T.D. Jakes says, “Ex-Con, Thou Art Loosed!” The Bishop Is Stomping Out Recidivism… but is he still a heretic?

It can become confusing when good people with bad theology do good things.  You want to cheer for them so badly.  It’s tempting to think that if they are doing great things, they must have great theology.  For example this story found at www.mormontimes.com Mormon members and missionaries help in Albania after flood.  Those with little to no theological training might be compeled to visit a ward or branch or temple or whatever they are calling it these days.  Yet correct actions do not equate to correct doctrine.  Orthodoxy vs. Orthopraxy! Why can’t we have both?

Picked up from the Chrisitan News Wire

Bishop Jakes Honors 150 Ex-Offenders

“Through the redemptive doors of the Texas Offenders Reentry Initiative, we are breaking the cycle of prison reentry and restoring hope by providing ex-offenders with the necessary tools to help them successfully change their lives.’ — Bishop T.D. Jakes, Senior Pastor, The Potter’s House

Contact: Zunoraine Holmes, 214-683-7144, Dana Slagle, 469-360-7104; publicrelations@tdjakes.org 

DALLAS, Feb. 23 /Christian Newswire/ — Bishop T.D. Jakes is keeping his commitment to reducing recidivism. On Feb. 28, at 9:00 a.m., Jakes will hold a graduation ceremony for 150 ex-offenders who have successfully completed the Texas Offenders Reentry Initiative (TORI).

TORI is a yearlong program that addresses the needs of former inmates returning to Texas. One of this year’s graduates is Lakitha Dardin, 31, who was sexually abused as a child, became involved with a gang, and dropped out of high school at 15. She began using drugs and later found herself in prison for nearly four years. After her release, she entered the TORI program, took advantage of the numerous services, and is now looking forward to the graduation.

“I feel like I’m accomplishing something when everyone told me I wouldn’t have anything,” says Dardin.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, more than half of released prisoners will return to prison within three years. To combat this issue, TORI offers comprehensive services in several areas including: employment coaching, housing, financial literacy, substance abuse counseling, family reunification and spiritual chaplaincy.

The ceremony will take place at The Potter’s House in Dallas. Representatives from the U.S. Attorney General’s Office, The White House Office for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and the Texas Department of Corrections are scheduled to attend. Food Network star Jeff Henderson, who served 10 years in prison for a drug conviction and is now host of the “Chef Jeff Project,” will serve as the keynote speaker.

TORI currently serves: Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin and Houston. Visit www.medc-tori.org for more information.

About The Potter’s House
Located in Dallas, The Potter’s House is a 30,000-member church led by Bishop T. D. Jakes, twice featured on the cover of Time magazine as “America’s Best Preacher” and as one of this nation’s “25 most influential evangelicals.”

THE PROBLEM WITH TD JAKES? Well, here is an excerpt from an article found online HERE:

ANOTHER JESUS 

It has been shown above that as far as money and riches are concerned, Jakes’ view of Jesus is not hard to determine. His “rich Jesus” is merely a figment of his imagination, or perhaps he is merely regurgitating the false teachings of Fred Price, Paul Crouch and John Avanzini.24

Jakes seems just as confused when it comes to the human nature of Jesus. He states that because the teachers in Jesus’ day listened to Him as a child it boosted His self-esteem.25 Here again we have Jakes’ psychological jargon but now, even worse, it is being dumped on Jesus. At the very least it is erroneous and irreverent to speak of Jesus in those terms. To suggest that Jesus needed a boost in self-esteem and that it took some Jewish teachers to do it is to really miss the point of who Jesus really is.

Jesus may have opted to allow His sinless manhood to progress in a normal course (Luke 2:51-52) but His Deity and perfection put Him outside mundane false human categories. Again we see the pop psychology dominating with Jakes and a different Jesus being constructed out of the paper mache of human ideas. What Jakes suggests now puts Jesus into the category of a flawed rich man needing an ego boost!

Because the incarnation is such a great mystery, we must always be careful to say about Jesus only what the Scriptures actually say. If not, we can fall into extreme and heretical views on either side. As others have suggested there must be a “reverent agnosticism” about some aspects of the Godhead incarnate.

In the fifth century, the Eutychians so deified Christ’s humanity that He was no longer truly human. On another extreme, the Nestorians at the same time so separated the two natures of Jesus as to suggest two distinct personalities.26

Jakes appears to tilt toward the Nestorian error. The Orthodox view was promulgated at the Council of Chalcedon in A.D. 451 and stated:

“In the one person Jesus Christ there are two natures, a human nature and a divine nature, each in its completeness and integrity, and these two natures are organically and indissolubly united, yet so that no third nature is formed thereby. In brief, to use the antiquated dictum, orthodox doctrine forbids us either to divide the person or to confound the natures.”27

The Church has always held that Christ’s human nature was complete as Chalcedon taught. Therefore to suggest a boost was needed in Christ’s self-esteem is a definite move away from orthodoxy.

In chapters 13 and 15 of Loose That Man, Jakes spends 30 pages developing applications from the Lazarus story as how to live like a “loosed man.” That may be all well and good, but not once does Jakes state the Apostle John’s objective of clearly showing Jesus as the Resurrection and the Life — Jesus as the one who conquers death for us and offers us resurrection hope for the future.

As well, this tremendous miracle confirmed Jesus as the Messiah and caused some to believe (John 11:45). John’s expressed purpose for recording any of the miracles of Christ was to confirm Jesus as Messiah and engender commitment to Him: “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:31). Jakes seems to miss the primary interpretation to spin out many secondary, subjective applications to boost our esteem.

LOOKING FOR MANHOOD IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES 

Jakes mentions that he purchased (for all the men in his organization) subscriptions to the secular GQ Magazine to help them learn about manhood.28

Any Christian need only briefly scan the contents of a recent issue of Gentlemen’s QuarterlyGQ Magazine — to be shocked and even appalled at its contents, some of which is nearly pornographic. Consider, for example, the November 1996 issue where there is an advertisement for the “Better Sex Videos.” The photograph accompanying this ad left little to the imagination. This same issue’s table of contents listed articles on “Nightlife at the Viper Room,” a crime story about a crossdressing heiress, the cigar clubs of Beverly Hills, and things even worse.

This writer cannot imagine a minister endorsing a publication with such questionable contents as this for any reason. On the cover of the February 1997 issue, controversial basketball star Dennis Rodman and supermodel Rebecca Romijn were both featured in skimpy bathing suits. I am still trying to figure what any of this has to do with Christianity. How far we’ve come. Jakes expresses love for his children but is this the kind of material they would find around the house?

Instructions in biblical texts and biblical manhood would be far safer and far more sane, as well as more profitable and lasting. God’s Word has incredible things to say about manhood and godliness. The male leadership of the Church is given in specific, practical guidelines in 1 Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:5-9. The Bible presents ideal manhood. It may not be as trendy as GQ, but it is far more life changing and God honoring.

A STROLL DOWN MYSTIC LANE

In Jakes’ book, Why? Because You Are Anointed, he teaches a personal guidance system that is not only strange but misleading and fraught with problems of self-deception and outright manipulation of others.

Instead of telling people to follow the clear dictates and details of God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17), he leads people to follow confusing detours of inner impressions and guess work by others. Listen to his advice:

“God imparts to you a revelation of His plans for your life. That is how the vision begins. Then in some cases, God confirms that word he spoke personally to you through a prophecy given to you by another man or woman of God.”29

Jakes does not seem to have even an elementary idea of the basic doctrines and distinctions between revelation, inspiration and illumination. Yet he purports to give direction and guidance to thousands.

In the same book he says that the guidance will be proven later by the Scripture.30 That certainly puts the cart before the horse. Suppose by that time you have created an unmitigated disaster. We must always start with the Scripture and not use God’s Word as an addendum.31

At this point some may say that all the above is unimportant and to express concern about these things is simply nit picking. Certainly the good Jakes does out weighs minor differences.

A lavish materialistic lifestyle, a vastly different Jesus, the psychologizing of Christianity, crude magazines, an unsafe guidance system may be good and acceptable to some, but not to those that take the Bible seriously and see Scripture as the sole court of appeal when it comes to religious claims and teachings.

However it get worse, especially Jakes’ teaching on the Gospel and salvation.

DYING TO GET SAVED

In his 1996 work, The Harvest, Jakes sends confusing signals as to whether or not he believes in salvation by grace through faith. He says he is “called to preach the message of the cross” and that we must “preach the Gospel as sincerely and effectively as possible,”32 which sounds good. And then he also warns of false gospels,33 which sounds even better. But as he elaborates he sounds totally confused and contradictory and leads one to wonder if he really understands the simplicity of the Gospel.

We find a heavily conditional, or works, salvation being developed and described by Jakes. His comments could also be called salvation by struggle:

“Unless the believer is willing to lose his life for Christ’s sake, he cannot ever attain everlasting life. If the Master must suffer to the point of death, so likewise must the servant.”34

Taken at face value, it appears that only martyrs or near‑martyrs qualify for heaven. Try to interpose this concept into the 16th chapter of Acts. You would have to say to the jailer in response to his question, “What must I do to be saved?”: “You have to make sure you have a martyr’s mind set or its no good.”

There is not a shred of biblical evidence for Jakes’ condition. Given his lifestyle, Jakes fails the test himself. He surely is no martyr and has very little to worry about on the material plane.

To confuse things even further Jakes declares that we must: “Die! Die and keep on dying daily until all of you is dead and only Christ lives. Death is the key to life and life more abundantly.”35 This certainly begs the question: What has Bishop Jakes died to? Surely not materialism. He needs to show us, not preach at us.

It is obvious that Jakes is uncertain as to salvation being a free gift from God as Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 3:5 and Romans 6:23 teach. He warns about false gospels and is even so bold to say that ministers propagating false beliefs are probably greed-oriented.36 He then goes on to propose the strangest Gospel to come down the pike in a while.

Jakes’ view can be called a two-tiered salvation or a two-step salvation or perhaps a progressive graduated salvation. His imaginary salvation is based on a distortion of John 1:12-13. It goes as follow:

“Scripture teaches that receiving Christ as your personal Savior does not necessarily make you a son of God, but if you choose to do so, the power (authority) and right to do so is present. … Just being saved does not make you a son of God, …only those who are willing to be led by the Spirit actually realize and manifest the sonship of God.”37

So in Jakes’ view being a son is not something you are, it is only something you can opt to manifest. His teaching is more at home with that of the late cult leader Herbert W. Armstrong, than with orthodoxy.38

Jakes does not realize how nonsensical he sounds when he says one can be saved and not be a son of God. Does he not realize that the terms are interchangeable and that one really means the other? Being “saved” and “being a son of God” are one in the same. The moment we exercise faith in Jesus and accept Him, we are sons. “For you are all sons of God through faith in Jesus Christ,” Galatians 3:26 declares.

Jakes confounds and distorts the salvation process by making a distinction between accepting Jesus as Savior and being a son of God. He says that these are different states arrived at in different ways. The Bible does not recognize Jakes’ false dichotomy.

The truth of Scripture regarding the riches of our salvation is summarized by Thomas R. Edgar:

“Every person who believes in Jesus Christ has their sins forgiven and is immediately justified. The Holy Spirit indwells every believer immediately upon salvation. Every believer has access to God in prayer and has other believers available for fellowship, edification, and counsel. Every Christian has all of this immediately upon justification.”39

If we were to believe Jakes, we would have to believe that receiving Christ and being saved are one thing (doing very little if anything for you, except for being a first step) and being a son of God is something entirely different that you can choose or not choose to become. So you can be “saved” but not really saved. When you decide to be led by the Spirit you then manifest son-ship.

Romans 8:1 indicates, however, that walking in the Spirit is something you can and will do because you are already a son of God. Walking in the Spirit is a privilege and the manifestation of sons. Jakes totally misunderstands and confuses salvation and sanctification.

Jakes’ other obvious mistake is that he teaches that the authority, right or power, in John 1:12, is the authority and right of the believer to do something for himself. He misses entirely the clear thrust of John’s passage which is talking about God’s authority.

We can say we are saved, we can say we are sons of God if we’ve received Christ as John 1:12 indicates based on God’s right, God’s power, God’s authority to declare that of us. It is clear from this passage that God gives the right to every believer to be named as His sons and children.

The word “become” in the verse is not to be seen as tentative in any way but as declarative as to what we become by receiving Jesus as Savior. God’s prerogative, in John 1:12, does not become man’s prerogative no matter what Jakes says. Griffith Thomas, known throughout the Anglo-Saxon world as one of the great English scholars of modern times, conveys the thrust of verse 12: “Having received Christ as ‘Word’ and ‘Light,’ we become sons of God.”40

First John 5:12 assures us, “He that has the Son has life.” Romans 10:17 reminds us, “Whoever calls on the Name of the Lord shall be saved.” Being saved, being sons, being a child of God, being born again, having received Christ, having faith in Christ, and being in Christ are really nuances of the same experience and standing. Receiving Christ puts us eternally “in Christ” as children and joint heirs. This privilege in Romans 8 is a position that has no condemnation, no amputation and no separation. Christ in us is the hope of glory as Colossians 1:27 announces.

The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible lays out the simple Biblical truth that seems to elude Jakes:

“In the three Johannine epistles the figure of the child is brought to its fulfillment with the repetition of the apostolic love for the Church in terms of family endearment (1 John 3:10, et. al.). The legal proposition of children, inheritance, adoption, illegitimacy and naming are all used as figures of the application of the Atonement in the epistles (Gal 4:5; Eph 1:5; Phil 4:3; Heb 12:8; 1 Pet 1:4; et. al.)”41

Thus there are two “BVs” to choose from. The first, Bishop Velcro with his earthly mansions, his wealthy Rolex Jesus, his psychological trappings, the pep rallies, the questionable reading material and the truncated Gospel. Or the second BV, the old trustworthy BV — Bible verses — that tell us of mansions in glory, the man of sorrows, the provision of free grace with immediate and eternal sonship for desperate needy sinners who will in faith repent and receive Christ.

We must choose — the stakes are enormous — and eternal. Put away the Jakes materials and revisit the Bible. It will tell you the truth minus the velcro.

Endnotes:

 1. Tim Wyatt, “Televangelist reportedly to plead guilty,” The Dallas Morning News, April 14, 1996.
 2. The Bookstore Journal, December 1996, pg. 59.
 3. Phone conversation between Jim Levy, conference speaker spokesman for Promise Keepers, and M. Kurt Goedelman, Jan. 29, 1997.
4. Ken Walker, “Thunder From Heaven,” Charisma magazine, November 1996, pg. 37.
 5. Ibid., pg. 42.
 6. Ibid., pg. 43.
 7. Daniel G. Reid, Robert D. Linder, Bruce L. Shelley and Harry S. Stout, Editors, Dictionary of Christianity in America. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1990, pg. 359.
 8. Walker, op. cit., pg. 39.
 9. “East Coast Church Conference — Run with the Vision” advertisement, Charisma magazine, July 96, pg. 70.
10. See further, John MacArthur, Charismatic Chaos, Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1992, pp. 28-31 and The Glory Of Heaven, Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 1996, pp. 44-45.
11. Kaylois Henry, “Bishop Jakes Is Ready. Are You?,” The Dallas Observer magazine, June 20-26, 1996, pg. 19.
12. Ibid., pg. 22.
13. Ibid.
14. Ibid., pg. 31.
15. Jim Jones, “Rising-star evangelist ministers to interracial congregation,” The Fort Worth Star Telegram, Aug. 11, 1996.
16. Jack Finegan, The Archaeology of The New Testament. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1972, pp. 27-33.
17. T.D. Jakes, Loose That Man and Let Him Go. Tulsa: Albury Press, 1995, pg. 5.
18. Ibid., pp. 8-16.
19. See further, Tal Brooke, “A Brief Look At John Bradshaw,” Spiritual Counterfeits Project Journal, Vol. 18, No. 3, pp. 4-11.
20. Walker, op. cit., pg. 41.
21. Jakes, Loose That Man, op. cit., pp. 123-124.
22. Don Matzat, “The Intrusion of Psychology into Christian Theology,” Issues, Etc. Journal, Sept. 1996, Vol. 1, No. 9, pp. 16-17, emphasis in original. This excellent article should be read in its entirety.
23. Dr. Jay E. Adams, The Biblical View of Self-Esteem, Self-Love, Self-Image. Eugene, Ore.: Harvest House Publishers, 1986, pp. 39-40.
24. See further, Hank Hanegraaff, Christianity in Crisis. Eugene, Ore.: Harvest House Publishers, 1993, pp. 187-190.
25. Jakes, Loose That Man, op. cit., pg. 3.
26. See further, Henry Thiessen, Introductory Lectures In Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1952, pp. 285.
27. Ibid., pg. 286.
28. Jakes, Loose That Man, op. cit., pg. 42.
29. T.D. Jakes, Why? Because You Are Anointed. Bakersfield, Calif.: Pneuma Life Publishing, 1994, pg. 43.
30. Ibid.
31. For a sane, biblical, and far safer approach to guidance and God’s will see pages 23-37 of Jay E. Adams’ More Than Redemption.
32. T.D. Jakes, The Harvest. Bakersfield, Calif.: Pneuma Life Publishing, 1996, pg. 10.
33. Ibid., pg. 36.
34. Ibid., pg. 28.
35. Ibid., pg. 29.
36. Ibid., pg. 37.
37. Ibid., pp. 46-47.
38. See further the PFO tract, The Plain Truth of Herbert W. Armstrong, under the heading “Salvation.”
39. Thomas R. Edgar, Satisfied by the Promise of the Spirit. Grand Rapids: Kregal Resources, 1996, pg. 11.
40. Griffith Thomas, The Apostle John. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1965, pg. 154.
41. Merrill Tenney, Editor, The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1975, Vol. 2, pg. 500, emphasis added.

© 1997 – PFO. All rights reserved by Personal Freedom Outreach. This article may not be stored on BBS or Internet sites without permission. Reproduction is prohibited, except for portions intended for personal use and non-commercial purposes. For reproduction permission contact: Personal Freedom Outreach, P.O. Box 26062, Saint Louis, Missouri 63136.
 
AND HERE IS THE ENTRY FOUND FOR TD JAKES AT WWW.APOLOGETICSINDEX.ORG
 
Aberrational, Heretical, Heterodox, Suborthodox or Unorthodox Jakes, T.D.
This popular preacher, also known as “Bishop Jakes,” comes from a United Pentecostal background. He pastors The Potter’s House (Dallas, Texas) one of America’s fastest-growing megachurches. He is also a leader and elected bishop of the “Higher Ground Always Abounding Assemblies,” a network of Oneness Pentecostal churches – though not identified as such at the T.D. Jakes Ministries web site:

 In 1979, Pastor Jakes opened the doors of his first church located in a storefront facility in Montgomery, WV with only 10 members. The church eventually became known as The Temple of Faith and was affiliated with Ohio-based Higher Ground Always Abounding Assemblies, a Pentecostal organization that governs many churches of similar persuasion.

T.D. Jakes MinistriesOff-site Link, (Accessed Mar. 3, 2000)

 In “Christianity Today” recently, T.D. Jakes said “This small fellowship of churches is not a denomination, and differs in many ways from traditional Apostolic churches.” No indication is given on how and where they differ.

 Answers in Action – in a statement about Promise Keepers, says

 (…) Promise Keepers speakers are not always theologically sound,biblically centered, mature Christian speakers. (For example, they have repeatedly promoted T. D. Jakes, a United Pentecostal pastor/evangelist who denies — along with his denomination — the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity and promotes baptismal regeneration.

 And Charisma Magazine, in an article supportive of Oneness Pentecostalism, notes:

 (…) Because of recent upheaval in the UPC, many pastors have left to establish prominent independent Oneness churches. And many popular preachers in the black charismatic community–most notably T.D. Jakes of Dallas–have Oneness roots.

 One of the “frequently-asked questions” posted on Jakes’ web site is: “What has been your reception in the evangelical community?” Jakes Answers:

 ”I’ve had only one or two experiences where people had a problem accepting my diversity — either racially or doctrinally. For some reason, God has just given me the grace to be able to sit on many different platforms.”

Questions for T.D. JakesOff-site Link (Accessed Mar. 3, 2000)

 Unfortunately, Jakes’ doctrinal diversity appears to include classic Oneness Pentecostal Heresies, though – in an apparent effort to appeal to a wider audience – the usual Oneness theology is toned down somewhat at TD Jakes’ official web site. See, for example, its statement on the Trinity:

 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.

Ministry BeliefsOff-site Link (Last checked Dec. 14, 1999, and archived here). The current statement, last accessed June 28, 2007, still refers to ‘manifestations,’ but now with a lower case.

 The belief that God exists in three “manifestations” is called Sabellianism or modalism:

 Sabellianism or Modalism. Sabellius (A.D. 200), the originator of this viewpoint, spoke of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but he understood all three as no more than three manifestations of one God. This teaching came to be known as modalism because it views one God who variously manifests Himself in three modes of existence: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

 John Morehead writes:

 Orthodox Christians and Oneness adherents are agreed that the Scriptures teach that there is only one God. The classic text in this regard is Deut. 6:4Off-site Link. Numerous other biblical passages teach that there is only one God. However, the Bible nowhere teaches that the “oneness” of God is to be understood as only one Person. Here orthodox Christianity and Oneness Pentecostalism diverge. Christianity affirms one God in three co-existing persons as Father, Son and Holy Spirit; Oneness theology affirms one God in one person, Jesus Christ, in three modes or manifestations.

 Interestingly, the “Ministry Beliefs” statement at the TD Jakes website differs from the “Doctrinal Statement for T.D. Jakes/Potter’s House Ministries” at the same web site. This one provides us with another look at the doctrine of the Trinity:

 THREE DIMENSIONS OF ONE GOD (1 John 5:7Off-site Link; Mathew 28:19Off-site Link; 1 Tim 3:16Off-site Link)

 We believe in one God who is eternal in His existence, Triune in His manifestation, being both Father, Son and Holy Ghost AND that He is Sovereign and Absolute in His authority.

 We believe in the Father who is God Himself, Creator of the universe. {Gen 1:1Off-site Link; John 1:1Off-site Link}

 We believe that Jesus is the Son of God. (Col 2:9Off-site Link) He suffered, died, was buried, and rose from the dead for our total salvation (Luke 3:21-22Off-site Link; Philippians 2:5-11Off-site Link). We believe that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Him (John 3:36Off-site Link; John 3:31-32Off-site Link; John 14:6Off-site Link).

We believe in the Holy Spirit who is God indwelling, empowering and regenerating the believer. This Holy Spirit is called the Comforter. The Spirit of Truth (John 14:17Off-site Link,
14:26Off-site Link)

At first glance, this may sound a little better. However, saying that God has “three dimensions” and adding the word “Triune” does not indicate adherence to orthodox doctrine regarding the Trinity. In fact, the statement appears to be worded to appeal to both Oneness believers and Trinitarians, even though it is impossible to hold both the Oneness and the Trinitarian position – or to compromise on the doctrine of the Trinity.

Responding to a posting of Jakes’ Doctrinal Statement on the AR-talk mailing list, Dr. Gordon LewisOff-site Link wrote, “The revised statement on God revives Sabellian modalism. Father, Son and Holy Spirit are not merely three manifestations of one God in history, three different hats he wears.”

 Bottom line: the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity is that the Father Son and Holy Spirit are three distinct, co-existent, co-equal Persons within the one God. If that is what TD Jakes Ministries beliefs, it should make an unequivocal statement to that effect. However, repeated emailed requests for clarification on this issue have gone unanswered.

 But in February, 2000, Christianity TodayOff-site Link reported:

 The quarterly journal of the southern California–based Christian Research Institute (http://www.equip.org/) quotes from public remarks by Jakes to argue that, whatever baptismal formulas he uses in different venues, his primary theological language for the Godhead remains Oneness Pentecostal.
(…)

 One of the Journal’s most detailed quotations comes from a Los Angeles radio show, ”Living By the Word.” KKLA-FM broadcast host Jim Coleman’s interview with Jakes on August 23 and 30, 1998.

 Coleman asks Jakes how important it is for Christians to believe in the Trinity. Jakes responds:

 I think it’s very, very significant that we first of all study the Trinity apart from salvation, and first of all that we embrace Christ and come to him to know who he is. Having come to know who he is, then we begin to deal with the Trinity, which I believe is a very complex issue. The Trinity, the term ‘Trinity,’ is not a biblical term, to begin with.

 It’s a theological description for something that is so beyond human comprehension that I’m not sure that we can totally hold God to a numerical system. The Lord said, ”Behold, O Israel, the Lord thy God is one, and beside him there is no other.” When God got ready to make a man that looked like him, he didn’t make three. He made one man. However, that one man had three parts. He was body, soul, and spirit. We have one God, but he is Father in creation, Son in redemption, and Holy Spirit in regeneration.

 (…)
”Given his and his ministry’s insistence on modalist language in describing the Trinity, the assertions of his colleague [associate minister Lawrence Robinson] that he is a modalist, and his affiliation with a Oneness group, we have every reason to doubt that by ‘Trinity’ his ministry means three eternally distinct Persons,” Miller told CHRISTIANITY TODAY.

Apologetics Journal Criticizes T.D. JakesOff-site Link, Christianity Today, February 7, 2000, Vol. 44, No. 2, Page 58

 Christianity Today also posted a response by T.D. JakesOff-site Link showing that he is, indeed, a modalist:

 While I mix with Christians from a broad range of theological perspectives, I speak only for my personal faith and convictions. I am not a theologian, and I avoid quoting even theologians who agree with me. To defend my beliefs, I go directly to the Bible.

 My views on the Godhead are from 1 John 5:7-8, “For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.” (NKJV)

I believe in one God who is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I believe these three have distinct and separate functions — so separate that each has individual attributes, yet are one. I do not believe in three Gods.

T.D. Jakes, “My Views on the Godhead”, Christianity Today Online edition

See also, “T.D. Jakes Responds To The (Christian Research) Journal.”

Bottom-line: In its initial article, the Christian Research Journal writes:

Even well-discipled and discerning Christians find it challenging to differentiate between the truth and error found in Jakes’s teachings — let alone the watching secular world. The New York Times published an article on 1 January 1999 regarding how America has always had a national evangelist. ”Ever since the colonial era, America has had a pre-eminent preacher who played an unofficial role as national evangelist, preaching a simple message of repentance and salvation and drawing vast crowds in the process. For the last 50 years that role has been filled by the Rev. Billy Graham. But at the turn of the century with Mr. Graham now 80, the question arises, Who if anyone can take his place.”63 It is sobering that of the five possible successors to Billy Graham listed, one of them is T. D. Jakes.

There is no denying that T. D. Jakes has many fine leadership qualities, and the social outreaches of his Potter’s House church appear quite commendable. But, while sound doctrine is not the only criterion for leadership among Christians (1 Tim. 3:1–13), it is certainly a necessary criterion (Tit. 1:9–11). Do we really want a non-Trinitarian to be the spiritual leader of our country? If the answer to this question is anything but an unequivocal no, the future looks dark indeed for the American church.

The Man, His Ministry, And His Movement: Concerns About The Teachings Of T.D. JakesOff-site Link by by Jerry L. Buckner, writing in the Christian Research Journal

– Articles –
Christian Get Ready For T.D. Jakes, The Velcro Bishop With Another GospelOff-site Link (Contra) Article by Personal Freedom Outreach
Christian The Man, His Ministry, And His Movement: Concerns About The Teachings Of T.D. JakesOff-site Link by by Jerry L. Buckner, writing in the Christian Research Journal 
Aberrational, Heretical, Heterodox, Suborthodox or Unorthodox The Other PentecostalsOff-site Link (Pro) Charisma Magazine article supporting oneness heresy. Archived at Rick Ross‘ site. While it briefly mentions TD Jakes, the article represents the lack of discernment that leads to the promotion of error within the Church.
Christian Swift Growth Shapes Potter’s HouseOff-site Link January 12, 1998, Christianity Today item on the growth of Jakes’ church.
Aberrational, Heretical, Heterodox, Suborthodox or Unorthodox T.D. Jakes Responds To The (Christian Research) JournalOff-site LinkPDF file

Although he has not directly corresponded with the JOURNAL, T. D. Jakes has publicly responded to last issue’s cover article, “The Man, His Ministry, and His Movement: Concerns about the Teachings of T. D. Jakes” by Jerry L. Buckner. He did so in an “op-ed” piece written for Christianity Today, which saw three somewhat different incarnations.1 While we are unable to reproduce his reply in full, the following points warrant consideration:

– News Database –   » About this News Archive
(May 29, 1999) Bishop T.D. Jakes puts Phila. Pentecostals on their feet
(Oct. 5, 1998) TV evangelist gets thousands jumping and dancing at three-day conference

– See Also –
Christian What difference does the doctrine of the Trinity make?Off-site Link Part of Robert Bowman‘s outline study on the Trinity

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One response to “T.D. Jakes says, “Ex-Con, Thou Art Loosed!” The Bishop Is Stomping Out Recidivism… but is he still a heretic?

  1. Ex-Con Gives Message of Hope to GED Graduates

    Vero Beach, Florida – Twenty seven young men received their GED diploma today at their graduation ceremony at the Indian River Correctional Facility, Vero Beach, Florida. The facility houses over 400 youthful offender male inmates (14-18 years old).

    Standing before the graduates and their family members, guest speaker Larry Lawton shared a smile and message of hope that has become his life’s work. Lawton spoke of his experiences of serving 11 years in Federal Prison and the challenges of his reentry into society. Lawton told the graduates “Look at your situation as a positive, you can make the right choices and move on with your lives towards a positive future. You have taken this first step with getting your GED and don’t stop at that, continue your education it’s now about your future not you’re past”.

    Warden Ed Mercer thanked the family and friends of the graduates for making the time and effort to attend the ceremony. Mercer stated “Our graduates have worked very hard for this day, and it means a great deal to them to have friends and loved ones share the day”.

    Indian River Correctional Facility was established in 1976 to house youthful offender male inmates. The facility has academic and vocational programs for the inmates.

    Larry Lawton is President and Founder of the Reality Check Program which helps teens and young adults to make good choices. Lawton is an ex-convict and Certified Paralegal, after 11 years in Federal prison; he now has a passion for helping young people and keeping them out of prison.

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