When a believer is led down a path of false teaching such as the “prosperity gospel”, it often takes them to places full of empty promises and regrets. And, by God’s grace, when the “prosperity gospel” is exposed for the lie that it is, that believer has two choices. They can either continue to believe it or quicken their hearts to the truth of God’s word and see it for what it is.
Often, as in my walk, those believers become some of the most grace-challenged followers as they try to deal in truth and love (Ephesians 4:15) with those leading the circus called the “prosperity gospel”. This lie doctrine is the primary cause of moralistic-therapeutic deism in the church today. And as John Calvin said, “A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God’s truth is attacked and yet would remain silent.”
After a great Trinitarian explanation and description, like a leper’s sores oozing through the finest silk trying to cover them up, Jakes’ true colors began to surface.
That said, it is no surprise that the Elephant Room 2 garnered my attention when it was announced that two well-known heavy weights in the reformed camp, Mark Driscoll and James MacDonald (both great teachers), invited T.D. Jakes.
Instantly blogs and Christian talk shows lit up with chatter. Most noticed were the red flags of discernment that were waving in the air of confusion that was about to ensue. Jakes and Driscoll/MacDonald on the same billet? “Oh I get it,” I thought “this is his coming out party to renounce the heresy of modalism”..” A guy can dream can’t he?
This should have been easy. Something as simple as, “I was wrong. I’ve repented of modalism and call all those still in it to repent. I apologize to those whom I’ve lead astray through this teaching and invite you to repent….” After a few standard Gospel descriptions, Jakes appeared to be hitting this one home and quieting down the naysayers.
No so fast my friend.
After a great Trinitarian explanation and description, like a leper’s sores oozing through the finest silk trying to cover them up, Jakes’ true colors began to surface. It awakened the thought many were thinking in the back of our minds, “Does he really mean this?… Is he a brother now?” Jakes stumbled back into confusion with this remark, “several times in passages, the doctrine (modalism) fits and sometimes it doesn’t”. If something is deemed a heresy (which modalism is), it is not compatible in any way, shape or form with orthodox Christian doctrine. Period. Why did Jakes refuse to call out modalism for the heresy it is?
This remark, though ever so subtle, keeps myself and many others skeptical that this was Jakes definitive coming out party. In addition to this, MacDonald did not help when he made the remark putting the difference in the Trinity and Oneness modalism on the same level as secondary issues such as tongues, baptism, etc. That was very deceiving and did wonders to steer the severity of the conversation off the tracks.
Ironically he admitted towards the end the the issue of the Trinity was, “…central to Christianity and a pillar of orthodoxy.” So which is it James? He continued, “However, when a man confesses his trinitarianism, and people say, ‘Is he trinitarian enough?’ That’s when we need to turn down the rhetoric and let a man’s confession and fruitfulness speak for itself.” [emphasis added]. As Trevin Wax points out (read here), can anyone honestly see this type of fruit, that is the unequivocal expression of the Trinity, in Jakes’ preaching?
All and all, Jakes simply reiterated his thoughts from 10 years ago rambling off the same rhetoric (read here) he babbled when confronted with the Trinity back then. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
The conclusion was confusion.
Finally, I leave you with this video clip that is yet another “elephant in the room” MacDonald and Driscoll will have to deal with. How can MacDonald and Driscoll rebuke (and rightly so) the heterodox “word of faith” teachings, and yet sit comfortably next to someone who bathes in such false teachings? Guess we know what Elephant Room 3 will be about…