Why James MacDonald is Right

I don’t own a T.D. Jakes bobble-head doll (Nor a James MacDonald one for that matter). Neither do I tune in daily to one of his many broadcasts on television. So I don’t have a dog in this fight…at all. But I am growing a little bit more concerned, well ticked, at those who have questioned and attacked Pastor James MacDonald’s decision to invite Pastor Jakes to The Elephant Room. At issue is Jakes’ supposed heretical stance on the Trinity (I say supposed because I’ve only heard others articulate his position, and haven’t heard it from Pastor Jakes himself). Because of this, many in the evangelical community have pitched a fit and taken to their computers to let MacDonald and the rest of the blogosphere know how they feel.

This is problematic, mainly because of the issue of genre. Specifically, genre has to do with a form of communication that has huge implications for how the receiver of the communication filters and therefore interprets the information. For example, when I listen to a comedian pontificate on issues of politics, and offer their solution, I am neither offended nor encouraged, why, because of the issue of genre. How I react to a comedian is world’s a part from how I react to a sermon- two different genre’s, you with me? Correct me if I’m wrong, but Pastor James is not asking Bishop Jakes to “get ready, get ready” to preach at his church. He’s simply invited him to a discussion where we can finally hear what Bishop Jakes has to say about his stance on the Trinity, in an environment where there will be questions, and push back.

Here’s another problem I have with these ambitious theolog’s, who are so up in arms about a supposed heretic coming to express his views: Why haven’t I read your blogs attacking Ravi Zacharias, or William Lane Craig when they stand in front of a large audience to debate an atheist? Could it be the issue of genre?

Forgive the strength of my words, but let me say what Pastor James probably shouldn’t- it sounds a bit self righteous and legalistic to attack someone for merely wanting to have a discussion about the issue in a public forum where the truth of God’s Word will be defended. Honestly…honestly, the real problem is not with one man’s errant views on the Trinity (if indeed that is the case), it’s with the many legalist’s that represents the real threat.

Discussion

  1. Pastor Darryl Harris says:

    I think it’s fine to discuss these things but plenty of video exists of him stating his stance on the subject, and it comes straight from oneness pentecostal theology. Because you haven’t personally heard it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It’s time for the church of Jesus Christ to stand for truth and stop people pleasing. We can have a very respectful and cordial discussion but in the end please take a stand!

  2. Ken Silva says:

    “At issue is Jakes’ supposed heretical stance on the Trinity (I say supposed because I’ve only heard others articulate his position, and haven’t heard it from Pastor Jakes himself).”

    *in a tone of 2 guys talking over coffee* With all due respect, why do you suppose that is? As one who’s long studied modalism and dealt with T.D. Jakes in the SBC, I’ll tell you.

    We have to use more circumstantial evidence than we’d like to to represent his beliefes because, unbiblically mind you, this pastor obfuscates his beliefs concerning the Trinity. My educated hunch is because a large part of his $$$ base are modelists.

    “Why haven’t I read your blogs attacking Ravi Zacharias, or William Lane Craig when they stand in front of a large audience to debate an atheist?”

    This is the fallacy of the false analogy; ER isn’t a debate, it’s merely a conversation. Dr. John MacArthur’s correctly pointed out conversations really don’t have to go anywhere. And the last ER really didn’t.

    “it sounds a bit self righteous and legalistic to attack someone for merely wanting to have a discussion about the issue in a public forum where the truth of God’s Word will be defended.”

    Take a look at the fruit from the first ER over at my ministry website, I’ll not link anything out of respect to you and your audience. It hasn’t resulted in any defending of God’s Word. Rather, it’s actually served to boost the popularity of pragmatic Seeker Driven types like Steven Furtick.

    In fact, Furtick wasn’t corrected at ER, he’s actually now been back asked again despite my showing clearly he’s headed in the direction of Word Faith heresy. I’ve been providing more than enough documentations proving this, and from primary sources.

    • HarvestBibleChapelMember says:

      Ken, I think your biased opinion is without merrit. I’ve read the nasty vitriol that you have published about Harvest Bible Chapel and James MacDonald for weeks now. It’s written some of the nastiest things about MacDonald, including questioning his motives and his heart. You have a vendetta, and I advice you to follow Matthew 18 if you have an issue with him.

  3. Robert says:

    You had with me with you till the last paragraph and perhaps I am not fully understanding what you are trying to say. T.D. Jakes has made enough erroneous comments about the Holy Spirit that it wouldn’t take long to do a google search and find out what he believes. But I too am waiting to hear it straight from him. Perhaps the truths of the Word of God have changed him. However, I think that the tendency may be to see him on a platform with Pastor Mark, Pastor James, etc. and begin to think that he falls with the confines of biblical Christianity. No trinity, no Christianity, no questions asked.

  4. Mathew sims says:

    He main issue as I see it from reading others like Carl True and Padtir Thabiti is this event is being billed as brothers in Christ discussing secondary issues, not a debate where the central tenants of Christianity are debated. There’s no Muslims, Mormons, or Catholics being invited. Jakes error is equally grevious. He’s hadyears upon years to clearly articulate his position on the trinity and has refused to do so. Also, Furtick invited both MacDonald and Jakes to preach at his church in Jan. MacDonald invitation and defense of Jakes gives some foundation to maybe Jakes is OK after all.

  5. Cathy says:

    The only interaction a Christian should have with a heretic at a Christian conference is to proclaim the true gospel to him (which obviously includes proclaiming the true Trinitarian God) and then call him to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Cor 6:14-18 makes it pretty clear that Christians are not to yoke with unbelievers. if you call that legalistic- than I don’t understand your definition of legalism.

  6. It is on what we believe section on his church page. I first read it in 2010 and knew that he denied the trinity by notating verbatimily on the page. The Trinity is three manifestations. He never states that they are co-equal, or co-eternal. That my friends is hereosy and unacceptable teaching that does not line up with the Holy Bilble.

  7. Mark says:

    Bryan,

    I sort of understand why you defended MacDonald. I say sort of because you explain that you don’t follow Jakes nor MacDonald and have no dog in this fight, but you are somehow informed of MacDonald’s “attackers” while questioning the charges against Jakes orthodoxy. The information on Jakes theology from prosperity preaching to his Oneness history and current unwillingness to answer clearly on the Trinity has been around for years. This information has been around much longer and is more abundant than that which comes from those who disagree with MacDonald’s invitation to Jakes.

    So why not be fair to the other Christians who have offered biblical criticism of Jakes and see if it is valid? My own site documents Jakes’ statement on the Trinity from 2010 and it takes seconds to find and there are many others.

  8. Carl says:

    This is why unbelievers hate church. This is what we think is important to argue about?? Really?? This is ridiculus. Why would I want to be a Christian when Christians like to attack each other? That doesn’t sound safe. Unbelievable.

  9. Mark says:

    Carl, I believe the Trinity is worth arguing about, yes. It also seems the word “attack” is thrown around much to loosely. Unbelievers hate church because the hate Christ. I’m not convinced Christians “like” to attack each other, but Scripture does hold us up to defending sound doctrine and rebuking/correcting those false teachers who teach against sound doctrine.

    • Carl says:

      No, when I said “attack” I meant that. Unbelievers don’t care about “Trinitarianism” and “Oneness.” Many don’t even understand those concepts. Christians make something out of nothing. This energy spent on criticizing someone for having interactions with someone that has a different theological perspective could’ve spent on an unbeliever. I hated you church people, NOT Christ. If it wasn’t for someone explaining to me that there are modern day pharisees in the church who like just to argue points of doctrine, I probably would still hate church NOT Christ. Take responsibility. YOU are the reason people like me don’t like going to church.

  10. K.B. says:

    I am not addressing TD Jakes, false teaching, or the proper view of the trinity. Carl is right–these really aren’t the main issues. I read this post and felt compassion for Bryan Loritts and Fellowship Memphis. This is a church and a group of people I love. As we walk out our faith, discerning the face of God, we find ourselves in funny places. We learn that honoring others is as important as being right.

    I for one appreciate the tone of this article and am unsurprised by the aggravated responses it inspired. The Lord uses any resistance we experience to chisel at us and draw us deeper into his heart and brilliant understanding. Our Lord loves when we lay our burdens down at his feet and come to him with questions (not answers for every situation all figured out according to human thinking) and requests and faith. Bless Bryan, his family, and his ministries. Jesus has wonderful plans for you, far beyond anything you could ever hope or imagine.

  11. Bryan, My husband and I heard you speak at the Pastors Conference in Little Rock. Just want to thank you for speaking to our hearts with your message that night. May God bless your church and your ministry!

  12. Bryan, My husband and I heard you speak at the Pastors Conference in Little Rock. Just want to thank you for touching our hearts with your message. May God continue to bless you and your church!

  13. Bryan, I listen to you one time on Wheaton’s website, and enjoyed the message very much. I don’t know the issue with what was said about you, James MacDonald, and T.D. Jake’s. But, one thing it seems to me that you are being a good Christian diplomat for the kingdom of God. There are times when we need to stand-up for proper doctrine, but I don’t think that’s very often and even then it should be done in love and not with a combative spirit (attitude), we are to be unmovable concerning truth of the gospel in reference to the essentials but only with words season with grace. May God keep blessing the ministry he has give you. Oh Just love your dad’s ministry my kind of guy very balanced.

  14. Jon Dekkers says:

    T.D. Jakes being invited to the Elephant Room is a good thing, if the purpose for doing so is to bring him to a place of turning from heresy or bad theology. I don’t know if he has changed his views recently but if not, I pray there are men to turn any and all men from the error of their deceived thinking.

    I believe it is another thing to share the pulpit with pastors who do not share the true gospel, for if anyone preaches another gospel other than what Paul preached, then they will be accursed.

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