Creflo Dollar “Made Me A Catholic” (When Heresy Leads To Apostasy)
The claim is that “Creflo Dollar made me a Catholic.”
Such a statement is ample evidence for any number of Biblical Truth claims. Perhaps the most obvious, for the Word-entrenched believer, is that such a claim proves that the Holy Spirit is not involved in the claimant’s shift from heresy to apostasy. The Holy Spirit leads to Truth. He ALWAYS leads to Truth.
“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth.” John 16:13
(Just consider how many testimonies you’ve heard or read about folks being saved out of sound Biblical teaching like Reformed theology and INTO charismania, INTO word-faith or INTO Catholicism. Authentic regenerations by the Holy Spirit always lead OUT of such havens of error, not INTO them.)
So that someone attributes their migration from the heresy of Dollar’s word-faith prosperity gospel to the well-known apostasy of Rome illumines the work of another agent of the spiritual world … the current “god of this world,” (2 Corinthians 4:4) the “spirit at work in sons of disobedience,” the “prince of the power of the air.” (Ephesians 2:2) The enemy of our God doesn’t care if you worship, or even if you worship “God,” just so long as it’s the wrong God with a Biblically-errant “other gospel.”
So from the outset, we need to pray for Albert Little, this newest professor of faith in the “different gospel” (Galatians 1:6-9) of Roman Catholicism. But here’s how he explained his shift from the error of Dollar to the equally damning error of Rome.
“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.” Albert Little (Source)
“The possibility of theological interpretations” that lead to the error of the prosperity gospel is, indeed, very prevalent. From Christ in the Gospels through the remainder of the New Testament, we are given frequent, pointed, and aggressively polemical warnings about false teachers and other gospels. It’s a valid and legitimate concern.
But to turn to the “theological interpretations” of Rome as a reliable source for Godly “deeper truth” is just to choose a different flavor of interpretative error. Word faith adherents are skipping merrily down the same wide path as the deceived followers of Rome’s apostasy.
Where the common belief among the unregenerate world is that “there are many paths to God,” the actual truth is that there are many paths to eternal demise, and those paths are actually one wide road that is bedecked with flashing “This Way to God” billboards that entreat the deceived and appeal to the naive.
“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.” Albert Little (Source)
Little is largely right. But what Little fails to understand is that there is only one correct meaning to Scripture. The “what’s this verse mean to you” method of Scriptural interpretation, whether it occurs in one’s private Bible study, a Sunday School room, or from the pulpit, does violence to the real meaning of the real Word of God. The only correct meaning is the meaning that the Holy Spirit intended. Creflo doesn’t have it, but neither does Rome. A little thing called the Reformation shed more than a candlepower’s worth of light on the egregious interpretative errors of Rome.
The other thing that Little misses is the truth from Scripture about false teachers. They, too, “deceive and are being deceived.” While only God knows the heart, our best efforts to identify – to discern – error from truth is to understand what Christ advised, “You will know them by their fruits.”
So, to rightly discredit Creflo on the grounds of his multi-million dollar, jet-set lifestyle in the name of Jesus to then turn to the multi-billion dollar ecclesiastical, anti-christ, bureaucratic apostasy of Rome is to willfully disengage Biblical discernment and willingly choose the presumed “better” form of deception.
The impressive accoutrements of Rome’s religious history make its banner of “This Way To Heaven” no more trustworthy than Dollar’s prosperity in-the-here-and-now gospel makes his. When it’s a “different” Gospel, it doesn’t save and, if Little thinks he’s migrating from bad to better, he’d do well to know that God’s redemptive plan is not a game of horseshoes. Being “close” doesn’t count. And neither Rome nor Creflo are remotely “close.” But a millennia-plus worth of religious practice and paraphernalia can be easily mistaken as authentic prompting adherents to tout “peace and security” while certain destruction awaits, just as will happen for those on “the day of the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 5:3)
“Instead of a million different interpretations I found 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.” Albert Little (Source)
There’s no doubt that this is precisely what the Roman church claims for itself. But that claim is merely another of what Little deems a “million different interpretations,” but he doesn’t recognize it as such. Discernment in all things is the perpetual standing order of the day for any authentic believer. One who applies the lens of Scripture to the many, many heresies of Rome would quickly see their claims are illicit, their “gospel” illegitimate, and their “practice” unfounded on the “faith once delivered.” After all, every Christianized heresy through the annals of two millennia of church history has claimed the same thing. Ask a Mormon. Ask a Jehovah’s Witness. Such claims mean nothing when they compete with perspicuous Scripture.
“The Catholic Church, which asserts that Jesus didn’t leave us a Bible, He left us a Church. A Church with an authority structure that we can see clearly in the New Testament — a Church that the Apostles passed on.” Albert Little (Source)
Yeah, well, the Catholic Church also touts the infallibility of the Pope. How divinely logical does it seem that the Bible should be minimized, discounted, and often outrightly disregarded to instead follow the presumed infallible edicts of the “vicar of Christ” who sits on a regal Roman throne?
Of course, Jesus actually didn’t say He was leaving us “a Church.” He said He would “build my church.” (Matthew 16:18) We get an incredible behind-the-scenes glimpse of what Jesus gave as a priority for us in His epic, high priestly prayer to the Father in John 17. (Perhaps the single most assurance-evoking chapter in all of Scripture for the authentic believer.) We see what Christ wanted for “those you have given me” and exactly how the Lord knew that request, certain to be granted by the Father, was to be accomplished.
When Christ prayed to the Father, He included His request that those the Father had given Him would be made holy, that they would be sanctified. What was the mechanism through which Jesus knew that sanctification must come? Through the “vicar of Christ” on earth? Through the “church?” Through worship of Mary or prayers offered to images of dead saints? Through a sacerdotally enforced system of confession and penance? No. For His chosen, sanctification is Bible-centered.
“Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” John 17:17
While the true Church that Jesus is building is the steward of the Gospel, salvation does not come from allegiance to or faith in the church. Sanctification does not come from strict adherence to the rites and rules of the church. Salvation comes by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Sanctification, as Christ prayed, comes through the Truth of His Word.
And it is the Word in which we must abide. It’s how His disciples are known. (John 8:31) And it’s also how error may be discerned.
“Anything that divorces people from their reliance upon the Word of God is not the work of the Author of the Word of God. Anything that diverts our attention away from Scripture is not coming from the Author of Scripture. It is coming from the enemy.” Justin Peters
It’s a narrow path but it is providentially graced with the protective guardrails of sound doctrine taught by Scripture (Titus 2:1). Sadly, Little skipped sound doctrine and has merely shifted lanes on the wide track that leads to an eternal terminus where God’s righteous judgment will be exacted. And everything on that wide path – from the moment of the serpent’s slithering whisper against the sufficiency of God’s Word in the garden – is intended to detract, defer, and destroy the Biblical truth that we now have “more fully confirmed.” (2 Peter 1:19)
God has not exalted the church above all things. But He has exalted two things on which believers must be focused:
“You have exalted above all things your name and your word.” Psalm 138:2
Beware ANY path that detracts from them.
For more on the apostasy of Rome, please read “Why We Don’t Consider Catholics To Be Christians.”
For helpful resources in sharing Biblical Truth with Roman Catholics, please consider Mike Gendron’s ministry, Proclaiming The Gospel.
[Contributed by Bud Ahlheim]