Televangelist Paula White sparked controversy on social media after she claimed that President Donald Trump has been "authentically raised up by God" and that those who oppose him are ultimately opposing God.
White, who heads New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, Fla., recently appeared on the Jim Bakker show, where she compared Trump to the Biblical Queen Esther, as both were unlikely picks for the roles they received.
"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."
Instantly, social media lit up with reactions to White's statement, many of them overwhelmingly negative.
"'God raises up kings. If you oppose them, you oppose God.' The same toxic theology was used to support Hitler & Apartheid & Saddam Hussein," Christian activist Shane Claiborne tweeted in response to GH's report on the story.
"Yet ANOTHER reason why people are rejecting the Christian message: This brilliance from @Paula_White, as if we need any more sad examples," tweeted a man named Chip Pate.
Writer Derek Rishmawy pointed out that in the Bible, being "raised up" isn't necessarily a good thing.
"'For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you': God talking about raising up Pharaoh for judgment (Ex 9:16)," he tweeted. "Look, all I am saying is 'raising up' can mean a lot of things in Scripture."
Others, however, applauded White for her comments.
"Awesome! God is Great! Thank you for your faithfulness. Your all in my prayers daily including our President and our country. Every knee will bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!" commenter Michelle Sturtz wrote on the Jim Bakker show Facebook page in response to the interview.
"It was a great great show today!!," commenter Tracy Noor wrote in a posting about White's appearance. "I was so impressed!!! God really touched my heart with the message."
"God Bless you all for standing up for what is right," wrote Debbie King.
The Washington Post notes that White isn't the only religious figure to suggest Trump was appointed by God; Lance Wallnau, a Christian author, earlier this year said God spoke to him and showed him that Trump was like King Cyrus, who followed God's will despite being a pagan.
"I really believe that the mercy of God intervened in this last election cycle and gave us an individual who has the willpower and the tenacity to be able to do a reset," Wallnau told CBN News. "I heard the Lord, 'Donald Trump is a wrecking ball to the spirit of political correctness.'"
In July, pastor Robert Jeffress led a "Freedom Rally," during which he praised Trump as God's choice for America and a church choir sang a hymn with the lyrics "Make America Great Again."
"In recent years, there have been those who have tried to separate our nation from its spiritual foundation," he said. "This has caused many of us, especially Christians, to wonder, 'Is God finished with America?' Are our best days over? Has God removed his hand of blessing from us?" Not so, said Jeffress. "In the midst of that despair came November the eighth, 2016 ... because it was on that day that God declared that the people - not the pollsters - were going to choose the next president of the United States, and they chose Donald Trump."