Donald Trump's spiritual adviser Paula White has told people to send her money – ideally their January salary – in order to receive blessings, or face divine consequences.
In a video on her website, White, who heads up the President's evangelical advisory committee and is pastor at the megachurch New Destiny Christian Center, in Apopka, Florida, suggested making a New Year donation to her ministries.
White said this was to honour the religious principle of 'first fruit,' which she said is the idea that all firsts belong to God, including the first harvest – and the first month of people's salaries.
'Right now I want you to click on that button, and I want you to honour God with his first fruits offering,' she said in the video.
'If God doesn't divinely step in and intervene, I don't know what you're going to face – he does,' she said.
The Pentecostal televangelist, who prayed at Trump's inauguration, remains one of the President's leading supporters. She has recently defended the state of Trump's mental health following claims Michael Wolff's book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, saying the President is 'great mentally'.
Explaining the theory behind her appeal for cash, she said: 'January is the beginning of a new year for us in the Western world. Let us give to God what belongs to him: the first hours of our day, the first month of the year, the first of our increase, the first in every area of our life. It's devoted...The principle of first fruits is that when you give God the first, he governs the rest and redeems in.'
She went on: 'When you honour this principle, it provides the foundation and structure for God's blessings and promises in your life. It unlocks deep dimensions of spiritual truths that literally transform your life. When you apply this, everything comes in divine alignment for his plan and promises for you. When you don't honor it, whether through ignorance or direct disobedience, there are consequences.'
White reflected on her own 'big sacrifice' by donating her own salary for the first month of the year. 'Each January, I put God first and honour him with the first of our substance by sowing a first fruits offering of one month's pay. That is a big sacrifice, but it is a seed for the harvest I am believing for in the coming year,' she said. 'And God always provides!'
Her website says: 'When you sow a First Fruits Offering of $75 or more, I will rush to you the book, the devotional and also a Paula White 2018 wall calendar! Track throughout the entire year prioritizing God with me!'
As Newsweek noted, White was among a number of televangelists examined after the Republican Senator Charles Grassley launched a 2007 investigation into the finances of ministries that solicit millions of dollars in donations.
The report, published in 2011, did not draw any conclusions of wrongdoing, however.