead feet, just like me so I can expect them to sin, and sin greatly, in the course of their service.

  33. Why Aren’t You Using Your Full Name Here, Mike

    I apologize if I’m missing something, Mike, but why aren’t you posting under your full name 100% of the time if you’re so adamant about people needing to confront other people directly that you’re belaboring that point to death?

    You call people out on the radio but don’t use your full name in blog postings? Something’s not adding up here, my friend and I’m going to spell out clearly:

    Are you really interested in what’s being discussed here or just trying to distract people because you have another agenda?

    And no, I won’t answer any more of your comments because I suspect the latter is true having spent much time dealing with people sent to blogs by the powers-that-be from the other side in the hopes of getting folks to forget about the real issues at hand, like covering up the sexual abuse of minors.

    I just ignore secret agents with that agenda rather than wasting time engaging them, at this point.

    Regarding Creflo Dollar The case is not closed, it’s marked “SW,” and I have no idea what that means in legalese but imagine that it’s another way of saying no charges were filed as no action was taken on the case at any time, according to the public record. Mr. Creflo appeared in court and that’s all

  34. You betcha. If I gave you my legal name, you could find pictures of me standing in front of the outlets of the so-called church of $cientology, holding a sign with some fairly pointed language on it. — SW Discomfort

    As in “ELRON IS XENU!”?

    (Yay, Atlanta with how many different counties in the metro area?) — SW Discomfort

    About as many as streets named “Peachtree”?

  35. Dee, I am full aware of what you did in your church and for that I feel a kindred spirit with you. You understand the personal frustration as well as the church culture that was against you from the very beginning of your ordeal. And I do commend you for your stand (as well as standing up to the status quo).

    For me I did have emotional support, but it came from the outside. A man was assigned to me from the national offices of my denomination after I contacted the judicial branch He gave me amazing counsel being aware of the legal nuances of the denomination, what my rights were (since I was named as victim)not because of sexual assault but because the pastor perpetrator tried to coerce me into silence. This was after I had gently confronted him in his home. My counsel was a rep from the denomination who worked alongside sexual abuse victims and was aware of dozens of churches across the country and the scenario was always the same. Senior leadership was always the problem. What amazed him (and me looking back) was my determination to push through all opposition. I went to 5 senior pastors and several senior elders. I met with senior pastoral staff and stood before the governing leadership of the church (45 present in the room and read a 16 page statement, crying as I read it because of the toll it took on me. I later met with the leaders of asexual abuse organization that works with companies as well as churches and got them to talk to my leaders. I also helped with some input in a sexual abuse policy that is now a model for the denomination. In the end I got zero thanks and rejected by everyone that I thought was a friend, but I didn’t care. I had to continually keep myself in check, mainly being my emotions because I wanted this whole thing exposed. I guess deep down I wanted the pastors punished, but I knew that was wrong to think that way. I pushed for justice and accountability but not in a “in your face” way. I was reminded to pray for the leaders, especially those who were speaking ill of me because change in the heart was what was really needed.

    Its difficult to deal with anger and frustration when confronting. I worked hard to stay calm because I knew if I let me anger loose people would only be defensive and not listen to anything. I was calm most of the time but they were defensive anyway. I just wanted to believe that God would speak to their consciences in time.

    For those who are curious, the perpetrator resigned after 40 years of pastoring, leaving the denomination so he didn’t have to face a church trial. The Senior pastor who knew of the abuse all along and had hid it resigned a few months after the media ran part of the story. I’m not bragging here. This was very very difficult on me and I know I would do it again (though I hope I don’t have to). It tried my commitment as a follower of Jesus in a way that I cannot adequately describe here, but for those such as Deb and Dee and others who have been victimized you do understand. I am so sorry for all of your pain. Its like a word in the old testament that says, “I was wounded in the house of my friends”. the pain does not entirely go away. Its a weight that you will carry for the rest of life though memories do diminish in time. Regardless of where everyone is at that reads these posts or where you are at and how you may be living out your faither I believe the greatest thing we can hear is when our Lord will one day say, “well done good and faithful servant”. This is what I remind myself of continually when I am tempted to let my anger dictate how I will live the rest of my life.

  36. Dollar’s just another in an all-to-long line of con men using ‘religion’ to fleece the flock and support a lavish lifestyle. I have a hard time feeling sorry for those who attend prosperity gospel churches and get fleeced because guys like Dollar and Kenneth Copeland, et. al. appeal to people’s greed – ‘follow me and God will make you rich”. Well, that is certainly the case for the ministers who manage to convince enough suckers that this perversion is the Gospel, as for the suckers, they are just left poorer and none the wiser it seems.

  37. Mike – I also hope he got to face another law – the one outside the church where you get to go to jail.

  38. JeffT – I had a hard time staying with a friend as a guest in 2006 when she watched Creflo Dollar each day on her country’s religious TV network. I would say, ‘um, he has a last name of Dollar…..’

    I would be quite certain Creflo’s daughter has had drilled into her the shaming mantra, ‘don’t go astray or you will cause your father to lose his ministry’. Probably before, during and after their altercation. Appearances matter in these religious industries.

  39. Note to Wartburg Watchers – Tim Challies posted a little commentary on the New Yorker’s recent feature on Rob Bell. And he is getting Wartburg Watch-style comments – 140 and growing. Rachel Evans responded, as has Sarah Flashing, Denny Burk, and even Tim himself. It’s a circus!

  40. Mike:

    I thought your comment had some truth in it, even though I don’t agree with all of it. I am sorry to hear about the situation that you faced personally and applaud you for your courage.

    I think that your providing your story is helpful.

    But don’t ever expect the Christian blog world to be totally supportive or reflective. Most people are.

    Some are reactionary. Some live in the fever swamps of conspiracy. Some are just mean.

    But your story will help some, and I hope that you continue to tell it.

  41. This Creflo Dollar guy is amazing.

    Truth is stranger than fiction.

    Sadly, he has done an effective job at making his legal situation a judgment on his followers all that they believe in. Cult leaders are usually good at this, too.

  42. So I go to the New Yorker Magazine site and guess what?

    You have to pay to read the article. What do the New Yorker and Creflo Dollar have in common?

    I get the same vibe from Bell, frankly. He is an image guy with a big appetite for the dollar. A lot like Mark Driscoll if you ask me.

    I read some reviews of the article about Bell. Seems interesting, with the basic question being why would evangelicals want to jettison the doctrine of hell? What would they have to be evangelical about?

    Personally, I have enjoyed the respite from not hearing about Rob Bell since last year. Has that respite come to an end? Tell me it ‘aint so!

    Early rumors were that Bell was going to be hired by a network to cover or discuss religion.

    Now there’s a surprise. I could probably write his first 50 shows, and could probably guess what Bell’s topics will be and what he will say.

    But Bell’s projected gig of media rise – from evangelical, to becoming not so evangelical, to becoming liberal to the point of unbelief in any form of biblical Christianity, already has a spokesman – Bill Moyers.

    From Moyers’ SBC days at Southwestern Seminary, to his huniting down and smearing homosexuals (or suspected homosexuals) in Texas for Lyndon Johnson, to his “church-state” early days on PBS, to his current full throated endorsement of Marxism, that’s really not that clever (unlike John Stewart), has certainly been a ride.

    My guess is that there is only one guy like this at a time on TV. And then you have Jim Wallis and Tony Campollo (counselor to Bill Clinton), whom to their credit, pretty much are what they are.

    I can only pray that God will spare His church from people who have such a hunger for commerce – in the Christian or Christian cum critic realms.

    If He chooses not to spare us, I am at least praying for some substantive approaches. Not the nakedly stupid – “God loves you, now give me all your money” approach embodied by Dollar, or the equally inane approaches we see in Bell and others recently.

    The bonfire of the the vanities.

    For sure.

  43. RE: Caleb W on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 03:00 PM,

    You’re right, it is quite a circus over at Challies’ blog, and as usual, Challies and the other YRRs over there completely miss the point. The Church has almost made itself extinct by refusing to reinvent itself from the model that has held sway since the time of Constantine. When the outside world sees all those warring little duchies and fiefdoms, is it any wonder that they have no desire to be “churched”?

    Now they want to make it known that their cherished doctrine of eternal torture by burning in hell is on the line, and must be upheld with personal attacks on Rob Bell.

  44. Anonymous

    Most evangelicals are fans of John Stott, as am I. Did you know that he tentatively embraced annhilationism at the end of his life? And Stott was a theologian’s theologian. Why do you think a man of his understanding would come to believe this? There are some who said he renounced it before dying but that is nor well documented.

  45. Anonymous

    You said “But don’t ever expect the Christian blog world to be totally supportive or reflective. Most people are.Some are reactionary. Some live in the fever swamps of conspiracy. Some are just mean.” Change the word blog to the church and it would still read the same in my opinion. You get all types no matter the medium.

  46. Caleb

    You mean Tim Challies of the “woman shall never be allowed to read Scripture out loud in church?” He should get push back. Is there no one in the middle??? Bell versus Challies-great…

  47. Dee,

    That’s the one! Sadly, but typically, Tim has closed the comments. Oh, and welcome back!

  48. Muff, I haven’t had a chance to read the article yet, but I’m sure this is another overreaction anyway.

  49. “I have a hard time feeling sorry for those who attend prosperity gospel churches and get fleeced because guys like Dollar and Kenneth Copeland, et. al. appeal to people’s greed -” JeffT

    Just an observation from someone who grew up in this teaching….
    Yes, greed is why it appeals to some….but, these guys also tie healing and, righteousness to this doctrine. Many of the people I have known follow out desperate hope for relief from physical or pain or from poverty. They feed on people’s hope from freedom from pain/bondage (that’s how they equate it) and tie giving into it as an ‘essential’ part of the true doctrine. There are a lot of people who were born into or sucked into these cults who are held in by fear of, well, being ‘cursed of God’….

    So it’s not as simple as just greed….it took an enormous amount of work for me to break free of the fear of ‘Divine Punishment’ when I walked away. It still shadows me sometimes….

  50. I always find it sad when leaders try to use David’s actions towards Saul to make people fearful of questioning leaders. At best it a stretch of Scripture if not a total twisting.

    First of all David said he wouldn’t and was fearful of laying a hand on, i.e. doing physical harm to who he called “God’s anointed.” David wasn’t referring to saying something but physical harm. I don’t think anyone through Facebook or Twitter are doing any physical harm to any of these leaders. There were two incidents where David refused to kill Saul, once in a cave and another when the camp Saul was in all fell asleep including the watchmen.

    The second point about David’s actions towards Saul is that at the time Israel had one king who was in fact placed there by God. There isn’t that same situation today where there is only one leader that is “anointed” by God.

    Thus again this is a stretch at best for leaders to be considered “God’s anointed” and even if they were David’s actions were about doing no physical harm. David wasn’t talking about not saying anything bad about Saul.

    I would also question Dollar wanting to hide leaders’ sins. Isn’t Proverbs clear that one shouldn’t hide their sin but to confess and forsake them? I Tim 5 even talks about leaders who continue in sin to be rebuked in the “presence of all.” I wonder how Dollar can be apparently ignoring these passages when he thinks people shouldn’t expose leaders’ sin.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Dollar teaches one passage of I Tim 5 about not entertaining an accusation but not teaching the adjoining passage like Mahaney did and I blogged about earlier:

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2011/07/20/mahaneys-chicanery-regarding-calvin/

    On the subject of tithing I have found this downloadable booklet of interest:

    http://www.tithingdebate.com/EatingSacredCowsDownload.pdf

    The author dissects how the tithe worked in the old testament. The instructions for the tithe was during two of the three year cycle to put aside money for the tither to use to have a feast in Jerusalem. Only the 3rd year was it put aside for those without an inheritance including the Levites and the poor etc.

    Thus “tithing” that so many pastors like teach as being so “black and white” and biblical isn’t nearly as biblical as they indicate. You never hear most teaching the tithe mention these facts about how the tithe worked in the Old Testament.

    Sadly II Peter 2:2 seems to describe a leader like Dollar:

    Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; 3 and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

    Peter said many would follow their sensuality. Sensuality can mean various things.

  51. Dee:

    You are right about the church and the blog world and the similarities.

    I am familiar with Stott and his work. He is a favorite author at our church. He has left a wonderful body of Christian scholarship and has been a leader.

    Bell is just another in the line of evangelical celebrity culture. He is just like Driscoll, but currently has the favor of the media.

    His book got quite the roll out. Cover to Time. NYT Best Seller list etc. Here we are a year later, and there is no lasting impact from what I can tell.

  52. So it’s not as simple as just greed….it took an enormous amount of work for me to break free of the fear of ‘Divine Punishment’ when I walked away. — Jeanette Altes

    That makes God nothing more than the preacher-man’s Enforcer.