"She was not choked, she was not punched, there were not any scratches on her neck...I should have never been arrested. Ever. And when the facts of this come out, you will be appalled." Creflo Dollar defending himself in his pulpit on June 10, 2012. See video report on ABC News.
-------------------------------Mega church pastors ALWAYS get a standing ovation the Sunday after they make headline news for their misdeeds.
Even if in defending themselves they make their daughters out to be liars.
Creflo Dollar's performance was no different today, the first Sunday in the pulpit since his arrest Friday. His performance and the response of his fans was absolutely textbook. Mega church pastors and mega church members everywhere should take note, as they can learn much from Creflo Dollar and the peeps at his church.
Here is the mega church scandal template that plays out every single time the pastor gets his fanny in a sling:
- Pastor gets caught with his proverbial pants down (or as in Bob Gray's and Eddie Long's case, not-so-proverbial pants), and makes the front page news;
- Pastor stands in the pulpit the following Sunday, walks the perfect balance between being defiant on one hand, yet humble on the other (this is not an easy task, something probably taught in seminary);
- Pastor sheds a crocodile tear or two;
- Pastor will at some point wag his finger at the camera (perfected by Bill Clinton);
- Pastor proclaims his innocence of the accusations, and if possible, tosses an accusation of lying at the accusers, or better yet how he is a victim of the news media coverage;
- Pastor declares that his troubles are an attack of Satan, and proof that he is doing God's will;
- Pastor quotes the bible;
- The crowd shows their love and adoration and support by giving a standing ovation, many with their hands clapping and fists pumping above their heads, praising Jesus.
This same scene replays over, and over, and over again. Doesn't matter if it is a pastor caught harboring a pedophile or is caught trespassing by jumping an "itty bitty fence", or a pastor who is accused of grooming teenage boys for sex, or a pastor who is accused of molesting boys and girls in his office or a pastor who slanders a church member in the newspaper. It can even be a seminary president caught lying for a decade - when he gets back in the pulpit in front of his adoring fans, its all hoots and hollers and ovations. Could be a preacher caught on tape videotaping women in his office. Doesn't matter if it is a prosperity preacher, a Southern Baptist pastor, or a long-time holy man of God at a fundamental Baptist independent church.
The template is repeated every time: protect the church and the pastor first and foremost, and victims and accusers all be damned - even the pastor's own daughters who one must conclude are liars if we are to believe Creflo Dollar's statement of innocence today. In fact the victims and accusers all are tools of Satan to keep the pastor from his mission of raising money for his church, er, I mean, from preaching the gospel.
This template was accurately parodied in the 2011 movie "Salvation Boulevard" starring Pierce Brosnan and Greg Kinnear. The movie was an absolute flop at the box office, but those who have attended a mega church and have had their eyes opened will see much truth displayed in this humorous parody of a mega church and mega church pastor caught in scandal. Kinnear plays the role of an unsuspecting sheep at a mega church who tries to speak the truth about the mega pastor, but the pastor and church - even his own family members - turn on him and think he is an absolute nut case for daring to speak ill of the good pastor.
Here is the trailer of "Salvation Bouldevard" that gives you a good overview of what we see - protect the pastor, attack the accuser, defend the anointed servant of God at all cost, for the glory of God: