Creflo Dollar (what a name for a televangelist!) has come under fire for seeking $300 from 200,000 people for a new state-of-the-art jet worth a little more than $64 million. The question is, can there ever be a need for a jet that warrants asking the worldwide audience to chip in? I’m guessing I’d need a slightly wider readership and larger church to pull this off! Of course, it might also seem like a practical application of Dollar’s teaching (and apparently, ‘you have not because you ask not’!) I’d be more than a little concerned, though, that he (or anyone) should feel the need to bypass the usual travel inconveniences that other noble kingdom ventures have to endure when there are so many more urgent financial needs in the world. But herein lies a broader problem.
Who really should call the shots on priorities in the global work of the Kingdom of God when so many churches and organisations are engaging in such important work related to bettering society and the lives of many people?
Maybe someone could reasonably question my own financial priorities, or those of anyone else. It is easy for almost anyone to criticise (maybe fairly here, yet Dollar was only asking existing partners for help). It is also easy to fire up with passion for a worthy venture and to presume some reasonable right to our own support, when in fact everyone struggles to endorse and finance the many, many initiatives of others that are so worthy of attention.
In reality, there is far too little coordination of the efforts of Christianity. Infighting between denominations, power struggles within them, pride or independence in those outside them, disproportionate accusations of the abuses of minorities, and other unhelpful distractions, play a part in this sort of undermining. However, the world-wide Church that Jesus died for can often seem to resemble a football team that knows which way it is kicking but where too many team members are pursuing their own preferred pathway or prominence.
I could stop ‘spitting in the wind’ on this one, but Dollar’s sense (!) is not too different to the many lower-level examples across the world in which people try to campaign loudest for a share of the available monies for their own ‘important’ priorities. This is often without regard for shared ventures that can coordinate together in yielded submission to a greater cause, ones in which unity with synergy gives potency.