Paula White, renowned televangelist, prosperity gospel preacher, and purported spiritual adviser to President Trump, has made the news recently reportedly trying to guilt listeners into making financial contributions to her ministry. God loves a “cheerful giver.” There is nothing said in the Scriptures about a guilty giver.
This is nothing new
It was almost three decades ago, February 1987. Oral Roberts mailed a fundraising letter telling his supporters that unless he raised eight million dollars by the next month, March, above the ministry’s monthly needs, God was going to take his life.
The goal was reached when a dog racetrack owner in Florida sent Roberts a check for the remaining $1.3 million. I do believe God works in mysterious ways, but I don’t think He holds people for ransom. God may be mysterious, but He is not an extortionist.
I don’t remember where it was published, but a cartoon was circulated showing Oral Roberts sitting behind his desk in his office with a picture of George Washington as he appears on the one-dollar bill on the wall. Roberts is pointing to the picture and the caption reads, “My personal Savior.”
When people like Paula White, Oral Roberts, and others make such outrageous claims they open themselves up to these kinds of attacks. And because they claim to be Christians they bring reproach on Christ and His church.
Jesus gives us a different perspective
There is an interesting narrative in the eighteenth chapter of the Gospel of Luke beginning in verse eighteen. A ruler asks Jesus what he needs to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus tells him to keep the commandments, and he says, “All these things I have kept from my youth.” Jesus then tells him, “One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
Unlike Jesus, modern day televangelists say, “sell all you have and give it to me,” so they can have treasure on earth. It is said, “God helps those who help themselves,” but I think there are some who are helping themselves to more than they need.
Don’t sell that last wallet
A friend of mine who was a truck driver said he was driving out west listening to a “Christian” radio station when the evangelist said he had a few “miracle” wallets left for sale. The preacher said they were miracle wallets because whenever you opened one there would always be money in it. There was no mention of how the money got there; I guess that was the miracle part.
After offering the wallets for sale this radio preacher made a shameless appeal for finances to stay on the air. My friend said he wished he could have called him up and said, “Don’t sell that last wallet.”
I don’t know if he has any more of those miracle wallets left. But if Paula White has to threaten people to raise funds she must need one. I guess that’s why she’s Trump’s spiritual adviser and not his financial adviser.