It’s no secret that Apprising Ministries—one of the few online venues who would tell you the truth straight up—has been an online apologetics and discernment work used by God to cover this New Downgrade No-Controversy.

As spiritual darkness grows, this becomes even more necessary because so many evangelical leaders appear to be spiritually spineless and nearly spiritually comatose. In any event, it seems they avoid taking doctrinal stands like the plaque.

Through pieces like James MacDonald And His Pagan Critics and James MacDonald, T.D. Jakes, And Postmodern Obfuscation I’ve been covering MacDonald’s dubious decision to invite Word Faith mogul and Oneness Pentecostal T.D. Jakes to Elephant Room 2.

It is as Thabiti Anyabwile said in his Collateral Damage in the Invitation of T.D. Jakes to the Elephant Room:

we kid ourselves if we think the Elephant Room invitation itself isn’t an endorsement of sorts. We can’t downplay the associations by calling for people to suspend judgment and responding ad hominem against “discernment bloggers.” We certainly can’t do that while simultaneously pointing to our association at The Gospel Coalition as a happy certification of orthodoxy and good practice, as Driscoll seems to do herewith MacDonald.

This isn’t on the scale of Piper inviting Warren. This is more akin to Augustine inviting Muhammad. This invitation gives a platform to a heretic. It’s imprudent and counter-productive–witness already the Trinity-related confusions and obfuscations happening since announcing Jakes’ involvement. (Online source)

The following from TD Jakes: Association Lacking Discernment? is also more reason to question MacDonald’s defense of his invitation to ER2. We read:

On July 18, 2010 Sheridan Voysey interviewed Jakes on his show Open House Interviews. The show description reads: “The pastor of the 30,000 strong Potter’s House church talks to Sheridan Voysey about his ministry, his theology and answers his critics.”

At ~22:50 the host points out Jakes affiliation with Oneness Pentecostalism and how they deny the Trinity as one God in three persons. He then asks if Jakes has changed his view. Jakes says he still fellowships with them, infers that they are Christians, yet says his views have evolved and he was pressured to walk away from them.

Voysey: You have a criticism which is probably of more concern for those within your…your fellow Evangelical community would be the connections with Oneness Pentacostalism. Oneness Pentacostalism traditionally denying the historic understanding of God being a Trinity. One God, three Persons for eternity. You have actually had a Oneness Pentecostal background. Have you changed your views when it comes to the Triuness of God?

Jakes: Well first of all I’m laughing at the word connections because I have connections with everybody. I..atheists, agnostics, Jews, everybody and if that’s going to bother Evangelicals they’re really gonna hate me. I love people and I have not broken up with people because I don’t see everything they way they did.

And yes, I did grow up in a Oneness church. I started there. I started in a Baptist church, but at around 16 or so I did become involved with Oneness. I used to adamantly defend every tenant of what they believed. I’ve evolved since then. I’m on a journey since then. But I’ve not used my journey to attack other Christians just because I don’t agree with every line of what they say about the Trinity. I’m not sure any of us can really fully explain it as well as we think we can who God is.

Uh, so I’ve kind of evolved. I still fellowship. I’m still involved and have connections with the Oneness people. And under pressure was asked to kinda step away. It would have been easy to walk away. To point my finger at them and criticize them and attack them and satisfy my critics. But in my heart it was betrayal because, because you love people.

I believe in the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. I do. And my understanding has grown a lot about that. But I’ve not used my platform as a whipping post for any other Christian. I really don’t feel called to do that. And I’m not gonna succumb to pressure to become that. And I will not feed the wolves. I just don’t do it. I let them grip and say whatever they want to say.

I’m on a journey. I’m still learning. If they know more than me, good. But just because you graduated don’t burn down the school.

Voysey laughs and comments that Jakes is a master with his words and that he is going to be taking notes.

Jakes: You know what I am? I’ve come to a point in my life that I say what I mean. And that is a wonderful place to be ’cause I’m not trying to do anything anymore. I’m not trying to do anywhere. I’m not trying to build a career. Please accept me so I can come to your church. I’m older. I’m comfortable in my own skin. I want to know…I know Jesus for myself. I want to know Him better everyday. And you’d be surprised how much peace He gives you when you’re not trying to feed the wolves. They’re endless. They’re always gonna be coming. Jesus came that we might have peace. And I’m finally getting me some. It feels wonderful.

At ~25:40 the host brings Jakes back to the question of Modalism emphasizing the position of one god “manifesting himself as father, son and holy spirit” versus the traditional Trinitarian view of God. The host even states that Modalism was declared heresy in the 4th century. He explains it is an important issue that must be address because one who holds to Modalism is putting themselves outside of orthodoxy.

It is at this point that Jakes explains more clearly his views of the Triune nature of God.

Jakes: First of all, it’s not true. Not all Oneness people teach or believe the same thing about anything. Having been in those camps I know for a fact they don’t all teach the same thing the same way. People in our country (I don’t know about over here) they don’t really tie into denominations like they once did. So the assumption that because you go to a church you believe everything that they believe and you think they way they think is an assumption. And in the Oneness there are people that think everything from plain Trinitarian, God in three Persons, to everything imaginable. I’ve heard everything imaginable.

Voysey: But what about your personally? [There is some crosstalk and the host points out that Jakes’ church has a doctrinal statement that uses the word “manifestation” which is a term used by Oneness groups.]

Jakes: Yes, but my church is non-denominational. And we embrace people regardless of what denomination they come from. I believe in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I believe that they are three Persons. I believe that in a way that Persons is a limited word for the Godhead. And even those who adhere to that say that to be true. But I think the issue is that they are distinctive. There are things that can be said about the Father that couldn’t be said about the Son and then the Holy Spirit… I believe that. I’ve grown into that, but I came into a Pentacostal church that happened to be Oneness. They loved me at a time that my father died. I became friends with them and in covenant with them and embraced them. And though I don’t agree with everything, and they don’t agree with everything, they’re evolving as a people.

I’m not gonna use my platform, again, to attack people or attack a doctrine. That’s not my mission and even though there are others who say that it is, I know my calling. And I don’t do that about anything. I mean you could listen to my tapes for hours and hours and hours and hardly ever hear me attacking people.

I asked Facebook friend, author and scholar, Dr. E. Calvin Beisner, who has published two books on the Trinity, his thoughts on Jakes’ comments in the above interview. Beisner replied:

Far, far, far too little evidence there to justify reclassifying Jakes as Trinitarian granted all he’s said before and his continuing to consider United Pentecostals his Christian brothers. Nothing quoted there falls outside what any reasonably sly and sophisticated United Pentecostal could say. Let Jakes clearly and explicitly affirm such clear Trinitarian statements as the Nicene Creed, the Symbol of Chalcedon, the Athanasian Creed, or even just Warfield’s summary–There is but one God; the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit each is God; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit each is a distinct Person–and then let him also repudiate the anti-Trinitarian statements of United Pentecostalism and other modalist sects, and it’ll be time to declare him converted to the true God. My impression is that Jakes is simply out to gain the trust of larger groups than the Oneness and Pentecostal crowd in which he’s been at home. (Online source)

As I showed you e.g. in Instruction For Word Faith Preaching and T.D. Jakes In His Natural TBN Habitat, in addition to his modalism, Jakes also comes with all kinds of Word Faith heresy and properity preaching baggage. With this all in mind, I point you to the below segment from Pirate Christian Radio.

Christian apologetist Chris Rosebrough is dead-on-target when he points out:

Modalism is just the tip of the iceberg. [There are] supreme, dangerous, errors that go along with with T.D. Jakes… Why on earth would we want to mainstream somebody like T.D. Jakes? 

See also: