Creflo Dollar, the American televangelist and and pastor of World Changers Church International, is offering a few edits to some of his past teaching on tithing. Dollar has been a frequent advocate for the prosperity gospel, teaching that God rewards faithful Christians with health and wealth, pointing to his own lavish net worth as proof. But now, he’s backtracking on some of his former teaching.
“I want to start off by saying to you that I’m still growing,” Dollar preached in a June message called The Great Misunderstanding. “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.”
It’s not a full about face. Christian Headlines notes that Dollar isn’t apologizing for his past teachings, nor is he fully backing down from prosperity teaching. “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,” he said. “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.”
Indeed, most of Dollar’s sermon was about a distinction between Old Testament and New Testament giving. In Dollar’s new framing, the Old Testament mandated a ten percent tithe for the Israelites, while the New Testament leaves the exact amount of giving up to individual believers. “So every Christian should diligently pray and seek God’s wisdom in the matters of participating on how much you should give,” Dollar instructed. “That’s the whole point.”
This isn’t exactly a pivot from some of Dollar’s most controversial teaching, which includes but is by no means limited to a 2015 incident where he asked his church to fund a $60 million private jet, “for God’s glory,” of course. As ChurchLeaders.com notes, some pastors are thinking Dollar might still have a few more corrections to make. Dollar’s fellow Atlanta resident and pastor Michael Clayton Harris took to Facebook to say Dollar still owes his fans something. “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,” Harris wrote. “It’s flawed because #JesusChrist used the ‘law’ in His teachings.”