Paula White, Donald Trump’s “spiritual advisor” who offered a prayer at his inauguration and who serves on his Evangelical Advisory Committee, wants you to send her up to one month’s salary or “face consequences,” HuffPost is reporting.
Writing on her website, White told readers that the most important thing you can do with your money, before doing anything else, is set aside a portion of it for God – and here “God” means “Paula’s ministry.” Calling the money you set aside first, before paying bills or buying food or doing anything else with it the “firstfruits,” White claims that not immediately putting aside money for God is sinful and deceitful.
“The reason is God lays claim to all firsts. So when you keep for yourself something that belongs to God you are desecrating what is to be consecrated to God.”
To this end, White recommends that you put aside a specific time period’s worth of money — a day’s wages, a week’s paycheck, even a whole month’s earnings — and give it to her as “seed money.” “Planting” this money (in her bank account) will function in much the same way that planting a small seed in the ground will eventually yield a big tree with plenty of fruit.
“When you honor this principle it provides the foundation and structure for God’s blessings and promises in your life, it unlocks deep dimensions of spiritual truths that literally transform your life! When you apply this everything comes in divine alignment for His plan and promises for you.”
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) January 9, 2018
Fail to do this, she says, and you risk certain peril.
“When you don’t honor it, whether through ignorance or direct disobedience there are consequences.”
If all of this sounds a bit familiar, that’s because it is. Preachers telling believers that God wants them (the flock) to send them money, at risk of vague peril and with the promise of untold blessings (financial, health, otherwise) as a reward, has long been the practice of televangelists and charlatans. Back in 1987, televangelist Oral Roberts told his viewers that if they didn’t raise $8 million, God would “call him home,” according to Time. The faithful raised $9 million, and Oral lived another 22 years.
The notion that God wants to bless his followers with health and financial abundance — after, of course, you give your “seed money” to the right evangelist — is the entire basis of what is known as the Prosperity Gospel. It’s the domain of such preachers as Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar, Robert Tilton, and countless others, many of whom live lives of indescribable luxury thanks to “donations” from viewers.
If you’re concerned that a televangelist with ties to a controversial theology, and a fondness for high living at the expense of her flock, counts the President of the United States among her flock, you’re not alone. Calling her “Trump’s God Whisperer,” a 2016 Politico report points out that, like Trump, White has a track record that isn’t in line with what many evangelicals would consider a Christian life.
In fact, Russell Moore, a prominent Southern Baptist leader, went straight for the jugular.
“Paula White is a charlatan and recognized as a heretic by every orthodox Christian, of whatever tribe.”
White’s shameless plea for more money does little to dispute that claim.