In this Thursday, May 4, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, before signing an executive order aimed at easing an IRS rule limiting political activity for churches. From second from left are, Cardinal Donald Wuerl is the Archbishop of Washington, Pastor Jack Graham, Paula White, senior pastor of New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, Fla. and Vice President Mike Pence. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
According to White,
“Because God says that he raises up and places all people in places of authority,” she continued. “It is God who raises up a king. It is God that sets one down. When you fight against the plan of God, you are fighting against the hand of God.”
That logic works for Hitler. Based on this logic, because God raised up Hitler, fighting Hitler is fighting against the hand of God.
Now, we should all understand that White is a prosperity gospel heretic who, like the rest of the prosperity gospel “ministers” twists scripture to claim God will make his people prosper on this earth, which the Bible explicitly rejects.
The Bible also explicitly rejects White’s statement. Yes, it is true that all rulers are divinely appointed. It was as true of Barack Obama as it is true of Donald Trump. And, based on White’s logic, I wonder if she called on Trump to repent for opposing Obama. I doubt it.
But also, the Bible goes deeper than this. As Paul notes in Romans, God raised up Pharaoh for destruction. “For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: ‘I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed in all the earth.’ Therefore God has mercy on whom He wants to have mercy, and He hardens whom He wants to harden.” (Romans 9:17-18). God created Pharaoh that God’s will might be done.
That is true of Donald Trump and all other leaders. That truth does not mean we are obliged to support them. Our founders, in fact explicitly rejected that idea, instead noting that all men are created equal and “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it.”
Personally, I think Trump is an instrument of God’s will to separate the wheat from the chaff and advance us one step further to the last day, as all leaders and rulers in the present age are doing. He is exposing the weak theology of many American Christians who use the label “evangelical” as an ethnic term instead of a religious signifier.
If White is going to quote scripture in support of Trump, we should not leave without putting 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 on the table.
I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”