Skip to comments.Paula White Breaks Silence on Probes, Divorce, Benny Hinn [Evangelical/Protestant Caucus]
Posted on 05/12/2011 7:46:54 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
Pastor Paula White broke her silence Thursday night, addressing all the scandals that she has been associated with since her divorce in 2007.
"Were letting our hair down," White told thousands at the 2011 Pastors and Leadership Conference in Orlando, Fla. "I'm not here to look cute ... I came to let the devil know ... I'm stronger than I've ever been."
Though the two-hour message began with shouts of encouragement and notes of affirmation for the participating leaders who may be facing challenges or opposition, by the end of the night it was apparent that the popular charismatic pastor was also preaching to herself.
"I have a word to those who have all odds stacked against them," she preached. "You're about to get your bounce back."
"The enemy strategically plotted against you, hunted you like prey, set out to destroy you, tried to wreck your mind, destroy your heart, jack up your family, take your ministry, ruin your reputation ... and he thought that he had you. He set you up and thought this is what will kill them.
"I came to put every devil on notice ... I'm getting my dream back, I'm getting my prophesy back, I'm getting my vision back, I'm getting my anointing back, I'm getting my strength back."
White, who calls herself the "former messed up Mississippi girl," let the audience know that she would be "very vulnerable and very open" that night.
Before walking back through her tumultuous past few years, she told them, "I think it's time we stop being hypocrites in the pulpit. I think ... it's time that we take the mask off to this generation and show them that we have the same issues and the same struggles."
"We (sic) going public with all our stuff. Somebody's got to get real in the church now."
She did just that, opening up about the pressures that piled up and the crises in her life that the media was all over.
It all began in 2004 when the IRS launched a nine-year investigation into the personal and organizational finances of White and her then husband, Randy.
Just two years earlier in 2002, White had written in her journal: "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," she recalled feeling at the time.
White had risen to prominence as a preacher, motivational speaker, author and TV personality after co-founding what is now Without Walls International Church with her husband and starting her own ministry.
She was living her dream life, as she described to pastors at the Orlando conference.
But after the IRS investigation began, she began to face challenge after challenge to the point where she wanted to and even tried to quit.
"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."
Listing the numerous trials she went through, White said she experienced a midlife meltdown, compassion fatigue, her friend being falsely accused and sent to prison, a stroke, addiction to the prescription medication she was given following her stroke, and problems in her marriage.
Continuing, she added that her church staff split in the middle with some turning on the Whites and going to the media.
She maintained that the articles written based on allegations from former church staff were "mostly, totally unfounded" and "lies." The Whites were accused of being all about money and fame.
She also indicated that the staff turned on the church because they couldnt "supply the staff with the lifestyle that they were used to."
Family problems were added when White found out that her son had a drug addiction and was sexually abused by another male at a staff member's house. She then had to experience the pain of her non-biological daughter battling brain cancer. Kristen, Randy's oldest daughter, died in 2008 at age 30.
In the midst of all this, White said she was being pressured to preach and prophesy and fulfill her role in the church.
"[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," she said, mimicking the demands and criticisms she was met with.
White noted that it was under "that kind of pressure" and "in a really weak moment" that she and her husband made the decision to divorce in 2007. The split was amicable.
According to White, her husband closed up to her. While she traveled the world preaching, she pondered, "Why can I win the world and not go home and win the one that I love?"
She recounted a time when Randy took her into a dark room, placed a mask on her, spun her around and told her to find her way out. With tears, White said she sat there for half an hour, scared and calling out to him. He took off her mask and informed her that that is what he felt like he was going through.
When the two announced their split, Randy had agreed to take the responsibility. And "God told me to keep my mouth shut," she said.
Randy, who no longer co-pastors Without Walls, is now writing a book, she noted.
But she added, "I'm proud of him. He never quit .... God or anything else."
The trials continued even after the divorce when White and televangelist Benny Hinn were pictured last summer in The National Enquirer leaving a hotel in Rome holding hands. They were accused of having an affair and being engaged.
On Thursday, White flatly denied that she ever had an affair.
"They're going to talk about you and write ... because it sells ragtag magazines," she said. "They're going to lie on you but God's going to tell you to keep your mouth shut."
There was also the so-called Grassley investigation. Sen. Charles Grassley launched a Senate probe in 2007 into six influential ministries, including White's, following complaints of opulent spending and possible abuse of nonprofit status.
The probe came to a close in January of this year. With little cooperation from most of the ministries, which called the investigation an attack on their religious freedom and privacy rights, Grassley's office was unable to make any conclusion about the spending of the ministries and handed out no penalties.
White interpreted that to mean her ministry was cleared.
"The church better recognize, it should be thanking six ministries for fighting for the body of Christ for saying 'we are not going to let you dictate to us how we interpret Scripture' and you can't tell us 'because Jesus rode in on a donkey' because if you start telling us how to interpret Scripture in one way, you'll tell us how to interpret it in every way," White said in frustration. Grassley had referred to Jesus' humble entrance into Jerusalem to make the point that ministers today don't really need Bentleys and Rolls-Royces to spread the Gospel.
"I preach in countries if I say 'Jesus Christ is the only way, the truth and the life,' they'll arrest me. And don't think America's that far away. Unless the people of righteousness stand up and say 'we're not going to allow for this because you cannot take what is our First Amendment rights. You can't do that!" White asserted. "We pay taxes. We work hard. We do it by the books. We have integrity. But you're going to make a public misery and mess out of it like something's wrong!"
Stressing that her church gave $9 million to mission in January 2007, built education centers in Pakistan, put students through college, fed and continue to feed thousands every week, and helped transform countless lives, White said, "Are you serious? You want to fight over a $50,000 what? Excuse me?!"
Her long, emotional testimony was met with applause and support from the thousands of pastors in the conference room in Orlando.
Though at the time, she wondered whether she would be able to overcome the trials, she now says what the devil meant for bad, God has turned around to work for the good.
"God uses every enemy, every lawsuit, every lie, every betrayal, all the brokenness," she stressed.
"It's not over. I got my bounce back. That's my message."
The problem occurs when a woman takes authority over other believers. Teachers have a certain level of authority, but not complete authority. That authority rests with the Pastor of the Church.
A good example of a woman in a teaching ministry who is still obeying the limits set by Scripture upon women is Beth Moore.
The Ephesian church had trouble dropping all that and Paul was commanding them that women were not allowed to have "authenteo" (domineer) over men, which would imply the superiority of women.
Likely he did not mean that they should not ever teach or have authority in the normal way "exousia".
While I agree that something strange was going on at Ephesus and you’re probably right about why Paul commanded that women were not allowed to have “authenteo” over men instead of “exousia”, I also must notice that this was not the accepted understanding of this verse until very recent, being understood as such only within the last 100 years or so. If you can offer proof that this idea was around and supported by the early Church, preferably before the end of the 2nd Century, then I’d be more willing to accept it as the proper understanding.
Are you Catholic or Orthodox?
Neither, I’m Fundamentalist. Raised Freewill Baptist with Pentecostal leanings. I just hold the odd idea that God doesn’t change and neither does His ideas on what’s proper in the Body, so we should try to model our beliefs and lives as close to those first Christians as possible.
I'm not sure why you wouldn't think Paul's writings themselves were not the "early church". I find fullesst support there.
I also must notice that this was not the accepted understanding of this verses until very recent, being understood as such only within the last 100 years or so
I would not equate the "accepted understanding" of the verse with the verses themselves.
There's no doubt that culture in the early christian period was heavily dominated by pagan worship which included the worship of women. It was much different from our culture. Naturally, the comments on Scripture from those who were closer to and affected by active goddess worship have to considered in that context; their comments are not "God-breathed". All comment on Scripture did not end with them.
So Paladan,are you saying that Peter and Paul werent told by Jesus that previuos notions,beliefs and convictions of theres were wrong? If you pick and choose what you want to believe as you accuse me of,why didnt Paul continue killing Christians?Why did Peter start preaching to gentiles?Why were disciples corrected for acting diferantly when other disciples showed up?Examine also the mother begging for deliverance of her child,,when even Jesus himself seems to have corrected His own feelings about helping gentiles?Her faith seems to have made Him reconsider allowing dogs to eat from His table.
More importantly why didnt you answer my question about Jesus asking a formor prostitute to preach the gospel to the disciples?You seem to be more interested in attacking other believers.
I do think that Paul’s writing constitutes the best examples of what the Early Church thought, but since the understanding of these verses have come into question, I find it best to go back and see what the first Christians actually thought and taught, since these were the very people who Paul was writing these letters too and about. I understand that the early Christians don’t hold the same level of authority that Paul or the other Apostles do, but for me, it’s about going back to the source documents and seeing how those Christians who knew Paul personally understood and acted upon that passage.
Bluntly put, you seem to know just enough about the Bible to try to make an attack on Christians over what you seem to think is a weakness yet you don't realize that by saying you disregard Paul's teachings you flag yourself as nothing more than a troublemaker and possibly not even eligible to take part in this caucus thread, since no Protestant or Evangelical would claim to disregard Paul's writings.
You will find very few writings by people who actually received Paul's letters. And writings done in the area of the churches done a century or more later should not have nearly the same weight as the Scripture itself. We know how a generation or two even in our time can radically change the dynamics of what really happened. I'm not saying these early fathers were not good people. They heroically fought the doctrinal battles of their day and laid down doctrine as their world was being radically changed and their views are integral to our understanding. However, reading their insight (impacted by their pagan-driven culture) is not nearly as important as reading Scripture itself. Current-day exegesis done by the power of the Holy Spirit should not be discounted or minimalized.
Both of you, do not make this thread "about" individual Freepers. That is also a form of "making it personal."
Discuss the issues all you want, but do not make it personal.
I believe that we’re talking past one another here Siena. I don’t discount or even minimize modern exegesis out of hand, especially if done in conjunction with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, but I likewise don’t undervalue the testimony of those first believers, even if they were surrounded by an extremely pagan world. Remember though, I’m a fundamentalist at heart and will not accept a change to the traditional understanding of a verse or passage without extremely solid support for an altered understanding of it. I’m not saying that I’m completely against it, just that I’m not going to change my mind just because someone makes a new claim. So far, while I have seen some evidence to support the understanding that you suggest, I find just as much evidence to speak against that view as well, including the actions of those females who have claimed the title of “Pastor”. It’s going to be an uphill battle for you to convince me that you’re right, but if you are, then the Holy Spirit will guide me to it.
I'm not trying to convince you that I'm right; I'm simply pointing out what I consider to be errors in your logic.
The scripture you cited (Timothy) is commonly used by people with your view. However, they fail to take into account the background against which the writing in 62 AD or thereabouts takes place and regularly neglect the unusual use of Paul's word for "authority". Another scripture on the same topic is commonly cited in 1 Corinthians also neglecting the direct historical circumstances.
I dont discount or even minimize modern exegesis out of hand, especially if done in conjunction with the guidance of the Holy Spirit
A good position to take IMO.
Should say, “topic commonly cited in 1 Corinthians also neglects”
I’m not sure why you concluded the poster was Catholic or Orthodox.
There are many solid protestant churches which still haven’t succombed to post-modernism. The PCA church still rightly guards the leadership applying biblical principles.
I believe it has to do with my suggestion that we should research what the early Church believed in regards to this position. In normal circumstances, that is a very Orthodox or Catholic thing to do so I would have been a little confused as well if a Protestant took that stance. I took no offense at it and saw it as merely a request to see where I was coming from in this regard.
“The problem occurs when a woman takes authority over other believers. Teachers have a certain level of authority, but not complete authority. That authority rests with the Pastor of the Church.”
This term authority is troubling for me. I attend a specific church because I believe in the message of the church regarding ministries, mission, etc.... The Pastor, as such has no authority over me, only God carries that authority.