‘Raised up by God’: Televangelist Paula White compares Trump to Queen Esther – Washington Post

During last years presidential campaign, some Christian leaders compared Donald Trumpto various biblical kings, most often as a modern-day David, an imperfect man chosen by Godto lead Israel.

On Tuesday, televangelist Paula White, a prosperity gospel pastor and spiritual adviser to Trump, madeanother scriptural comparison this timebetween the president and aJewish woman in the bible.

Appearing on The Jim Bakker Show, White said Trumps victory in November was akin to Esther becoming queen in the Hebrew Bible because both were unconventionalchoices for the roles they received.

Esther, as the story goes in Jewish and Christian scripture, was an orphan hand-pickedby the Persian king to be hisnew queen at atime when Jews were persecuted. In her position she was able to stop a plan tokill all the Jewish people in Persia. The Bible says Esther was placed there by God for this purpose.

Because God says that he raises up and places all people in places of authority it is God who raises up a king. It is God that sets one down, White said on the show.

Esther did not have theimage or the background to be queen, yet God chose her, White said. The same is true for Trumps ascent to the presidency, she believes.

God is raising up Esthers, she said.

Stephen Strang, the founder of Charisma Magazine, a Pentecostal news site, said Christians often look for spiritual parallels in modern-day life, so it is natural for them to make these comparisons between Trump and biblical figures, though he could not remember previous presidents, Democrat or Republican,similarly being associated this way.

Paula White will be among the invited religious leaders leading a prayer during President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20. Here’s why she is a considered to be controversial choice. (Claritza Jimenez/Photo: AP, Video: The Post)

White has known Trump since the early 2000s, and he chose her as one of the clergy members to pray at his inauguration. The choice was controversial, as my colleague Julie Zauzmer wrote then, because prosperity gospelsays true believers of God will receive both eternal salvation and material wealth on Earth. Other Christians says this is heretical, and warn that preachers like White profit off their gospel by asking followers for money.

[Why electing Donald Trump was a triumph for the prosperity gospel]

Two years ago, comedian John Oliver did a segment dissecting the practices of prosperity gospel.In 2007, Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) launched an investigationinto spending by televangelists, including White. But its reportthree years later did not reach any conclusions.

During her appearance this week, White went on to encourage viewers to be obedient and loyal to Trump because it is what God wants. If God hadnt intervened in the U.S. elections, she said, religious liberties would have eroded to such an extentthat people would have had to pray in an underground church within five years.

Whites perspective is similar albeit perhaps more dramatic to many conservative Christian leaders who have increasingly said in recent years that growingtolerance for liberal mores and secularism comes at a cost to traditional faith. Many GOP candidates, including Trump, said during the campaign that protecting the religious liberty of traditional believers was among their top priorities.

Lance Wallnau, a Christian author, claimed God spoke to him and showed himthat Trump was like King Cyrus, who followed Gods will despite being a pagan.

I really believe that the mercy of God intervened in this last election cycle and gave us an individual who has the willpower and the tenacity to be able to do a reset, Wallnau told CBN News in March. I heard the Lord, Donald Trump is a wrecking ball to the spirit of political correctness.

Strang shares Wallnaus belief that Cyrus is the more apt comparison, showing that God can raise up a leader to rescue his people even if that leader comes from an untraditional background. He doesnt quite see the Esther one, however.

Whites analogy was equally puzzling to Dennis Olson,a professor of Old Testament theology at Princeton Theological Seminary. Though he understands the point about Esther and Trump both being outsiders, he sees more reasons why they are opposites.

Esthers story is one about protecting persecuted ethnic minorities, said Olson, while the president haswonsupport from white supremacist groups and seeks to crack down onimmigration.

But evangelical Christians in America see themselves as persecuted by an increasingly secular nation and see Trump as the one chosento fight for them. On that subject, Strang has written a book to be released in November called, God and Donald Trump, which examinesTrumps divine win.

I believe that bible-bleeding Christians have been praying for a turn in our country and we feel our religious liberties have been eroded and our country is less and less Godly, Strang said. And somehow, someway, his election was a partial answer to our prayer.

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‘Raised up by God’: Televangelist Paula White compares Trump to Queen Esther – Washington Post

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August 23, 2017   Posted in: Christian |

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