For the latest adventure in the saga of Paula White go HERE
So said the sheep to the shepherds of the flock:
|Evangelist Paula White|
"[Bishop] Randy, Pastor Paula, give me a word, marry me, bury me, pay these bills, prophesy. Why aren't you doing this? Why isn't it like it used to be? We don't like the music. We leaving the church because you didn't know our names and you didn't come have lasagna with us,"
Being a world famous evangelist must be really something else. From what I can read and hear from those who are of the class, it's froth will all kinds of problems as Pastor Paula White presented at the 2011 Pastors & Leaders Conference in Orlando, FL, themed “What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You” hosted by her mentor Bishop T.D. Jakes.
Proclaiming the message "I Got My Bounce Back", Paula took the time to lay out the fact that everything was going well in her life until pressures like pastoring, the government and other challenges to her lifestyle became part of the equation. She summed up the good times like this:
"I'm living heaven on earth. Life cannot get any better."..."I'm above the struggle and beneath the radar. I love my husband and my husband loves me. And we do. The kids are doing good. And millions of dollars in the bank. Not sick,"
From her statements, this was a time when she and her former husband Bishop Randy shared an over $600,000 joint annual income from the work of ministry and lived in an over $2 Million home paid for in part by a tax free church allowance that probably exceeded $100,000 ultimately. (these numbers are probably low) Then after the government began to investigate these expenditures and what certainly appeared to be a lavish lifestyle,she thought this:
"You can handle something if it's for a short season. But how do I praise Him when my days turn into weeks and my weeks turn into months and my months turn into years and my years turn into decades?" she said. "How do I praise Him under that continual pressure? That kind of pressure wears you out."
According to White, all of this led to health problems such as a stroke, a midlife meltdown, compassion fatigue, Rx drug addictions, and "in a really weak moment", divorce from her husband Bishop Randy and a host of other personal issues. There was even a hint of an extramarital relationship between she and Evangelist Benny Hinn who was caught in holding hands with White in Rome on July 13th 2010. Although White admits that nothing happened as a result of this Hinn also followed up with this in a message delivered on July 30th 2010:
“A friendship did develop,”...“Hear this: No immorality whatsoever. These people out there are making it sound like we had an affair. That’s a lie.” ~ Benny HinnPrior to this (Feb. 2010) Pastor Hinn did a special segment on his TV show outlining the divorce from his wife found HERE, of course there could have been no affair,
Back To The Action:
It would seem that Evangelist White's troubles began as a result of a 2004 when certain individuals began to call ministry finances into question and was heightened further in 2007 by a probe the U S Senate into ministry affairs. There were about 5 highly visible ministries (Eddie Long, The Whites, Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, and Kenneth Copeland) that were the center of the investigation headed by Sen. Chuck Grassley. This was supposedly due to reports on ministry excesses that the government had received involving those ministries and other mega-church styled ministries.
White's words to the church..."You Better Recognize" are delivered as she proclaims that the church may owe her and the other mega-ministries a debt of gratitude for stopping the government in their tracks by refusing to work with them and ultimately helping to make it financially and operationally safe for all ministries to operate as the Government was overstepping their bounds.
Now, Hold The Phone!
The government may overstep its bounds in many cases, of that I don't argue. But to summarize Paula's story could go like this:
Paula White is happy preacher until her money gets funny. When her $2 million home and over $300,000 salary are called into question, she looses her praise. Further, when her life is inconvenienced by pastoring people that attend her church, and a requirement to become accountable to others that have an interest in knowing if her ministry is walking in financial integrity, she not only looses her mind, but also gives up on her marriage and walks away from the church even though there is really no reason to do so. [NEW: You can hear Paula try to explain her life's "seasons" in this video series and interview HERE, and HERE, also read how she seems to use almost any situation for her benefit HERE.] A 6 year trial appears to a "decade" and she basically gives up everything but TV, and book sales. To top it all off, without her standing between the government and the church, by refusing to justify her income and allowances and mega-minister lifestyle, we would all be in trouble.
Are You 4-Real? What A Fiasco!
I am convinced that some of these people have lost their mind a long time ago. Our airwaves seem to be full of people who have made ministry a business but who have no or very little commitment to Christ. Christ is used as a means to an end. The end is a life of money, fame, wealth and materialism and if a few folk are fed along a way, then that's good too.
There comes a time that the minister must live what is contained within the bible. We may not have jet planes, nor limousines, neither may we all preach at the height of the largest mega-conferences, but to love Christ is to live Christ and serve God is to serve his people and to suffer as he would have us to suffer. Should we all loose our minds and divorce when we are in trial and tribulation? Is the length of our trial an excuse or reason to stop praising God? Listening to and following the example of TV's most popular preachers, we would have to say that almost anything goes.
I am convinced, that the modern, fast talk, all talk all the time, minister only likes the quick dollar with no commitment to either Christ or his church. For Paula to basically tell her church that they were inconveniencing her by asker her to pastor and deal with their issues and then to try to convince us, that it is because of her and ministries like hers that we have been "protected" from the IRS and government, is not only a play on everyone's intelligence, it is an insult to the whole Body Of Christ. Look, some of us may have been born at night, but it certainly not LAST NIGHT!
What Paula can do instead of delivering a context for her trials and tribulations, which we all have, and excuses for failure, which we all have experienced to some degree, is repent and and not just get her bounce back, but also get her Jesus back. Only this time I hope it is a Jesus of the bible, that will help her to live with the people and not above the people that she is serving.
Paula is indicative of the success now, prosperity minister to some degree. The one who believes that if you're not rich, wealthy and healthy, it's all your fault. Although their wealth is tied to yours, and their health is highly questionable, some people will buy and believe almost anything. I simply say, I hope Christ has risen within the church enough for the church to wake up and critically discern and stand against the ungodliness that has arisen within the modern church. one thing is for sure, the only way we will miss it, is if we want to miss it.