The Message of Paula White: It’s All About Me

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.

Disgusting.

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.

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21 Responses to The Message of Paula White: It’s All About Me

  1. Peg says:

    Scott,

    This is the FOURTH post on the topic of prosperity preachers from unrelated, never-before-met bloggers I’ve seen in the past 24 hours. (The other three were myself, Internet Monk, and Daily Provision.) I can’t help but wonder — is He up to something?

    In the meantime — excellent post!

  2. […] across another blogger who has been led to write about prosperity preachers today (this is #4).  Click here to read an excellent post by Scott Kay. Published […]

  3. titus2woman says:

    I am in complete agreement! and YES! There are a lot of these posts out now about prosperity preachers. LOVE IT! (((((HUGS))))) sandi

  4. I heard about Paula and Randy White about two months before this story broke, so I had checked their website out. Only the top page was sufficient for me to come to the exact same conclusion that you did: Prosperity theology preachers. Only when this story broke did I learn details like the $35 million budget for their ministry, and the private jet. Paula even gave Bishop T.D. Jakes a luxury car for his 50th birthday as a thank you for mentoring her in ministry!

    I ask for support for my ministry, but I get nothing. It doesn’t matter to me: I do what I do as an act of worship to God, and He provides me with what I need to conduct my work–a spirit of discernment, the best in free software (including WordPress itself!), a love for His Word, and a small but regular readership!

    Based on the small amount of comments here, it seems as if God is getting His truth out there on the blogosphere about these dangerous false Word-Faith teachers! May He bless your ministry and may you continue proclaiming His truth.

  5. Scott W. Kay says:

    Thanks Peg!
    Thanks titus2woman!
    Thanks Cory!

  6. JCW says:

    I was one of the people who got a good “fleecing” at Cornerstone Church. I tithed and gave and helped him pay off HIS debts. It wasn’t until I had a wreck and couldn’t afford to tithe anymore (I really never could afford to tithe, but I did it and made my children (who had already been abused and molested by their dad) watch as I gave to the church while they did without. I did this for almost 15 years…….I guess I’m one of the dumber sheep. But when we escaped the hell of my ex-husband and got to safety with a protective order on him, I was desperate for hope!! I gave to Paula White, Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, TD Jakes, Jesse Duplantis, Benny Hinn, TBN, Larry Huch, and Mark Chironna. I finally woke up a few months ago while on my knees begging God to forgive me for not tithing. To say I was shocked to find out the truth after being in denial for so long would be an understatement. After I got up, asked God to forgive me and my children, I’ve been on a mission to get the truth out ever since. Paula White is going to be a Cornerstone tomorrow, and I would love to write on my car to beware, etc and drive through the parking lot. I just can’t afford to get arrested. Besides, those people have body guards, and no telling what they could have done to someone. It is my prayer that God will not allow these ministries to continue stealing from widows and orphans and the poor. The Bible is full of scriptures that say how God feels about all this….I am waiting for him to take them all down.

  7. Scott W. Kay says:

    JCW,

    Thanks for the personal testimony. I’m glad to hear that the Lord delivered you from that stuff. No one has as much insight about these people as someone like you, who has been there. God will deal with these people in His good time, and it will be a sad and fearful day.

  8. Michelle says:

    Re: The theme song

    I was at a friends house the other day and she had the captions on.

    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

  9. Scott W. Kay says:

    MIchelle,

    Thanks for letting me know.

    Sadly, it still sounds very Paula-promoting.

    Christ just doesn’t appear to have the preeminence in her “ministry”.

    Col. 1:18 – And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.

  10. Michelle says:

    I didn’t want you singing the wrong lyrics.

    I watch a lot of Christian programming and am also sickened by the SEND US YOUR MONEY! sermons. I usually change the channel before the show ends. That’s when the guilt trip starts. But Paula got wise–she starts begging in the middle of the show! LOL

  11. Scott W. Kay says:

    Michelle,

    LOL! Thanks for keeping me from singing the wrong thing. 🙂

    Now you can turn Paula off even sooner! 🙂

  12. What is really intresting is that although these people are easy to spot out really they are trully fulfilling the word of God. Many shall come in my name and shall decieve many, whose God is their belly whose glory is in their shame who mind earthly things. Taken from Matthew 24 and Phillippians 3:18. So allow these devils to work because we who are truth will triumph.

  13. Rebecca says:

    I do agree with you all on some points. But, it seems to me as though you’re saying they’re not supposed to even promote their ministries. How are people supposed to know that they have a ministry and that they can go to churches and other places to minister to people? It takes promotion in order for people to know their ministry exists. Yes, it is all about God and that’s how it should be presented, but it does need to be presented so that peole will know they exist.
    Are we all supposed to be broke, having no financial blessings, struggling to survive, and driving a beat up old car? I suppose it would be alright if these people lived in a shack, drove a beaten up car, and only spoke to people in church. Are they not supposed to be on television? More people can be reached through television and even online. Does being on television make someone not right and you can’t believe anything they say because of it? Are they not supposed to even post a picture of themselves on their website?
    As far as asking for money’s concerned I don’t agree with the always asking people for it. But, if they are going to be in ministry full-time and it’s going to be their “job”, then it has to support them. Of course it doesn’t have to support a fancy life style with the finest of things, but it does have to enable them to make a living, otherwise they wouldn’t be able to be in full-time ministry. It would take alot of money to keep a ministry going though. They have a television program and they have to cover production costs. They have people working for them who do promotion, secretary work, ect. and they have to pay those people to do so. They have to pay for whatever venue is used for them to hold their conferences when they speak. It all costs money and I’m sure alot of it. So, I assume it would take a rather large budget to keep it all going. Then if they do anything like helping those in need that takes even more money. There’s travel expenses to get to and from each vinue where they speak as well. It does take money to keep a ministry going. It could take a rather large budget to keep it all going. So, I suppose they do have to have some means of asking for support.
    I’m not trying to take up for these people or say that they are all right. There are two of them that I listen to and the rest I don’t really pay any attention to. But, it seems as though you all are being so judgemental of them because they’re on television, have some nice things, and have pictures on their websites. Plus, you seem to be singeling out Paula in this. I’ve seen her several times and each time it has seemed to me that she has a good message. She seems to be teaching us how to have all that God has for us and incouraging us to have hope for the future because God will take care of us and turn things around for our good. I’ve been encouraged each time I’ve seen her and inspired to go read and study the Bible and to have a closer relationship with God and to fully trust in Him. Seems to me the theme song is saying that situations and circumstances will not get the better of us and that we want to change those bad situations and circumstances in our lives. I don’t neccessarily think it should say that it begins with Paula..should say it begins with God.
    I do agree about how the focus in on them more then on God..does kind of seem that way. The focus should be on what God does…He’s the one doing everything, they’re just the vessels He’s using to reach people and to do these things. So, it should be focused on what God does through them and what He enables them to do and not on what they do and on just themselves. That’s really the main problem I see here…that and sometimes being too focused on asking for money and having a donate money type of message. Some people do seem to have messages that are centered around donating money to their ministry, which I don’t think is right.

  14. David says:

    I noticed that at the top of your website, your name is the Biggest!! and the Gospel centered blog smaller.Is the this the first step in promoting yourself?

  15. Scott W. Kay says:

    Nice jab, David. Somehow, your concern for my self-promotion somehow doesn’t seem to ring genuine. You did send a note to Paula White too, didn’t you? Something tells me you already knew that the format of the header is in a pre-determined theme that is typically beyond the average blog owner’s ability to tamper with. But, the overall emphasis of the posts on this blog, though, speaks for itself.

  16. Tommy says:

    We are so used to pomp and pride in the pulpit that we sit passively under their feet. This is akin to sitting under their promotional schemes, like the people in 1 Corinthians 1 & 3 saying “we are of Paul” etc. The divisive titles or promotional insignias could be seen as being thus, subjugating (much more insidious than that of this BLOG). Then, James writes about the man with the “dirty clothes” wrongfully being told to sit beneath someone else, and about the “unpaid field workers” that “doth not resist thee”. The modern grading of the sheep and the goats is to “qualify” them financially and have them fill out a “tithe commitment” card. This effectively binds these “giving units” into an unholy vow, perpetuating this apostasy. This seems to be the thrust and the promotion of these idolatrous ministries. It makes me weep.

  17. John C. says:

    The state of the church today is a sad state indeed. Not only do we have people like Paula White, Benny Hinn, and the ridiculous Jan Crouch claiming to be the authority on everything that is Christian, but we also have the ignorant and deceived teaching Harry Potter and the Chronicles of Narnia in Church and Sunday School. And, has anyone actually heard a sermon on hell recently or one about the necessity of accepting Jesus Christ as Savior? Of course you haven’t! These are no longer politically correct subjects. What IS politically correct is your standard McDonalds-esque MegaChurch with a Starbucks just inside the entrance that is preaching on how to meet a mate or how to get out of credit card debt. The sad thing is that nobody seems to care. Nobody seems to realize that Jesus chased the money-changers out of the Temple and that a Starbucks in the church is nothing more than a modern-day money changer. Where is the capacity to speak out? Where is the faith? Why don’t people take a stand and declare that this will not be tolerated?

  18. HeavenScent says:

    As for Paula White, I had only seen her share her testimony and thought it was amazing how God had used a friend to deliver her from the pain of child abuse and sexual promiscuity. I next saw her on the Tyra Banks show, and was appauled when she did not mention God ONCE when she was asked about how she turned her life away from promiscuity and the pain of childhood sexual abuse. I thought maybe they edited her, but no amount of editing can prevent you from telling your story without letting the world know that it was God if in fact it was God that delivered you in such a great way.

    Not pertaining particularly to the modern-day mega-churches and money-grubbing pastors, in response to the above stated questions about Chrsitians not standing up and speaking out, I see a lot of passive Christians these days who won’t stand up and speak out.

    My old church hosted an international night that was advertised as not being religion-specific and that there would be no forcing-you-Jesus-down-the-throat-message, as there were people there from all different backgrounds. My bf got a phone call that his sister’s friend was in the ICU dying and asked the MC (a male member of the church) to say apublic prayer. He refused and said he didn’t want to offend anyone and that they had promised not to make it a “religious thing”. Yes, we were outraged. Jesus went around offending people, and they were offended because He spoke the TRUTH. God commands us over and over not to be afraid (Psalm 27:1,3… 2Timothy 1:8) and if we believe that what we believe is the truth, why are Christians so afraid to live boldly and speak publicly about Christ? Is it because it isn’t politically correct? Would that silence Jesus if He lived in today’s society? Not the Jesus I know. Is it because people are afraid of being labeled as a Jesus freak? Maybe. Would Jesus care? No. Jesus said commanded His disciples to leave their homes, belongings, and fathers to follow Him. So why are so many Christians claiming to know Jesus but won’t even speak His name outside of their Christian bubbles?

    Many churches are no longer Biblically based. Yes, some may use scriture, however they also use quotes and sayings from popular books such as “Wild at Heart” and “The Purpose Driven Life” and the story of some guy named Bill who had something happen to him that the pastor read on the internet that somehow relates to the message topic. Yes there are many Christian books out there but pop-culture and “scholarly” intellect does not impress Jesus and does not belong in church. If you beleive God called you to pastor then you should speak from your own heart, not from the gospel of what’s popular. Many pastors now quote some verses and throw them in every once in a while in the message and fluff the message up with a lot of talking and the congregation leaves without really know more about who God is or what Christ did for us.

    When was the last time you went to church and read more than a couple of verses total in the Bible? When was the last time you went to church and read a whole chapter? When I was a young child I heard about how Jonah was swallowed by a whale and God delivered him. (same with Daniel and the Lion, Joseph and his brothers’ evil deed) That’s all I knew about it until I was 21. I never heard the story of Jonah past my childhood until I read it in the Bible and had a REVELATION. I learned that Jonah was CHOSEN by God and disobedient, grumbling, stubborn, and unwilling to do the will of God. He ran away, got swallowed by a large fish (the Bible does not specify whale) and asked God to forgive Him. God then commanded the fish to spit him and and Jonah then went back to deliver the message God had commanded.

    Now THIS is useful in my life. This teaching helped me to stay in a very dificult situation even though I didn’t want to becauase I knew it was the will of God and HE DELIVERED ME and now I can speak even more profoundly of His glory. I learned how God can the most unlikely people (like you and me) to do His great works. I learned about how He doesn’t give up on us even when we run away. He gives us another chance to do what He says we are worthy of doing despite how we feel about it. From reading this story in the Bible I learned how much GOD LOVES US! This was nourishment for my soul! We don’t do that in church. We don’t read the Bible in church and therefore we are stuck to our elementary teachings and we don’t mature as Christians. That is why we are afraid to stand up, because we don’t take the time, as a BODY of believers to really get into God’s word and get to really KNOW God.

    When was the last time you:

    1. Decided to do your own personal study in the OLD testament?

    2. Boldy said “YES” when someone of another/no belief asked you if Jesus was the only way?

    3. Gently corrected a church leader who said/did something that was NOT Biblical?

    4. Said “I’ll pray for you” to a co-worker?

    5. Wore a T-Shirt that says “JESUS”?

    6. Didn’t leave church early to watch a football game?

    7. Heard a sermon about what happens when we die? (Heaven, Hell, Revelations, the Daniel prohecies)

    8. Heard a sermon about Jesus’s death and ressurection NOT on Easter Sunday?

    9. Gave a homeless man more than one or two dollars without judging them and thinking they were going to buy alcohol or drugs and then tell him about the loving God who gave that money to you?

    10. Invited an unsaved friend/ someone who you can clearly see could benefit from the love of Christ to Bible study or to the movies to hang out?

    Be bold and beware of churches that have a Starbucks inside. Some churches you have to stay a while to find out that they aren’t being led by Christ but Matthew 21:12 is very clear.

    hope I’ve offended some people 🙂

  19. anounous says:

    it’s all about Christ in me to be correct , for when you see me, you see Him

  20. Dave hudson says:

    HELLO!When you realy love god.You can read people very well.Anyone who couldn’t see this plastic person,might wake up and thank the people that realy show love and compassion to the sick and suffering of this world.God loves you paula,but what goes around,comes around!

  21. […] The Message of Paula White: It's All About Me В« Scott W. Kay Aug 31, 2007 … Before the scandal broke about Randy and Paula White, … 8 photos of Paula in various poses,and … […]

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