Donald Trump’s “spiritual advisor” is encouraging everyone to ring in the new year by donating one month’s salary to her church — and warning of “consequences” if they don’t.
Paula White, a popular televangelist in her own right, asked people to donate their entire January salary as part of her “First Fruits” campaign. She says God will reward or punish those who don’t pay up, but the money doesn’t go to God. It goes directly to Paula White Ministries by way of a convenient shopping cart.
Here’s what she says about “GOD’S PRINCIPLE OF FIRST FRUITS” (Yes, she used all caps):
Each January, I put God first and honor Him with the first of our substance by sowing a first fruits offering of one month’s pay. That is a big sacrifice, but it is a seed for the harvest I am believing for in the coming year. And God always provides! Every year many others join us and sow a month’s pay, a week’s pay, others give a day’s pay, but everyone gives their best — The results are miraculous! First Fruits has impacted my life personally and the lives of countless others! But First Fruits is more than just an offering… it’s a principle.
Who exactly is Paula White giving money to? Her own bank account? Since every link on that website goes directly to her donation page, we can safely assume she is sending the money to… her own ministry. That means it’s not a “big sacrifice” at all. It also brings new meaning to “God always provides!”
Still, she insists God will reward those who pay her… and punish those who don’t.
All Firsts belong to God. When you honor this principle it provides the foundation and structure for God’s blessings and promises in your life, it unlocks deep dimensions of spiritual truths that literally transform your life! When you apply this everything comes in divine alignment for His plan and promises for you. When you don’t honor it, whether through ignorance or direct disobedience there are consequences.
Among other things, White says those who don’t give her a month’s pay (or, at very least, something) may experience “struggle.”
If this sounds to you like a manipulative scheme to fleece her followers for huge sums of money in the name of God, you’re not alone. Lots of people feel the same way. And it’s not just atheists, either. A number of believers have responded negatively to the campaign, according to the Christian Post.
White’s church tweeted in support of the campaign Tuesday. But not everyone is convinced that this is how God intended the principle of first fruits to work.
“The concept of biblical first fruits is real, but as I read your article I can’t help but feel as though you’re being manipulative. Laying the foundation for first fruits and then launching into a ‘financial seed’ campaign seems to be a misuse/abuse of the biblical intention,” Christian mom Heather Norton told White on Twitter Tuesday morning.
CompellingTruth.org, an outreach effort by a group of trained Christian experts at Got Questions Ministries, agrees. While some preachers today use the concept to encourage their parishioners to give an offering above and beyond tithing, the Bible does not support it as a requirement for Christians.
So White is using an out-of-context Bible verse to pressure her members to give a lot of money, perhaps more than they can afford, to her church. She justifies that by saying she does the same, which doesn’t quite follow.
This isn’t the first time White has used God and fear to manipulate her followers — she also told them opposing Trump means opposing God. This probably isn’t the last time she’ll use her connection and proximity to Trump as a launching pad for a money-making campaign either. But it’s important to watch because it shows she shouldn’t be the spiritual advisor to anyone, let alone the President of the United States.
(Image via Facebook)