Creflo Dollar has asked for 200,000 people to sow at least $300 to his ministry so he can buy a new jet. He needs sixty million more dollars to reach the estimated cost of sixty-five million.
“We need your help to continue reaching a lost and dying world for the Lord Jesus Christ. Your love gift of any amount will be greatly appreciated.”
When I first read the story I was shocked. I’m not sure why I get shocked anymore. When I thought about it further, Dollar’s stunt is typical of Christian leadership today, just pushed to the extreme.
Jesus said, “I came not to be served, but to serve.”
In the wake of this bold mission, we see a lot of our leadership today desiring to be served. We are living in a celebrity culture that even many of our spiritual leaders cultivate and enjoy.
Wealthy pastors depend on the donations of the poor. But, let’s put aside the sixty million dollars. It boils down to this: It is abuse. It’s the abuse of power. It preys on the weak to make them stronger.
Those in power often abuse their power. They often feel they live above the ethics of normal people. They enjoy privileges that are reserved for those with authority. They live on a higher moral plane that is seldom understood or questioned by their fans. Their mission is so noble that we wouldn’t dare question the validity of their desires. We witness this across all spheres, not just religious, where leaders are exempt from the common morality expected from their followers.
It is rampant.
This systemic codependency… their rise to power and our complicity in it… will continue as long as we worship power. We seem to require heroes, leaders, kings, celebrities, and models of our fantasies. There will always people willing to step up to fulfill these roles and our fantasies.
Until we break our own fascination with celebrity, until we finally see the self-destructiveness of our celebrity culture, we can fully expect this to perpetuate itself.
He will get his jet because we need him to.
(*** UPDATE: Apparently, the fundraiser page has been pulled after a media backlash!)