Thursday, November 23, 2006

Interesting Junk Mail

My brother, Mark, likes to pass out junk mail at staff meetings. You're liable to leave his study loaded down with some interesting bits... like the Sunday program from 1st Pres. (which generally is a treasure trove of good devotional and historical information)... or with painful mass mail junk, like the latest "Christian" exercise video. I've not inflicted such joy on the staff in Cayman. Neither am I on as many mailing lists as Mark, in part because I'm new here, in part because people probably can't spell my name, and in part because the cost of mailing junk to Grand Cayman is quite prohibitive.

But I did receive an interesting copy of The Aspen Idea from the the Aspen Institute. It is apparently their highlights from 2006 issue. Everybody and their mother was involved in their "ideas festival" (well... not me and my mama, but a whole of the who's who on the national and international scene). I was drawn to the picture of TD Jakes... large teethy smile with trademark gap, nice knit sweater, nestled between Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell, Bill Clinton, Katie Couric, Sandra Day O'Connor and others. Quite an august crowd.

On one level, I'm happy for the West Virginia boy made good. I'm thankful for his emphasis on caring for the inner city and on multi-ethnic concerns. Without doubt, a whole heap of hurting people have been helped in some measure by his ministry.

Bob Schieffer interviewed Jakes in an article called "The Bridge Builder." The interview positions Jakes as an unconventional team player orbiting somewhere short of "Pentecostal evangelicals... aggressively proselytizing" and different from "white megachurch and black megachurch" pastors.

Jakes explains that not all churches, much less megachurches, are alike. They're distinctive. True. But, he was silent on the "Pentecostal evangelicals... aggressively proselytizing" comment. He went on to talk about not being on the extremes and not using methods from another era (civil rights marches and demonstrations) to get things done. We need different idioms ("mediums" perhaps?).

After reading the article, I couldn't help but think that his comments were entirely beside the point, especially his reaction to the "proselytizing" question. What an opportunity, among the intellectual, political, and economic elites of the world, to proclaim the truth about our risen Lord and Savior. Instead, the Bishop waxed poetic about "progress" and "social issues" (at least the editors of the article make it seem this way). Which is really what bothers me about Jakes (aside from denying the Trinity): I can't ever recall his ever being clear about the gospel of Jesus Christ. I've not seen it in his books, in his videos or TV programs, or in any interviews I've read. It's just not there.

The man commands a huge international following... which should mean the Lord Jesus is being heralded to countless millions. But Jesus doesn't receive much of a cameo really.

We've been studying Galatians 1 in our Wednesday night Bible study. Last night we meditated on verses 8 and 9 where the apostle Paul pronounces his twin anathemas on those who throw others into confusion by perverting the gospel. I wonder what Paul's pronouncement would be upon a man like Jakes? I wonder why our pronouncements are not the same?

7 comments:

Rev.J. Theodore Helms said...

I have watched T.D. Jakes for years, off and on, and cannot remember him ever preaching the gospel according to the Bible. His sermons or messages are very electrifying and motivational. He preaches with authority that easily deceives his followers into believing that he is a man of God. He has openly condoned the sins of such men as Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart and another televangelist who fell in sexual sin years ago. He condoned their sins by telling young men at one of his men's conferences that these fallen men were anointed of God and their sins did not remove the anointing. The anointing was removed, Jakes said, when they were caught in their sins. He was, in essence, telling these young men not to get caught and they could keep the anointing and stay in ministry. Your observations and questions about Jakes are certainly appropriate. I do have a question, do you have any documentation of Jakes actually denying the Trinity? I have heard him explain why he doesn't teach on the Trinity saying "if you can't explain it, don't teach it." But I have never heard him deny it. I know his background with the Oneness Pentecostals who openly deny the Trinity (like Joyce Meyers) but I have been unable to hear this denial from Jakes' lips. Thank you, brother, for any info that you might provide. And may God continue to bless you in your ministry in the Grand Caymens.

Tim Raymond said...

For those curious about T. D. Jakes view of the trinity, this article may be helpful: http://www.equip.org/free/DJ900.htm

Jeff said...

The following is the Statement of Belief issued by The Potter's House, the church Jakes pastors. I assume it reflects his beliefs as well...

Belief Statement

The Bible, the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, are the inspired Word of God without error in the original writings, and complete revelation of His will for the salvation of men, and the divine and final authority for all Christian faith and life.

God--There is one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in three Manifestations: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Jesus Christ--Jesus Christ is true God and true man, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He died on the cross, the complete and final sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures. Further, He arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, where, at the right hand of the Majesty on High, He is now our High Priest and Advocate.

The Holy Spirit--The ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and during this age, to convict men of sin, regenerate the believing sinner, indwell, guide, instruct, and empower the believer for godly living and service.

Man--Man was created in the image of God but fell into sin and is therefore lost, and only through regeneration by the Holy Spirit can salvation and spiritual life be obtained.

Salvation--The shed blood of Jesus Christ and His resurrection provide the only ground for justification and salvation for all who believe, and only such as receive Jesus Christ by faith are born of the Holy Spirit and thus become children of God.

The Return of Jesus Christ--The personal, premillenial, and imminent return of our Lord Jesus Christ is our hope and has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer.

Future Events--There will be a bodily resurrection of all the dead; of the believer to everlasting blessedness and joy with the Lord, and of the unbeliever to judgment and everlasting conscious punishment.

The Church--The true Church is composed of all such persons, who through saving faith in Jesus Christ, have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and are united together in the body of Christ of which He is the head.

Baptism and Communion--Water baptism by immersion soon after accepting Christ as personal Savior, is a testimony of death to sin and resurrection to a new life and the Lord's Supper is a memorial service setting forth in sacred and symbolic manner the death of the Lord Jesus Christ; all true believers and only believers should share in it.

Jeff said...

This is the belief statement issued by The Potter's House, the church Jakes pastors. I assume it reflects his belief as well...

Belief Statement

The Bible, the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, are the inspired Word of God without error in the original writings, and complete revelation of His will for the salvation of men, and the divine and final authority for all Christian faith and life.

God--There is one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in three Manifestations: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Jesus Christ--Jesus Christ is true God and true man, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He died on the cross, the complete and final sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures. Further, He arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, where, at the right hand of the Majesty on High, He is now our High Priest and Advocate.

The Holy Spirit--The ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and during this age, to convict men of sin, regenerate the believing sinner, indwell, guide, instruct, and empower the believer for godly living and service.

Man--Man was created in the image of God but fell into sin and is therefore lost, and only through regeneration by the Holy Spirit can salvation and spiritual life be obtained.

Salvation--The shed blood of Jesus Christ and His resurrection provide the only ground for justification and salvation for all who believe, and only such as receive Jesus Christ by faith are born of the Holy Spirit and thus become children of God.

The Return of Jesus Christ--The personal, premillenial, and imminent return of our Lord Jesus Christ is our hope and has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer.

Future Events--There will be a bodily resurrection of all the dead; of the believer to everlasting blessedness and joy with the Lord, and of the unbeliever to judgment and everlasting conscious punishment.

The Church--The true Church is composed of all such persons, who through saving faith in Jesus Christ, have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and are united together in the body of Christ of which He is the head.

Baptism and Communion--Water baptism by immersion soon after accepting Christ as personal Savior, is a testimony of death to sin and resurrection to a new life and the Lord's Supper is a memorial service setting forth in sacred and symbolic manner the death of the Lord Jesus Christ; all true believers and only believers should share in it.

FellowElder said...

Hi Jeff,
Thanks for the statement from Potter's House. The statement on God, including the "three manifestations" language, is the give-away. That "manifestations" language is the classic phraseology of Oneness Pentecostals and modalists. It's a distortion of the fact that God exists in three Persons, not manifestations.

Thanks for posting the statement.
Thabiti

Rev.J. Theodore Helms said...

I want to say thanks also, Jeff and brother Thabiti. A new church just moved into our community and I went on their website and the doctrinal statement concerning the nature of God is the same as the Potters House. I have also been looking for a similar statement by Joyce Meyers who as you know has the same background as Jakes. Jeff? CRI has nothing even though Hanegraff says constantly that Meyers denies the Trinity.

Travis Hilton said...

I have had similar thoughts about what you've brought up about T>D> Jakes. That belief statement makes it quite clear. I didn't know Joyce Meyers was a modalist. She's on every Wal-Mart bookshelf.

Great blog, good information.