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Posts Tagged ‘online discernment ministries’

T.D. Jakes Exposed For The Heretical Liar That He Is And What It Means For The Church

Posted by Job on January 26, 2012

All right folks. I said that I was going to give this online discernment ministry thing up. The first reason was that there were too many false teachers and doctrines to keep track of. The second reason was that based on my interactions with those following these false preachers even after their unBiblical scandalous doctrines and behavior had been exposed that folks were going to believe what they choose to believe anyway. The third was that I had felt that I had adequately addressed the issue with the 3 years of blogging that I did dedicate to the topic. The fourth was that I felt that the best way to combat error was with the truth, so I decided to take this site in a more exegetical direction. And the last of those was also chosen for practical reasons: I no longer have the time to answer comments and interact with people that I did back when I made exposing false teachers so writing about scripture’s meaning and application seemed to be a superior use of time (and yes I do need to get back to writing about the Bible).

But the T.D. Jakes issue is timely right now due to Jakes’ recent appearance at a respected evangelical event of some estimation where he was “interviewed” by Mark Driscoll, where the topic of Jakes’ rejection of the Holy Trinity was discussed. Now I don’t mean to attack anybody, but one Christian blogger quickly proclaimed Jakes’s statement satisfies me that he is a Trinitarian and that we should celebrate that Jakes has joined the Trinitarian camp. (Which, er, makes all his time as a false preaching modalist heretic and the people that he deceived during that time “ok” I guess. The truth is that at best he was an unregenerate false teacher when he was in the pulpit before, and even if he believes in the Holy Trinity NOW and is born again NOW, he has no business in the pulpit. His previous experience and service is worthless, and he needs to take his place in the pews learning from an actual Christian pastor. Otherwise, we can go get Jewish rabbis, Catholic priests, Buddhist monks, Muslim imams, and liberal “Christians” who perform homosexual “marriage” ceremonies and put them into the pulpit immediately after they say a salvation prayer.)

Another Christian blogger made a similar – though more guarded – statement: “By far, the session that was most anticipated was the one in which T. D. Jakes was asked to clarify his position on the Trinity. Thankfully, he did so – though perhaps not in a way that would satisfy all of his critics. I believe we should celebrate his affirmation of the truth that there is one God in three Persons.”

The problem with doing so: Jakes own words on the Holy Trinity in the past and present. Now, here is a link to the transcript of the Elephant Room session, judge Jakes for yourself. But what follows is MY evaluation.

Part 1: I used to follow T.D. Jakes. Now … not so much. Without calling him a liar (while actually, you know, calling him a liar) allow me to propose that just because Jakes says something does not make it so. So … just because Jakes says that he believes “One God three Persons” DOES NOT MEAN that we should take it at face value. Jakes has been “less than forthcoming” on many issues in the past, so he does not deserve the benefit of the doubt. Just because Jakes is in the pulpit and calls himself a Christian does not mean that we should believe what he says. So no, listening to what he says and being “satisfied” requires a presumption that he is telling the truth, a presumption that he does not merit. Does that sound harsh, the bitter words of someone who has “church hurt” as it is called? Well keep reading.

Now in one context I can be SYMPATHETIC to Jakes’ views because I don’t like the wording or terminology used by the Cappadocian fathers myself. But this unease with the Cappadocian formulation needs to be addressed by someone other than Jakes. Why? Because Jakes has been known to be less than honest with the truth, and not merely on this issue. Recall that when Jakes was first challenged on the Trinity doctrine by Christianity Today, he submitted a modalist doctrinal statement that he insisted be accepted as Trinitarian!

Do not take my word on this: another ministry came to the same conclusion, that Jakes was dishonestly trying to pass off modalist heresy for orthodoxy. When challenged on it, he dissembled, claiming that his views on the Trinity were adapting and growing, that he was studying and learning more about it, and how Christians need to stop all this infighting and arguing about such things as minor differences in phraseology and get to the weightier matters of the kingdom, and such excuses for retaining and defending heresy as “these things are too mysterious to be comprehended or explained.” Jakes even resorted to race-baiting, stating “Christians will never agree on every theological issue any more than the colors of our skin will all suddenly match.” So, if Jakes was a liar and a demagogue on this Trinity issue in the past,why should we presume that he is any different now? What has changed to make us presume that Jakes has changed? Especially since he is still preaching heresies in other areas, such as the prosperity doctrine and trying to pass off ecstatic babbling done by mystics in many false religions as “speaking in tongues”?

Part II: From the transcript, it really does appear as if Jakes is fine with “persons” in his Trinitarian statement so long as “persons” is synonymous with “manifestations.” Basically, he says, “well, so long as I can call a ‘person’ a ‘manifestation’ then I am Trinitarian.” He says “My doctrinal statement is no different from yours except the word” – and Driscoll finishes his thought – “manifestations.” What he says next is a amazing.

“Manifest instead of persons. Which you describe as modalist, but I describe it as Pauline. When I read…let me show you what I’m talking about…when I read I Timothy 3:16 – I didn’t create this, Paul did.” And then he goes onto the time-honored modalist lying techniques from the pit of hell: “I think it’s important that we realize that our God is beyond our intellect. And if you can define Him and completely describe Him and say you are the end-all definition of who God is, then He ceases to be God. Because the reason Paul says it is a mystery, is that we deify the fact that God does things that don’t fit our formulas. And because people’s formulas and understandings of a description of an unbiblical God did doesn’t make them demonic.”

Let us go to his abuse of I Timothy 3:16. Yes, the King James Version that many oneness pentecostal liars claim is the only translation – and I used to be KJV-Only myself, and still today am KJV-Preferred, but not because of the translation itself but the texts used to produce the translation, as I believe text criticism used to produce the new manuscripts is a false science – reads “manifest” as its rendering of the Greek word  phaneroō. But other versions translate phaneroō to be “appeared” and “revealed!”

Another thing: phaneroō’s definitions: “to make manifest or visible or known what has been hidden or unknown, to manifest, whether by words, or deeds, or in any other way.”  So, rather than being a “mode” or “state” or “relationship” after the doctrines of the oneness heretics (for example, as water has a liquid, solid and gas manifestation as water, ice and vapor) phaneroō’ in this context merely meant how God was shown to men! That is revelation, after the same manner that the Greek word apokalypsis was used in Revelation 1:1. Paul could have just as easily used apokalypsis instead of phaneroō!

Further, according to the definition, what can phaneroō “reveal” or “manifest”? A PERSON! It is right here in definition 1d in a common Bible lexicon placed online via BlueletterBible.com:

1) to make manifest or visible or known what has been hidden or unknown, to manifest, whether by words, or deeds, or in any other way

a) make actual and visible, realised

b) to make known by teaching

c) to become manifest, be made known

d) of a person

1) expose to view, make manifest, to show one’s self, appear

e) to become known, to be plainly recognised, thoroughly understood

1) who and what one is

Jakes is exposed as a liar by exegesis of the very text that he used to claim that he was telling the truth! In this Jakes fulfilled the prophecy in Psalm 10:2, which reads “The wicked in [his] pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined.”

Now the dictionary entry makes the Cappadocian utilization of “Person” more justifiable in my mind and it who knows, the Cappadocian fathers might have relied heavily on 1 Timothy 3:16 when they formulated their Trinity doctrine (which would make Jakes’ abuse of that text still more ironic) because that text refers to the revelation of the Person of Jesus Christ and not the mere exhibition of a mode of existence or relationship (and moreover this revelation refers to Christ’s existence being shown to the world; for phaneroō to have the meaning that Jakes claims that it does, THE TERM WOULD HAVE TO REFER TO HIS INCARNATION IN THE WOMB OF MARY, NOT HIS EXISTENCE AND WORKS BEING WITNESSED BY MEN, WHICH IS THE TRUE CONTEXT OF 1 Peter 3:16 AS WELL AS REVELATION 1:1, WHICH AGAIN IS WHY APOKALYPSIS COULD EASILY HAVE BEEN USED INSTEAD) but I confess to still uneasy with it. But the difference between me and Jakes is that JAKES IS LYING. That is the bottom line.

But you know what? This is not truly about Jakes anyway. The reason is that anyone who goes and clicks on the T.D. Jakes category on this blog will know why no legitimate Christian pastor should touch Jakes with a 10 foot pole, unless that pastor has been instructed by God to smite Jakes with it. Instead, it is about the people that are embracing him. It is one thing for the decadent TBN (who has their own tag) Pentecostal abomination to embrace Jakes, and please recall that it was TBN who made Jakes into an international figure. TBN is run by a man who paid off a TBN employee with whom he had a homosexual encounter with, and has since been sued by another man making the same charges. These charges and the many other scandals are commonly known by those who patronize that network anyway and … well now you see why I felt that there were better uses of my time than exposing people who have already been exposed because people simply do not care!

But now, TD Jakes is being embraced by the “more respectable” corners of evangelical Christianity as represented by (ironically named) The Gospel Coalition, which includes some of the most prominent pastors and theologians in evangelical Christianity today. Now of course, there was significant “debate” over inviting Jakes. The fears of those objecting were quite founded, as it resulted in Mark Driscoll, himself a very troubling personality, doing very much to rehabilitate Jakes, largely because of Driscoll’s own desire to push his false anti-cessationist doctrines into the Reformed/Calvinistic evangelical movement. Also, those who would have challenged Jakes rather than accommodate him were not allowed to participate.  But the fact that there was even a debate at all shows how far gone the evangelical landscape is! Having Jakes in the Elephant Room should have been as much a nonstarter as having Richard Dawkins or Pope Benedict!

And that brings us to the real issue: further evidence that the evangelical church in America is veering off the rails. (It is such times that even people who MILDLY stand against Jakes and his lies are the ones to be mocked, opposed and condemned.) Is the great apostasy, the great falling away of 2 Thessalonians 2:3 upon us? This event is prophesied in scripture, and will come to pass. It is a very tragic development in and of itself, but 2 Thess 2:3 tells us that the great falling away is a precursor to – or more accurately a precondition for – the coming of the beast, the anti-Christ, the man of sin, which occurs during the great tribulation. It is my position that the church will experience this great tribulation, and not be raptured from or otherwise escape it, as many pastors and teachers propose. So as difficult as things are now for the church as evidenced by its willingness to not only suffer but endorse and promote such false teachers as Jakes, it is only paving the way for even tougher times to come. Christian, watch and discern the times. Pray. Be strengthened and encouraged in the Lord so that you will not be deceived, that you will resist temptation, and stay in the faith.

For those of you not in the faith, realize that the proliferation of false doctrines and those who gain wealth, fame and power by teaching them does not undermine Christianity, but rather is evidence that the Bible is true, for Jesus Christ Himself and His apostles predicted that such a time as this would come thousands of years ago; Christ referred to men such as Jakes as ravening wolves in sheep’s clothing. That many will follow such people is evidence that narrow is the gate that leads to salvation, and wide is that which leads to destruction!

Enter into the narrow gate. Be saved in the Name of Jesus Christ. Repent of your sins, believe in Jesus Christ. Follow

The Three Step Salvation Plan

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Regarding Tim Challies And Online Discernment Ministries

Posted by Job on April 14, 2009

Christian blogger and author Tim Challies has a couple of posts on up discernment ministries, Fighting Fire with Fire and Evil as Entertainment. I have to say that I disagree with his basic stance, “the basic encouragement was to avoid reading watchblogs.” Instead, my stance is that spiritually mature Christians will by definition do good work because they are following God’s Spirit and not themselves. So, if you are going to follow online discernment ministries, make sure that the ministry is operated by someone who is born again, spiritually mature, has the proper motivations, and a good reputation. Of course, the same goes for any ministry or minister that you lend yourself to.

That said, Challies’ articles caused me to think about the online discernment ministry phenomenon a bit more, particularly as to their existence and the nature thereof. A few points – or more accurately a series of thoughts related to the same point – came to mind.

1. Challies – and many others – voiced the concern that a lot of the online discernment ministries are unbalanced, in that they offer only negative, only positive. I have noticed this myself, and further have noted that for some of these bloggers, the “original content” is negative, while their attempts to provide positive content comes from elsewhere. For instance, when they are speaking against some movement or pastor, it is their own words, but when it is a devotional or sermonette, it is the words of MacArthur or Spurgeon.

The reason for this appears to be that many of these bloggers feel that they are qualified to expose error but unqualified to teach. This is actually backwards. First, edifying activities like teaching takes priority over everything else, and scripture is clear on this. Second, the threshold of knowledge and maturity for exposing and contending against error should be HIGHER than it is for giving truth. If you want to give truth, all you have to do is talk about what a Bible verse means. What a Bible verse means to you. Post a song, poem, or devotional that you have written. Do an online prayer/meditation journal. Talk about your testimony and the testimony of other Christians that you know. Relate what your pastor preached about on Sunday,or what was discussed in your Bible study. Things like that. Sound boring? Good. To be a bit crude and somewhat misleading on purpose, the more boring the better. Those are spiritual things, and only people who are truly interested in spiritual things and being edified will read them. The point is that any born again believer that is determined to edify the body of Jesus Christ over the Internet will find a way of doing so, and it requires no special theological or seminary training, no specific gift, no ordination, etc. 

By contrast, say you want to denounce a doctrine or a pastor.

A) Are you absolutely certain that what you are saying is true? You have to back up your charges with evidence.

B) What is the basis of your disagreement with this doctrine/pastor? You have to provide ironclad evidence from a literal interpretation of scripture that is supported by the rule of faith and is supported by the opinions of other born again believers, meaning that you are not going after another professed Christian based on some innovation or private interpretation of scripture.

C) You cannot simply undermine the other pastor or doctrine. You have to provide the alternative, the truth, and justify it with scripture.

D) What is your motivation? Is it to defend Jesus Christ and His gospel? Or is it merely to oppose a denomination, movement, or doctrinal system that you are not a member of and have some grievance against? Are you judging by appearances or external standards, or by spiritual ones?

E) Are you accountable? Do you give scripturally based opposing views a fair hearing, and do you admit mistakes? 

F) Are you prudent? By that I mean do you know which battles to fight and which to leave alone? Do you know when to leave a battlefield and move on? 

G) Are you contentious? This means are you in the business of provoking fights, or fighting for fighting’s sake?

H) Is it bearing fruit? Are you changing not only minds, but hearts? Are you not only correcting the errors of Christians, but reaching the lost? Or is it merely an echo chamber of people who agree with you?

The main point is that exposing and opposing error is a more difficult job requiring more maturity, more knowledge, purer motives, and a higher standard than teaching. Bottom line: if you are not qualified to teach, then you have no business being a heresy hunter or discernment minister. More to the point: if your desire to combat and expose heresies is greater than your desire to teach and edify, then you have no business being a heresy hunter or discernment minister. 

Now some sites use the falsehoods that they encounter as jumping off points to provide some good teaching and edifying. While that is better, it is still wanting. Truth is not so only in the context of or when measured against a lie. Take all the lies away, and the truth is still the truth, because Jesus Christ is truth. The irony of Pontius Pilate asking Jesus Christ “What is truth?” was that the Truth incarnate was standing before Pilate’s very eyes, and Pilate because of the hardness of his heart would not recognize or submit to it and bow before and serve it!

John 1:5 says “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” So put the truth out there, whether it be teaching, preaching, exhortation, comfort, worship, praise, prayers, meditations and ruminations on the Bible, testimonies etc. and it will overcome the lies in the hearts and minds of those who are after the truth. Above all, it is faith. You have to have faith that if you keep giving the truth of Jesus Christ, God will use it to help someone somewhere somehow. Believe Isaiah 55:11 when it says regarding the word of God, dabar, which John translated into logos in John 1:1 and elsewhere: “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”

Of course, the same applies to heresy hunting. If you expound truth in the course of heresy hunting, then Isaiah 55:11 and John 1:5 applies to that truth as well. However, the truth given by teaching and edification will do a greater good than the truth given by heresy hunting in the same way that there is more edification in interpretation and prophesying than there is in tongues. As 1 Corinthians 14 says, earnestly seek the best gifts. Also, there is a higher bar to clear in giving truth in heresy hunting than there is in teaching. It requires more spiritual maturity, a better command of scripture, more accountability, more research, and it also exposes the person to more temptation. The exposer of heresies and heretics must constantly examine himself for pride, bitterness and purity of motive. Again, if you are not qualified to teach, and by this I mean teach in the absence of needing some lie or liar as your sounding board, then you are not qualified to be a discernment minister or a heresy hunter.

Evidence of this, again, is in scripture. In the gospels, the apostles, in their attempts to combat falsehoods, did nothing but make mistakes. They wanted Jesus Christ to rain down fire from heaven on the Samaritans. They tried to prevent children from coming to Jesus Christ. When various people came to Jesus Christ to be healed, they tried to drive them off. They tried to stop the ministry of a man who was doing works in the Name of Jesus Christ because the man refused to follow them (which some point to as an early manifestation of denominationalism).  So when it came to combating error, they were hopeless, more likely to be a cause of error than a cure for it. But when it came to giving truth, bearing witness to Jesus Christ and bringing others to Him, THAT they could do, and they did so even before Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit. 

So, again, I am not saying that we should not patronize the heresy hunters and discernment ministers. I am only saying that we should be judicious, to test and try them in our hearts. Ask yourself “would I accept this person as a teacher of righteousness and truth?” If not, move on to someone else who DOES propagate the Truth of Jesus Christ for Jesus Christ’s sake, and if that person happens to expose a movement, heresy, or false preacher in the process, so be it.

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