Televangelist Creflo Dollar issued a challenging statement and claimed that his previous teachings on tithing are wrong.
Dollar leads World Changes International Ministries in College Park, GA. In a June 26 preaching, the prosperity pastor denounced his earlier position on tithing and explained that his congregants are not required to give 10% of their income as tithes, reports Premier Christian News.
This is opposite of what he’s been teaching ever since. For many years, he instilled the importance of giving back to the church and warned that failure to tithe brings destruction to a Christian’s life.
If you’re cool with starting off at 10 per cent. It ain’t no crime. But you can’t make it mandatorily the law for New Testament Christians to give 10 per cent. —Pastor Creflo Dollar, World Changes International Ministries
In the sermon named The Great Misunderstanding, Dollar started by saying he’s growing and admitted that his teachings on tithing were inaccurate. With humility, he said he has to correct his past beliefs on the subject. He urged his members to destroy and throw away books, tapes and videos he made on the topic.
“So why is this important? Because religion is sustained by two factors, fear and guilt. And if there’s one subject that the Church has used, for a long time, to keep people in fear and guilt, it is in that subject of tithing, and it has to be corrected. And it’s got to be corrected now.”
The megachurch pastor explained that giving 10% of a Christian’s earning to church is an Old Testament concept. He cited Romans 6: 14: “For sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law, but under the grace.” He pointed out that believers are not under Mosaic Law, but now lives with the freedom of God’s grace.
He instructed his church to treat tithing as an act of worship like singing and lifting hands. “Now, for some reason, if you’re cool with starting off at 10 per cent. It ain’t no crime. But you can’t make it mandatorily the law for New Testament Christians to give 10 per cent. That’s all I’m saying.”
Dollar is modifying his trajectory of thought. Years ago, he drew flak for asking his parishioners to donate $300 each to buy a $65 million jet for overseas ministry. He was also accused of profiting greatly from his congregation.
Pastor Michael Clayton Harris of the First Baptist Church of Passtown challenged Dollar if the latter is truthful in his new teaching. In a Facebook post, Harris wrote:
“Until #CrefloDollar has a “Zaccheus” spirit which involves giving the people a REFUND for all the tapes, videos, books, and other materials they bought from him, I am not moved by his “new” revelation on tithing that is still flawed. It’s flawed because #JesusChrist used the “law” in His teachings. For example: In Matthew 4:4,7, & 10, whenever Jesus said, “It is written…” that was the law being used to combat the temptations of the devil. #SoundDoctrine #StudyToShowThyselfApproved”
Tithing is a controversial subject in the US. In 2018, a housekeeper sued Grammy-winning gospel singer Marvin Winans and the Perfecting Church in Detroit, Michigan for forcing her to donate part of her salary to the church. When she refused, she claimed that she was fired from her job.
In an article for The Gospel Coalition in 2017, Thomas Schreiner, the James Buchanan Harrison professor of New Testament interpretation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, explained why tithing is not required of Christians today. He outlined seven reasons for this belief, including Christians are no longer under the Mosaic covenant and tithing is not mentioned in the New Testament. These align with Dollar’s reasoning for turning a new leaf.