In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, a number of media outlets have attempted to paint President-elect Donald Trump's victory as a win for the "prosperity gospel."
Their basis is Trump's long-time friendship with Paula White, an Orlando-based evangelist who has been frequently accused of being a "prosperity preacher." She has rejected the title, going so far as to tell Politico earlier this year "God is not a sugar daddy."
In that same report, White was described as an "outsider" in both evangelical and political circles who had little to no influence in either. Of course, that was written in July, shortly before Trump officially became the Republican Party's presidential nominee.
What a difference an election can make.
But in rebuttal media reports, several prominent evangelicals have refuted the notion that the prosperity gospel had anything to do with Trump's victory. In fact, as Dr. Wave Nunnally, a professor of Biblical Studies at Evangel University, has pointed out, the president-elect himself isn't a believer in the philosophy.
"He's very prosperous, but he didn't get that way by memorizing Scripture, by having the right confession, by being a member of a church that promotes the prosperity gospel or by giving to churches like that," he said. "They can claim what they want to claim, but they would be undercutting their own position."
The argument that Trump's victory was a win for the prosperity gospel also attempts to categorize an early church influence in the president-elect's life, Norman Vincent Peale's concepts on positive thinking, as a "close relative" theologically. That these reports—from the liberal mainstream media—have no biblical basis should probably come as no surprise.
As usual, another effort to tarnish the reputation of President-elect Trump, and those around him, falls apart the moment it is confronted with facts.
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