Christian rapper Shai Linne recently released his newest album, Lyrical Theology, Pt. 1: Theology. It wasn’t long before one track on that album, “Fal$e Teacher$,” began drawing the attention of many due to Linne’s bold willingness to “name names.” Linne called out twelve prominent preachers, each known for his or her aberrant teaching. The ministry of at least one of those ‘false teachers,’ Paula White, has responded to Shai Linne’s claims.
In an open letter appearing on the website of Wade-O Radio, Bradley Knight, who not only is White’s son, but who also manages Paula White Ministries, addressed Shai Linne’s pointed accusation that Knight’s mother, Paula White, is a ‘false teacher’. Knight’s letter begins:
Dear Shai Linne,
My attention was recently brought to your new single “Fal$e Teacher$” in which you say, “Paula White is a false teacher”.
This rhetoric is not new to me; I have heard it since I was a child. It is commonplace in our lives to be called “heretics”, “false teachers”, and “wolves”. Although “wolf” is vicious, it is still better than the oft heard cries of “whore”, “daughter of Babylon”, and “servants of Satan” that so often come from the mouths of our ‘Christian’ brothers and sisters.
My interest in this is because I am Paula White’s son. I also manage her ministry Paula White Ministries. One would think that hearing these accusations all my life would make me numb to their stings… but that is not the case. After all, it is my mother. This is the woman who birthed me, nurtured me, raised me to love Jesus, prayed for me when I didn’t, and patiently led me when I finally embraced the truth of His loving sacrifice. So when I hear a fellow Christian leader, whom has never had a conversation with me or my mother, call her a “Fal$e Teacher” I wonder what “Fal$e Teaching$” I myself have been inculcated with since I, more than anyone else on the face of the earth, have been most exposed to her teachings.
Knight goes on to defend his mother, asking Linne to visit churches and prisons where people can tell of “the impact Paula White has had on their lives.” His letter continues:
Right now, your song “Fal$e Teacher$” is pure cannibalization without Biblical precedence. The Bible instructs us Christians how to handle faults in Matthew 18:15-17. Telling us to go to one another with our grievances. Instead, you have chosen to air your grievances to an audience that will already agree with you. Are you really doing right and protecting the sheep? Or are you creating more embitterment, more division and misunderstanding based on faulty premises and biases that you display openly? Source
Here Knight offers a misunderstanding of the teaching contained in Matthew 18:15–17. Since Paula White’s teaching is extremely public, there is nothing wrong with addressing the errors of that teaching in a public manner. In fact, Jesus Himself quite boldly and publicly confronted the erroneous teachings of the Pharisees in such passages as Matthew 23:1–36. It was not in a private and hidden corner that the Lord approached the religious leaders of Israel and declared such condemnation as, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in.”
While Knight’s response in his mother’s defense may then be understandable, the fact remains that his mother does indeed propagate false and erroneous teachings, and Christians, who are commanded to discern such error, ought not shy away from condemning it.
To start, Paula White, who readily claims the title of ‘pastor,’ is operating in direct disobedience to Scripture, which commands that women not hold such positions of authority within the church:
Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 1 Tim. 2:11–14
Paula White already has demonstrated disregard for the authority of God’s Word by even claiming the title of senior pastor at her church, New Destiny Christian Center. What, then, of her teachings?
White is a proponent of the false and deviant prosperity gospel, and her propagation of this error is not subtle. In a video available here, one can hear White speak of breaking generational curses and teaching that ‘poverty is a curse’ that must be broken, among other shocking claims.
In this video, White and her guest, Larry Huch, declare that a child of God should be prosperous because the ‘curse of poverty and lack’ has been broken by being pressed into the brow of Jesus as he wore that painful crown of thorns at his trial and crucifixion. Unfortunately for White and her guest, there is no such biblical teaching to validate this.
In fact, Jesus Himself was not a wealthy and prosperous man, not even having a place to lay his head (Matt. 8:20; Luke 9:58). Further, the Apostle Paul once revealed that he had learned to be content in any circumstance, including one that lacked material wealth. In his ‘epistle of joy’ to the Philippians, Paul writes:
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Phil. 4:11–12
Perhaps even more astonishing, in this same video, White can be heard offering her hearty agreement when her guest, Larry Huch, boldly and blasphemously states,
Jesus is not the only begotten Son of God. He is not. I am a son of God. He’s the first fruit, He’s the first-born of many. Jesus is not the only begotten Son of God. He is not. I am a son of God. Source
It may be that Huch and White are referencing Romans 8:29, which states, “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” Or perhaps they are attempting to twist the meaning of 1 Corinthians 15:20–23, where Paul discusses Christ as the “first fruits” of the resurrection. They do not appeal to Scripture, so one cannot be sure. Regardless, when Huch states that “Jesus is not the only begotten Son of God,” and continues to equate himself with Christ, he commits great blasphemy. Jesus Christ alone is the only begotten Son of God. Those who are saved by Him become sons and daughters of the King by adoption:
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. Rom. 8:14–17
In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. Eph. 1:4–6
Those who are saved are adopted sons of God, though by His grace and goodness become “fellow heirs with Christ.” Man can never be equal to Christ, for He alone is God, Lord and Savior. Yet, Paula White has publicly endorsed such dangerous teaching, while disseminating her own destructive doctrines as well.
It must be stated, however, that it is encouraging to see such a large organization as Paula White Ministries responding to the allegations set forth by Shai Linne. It is not often that these types of ministries offer to dialogue, and so that willingness must be acknowledged. As of yet, Shai Linne has not responded to this open letter written by Paula White’s son.
In addition to White, the song “Fal$e Teacher$” lists eleven other modern-day deceivers who denigrate the name and Word of Christ by their false doctrines: Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar, Benny Hinn, T.D. Jakes, Joyce Meyer, Kenneth Copeland, Robert Tilton, Eddi Long, Juanita Bynum and Paul Crouch. As of this writing, the ministries of these men and women have not offered a response to Linne’s song.