The prosperity doctrine preached by Creflo Dollar in the most recent Christian evangelical controversy is a form of spiritual bribery not found in the gospels. Dollar has been criticized for begging his viewers for money to purchase a new $65 million dollar personal jet.
The use of the idea of “give and get” is a scam that has been used by bandits and evangelists for decades and only serves to enrich the preachers and fleece the sheep.
These preachers forget the Sermon on the Mount and what Jesus said about the meek, the poor in spirit and the pure of heart. Nowhere in the Bible are people extolled to give money to the apostles in order to gain entrance to the Kingdom of God.
During my time on the Christian Broadcast Network’s flagship show, The 700 Club with Pat Robertson during his presidential run, fundraising had been elevated to an art form with the not-so-subtle emphasis on the idea that God will bless those who give money to the ministry in the form of healing, wealth, and the answer to prayers. It is a dirty form of coercion and a shadow of the “indulgences” from the Middle Ages when the early Church promised a pass to heaven for monetary gifts.
Television gives preachers a godlike presence in the living room of the unsuspecting faithful, and extends a sense of comfort and security in an unstable world. The hope for comfort is real but so is the fact that God isn’t for sale.