Michael Brown and T. D. Jakes: An Unfortunate Interview and a Failed Rebuke

Michael BrownOprah JakesI believe several things dynamics are at work in the Huffington Post interview with T. D. Jakes. The interview was first posted on the Huff Post website on August 4. The topic of discussion was Jakes’ new book, then turned to the LGBT community and the black church.

After personally transcribing the interview myself, I tend to think that several dynamics were at play in the interview. First of all, I think two conversations were going on. The interviewer, Marc Lamont-Hill, academic, journalist, author, activist, and television personality and Distinguished Professor of African-American Studies at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, was looking for Jakes to endorse the LGBT community and to admit to an acceptance of homosexuality. Jakes, it seems to me, was trying to be benevolent with his “Jump the Broom” theology (if you don’t know what that means check out this post). The interview spurred what Jakes referred to as “a virulent diatribe in cyber-Christian-land” which demanded a reiteration of his stance on that old diversion, same-sex marriage.

Jakes may think the criticism unfair, but the proof is in the pudding: the Huff Post article accompanying the video. In sum, the article claims that Jakes thinks it is absolutely possible for the black church and the LGBT community to co-exist, that Jakes’ own views on homosexuality have evolved and are still evolving, and that LGBT people should find a church that aligns with their own views on faith.

While Jakes was waxing eloquent on the separation of church and state, the republic, and pluralism, Hill heard him endorsing homosexuality.

Jakes can be irritated at the outcry from cyber-Christian-land, but in reality the force of his interview was simply to placate the LGBT community and give quarter to the concept of gay Christianity.

Michael Brown called Jakes out asking him to clarify his stance on homosexuality. This elicited a “reiteration” of Jakes’ stance on same-sex marriage. Unfortunately, Jakes didn’t answer the question and Brown let him off the hook.

In his article, “Oprah, Osteen, Jakes, and Homophobia,” Brown is somehow encouraged that Oprah still welcomes Osteen and Jakes after they openly claimed homosexuality to be a sin. First of all, there is little to be worried about with inviting Osteen on your show. He is not going to be polarizing. Second of all, T. D. Jakes is a powerful, popular black man with a feel good theology. Oprah would never reject him. Neither of these men have ever stood up to Oprah and called her out for her new age religiosity or her pro-gay stance. Why wouldn’t she welcome them? Brown ends his article with a pointer on how not to be labeled a homophobe. Anyone who unequivocally takes a stand against homosexuality as a lifestyle (which Jakes did not do in his interview) is going to be labelled a homophobe and a hater.

While I have no problem with Jakes “reiteration,” and I do not think he supports homosexuality, he absolutely encouraged gay Christianity. Here is a quote from the interview:

“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 establish that sort of thing and find someone that gets what you get about faith.”

The answer for the American culture that rejects truth from the Word of God is not “find a place to go where people agree with you”! My goodness, this only feeds America’s twisted definition of tolerance. The answer is, “Go to a Bible believing church and sit there until God changes you! Immerse yourself in the Presence, the Power, the Word, and the worship of the True God!” Yes the church must be accepting and loving. But sending the LGBT community into inclusive churches where they can be surrounded with people who agree with them (which as a community they are wont to do anyway) is an unfortunate message!

Post Script: Once again the issue has gotten side-tracked by the diversion of same-sex marriage. The issue is gay Christianity!

Oprah and Rob Bell: The Beast and Her False Prophet

Rob Bell Suggests Bible Not Relevant to Today’s Culture – US – CBN News – Christian News 24-7 – CBN.com.

Few things are more sickening than listening to people speak disparagingly about the Church who themselves have no spiritual credibility to speak of; no right to touch or judge the body of Christ.

For Oprah to ask Rob Bell, “When is the Church going to get this” in reference to the normalcy of homosexuality, is nauseating. Rob Bell is practically blasphemous in this video. He is a prophet of some Church other than the true one. Error is one thing, but falsehood and treachery are different matters!

 

via Oprah and Rob Bell: The Beast and Her False Prophet.

Don’t Let Changes Crush You!

Simply put, anytime an organization changes direction, someone gets crushed in the transition.conflicting cogs w people

Imagine two cogs, one turning clockwise and the other turning counter-clockwise, and each representing a different paradigm (see illustration and footnote). 1

The cog on the left represents tradition or “what we have always done”; the status quo. The cog on the right represents a significant challenge to the status quo. Assuming that the proposed shift is good or necessary, the optimum outcome would be that every person standing on the side of tradition, or what has always been done, would make the transition into the new paradigm.

The reality is that, any time there is a paradigm shift or significant change to the status quo, there are always people who get crushed “between the cogs” as it were. They simply cannot, or will not make the adjustments necessary to safely cross from status quo to the new paradigm.

Again, assuming the new paradigm to be valuable and necessary, there are some things for the change agents to remember.

1. People are important. This does not mean that people are always more important than the proposed change. Why? Because oftentimes, more people will be hurt if the change is not made than if it is. Still, it matters that those who can’t make the transition are going to be crushed and change agents should not take that lightly and should do their due diligence in helping people make the transitions and in re-purposing people who cannot.

2. Count the cost first, then press on with integrity. Once it is determined that the change must come for the good of everyone, then the change agent, having done his or her due diligence to help everyone make the transition, must be prepared to press on knowing full well that some will not be continuing on with the organization. This may or may not be unfortunate, but it will be difficult. This is why the change agents must count the cost.

3. Finish what you start. No one should deconstruct something, particularly a tradition that has sheltered many people, without reconstructing something viable in its place. To tear down and then quit is evil and frequently will allow all that is wrong about the status quo to grow back and double in its size and power.

4. Once the change comes, be diligent to maintain it.  It’s one thing to change, it is another to maintain that change with integrity, not slipping back into old traditions and habits. Be diligent or old habits that tarnished the past will be reborn in the future.

 

1. A paradigm is  “a set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them, especially in an intellectual discipline (The American Heritage Dictionary, def. 3).”