Rich, Divorced, ‘Christian’ Pastors


I’ve watched Paula White on TV for sometime now. One of my hobbies is watching stations like TBN and offering a constant verbal criticism of what the people on-screen are saying or doing. Paula White is particularly entertaining. She is able to talk without breathing for long stretches at a time. She is a “pastor.” Never mind that females have not been pastors in the church for oh, about 1,900 years until now. We know better these days.

There is an entire wing of the ‘church’ in America that bears no resemblance to anything Christian that ever came before it. No liturgy, no creeds, no sacraments, just blather from self-help types who talk only about sowing seeds and endlessly fleece huge flocks of apparent dupes who seem to want to be rich and prosperous like the female pastors they emulate. I don’t get why people would possibly give money to people like Paula White, Ken Copeland or whoever the latest scam artist is, but I guess there’s one born every minute as the saying goes.

These prosperity gospel types are adept at being slaves to whatever the inane pop culture of the moment is turning out for the masses. When I was growing up it was easy to see Jim Baker, Tilton, Tammy Faye and Jan Crouch as absurd leftovers from a bygone era. They had silly hairstyles that identified them immediately as religious hucksters and women who were stuck in a time-warp. But these days the modern con-men and women are more schooled in hip ways. I see several young con-men with soul patches, goatees, and hip glasses. They talk hip language and import the same prosperity gospel (prospgosp) concepts from the past, in a context that is more “RELEVANT” to today. They are morphing to milk money from the new generations. And it appears to be working:

As the church gained members and revenue, the pastors changed. Paula built her international television ministry and became a life coach on “The Tyra Banks Show.” Randy talked of performing nuptials for Kid Rock and Pamela Anderson in Michigan (they filed for divorce a month later). He boasted that he wasn’t like “religious” people, posing in 2005 for a cover story in Makes and Models magazine, a publication devoted to exotic cars, motorcycles and scantily clad models. He has tattoos, collects guns and enjoys wine.

At a Sunday service in April, he introduced his former personal trainer – an attractive ex-porn star turned Christian – from the pulpit.

“We’re cutting edge,” he told the Tribune that month. “We do things a little bit differently than what a typical ministry would do.”


Michael Chitwood, whose financial services company devised their compensation package, said he recalled they have taken an annual salary as high as $1.5 million collectively, though most years it’s closer to $600,000.

They were approved to take up to $3 million collectively, said the president of Chitwood & Chitwood of Tennessee.

Perhaps the most complex part of their divorce, being handled by Holland & Knight law firm, will be dividing up the assets, debts and business interests.

The couple’s home on Bayshore Boulevard has an assessed value of $2.22 million. They have a land trust that includes two Tampa houses with assessed values of $144,800 and $257,835. The New York condo is valued at about $3.5 million.

That’s what it’s about, hanging out with B list celebrities and having serious cash to roll with. Sounds sort of like the American dream right? America has totally remade the Church into its own image: democratic, money loving, celebrity worshiping. It’s a joke and so many people have sickened of it, and yet the crowds still flock to hear clowns like Osteen who have nothing to say to the soul, only nice chitchat about success. Perhaps it should not be surprising given that the average American lives a life bombarded by media and rarely if ever stops to think about anything meaningful. If we do stop, say on 9/11, we are told by our President to get back to shopping to keep the economy going.

So, Paula is getting divorced (divorce number 2). In the ancient church, right up until about 1960, divorce was a scandal. In the modern church, it’s just a fact of life that we really don’t even think much about. Kind of an ‘oh well’ like quitting a job or selling a car. And this isn’t just the laity, we are talking about ‘pastors’ like Paula and Randy. Their ‘ministry’ will go on. Anyone who questions if it is ok for twice divorced women and men to be ‘pastoring’ will be called a ‘legalist’ who is ‘judging’ these anointed ones.

Let’s be clear: ministries like “Without Walls” have as much resemblance to what used to be the Church as does that other classically American religion – Mormonism, which is to say a faint one. All previous doctrine and discipline is thrown out the window for whatever the teacher of the moment thinks the Bible says – or that God directly tells them. For Mormons, this meant a rejection of previous church doctrine and discipline. They took wine out of communion, made the eucharist an ‘ordinance,’ rejected infant baptism and the Councils and Creeds of the Church, they also rejected the teaching of the church for centuries on marriage (among other things).

The prospgosp folks have remade the church into a money making racket, built on false revelations, false doctrines, no church discipline and whatever else they dream up. It’s disgusting, but it’s popular.

22 thoughts on “Rich, Divorced, ‘Christian’ Pastors

  1. There must be a 3 Way Split between the Whites and Michael Chitwood. Anybody know this guy? I think he pretty shaky.

  2. WOW, this is surreal. Pastors announcing their own divorce from the pulpit. Reminds me of the revisionists who want to make a rite for divorce–just another milestone in life. I guess divorce is sort of sacramental in American evangelicalism. It seems to be more frequent than the Lord’s Supper–pathetic.

  3. Startling post. Is it scarier that such pastors exist, or that enough people support them to make them prosper?

    Years ago, as a new Christian, I heard a sermon on the importance of the love of the truth in the last days. It truly put the fear of God into me. How thankful I am now.

  4. Success gospel is based on same principles as spam. Chances of a “hit” is greater if you send the spam to 10 million recipients (instead of a typical Sunday congregation of 300-500 people).

  5. I was trying to figure out who wrote “Rich, Divorced, ‘Christian’ Pastors”. Anyway I would like to reply by saying that it’s very much like the life of Samson. When decieve ourselves into thinking that we can allow the little compromises in our life, it soon grows into bigger and bigger compromises until ultamately we have turned to living in total darkness. The greater shame in all of this is that there are so many people that are more than willing to allow those stumbling in the darkness to take them by the hand and lead them in as well, and even pay them to do it.

    Read and study Gods word, all of it not just your favorite parts, and if what you are following doesn’t line up with what you read….change your path, follow Jesus not man (or woman as the case may be).

  6. Christians have become marketers. Sell the programs, attract the members (tithe), build bigger buildings to hold more members. You’re surprised? Whatever we want to hear, they tell us. It’s like buying advertising in the Yellow Pages. If you’re not there, you’ll not get any business. We do church like that. We go in case we’re going to miss out.

    After all, the Greeks were the ones who came up with the oratories so the commoners could be entertained when Christianity was first marketed! We’ve been doing it every since…..

    Deacon & Usher were here……

  7. Sounds familiar to the Todd Bentley thing going on. Masses of people focusing on a man who thinks he hears from God, and no one is focused on repentance. Very typical of our current society and how nobody wants to have anything to do with it, unless it’s glamorous and entertaining. I call BS

  8. I hadn’t heard about Bentley until your comment and then I looked him up on Wikipedia. It looks like another circus. I’m pretty out of touch with that kind of thing. Why people keep on falling for it over and over is what I don’t get. I don’t know why Christians think it’s ok to check their brains at the door and follow any old lunatic.

  9. While I agree with you on most points I have a quick question:

    Where exactly does the bible affirm infant baptism? Just curious cause it is such a hallowed church doctrine. In fact Ignatius, Eusebius, and Polycarp among others never even mention infant baptism. So if it is not in the bible and not endorsed in any way by the church fathers; does it stand to reason that it just might not be such a hallowed doctrine after all? (I’m just saying)

  10. Mark,

    You probably know as well as I do that the scriptures nowhere address infant baptism head-on. If they did it would not be the subject of enduring debate amongst the churches as it is. But in the same way, the hypostatic union, the nature of the two wills of Jesus, and many other core doctrines of the church are not elaborated in detail in the Bible. Church doctrine developed after the close of the canon as the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, reflected on the scriptures. Origen believed the practice to be of Apostolic origin and you see it mentioned by Cyprian.

    From my point of view Peter’s words in Acts:
    “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”
    added to reflections on circumcision, the baptism of all Israel into Moses in the cloud and in the sea as well as the unity of the OT and NT church (contra dispensationalism) all point to the origins of the doctrine.

    My church teaches that “The Baptism of young Children is in any wise to be retained in the Church, as most agreeable with the institution of Christ.”

  11. She needs to step down & give her life to God. These pastors now in days are nothing but money hungry sucker. They are stealing from God……& also using God to get more money. Hopefully God will deal with them soon & make them see they are wrong in what they are doing!!!!!!!

  12. Women shouldn’t be pastors in the first place, but that’s another issue. The whole word of faith / prosperity thing is an evil cancer on the church.

  13. So Shame on you Like people who are BAD example for the ministry of God. Here in country like India we are hardworking for the Souls , and suddenly some news com from west about affairs , divorce ,homosexuality of pastors and great minister…
    when here people hear this and they dont want to come in Christianity cause they dont find any thing new in this religion …
    Shame for us and for all christians around the world , if you can’t be true minister with real gifts why would be in ministry???
    Do some job, and try to be a real believer..
    anyway May God gives you knowledge so that you may understand real value of Gospel.

  14. Why do we respect people who have no respect for the Word of God? God is 100%. Mankind is 0%; so it does not matter what mankind thinks or how many are doing the wrong thing. God will always be right. He alone is the majority!

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