Why Paula White is a Heretic

On Thursday night, NBC Nightly News showed a tweet by Dr. Russell Moore, leader of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, calling the leading religious figure in Donald Trump’s life, Paula White, a heretic. The NBC reporter asked White, “Do you think it is because you are a woman?” “No,” I loudly replied. “It’s because she’s a heretic!” But, of course, no one could hear me in my living room.

Interestingly, the same day, I listened to a free lecture from Reformed Theological Seminary from their History of Christianity I class . I’ve been working through this class on their free app, and Thursday’s lecture was on the Council of Nicaea which produced the Nicene Creed. For many of us, the word heretic is simply a pejorative term. But among the church fathers in the history of Christianity, it had a specific meaning, that someone was teaching a belief in the name of Christ that didn’t match orthodox Christian faith.

But here we have another word, orthodox. What does it mean?

Orthodoxy (from Greek ὀρθοδοξία, orthodoxia – “right opinion”) is adherence to correct or accepted creeds, especially in religion. In the Christian sense the term means “conforming to the Christian faith as represented in the creeds of the early Church”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthodoxy

It’s been interesting to study the history of Christianity and the development of the creeds by the early church fathers to combat heresies. The primary ones were around the nature of the Trinity and particularly around the nature of Christ. The more you study it, the more you get how concerning the debate last year over Eternal Subordination of the Son was in terms of the orthodox Christian faith. As a result of this class and that debate, I’ve been using a more discriminating eye as I evaluate what books I do and don’t recommend. For a time, I used some books by conservative men and women whom I now recognize as being fuzzy on the Trinity in a way that would have concerned the church fathers. Because these authors were conservative on gender, I mistakenly assumed they held closely to conservative orthodox faith. But I have found that is often not the case.

I have also met more women equally burdened as I for discipling women in the faith of our fathers, understanding how Scripture led early church fathers to affirm old creeds and how those should still constrain us for today.  These women believe that an orthodox understanding of the Trinity and nature of Christ are essential doctrines for Christian women, and their writing and teaching affirm these doctrines.

Which leads me back to Paula White. There are a lot of folks who hold to an orthodox understanding of the faith with whom I disagree on secondary issues. I am presbyterian. I have attended baptist churches in the past, but I also tend to disagree with them about church polity. I have attended methodist churches, but I disagree with them around Arminian doctrine. But while these are big issues, historically, they have been secondary to divisions over the very nature of God. And Paula White operates in a theological system that denies the basic tenets of the nature of God and the Trinity from an orthodox Christian view.

One example is her affirmation of the statement  that “Jesus is not the only begotten Son of God … He is the first fruit.” She is either denying the deity of Jesus or elevating believers to deity. She goes on later to say in a CNN interview that she affirms the Nicene Creed. But saying you do doesn’t actually mean that you do. I wonder if she even understands the Arian heresy the Council of Nicaea was called to address?

Some might have a problem with Paula White because of her marriages or because she pastors as a woman. But grievously, not that many understand the problem with her understanding of Christ. But you should. And if you are interested in knowing more theology and history of orthodox Christianity so you recognize among either conservatives or liberals what is not actually the historic Christian faith, I highly recommend the RTS app and the History of Christianity I class by Dr. Donald Fortson. I listen while driving on errands and can usually finish a lecture a day doing so. And, sisters reading this, we need to know orthodox doctrine!

9 Responses to Why Paula White is a Heretic

  1. Tim January 20, 2017 at 9:45 am #

    I saw that NBC interview and thought the same thing. Ms. White’s heresy permeates her “ministry” as she twists Scripture and the gospel to support her calls for more money sent her way.

    • Tim January 20, 2017 at 9:54 am #

      Wendy, you might appreciate this post on how Ms. White misrepresents the word of God: Paula White Ministries: Send me your money so God will pay attention to you – http://wp.me/p2EmLc-3OF

  2. Rachelle January 20, 2017 at 10:15 am #

    Thank you for this. It is a very succinct explanation for some of my friends who don’t quite understand the issue with her.

  3. Helen Louise Herndon January 20, 2017 at 2:31 pm #

    Is it any wonder that a man who prioritized prosperity in his life would choose a “prosperity Gospel” minister? I’m glad you mentioned Dr.Donald Fortson of RFT. He is the son of one of a retired associate pastor of my church. Heresy is, of course, a very serious charge. Today, however and fortunately, no branch of the church is torturing or executing one accused of heresy as once happened during Church history, including to some who were actually innocent. Growing up in a small neighborhood Presbyterian Church, the Sunday school curriculum for children and you was a three-year curriculum: Old Testament, New Testament, and Church History. I share this fact, as so many churches fail to teach or instruct in Church History. If the laity was more informed in Church History, its worship would be richer and more meaningful, and some of the restrictions on women in various denominations would be revealed for what they are–bias and prejudice. As I listened to the inaugural address, patriotism was raised high. This lends itself to civil religion. Civil religion is dangerous for the Church and is also a form of heresy. All I can say is, “Buyer beware.”

  4. Helen Louise Herndon January 20, 2017 at 2:33 pm #

    Correction to a sentence above: ” . . . the Sunday school curriculum for children and youth was a three-year curriculum.” I typed too fast and “youth” was not completely spelled out.

  5. Amity January 22, 2017 at 8:40 pm #

    I don’t remember you writing about President Obama’s pastor preaching the heresy of hate. I’m curious if you didn’t hear about it, or if there was another reason – or possibly I missed that post.

    • Wendy January 22, 2017 at 8:58 pm #

      Why would I need to do that? Obama only got something like 25% of the evangelical vote. There was no conservative evangelical swell of support for him in either election.

  6. Ali January 24, 2017 at 7:57 am #

    Wondering if this can possibly be true and if so how sorrowful:

    Paula White: “We are all to be one church, one bride,” she said. “If you really believe that I am a heretic, if you really believe that, there’s a biblical responsibility to come to me … and that’s never happened.”


    • David Mapes February 1, 2017 at 4:59 pm #


      That is the usual charge by the modern day heretics, (especially from the prosperity camp), is that no one ever talks to them.

      There are reasons for that, but not good ones.

      They usually shun all calls from ‘known’ Bible teachers who want to speak with them on ‘some doctrinal issue’, because they don’t want to have to listen to those who tell them they are wrong, or heretical about something.

      Another reason they say that no one has ever spoken to them is because no one has spoken to them that they want to listen to; such as a legitimate and orthodox leader who will correct them because they prefer to speak with their own ‘mutual admiration society’ of fellow affirming heresy teachers.

      And, thirdly–they have been spoken to and reject being taught from the Word of God and claim to be taught by the Spirit of God, (perhaps a ‘doubling of their heresy’), which trumps, (not Trumps), the ‘stale’ and ‘dusty’ old Truth of Scripture. ‘We have a higher revelation’, they say.