Pastor and popular preacher Creflo Dollar has carried out an apparent u-turn over a post which endorsed the prosperity gospel on his official Facebook page. The post was on the site for around 24 hours before seemingly being removed.
Dollar's Facebook account was updated on Wednesday evening with a post that read, "Jesus bled and died for us so that we can lay claim to the promise of financial prosperity. #ProsperityInChrist #WealthyLiving #AbundantLife"
While Dollar has been accused of promoting the prosperity gospel many times before, this was the most obvious and blatant statement of those beliefs. Soon, he was being heavily criticised in the comments under the update as well as roundly mocked for the statement, which is so clearly at odds with orthodox Christian teaching.
The statement was then removed from the Facebook page without comment from Dollar or his team. While there seems to be no trace of the original post remaining on his Facebook page, screengrabs were taken of it which are readily available online.
It is far from the first time that Dollar has courted controversy with teaching about prosperity. Earlier this year there was outrage after his private jet ran off the runway at Biggin Hill Airport in Kent. Dollar used this incident to launch a 65 million dollar appeal for a new jet.
The prosperity gospel is associated with a strand of Pentecostal theology that claims if Christians have enough faith and if they send money to certain ministries, they will be blessed financially in return. All mainline denominations consider the teaching to be wrong, while many evangelicals have also distanced themselves from this teaching. Leading theologians of different backgrounds have denounced prosperity gospel as heresy.
Examples from Dollar's teaching include the following, "The Bible says that wealth is stored up for the righteous (Proverbs 13:22, New American Standard). However, it will remain stored up until you claim it. Therefore, claim it now! You possess the ability to seize and command wealth and riches to come to you (Deuteronomy 8:18). Exercise that power by speaking faith-filled words daily and taking practical steps to eradicate debt. Like God, you can speak spiritual blessings into existence (Romans 4:17). Remember, doubt keeps silent, but faith speaks!"
Prosperity theology is heavily dependent on the notion of 'planting a seed' which often means sending money to a ministry such as that run by Dollar. He says, "You can say, 'Oh, God, I need money! The rent is due. The baby needs shoes. And what about my breakthrough?' But if you haven't sown financial seed, how can you expect a financial harvest?"
Christian Today has asked Dollar's office for a comment on the statement and why the post was removed and is awaiting a response.