This nauseating New Downgrade No-Controversy appears to be in full swing with pathetic postmodern spiritual sissies afraid to take a stand on…well, anything.

For example, among the issues Apprising Ministries has been covering is how even the heretical Word Faith movement continues heading toward acceptance within the mainstream of evangelicalism.

A classic case in point is the Elephant Room 2 being put on by Gospel Coalition Council Member and caretaker James MacDonald. There may be some conflict in TGC ranks as the other night Chris Rosebrough alerted me to MacDonald’s fellow TGC member Mark Dever Out Of The Elephant Room?

Then came MacDonald’s post John MacArthur, Celebrity Pastors and the Elephant Room where he said someone referred to him as a “rock star” pastor. He is right that when most of us in this line of ministry use that term it is in a negative way. I however, wouldn’t place MacDonald’s sphere on influence at that level.

MacDonald then somehow appears to try and shift the discussion away from the real issue, which would be his lack of defense concerning his dubious decision to essentially give Word Faith prosperity preacher T.D. Jakes a pass, onto John MacArthur supposedly being a “celebrity pastor.” Um, o-kay.

Finally though, MacDonald gets to his point:

The time has come to model publicly, a gracious biblical method for how to disagree. Obviously our manner depends on who we are disagreeing with and what issues are at stake, but it must be:

•   An approach that neither compromises truth nor fails to exhibit grace.
•   A method that models correcting a brother in serious error and, if possible, protecting the relationship.
•   An approach to dealing with serious doctrinal error that moves beyond a social “burning at the stake,” but refuses to back down or sing kumbaya when the gospel is on the line.
(Online source)

I don’t know anyone credible who would argue with any of that. The problem is two-fold as I see it. First, the Prophet-Pastors like returning ER veteran Steven Furtick don’t listen to criticism and tweet things like this:

(Online source)

And this:

(Online source)

Not exactly a gracious Biblical model publicly. Apparently, this is ok though when dealing with “the haters.” If you don’t know who they are, in Seeker Driven terminology, it’s those of us who dare to “touch these anointed of the Lord” and offer any criticism at all. In that circle, there’s no such thing as a godly critic.

Secondly James MacDonald, the Gospel is on the line when it comes to someone like T.D. Jakes. Modalism is a heresy concerning Who God is; and it’s another gospel, which is no gospel as all (cf. Galatians 1:6-9). I have placed more than enough evidence Jakes holds to that heresy here in T.D. Jakes And The Trinity.

I’m not sure how many have walked this through: For years now Jakes has almost universally been thought of as a modalist. Why do you suppose that is? Did a bunch of “angry bloggers” have a meeting in one of our mom’s basements and just decide upon a campaign to make people consider Jakes a modalist?

Hmm, I really don’t think so; and all along he could have easily cleared this all up by denouncing that position. But he hasn’t. I offer it’s because, at best, T.D. Jakes won’t risk offending this large segment of his followers. Even today his own website is still using the language of classic modalism concerning the nature of God:

(Online source)

That noted, even if T.D. Jakes isn’t a modalist, he still is on the record admitting:

I was raised Baptist and became Pentecostal 26 years ago at a Greater Emmanuel Apostolic Church, where I was later ordained a Bishop. I resigned from that denomination 11 years ago, and have continued to fellowship with Higher Ground Always Abounding Assemblies. This small fellowship of churches is not a denomination, and differs in many ways from traditional Apostolic churches.

Both chapters of my early spiritual journey contributed volumes to my faith and walk with God, helping to hone my character. I was shaped by and appreciate both denominations, but am controlled by neither. My association with Oneness people does not constitute assimilation into their ranks any more than my association with the homeless in our city makes me one of them. (Online source)

There’s actually quite a bit of information there. I can tell you from my many years of personal reasearch and study that almost invariably when we see the word Apostolic in the name of a church it is Oneness Pentecostal. It should also be pointed out that there are more than a few of such within HGAAA right now as well.

Here Jakes does tell us of his “association with Oneness,” which is heretical in and of itself (cf. 2 Corinthians 6:14-18). He also says HGAAA “differs in many ways from traditional Apostolic,” i.e. Oneness aka Jesus Only, churches. Essentially it’s all an admission on Jakes’ part of his acceptance of the modalist position as viable.

Well, this god doesn’t even exist; nor does the false christ who is not a person separate from their father. [1] There’s also the indisputable fact that T.D. Jakes sells the Jesus of Word Faith positive confession heresy as well:

Which brings us back around now to a tweet today by ER veteran Prophet-Pastor Perry Noble, of whom Steven Furtick is the disciple who’s actually outshown his potty-mouthed mentor:

(Online source)

This is more fruit of the ER as Noble sends us over to a 2 Timothy 4:3-4-style post by his new friend James MacDonald called Fool! or No Fool? This short look at a couple of verses from Proverbs 26 might have home run distance but it’s clearly foul because:

The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him. (Proverbs 18:17)

Frankly, MacDonald continues making tactical errors concerning Er2; and if he wants the issue to die down, he’d be wise to stop bringing up his foolish decision to invite T.D. Jakes to it. Unfortunately, this Gospel Coalition Council Member decided to open his mouth once again; and apparently to exchange feet.

Here are the two verses MacDonald expounds upon:

Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes. (Proverbs 26:4-5)

MacDonald takes them in reverse order and explains the obvious: Sometimes we must confront error and sometimes we leave it alone depending upon a given situation. This pretty much comes through Christian maturity. MacDonald writes:

Answer the fool—he thinks he’s so smart, has it all figured out in his brashness and needs to be set straight.  Do your job, don’t fear the fallout. Tell him directly and with kindness what his folly is and why his insolence or block-headed pride or denial are destroying him.
(Online source)

Resisting the urge to wrestle with the serpent here; while I wouldn’t refer to James MacDonald as a fool in this case, what happens when someone like me—because he needs to be set straight from his folly—does as MacDonald suggests? What if when we try, “directly and with kindness,” they continue in their denial?

Maybe “it’s not because they are deaf or blind; it’s because they are dull of hearing.” AM special correspondent and CRN contributor Mike Ratliff said in his piece Answering Fools According to Their Folly that MacDonald is speaking of “his failed attempt to defend that decision, his losing Mark Dever from the Forum.”

Ratliff is right:

Who is being foolish? Who is being presumptuous with theology that they have no business messing with? If you read that article by MacDonald then you know that all through it he hit on the fact that his detractors seem to believe “they have it all figured out.”

I assure you, those who know theology enough to know when the doctrine of the Trinity is being attacked and discussed by someone who is a heretic, a Modalist, then they are being much less foolish then those who think it is in their purview to redefine Christianity on their on terms. Sorry, it isn’t and the fact they think it is puts them in the category of ‘the foolish.’
(Online source)

Here’s a quick review: Fellow Gospel Coalition Council Member Mark Dever is no longer listed for ER2, which may be related to criticism he has; TGC’s Thabiti Anyabwile offered the insightful Collateral Damage in the Invitation of T.D. Jakes to the Elephant Room, and then there was Carl Trueman:

the language of manifestation is vulnerable to being seen as modalist; and a modalist God cannot save… for an evangelical leader to argue that creedal developments on Trinitarianism are of little importance is a fascinating glimpse into the doctrinal make-up of what constitutes contemporary evangelical leadership in the United States as it connects to catholic Christianity and, indeed, any tradition which regards the insights of Nicene Christianity as of importance in the overall transmission and articulation of the identity of Jesus Christ and thus his gospel. (Online source)

Now the question becomes: Is James MacDonald calling these godly Christian men fools? MacDonald opines: “Have you seen yourself stooping to the level of foolish arguments?” Is he serious? What foolish arguments were offered by Anyabwile and Trueman? He then goes on:

Putting these two verses together, I have returned often to this principle: “Tell them once with clarity and brevity.  Anything more than that draws us into the web of folly.”…

Say it once, clearly and lovingly. Anyone seeking wisdom will get the message and benefit.  Fools will argue, debate and blame-shift—and if you don’t get off that train in a hurry, you will become a fool trying to help a fool and that doesn’t help anyone. (Online source)

But I wonder, where did he say it once; and James MacDonald, you do realize this is about the Gospel, right…


End notes:

[1] http://www.gospeloutreach.net/optrin.html, accessed 10/11/11.

See also: