Angry Apostles and the Trinity

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On the Trinity

First, Pastor Tom Chantry has provided a actual transcript of T.D. Jakes words on the Trinity from The Elephant Room 2, session 4.1

Chantry then made a follow-up post in which he shares his thoughts in the following five points.2

1. Jakes masterfully deconstructs the entire practice of theology.
2. Driscoll and MacDonald are too much in awe of Jakes’ massive numeric success to call him on this.
3. James MacDonald is angry.
4. The mega-pastors are one big lovin’ family!
5. If you aren’t defined at least somewhat by what you are against, you aren’t really defined at all.

I have also asked E. Calvin Beisner3 his thoughts on Jakes’ recent statements on the Trinity at Elephant Room 2. Beisner has written two books covering the Trinity and answered as follows.

Those words are absolutely consistent with the modalist heresy of Oneness Pentecostalism, and they remind me precisely of the kind of intentionally vague, off-topic language used by Arius and his supporters at the Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325. Jakes will be believable in saying he believes in “One God – Three Persons” when he renounces Oneness Pentecostalism and separates from the officially modalist, anti-Trinitarian United Pentecostal and other Oneness denominations, and enunciated the doctrine of the Trinity with clarity and precision and a clear repudiation of modalism. Jakes’s language above fits perfectly with Oneness Pentecostals’ belief that the only difference between Father and Son is that the Son is the Father manifested in the flesh. The crucial element of the doctrine of the Trinity is that the distinctions of Father, Son, and Spirit are revealed in Scripture to be utterly independent of anything external to God–i.e., they are internal distinctions. Jakes’s god is not the God revealed in the Bible, and his gospel is not the gospel revealed in the Bible.

Angry Apostles

Some will label those who say and agree with the above comments as haters, as angry or maybe both. However, the Apostles had much to say about carefully handling and teaching doctrine as well as false teachers. Below is a sample of such teaching.

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.(2 Peter 2:1-3 ESV)

Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.(Acts 17:11 ESV)

This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith, among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme. (1 Timothy 1:18-20 ESV)

But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, (2 Timothy 2:16-17 ESV)

A little leaven leavens the whole lump. (Galatians 5:9 ESV)

Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message. (2 Timothy 4:14-15 ESV)

you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. (1 Corinthians 5:5 ESV)

But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. (1 Timothy 6:9 ESV)

I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. (Romans 16:17-18 ESV)

He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound1 doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. (Titus 1:9 ESV)

Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Timothy 4:16 ESV)

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Christiane January 26, 2012 at 2:20 pm

sometimes, when the world perceives a denomination exclusively in terms of what it is against,
that denomination has succeeded in its goal . . .

but is that the primary ‘mission’ it should have chosen ?

2 TT January 26, 2012 at 2:31 pm

You are so ungraceful

3 Frank Gantz January 26, 2012 at 2:40 pm

TT, I don’t really see ungracefulness here. I see a post providing biblical reasoning for being greatly concerned about a core doctrine.

I would think that a charge of lacking grace would be supported somehow. If your charge is true, the brother ought to be able to see where he erred.

4 Jason Anspach January 26, 2012 at 7:32 pm

Sweeping generalization: People aren’t willing to make a big issue about this, because it’s not a big issue to them. We like to say that these essential doctrines of the faith are non-negotiable and closed hand, but when removed from a sermon to like-minded individuals and put in practice, it’s not.

I’m not advocating a St. Nicholas style beat down, but more scrutiny over what’s heralded as such a big issue doesn’t seem like asking too much.

5 TT January 26, 2012 at 7:52 pm

And the commenters here are so ungraceful, too! Hard, and hateful to the core. Did I mention mean, mean too! Gangrenous even.

If a person laughs while his tongue is in cheek will he bite it off? Good thing I don’t need a tongue to type.

6 Jason Anspach January 26, 2012 at 9:32 pm

One of those two T’s has to stand for “troll”. 😉

7 D.R. Randle February 10, 2012 at 7:51 pm

I’m pretty sure TT was being sarcastic. Just check his blog. There should be a sarcasm button to alert those unsuspecting folks who are blindsided by it and mistake it for sincerity.

On Jakes, I’m still suspicious, especially given that he hasn’t openly renounced Modalism. That’s really problematic. But it’s very irritating to see people completely ignore (or explain away, as McKissic did) Jakes prosperity Gospel teaching. McKissic completely ignored direct quotes from Jakes – quotes with which any Bible believing pastor should be seriously concerned.

8 Soul Savor August 13, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Until someone can show me one person baptized in the Trinity, that’s recorded in the Bible , and not in the name of Jesus Christ, I will get rebaptized!

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