By Erick Erickson
“Paula White is a charlatan and recognized as a heretic by every orthodox Christian, of whatever tribe,” tweeted Moore. Paula White is Donald Trump’s spiritual adviser and coordinating evangelical outreach.
She is a heretic.
Paula White is a prosperity gospel preacher. The prosperity gospel has infiltrated a bunch of churches, unfortunately, and is prevalent in the black community where preachers live lavish lifestyles while the congregation makes do with scraps.
But like Trump, she has a track record of talking about money — a lot — and that rubs some in the evangelical establishment the wrong way. In one televised sit-down with Trump, White asked him about “those life lessons that really caused you to succeed financially today.” Trump pointed to his father, a workaholic who was passionate about his career.
“That’s the principle I teach,” White responded. “Find your passion in life and figure out a way to make money.”
White, an author and TV personality who at one time had “millions in the bank,” has had financial challenges of her own. In the early 2000s, the ministry’s spending habits drew scrutiny first from the IRS, and then from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who launched a congressional probe. The probe was eventually dropped (her ministry didn’t fully respond to congressional inquiries, according to reports at the time). The Tampa-based church that she and her ex-husband founded and led — which began to fall apart after their 2007 divorce — declared bankruptcy in 2014, though by then she was leading another church, in Orlando.
Paula White is not involved in the evangelical movement. She does not connect with major evangelical leaders or with evangelical congregants. She does not preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. She preaches Je$u$ and that makes her a heretic.