Please note: Mr. Jones’ name and the link to the Potter’s House website have been removed from the Pastor’s Conference website.
On Feb. 17th I sent an email to Vance Pitman, President of the 2011 Southern Baptist Pastors’ Conference about a doctrinal concern. The email is posted below and contains within it the first email that I sent on Feb. 16th to Jamal Jones who serves under T.D. Jakes at The Potter’s House. Jones is set to participate in this year’s SBC Pastors’ Conference. My concerns may be understood by reading the emails below. I thought I’d post this for others who may share my concerns and to make others aware of the issue. Of course, I’m open to being corrected too.
Thank you for your service as the President of the Southern Baptist Pastors’ Conference. The panel of speakers looks to be promising with men like Darrin Patrick and the recent addition of John Piper.
However, I do have one concern. I’m concerned about Jamal Jones and his affiliation with The Potter’s House and T.D. Jakes. It is fairly well-known that Jakes has been accused of holding to the heresy of Modalism. Judging by the language in the Potter’s House belief statement on their website it seems they do actually espouse Modalism as their doctrinal position on God.
I’ve sent Mr. Jones an email about my concerns which I’ve shared below. Mr. Jones may be a fine musician, but that would be no reason to overlook potential heretical doctrine. (Just as Phillips, Craig and Dean are fine musicians, but also hold to a modalistic view of God.)
As you will see below, the language of The Potter’s House belief statement lines up with that of the largest Oneness Pentecostal denomination. To further clarify why Jakes is accused of holding to Modalism please see the article “Spirit Raiser” (Time Magazine, September 17, 2001). Jakes is quoted as saying, “…One God, but manifest in…three different ways, Father in creation, Son in redemption, Holy Spirit in regeneration.” This statement indicates an even clearer agreement with Modalism.
It seems that we Southern Baptists should not affiliate with those holding to heretical doctrine. To have someone such as Mr. Jones participating in an official capacity and being promoted on the Pastors’ Conference website gives undo promotion/acceptance of the Potter’s House and T.D. Jakes.
Of course, I’m taking the position that I am correct in assessing that the heresy of Modalism is being espoused. It seems that anyone who examines the doctrinal statements would come away in agreement.
Finally, to be fair to Mr. Jones, and since he has not replied back to me yet, it only makes sense to ask him if he personally agrees with the Modalistic language in the Potter’s House belief statement. Yet, even if he does not agree he still serves as their Executive Director of Music and Fine Arts.
All in all, it may therefore be best for Southern Baptists if Mr. Jones is replaced by someone who personally holds to, and serves a church that holds to, an orthodox, biblical view of God as Trinity.
Begin email –
I understand you will be involved in the worship music at the upcoming Southern Baptist Pastor’s Conference. I also notice that you work with the Potter’s House Church of Dallas, Texas. It is your affiliation with the Potter’s House which concerns me and I will briefly explain why.
The belief statement on the Potter’s House website (as of 2/16/2011) states, “There is one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in three manifestations: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”
The troubling word is “manifestations” which portrays God more like a shape-shifter who has merely taken on different forms. This language denies the Trinitarian nature of God which states that God is one Who eternally exists in three, simultaneous persons as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In other words, the Potter’s House belief statement portrays a Oneness or Modalistic view of God.
The usage of such distinct language to describe God, for example, may be seen in the largest Oneness (non-Trinitarian) denomination, The United Pentecostal Church International (UPCI). UPCI’s doctrinal statement under “Oneness of God” clearly states that it “views the Trinitarian concept of God, that of God eternally existing as three distinctive persons, as inadequate and a departure from the consistent and emphatic biblical revelation of God being one.” And that “God is manifested as Father in creation and as the Father of the Son, in the Son for our redemption, and as the Holy Spirit in our regeneration.”
I state the above to clarify my concerns as to why I am sending this email. I hope you understand that as a Southern Baptist it would be troubling to have someone serve at one of our events who held to the heretical doctrine of Modalism which is a denial of the Trinity.
My question is – Do you hold to a Modalistic/non-Trinitarian view of God or do you hold to the doctrine of the Trinity as found within orthodox Evangelical Christianity?
Thank you for your time.
– End email