Ten of Trump's evangelical advisers promote Paula White-Cain's new book—revealing their priority is loyalty to Trump
Ten of Trump's evangelical supporters have promoted Paula White-Cain's new book. Here they are: Jerry Falwell Jr., Franklin Graham, Robert Jeffress, Jack Graham, Malachi O'Brien, Tim Clinton, Ralph Reed, Greg Laurie, Jentezen Franklin, and Johnnie Moore (who was and seems still to be her publicist).
Prior to being invited by Paula White to support Trump in 2015, none of these figures seems to have supported White. She has been plagued by marital, financial, and theological scandals. She is married to her third husband and was also photographed holding hands leaving a hotel in Rome with the married Benny Hinn in 2010. The church she led with her second husband filed for bankruptcy in 2014, which is only the tip of the iceberg of the financial mismanagement and self-enrichment revealed in this 2010-2011 Senate finance report. To prevent further disclosure, she required all employees to sign lifetime non-disclosure agreements (which is suspicious and immoral and legally questionable). In 2016, Russell Moore commented: "Paula White is a charlatan and recognized as a heretic by every orthodox Christian, of whatever tribe."
Prior to 2011, White bought a condo at Trump Tower for $3.5 million and Trump appeared on her TV show. In September 2015, she invited a group to pray for him. Twenty-five evangelical advisers were named in June 2016. "That board, with around 25 members . . . was dissolved when he became president." On August 27, 2018, Trump's evangelical advisers (including these eleven) gathered at the White House and Trump was presented a Bible by White with the inscription: "History will record the greatness you have brought for generations." This group of eleven (including White) is a indicator of those in October 2019 who continue to be in the inner circle of Trump supporters.
Franklin Graham and Greg Laurie have since deleted their tweets. Robert Jeffress admitted to Julie Roys that he has not read the book word for word and does not know that much about Paula White's past scandals. Jacob Denhollander, husband of Rachael and PhD student at Southern Seminary, writes, "Spoiler: none of the celebrity pastor endorsers read the book. It's assistants, all the way down."
Still, besides promoting a book that is not a quality work, their promotion of Paula White-Cain's book reveals that their loyalties are to White because she is a source of access to Trump. This is another sign that their theological and personal integrity are not as important as maintaining ties with Trump.
Alan Cross, a Southern Baptist Convention pastor writes, "If someone in my church is promoting Paula White books to other people in the church, I’m going to say something. And if they say they are reading it because another preacher endorsed the book, I’m going to tell them not to listen to that preacher, that he is not trustworthy."
Alan Noble, a professor of English at Oklahoma Baptist University, writes, "Looks like the Court Evangelicals all joined Paula White’s book launch team. Hope the swag was worth it."
Drew Dyck, Christian writer and editor, comments. "Ah, amazing how shared political allegiances can help people paper over serious theological disagreements."
Shannon Dingle, writer who recently lost her husband in a tragic accident, writes, "I would give anything to watch a conversation between the current version of some of these folks and the former - maybe late 90s? - version of themselves."
Eric Erickson, political commentator and PhD student in theology, writes, "Amazing seeing a group of Southern Baptist ministers promoting a prosperity gospel heretic’s book because they’re all Trump humpers. They’d never do that for certain female orthodox Bible believing Southern Baptists because OMG those ladies might teach men too."
Ross Douthat, a Roman Catholic writer, comments, "The Trump-era reconciliation of prominent conservative-Baptist pastors with prominent prosperity theologians is quite noteworthy . . . To put it in the terms of my still-perhaps-useful book Bad Religion, it's a case of one American heresy, Christian nationalism, tempting conservative evangelicals into alignment with another one."
Warren Throckmorton, a professor of psychology at Grove City College comments, "No one should be surprised that the evangelical leaders support Paula White's book. They have sold themselves for Trump. What is one more compromise for the Trump team?"
Paula White and Benny Hinn in 2010 appeared in the National Inquirer holding hands walking out of a hotel in Rome. "The article, which released July 23, claimed the two spent three nights in a five-star hotel Hinn booked under a false name."
Costi Hinn, nephew of Benny Hinn, and a pastor himself, comments, "I’ve shared a family Christmas with her before a particular divorce was final, then watched them spin the PR, lie to millions, twist biblical parameters, and slowly creep back into the mainstream."
For the search engine, the book is entitled: Something Greater: Finding Triumph Over Trials.
Note that Paula White-Cain in May 2019 handed her position as pastor to her son, Brad Knight. This pattern of employing your children is a big part of how White, Jerry Falwell Jr., Franklin Graham, and Donald Trump operate. At the White House meeting in August 2018, White brought her son, and Franklin brought his daughter, while Trump's daughter also attended.
Sometimes Paula White-Cain says that the Senate Finance Committee found no wrong-doing but that is not the case. Grassley's purpose was to shine light on this situation.
See this summary from
Senator Grassley and the Televangelists
January 24, 2011
Husband and wife team Randy and Paula White did not escape Grassley’s scrutiny. The Whites announced their plans to divorce in 2007, leaving Randy as the sole senior pastor at Without Walls International Church (WWIC) and Paula as the leader of Paula White Ministries (PWM). Under Randy’s leadership, WWIC defaulted on a $1 million loan, though when WWIC came out of foreclosure proceedings, Randy stepped down and Paula took over as senior pastor.
Randy might have talked to the Senator’s staff but for a policy that seems to have covered lots of departing WWIC and PWM staff, requiring all employees to sign a confidentiality agreement prohibiting them from “ever discussing anything pertaining to the organization.” Former staff were afraid of being sued by the church and at least one received a friendly letter from WWIC with a helpful reminder about the confidentiality agreement.
Like the other televangelists, WWIC and PWM make money from selling the tapes, DVDs, and books of their high profile religious leaders. In the case of the Whites, at least during 2004 and 2005, their tapes and books were produced by companies personally owned by Randy and Paula, with the church required to make inventory purchases from their companies of $541,000 and $330,000. In nonprofit parlance, those are called related party transactions, usually frowned upon.
WWIC specifically has a number of related organizations, including KABB Enterprises, apparently set up to purchase a Day’s Inn motel, and several nonprofits and for-profits located at WWIC’s address. Disentangling the financial flows of the Whites’ corporations without more disclosure than the Whites gave the Grassley investigators is impossible. Audited financials for WWIC alone showed revenues of $39.9 million in 2006 and a variety of interesting though vague expenditures, including an $880,000 housing allowance.
One accountant working for WWIC apparently quit after Randy White ordered him to have WWIC pay his personal $24,000 American Express card bill (including $13,000 for the purchase and installation of mirrors) even though that would have made the entity unable to make payroll that week. That’s a small bill compared to their rumored compensation levels – as much as $5 million in around 2004 or 2005. Although the report was never revealed, apparently Randy White presented a compensation study done by “The Strategic Compensation Group of America” to justify whatever the board of WWIC approved as his and Paula’s salaries. WWIC did provide information on its compensation to members of the family, which the Grassley report summarized as payments to “Paula’s son and Randy’s son, daughter, father and sister, up to $420,000, $560,000, $700,000 and $1,075,000 in tax years 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007.”
Prior to the divorce, the Whites owned a $2.681 million home (improved with the addition of an in-ground pool and spa) in the Bayshore area of Tampa, and a $3.5 million condo in Trump Tower in New York City. The costs of these properties appear to have been paid for through the WWIC housing allowance. They liked cars too, driving among other vehicles a 2007 Bentley convertible. There must be something about Bentleys, as Paula gave Bishop T.D. Jakes a Bentley convertible as a 50th birthday gift. Randy is generous too, putting his post-divorce girlfriend and her parents on salary and authorizing WWIC to pay for plastic surgery for one of the organization’s pastors.
The ministry – either WWIC or PWM – purchased a Gulfstream GII for $1.2 million, but also pays for ferrying the Whites around by chartered flights. One source told Grassley’s investigators that the Whites chartered a flight to Las Vegas for a boxing match and were accompanied by sports personalities including Gary Sheffield, Darryl Strawberry, Michael Pittman, and Anthony Telford. The boxing match tickets alone, costing between $17,000 and $18,000, were charged to the WWIC AMEX card. Their chartered flights, particularly on a Learjet used predominantly by Paula, were frequently to “the islands” and often involved re-filing flight plans once out of U.S. airspace to head to the Cayman Islands.
More info in my tweet thread about the reaction to Paula White-Cain's book below.