Paula White-Cain’s Evangelical Support Squad Isn’t as Surprising as It Seems | 10/22/2019 | Staff
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On the surface, White-Cain’s support among these conservative white Protestants is surprising. For one thing, she is a prominent prosperity preacher associated with the New Apostolic Reformation, a loosely connected group of Pentecostals and Charismatics. For decades, tongues-speaking, vision-reporting prosperity preachers like White-Cain have been a theological anathema to more traditional white evangelicals.

Some, like Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC)’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, have classified White-Cain as a “charlatan” and “heretic.” One might think Jeffress and Jack Graham, who pastor prominent Southern Baptist churches, and Franklin Graham, the leader of Samaritan’s Purse, a popular evangelical humanitarian organization (and son of Billy), would follow suit.

Paula - White-Cain - Pastor - Book - Jeffress

Paula White-Cain is also a female pastor, and by promoting her book, Jeffress and Jack Graham (two-term president of the SBC) are backing a woman who, according to their denomination, is not submitting to “those roles assigned to her by God” (at a time when others in their tradition are prominently clashing over this very issue). In addition, White-Cain is divorced, and in SBC circles, “divorce culture” represents one of the most significant threats facing American society.

Though these endorsements for White-Cain have aggravated many, modern evangelicals actually have a long tradition of transgressive partnerships, in part because of several shared cultural values that run alongside, or at times, transcend, many of their dearly held doctrines.

Values - Sense - Brouhaha - White - Promotion

These values help make sense not only of the brouhaha over White’s promotion, but also a shifting evangelical cultural and political landscape.

Evangelicals are often embroiled in controversies related to their leaders’ alliances with other Christians who do not share their beliefs, or their willingness to bracket or relax stringent theological beliefs or doctrinal requirements in the interest of extending influence. For some in the SBC, this has meant allying with conservatives who might agree with them on matters...
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