Apprising Ministries continues covering the aftermath of the Elephant Room 2, which was put on by former Gospel Coalition members James MacDonald and Mark Driscoll.
I told you in There’s More To The Resignation Of James MacDonald From Gospel Coalition that MacDonald would resign from TGC because he didn’t want to “pull the plug” on T.D. Jakes coming to the ER2.
Then on Wednesday of this week we suddenly saw Mark Driscoll Resigns From The Gospel Coalition right on the heels of Matt Chandler To Be New President OfFActs 29 Network as Driscoll decided to step down. Sources within Acts 29 tell me these are related, at least in part, to ER2.
Fallout from ER2 will likely continue to be seen within the contemporary evangelicalism this year because the main claim to fame for this conference was, in my opinion, the pass given to Word Faith mogul T.D. Jakes. As I see it, led by Mark Driscoll, Jakes was essentially allowed to say, “I’m a trinitarian-modalist.” Jakes’ obvious Word Faith prosperity teachings were never even mentioned, let alone addressed.
The net result is ER2 was successful in mainstreaming T.D. Jakes; and then James MacDonald would go on the offensive on the Chris Fabry Live (CFL) program to imply that in their private dialogues Jakes does not accept the label of a Word Faith prosperity preacher. However from years of involvement with, and study of, the WF movement I can tell you that no WF preacher wants to be branded with that particular label.
Unfortunately for James MacDonald et al the facts simply don’t line up with his assertion that T.D. Jakes is not a WF prosperity preacher. For example there’s Megachurch Pastors Joel Osteen And T.D. Jakes Unite And Why You Should Care and T.D. Jakes May 2012 Leadership Conference To Feature Joel Osteen. Then just a couple of weeks ago T.D. Jakes Speaker This Month For Paula White’s A God Encounter.
While Osteen sugarcoats his Word Faith prosperity preaching by mixing in self-help jargon ala Robert Schueller, there is no doubt that Pastrix Paula White is basically a female version of T.D. Jakes. If you didn’t know, there’s good reason for this as White often speaks of Jakes as her “spiritual father,” which you can hear for yourself in Elephant In The Room: T.D. Jakes And Paula White. To point this out is not merely guilt by association.
To look at this in a legal sense, it goes to the credibility of T.D. Jakes. It was James MacDonald who called Jakes to the witness stand in ER2 and he’s attempted to defend his brother Jakes. We then have every right to cross examine the record of T.D. Jakes who stated on the record that he holds an orthodox view of the Holy Trinity and, according to his spiritual defense attorney, now apparently claims not to be Word Faith.
Since Paula White claims Jakes was her mentor, which he also acknowledges, then we are within our right to examine her teachings and lifestyle because they also reflect upon her spiritual father T.D. Jakes. In closing this, for now, I point you to an Orlando Sentinel piece from January of this year called New Destiny’s Paula White preaches from life of ups, downs. Jeff Kunerth begins:
In her first sermon as the new pastor of New Destiny Christian Center, Paula White described herself as a “messed up Mississippi girl” who was picked on as a child. But don’t let this blond hair fool you, she told the congregation, this girl knows how to fight.
“I came out of my momma’s womb fighting,” she said. “That’s why I will go to war. I will fight.” (Online source)
Obviously, by claiming to be a pastor White is already in violation of God’s Word (cf. 1 Timothy 2:12). You might be saying, “Wait a minute she’s supposed to be the senior pastor of Without Walls Church.” That’s right, she is; and she found a way to become pastrix of New Destiny Christian Center (NDCC) as well. You might recall in August of last year I told you that Florida Megachurch Pastor Zachery Tims Found Dead, NDCC was his church.
Well, pastrix Paula White claims that she was Tims’ spiritual mentor. For more on the controversy surrounding just how White came to be appointed pastor at NDCC I refer you to Paula White Officially Appointed Senior Pastor of Zachery Tims’ Fla. Church. Right now we return to our look at the teachings of pastrix White as Orlando Sentinel reporter Jeff Kunerth continues:
White often refers to her past personal hardships as examples of how faith and determination have elevated her into the pulpit. Her rags-to-riches travails inspire those in the congregation who have experienced difficulties in their lives.
“Part of her appeal is the success theology she preaches,” said Sheila Strobel Smith, an expert on leadership transition in megachurches like Apopka’s New Destiny. “For people feeling down and out, they can see she has picked herself up and made a success of herself. And her life continues to play that out.” (Online source)
As you can see, just as her spiritual father T.D. Jakes, White’s message is herself; typical of Word Faith prosperity preachers. As with other WF snake oil salesmen Kunerth also tells us that Without Walls Church, which White co-founded with her then husband Randy White:
became the focus of a congressional investigation into several high-profile preachers suspected of living lavish lifestyles at the expense of their congregations. (Online source)
Kunerth also tells us, as it concerns her taking over NDCC, that White:
has plenty of detractors, including R. Douglas Chukwuemeka, who came out of the same Baltimore church as Zachery Tims and pastors New Destiny’s sister church in Arizona. Chukwuemeka challenges White’s assertions that she was the close spiritual mother of Tims.
“She’s making it up and playing on the people’s feelings,” said Chukwuemeka, senior pastor of New Destiny Christian Church in Laveen, Ariz. “She definitely would not be the one he would want to succeed him.” (Online source)
Then finally Jeff Kunerth shares the following, which comes as absolutely no surprise to those of us familiar with the preaching stylings of pastrix Paula White:
Tall and slender, she appears more model than minister — until she opens her mouth and begins to preach. In a style borrowed from black pastors, including her “spiritual father” T.D. Jakes, White preaches with a breathless delivery of nonstop sentences that rise to an emotional peak just short of exhaustion. (Online source)
I’ll leave you with the following demonstration of pastrix Paula White in action so you can see part of “the show” for yourself. Below is White preaching the classic Word Faith sow a seed of money so God will be obligated to bless you; and this she does for her spiritual father T.D. Jakes at his Potter’s House in December of 2010: