Home/Rod Dreher/The Evangelical Rot Deepens

The Evangelical Rot Deepens

Paula White-Cain, telling viewers of the Jim Bakker program that if they give money to him, they’re storing up treasures in heaven

I’m wound up today, with the news out from Pew showing, among other things, that the Millennials are the first generation in American history to be majority non-Christian, and with today’s news that Theodore McCarrick molested at least seven more boys than we knew about.

So as long as we’re discussing decay in the church, let’s turn to Trump’s Court Evangelicals. Take a look at this appalling spectacle of Paula White-Cain, one of the president’s spiritual advisers, asking for donations to build convicted felon Jim Bakker a new TV studio. You have to listen to this garbage to believe it:

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White-Cain has a new book out today, called Something Greater. Guess who has endorsed it? Many of Donald Trump’s so-called “Court Evangelicals”. Excerpt from The Christian Post:

Several prominent evangelical leaders took to social media to endorse White’s book.

In a since-deleted tweet, Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, encouraged his 2 million followers to “check out” Something Greater, noting that White has lived an “interesting life.” The move drew the ire of some public commenters who said Grahams’ late father, Billy Graham, would be “disappointed” in his son’s endorsement.

Additionally, Jack Graham, pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, tweeted: “My good friend @Paula_White has written a new book which releases tomorrow. It is powerful. I highly recommend it!”

On Twitter, Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Dallas, said to give Something Greater to “anyone looking for hope!” While Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University, added, “Paula’s life is an encouragement to so many and I’m sure this book will encourage you.”

Responding Jeffress, author and evangelist Justin Peters said, “@robertjeffress I appeal to you to immediately disassociate with Paula White. A lack of discernment of this magnitude is a very, very serious issue for a pastor. She is both unqualified and disqualified on every imaginable level to be in any kind of ministry. This is serious.”

Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, also endorsed the book, as did Ralph Reed, and T.D. Jakes.

White, who is on her third husband, has been called a “heretic” by other Evangelicals. In this piece, theologian Michael Horton explains what is so problematic about her theology. 

She was on the Jim Bakker program today to promoted her new book, which dropped this morning. In her opening remarks on the program, she praised the convicted felon grifter as a “forerunner” for televangelism, and says that people who won’t partner with Bakker are missing out on a “blessing.” Here’s a link to the broadcast. At around minute 44, Bakker begins talking about how God told him to build this new TV studio, called Voice of the Prophets, and how Jesus is going to move into the joint when it’s done. Paula agrees with his tale about how the evil spirits took him out back in the 1980s, and says later that there is mystical significance to the fact that Jim is now 80 years old, and doing this new work of God. Which is why God expects people to obey Him and donate money to build Jim’s new studio.

She says that if people give money to Jim to help him build that studio, they’re storing up treasures in heaven. Gosh, it’s like buying indulgences, innit?

Look, Paula White-Cain is not an Evangelical. She’s a Pentecostal Word of Faith preacher. That means something. But she has been endorsed by all these leading Trump Evangelicals. It can’t be because they agree with her theologically. It has to be because she’s on their side politically. Here she is praising a convicted felon TV evangelist as a “forerunner,” then raising money for his latest grift, and these Evangelical leaders are all on board with her. Why?

This is decadence.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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