Creflo Dollar made national news this week, and not for a good reason. His fundraising campaign to buy a $60 million dollar jet become fodder for stand up comedians, and was even discussed on the Rush Limbaugh Show. There are humble servants of God all around us, but they get little such attention. One would think that the example of Jesus would be enough for us to see the importance of humility in ministry. Jesus could have asked for a posh horse-drawn carriage. He might have even required that it be gold plated, so it would garner more attention. We find no example of Jesus employing any such opulent means to spread the Gospel message. The only thing we might find laying next to Jesus after a long day of ministry is a pair of well-worn sandals.
Now, where do men like Creflo Dollar come from? Where do we get such narcissistic embarrassments to the Christian faith? We create them. If the Christian community would stop worshiping these megachurch pastors, we might return to some level of sanity. My article about multi-millionaire Joel Osteen received dozens of critical comments. Much of the same happened when I mentioned the enormous six figure salary of Franklin Graham in a recent Facebook post. Michael Brown nailed it with his op-ed (Creflo Dollar Defenders: Don't Compare Godly Stewards to Judas).
Now, the issue of airplanes in ministry aside, this was not just a basic plane. The Gulfstream G650 goes for $60 million dollars, and is the word's fastest non-military plane. It travels at near mach speed, with two Rolls-Royce engines, and is fully equipped with a bar and kitchen. I understand that airplanes can be used to spread the Gospel, but why should a non-profit organization set its sights on the world's most deluxe, fastest, and extravagant model? In a word, narcissism. These megachurch pastors have an exaggerated view of their own importance. It is this same hero worship that brings along characters like Ephron Taylor, who was sentenced to twenty years in prison this week for operating a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme.
Creflo Dollar is aptly named. According to Wikipedia, he already owns two Rolls-Royces, multiple estate homes, and a private jet (I guess it is not quite fast enough). Dollar refuses to disclose his salary, and has received one of the most scathing reviews I have ever read on the MinistryWatch website.
How much good did Dollar do for Christianity this week when he made us all the laughing stock of the culture? This will stop when we, as a Christian community, decide it will stop. These are men, nothing more. They are no better than the rest of us sinners saved by grace. If you are going to live on donations, and represent yourself to be a minister of the Gospel, having a $60 million dollar jet just doesn't come with the deal.
If we have it wrong here, we invite Pastor Dollar to give us his side of the story. We would also welcome him to appear live on the Sunday night broadcast to set the record straight.
Helping you make the most of God's Money (not Creflo's)!