The Fast Food Christianity of Paula White

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I was looking at the list of people who would be praying at the presidential inauguration, and one of them was Paula White (Paula White-Cain) the notorious Word of Faith preacher.

White famously said, “when God begins to speak to you, you get up and go to the phone, because God is telling you $68.19 for the next 12 months, which happens to be $818. What Deuteronomy 8:18 says that God will give you power to get wealth”1 Well, this is “faith food”2 or fast food for millions of gullible people around the world.

She claims to have had a divine visitation in which

God gave her a vision of multitudes of millions of people as far as her eyes could see. In the vision, every time she opened her mouth and began to declare the Word of the Lord, there was a visible manifestation of the power of God – souls were saved, the sick were healed, and the broken were restored. Conversely, when she was silent, people began to fall into utter darkness.3

The message that she had to loudly proclaim was that “God does not want us to live in poverty or lack” for “He wants you to be prosperous.” Indeed, says Paula, “God wants you to have it all.”4

To have it all requires the sowing of seeds, so says Paula, “For the next 12 months I am sowing $68.19, based on Psalm 68:19, that daily God will load me up with benefits.”5 The magic in the numbers is breathtaking. Paula goes on to say, “$68.19 for the next 12 months, which happens to be $818.” Then she uses the pretext of Deuteronomy 8:18 to make her point “God will give you power to get wealth.”6 But, what is more astounding about this is how many gullible people find merit in White’s message.

On one occasion White said, “Today, I was in prayer and fasting and seeking God, when God said to her saying, challenge the people to give $66.12 according to Psalm 66:12.” Then she promised her devotes, “the Word cannot return void. When you put your faith with the Word, then you have mandated results.”7

Like other faith teachers, her formula for success involves speaking right words, and thinking right thoughts. Speaking of the power of words she says, “Oh come on Paula…are you actually saying that just because my mouth says something that makes it true?” Well, she answers her own question by saying, “I’m here to tell you, yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying: Your words create your world” (Italics in original).8 Her justification is that “If God can create something out of nothing, and if we are created in His image, then if we can image it, or imagine it, then, so it can be for us.”9

She garners support not only through claims of revelations and visitations and prophecies—including by the way the prophecy that a child would be saved by a thirteen-foot angel10—but though specific claims of prophetic healing. Her healing claims rival those of Jesus Christ Himself. White purports to have seen everything from the blind receiving sight to resurrections from the dead.11

Tragically, the Devil’s in the details. To date she has not provided even basics to buttress her boasts, but her fame continues to spread from her church in Florida that she decimated to what she started now in New York and now she was featured in the inauguration.

—Hank Hanegraaff

For further Study:

Turning Truth into Mythology (Hank Hanegraaff)

Osteenification and What it Portends (Hank Hanegraaff)

Christianity in Crisis 21st Century: Wealth and Want (Hank Hanegraaff)

Christianity Still In Crisis: A Word of Faith Update (Bon Hunter)

What’s wrong with the Faith Movement (Part 1): E. W. Kenyon and the Twelve Apostles of another Gospel (Hank Hanegraaff)

What’s wrong with the Faith Movement (Part 2): The Teachings of Kenneth Copeland (Hank Hanegraaff and Erwin M. de Castro)

Notes:

  1. Trinity Broadcasting Network, Praise the Lord Praise-A-Thon 2003, November 14, 2003
  2. Paula White Ministries, “Paula’s Life Story.”
  3. Ibid.
  4. Paula White Ministries, “Follow God’s Principles ‘To Have it All’
  5. Trinity Broadcasting Network, Praise the Lord Praise-A-Thon, November 4, 2003.
  6. Ibid.
  7. Trinity Broadcasting Network, Praise the Lord Praise-A-Thon, April 6, 2005
  8. Paul White Ministries, “Understanding the Power of Words Over Your Money.”
  9. Trinity Broadcasting Network, Praise the Lord, February 6, 2004
  10. Trinity Broadcasting Network, Praise the Lord, June 10, 2003.
  11. White says, “I’ve seen blinded eyes open and I’ve laid hands on women where they’ve removed the womb and fallopian tube only to go back see them holding twins and I’ve watch as they pronounced people dead only to see them praising God in our church after laying hands and calling forth life back into them and I preached the Gospel on every continent and seen over a million people come to the lord Jesus Christ” (Trinity Broadcasting Network, Praise the Lord, June 10, 2003).

Blog adapted from the January 16, 2017 Bible Answer Man broadcast.

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