Paula White, a prosperity gospel televangelist and spiritual adviser to President Donald Trump, on Tuesday, compared President Trump to Queen Esther. You may remember that God used Esther to deliver the Jews from those plotting to have the Persian king decimate God’s chosen people.
Esther was selected to go through the process to determine who would be the next Queen as the one prior was unceremoniously dumped. Esther was chosen, caught wind of the plot against her people, but to stop the plot, she would have to go to the King, and he had not requested to see her in some time. You only went to the King when he called. Going into his presence unannounced could be punished with death if he did not show his favor by extending his scepter.
The book of Esther recorded her uncle Mordecai appeal to her. “For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14, ESV).
She did go to him, the King did show favor, and the Jews were saved.
So how exactly is President Donald Trump like Esther?
“They say about our president, ‘Well, he is not presidential.’ Thank goodness. Thank goodness. Thank goodness,” White said. “And I mean that with all due respect. Because, in other words, he is not a polished politician. In other words, he is authentically — whether people like it or not — has been raised up by God.
“Because God says that he raises up and places all people in places of authority,” she continued. “It is God who raises up a king. It is God that sets one down. When you fight against the plan of God, you are fighting against the hand of God.”
There is so much wrong with this I’m not even sure where to start. Here are five problems I see just off the top of my head.
First, while God does institute government (Romans 13), that does not mean we have to support everything our President does.
Second, this also presupposes that everything that President Trump does is blessed by God. His plans should not be assumed to be God’s plans and vice versa.
Third, did it occur to White that God raises up some leaders as a form of punishment, and I don’t mean for terrorists, but even for their people? We either get the leader we need or the leader we deserve.
Fourth, following White’s advice to its logical conclusion would have meant that no one should have resisted Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, or Pol Pot. That is just ludicrous.
Fifth, White missed plenty of instances in the Old Testament of God raising up leaders that He then opposed (like King Saul as an example). I wonder how that fits with her theology.
We definitely should show the proper respect and honor to the office. We are called to pray for President Donald Trump. Statements like this, however, are not only theologically flawed, but kooky.