Whose Side is God On?

This post first appeared on Kineti and is authored by Judah Gabriel Himango, one of Tabernacle of David’s teachers.

Friends, today’s guest post by Aaron Hecht covers recent news in the Jerusalem Post about Paula White, President Trump’s faith advisor, studying Torah with Israeli Modern Orthodox leaders, and Quinton Ceasar, a German pastor who claimed, ‘God is queer’. Through these news items, Aaron touches on Dual Covenant theology, the prosperity gospel, and claims that God is always on the side of the oppressed. I think you’ll find his insight here useful to your own life and walk with the Lord.

The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 3:18-19; 

“For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even as I weep, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who have their minds on earthly things.”

A few weeks ago, the Jerusalem Post newspaper ran two stories in its “Christian World” section, one after the other, about two VERY different pastors who, on the surface, wouldn’t appear to have much in common. But, in actual fact, both of these individuals are engaging in the kind of behavior Paul was warning about in this passage.

The first article was about Paula White, who many readers of this blog will have heard of. She’s been around for many years and has been embroiled in many controversies, every single one of which should have been more than enough to disqualify her from pastoral leadership. But she has managed to avoid the half-hearted attempts some have made to subject her to some kind of discipline or accountability for any of that stuff. She succeeded so well, in fact, that she became the chair of former President Donald Trump’s “Faith advisory committee” and is still considered one of the most respected members of America’s Evangelical Protestant community.

Paula White being wrapped in a Torah scroll by infamous fringe preacher Ralph Messer.

Well, earlier this month she was here in Jerusalem for the purpose of “studying Torah” with some prominent Modern Orthodox rabbis and she took time out from her busy schedule to give an interview with the JPost in which she said, among other things, that “Paul made very clear that God extended his love to the Gentiles, but he did not take something from the Jews and tell us to go back and course correct or convert them.”

Later in the same interview, she explained why she was embarking on a study of Torah with Orthodox Jewish Rabbis, saying “You can be Jewish without being Christian, but you cannot be Christian without understanding Judaism. There is a new movement of Christians and Orthodox Jews coming together. We need each other. It is vitally important we continue to build these bridges.”

These statements are a strong indication that Paula White is on that spectrum of Dual Covenant Theology which I have warned my readers about in previous blogs, but that’s not all they indicate. When taken together with her statements later in the interview about Trump, it points to something even worse.

“The mass majority of people hope for and believe that Trump will be president again,” she told the Post. “If we were to do the election right now, today, 100% yes, he would be our president tomorrow. I endorse Donald Trump as our next president. I would love to see that, and I believe he will.”

“I do believe that President Trump was God’s answer to so much prayer and fasting, and he was and is appointed [by God] to lead America.”

Here’s what I think all this adds up to.

Paula White has long been a proponent of the so-called “Prosperity Gospel” which teaches that God is very concerned with making sure that His faithful followers have lots of money, political power, cultural dominance, and material possessions.

The god of the “prosperity gospel” is VERY opposed to efforts to take power, money, privilege, and cultural predominance away from white, socially conservative, cultural Christians in the United States and redistribute it among others. This god is also somewhat aware of similar communities in other countries like Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa and he frowns on efforts to disinherit them as well.

Donald Trump was and is very popular among the “prosperity gospel” crowd because he was ready to do battle to defend the wealth, power, privileges, and cultural dominance (in other words, the “prosperity”) of those who voted for him against the attempts by other groups to grasp at those things.

Brothers and sisters, please hear me. 

The god of the “prosperity gospel” is an idol that doesn’t care about things like “holiness” or “repentance of sins” or “righteousness” or any of that old-fashioned stuff. Those like Paula White who worship this idol and encourage others to do the same are, as the Scripture passage above says “enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who have their minds on earthly things.”

It is my sad duty to inform you, gentle reader, that the prosperity gospel is also the reason behind a LARGE portion of Christian support for Israel. This support is derived not from obedience to the Word of God but rather from a sense that Israel’s Orthodox Jews are Evangelical Protestants’ natural allies in the never-ending culture wars and efforts to defend their “prosperity” against those who would try and take it away from them. They view Genesis 12:3, in which God tells Abraham “I will bless those who bless you, and curse those who curse you” as a transactional relationship in which God is obligated to give them stuff because they’re supporting Israel.

Since many American Christians also worship at the altar of a god called “American military power” (which is one of the “earthly things” which ensures their wealth, privilege, and power) the fact that the IDF is a strong military is also something they find very attractive.

So people “whose god is their appetite” (some translations say “whose god is their belly”) are not going to be interested in sacrificing their comforts, or their relationships with their National Religious/Modern Orthodox allies, for something silly like the Gospel of the Lord God Jesus Christ, or the Body of Christ in Israel.

After all, the Body of Christ in Israel is small and doesn’t have much money, political power, or cultural influence, even in Israel, much less in America. Since we don’t have any of these trappings of “prosperity” according to White’s theology, God obviously isn’t showing us much favor, so why should she want to have anything to do with us? On the other hand, what could we possibly do to enhance the “prosperity” of Paula White or her fellow travelers? 

That brings me to the second article in the Jerusalem Post’s Christian World section last week.

The second article was about a German Protestant pastor named Quinton Ceasar who, as the article said, made some astonishing statements at a meeting called the German Protestant Church Assembly (Kirchentag) earlier this month.

“Now is the time to say God is queer,” was his most controversial statement, before he went on to explain that,

“God is always on the side of those on the margins, who are unseen or unnamed. And if God is there, then there is our place.”

The article didn’t mention anything specific about Ceasar’s stance on Israel, but I think it’s a safe bet that he would consider the Palestinians to be “on the margins” and thus the god he worships would be on their side.

Unlike the prosperity god that Paula White and so many other Christian Zionists worship, whose primary concern is making sure the wealthy, powerful, privileged people in wealth, powerful countries keep what they have and get even more, the “woke” god that Quinton Ceasar worships is “on the side of those” who don’t have any of that wealth, political power, historical cultural dominance, material possessions, etc.

As I said at the beginning of the blog, it wouldn’t appear as if Paula White and Quinton Ceasar have much in common. But, to say it once again, they are both exhibiting behavior described in Philippians 3:18-19.

They are both acting in ways that oppose the Cross of Christ (the Gospel) and they’re both trying to please the idols they worship instead of the Living God described in the Bible, a book they obviously don’t have much respect for. They’re both basking in the glory of something they ought to be very ashamed of and they both have their minds on earthly, rather than heavenly, things.

They’re also both trying to please people (in White’s case, Modern Orthodox Israeli Jewish rabbis, in Ceasar’s case, LGBTQ people) because the god they worship is clearly on the side of those people and opposed to their enemies.

Well, brothers and sisters, let me tell you the truth about all this.

God is not on the side of those who already have earthly prosperity or opposed to those who are trying to take it away from them.

God is also not axiomatically on the side of “the oppressed” “the marginalized” or those who are “unnamed” “unseen” or otherwise weak and lacking the things that the “prosperity gospel” says God wants His followers to have.

God is not on the side of the Palestinians because they’re weaker than Israel, but the strength Israel has is also not proof that He is on Israel’s side to make it easier for them to dominate the Palestinians either.

The truth is much more complicated than that, but it’s also much simpler.

The truth is, God is on His own side.

God has His own plans, purposes, goals, and priorities.

You and I are invited to be on His side, and in the Bible, He gives us precise instructions for how to do this.

To be on God’s side, you and I must share His goals and priorities. We must be obedient to His guidance and direction and ready to serve His plans and purposes in submission to His authority. We must be willing to set aside our own plans and purposes and we must also be ready to sacrifice our own comfort, wealth, priviledge, prosperity, and anything else He might require of us, in order to serve His plans, His purposes, His agenda, and His goals.

If He gives someone the trappings of “prosperity” He expects them to use it for His Kingdom and His glory, not their own kingdom or their own glory.

If He gives someone else a life on the margins, He expects them to take those circumstances and use them for His Kingdom and His glory, not as a weapon to try and shame/punish those who have more pleasant circumstances.

In Matthew 7:13-14, Jesus told His disciples one of the most important truths about the Kingdom of God, when He directed them to,

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is narrow and the way is constricted that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” 

Brothers and sisters, in this blog I’ve told you about two very different Christian pastors who have found two very different paths which both lead to destruction. One is not better or worse than the other, they’re both very bad.

You and I are invited to be on God’s side by finding that narrow path with leads to life, and we are called to pray for and assist those who need to find and follow that same path. That’s what it’s all about.

As a footnote, both Paula White and Quinton Ceasar received strong rebukes both in private and in public following the articles about them being published in the JPost. As far as I know, neither one of them expressed the slightest inclination towards introspection, repentance or even regret. In this way, they have both given all of us one more blessing in the form of an example to not follow.

Comments are closed.