Creflo Dollar Says “No” to Tithing

By Kris W. Sky | Posted July 11, 2022

Money makes the world go ’round. And according to the “prosperity gospel,” Christians are supposed to come along for the ride.

Tara Isabella Burton, in writing for Vox, described the prosperity gospel as “a distinctively American theological tradition” dating back to “New Thought, a nineteenth-century spiritual movement. … Practitioners of New Thought, not all of whom identified as Christian, generally held the divinity of the individual human being and the priority of mind over matter.”

Hope Bolinger’s piece for Christian online magazine Crosswalk minced no words: “The prosperity gospel frames financial abundance as the mark of a true believer, and poverty as the sign of a lack of faith.” Bolinger went on to explain, “The prosperity gospel absorbs our modern culture and makes it sound palatable to Christians. We live in a culture that promotes vanity, selfishness, and gain. The prosperity gospel takes these three temptations and adds Scripture to them, so both Christians and the culture accept the message.”

The prosperity gospel posits “that if you give your money to God, God will bless you with more money.” In 2006, Time’s poll found that 31 percent of American Christians adhered to the teaching. More than a decade later, a 2018 LifeWay Research study concluded that 38 percent of Protestant Americans believed the same. 

Look Like a Million Bucks

An individual gives money to God through tithes and offerings—donations given to the church. When an individual gives to a church or ministry that supports the prosperity gospel, however, history has shown that it is perhaps the pastor or head of the ministry who materially benefits most.

Let’s take Creflo Dollar, a fitting name for a non-denominational Christian televangelist who easily makes the top 10 list of America’s richest pastors. At $27 million, his net worth includes “two Rolls-Royces, a private jet,one “mansion in Atlanta,” and one “$2.5 million apartment” in New York City. He is head of Creflo Dollar Ministries and “founder and senior pastor of World Changers Church International.” According to the Celebrity Net Worth website, he “earned his net worth through his ministries.” Dollar shepherds a “nearly 30,000-member” congregation; reaches “nearly one billion homes” through his television program, Changing Your World; has authored many books; and has made a name for himself as one of the loudest and proudest proponents of the prosperity gospel. 

In 2007, this multimillionaire landed on the short list of Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa’s official investigation into “the finances of six well-known TV ministers,” which included the likes of Joyce Meyer and Kenneth Copeland.

While “Dollar called his ministry an ‘open book’ and said he would cooperate” initially, he, along with three other ministries under fire, either “did not provide responses or provided incomplete ones.” His salary, paid by the church he pastors, is still unknown. He did state that his “two Rolls-Royces were gifts from congregants.” No word yet on the private jet though. 

God’s Riches

Then, on June 26 of this year, Dollar, in a surprising sermon titled “The Great Misunderstanding,” publicly renounced the biblical doctrine of tithing.

“Religion is sustained by two factors, fear and guilt. And if it’s one subject that the church has used for a long time to keep people in fear and guilt, it is that subject of tithing,” he said. While explaining that he was “still growing” spiritually, Dollar admitted, “I won’t apologize because if it wasn’t for me going down that route, I wouldn’t have ended up where I am now.” Indeed, it was a route paved with dollar bills.

Why would a prosperity preacher reject a practice that made him rich?

As reported by The Christian Post, “[Dollar] is convinced, after studying Romans 6:14, that tithing is an Old Testament concept that has been retired in the dispensation of grace in which Christians should now be living.”

This is nothing new. Time and again, Christ’s “dispensation of grace” has been manipulated into a catchall depository that voids anything standing in the way of willful disobedience to God: If it goes against the life you want to live, just label it as defunct by grace. That is not the meaning of salvation by grace through faith in Christ Jesus. That is an abuse of grace.

What all of this really comes down to is how Christians use their money.

The prosperity gospel makes God into a slot machine that hits the jackpot every time. You put something in to get something out—for you. Essentially, the prosperity preacher counsels you to use God to get rich; and he practices what he preaches. The rejection of tithing as a biblical doctrine ultimately brings you to the same end—only now, you don’t have to put in. You don’t use God to get rich; you just keep all the money for yourself.

At the end of the day, the message that is being given to the Christian is that it is all about what you want in this life now: What you really need is money—not God. That is a lie. And God is not a slot machine or a genie or a wealth management tool.

Do you want to know what the Bible really says about tithing? Our free lesson “In God We Trust?” explains it all, including debunking Dollar’s claim of tithing as “an Old Testament concept.” 

Christianity is sustained neither by money nor by “fear and guilt.” It is sustained by Jesus Christ, the “redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7). Find what those true riches are in “God’s Free Grace” today.

Kris W. Sky
Kris W. Sky is a writer and editor for Amazing Facts International and other online and print publications.

When you post, you agree to the terms and conditions of our comments policy.

If you have a Bible question for Pastor Doug Batchelor or the Amazing Facts Bible answer team, please submit it by clicking here. Due to staff size, we are unable to answer Bible questions posted in the comments.
To help maintain a Christian environment, we closely moderate all comments.

  1. Please be patient. We strive to approve comments the day they are made, but please allow at least 24 hours for your comment to appear. Comments made on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday may not be approved until the following Monday.

  2. Comments that include name-calling, profanity, harassment, ridicule, etc. will be automatically deleted and the invitation to participate revoked.

  3. Comments containing URLs outside the family of Amazing Facts websites will not be approved.

  4. Comments containing telephone numbers or email addresses will not be approved.

  5. Comments off topic may be deleted.

  6. Please do not comment in languages other than English.

Please note: Approved comments do not constitute an endorsement by the ministry of Amazing Facts or by Pastor Doug Batchelor. This website allows dissenting comments and beliefs, but our comment sections are not a forum for ongoing debate.