In just the latest sign of his descent into the compromised apostate church, mega-star Prosperity Gospel preacher T.D. Jakes very artfully evaded calling a homosexuality a sin when pressed on the issue in an interview with the Huffington Post. Taking a page from the playbook of Joel Osteen, Jakes made sure not to say anything Biblical in the mainstream media interview and then took a stronger stance once the questions from the Christian community followed. Jakes’ comments reflect the Apostasy – the prophesied falling away in the church from Biblical Christianity.
“It’s A Complex Issue”
Here is the video of Jakes with Huffington Post contributor Marcus Lamont Hill as it turned to the subject of homosexuality in the church:
Hill rephrased the first listener question by asking Jakes “how should the church get along [with homosexuals who want to attend and join]?” This was a question that a pastor who believes in sound, Biblical doctrine could easily answer. The church should get along with members of the LGBT community like it does with all other people – sharing the Biblical Gospel message that we are all sinners who deserve hell but can receive grace thanks to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross for the forgiveness of sin. But instead of stating Biblical truth, Jakes opted for a non-answer:
“Absolutely… I think it is going to be diverse from church to church. Every church has a different opinion on the issue and every gay person is different,” he replied. “And I think that to speak that the church—the black church, the white church or any kind of church you wanna call it—are all the same, is totally not true.”
Of course this response did not answer the question at all. When further pressed on the issue Jakes gave a ringing endorsement to “gay friendly” or gay-affirming churches: “LGBT’s of different types and sorts have to find a place of worship that reflects what your views are and what you believe like anyone else,” he outlined.
“The church should have the right to have its own convictions and values; if you don’t like those convictions and values [and] you totally disagree with it, don’t try to change my house, move into your own … and find somebody who gets what you get about faith.”
Jakes’ advised gay people who believe homosexuality is not a sin to seek out churches that “reflect their views.” This is basically encouraging people to believe a false Gospel. In the book of Acts, the Apostle Paul gave a farewell exhortation to a group of his disciples knowing he would likely never see them again. In it he said:
“Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” (Acts 20:26-28).
Paul said his hands were clean from being responsible for anyone’s life because he preached “all the counsel of God.” In other words, the Apostle did not pick and choose to preach only the portions of the Bible that were pleasant to all people and tickled the ears. He preached God’s entire Word, regardless of how dire or stern it may have seemed to his audience. This is because it is essential for all people to realize their sin before God. All people (this author included) are sinners – the Bible makes this clear: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God..” (Romans 3:23). Conviction of that sin is what can lead a person to understand that they need a Savior. And that Savior is The Lord Jesus Christ.
If a person lives their lives violating God’s Word and having no remorse or repentance for that sin, then they could never feel a need for forgiveness. And thus their hearts reject God’s message. And this is precisely what Jakes was promoting by encouraging those in the LGBT community to attend churches that affirm their worldview. This is the clear sign of a heretic and false teacher. In the same passage of Acts 20 where Paul admonishes his disciples to preach “all the counsel of God” he followed that up with a grave warning: “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.” (Acts 20:29-31). The “wolves” in question were false teachers presenting themselves as “strong Christian preachers” but who in fact were teaching heretical, unbiblical doctrines, like Jakes.
Beginning and End has already examined the wildly unbiblical Prosperity Gospel doctrine of Jakes as well as his New Age teaching series he led with Oprah Winfrey. So it is of little surprise that when pressed on the issue of homosexuality (something you will never hear Jakes or any mega-church television pastor preach on), he offered up such a sinful response.
The Bible and Homosexuality
And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. – The Lord Jesus Christ, Matthew 19:3-6.
The Word of God is clear that homosexuality is a sin. God’s order for intimate relationships is for a man to be married to one woman for life. And what this means for a gay person entering the church is that like everyone else who is attending, they have to be ready to put God’s Word and desires before their own. The Christian life is one of surrender. It is a submission to God’s Holy and perfect will, even if we do not fully comprehend it.
Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. – Isaiah 55:6-9.
The Lord’s thinking and plans are well beyond those of corrupt humanity. So while it may seem hard to understand the reasoning behind some of the Bible, it does not negate its truth. What helps a person understand the Bible and God better is receiving the Spirit of God. This is what occurs when a person believes in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for the forgiveness of their sins. Their old spirit, corrupted with the sin nature all people possess, dies. And it is replaced by a new spirit, given from God, that seeks to please The Lord. At the same time, that newly regenerated Christian is still living in the flesh body we are all born with. And that body still contains the sin nature. And thus a Christians spirit is constantly at war with the flesh. The Lord Jesus Christ said: “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41).
So the challenge for a person in any kind of sexual sin is simple: are you willing to give up your own desires and seek to obey The Lord? This is what a true, Christian pastor should be advising with respect to how any group can “get along” with the church. The book of Galatians describes this challenge in the Christian life:
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me… This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. – Galatians 2:20; 5:16-17.
Note that T.D. Jakes says nothing about this. He does not even quote the Scriptures at all in answering this question. Instead he offered answers that distracted from the very direct questions being asked to him. Jakes then further showed his apostasy by saying the issue of homosexuality should be addressed “behind closed doors” and that the issue of “sexuality versus spirituality” was complex “in the Bible days.” Jakes accused the Apostle Paul of struggling with issues of sexuality and bases this on a reference to 1 Corinthians 11 and the admonition for women to have a “covering” on their heads – a reference to both the literal veils women wore at that time in public and the metaphorical “cover” that a man has as an authority figure over a woman. This passage has nothing to do whatsoever with sexuality. And nowhere is there any indication that the Apostle Paul “struggled” to write this passage. 2 Timothy 3:16 says:
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. – 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
To say Paul “struggled” with his writing is to imply that the Scriptures were not divinely inspired. Jakes continued his incorrect interpretation of the Bible by saying Paul “grappled” with these issues and we are “grappling with them now.” This is what the Apostle Paul, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote about homosexuality:
Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; – Romans 1:24-28.
There is no grappling or struggle with the issues. Paul calls gay intimacy “against nature” and the product of rebellion against God. For Jakes to incorrectly characterize Paul’s words demonstrates that he either does not understand the Bible or is willing to spout all manner of heresy just to avoid having to say that homosexuality is a sin.
The interviewer was clearly not satisfied with Jakes’ attempts at deflection and invited him to come back again for another sit down to discuss the issue further. It was quite apparent that Jakes was not going to answer the real question being posed: Was he ready to declare that homosexuality is no longer a sin?
The “Joel Osteen Backtrack”
“My comment on HuffPo TV drifted into issues of the Supreme Court ruling and changing the world through public policy verses personal witness. Further, I have come to respect that I can’t force my beliefs on others by controlling public policy for tax payers and other U.S. citizens. Jesus never sought to change the world through public policy but rather through personal transformation”
Note that the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage never came up in the interview. The question by Hill was about whether or not the church can change its doctrinal position on homosexuality. And specifically if Jakes has or would change his own personal belief.
“All people didn’t embrace him either. That’s what I said and what I meant …. Nothing more and nothing less. Just because a so-called Christian publication chooses to misconstrue my words using lazy journalistic tactics to further their own agenda and draw attention to their site does not make their statements an accurate depiction of what I said or meant. Investigate.”
Here Jakes resorts to personally attacking the website the broke the story by calling them “lazy” and accusing them of having an “agenda.” Should this be the response of a man of God? Is this tone the reflection of someone who is operating with the fruits of the Spirit?
“Do not take everything you read online or hear repeated as truth. When asked about the “black church” and its role in ministering to gay people, I briefly mentioned ( we were running out of time) the word ” evolved and evolving” regarding my approach over the 39 years of my ministry to gay people who choose to come to our services.
I simply meant that my method is evolving — not my message. I was SHOCKED to read that this was manipulated in a subsequent article to say I endorsed same sex marriage! My position on the subject has been steadfast and rooted in scripture.
For the record, I do not endorse same sex marriage but I respect the rights that this country affords those that disagree with me.”
At no point in the interview did Jakes ever say “I do not endorse same sex marriage.” Since he was on the record with the Huffington Post, why did he not make a clear declaration? Nor did he ever affirm the Bible’s very clear proclamation that homosexuality is a sin. Jakes’ “clarification” also neglected to address that he endorsed gay people attending gay-affirming churches and incorrectly stated that the Biblical authors “struggled” and “grappled” with issues of sexuality. And despite this, he says he was “SHOCKED” to read that he was criticized for this and cast as endorsing same-sex marriage. By taking a stronger stance on his Facebook page, his predominately Christian followers for the most part applauded him. This was precisely what mega-church pastor Joel Osteen did following his 2005 interview with Larry King on CNN where he repeatedly denied Christ as being the exclusive way to Heaven:
Following the interview Osteen put a letter on his website stating:
“It was never my desire or intention to leave any doubt as to what I believe and Whom I serve. I believe with all my heart that it is only through Christ that we have hope in eternal life. I regret and sincerely apologize that I was unclear on the very thing in which I have dedicated my life.
Jesus declared in John 14; I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me. I believe that Jesus Christ alone is the only way to salvation. However, it wasn’t until I had the opportunity to review the transcript of the interview that I realize I had not clearly stated that having a personal relationship with Jesus is the only way to heaven. It’s about the individual’s choice to follow Him.”
By taking no stance with the mainstream media and then issuing a subsequent stronger stance to the more Christian audience, both pastors can “play both sides of the fence” on the more controversial issues in the Christian faith. The Bible’s commands to pastors leaves no room for this type of behavior:
I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. – 2 Timothy 4:1-5.
A pastor is charged to preach the Bible accurately whether it’s “in season” or “out of season.” Homosexuality has become the defining issue in the church as it has forced apostate, money-centered pastors to openly defy God in order to maintain their popularity, material success and massive followings. Not coincidentally, Jakes recently commenced a 4-week trial run for a secular talk show. Financial opportunity and fame can lead pastors to become those very false teachers who have turned from the truth and preach to those who have “itching ears” for a watered-down, unbiblical form of Christianity based on what society wants and not on God’s Word.
Pray for Jakes to repent of his erroneous doctrines and to truly stand for God’s Word in any format or setting. And pray for the followers of preachers who compromise sound, Biblical doctrine, to use discernment and reject false teaching. The message of the Bible to the gay community is the same as it is for all people: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9).
The Lord wants all people to repent of their sin and believe in The Lord Jesus Christ. God offers free forgiveness to all people for all the sins we have committed. This is why Jesus Christ came to Earth and gave His life on the cross. This is the true message of the Bible. Pray that God will continue to raise up Christians who have the courage to preach it.