James MacDonald Clarifies Purpose of Elephant Room

James MacDonald has a statement clarifying the purpose of The Elephant Room and walking back his previous defense of the T. D. Jakes invitation. He writes:

One of the things I have worked hardest at in my ministry is listening to and benefiting from criticism. The Elephant Room has brought a lot of it, and I have attempted to get to the bottom of what the Lord is saying to me through this criticism . . .

I regret pushing back against the harshest of critics, for they were few compared to the many who have come in the best possible way with true intention and helpful correction.  Further, I have used strong language myself in expressing my viewpoint, so it’s inconsistent at best to resist others doing the same.

I see that this backlash was caused in part by my lack of clarity.  I regret that the purpose of the Elephant Room was not expanded and explained before including a greater breadth of participants. By failing to do so, we gave the impression that we saw all participants as in our same ‘camp,’ which we do not.  While the hosts of the Elephant Room defend the beliefs of historic Christianity, our purpose statement has now been expanded to include conversations with anyone with the aim of sharpening one another.

I also regret that our invitations have caused some in the African-American community to believe we have abandoned them in their fight for greater attention to orthodoxy among their congregations. Our own church has made immense strides in racial diversity, and these matters are very close to my own heart.  We are pursuing an adjusted format for this Elephant Room that will avoid assigning credibility where essential doctrine of our faith is not affirmed clearly.  We are in pursuit of other African-American pastors to participate in the discussion of biblical doctrine and its central importance in the life of a New Testament church.  Today we announce that Dr. Crawford Loritts will join the conversation in Elephant Room 2.  We expect to announce our final participant very soon.

What we are attempting is difficult, but very much needed.  Among those whose heart is to support what we are attempting, but counsel me to do it better and more effectively, I thank you for your grace and patience. At this point the weight of standing for the truth and modeling grace is upon the participants.  I believe the immense potential benefits of these kinds of conversations bring them within the boundaries of what we should be allowed to attempt, even if others would not or wish we would not.

We are asking that those interested in what we are doing allow the conversations to take place before making final conclusions about their wisdom or helpfulness.

57 Responses to James MacDonald Clarifies Purpose of Elephant Room

  1. Sean Nelson October 7, 2011 at 6:22 pm #

    I’m unsure as to what this means…

    The Elephant Room’s purpose statement now states that we shouldn’t be surprised “if you hear a conversation with someone that offends you or denies the faith as you see it.”

    And today James MacDonald wrote that the previous statement “gave the impression that we saw all participants as in our same ‘camp,’ which we do not. While the hosts of the Elephant Room defend the beliefs of historic Christianity, our purpose statement has now been expanded to include conversations with anyone…”

    Obviously, this seems to be saying that the Elephant Room’s purpose has been expanded to include discussions with non-Christians, but is this also meant to be understood in reference to T.D. Jakes? I don’t see anyone else on the speaker list who would fit the bill, and so I have to wonder if this is a reversal of the earlier endorsement of Jakes as being orthodox in his views on the Trinity.

    I really wish James MacDonald would clear up what it was that led him to say Jakes wasn’t a modalist in the first place.

    • yankeegospelgirl October 8, 2011 at 9:08 am #

      Good point. What’s next, including a female or gay pastor? “Oh, well we didn’t SAY we agreed with the people we invited…”

    • Laurie October 11, 2011 at 9:23 am #

      I saw your comment/question on James’ blog (I thought it was well written)
      I reasked that very question on James’ Oct. 5th blog( scroll down to the very last comment) James gave the same basic answer(which wasn’t an answer at all) Very dissapointing.

      • Laurie October 11, 2011 at 9:26 am #

        I was replying to Sean Nelson’s comment

  2. Andrew October 7, 2011 at 6:27 pm #

    Man, I sure wish Athanasius had just given Arius a chance… Seriously?

  3. donsands October 7, 2011 at 6:40 pm #

    “..walking back his previous defense of the T. D. Jakes invitation.”

    Is this some new lingo? Walking back?

    He seems like a good humble man of our Lord. He’s stepping out, and he listens when his brothers point things out. Good stuff. Pleasing to our Lord I’m sure.

    Have a great weekend, and Lord’s Day. Hope LSU loses this week, sorry to say.

  4. Jim W October 7, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

    Sorry, I just don’t see any real apology here. He may be backing off his defense of TD Jakes, but he still endorses two of the biggest and most obnoxious division-causers that exist-Furtick and Noble. These two children in pastor’s clothes are doing their best to destroy everything they touch related to Christianity. Both of them endorse Joel Osteen, who can’t articulate anything Bibically gospel with any truth at all. As long as MacDonald continues to embrace vipers, he has nothing for me.

  5. Kamilla October 7, 2011 at 10:08 pm #

    Denny,

    Where is he walking back the invitation? Jakes is still featured, right? And is this the third or fourth version of their purpose statement. I thought the last revision was supposed to clarify why Jakes was being included.

    And I am still curious – when are we going to here about Dever’s exit?

    Kamilla

  6. Scott October 7, 2011 at 11:25 pm #

    Why should he take back the invitation? He clarified the purpose, which is entirely sufficient. Jakes can rise or fall to the occasion. A lot of folks are like sharks smelling blood.

  7. Dillon October 8, 2011 at 7:40 am #

    I appreciate, somewhat, the clariifcation he gives, but it’s clear he must have spoke to Thabiti as he addresses many of Thabiti’s points regarding the black community and that’s great. I don’t like though that the purpose of the ER is changing and changing again. Either they’re not willing to have laid their cards on the table in what they were trying to accomplish in the first place, which is disturbing to me on a few different levels as it smacks of dishonesty, or they’re changing to perceived negative publicity, which seems to go against the most basic purpose of doing the ER in the first place. There’s a bit of a no win for them at this point.

  8. donsands October 8, 2011 at 10:58 am #

    “Why should he take back the invitation?”-Scott

    because he doesn’t make it clear that TD Jakes is bona fide heretic. Not to mention the other two arrogant so-called pastors. And there’s tons of evidence of this my friend. Tons. Lots of evidence. Tons.

    Have a great Lord’s day!

    • Scott October 8, 2011 at 11:06 am #

      Well, no one is making you go to it. No one is making you listen to it. If you think he’s in the wrong, then don’t bother with it.

      It’s McDonald’s forum. Let him set the limits. It’s a great opportunity for Jakes to sufficiently clarify trinitarian doctrine or for him to fall on his face. The only problem I see, is that evangelical culture want it’s food chewed up before it opens its mouth. Everyone knows where Jakes stands, and I think we know where McDonald stands. He’s clarified the purpose of the forum. If this isn’t sufficient, then don’t bother.

  9. Mark October 8, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    As we think about associations and such in these conversations about ER I’d just like to point out that Furtick has been praising, reading and learning from TD Jakes since atleast 2007.

    • yankeegospelgirl October 8, 2011 at 3:48 pm #

      Really? Sad… I have a fairly conservative friend who has tried to tell me that he thinks Furtick is “solid,” but I have my suspicions. He seems altogether too willing to embrace the left.

  10. Theo October 8, 2011 at 5:05 pm #

    Perhaps we will be treated to seeing Paula White at the next Elephant Room too?!

    Bishop Thomas Dexter Jakes calls White “Doctor” and “A tremendous woman of God.” Jakes says “She is a pastor extraordinaire.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJB5cksboM4

    Religious News Blog quoted from The Ledger newspaper in Lakeland FL:

    “Paula White says she received a vision of her future as a preacher shortly after her salvation. Her career got a megaboost when she met Bishop T.D. Jakes, pastor of the Dallas megachurch, the Potter’s House. Jakes, who is black, helped catapult White to superstardom – particularly among black women – when he invited her to speak at his Woman Thou Art Loosed Conference in 2000. She launched her television ministry a year later.

    Today, White is one of the most popular preachers on Black Entertainment Television and appears on several other networks including Spike TV and Trinity Broadcasting…

    White also has been dubbed a prosperity preacher, a proponent of the “name-it and claim-it” gospel, which purports that people can receive financial, emotional and spiritual blessings if they donate. That message and her penchant for designer clothing and flashy cars have added to the cacophony of criticism. White drives a Mercedes-Benz and flies around the country in a private jet. She lives in a $2.1 million mansion on Tampa’s Bayshore Boulevard and has a Fifth Avenue condo in Trump Tower in New York City.

    The ministries took in $39.9 million in 2006, according to an audit of Without Walls and Paula White Ministries released in June by an independent Clearwater accounting firm. About $28.6 million helped promote the church’s programs, conferences and outreach efforts, the audit said…

    And for his 50th birthday in June, White sent TD Jakes a black convertible Bentley. It was intended to be quiet gift, White said, but an overzealous member of Jakes’ ministry shouted out the news at the retail show.

    “Some people thought ‘Why would you do that?’ ” White later explained, saying that Jakes is her spiritual father.”

    http://www.religionnewsblog.com/18784/paula-white-5

  11. Dwight McKissic October 8, 2011 at 9:18 pm #

    Denny,

    When McDonald talks about African American pastors effort to “fight for greater attention to orthodoxy among their congregations”, is this a reference to spreading calvinism to African American congreations or exactly what specific doctrine or orthodoxy is intended?

    • Denny Burk October 8, 2011 at 9:30 pm #

      Hey, Pastor McKissic! It’s great to hear from you!

      No, I don’t think he was talking about Calvinism. I think he was referencing Thabiti Anyabwile and other African American pastors who have responded critically to the invitation to Jakes. Anyabwile in particular has argued that the invitation to Jakes undermines the struggle for orthodoxy that he and other black pastors have been striving for in the African American churches. Here’s Anyabwile’s post:

      http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/thabitianyabwile/2011/10/01/collateral-damage-in-the-invitation-of-t-d-jakes-to-the-elephant-room/

      I don’t think Anyabwile’s point was Calvinism, but the biblical gospel as opposed to the prosperity gospel that Jakes preaches. At least that’s the way I read it.

      Blessings to you!

      Denny Burk

      • Dwight McKissic October 8, 2011 at 10:26 pm #

        Denny,

        Likewise. I read your blog often and appreciate your effort to educate the Body of Christ via this blog.

        I probaly should have addressed my question to Thabiti, but I’m grateful for your response.

        Is it clearly documented that T. D. Jakes preaches “the prospertity gospel as opposed to the biblical gospel”? If so, do you know of anyone who has documented this?

        Are you aware of the fact that calvinism is extremely unpopular in orthodox evangelical African American churches? For the vast majority of African Americans, T. D. Jakes would not have to defend his orthodoxy; those who believe in limited atonement and irresistable grace would have to defend their orthodoxy.

        It will be interesting to hear the dialogue to say the least from The Elephant room.

        • Kamilla October 8, 2011 at 11:55 pm #

          I hope you don’t mind if I jump in here. I don’t have specific quotes/proof that Jakes preaches the “prosperity gospel” – his regular shilling for TBN is evidence enough for me on that score.

          But really, thats a minor point compared to his heretical, anti-trinitarian theology. Jakes is still today listed as the “Vice Prelate” of the “Higher Ground Always Abounding” assemblies with his Potter’s house being listed as well. His website lists their pastor’s conference on his itinerary as well HGAAA is a Oneness (modalist) Pentecostal group.

          As far as I’m concerned, the prosperity teaching is small beer compared to the modalist heresy.

          Kamilla

          P.S. Feel free to email me if you’d like the links

          • Dwight McKissic October 9, 2011 at 4:44 pm #

            Is it your belief that T. D. Jakes is not a Christian, based on your definition of Christian, and your understanding of Jakes ‘beliefs?

            • Denny Burk October 9, 2011 at 4:48 pm #

              If he has rejected Nicene trinitarianism, then I think he has rejected biblical Christianity.

            • Denny Burk October 9, 2011 at 4:50 pm #

              Do you think that he holds to the Nicene definition of trinitarianism?

        • Denny Burk October 9, 2011 at 12:52 am #

          Dear Pastor McKissic,

          Thanks for the interaction. I am not an expert on T. D. Jakes. I did find this clip of Jakes’ preaching. He’s on TBN, and it sounds like prosperity preaching to me:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_aEn8cAZ9K0

          Preaching like this is what has led many to believe that he is some kind of prosperity preacher. In fact, the widespread view of his ministry is that he is a prosperity preacher. Here are a couple of examples:

          Christianity Today – http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/septemberweb-only/137-41.0.html

          CNN – http://articles.cnn.com/2008-04-06/us/mlk.role.church_1_black-church-white-churches-pastors?_s=PM:US

          As far as the Trinity is concerned, Thabiti’s blog post (linked above) includes a section from his book documenting Jakes’ heterodox view of the trinity.

          Thanks again! Blessings to you!

          Denny Burk

          • Dwight McKissic October 9, 2011 at 5:09 pm #

            Kamilla and Denny,

            Apparently, you and Denny have concluded that Jakes is not a Christian,based on your belief that he has rejected an orthodox view of the trinity.

            Clearly Jakes believes Jesus is Lord and I don’t interpret his published statements on the trinity as a rejection of the orthodox view of the trinity. However, I respect your right to read the same statements and reach a different conclusion.

            The bottom line question facing those who are responsible for extending invitations to those who appear on stage at The Elephant Room is this: Is T. D. Jakes a Christian? If he is, by all means he should be heard in that venue. If he is not a Christian, obviously he should not be heard.

  12. Kamilla October 9, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

    Pastor McKissic,

    It is not my opnion that counts. It was the judgment of the undivided church in the third century. So yes, it is my belief as well.

    Kamilla

    • Don Johnson October 9, 2011 at 5:02 pm #

      Do you accept EVERYTHING in the 7 ecumenical councils?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_seven_Ecumenical_Councils

      • Kamilla October 9, 2011 at 5:13 pm #

        I’m no expert on all the details – but I certainly am not aware of anything I have difficulty giving my assent to.

        • Don Johnson October 9, 2011 at 5:43 pm #

          You might want to read the declarations of each council, at least until you find something that you do not agree with. They typically have a clause that you need to agree with everything stated, no picking and choosing.

          Many Baptists in history were non-creedal. I am non-creedal, not so much due to what the early ones say, but because of what they imply, that saying some words according to a formula differentiates a Christ follower from a non-Christian. It is far more than saying a formula and I find the concept of saying one too Gnostic.

          • Kamilla October 9, 2011 at 5:48 pm #

            Oh Don, thanks for the laugh – you refusing to recite a creed because you find it too gnostic!

          • Christiane October 9, 2011 at 7:53 pm #

            The funny thing is that the early Creeds were a response to heresies like Gnosticism.

            The Church Councils took a stand against the early heresies and the Creeds were the ‘statements’ of the Councils.

            The Nicene Creed is still said today in Christian traditions as it has been said since the time it was written, as is the Apostle’s Creed.

          • Donald Johnson October 9, 2011 at 10:00 pm #

            The creeds were carefully worded so that the heretics de jour could not say them in faith. But this is not apparent just from looking at the creeds themselves, you need to see the history behind them. But the very idea of saying a set of words such as a creed is very Gnostic, that is what the Gnostics did themselves as a way to enter supposed higher realities, almost like a password.

          • Jason October 10, 2011 at 11:45 pm #

            Don,

            You must be aware of all the formulas in the bible? The Shema? Paul’s many sayings that he “received” and “handed down”, language that is eminently Jewish and always indicated the transmission of a creed or teaching formula dealing in summary truths about God? It is just goofy to suggest what you have, as the bible is literally filled with formulas to be taught and repeated.

            Perhaps return to genetics, at least when you’re making things up in that field it’s not about God’s word.

    • Dwight McKissic October 9, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

      Having just quickly reviewed Nicene Trinitarainism, I’ve not read anything that Jakes has stated that conflicts with Nicene Trinitarainism. The truth of the matter is Jakes is being judged unfairly. I can appreciate the hosts of The Elephant Room not rushing to judgement.

      The burden of proof is on those who maintain that Jakes is not a Christian as oppose to those who are hosting Jakes and in my judgement are behaving more like Christians than those who maintain without strong or even weak evidence that Jakes is not a Christian.

      • Kamilla October 9, 2011 at 5:46 pm #

        Pastor McKissic,

        I beg your pardon, but the burden of proof is on Jakes himself. He has been given chance after chance after chance to sign onto a orthodox statement of the Trinity or to repudiate his modalist roots and he has steadfastly refused to do either. He needs to do both. To otherwise welcome him to the table, no matter how many revisions the ER statement goes through, is to welcome a wolf among the sheep.

        Some years ago, Promise Keepers had him as a speaker. When they were apprised of his embrace of the modalist heresy, they did not invite him to speak again. Wiffey as they could be on some points of doctrine, I give them enormous credit in stepping up on this point and discontinuing their association with him. Would that MacDonald had as much sense.

        Kamilla

        • Dwight McKissic October 9, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

          I have to go to church now,so my quick response is ; why should Jakes attempt to satisfy theological neatnicks in order to be accepted?

          • Kamilla October 9, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

            I can’t give an answer to your toss-off of a question because I refuse to dismiss the judgment of the Church for the past 1600 or so years as trivial a matter as “theological neatnicks” being satisfied.

  13. Dwight McKissic October 9, 2011 at 7:39 pm #

    Kamilla,

    We will simply have to agree to disagree on this matter. It appears that you and Denny are embracing a view of salvation that requires in addition to confessing Jesus as Lord, one must also-or at least T. D. Jakes- also confess Nicene Trinitaranism. Do you realize if all believers were held to the standard that you, Denny ,and Thabiti are holding Jakes to, you all would have to classify the majority of believers as non-Christians, because most have never heard of Nicene Trinitarianism, let alone confessed it?

    • Denny Burk October 10, 2011 at 10:41 am #

      Dear Pastor McKissic,

      I was very careful in my earlier comment to say, “If he has rejected Nicene trinitarianism, then I think he has rejected biblical Christianity.” I focused on rejection because I too believe that there are many Christians who may not have the theological wherewithal to articulate nicene trinitarianism. When I was converted at 9 years old, I know that I couldn’t have.

      But theological naivete is far different from someone who knows the truth of the Trinity and has rejected it. To use biblical examples, there is a world of difference between Apollos’ error in Acts 18:24-26 and the error of Hymenaeus and Alexander in 1 Timothy 1:19-20. Apollos needed further instruction. Hymenaeus and Alexander had already been exposed to the truth but had rejected it. It seems to me that T.D. Jakes falls in the latter category.

      Thanks,
      Denny

      • Dwight McKissic October 10, 2011 at 11:07 am #

        Apparently, you conclude from Jakes published statements regarding the trinity that he has rejected Nicene Triniatarianism. When I read his statements I believe he embraces and expresses orthodox views concerning the trinity as well as the average person in a Baptist pew.

        Where is the proof that Jakes has rejected Nicene Trinitarianism? Pastor T’s analysis falls far short of proving that from my vantage point.

        Thanks,
        Dwight

  14. donsands October 9, 2011 at 9:54 pm #

    “The burden of proof is on those who maintain that Jakes is not a Christian as oppose to those who are hosting Jakes and in my judgement are behaving more like Christians than those who maintain without strong or even weak evidence that Jakes is not a Christian.”-Dwight

    here ya go: http://jmoorhead.blogspot.com/2010/06/td-jakes-and-trinity.html

  15. Lucas Knisely October 10, 2011 at 8:39 am #

    Paul reasoned with Jews in the synagogue, did he not? Dialogue with those outside the camp is not some heinous sin. A crossed-armed self-righteous attitude seems much more dangerous than having a discussion with someone you disagree with.

    • Jim W October 10, 2011 at 9:04 am #

      I think you’ve missed the entire point, Lucas. Jakes is being advertised as an equal, a committed Christian. He “apparently” denies the Trinity, he refuses to preach the Biblical truth, instead he preaches a prosperity gospel, and therefore it cannot be confirmed that he is in fact, a Christian. Paul dialoged with Jews, etc to argue the Biblical truth of the salvation provided by Jesus Christ. He did not provide them a platform to spread their false beliefs. That is what MacDonald and his Elephant Room are doing. He did it last year with Perry Noble and he is continuing to do so with Jakes and Furtick. He isn’t providing a platform to refute their heresies, he is providing a platform to further them.

  16. Dillon October 10, 2011 at 9:15 am #

    ” The truth of the matter is Jakes is being judged unfairly. ”

    Where I would disagree with this, respectively, Pastor McKissic, is that while I also believe many if not the majority of Christians would not be able to accurately define Nicene Trinitiarism much less even be able to make a reasonable defense of it, does Pastor T accurately portray the state of the African-American church when he says:

    ‘ When theologically conservative, Evangelical or Reformed African Americans call for reform in the African-American church, they feel like midgets facing the titans and juggernauts of a word-faith, charismatic pantheon. The task can seem so daunting and isolating. Internally, there’s the constant fight with unbelief and resignation. There’s wrestling with questions like “Can the African-American church be reformed?” ”Is the church essentially apostate?”

    Is it fair to judge T.D. Jakes on the fruit, that as a leader, his church has grown? That’s where I believe the divide is.

    • Dwight McKissic October 10, 2011 at 10:27 am #

      Dillion,

      I strongly disagree with what appears to be Pastor T’s premise and that is,The African American church is weaker doctrinally than the Anglo church.

      Furthermore, the African American church by and large almost catergorically rejects calvinism. The African American church rejects reform theology, but not reformation.This seem to be the basis of Pastor T’s negative critique of the African American church.

      Pastor T’s assertion that the African American church is “essentialy apostate” is offensive, arrogant, and simply wrong. I would debate him on this question at any time and any place.

  17. Mark October 10, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

    Dwight,

    Do you believe that those who hold to Oneness doctrine of God are Christians?

    I’m very confused over comparing someone who holds the title “Bishop” to the average person on the Baptist pew. Scripture surely has higher qualifications for those who pastor and teach others. So a Bishop who claims his views on the Trinity are “evolving” is not one who should be acting as a Bishop nor be promoted as such in Evangelical circles.

    – That Jakes admits his views on the Trinity are evolving reveals that he has held differing views on the Trinity.
    – That Jakes admits he adamantly defended Oneness doctrine in his youth reveals that he knows the theological issues at hand.
    – That Jakes has refused to years to clearly state whether or not he was/is Trinitarian is troubling.
    – That The Potter’s House statement of faith still has Oneness language which Jakes is unconcerned about is troubling.
    – That Jakes today holds Oneness Pentecostals to be Christians even through his own evolving views on the Trinity is troubling.

    The Christian Research Institute (and others) at Equip.org have documented Jakes views on the prosperity preaching and his views on the Trinity.

    • Dwight McKissic October 10, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

      Mark,

      No. I do not belive that if one believes in the Oneness doctrine of God they are a true Christian, but I’m willing to leave the final judgement up to God. Bishop Jakes has made it clear that he is not a oneness Pentecostal.

      Bishop Jakes statement on his website from my vantage point reflects and represents a classical/orthodox view of the trinity. Only someone who takes an isogetical approach to his statement would think otherwise.

      If we will accept from a Baptist layperson beliefs about the trinity that are identical to Bishop Jakes and not question their orthodoxy, I’m baffled as to why we hold Jakes to a different standard?

      At first opportunity I’ll check out your website regarding further information that will help me to understand why some of you insist on labeling Bishop Jakes a modalist and prosperity preacher, because what I’ve read thus far leaves me unconvinced.

  18. Mark October 10, 2011 at 7:46 pm #

    Dwight,

    Would you please point me to a statement where TD Jakes has said he does not hold to a Oneness view of the Trinity? That would be an important clarification by Jakes in this conversation.

    I suppose we will have to disagree that someone who holds the position of Bishop should be held to no higher doctrinal standard than the average person in the pew. Especially, a Bishop who says his views of the Godhead are evolving and does not see a problem calling those who hold to Oneness doctrine as brothers in Christ.(Note: Anyone can check Jakes’ itinerary and see that he is speaking at the Oneness organization Higher Ground Always Abounding Assemblies this month. Jakes is still listed as this org’s Vice-Prelate.)

    Pardon me, but your statement that Jakes statement of faith is Orthodox and “Only someone who takes an isogetical approach to his statement would think otherwise.” poisons the well.

    All one has to do is read Jakes belief statement where it says, “There is one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in three manifestations: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” Now, compare this with the belief statement of the largest Oneness group, the UPCI, which states, “There is one God, who has revealed Himself as our Father, in His Son Jesus Christ, and as the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is God manifested in flesh. He is both God and man. (See Deuteronomy 6:4; Ephesians 4:4-6; Colossians 2:9; I Timothy 3:16.)

    The rest of the two belief statements are very similar. Of course, the UPCI gives another link which further clarifies their beliefs, but this is the first statement one comes to when visiting the site.

    • Dwight McKissic October 10, 2011 at 8:45 pm #

      Would you provide a statemeny where Jakes say’s he currently believes in the oneness view of the trinity?

      I will respect Jakes right to freedom of associations and affiliations. I would not associate or affiliate with this group, but neither do I have a background or history with this group. This group ministered to Jakes mightily when his father passed.

      Furthrmore, I believe I read on your website that there are genuine Christians who may be members of oness churches although the organization itself in my judgement, hold to an indefensible view of the trinity. Perhaps Jakes role is to relate to and preach to those that CRI view as legitimate Christians among the group.

      Bishop Jakes makes it clear that he adopted the word “manifest or
      manisfestations” from the Bible that uses that word to refer to members of the trinitarian enterprise. Why should Jakes have to couch his language used to describe the trinity in terms acceptable to people who are highly unlikely to embrace him no matter what words he uses. By insisting that Jakes uses certain phrases or words that prove his orthdoxy, while asking him to reject a word from the Bible to describe his trinitarian views, causes me to question the orthodoxy of those who are asking him to deny biblical language to describe his views.

    • Dwight McKissic October 10, 2011 at 8:57 pm #

      Mark, I just thought of this question: Could it be that Bishop Jakes is one of the authentic Christians that your website says are present among oness pentecostal groups?

      • Dwight McKissic October 10, 2011 at 8:58 pm #

        “oness’ should have been oneness

  19. Mark October 10, 2011 at 10:03 pm #

    Dwight,

    I’m sorry, but if you are going to ignore what I presented and spin in favor of Jakes this conversation will go no where. I asked you the question of Jakes claiming not to be Oneness because you made a direct statement he made it clear that he is not. What am I met with? Instead of answering your own assertion you question me. Nice. He is still listed as Vice-Prelate on the Higher Ground site, a Oneness group whom he is doing a conference with this month. In my mind this shows acceptance of their doctrine whether Jakes agrees with them 100% or not.

    Even when I mention the higher accountability a Bishop has over the pew sitter you ignore it. Even when I mention that a Bishop having “evolving” views of the Trinity is problematic you ignore it. Jakes was clear that he holds Oneness to be Christians, yet you spin that to say maybe he is trying to show them the correct view while he said no such thing. Spin. Instead, Jakes claimed to be non-denominational and welcomes Oneness as if views of the Trinity are merely a denominational subject.

    I came out of a sect of Mormonism. Those folks including my family ministered to me when family members died, but that is not excuse to accept them and do ministry with them. The Bible is clear on false teachers and teachings.

    CRI is not my website, but they’ve done much research on Oneness and word-faith teachings. Their first article on Jakes critiques his doctrine – http://www.equip.org/articles/concerns-about-the-teachings-of-t-d-jakes .

    Jakes did answer them…sort of. CRI responded http://www.equip.org/articles/t-d-jakes-responds-to-the-journal and pointed out Jakes willingness to call differences over the Trinity as semantics. The verses Jakes points to in attempt to justify the use of “manifestations” cannot be used to show the doctrine of the Trinity. It’s a smokescreen and given the battles over heresy in historic Christianity why not just use clearer terms?

    On my website I’ve documented the most up to date interview I know of where Jakes is asked direct questions on the Trinity. (http://hereiblog.com/td-jakes-association-lacking-discernment/) It is the closest he comes to expressing his views in the Trinitarian sense, but he still won’t answer clearly and plainly. It is in this interview that Jakes states that he adamantly defended Oneness doctrine early on. IOW, he knows the issues as I stated above, but it went ignored.

    If this is the level of biblical application, critical thinking and thinking in general concerning doctrinal issues, pastoral qualifications, etc. then the SBC has bigger issues than whether or not we should change our name.

    The evidence is in the links above for everyone to judge for themselves. Thanks for the exchange.

    Denny, I’m sorry for so many links, but it seemed necessarily to document Jakes positions.

    • Dwight McKissic October 12, 2011 at 7:12 am #

      Mark,

      “If this is the level of biblical application, critical thinking and thinking in general concerning doctrinal issues, pastoral qualifications,etc. Then the SBC has bigger issues than whether or not we change our name.”

      You and many others have concluded that T. D. Jakes is not a Christian because in your judgement he has rejected the trinity. This is certainly the position of Denny, Kamilla, and Thabiti.

      I’ve read the same published remarks that you and others have read about Jakes beliefs and have reached a different conclusion. It is my belief that the hosts of The Elephant Room do not share your and others view that T. D. Jakes is a non-Christian or they would not have invited him.

      A few years back, Jack Ghraham, Tony Evans and T. D. Jakes hosted a metroplex wide prayer meeting in Dallas where they all spoke and it eas attended by thousands of their members and others. They are certainly aware of alleged modalist beliefs, but have reached a different conclusuion about the authenticity of his Christian beliefs than you. Jakes preaches in Ed Young,Jr’s church annually, an SBC congregation. I could name many other pastors who have investigated these claims and have reached a different conclusion than you.

      However, because many of us have reached a different point of view, you label
      me ,and I guess by extension others who after investigation have concluded that Jakes is an authentic believer ,as lacking in critical thinking skills and “thinking in general concerning doctrinal issues,pastoral qualifications, etc.”

      You’ve resorted to name calling and character assaults, simply because I don’t agree with your position. How sad. Or may’be you just reserve this unflattering critique of those who are not willing to say Jakes is not a Christian and a heretic just for me. I don’t know.

      To label a Christian preacher a non-Christian and a heretic without clear, convincing and irrefutable evidence is a serious, scurrilous and scandalous accusation. You may take that lightly. I don’t.

      Mark, I will wear your insults and accusations as a badge of honor. I wouls rather error on the side of grace on this issue than to wrongly mislabel a brrother in the Lord. I’ll let you have the last word, unless you respond with something that I feel absolutely compelled to respond to.

      Thanks for the dialogue,

      Dwight

      • Mark October 12, 2011 at 12:02 pm #

        Dwight,

        Please show me where I resorted to name calling or please take back that lie about me.

        As to a lack of critical thinking, I would even say that about this latest response. You seem to be arguing from the conclusion that if one does not agree with me about Jakes that they cannot think clearly. Incorrect. Rather, I am referring to our whole exchange. I even pointed out some of what you ignored in my responses.

        Of course, instead of answering in your recent response you play the victim. Nice. I would point out just as Thabiti did to you that if someone charged you with believing heresy would you not clearly and unequivocally explain why you did not hold to said heresy?

        Jakes has been anything but clear and unequivocal as has been pointed out.If I were as unclear on the Trinity as Jakes I doubt I’d be a deacon today much less a Bishop. A Bishop/Pastor/Elder has a higher accountability and should be more doctrinally sound since teaching, rebuking, reproving, etc. is part of their biblical duties.

        I would rather have engaged in exchanges with you on those things I pointed out instead of getting broad answers that we just disagree. Things like how Jakes’ statement of faith pretty much lines up with that of the largest Oneness denomination should be troubling. This involves the use of the word “manifestations” which you brushed off with a mention. In simplest terms I would ask – exactly when was God the Father a manifestation as Jakes’ belief statement suggests?

        To simple state that the above is fine because the Bible uses manifestations is a lack of critical thinking and biblical application, IMO. It’s dismissive to those of us asking questions.

        As to those pastors who’ve partnered with Jakes in ministry I was unaware they they vetted Jakes on the Trinity. I would love to read about them. I would love to understand what convinced them Jakes is not a Modalist because to my knowledge Jakes has never confirmed nor denied either Trinitarianism or Modalism. Rather, Jakes “embraces” not corrects those from Oneness or other denominations.

        And while you can name names of some who have seemingly accepted Jakes there were apparently enough Southern Baptists who were troubled by a member of Jakes’ staff scheduled to participate in the Pastor’s Conference for him to eventually not be involved.Just today Danny Akin named Jakes as a Modalist at the Between the Times blog.

        No one has really started addressing Jakes’ prosperity teaching yet and the company he keeps from Creflo Dollar to Paula White. There is much to be concerned about and it concerns me that you don’t seem to be concerned.

        Dwight, you are very good with the rhetoric, but not so much engaging the actually arguments. And the line about wearing the badge of insults? Classic! Not classy, but classic in the one-upmanship sense.

        To label one unquestionably as a Christian who calls himself a Christian preacher yet states he has evolving views and continues to be unclear on the Trinity is a serious, scurrilous and scandalous accusation.

        Grace to you,
        Mark

      • Jim W October 12, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

        Please show where Mark has insulted you or assaulted your character. Methinks you doth protest too much.
        I would urge you to go read Thabiti Anaybile’s (sp?) to see how he responded to several real, no foolin’ insults and character assaults. He responded with far more humilty and Christian grace than you have displayed in any of your responses to this post.
        You are far more willing to extend grace to an apparently false teacher than to those who have shown you the proof of his, at best, dissemination.

  20. donsands October 11, 2011 at 6:34 am #

    Good evidence Mark.

    here’s some good evidence as well, if that’s okay.

    Dwight you need to bow, and accept this. There are those who are wolves, but they have sheep clothes on my friend.

    “T.D. Jakes and James MacDonald”-By Jonathan Moorehead

    Since I wrote my ThM thesis on T.D. Jakes’ Sabellian view of God, I have been curious to keep up with his progress in evangelicalism. I recently read this article where it appears that Jakes is now rejecting Modalism. This is the first time that I have ever seen Jakes refer to the persons of the Godhead as “persons,” so this is an interesting development. Now we see James MacDonald inviting Jakes to his “Elephant Room Conference” (see his post, “Association vs. Discernment and is James MacDonald Changing?”).

    I would like to encourage Pastor MacDonald to ask Jakes about one thing he has said about John 14:11. In this verse, Jesus said, “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me . . . .” In a blatant misrepresentation of Scripture, Jakes collaborates with a female reader quoting this verse:

    Jakes: I am going to rack your head, I’m going to scramble your heads . . . .
    Reader: “Believest thou not that I am the Father?”
    Jakes: Don’t you understand that “I am . . . .” – Oh!
    Reader: Oh!
    Jakes: “I am . . . believest thou not that I am the Father.”

    Attempting to express amazement at Jesus’ confession that He was the Father, Jakes and his reader cry out with surprise, as though this was new revelation previously undiscovered. However, considering there is no Modal translation of the Bible, Jakes must have prompted the female reader to omit the preposition “in” while reading Jesus’ words, “I am in the Father.”

    Will Pastor MacDonald ask T.D. Jakes about this? Is Jesus the Father? If he is bold enough to ask, maybe we will see if Jakes is truly an orthodox Trinitarian.”-Jonanthan Moorehead

  21. donsands October 12, 2011 at 11:47 am #

    “To label a Christian preacher a non-Christian and a heretic without clear, convincing and irrefutable evidence is a serious, scurrilous and scandalous accusation.”-Dwight

    Yes.

    And to not expose a wolf is even worse my friend. Jakes is exposed, and you need to read what I’ve said. I believe you are trying to play it safe, and that is dangerous as well.

    Have a good day. And TD Jakes needs to repent, and perhaps he will. I pray he will. Amen.

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