The National carried the following report in its Saturday edition. There have been some Christians who are unhappy with my comments (whats new?!). But their criticisms at first sight appear reasonable and therefore I would like to do them the courtesy of answering:
- Why speak so strongly against a Christian brother in the secular press? Indeed. It is appalling that in this day and age we have to warn in the public press about a false teacher in the church. It is depressing and heart breaking that such exists. But when it does we have to warn. The prosperity gospel is not the good news. The last thing that the Church in Scotland needs is a visit from an American multi-millionaire telly-evangelist who drives a Rolls, has a mansion in Atlanta, a Penthouse in New York and a salary of millions. The trouble is that so many Christian leaders in Scotland agree with what I said but don’t think they should say it. I note here a trend amongst good evangelicals who are concerned (rightly) that they might come across as harsh, unloving or disrespectful, to be silent – at least in public. My problem is that this would condemn Elijah, Jesus and Paul. Paul wrote a public letter wishing that false teachers on the subject of circumcision would go all the way and castrate themselves – that was hardly circumspect!
2) Isn’t this an attack on Destiny Church who are doing a great work? – In one sense yes. They should not be inviting a false teacher to come and preach in their churches – if so they are associated with that false teaching. Of course God can use Creflo Dollar – he can use a donkey and he can use a pagan king. But we are not to allow God’s sovereignty to justify human sin/stupidity and our own inaction. I would plead with Destiny to uninvite Creflo Dollar.
3) Don’t you believe in Free Speech? Of course I believe in free speech. I am using it! I am not arguing for Creflo Dollar to be banned or to have his passport taken away. I am using my free speech to point out his false teaching and to ask churches not to invite and people not to support him.
4) Don’t you believe in God’s blessing? When I got this one I wanted to pull out the last remaining bits of my hair! Of course I believe in God’s blessing. I just don’t make a direct equation between the richer you are, the more it shows how you are blessed. Blessed are the poor. It is not a sin to be a millionaire. It is a sin to teach that the gospel is a way to make yourself a millionaire and it is a sin for a pastor to take the tithes of the poor and turn them into a private jet for himself.
This is the article below. (Incidentally it was the National’s most popular article online over the weekend). Note how the Humanist Society can’t resist the temptation to get a wee dig in about their Bad News….
You’re not welcome, Free Church tells American pastor Creflo Dollar
The National 9 Apr 2016
CONTROVERSIAL American pastor Creflo Dollar, who last year asked his followers to stump up $65 million for a new private jet, has been told he is not welcome in Glasgow, by the Free Church of Scotland.
The televangelist is set to appear at the SECC in June in a meeting organised by the Destiny Evangelical church.
Dollar is a proponent of the Prosperity Gospel that says being rich is God’s will and that a regular donation to the church can help a believer become more wealthy.
But yesterday, the Rev David Robertson, Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland said Dollar’s work was blasphemous and embarrassing, and told him to go elsewhere.
Robertson said: “Creflo Dollar coming here is appalling. He’s a multimillionaire, American, televangelist and we really do not need him here. The church doesn’t need him. It’s embarrassing to have somebody like that come. His prosperity gospel is blasphemous. It’s not what people in Scotland need to hear.
“He’s not welcome. Not with that message. It’s a horrendous message that he brings. It’s not the message of the gospel at all. He can keep his jet and use it to fly elsewhere.”
Dollar is senior pastor at his own World Changers Church International, and has an estimated net worth of $27 million. The New York Times reported that he has mansion in Atlanta, a penthouse in New York, several cars, including a Rolls Royce.
When he was asked about the Rolls Royce is a rare media interview he replied: “It was a gift that my local church gave to me, you don’t turn down a gift that somebody gives to you”.
Last year Dollar appealed to his parishioners to each donate $300 towards the cost of a new G650 Gulfstream private jet, insisting it was necessary.
Chief executive of Humanist Society Scotland Gordon MacRae said: “Scotland is proudly a place where people are able to express their views, no matter how ridiculous people find then.
“This news is coming in the same week as the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey confirmed that a majority of people in Scotland are not religious.
“We trust that Destiny Church would not expose any of their vulnerable members to be to exploited by his voracious appetite for money. We don’t want Scotland to become the latest layover stop for wealthy televangelists seeking to rip people off.”
The Free Church website reports this Here