T.D. Jakes on the Trinity
by Ken Silva- Apprising Ministries
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers. (2 Corinthians 6:14)
In “But Southern Baptists Say Ok To ‘Bishop’ T.D. Jakes” I showed you that Ed Young, Jr. of Fellow Church is hosting a conference called Creative Church Conference 2007 (C3 2007) next month. On the bill with him for C3 2007 is his dad Dr. Ed Young, Sr., twice president of the SBC and “ex”-Mark Driscoll, an orginal member of Leadership Network’s Terra Nova Project. And also on the platform will be Oneness Pentecostal “Bishop” T.D. Jakes, pastor of the megachurch The Potter’s House.
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, Joyce Meyer, Brian McLaren, and Rob Bell will tell us it wasn’t and so we need their new Gnosis 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 God there are three co-equal and co-eternal Persons (cognizant egos); 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. (c.f. – Keeping You Apprised of – the Holy Trinity)
T.D. Jakes On The Trinity
When Jakes speaks of the nature of God he expresses 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:
God–There is one God, creator of all things, infinitely perfect, abd eternally existing in three manifestations: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
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).
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 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.” Bruckner 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 Bruckner 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 Ed Young, Jr. and Ed Young, Sr. are unwilling to accept this information concerning T.D. Jakes contained here within, which is readily available, then at the very least they should now have a meeting with him. Jakes 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: 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 C3 2007. This is also an issue that the leadership within the Southern Baptist Convention should also begin to investigate. They 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.
Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?
Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? (2 Corinthians 6:14-16, NASB)
Men and women, quite frankly this is an issue that I should never even have had to bring up in the first place.
Ken Silva- Apprising Ministries