Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
(2 Corinthians 6:14-16)
Apprising Ministries may develop this further as the Lord allows more time. But for now, as I pointed out in But Southern Baptists Say OK To “Bishop” T.D. Jakes back in February of 2007 Dr. Ed Young, Sr., former president of the Southern Baptist Convension shared a platform with Oneness Pentecostal and Word Faith mogul “Bishop” T.D. Jakes at the Creative Church Conference 2007 aka C3 2007.
And oddly enough it is his own son Ed Young, Jr. who orchestrated that sad affair, but then again he’d already had Emerging Church icon Rob Bell at his C3 2005. So now the Body of Christ must squarely face the issue of whether someone like Jakes who denies–or most certainly will not openly state he that believes–the cardinal doctrine of the Holy Trinity can be considered as a member of the historic orthodox Christian – faith which was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3, NKJV).
You see the bottom line in our generation is this: either this faith of Jesus Christ was actually delivered once and for all or it was not. Heretical cult of personality teachers such as T.D. Jakes, Joel Osteen, Brian McLaren, Rob Bell and even Rick Warren are essentially telling us that it wasn’t and so we need their particualr Gnosis–whatever flavor of the Ecumenical Church of Deceit they teach–to “really understand” what the Bible plainly teaches. But no matter what these dreamers might say it doesn’t change the fact that the doctrine of the Holy Trinity is essentially defined as:
Within the nature of the one true and living God there are three co-equal and co-eternal Persons (cognizant egos) existing simultaneously; The whole undivided essence of God belongs equally to each of the three Persons; God the Father; God the Son – Who is Christ Jesus of Nazareth – and God the Holy Spirit. And these three Persons are that one God. (see–Keeping You Apprised of: the Holy Trinity)
Men and women, quite frankly the issue of Oneness Pentecostal and Word Faith mogul T.D. Jakes preaching in an SBC church is one which I should never even have had to bring up in the first place. Yet it’s a sad reflection upon the near total lack of leadership within the Body of Christ in these timid times of tepid tolerance. But here through an issue like this our Lord Himself again targeted the fact that our leaders are simply not equipped to handle theological conflict. They are afraid and so they say nothing hoping it will all just blow over. Read my keyboard: Not gonna happen! O those silly Reformers who gave their lives for nothing. These poor slobs weren’t enlightened that God really doesn’t care what we believe about Him. Nah, these Reformers apparently didn’t know what the Lord would raise up Rock theologians Lennon and McCartney to teach us: “All You Need Is Love.”
But the absolute Truth is that the Church of Jesus Christ owes a debt of gratitude to men of God like Athanasius who stood so strong during the Arian controversy. His work sets the standard for orthodox trinitarian statements. You may have heard: “Athanasius contra mundum,” meaning Athanasius against the world. Well, tragically today it’s more like evangelicalism with the world. May the Lord have mercy upon us all as in our lifetime we are going to watch the large sections of the Christian Church cave in on the cardinal doctrine of the Holy Trinity. Think I’m off-base; take some time to read a few doctrinal statements on the Trinity and you will see that so many are vague enough that Oneness Pentecostals could easily assent to them. Not long ago AM did the article Joel Hemphill Does Deny the Deity of Christ showing you that this “Christian” singer has even elected to Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame all the while denying the divine nature of the Savior he says he has.
Again it was treated as just another non-issue in the ol’ evangelical “Love Shack.” So we turn now to T.D. Jakes who’s latest musings imply that Ruth and Naomi were lesbians and that King David and Jonathan were gay lovers. Very nice. See for yourself in the Christian Research Net post Did T.D. Jakes Imply That Ruth and Naomi Were Lesbians? However, that is apparently a non-issue as well as we ride off the rails on the postevangelical “Love Train.” So here I focus your attention upon the fact that when Jakes speaks of the nature of God he is expressing the view of Oneness Pentecostalism (aka Jesus Only) an heretical sect that teaches:
there is but one person who is God who acted in three separate manifestations (aka modes). In the Old Testament they say he acted as Father; in the New Testament he was the Son – Jesus, and now he is acting as Holy Spirit. Not three persons, but one person acting in three different ways or roles.
This teaching is not simply not Biblical and has already condemned as heresy by the Christian Church around 220 AD. Answers.com accurately tells us about the man Sabellius who originally taught what Oneness people still believe today:
Christian priest and theologian, b. probably Libya or Egypt. He went to Rome, became the leader of those who accepted the doctrine of modalistic monarchianism, and was excommunicated by Pope St. Calixtus I in 220. Opposing the orthodox teaching of “essential Trinity,” Sabellius advanced the doctrine of the “economic Trinity.” God, he held, was one indivisible substance, but with three fundamental activities, or modes.
The interested reader will also find the piece What Is Oneness Pentecostal Theology? from Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry very helpful as well. This is how the Belief Statement from The Potter’s House where Jakes is pastor currently reads:
There is one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in three manifestations: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Online source, emphasis mine)
Here we notice the language of Oneness Pentecostalism which is virtually identical to that expressed by Sabellius. In my article Can You Be An Evangelical And Deny God? I have pointed out that T.D. Jakes was listed number 13 among Time’s infamous top 25 Evangelicals and billed as “The Penetecostal Media Mogul.” And while it is true that Jakes is indeed a Pentecostal all right, as I just stated above he is actually a “Oneness Pentecostal.”
Now Jakes himself said in the February 1, 2000 edition of Christianity Today:
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 (Online Source, emphasis mine).
However, concerning that above CT piece Elliot Miller tells us in T.D. Jakes Responds to the Journal:
It also needs to be pointed out that nothing Jakes said contradicts modalism or commits him to the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity. Theologians recognize two distinct conceptions of the Trinity: the ontological Trinity, which refers to the existence of three distinct Persons within the Godhead apart from any relationship to the creation, and the economic Trinity, which refers to the distinct roles the three Persons assume in relation to creation. Modalism essentially teaches that the economic Trinity is the only Trinity there is. Their God, who ontologically is not Triune, assumes three distinct modes or roles in relation to creation….
In his rebuttal Jakes never affirms an ontological Trinity but only an economic one. He speaks of different functions the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit perform, but then he clarifies that he does not believe in three Gods, by which it is fairly clear he means Persons… The key tip-off that Jakes is a dyed-in-the-wool modalist is his unwavering insistence — both before our article was published and even in response to our article — on using the word manifestations rather than persons in regard to the Trinity. (Online source)
T.D. Jakes’ Ordination Is From A Oneness Pentecostal Church
And as I have said before it’s little wonder why Jakes avoids quoting “even theologians who agree with” him because those of us who study Comparative Religion will immediately recognize the modalism contained in the vague explanation of his beliefs. As a matter of fact in that very same CT article called “My Views on the Godhead” Jakes in forms us:
I was raised Baptist and became Pentecostal 26 years ago at a Greater Emmanuel Apostolic Church, where I was later ordained a Bishop.
I was unable to locate a website for this church but from years of personal reasearch and study I can tell you that almost invariably when we see the word Apostolic in the name of a church it is Oneness Pentecostal. Jerry L. Buckner further tell us that the Christian Research Institute “has received two e-mails sent by T. D. Jakes Ministries to people inquiring” about Jakes’ view on the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. According to Bruckner one “e-mail response is that ‘Bishop T. D. Jakes and The Potter’s House of Dallas believe there is one God who manifest [sic] Himself in the Trinity — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.’ ”
This representative for T.D. Jakes goes on to say they have “never denied the Trinity, and we are disappointed that anyone would misunderstand or misrepresent us.” Buckner then informs us:
T. D. Jakes Ministries and historic Christianity both use the word Trinity, but the meaning of the word appears to be different. Walter Martin taught us that we must scale the language barrier of the cults. We must recognize the reality that unless terms are defined, a semantic jungle will envelope us, making it difficult, if not impossible, to properly contrast orthodox Christianity with teachings outside it.
On the T. D. Jakes Ministries Web site, an older but still accessible version of their Statement of Faith reads, “There is one God, creator of all things, infinitely perfect, and existing in three Manifestations: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”29 Their current doctrinal statement has been altered somewhat to read: “THREE DIMENSIONS OF ONE GOD (1 John 5:7, Matt. 28:19, 1 Tim. 3:16)” — “We believe in one God, who is eternal in His existence, Triune in His Manifestations, being both Father, Son and Holy Ghost AND that He is Sovereign and Absolute in His authority.” (Online source)
And finally Buckner is quite correct when he notes that the “position taken by T. D. Jakes Ministries remains problematic” at best:
The problem lies in the word “manifestation.” Manifestation is a modalistic term often used by Oneness Pentecostals. Modalism views Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as different modes of God’s activity rather than three separate persons (ibid).
Jakes Must Be Held Accountable To State Clearly What He Believes
The fact of the matter is this: If e.g. Ed Young, Jr. and Ed Young, Sr. were unwilling to accept this information concerning T.D. Jakes contained here within, which is readily available, then at the very least they should have had a meeting with him concerning his doctrine on the nature of God. Before Jakes is allowed forums inside any orthodox Christian churches he should asked point blank: Do you in fact believe the following concerning the nature of the God you profess to serve:
In all the universe there is but one God. Within the nature of this one God there exists three distinct co-equal and co-eternal cognizant egos, or Persons existing simultaneously; the whole undivided essence of God belongs equally to each of the three Persons: God the Father, God the Son–Who is Jesus Christ of Nazareth, and God the Holy Spirit. And these three Persons are that one God.
And should that answer from “Bishop” T.D. Jakes be anything less than, “yes” he should immediately be dropped from any speaking platform. I have even written Jakes myself as you can see in Letter To Dr. T.D.Jakes Asking For His Definitive View On The Holy Trinity but being a “nobody” I was not given even a cursory response. I refer the interested reader to T.D. Jakes Is A Spiritual Coward. But if my warning above won’t do how about the following from Dr. John MacArthur from his series What Doctrines Are Fundamental? (Part Two) where he correctly points out:
a doctrine must be regarded as fundamental if eternal life depends on it. Scripture is full of statements that identify the terms of salvation and the marks of genuine faith.
“Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). That verse makes faith itself essential to a right relationship with God. It also expressly identifies both the existence and the veracity of God as fundamental articles of the Christian faith.
Elsewhere we are told that eternal life is obtained through the knowledge of the true God and Jesus Christ (John 17:3; 14:6; Acts 4:12). Since Jesus Himself is the true God incarnate (1 John 5:20; John 8:58; 10:30), the fact of His deity (and by implication the whole doctrine of the Trinity) is a fundamental article of faith (see 1 John 2:23). Our Lord Himself confirmed this when He said all must honor Him as they honor the Father (John 5:23). (emphasis mine)
This issue with the Youngs and T.D Jakes was also a critical one that the leadership within the Southern Baptist Convention should have investigated, but didn’t. In fact the question that needs to be asked by the whole of the Christian community is this: If the Oneness Pentecostal view was deemed heresy for 1800 years, then why is it now not heresy to deny “God in three Persons, blessed Trinity”? And they certainly need to assess just how it is that a two time ex-president of the SBC like Dr. Ed Young could possibly have been so obtuse spiritually that he would allow his son to yoke them to a heretic like T.D. Jakes in the first place.