The Article Too Controversial for Charisma MagazineBy David Tomberlin



About a week ago I was concerned about the controversy surrounding Pastor Creflo Dollar and his campaign to raise 65 Million Dollars for a plane.. Expecting a negative reaction from the secular community, I was shocked at the reaction of many Christians, particularly leaders, with pretty modest ministries, who found it their place to advise Pastor Dollar on how to operate his ministry.  


I think the most disturbing comments I read came from self-appointed Christian czar of finance, Dr. Micheal Brown. Dr Brown took it upon himself to instruct Pastor Dollar on how to best minister to his 40,000 person congregation that meets in 2 different states every Sunday. From my limited knowledge of Dr. Brown, he has never been the senior leader of even a  1,000 member church. The idea that he should advise Ps. Dollar on what is appropriate, logistically, for someone who leads 40,000 people, is simultaneously laughable and sad.


With my concern, I approached my friend, Steve Strang of Charisma News and Charisma Magazine. I asked if he might publish an article with an opposing view to Dr Browns, he told me yes he would consider it and told me to write one up.


So I wrote one and he said it was too strong and offensive, so I rewrote it. He then said it was much better and that he would check with his editors. After checking with editors, which I believe included Dr Brown, Steve said that he prayerfully decided to not publish the article.


Immediately after that Dr. Brown wrote an article attempting to refute the points I made in my article that was not published. He did so unsuccessfully, but I felt that there was too much "inside baseball" being played at Charisma so I wanted to release my article to folks connected to my ministry. My hope is that you would find it interesting enough to forward it to others and discuss. 


I want to say that I don't mean any disrespect to Steve Strang or Charisma. I have been a Charisma reader and/or subscriber for decades. I love lots of stuff that comes from Charisma and I have been impressed in my interaction with Steve Strang. In fact, he is the only person in his generation of ministers, with a reasonably large platform, that has taken time to advise me, speak into my life and be a friend.


I will also say that one of his stated reasons he did not want to publish the article was to protect me, which I thought was kind but unnecessary. The reader should know my respect and appreciation for Steve Strang and Charisma so that they understand the context of my disagreeing with the handling of this matter. Its not from an angry or rebellious place, its actually coming from a place of love and appreciation, albeit disagreement as well.


That being said, I feel that because Charisma is a major media voice for the Spirit-filled church, and that this topic needs more discussion than Charisma is allowing. Therefore, I am releasing the article.


 Feel free to challenge my ideas in the comment section, ask questions or agree and Amen..  I will say the more respectful we can be in the discussion, the more we can deal with the real issues and theology... emotional, insulting rants will only distract from the issues at hand and not be given a platform here.. strong disagreement is fine, questions are fine.. the more we discuss and even disagree the more we can learn from each other.. but there is a level of dialogue that is not productive, so lets avoid that.. also if you want a copy of the original more "electrifying" version that was even more controversial... email us at " "


Below is the "toned down" version that was still too controversial for Charisma..


Plane Smart- Why I believe Ps. Dollar should get his plane and why I think the church missed it..


When I saw the controversy over Ps Dollars plane I was saddened.. Saddened because people were offended. saddened because of the limited thinking of the church... Saddened because people who don't do ministry at the level Ps Dollar does, feel its their duty to tell him just how he is allowed to do it.


As a traveling minister I live, travel and minister by faith.  I fly about 150,000 miles around the world every year releasing miracles, revival, healing and blessing.


I never ask the local church for a dime. My ministry covers food, hotel, international flights, car rental and we often sow a significant financial seed back into the local ministry. All I do is take an offering in the meetings and trust God.  He always provides. So when the subject of faith and travel comes up, I feel I have something to add to the discussion.


When I minister I speak to groups anywhere from 40 to 8,000 people.  Ministering to that size of a group I can  travel with a small team or even alone. Pastor Dollar cannot do that.


He has a large team that needs to move at a moments notice. When flying on a private plane you can have team meetings, pray, have family time, work on books or sermons, or make up for lost time in other ways.. your group gets from point a to point b in a productive, safe fashion.


Two Congregations in Two Different States


Many don't realise Ps. Dollar has TWO congregations that he preaches to EVERY Sunday totalling around 40,000 people. And by the way one is in New York and one is in Georgia!


If he and his team miss a plane because of flight cancellation, flight delay, oversold flights etc., then tens of thousands of people will miss their spiritual nourishment and be negatively affected.


"Shouldn't this be sold and given to the poor"


Those weren't Jesus' words they were Judas'.. but they seem to be the biggest outcry of the church over Ps. Dollar's proposed plane.


The answer to Judas' and Ps Dollar's critics question today is the same as in Jesus' day.. "The poor will always be with you". David are you heartless? Are you saying Jesus doesn't care about the poor?


Not at all, our ministry for years has had programs in India, Pakistan and Africa helping some of the poorest of the poor. We love them, God loves them and its an important PART of the ministry.


However, people act as if God has to make a choice to provide for one or the other. So we have a choice either feed the poor or buy Ps. Dollar a plane.. its simply a false narrative. Its not 'either or', its ' both and'.  If God is our provider we are not limited. Many say that, but don't really believe it.

Voluntary offering of $300


  Ps Dollar asked for his partners to consider sowing a $300 seed. People have made ridiculous comments "you shouldnt ask for the money?" Nonsense.


The bible is full of men of God being directed of God to raise money for many different situations.


I personally don't know one working adult in the western world who would go bankrupt from sowing that $300 seed. It's hurting no one and can serve a great need.


As someone who has freely received, I personally confess I have watched Ps Dollar for years and may have sown a seed here or there, but what Ps Dollar has freely given me through teaching, far outweighs his requested $300 gift. It's a Saturday garage sale getting ride of old stuff or a couple of suv tanks of gas. Its not a great amount.


Sticker Shock


'David we understand about scheduling and safety and the need for flying private, but 65 million is just too much.. we don't have a grid for that kind of money in ministry. 'Can't he get a cheaper plane? Where do we draw the line? '


A wise person once said "


Travel budgets are a non-essential. in other words scripture is not dogmatic on how much a minister in the 21st century can spend for travel. There should be liberty for a man of God to do as he sees fit before God. It is a non-essential to our faith, operate in liberty.


Who appointed anyone, except his board of directors, judge over Ps Dollar's budget?  How many have a ministry of that size, that ambitious for the Lord, and can truly say they know what he is going through on a daily basis and what his needs are?


What if the Lord spoke to Ps Dollar to get the plane and all the critics are Job's counselors appearing to the religious as "good stewards"?


In the end Ps Dollar will be judged by God for his actions as will all his critics.


Placing judgement on a man of God who has touched millions for decades and trying to determine how he should raise money and what he can raise it for is obscene and is no position I want to be in.


Ps Dollar touches the inner cities in New York and College Park.. is a role model in communities that need good, strong male role models right now.


He has brought great revelation of faith, prosperity and healing to the body of Christ - all in a warm approachable package that people from all walks of life can enjoy.


How great would have it been for the church to get behind Ps Dollars vision of having the best plane on the market of this kind?


What a wonderful tribute to say "Thanks Pastor Dollar for your decades of service, great teaching, great pastoring, great books. As you enter in what maybe your last trimester of ministry we honor you, we salute you.. thank you for your faith and example. Here is a $300 gesture that will lead to more time with your family and more energy when you preach! Keep up the great work Ps Dollar!" 


That would have been a godly response.


Sadly the comments were very different.. I believe much of the church and many leaders missed it on this one.. I hope the church will repent.. and get Ps Dollar his plane.


Dr. David Tomberlin, MDiv, MAICS, HPHDiv


Dr. David Tomberlin is an author, conference speaker and  revivalist who travels the world releasing healing, miracles and the prophetic. More info can be found at