Friday, September 30, 2011

Yes, I do think there is an Elephant in this room

This explanation of his explanation from James McDonald is nothing short of shameful.  The Elephant Room guys want so very badly to have a conversation with TD Jakes that they want you to pay $99 to watch remotely, that they simply can't bring themselves to admit there is another elephant in the room with them.

As their revised purpose statement has it, the idea of the Elephant Room is that, "the best way forward for the followers of Jesus lies not in crouching behind walls of disagreement but in conversation". 

Teensy problem here.  If TD Jakes is a"follower of Jesus" at all, he is a secret follower who disagrees with his own public teaching.  The problem is not just that Jakes uses what some want to dismiss as merely a poor word choice in his church's theology statement.  He uses classic modalist language.  The members of the Trinity are not merely manifestations (the word Jakes uses), they are separate persons.  There is no getting around Jakes's heresy and for McDonald to attempt to do so by saying he does, "not believe [modalism] represents Bishop T.D. Jakes’ current thinking" is to admit he either lacks basic theological discernment skills or he has had his head in the sand for the last decade and a half.

In brief, Jakes holds his ordination from Higher Grace Always Abounding, a Oneness Pentecostal/Modalist group.  Over the years he has been given repeated opportunities and public platforms to repudiate the heresies of his ordaining body - or - to embrace orthodox trinitarian language.  He has steadfastly refused to do either.  When he responds at all, it is with further obfuscation.

In addition, Jakes has acted as a shill for the execrable TBN, heavily promoted Paula White and is also a dyed-in-the-wool "Word of Faith" proponent.  Given such a stew, there is little hope that he regularly encounters orthodox language, teaching or practice and no reason whatsoever to presume "his current thinking" has changed since his ordination.

Over ten years ago, when Jakes was featured as a headline speaker with Promise Keepers one year, a simple phone call was made to one of their board members apprising him of Jakes' heresy.  I don't know if they heard from more than one person on the concerns about Jakes.  I do know that, squidgy as they could be on doctrinal matters, they had the sense not to invite him back in the following years.

For more on the history of Jake's and the modalist heresy see here and here as well as here and here.

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