Daniel Neades has written an interesting review of T.D. Jakes' sermon at the Elevation Church's so-called "Code Orange Revival" event here. Even if we discount Jakes' Sabellianism, the entire message is disturbingly Christ-less, Gospel-less and God-less. As Neades wrote,
Jakes’ teaching is deadly to those who are enticed by it. They trust in God to fix the problems of this life, to keep them from trial and tribulation. And should He not accede to their arrogant expectation, their faith is shipwrecked, because it was founded not upon the sure and certain promises of God’s word in Christ as recorded in the Scriptures, but upon the false words of a self-proclaimed prophet.
This preaching gives people a transient emotional high. It scratches itching ears, speaking into them what they are eager to hear. It manipulates, it deludes, it defrauds. Afterwards, when tribulation or persecution arises, immediately its victims stumble. They are lost, innoculated [sic] to the true Gospel. They have tried Christianity, so they think, and found it full of empty promises – it doesn’t work.
For Jakes, salvation is deliverance from the problems and obstacles of this life. This is his beguiling message, for who would not want that? And, having heard his sermon, the fervent crowd has believed the lie that this is what God is offering them.
For Jakes, our problem is not that we have grievously offended an infinitely Holy and righteous God with our sin, and that He is therefore justly angry with us. For Jakes, our problem is not that we are deservedly facing an eternity in hell. No, for him, our problem is that we have issues in this life.
With his misdiagnosis of the human condition, Jakes’ gospel is necessarily false. His gospel is not that Christ died to bear the punishment for our sin and rose from the dead, but that Jesus died to show us our worth and to fix our problems.
Daniel, thank you for picking this up, much appreciated.
(By the way, I’ve fixed the spelling mistake – I’m afraid my lack of an education in Latin has revealed itself!)
Peace and grace.
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