“Why would anyone pray for Creflo Dollar? You pray for the girl, not the money-grubbing scam artist that abused her.”Maybe your reaction was more along the lines of my friend from Facebook:
“Pray for him sure, but if [it] turns out he’s guilty [I] hope they throw the book at him. No excuse whatsoever for a man to ever strike a female under any circumstances! We’ve all lost our patience with our kids at one time or another, but hitting is never an answer/option.”Or you may have a completely different take:
“In a world where Black children are shot every day by one another and by the police, the tough hand of a loving parent might be the only thing that keeps that child out of the morgue. I encourage others to refrain from judging Pastor Dollar’s parenting techniques until the evidence is fully revealed. Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if one day, his daughter thanks him for his sacrifice.” (You can read the full article here)Is Creflo Dollar an angry, ego-maniacal prosperity preacher who has finally been revealed for the fraud we knew him to be? Or is he a desperate dad willing to do whatever it takes to protect his daughter from evil?
What would I do if my 15 year old daughter demanded to go to a party I had forbidden her to go to? What if I caught her sneaking out of the house at midnight, and she refused to stop when I told her to? What if there were older boys waiting for her in a car in the driveway? What if I could see that the boy who was driving was obviously drunk? What would I do to keep my 15 year old daughter from climbing in that car, to keep her from going to that party, to protect her from making a decision she could never recover from? Is it possible that I would physically restrain her? Is it possible in the course of a horrible, horrible encounter that she might get a scratch on her neck? And what if she was so angry at me, so enraged that she couldn’t go that party, that she called the police and told them that I had beat her?
I don’t know what happened at Creflo Dollar’s house last night. But I do know that when I choose to judge him, regardless of how I feel about his theology, I am walking into dangerous territory. In John 8 Jesus seems to indicate that the prerequisite for judgement is perfection, and I’m nowhere near that standard.
The reality is that, while they don’t make headlines, I come into contact with stories like this every day. People make decisions I don’t understand, people espouse views I can’t agree with, people fall into the trap of sin that chips away at their soul. I can have one of two attitudes when I encounter the messiness of life in a fallen world:
Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I don’t cheat, I don’t sin, and I don’t commit adultery. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’Oh, and one more thing, I’m thankful my kids didn’t have cell phones when they were 15.
But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’