I’m so disappointed in Paula White. Watching Paula in the video below defending President Donald Trump and calling folks to pray for him made me think of how much I used to love White. I don’t remember when I first began watching Paula on Paula White Today — or during a Bishop T.D. Jakes MegaFest conference — but she was one of those Christians I wanted to be, or at least really looked up to. White wasn’t like all the other stuffy televangelists from years ago. Paula was cool. She wore jeans, she had a trainer, she spoke about her days as a poor single mom who once lost track of her young son before the Lord came to the rescue.
I could relate to Paula’s realness. And she was my namesake. The way she interpreted Scripture seemed so fresh and new. Paula’s style was refreshing as well. When Paula announced her divorce from Randy White in 2007, as reported by CNN, it was met with sad groans and surprise. Even in that interview transcript, there were questions asked of Paula about the way she encouraged people to give to her ministry, and how much of the tithes actually went to help others. For a time, I bought into the principles of giving (I still wholeheartedly believe in tithing) to White’s ministry. Paula just seemed so “real” as she always spoke about “getting real.”
Even when photos of Paula holding hands with Benny Hinn were published, I eventually gave them the benefit of the doubt. After all, let he who is without sin cast the first stone, am I right? By then I might have stopped giving to Paula’s ministry. And it’s not like I gave that often — only a handful of times. However, I remember the day I made the decision to stop giving pretty clearly. It was during one of those preaching fundraising segments whereby White used a tactic that has been used by other pastors before. Paula urged viewers to turn to some Bible verse with Chapter 1, Verse 44, perhaps — and told folks to send in $144, as related to the passage. The same procedure had been used before, such as giving $77 to see a miracle from God in 77 days or the like.
On that day, there was a big buildup and preparation from Paula about some special message she’d received from God. I was all set to hear the prophetic word, which then devolved into another scheme about sending $144 to see the blessings of the Scripture verse come true. It was a big letdown. As such, Roland Martin’s command for Paula to operate in the prophetic gift of God and not the “profitable” sector only is going viral. Martin calls out Paula for likening Trump to some sort of Queen Esther, with White saying how much Trump is under attack — all the while not mentioning any of Trump’s foibles.
Mixed up in the theology of White seems to be a whole lot of stuff being ignored — and not in the “love covers a multitude of sins” kind of way — but maybe just to have a job as a spiritual adviser, and perhaps to be close to power. The true intentions seemed to be cloaked by “Christianese” that blames all of Trump’s troubles on “attacks” from demons who don’t want to see the believers that Trump may appoint.
I surely don’t remember White going to bat like this for former President Barack Obama, who often confessed his Christian faith. Paula’s stance on “King” Trump right about now brings to mind one word her biblical figure might tweet: Sad!
[Featured Image by Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Images]