Paula White Divorce

Posted: 10/08/2007 by that's Elbert in Christianity, church, divorce, marriage, opinions

I am an info-junkie, which puzzles me why I missed this chunk of news. At the end of August, Christian author and speaker Paula White and her husband Randy announced their divorce. I don’t know either one of their ministries very well, although I’m more familiar with her’s. Paula White’s ministry reaches well beyond the borders of the church she and her husband founded. She has written several books, has a television show, and has made numerous television appearances outside of her own show. Regarding her theology, she leans hard toward what some call the “prosperity gospel“, which is regarded as heresy to many conservative Christians. The Wikipedia article devoted to her probably has most of what you’d like to know.

I really don’t want to get into my thoughts on the prosperity gospel, although I should sometime later on. However, I’d like to share with you some thoughts I have regarding this divorce, but first I’ve like you to know my thought base. Divorce is a part of where we live as Americans today, like it or not. I have very little or no scorn toward anyone that has went through this. My wife and I have been through some lows in our life together that some marriages might not have survived. I’m not arrogant when I say that. I’m simply saying it’s been no walk in the park for us either, and I will not speak from an ivory tower toward anyone that’s been there.

Having been a minister before, I understand that the pressure applied to that role is great, in the natural and spiritual realms. Temptation seems to be higher than normal because you have been set apart. People look at ministers and would like to see the real deal. When ministers publicly screw up, it does the ministry damage and it does the body of Christ (Christians) damage. Is it important that ministers wrestle through some of this stuff? Very much so! I know that even after doing all you can do, sometimes the end result is not good or what we want, but a minister must do all he or she can do to make the relationships work. In this situation, I guess we will not know to what lengths Randy and Paula White went to rescue their marriage. I hope they fought tooth and nail. From outward appearances it doesn’t look that way, but I have no sure way of knowing.

While I was poking around the Internet looking at various stories regarding this divorce, I was overwhelmed with the amount of opinion/news articles written with a obvious arrogant attitude. Sadly, I’m talking about things written by other Christians. It would seem that they were happy about the Whites’ misfortune. Most of the target of their guile was toward the Whites’ theology, because in the mind of the writers the Whites were heretics, so the divorce would seem to be their just rewards. The writers’ attitudes were shameful and did not represent Christ, regardless of the theological differences.

Divorce would appear to be one of those things that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. In my mind it would be like wishing cancer or violent death on someone. After losing my father 4 years ago, I wouldn’t even wish the loss of a loved one. Shame on them!

Here’s a creepy observation for you. Reading the comments from the Christians passing judgment on Paula White reminds me of some of the hateful things said by the political left regarding misfortunes of their enemies. Remember comments about Jerry Falwell’s death? Remember comments about Tony Snow’s cancer battle? Neither the far left or the whacked-out right would want to be paired together, but their behavior isn’t so far removed. Shame.

  1. Howard says:

    Good post Elbert and well spoken

  2. Scott says:

    Thank you for speaking out and being a light ….. how is it that we Christians tend to shoot our own wounded… it is a shame. Who will stretch out a hand while the rest just point a finger….

  3. BoycottTBN says:

    Ok, ok, ok, enough already about “we shoot our own wounded” etc. Pardon me for being “judgmental”, (it seems that anyone exposing the truth is judgmental) but Elbert said “the far left and the whacked out right”…..obviously he tends to lean more to the left than to the right. No big surprise there! That’s okay with me, but calling these con artists “Christians” after they have done nothing but MERCHANDISE Christ on the backs of the poor, makes me GLAD that they are all being exposed! I don’t consider them Christians……I think the Bible called them MONEYCHANGERS!

  4. BoycottTBN,
    Where do I start with this? If you have any questions about my frame of thought, please read the “about” page. Hint: nowhere near left in politics or religion. To be clear, I could have said “the whacked out left and the far right” and meant the same thing.

    It would appear that in your eyes, if the Whites are not Christians, then we are not shooting our own wounded, just some other sinners. That’s great.

    The excesses of these ministers needs to be confronted. I’ve got no problem with dealing with these things but I’ve got problems with the way that they are dealt with by the “exposer”, for lack of a better term.

    We need to make judgments between what is right and what is wrong, but I’m not ready to wish something bad on these ministers or be happy when bad things happen to them.

  5. BoycottTBN says:

    Hi Elbert,
    I think we’re on the same page, you’re just much nicer than me!! It is hard for me to believe that these “flesh-living” men and women of God are really Christians. I’ll concede that maybe they started out on the right path, but I think the money changed them. I’m never happy when something bad happens to anyone, but I’m even less happy when I see people giving their last dollar to these con-artists thinking they are going to get a miracle.

  6. DAS says:

    All one needs to do is Read 1 Timothy, Titus, and Jude and you will immediately realize that much of what is passing for Christianity today is false religion. The Whites and countless others like them are the epitome of the false teachers spoken of in these Epistles. To divorce simply because “our lives are going in different directions” is blatant disregard for God’s Word. Imagine what impact this has on all the people who follow them. If the Whites did it then it must be ok for us. Countless marriages that would have possibly stuck it out will throw in the towell because “our lives are going in different directions.” This is incomprehensible to me. Certainly I have sympathy for those who have gone through divorce and I believe there is healing through Christ, but that doesn’t change the fact that God hates divorce (not divorcees) and He considers it sin.

    The problem today is the church is so Biblically illiterate (due in part to pastors who do not preach the word but instead settle for clever self-help speeches peppered with Scripture) that discernment within the church is at an all time low.

    As for the arrogant attitude in judgment. This is clearly wrong, but it should not stop us from speaking out. Why? The purity of the Christ’s church and gospel depend on it. Like it or not many associate Christianity with the stuff they see on TBN.

    A Humble orthodoxy is the key.

  7. Amy Johnson says:

    Good post on Paula’s troubles. We’re all sinners, and she is doing good for a lot of people. I just started reading her new book, You’re All That!, and it seems oddly relevant to her own current situation.

  8. Alexandra says:

    Sometimes people who lie and misrepresent things need the “handwriting on the wall” so to speak. Maybe, certain posts and comments that have been made by other Christians, are like a Nathan to those who need to be confronted, when those close to them won’t speak the truth. Maybe, but I do not know. After all, this is a PUBLIC ministry, and the public and those who have made donations to their ministries might have the right to speak up. Maybe……..

  9. Barbara-Ug says:

    Hi Elbert..
    I must say..i’m ashamed of myself after reading your article..we’re called to love, yet we shoot our own wounded..i may not be a fan of the Whites’ teachings, but i am a Christian and called to love my enemy. I will pray for them, as well as Juanita and Bishop weeks..but i think Christians ought to search for the truth in Gods Word, and set it as their standard, and not to accept anything more, or less than what God says in His word…Thanks again for letting me see how judgemental i can be…i mean, who am I?..Only God is good and perfect…

  10. khaos70 says:

    Good post elbert, the problem with some Christians is that they believe in poverty. They believe the more poor and the more they suffer the more closer they get to God. Before i was born again,i wasn’t a tither and i was giving very little to the church, but after i got born again and started applying the principles preached by pastors like paula white, creflo dollar, tdjakes etc about sowing seeds and reaping a harvest, i started doing so and for the last two years my income has grown to about 400% because i believe in prosperity. I’ve been sowing alot and I’ve been reaping alot. I just wish the best for the whites family and i hope God will be gracious unto them.

  11. […] I don’t know what you have gotten out of this post, but to give some perspective, read the previous post about Paula White. […]

  12. Dee says:

    He who is without sin cast the first stone… who knows the heart of a man but God… Who are we to say whether these people were men and women of God and who are we to turn our noses down on Christians or non-Christians… have we forgotten about the Jesus we serve? The man who sat and ate with the people we criticize. The God I serve shines the sun on the just and the unjust… We have let religion take over our spirituality…Its one thing to be separate from the world spiritually and to cast the world away us. How can we do what the Lord has called us to do if we instantly judge and criticize those who need us. We are supposed to love one another regardless of what we think of them just as Jesus loved Judas knowing he had betrayed him. Right now the Whites need prayer just like every other person going through a time of pain. I just hope that in my time of need my Christian brothers and sisters will pray for me and not focus on my shortcomings.

    With love and appreciation for you all!!!

  13. David says:

    I have several things to say. First, I’m in no way trying to sound angry. I think we need to search the Word about these kinds of things and not become scoffers and gossipers about issues, but deal with them in a loving heart as Christ would. Saying that, it says in

    11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. 12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? 13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
    1 Cor 5:11-13 (KJV)

    Now, I don’t know if you would consider it fornication, but we should all know that the Bible reveals the only instance in leaving one’s spouse is through adultery. You can tell me that they can be damaging each other emotionally or a plethora of other excuses all you want, but they took that vow in the eyes of God. (And two become one)

    32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
    Matt 5:32 (KJV)

    That word “put away” is from the Greek Word: ἀπολύω
    Transliteration: apolyō
    which is from (apo) and (luo); to free fully, i.e. (literal) relieve, release, dismiss (reflexive depart), or (figurative) let die, pardon, or (specifically) divorce :- (let) depart, dismiss, divorce, forgive, let go, loose, put (send) away, release, set at liberty.—Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary

    It explains that the innocent party is ok, but if the person who committed fornication also sleeps with someone else after the divorce it is still adultery against the ex. So you could say that if that’s the case with Paula or her (ex)husband that only one could remarry so we will watch for that. (personally, having lived through losing a man of God for a father to an early death, and seeing the effects another husband had on my mother, I would not remarry either way)

    The biggest thing is that the Word states a minister is to have one wife. (Read 1 Timothy 3)A lot of people would expect a minister who has divorced to step down from that role as not to promote it in the body of Christ. Even if God forgives them it’s not something someone who is supposed to be a seeker of the Lord and caretaker of his flock (church body) should do even if we all fall, things can be worked out. Now I personally see this as a very sad thing and pray that God will intervene and help the body of Christ including these two through this that his will may be done.

    I will not comment on her doctrine, but search the Word of God and test the fruits and judge (determine) the person who is within (the body) and God be with them and you. Take care.

    Note: all scriptures on this subject were taken from the New Testament in the “strengthened” covenant Christ established.

  14. anthony says:

    Having a form of godliness,but denying the power thereof,
    from such turn away.11 Timothy ch.3

  15. fvd72 says:

    1. We must make a distinction between a Christian and a minister. As a Christian, we are not perfect. But only certain Christians qualify for being leaders/workers in the church. I do not think that Paula and her husband are qualified anymore. And it is not me, but the Bible who sets the standards.
    2. I know a pastor. He is a Bible school teacher too. His wife left him for another man. He never gave her any reasons (infidelity, etc.) to do it. Just that he wasn’t that fit anymore, his hair was turning gray… The church, and his superiors cleared him of any wrong doing, and told him that he can continue to be the pastor of the church. He refused, and he stepped down, in order to not bring shame on the church, and to not set an example. He is working as a clerk right now.