Ok. I have seen this story about queen charlatan supreme Paula White over and over, with various commentary about "the church"--especially from those who have been hurt by or hate "the church"--and I gotta say something (especially since fauxtep "Dr" JermUmar Johnson acolytes like to talk about the shadiness of "the church" as if it is associated only with Black preachers...)
#1--Concerning monetary donations to "the church":
If you are talking about the Black Baptist Church or any other AUTONOMOUS church when you speak about "the church", lemme help you out. "The Church" is, essentially, a non-profit community service organization. Dassit. It has an operating budget that is usually only fulfilled by membership. Therefore, the membership is responsible for keeping the lights on, ensuring outreach programs are funded, and yes, paying the salary of the people that WORK there. This usually means, at the very least, the pastor, the administrative assistant, and the sexton/custodian. If you are a member of any other autonomous non-profit organization, like fraternities, sororities, or social clubs, guess what? YOU PAY MEMBERSHIP DUES. Why? Because WHO ELSE IS GONNA FUND THE PROGRAMS THAT ARE THE CORNERSTONE OF YOUR ORGANIZATION? I assure you, my sorority STAYS in my checkbook. I am writing checks every. chapter. meeting. for some program, fundraiser, scholarship, etc. But I know my money is going toward a greater good, so--I give it (when I got it to give). That's what the money collected on Sunday morning goes toward.
You like your sanctuary warm in the winter and cool in the summer? You like lights to read your hymnal by? You like that your church feeds and clothes the homeless and less fortunate? That they donate to other community service organizations in your city? You like your pastor showing up faithfully every Sunday, fed, clothed, and in his right mind, with a word to encourage you? You like when you call him to talk to your unruly son or daughter, or to pray for your brother to get a job? You like that he comes to visit your ailing auntie in the hospital, giving your entire family comfort in hard times? You like the nursery your kids get sent to so you can enjoy service in peace? Well...none of this happens if you don't pay your dues. (Additionally, stop acting like this imaginary "$400 Billion over 30 years" number the fauxteps throw around all goes into one pot for every church to pull from. Even IF it did, I challenge you to count how many churches are in your NEIGHBORHOOD alone, then CITY, then STATE, multiply that times 50--and you tell me how much you think each church would get if it were divided equally. SMH)
Tithing is about faith AND function. Biblically speaking, the Old Testament 10% was essentially the dues people were paying to support Israel. That's just a benchmark though. Tithing is about FAITHFULLY SUPPORTING GREATER GOOD and watching God reward you for it. My church preaches tithing from your LIFE more than from your POCKET (because some of y'all drop a check in the basket and still act like the spawn of satan. Nawl. That's not how this works.) So the 10% "rule" isn't necessarily the end-all-be-all, it's just a round number engineered to cover the basics. If you are giving 2% from your pocket and 10% from your life, you're still doing the work. Stop listening to people who have been broken by humans in "the church" and live according to the EXAMPLE of Christ who was, originally "the church". Which segues into...
#2--Everybody talking 'bout Heaven ain't going there:
Lissen. I can't stand Paula White. I know a white woman who loves to appropriate Black culture for profit when I see one, and she fits the bill. All that hollering and talking hard with no substance she used to do on the EBT network never moved me. (Sounds just. like. JermUmar.) Vocal inflection and salient points does not a leader make. (Sidenote: Y'all, please stop asking Auntie Oprah to run for leader of the free world. Just subscribe to OWN and watch Super Soul Sunday, damn.) But, people who are hungry for a leader will eat what's offered to them--even if it's lacking spiritual nutrition and fashion sense--and that's how she gained her notoriety.
On the backs of mostly Black women, Miss Paula rose to such evangelical heights that she and her terrible outfits captured the eye of honey-mustard hitler, and is now serving at his behest in the White House. Any "spiritual leader" worth their Bible app would have turned this position down. It's a fool's errand. The obvious draw was proximity to power and fame--and if she were familiar with Acts 8 and the story of Simon the sorcerer, she'd slow her roll and check herself. Long story short, Simon was famous for being a sorcerer in Samaria. People loved him because he amazed people with his powers, and they just assumed the "power" was from God, so they followed him. When Philip, one of the 12 disciples, came to Samaria and proclaimed the gospel of Jesus, Simon saw a chance to be further validated and elevated, and was baptized. Then when Peter and John came through to check things out and pray that people receive the Holy Spirit, good ol' opportunistic Simon offered them money to say that he, also, had the gift to give folks the Holy Spirit. (This kinda sounds like the deal between Miss Paula and that rust-colored raccoon, no? She supposedly had the power to "lead trump to Christ" and now he pays her to validate his "Christian" card? Oh.) Peter told Simon to kick rocks. He saw straight through him and said: "May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin." (Acts 8:20-23)
We need some Peters to report to 1600 Pennsylvania immediately. Paula is selling sorcery, not sound doctrine, to the tweeter-in-chief, his followers, and her followers. And she wants her silver in the form of this "first fruits" madness. Girl, have several seats. God ain't pleased.
I also suspect she's probably trying to make up for the loss of income she experienced when she took this job. One would hope that the Black people she hoodwinked into following her all these years finally woke up and decided to "Get Out," taking their tithes and offering with them. Couple that with pumpkin spice putin's propensity to not pay those who work for him...and she's got a cash flow problem. Hence, this campaign.
All this to say--if you are using this Paula White situation to further justify why you don't like "the church", you should step back and realize that 1) "the church" is not to blame; it's the people in it who abuse the platform, and that 2) faith/spirituality is not the same as religion. Religion is a system and a construct. It can be used and misemployed for various reasons. Christianity SHOULD be a faith, something you live out; something that guides your daily path--but it is misused worldwide as a religion. Paula White is a professional abuser of the faith, hiding behind religious sorcery (and bad plastic surgery) to elevate herself for personal gain. The only "first fruit" she deserves is a rotten tomato to the face. Yes, tomatoes are fruit. Look it up.