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“But make no mistake: the toxic doctrines are there.” A movement within Pentecostalism, Word of Faith emphasizes positivity and prosperity; it’s often summarized by outsiders as “name it and claim it.” Horton considers elements of this approach to religion to be “part of the American DNA.” “We’re all pretty good people who, with the right data, inspiration, and technology, can be and do whatever we want,” he said, describing the modern American worldview.
“So when Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, and other Word of Faith teachers created a whole theology for the ‘prosperity gospel,’ there was already a big audience.” White resists the negative characterizations of the prosperity gospel movement. that the prosperity gospel means that you ask for money and promise people they’re going to get something in return, which I absolutely do not do,” she told CT.
The ECFA sets forth responsible stewardship standards; among them, the agency requires that organizations establish “reasonable expectations” for donors; avoid manipulating potential donors with misleading statements; and make a reasonable effort to ensure their giving doesn’t place them in financial hardship.
In a statement issued in early January, White assured fellow Christians that she rejects “any theology that doesn’t affirm or acknowledge the entirety of scriptural teaching about God’s presence and blessing in suffering as much as in times of prosperity.” She knows quite a bit about the former, describing 2007 as the year “all hell broke lose” for her personally and professionally.
In some ways, White has gotten used to the criticism.
Fifteen years of prayer, visits, and friendship later, the Florida preacher now serves as the top spiritual adviser for America’s president-elect and, essentially, his guide to the country’s religious conservatives.
She defended the sincerity of his faith to fellow Christians, and continues to network Trump with members of his evangelical advisory board to discuss appointments and policy going into office.