Can Prosperity Preaching Turn Protestants Off?

By Victor Ochieng

A Catholic man, who was formerly an evangelical blogger, has made claims that his decision to join the Roman Catholic Church was a result of the teachings and controversies shrouding the lives of high profile preachers like televangelist pastor Creflo Dollar. The man is worried that most of these preachers are basically focused on prosperity gospel, despite Jesus having been clear about worldly wealth.

“The prosperity Gospel movement is bizarre given that Jesus was unequivocal about wealth but, like the secular spirituality of many popular American celebrities, the movement soldiers on,” Albert Little, 31, who lives in Ontario Canada, who wrote on his Patheos blog “The Cordial Catholic.”

“While it might be a stretch to say that someone like Creflo Dollar made me a Catholic it would be accurate to say that the possibility of theological interpretations like Dollar’s are, in large part, what’s driven me in my search for deeper truth,” he added. “A search which has landed me on the doorstep of the Catholic Church.”

Dollar, who leads the non-denominational World Changers Church International in Atlanta, Georgia, has been in the spotlight several times for all the wrong reasons. In 2015, Dollar requested that 200,000 people come forward to support his ministry with $300 each to be used towards purchasing a luxury jet for his ministry.

Defending himself against being labeled a prosperity gospel preacher, Dollar said “there is no such thing as prosperity gospel,” pointing that the money he possesses isn’t his but God’s.

“When we talk about prosperity, and people say it’s the prosperity gospel, there is no such thing as the prosperity gospel, it’s the gospel of grace. The money in my pocket is not mine, it’s God’s,” Dollar said in April 2015.

The megachurch pastor added, “It came from Him. He is the source behind everything we have that is good. He loves to be trusted; He loves to be the one that you lean on. He loves to be the one that you rely on and He wants to be the one that you lean on and rely on first.”

In the blog post, Little said it’s Dollar’s teaching about tithing and his presentation of the Bible that made him start questioning his Protestant faith.

“If God intended the Bible to be read like we Protestants read it then what alternative is there? I read my Bible, ask the Holy Spirit for help to interpret, and come to a conclusion. This is exactly what Creflo Dollar’s done, and he’s flying around the world in a multi-million dollar jet,” he suggested.

Little wrote that it doesn’t sound right for a self-professed man of God to teach the kind of gospel that Dollar is preaching, considering the fact that Jesus ministered to everyone, including the marginalized.

Not happy with prosperity gospel preachers, Little started a search that led him to the Catholic church, which he says, at least, traces its roots back to the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles. “…a Church that traces its lineage, mission, and authority back to Christ and the first Apostles. Back to the Lord’s Supper. Back to the Upper Room. Back to Paul, and Peter,” he asserted.