In part one (which I will assume you've read), I made bold to assert that there were two issues relating to the Elephant Room / T. D. Jakes kerfuffle which (A) I think are crucial, yet (B) haven't gotten the attention that we need to pay them. Interestingly, two Vertical Church posts to which I linked in the first post have since gone the way of an unwelcome Frank Turk comment. Wonder what might happen after today's focus on the second of my two issues?
Let's proceed as I did in the previous post. Let us hope and pray — and, to be clear, I truly do hope and pray — that Jakes comes to repentance on this foundational issue of the nature of God. What would that repentance mean, though? What would that look like, Biblically?
Remember, Luther well began his Top 95 Things Worth Arguing About list with:
When our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, said "Repent", He called for the entire life of believers to be one of repentance"Repent" is a Bibley word, a Jesus-word. But what is repentance? It isn't a small topic; I work it out on page 150ff. of TWTG, and it takes some doing to understand.
Many feelings or activities or attitudes mimic repentance, but fall short of it. Feeling bad is not necessarily repentance. Feeling humiliated, or feeling bad about getting caught is not necessarily repentance.
What characterizes genuine repentance? The two most common Hebrew words means (A) to regret, or (B) to turn around, return, turn back. The most frequent Greek word means a mental paradigm-shift.
Or to take it from the Greek word metanoia, repentance involves looking at things quite differently. You are operating on a new paradigm. Formerly, your calculations rested on the axiom 2+2 = ♣; now, you're starting all over and re-calculating from 2+2=4. You were thinking and living as if God's coming kingdom was an irrelevant nothing; you begin thinking and living as if it were an impending certainty (Matt. 4:17).
But we mustn't confine ourselves to synonyms for "repentance" per se. Repentance involves dealing with sin and its fruits. What other language does the Bible use?
Of course, one big word is mortify. It means put to death or, in the vernacular, kill it dead. You don't want to leave it pining for the Fjords; you want it cold, stiff, out of the game. The opposite is presented in Romans 13:14. I discussed all this at length in another post, to which I now direct you, so that I may come directly to the point of this one.
Here are the facts of this situation to the very best of my knowledge:
- Jakes has an admitted past in, and a long history of identification with, modalism.
- MacDonald — and only MacDonald, to my knowledge — is now saying Jakes is a Trinitarian.
- The Bible reveals God as Triune; therefore
- Modalism is a heresy.
- Heresy is sin.
- If Jakes was a modalist, and is a Trinitarian, then he has changed from what is sinful to what is true and pleasing to God, if only in this one specific.
- The Biblical noun that describes such a change is repentance.
- When was it that Jakes repented of the sin of modalism?
- What led Jakes to repent of the sin of modalism?
- Where are the public confessions of Jakes' repentance of this sin?
- If Jakes has come to see that modalism is a sin, and that his allowing himself to be identified with that heresy is a sin, how is it that nobody knew of this change of heart except James MacDonald?
- King Josiah had the Word of God around and did nothing about it. But when he really heard it (2 Kings 22), he took immediate and public action, tearing down altars and destroying idols and putting idolatrous priests out of business (2 Kings 23). What altars has Jakes torn down, what idols has Jakes destroyed, what false teachers has Jakes opposed, and why is the public completely ignorant of it? Or, to be specific:
- How can Jakes explain waiting months (years?) to make this revelation, and then only in a paid venue?
- What does Jakes think of the people who believed his teaching, accepted modalism because of it, and died holding to that false god, as he waited publicly to unveil his change of heart?
- What restitution has Jakes made, and what has Jakes done to correct all the people who either were indoctrinated in or made indifferent to the heresy of modalism through his teaching?
- What discipline did Jakes accept, and what did he do, when Jakes realized that he had been teaching (or tolerating) a heresy with his very public profile for so many years?
- Jakes previously specifically refused to disassociate himself from advocates and purveyors of the modalist heresy. Has Jakes now disassociated himself from them? Where did he say this or do this? Name some individuals and groups, so that people can be warned from them.
Now, wouldn't it have been weird if it had been known that I was associated with that cult, but for the last 38+ years I never once said that what they taught was flat-out error, and that anyone who believed it was lost and had no hope of eternal life? Wouldn't it be odd if I refused to disassociate myself from the advocates of Religious Science?
Nothing to do with hate, although it has everything to do with judging the false teaching. You could ask me if I have fond memories of the people, and I'd say I surely do. Do I care for them? Yes. Were they kind and patient with me? Very much so.
Have I parted ways with them? Absolutely, because what they believe and teach is a lie, is contrary to the Word of God, and will keep any adherent under the wrath of God without hope of pardon or life.
See? It isn't that hard. Even a fumbletongued pinhead like me can do it.
So... will MacDonald ask Jakes those questions, on that big bright international platform he's giving him?
Hey, like our T4G 2008 T-shirts said: someone has to say these things.