Recently I was informed that Bishop T. D. Jakes, pastor of the Potters House Church was interviewed by pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church and pastor James MacDonald of Harvest Bible Chapel in regards to him now embracing the Trinity Doctrine. This was a live interview with T. D. Jakes, Mark Driscoll, and James MacDonald that took place on January 27, 2012 at Harvest Bible Chapel in Illinois at the second annual Elephant Room. (check out Baptist Press/ affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=37054)
Reading the T. D. Jakes interview was very interesting to me since for many years Bishop T. D. Jakes has been labeled a heretic, because he was one who taught and believed in the heresy of Modalism or Oneness Pentecostalism. In fact at Berean Perspective we have two articles that have been written dealing with what T. D. Jakes has said he believes concerning the doctrine of the Trinity. T. D. Jakes denies the doctrine of the Trinity and he affirmed the Oneness perspective, thus we labeled him as being in the heresy of Modalism. (Oneness Pentecostalism) We believe that Modalism (Oneness Pentecostalism, Jesus Only, United Pentecostal Church International, UPCI) is a false teaching and has many false doctrines. (check out Oneness Pentecostalism) Now, after reading what was posted from the Baptist Press post (affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention) I am somewhat encouraged and at the same time still not at ease with what T. D. Jakes believes concerning the Trinity Doctrine.
I respect both pastor Mark Driscoll and pastor James MacDonald and I am glad that they had this opportunity to talk with T. D. Jakes. But if I would have been involved somehow in that discussion I would have asked some more direct questions to get to the real meat of this issue concerning the Trinity Doctrine and the Gospel with T. D. Jakes.
I would have asked Bishop T. D. Jakes the following:
- When you say you now embrace the doctrine of the Trinity as being three persons, does that mean the Father and the Son are distinct personages?
- When you say you believe in one God whom is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, do you believe that in heaven Jesus Christ and the Father will be seen as Revelation 3:21 and Revelation 5:8 indicates?
- According to what Jesus taught in John 17:5 in praying to the Father that He was going to be glorified and be with the Father again before the world was, do you believe that Jesus Christ (the personage) existed with the Father (the personage) from eternity?
- According to Oneness Pentecostalism (Oneness theology/ Modalism) a person is to be baptized in the name of Jesus only, not in the name of the Father, name of the Son, (name of Jesus) and the name the Holy Spirit. If you were to baptize someone how would you baptize them?
- According to Oneness Pentecostalism one must be water baptized in Jesus name only and speak in tongues for the forgiveness of sins. What do you believe now?
- You said you were saved in a Oneness Pentecostal Church. Now, knowing that the Oneness Pentecostal Church has doctrines that teach another version of whom Jesus is in comparison to the Trinitarian understanding…and knowing that Oneness Pentecostalism teaches another gospel message in comparison to the true gospel of Jesus Christ, then how could you have been saved back then with believing in another Jesus and another gospel?
- You said basically that Oneness theology and Trinitarian theology are the same, that we are saying the same things. How can you say that honestly?
“T.D. Jakes wants to have both Trinitarians and Oneness Pentecostals, who are Unitarian Modalists, classified as brothers in Christ at the same time. But you cannot affirm both are in the realm of truth without removing the Trinity as a fundamental basis of the Christian faith. You cannot have both beliefs at the same time: either God is both three and one (as Trinitarians believe and Unitarians deny) or God is only one (as Unitarians like Oneness Pentecostals believe and Trinitarians deny). There is no bridging this divide without losing the Trinity itself, for He is the God we worship.” (Malcolm Yarnell)
I agree with Malcolm Yarnell that T. D. Jakes is wrong in his view that Trinitarians and Oneness Pentecostals are essentially the same. Malcolm Yarnell gave many good points in regards to his perspective with what T. D. Jakes shared in regards to his beliefs, with things that good and things that are still false. One thing for sure is this interview will be of much interest in the years to come and to see what transpires with T. D. Jakes and various Christian churches and affiliations, and within the Southern Baptist Convention. Along with that how will T. D. Jakes be treated by the Oneness Pentecostal churches and affiliations?
Does T. D. Jakes believe in the Trinity Doctrine? Does T. D. Jakes deny the Trinity Doctrine? Or is T. D. Jakes using Trinitarian wording with Oneness beliefs? I will be taking some time to think more about what I have read from the interview with T. D. Jakes and his recent changes in what he now says he believes concerning the doctrine of the Trinity. As I do some more research and examination I will update more here. You are welcome to share your thoughts from checking the interview with T.D. Jakes, Mark Driscoll, and James MacDonald.