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Paula White’s new book ‘Something Greater’ is revealing, disturbing and depressing

This weeks Christian Today column looks at a revealing and disturbing book by Paula White and the strange endorsement of it by Franklin Graham and other Evangelical leaders….you can read the original here   

I think this book reveals some major problems within the US Church – and for the church in many other Western countries.

Paula White’s new book ‘Something Greater’ is revealing, disturbing and depressing

Paula White
Paula White praying for Donald Trump at a rally launching his 2020 re-election campaign(Photo: Fox News)

Paula White has a new book out. In case you don’t know who she is, she is a televangelist, prosperity preacher and President Trump’s self-styled spiritual adviser; she is also no stranger to controversy.

She has been married three times – the breakdown of her marriage to Randy White, the co-pastor with whom she founded Without Walls International Church shocked the evangelical world. Almost as much as her friendship with Benny Hinn, which he announced was over. In 2014 she married the rock star Jonathan Cain, of Journey fame.

She has been accused of being a heretic, not just for her prosperity Gospel teaching, but apparent denial of the Trinity, and teaching that Jesus did not die on the Cross for the sins of humanity, but rather to rescue us from financial hardship. The Baptist leader Russell Moore stated: “Paula White is a charlatan and recognized as a heretic by every orthodox Christian, of whatever tribe.” She has denied being a heretic but her critics remain unconvinced.

41CKJrB+F9L._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Now, normally I would not read a book by someone with such a CV – it’s not good for my blood pressure, it’s not edifying and life is too short. However, I was intrigued by endorsements from Franklin Graham, Robert Jeffries (First Baptist, Dallas), Greg Laurie (Harvest Christian Fellowship in California) and Ralph Reed of the Faith and Freedom Foundation.

I have a general rule: you should not critique something you have not read. So I spent the dosh and upped her sales by one – so that you don’t have to!

Believe me, Something Greater is a revealing, disturbing and depressing book. It demonstrates why so much of the US evangelical church is in deep trouble.

1) It is narcissistic

The self-obsession is cringe worthy. Paula White’s life points to Paula White. Jesus is just an incidental side prop to Paula White ministries.

“The world knows my name, which I share with a thriving ministry that impacts millions worldwide.”

“A soaring, powerful voice erupts from my petite frame on the stage. My blond hair is short, cut in a bob with bangs just above the eyebrows. My purple robe is loose and royal; my words are sharp and understandable. There is a rhythm to the sentences I use, a cadence to my words. There is an unexpected fire in my preaching.”

“This true self is valuable and unchangeable. I have authentic wisdom to share with others”

Now let’s consider what Proverbs 27:2 has to say: “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth.”

What is this obsession in the US church with having ministries named after oneself? God will not give his glory to another.

2) It is dishonest

Through exaggeration, adding to stories and leaving out from them, this whole book is profoundly dishonest.

“I’m nineteen years old, and every time I open my mouth to speak before a sea of people that goes on for miles and miles, something supernatural happens. Millions of men, women, and children listen and look up to God and find the same sort of life I’m given.”

(This earlier article looked at White’s prayer for the President –  The Demonic and the President)

The claims keep coming….50,000 people are born again in one church. Paula knows that she is going to shake nations – not God, not the Spirit, not the Church, not the Bible – but Paula.

The exaggeration and distortions mean that it’s very difficult to discern the truth from error. Do I really believe that she missed out on doing Michael Jackson’s funeral because of a missed phone call? Or that God told her to go quickly and meet Donald Trump because He wanted to speak to him?

The sins of the tongue – hypocrisy, gossip, slander and lying – are more often condemned in the Bible than sexual sins, although the two often go together. A church that is full of liars and hypocrites cannot expect the blessing of the Lord.

3) It is materialistic

“I begin to operate on a budget, one where we could spend 3 percent of our income on clothes, for instance. This formula stays the same whether we make $5,000 or $500,000 a year. This is how we accumulated our wealth.”

At one point it was reported that she and her husband were ‘earning’ $5 million.  If true, that would mean Paula was spending $200,000 per year on clothes! I don’t care how much of a ‘heart for the poor’ you boast about having, such excess is grotesquely sinful.

The obsession with money, wealth, power and influence is a real problem in the Church. We seem to think that Jesus did not mean it when he said we cannot serve both God and Mammon (Matthew 6:24). But that does not stop Paula manipulating people in a recent telethon to get them to send money to help Jim Bakker build a new TV studio. She tells them: “Right now someone is about to send you that $1 million cheque in the name of Jesus, you just have to be obedient, whether it’s $100,000 or $10,000 you send.”

She says that there is a “Department of Treasury in Heaven” which will write up your name. It’s just a straight-out blasphemous lie. The self-justification for greed is breathtaking.

“God must trust some with money and fame because there are people He wants to reach.”

It’s amazing how many feel they are called to be missionaries to the wealthy and therefore in order to reach them, they too must be wealthy. Is this the way of Jesus?

4) It lacks self-awareness

Anyone who can write “I’m dying right now to self” in the midst of a book that is all about herself has a severe problem with self-awareness. As is anyone who claims to be humbled by awards that she has received before going on to express pride in them.


READ MORE: Trump adviser Paula White says send money to her for blessings – or face divine consequences


5) It is shallow

This shallowness is seen in the commitments in marriage, in church and in other relationships. Although claiming to be all about love, helping the poor, being a relational person etc, the lack of emotional, intellectual and spiritual depth is obvious. The obsession with numbers and success is both an expression of, and reason for, this shallowness.

Intellectual shallowness is portrayed as profundity.

“In the Hebrew language, there’s no such word as coincidence.”

Yes, actually, there is. In fact, there are several that are used to convey the idea.

That shallowness breeds endless meaningless soundbites such as:

“We are not supposed to die until we are empty.”

“Find your passion in life and figure out a way to make money.”

There are many other such anti-Christian truisms that I could quote here.

6) It is Trumpesque

Paula takes great pride in being the spiritual adviser for Donald Trump.

“Fourteen years before he is elected president, I meet Donald Trump. God uses him greatly in my life, just as I will be used in his.”

At times, it seems as though she sees her role as being a kind of John the Baptist to Trump’s Christ.

“After spending time around Donald Trump I find myself inspired by his vision, thought process, keen insight, and overall discipline. He’s a brilliant thinker who tends to walk several steps ahead of the masses. I want to share his wisdom with the world in my own way.”

Donald Trump: the wise brilliant thinker several steps ahead of the masses. Who knew?!

And therein lies the problem. The reason that these pastors have endorsed Paula White’s book is because of her support for, and their access to, President Donald Trump. He is seen as ‘their’ man, if not God’s anointed. It would be foolish to deny that God can use Donald Trump. But it is even more foolish to hold him up as the Church’s prophet or politician.

The narcissism, dishonesty, materialism, shallowness and lack of self awareness is something we might expect of Donald Trump but it is not something that should have any part in the Bride of Christ. If the Church does not repent of its sins, then Ichabod (the glory has departed) can be written over her gravestone now.

Something Really Greater

Thankfully there are those in the US and throughout the world, who will continue to follow and serve Jesus Christ. He must become greater, we must become less. Despite the title of her book, Paula White offers us something lesser. The real “Something Greater” is a vision of Jesus so glorious that everything else fades in comparison.

The Church has to decide: enough is enough. We will have nothing to do with those who use and demean the name of Christ in order to further their own wealth, fame and power. It’s Christ or nothing.

I’ll end with Revelation 3:17-20:

“You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.”

I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

Is Donald Trump the Christian President?

Quantum 64 – The one with Nobel, Trump and the Kurds; Poland; International Pronouns Day; Democrats Intolerance; China and Apple; Climate Hypocrites; Anna McGahan; Japan v. Scotland; and more…

18 comments

  1. Do you envy Donald Trump, the man that is? He seems to be doing a good job as President. He is an attractive man with an attractive family, wealthy and clever and I think he is easily hated (envied) just for that. The masses are easily influenced by what they read and it is the quest of the Democrats to destroy him not just remove him from office. Fake news has been around as long as time immemorial and the gullible believe what they want to as in Paula White’s gospel. When you don’t know Christ anything goes – the way of the natural man. I am a born again Christian belonging to the Reformed Presbyterian Church.

    1. Thanks Dorothy – but to answer your question – no I have no envy of Donald Trump at all. Nor do I find him ‘attractive’. Yes the masses are read by what they read – including the Christian masses – (you and me). But thanks for commenting…

    2. Dorothy, I don’t always agree with David, but I do on this one. Like him, I do not find Donald Trump attractive or clever. He may be wealthy. He may be powerful. Nevertheless, I do not envy him.

      Perhaps I am wrong. I’ve never met him. Perhaps what one picks up is profoundly misleading. One would hope so. My apologies if this is upsetting, but his public persona, his words, his actions, convey a pervasive strong impression that there is no inner Trump, that for all that he has gained of the world, he is someone who has lost the one thing that really matters.

  2. Those last three paragraphs were especially welcome – so thank you for the points mentioned in them.

    ISTM that the Prosperity Gospel might never have got going, if there had been “godly discipline” and Church oversight to check such developments. My impression (which may be mistaken) is, that its preachers are not accountable to anyone – which, if true, makes those Churches very different from presbyterian or episcopal ones, both of which have a clear structure that allows and encourages accountability. Being without oversight cannot be healthy. whether for preachers or churches.

    1. I do believe in the prosperity gospel. Unfortunately it has been translated too many times into what I want from God rather than what God wants to do for us. The principle of those who have will have more is for those who are good stewards and a blessing to others. That’s the heart of a Godly prosperity I support.

  3. Another Good article, can you take it back and get a refund?

    Question how does one read book like this, critque the author but not come across as judging / condemning them.

    1. We must warn against falsehood so that others are not led astray, so forget judging/condemning, false teachers should be called out for what they are as Jesus himself referred to some as vipers.

      As for Paula White’s views, thoughts, preaching or books; by their fruit you shall know them, I believe is the criteria.
      A person who has a god of her own making it seems, so believers should stay well clear.

  4. The theological reality is that PW is living out the curse in Genesis 3:15. She has stepped into a position not given to her by Scripture, showing that she is deceived, and the deception is evident in her ministry, she thinks she can be a god.

    Thanks for saving us the price of the book.

    1. There is no way I would have wanted to buy such a book, but your assessment of it is very helpful. (It might be worth trying to get a refund!) It sounds appalling and completely contrary to the Spirit of Christ. btw I do feel that in some ways the Lord is using Trump – though as with any leader he is always ‘on probation’ – but despite that aspect I completely agree with you about PW.

  5. A great article. I weep for those prepared to put their names to such a book and wonder how they will account for it on judgement day.

  6. Thanks again David for another erudite column. It is very sad and discouraging to hear about the endorsements of respected Christian leaders you mention. Lets pray they see the error of their ways and the confusion they have sown.

  7. I’m not surprised by the endorsements.

    Your description of this book could be a description of a certain subset of evangelicals (mostly American evangelicals) and it is not surprising that they so wholeheartedly campaign for President Trump because they are very similar to him.

  8. I followed Trump’s campaign closely for , inter alia, any sign of adherence to any known religion. There was none.

    The Believers were seduced by Trump without even a pre – election flirtatious glance.

    The people in charge of America’s hugely lucrative salvation – peddling industry are very pro – Israel and simply assumed the Trump was a better prospect than Obama in the matter of defending the future capital of world government.

  9. What is this obsession in the US church with having ministries named after oneself? God will not give his glory to another.
    I feel the same way about study Bibles. Why do they put their name , and its usually in larger print than other words, on the cover? It’s GODS Word and your interpretation of it. I realize that they may have decades of studying Scriptures, but GOD doesn’t share HIS Glory. Some will even autograph it for you.

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