NOTE: I still have not seen any statement, though I assume that one is forthcoming. But the link to Potter’s House and the bio for Jamar Jones have been removed from the Pastor’s Conference website.
Two items for your consideration:
1) Ed Young, Jr has been trumpeting his “EXC3ED” conference which just wrapped up. Now, I’m going to put aside my old-fogey ennui about hip spellings of words. There’s a church in my town called Riverz Edge. Good church. That z replacing the s is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me! But, as I said, I’m going to put the misplaced (annoying) 3 aside and assume this was as good a conference as Ed Young claims it was. Not my cup of tea, but it doesn’t have to please me to be a good conference.
I’m also willing to overlook the inclusion of Joyce Meyer as one of the speakers. Again, a fingernails/chalkboard moment. Her odd mixture of psychobabble and positive confession is not my thing, but alas, Ed did not ask my opinion. Oh, well.
But I do have a problem with one speaker, T.D. Jakes. Jakes, the pastor of the Potter’s House in Dallas (and other locations) does not believe in the Trinity. He is a modalist, who believes that God does not exist eternally as one God in three Persons, but believes that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are simply sequential manifestations of the One God. This is an ancient heresy which has been rejected by orthodox Christians.
So, does Ed Young believe that the Trinity is a non-essential doctrine? He invited someone who denies the Trinity to speak at his conference and that shows a shameful disdain for basic Christian doctrine. For Ed Young, the Trinity is evidently not a doctrine worth taking a stand over. Am I the only one bothered by that?
2) The Pastor’s Conference of the SBC has engaged Jamar Jones, from T.D. Jakes’ church, to lead its instrumental music. I know nothing about Jamar Jones. For all I know, he may not agree with Jakes’ heresy. He may be a Trinitarian. I just don’t know. But on the website of the SBC Pastors’ Conference is a link to the Potter’s House website, a church that denies one of our fundamental doctrines. Our website is linking to the website of a heretical church.
I think Aspire 2011 is going to be a wonderful Pastors’ conference. The lineup of speakers is exciting. I plan to attend and I hope you will do so. Their stated goals of funding ministry to an unreached people group and of motivating 1000 church plants are as noble as they can be.
But I have a problem with the Potter’s House being advertised on the Pastor’s Conference website. I know that several people (me included) have contacted the leaders and expressed our conviction that this is a problem. I have been told that a response is forthcoming, hopefully one that will correct the problem.
I have no desire to be a rabble rouser or to somehow paint Vance Pitman as a bad guy. If T.D. Jakes were speaking, it would be a different thing for me. Jamar Jones is scheduled to direct the instrumentalists during the worship. Actually, someone involved with the conference described his ministry as “playing the piano.” I would wonder if there wasn’t someone from a truly Christian church who could have done that job. But, my major problem is the fact that the website promotes and links to Jakes’ heretical church.
Here’s My Question:
The facts are beyond dispute. T.D. Jakes denies the Trinity. There is a name we have consistently used for those who deny the Trinity. Heretic. Jakes does not proclaim the same faith we do because he does not believe in the same God we believe in. Is he saved? Don’t ask me. God’s grace is amazing. But he is a false teacher who has a false view of God.
Does the Trinity matter in Baptist life anymore? Have we turned this fundamental truth into a negotiable issue of conscience?
Why on earth is Jakes being scheduled for speaking engagements at Christian conferences? Do we now believe that the Trinity is a tertiary doctrine, one over which we should not divide? For those who have followed my series here, the Trinity is a Brick Wall Doctrine – it matters.
I am deeply disturbed that Ed Young would invite someone who denies one of the most important doctrines of Christianity to be a keynote speaker at a conference. That is shameful. What doctrine will Ed Young stand for if not the Trinity?
I hope that Vance Pitman and the leadership of Pastor’s Conference will not follow Ed Young’s lead in treating the doctrine of the Trinity with disdain. They still have time to avoid Young’s shameful action. From my contact with them, I believe they are honorable men who will take the honorable path.
Folks, we worship a Triune God. Let’s not forget that. If we are not willing to stand for the Trinity, what will we stand for? Unity is a great thing. But when we compromise truth, as Ed Young has done, we are not promoting unity but abandoning the faith.