Creflo Dollar, senior pastor of World Changers Church International in Atlanta, told his congregation that some of his teachings about tithing have been wrong. Dollar is known for promoting a prosperity gospel and made this confession in a sermon posted to YouTube Sunday, June 26.
“I want to start off by saying to you that I’m still growing,” said Dollar after opening his sermon with prayer. “And that the teachings that I’ve shared in times past on the subject of tithing were not correct. And today I stand in humility to correct some things that I’ve taught for years and believed for years, but could never understand it clearly because I had not yet been confronted with the gospel of grace, which has made the difference.”
Creflo Dollar’s Sermon on Tithing
Creflo Dollar is a controversial church leader for a few reasons. In 2012, he was arrested for allegedly choking his 15-year-old daughter. Prior to that, Dollar was one of six televangelists who were the subject of a financial investigation spearheaded by Iowa Senator Charles Grassley. The inquiry lasted more than three years and wrapped without “definitive findings of wrongdoing.” Benny Hinn and Kenneth Copeland were among the other televangelists investigated.
Dollar is also known to promote a prosperity gospel, a teaching that God will bless those who follow him. Often this blessing is financial and based on people’s faithfulness to God. Dollar is wealthy and drew criticism in 2015 for raising money for a private jet that cost over $60 million. His other assets have included several expensive properties and two Rolls Royces.
Creflo Dollar did not ask forgiveness from his congregation for promoting false teachings on tithing. He said, “I won’t apologize because if it wasn’t for me going down that route, I would’ve never ended up where I am right now. But I will say that I have no shame at all at saying to you, throw away every book, every tape and every video I ever did on the subject of tithing unless it lines up with this.”
Dollar said that he had done some “corrective teaching” within the last 10 years, but “not to the degree” of what he planned to preach that morning and in the next couple of weeks. The pastor did not list which of his past teachings he was correcting, but said that the church’s tendency to use fear and guilt to encourage tithing needs to be “corrected now.” Dollar did not put responsibility on his specific church for this error, but spoke of “the church” in general terms.
One of Dollar’s main points in a sermon filled with Scripture references was that tithing 10% of one’s income is a concept found in the Old Testament law, a system that no longer applies to believers set free through the death of Jesus.