Before the scandal broke about Randy and Paula White, I really didn’t know anything about them except that they were televangelists. Of course, this led me to assume that they were probably charismatics and since they were televangelists, they were probably health and wealth proponents.
But, I found out that I really didn’t assume enough! I am incredulous at the stuff these people are preaching! It is totally a self-centered message targeted at promising people a world of goodies, and that God is at our disposal to give us whatever we want. God is our genie, and Paula has figured out the formula for rubbing his lamp in just the right way to get my
three unlimited wishes granted.
But it’s really worse than that. It’s all about these preachers. They seem to exist for themselves, their own enrichment, their own fame, their own success. “Making merchandise of men’s souls” is the line from Peter that comes to mind.I was tooling around on Paula White’s website, and this is what I observed.
Just glance at the main page on the site and here’s the visual message you’ll get:
It’s All About Paula
24 times her name is visible on the page
5 more times if you hover over menus
8 photos of Paula in various poses,and
1 flash slideshow with a few more.(
This is the same self-promoting visual message you get from the covers of Joel Osteen’s books. What other reason would they allow their own face to be splashed across the front of their books? I hate to say it, I really do, because she’s not anything like Osteen or White, but even Beth Moore’s stuff is just getting more and more plastered with bigger and bigger images of Beth. Can’t these authors tell the publishers, “No, you will not make me the central focus. You will not put my face prominently placed on the cover of my books. It’s not about me, it’s about Christ. I will not become the center of attention like some kind of celebrity in ministry.”)
It’s All About Money (almost $40 million worth in 2006, $35 million of which was just offerings, and $1.5 million of which (in 2005) was used to purchase a used jet)
“Support the ministry” tab with 4 submenu giving options
“Sow a seed” button/graphic
“Partner with Paula” link
“Click here to give” an Atonement Offering button
“Click to become a Covenant Partner” button
“Click for Pay Per View” button
The Lyrics to Paula’s Theme Song:
Today, can’t wait
Today, her way
All the things confronting me fail,
Never gets the best of her today
Paula gets what Paula wants today
UPDATE: The above lyrics are what it really sounds like to me. Michelle commented below and gave me the closed-captioned version. Sadly, they aren’t much less Paula-promoting than the lyrics I attempted to decipher from listening to the song multiple times. Here you go:
Today, – can’t wait
To take – away
All the things confronting me -they’ll,
Never get the best of the day
It all begins with Paula White today
Wow. I guess so! This is so blatantly self-promoting! Shameless. This sounds like how someone would poke fun at a woman for being a little diva! This is supposed to be the theme song for a MINISTRY! Supposedly!
I think Toby Keith has the lyrics to give Paula’s song a second verse:”I wanna talk about me, wanna talk about I, wanna talk about number one, oh my, me, my, what I think, what I like, what I know, what I want, what I see. I like talkin’ ’bout you, you, you, you usually, but occasionally, I wanna talk about me!”
Was this the focus of the apostles? Peter? Paul? Christ??!
This sentence from Paula on page 3 of her downloadable financial audit report just sums up her mentality and theology: “Every day GOD affords you the opportunity to make your mark, impact your world, and take yourself to the next level.”
It’s all about me isn’t it? Not Christ, not God’s glory, not the Gospel. Me. Me getting what I want – today, because I can’t wait. Taking myself to the next level. Paula will help God help me help myself, to make my mark, impact my world take myself to the next level. I get what I want today. I don’t wait. I do not learn godly contentment. I am not a satisfied woman or man. I am dissatisfied and want Paula to teach me how to get what I want so I’ll be satisfied.
It’s about me being the center of my universe. That’s what this Paula White/Joel Osteen message is all about: Me. Not Christ, and how HE is the satisfaction of our souls that frees us from the bondage of our lust for the dissatisfying things that define health and wealth, but how WE are the satisfaction of our souls when we finally get everything we see.
At least Benny Hinn’s website (despite himself) has a link on “How to Receive Christ,” where at least the Gospel is given in it’s most basic form! (Honestly this surprised me). Paula has no such means to get to the Gospel that I can find. But it’s a really really sad day when the clearest presentation of the Gospel you’ll get from this group of self-promoters is from Benny Hinn – of all people! He’s the granddaddy of them all! He’s the richest, most shamelessly money-grubbing of all those charlatans. But he seems to be being outdone in the self-promotion department.
It is disgusting that these “preachers” 1.) have a voice in the public arena, 2.) are the public face of what the world sees and hears when they see Christianity, 3.) completely distort and corrupt the Gospel of God’s grace through salvation from our sins into a means to personal riches and self-glory.
What do I really think about them? Well, to borrow words from meanders: they are “pulpit-snakes.” Click the link and read the poem that these words come from. It is a fitting, Christ-centered way to finish off this blog post.