By Tony Keddie
In between advertising her own books and promoting her rock star husband’s albums, Trump’s Prosperity Gospel confidant, Paula White-Cain, took a moment to acknowledge those affected by Hurricane Dorian.
White-Cain tweeted a link to the evangelical pastor Greg Laurie’s Fox News article defending “prayer” as a legitimate response to mass shootings and hurricanes. White-Cain agreed with Laurie that “Prayer makes a powerful difference.” This is surprising because Laurie has criticized Prosperity Gospel preachers like White-Cain for glorifying the human will more than the divine will and prayer can often be a point of contention in these debates. Both evangelicals like Laurie and Prosperity Gospel adherents recognize synergism between free will and divine providence in determining human actions (they wouldn’t be able to chide the poor for being lazy if not!), but they differ in their emphases.
Whereas Laurie stresses “the power of the one we are praying to,” White-Cain stresses the power of the one who is praying. This is a subtle theological distinction that enables Prosperity Gospel preachers to insist that believers should bootstrap their way to physical and financial prosperity. Shortly after tweeting out Laurie’s article, White-Cain used a Prosperity Gospel keyword, “favor”: “I pray open doors that no man can shut, favor, promotion, divine opportunities and connections for you to fulfill the purpose of God in the name of Jesus!”
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