Televangelist Paula White has been verbally bashed black and blue. She has been called a heretic, an apostate, an adulterer, a charlatan, an addict, a false teacher, someone who filed for bankruptcy, someone who promotes the so-called prosperity gospel, and—her personal favourite—that she is a Holy Trinity denier.
The tirades against her by the media and, ironically, some of her fellow Christian leaders even took a turn for the worse when it was announced that she would speak at U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony later this month, The Gospel Herald reported.
White, the Senior Pastor of New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, Florida, has been named by Trump as his spiritual adviser.
Some media organisations have been especially harsh in condemning her. For instance, the Washington Post recently published an article with the headline “Evangelicals should be deeply troubled by Donald Trump’s attempt to mainstream heresy.” The Daily Beast had another article headlined “Shady Pastor to Pray with Trump at Inauguration.”
A number of evangelical leaders have castigated her for her alleged mistaken beliefs. Among them is Southern Baptist leader Russell Moore, who once tweeted, “Paula White is a charlatan and recognized as a heretic by every orthodox Christian, of whatever tribe.”
Despite the incessant personal attacks, White had remained cool and unflappable—refusing to dignify with a response such “patently false accusations about my personal life and my beliefs.” Until now.
For the first time, White is fighting back, saying it’s time to set the records straight since such attacks on her person “pose a potential distraction to an otherwise celebratory and historic time in our country,” referring to Trump’s forthcoming inauguration.
First, White affirmed her belief in the exclusivity and divinity of Jesus Christ.
“I believe and have always believed that he was buried and on the third day rose again. I believe and have always believed in the Holy Trinity. I believe and have always believed in the virgin birth, and the second coming,” she said.
She also denied that she promotes the “Prosperity Gospel”—the belief that God rewards believers with sufficient faith with personal happiness, financial wealth and good physical health.
“I also reject any theology that doesn’t affirm or acknowledge the entirety of scriptural teaching about God’s presence and blessing in suffering as much as in times of prosperity,” she said.
White conceded that she made mistakes in the past. However, she said her life is nowhere near as scandalous as what has been described by critics in recent days.
The evangelist said despite the foul remarks made by her critics, she is extending to them her “hand of friendship and fellowship.”
“Jesus taught us to ‘bless those who curse you and pray for those who insult you.’ This is what I have chosen to do, and I have done so genuinely from the bottom of my heart,” the televangelist said.