Wednesday, May 10, 2006

T. D. Jakes does an Osteen?

I've never quite understood it, but to many folks TD Jakes is "all that" and a bag of fries. Now Slice of Laodicea directs us to this answer by TD Jakes to a Muslim's question as to whether only Christians go to Heaven:
"When it comes to Heaven, I try to leave that up to God. I certainly believe that Christianity is right, but when it comes down to the final test--who goes and who doesn't go--Jesus said, Other sheep have I who are not of this fold. Them also must I bring. I'll let Him identify who those sheep are and I stay out of the conversation."
Hard not to think of Joel Osteen's miserable bobbling of the same softball question from Larry King. (Osteen, to his credit, later apologized; will Jakes?)

So, Jakes is apparently a modalist heretic, and is unclear on what one must do to be saved. Otherwise, really great preacher.

How can I call this a "softball question"? Certainly not in the sense that it is not an emotional question, nor that it is not a momentous question. It is both. However, I daresay most genuine Christian converts could have given a Biblical answer to that poor, lost woman's question. Jakes doesn't. Oh, he alludes to a Bible passage -- but he mangles it pretty mercilessly in the process.

Look: some matters in the Bible are open to honest debate (timing of the Rapture, exact structure of church government, meaning of "Parbar"), and some things aren't. Among the things that aren't would be truths such as the Trinity, and the Gospel. Those are areas most new converts face, to some degree, pretty close to their conversion. Often they are matters that are clarified in connection with our conversion. "Who is this God I'm being called to believe in?" is a fundamental question, and "Trinity" is part of the Biblical answer; and "Do I really have to be converted?" is another, and "Yes!" is the Bible's response to that.

Jakes is 0 for 2 on that score, and they're a pretty significant two.

And this is the man adored by so many professing Christians.

I don't know which is more discouraging: the dearth of principled, admirable leadership in the Republican Party, or that same chasm among professing evangelicals.

OK, I lied. No contest. The latter.

13 comments:

No Fluff Required said...

"Who is this God I'm being called to believe in?" is a fundamental question, and "Trinity" is part of the Biblical answer; and "Do I really have to be converted?" is another, and "Yes!" is the Bible's response to that.

Ka-Boom!

What is this bleating of goats I hear?

Libbie said...

I think he's being remarkably generous, given that most oneness pentecostals I've read believe that they're the only ones going to heaven...

Daniel said...

I am blissfully ignorant of the man though I am all too familiar with his "Gospel-Lite&153;"

The moment I think that I save people by my guile and wiles - that is, that people are saved because I can sell them the gospel - I set aside the gospel as God's power to save, and put myself in its stead. I am the one who saves people - and in order to save the most, I better not offend anyone - since that would ruin my sales career.

Bah - I say again, Bah! It is the gospel that saves, and not the men who present it. I expect Mr. Jakes understanding is that God is up in heaven right now wringing his hands in anxiety - hoping against hope that at least some people will turn from their sins - oh what imagined joy this characture of God must feel when a person becomes a conniving gospel salesman.

Did I say Bah yet?

Daniel said...

That &153; was supposed to be a &tm;

Daniel said...

which in turn was supposed to be a trade mark sign - sigh.

No Fluff Required said...

daniel....dude...well put "imagined joy...caricature of God must feel when a person becomes a conniving gospel salesman."
I was wondering how to concisely say what you have just written...thanks.

I think you have Trade mark hair!

Even So... said...

Jakes used to have an infomercial about a secular product (with a little God thrown in) he created called "maximize the moment".

I wonder if he thought that was what he was doing here?

Jeremy Weaver said...

Question; Why don't we all just stop preaching and leave it up to god who gets into Heaven?

Answer; Because God has ordained the means of preaching to spread the Gospel so that men, upon belief of that Gospel may be granted access to Heaven.

Elucidation; T. D. Jakes hasn't got a clue as to the content or the power of the Gospel.

Chuck said...

Yeah, but he really helped me deal with my He-Motions.

Sigh...you all should check out this site:

http://www.pulpit-pimps.org

This guy deals exclusively with pseudo-christian craziness. Plus he's a good old particular baptist!

Matthew Gates said...

Other sheep than this fold. The natives aof america all had a faith in the "Great spirit" but scholars have noted how it is similar to christian faith. I'm not saying they were right, but with no chance of missionaries reaching them you wonder if perhaps God had no just given them the Gospel and faith, God knows his sheep, as christians we are sure we are part of a herd of christ, if this was the one way revealed than it is the One other peoples should be leaning towards not trying to prove that there faith is the other flock of sheep that Christ has.

. . . I somtimes use small words. . . so did Jesus . . .

DJP said...

Thanks, Matthew. And I'm all for small words!

The problem with that way of approaching the text is it sort of takes the statement as if it were floating in mid-air, then asks itself, "Hm, let's see... what might that mean?"

But it isn't. It's attached to a lot of other stuff. You should think of the Bible as one very long sentence. Every part has to be related to the whole.

Here's the full statement in John 10:16 -- "And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd."

What drove the focus of Jesus' ministry? Matthew 15:24 "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

So the first fold is Israel.

Who then are the "other sheep"? See two chapters later, John 12:20-21 --

Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. 21 So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus."

The "other sheep" are non-Jews, or Gentiles. And Jesus makes Jews and Gentiles one flock, the new man, the church.

Ephesians 2:14-15 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both [i.e. believing Jews and Gentiles] one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace...

Hope that's of some help.

Lander said...

I lost my place in my family; was ridiculed, was estranged, and faced difficulties hard to mention, when I converted from Islam to Christianity in 1991. I am still viewed as an outcast. My word is that if TD Jakes can convince me it is not only christians that make it to heaven, I will go back and repair the damage. But I think he cannot do it unless he can first punch a hole in Christ's assertion that "no man cometh unto the father but by me" John 14:6.

DJP said...

I would love to hear your testimony. Yes, John 14:6, and Acts 4:12, and others. John 14:6 is the one the Lord chiefly used in my conversion.