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!

Jonathan Rauch Is Wrong About Genuine Evangelicalism

 

This article was written in response to an article by Jonathan Rauch in The Daily News. I submitted it to The Daily News as a rebuttal but, alas, they did not need it. Here it is anyway! You can read Rauch’s article here. (Jonathan Rauch is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.)

 

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Jonathan Rauch’s Op-Ed in the Daily News, “The Last Gay-Marriage Holdouts,” demonstrates many of the misunderstandings, assumptions, and wrong opinions that float to the top when people discuss evangelicals and homosexuality.

First of all, Rauch misses the nuance involved when he refers to those “young people who disagree with their elders who disproportionately [prioritize] anti-gay rhetoric and doctrine.” The “disproportion” he refers to has to do with those in the church who ask, “Why do you focus only on the sin of homosexuality and not the sin of lying, etc.?” The issue here is that, when addressing those who support homosexuality—either inside or outside of the church—we are not dealing with people who admit that homosexuality is a sin. We are, instead, dealing with those who say it is normal. So when people try to make this distinction they are invariably comparing apples to oranges. The church does speak out against lying and adultery and hatred and all manner of sins. But the Supreme Court did not meet recently in order to say that lying is a basic human right or that murder is protected by the fourteenth amendment. To those who agree that homosexuality is sin, we can talk about where it ranks among sin. But to those who want to compromise the Bible and normalize homosexuality, the traditional evangelicals cannot help but speak out.

Second, these days a distinction must be made between what is passing for evangelicalism in the media and traditional evangelicalism. Traditional evangelicals are not worried or concerned about becoming “cultural strangers in their own land.” Genuine, Bible-believing Christians have never made cultural acceptance their number one goal. Going forward, anyone wanting to be intellectually honest will need to observe the distinction between the new liberal evangelicals, and those genuine, traditional evangelicals who still hold to the authority of Scripture.

Third, Rauch claims that all evangelical congregations include openly gay members. This is simply not true. For one thing, I assume that this is simply a sloppy use of the word “member.” Show me the evangelical church that has openly gay members—people accepted into membership with full knowledge that they were practicing homosexuals—and I will show you a church that is not evangelical.

Next, to compare Jesus’ interaction and approach to the woman at the well who was living in adultery (John 4) and the current debate over the acceptance of homosexuality and, further, to connect it with the concept of inclusiveness, is simply bad hermeneutics.  Jesus did not offer inclusion to the woman at the well! He confronted her sin and invited her to come clean. When the church takes this approach to homosexuality it is referred to as homophobic!

The next subtle assumption comes with the question, “Why would God create gay people for a life without sexual intimacy and loving companionship?” The traditional evangelical answer? He didn’t. He didn’t create people gay. They were not born that way. Nevertheless, in order for those with same-sex attraction to be in right standing before God they will have to renounce homosexuality conceptually and in practice, daily crucify same-sex desire, and may very well have to live their lives as ones chosen by God to be single. People throughout history have been able to live without sexual intimacy for reasons not as lofty as a right standing before God. And to assume that sex must be a part of a fulfilled life is to sell humanity short.

What is happening in evangelicalism is a purification process. Those young “evangelical” pastors who are suffering from the pains of “cognitive dissonance” and the agonizing conflict between “head and heart” on this issue are simply not evangelicals. Not because traditional evangelicals  don’t care about those who are struggling with same-sex attraction. Many of us do; all of us should. But allowing sympathy to trump truth is to take a fools path. Americans need to learn again that just because someone disagrees with you does not mean that he or she hates you. That type of thinking represents an arrested emotional development.

Finally, Rauch is right about one thing: American evangelicalism is on a collision course with itself. When it is over, true evangelicals will continue to stand behind the Bible. The rest can join those American Catholics, mainline Protestants, Mormons, and the Pope whom Rauch indicates all support homosexuality.

 

 

 

Rainbow White House: Still A Rogue White House Or Is This Who We Are?

rainbow whitehouse

The picture that went viral (in this case think ‘disease’) of the White House splashed in the colors of the rainbow forces us to answer the following question: Can we look at the results of Obama’s time in office as the natural outcome of someone breaking into the White House control room, locking himself in, and messing with all the knobs until the adults come to stop him, or is this who we are now?

Had this recent event happened five years ago we might have suggested stronger locks on the White House doors. But America gave Obama a second term. Does that mean that this is who we are then? It certainly means that this is who we are officially. And to the extent that we can say that Americans are unable or unwilling to overturn the laws that have separated us from God, then I think we have to begin to reconcile ourselves to the reality that this is who we are.

Consider these questions:

Did America officially expel prayer from her classrooms?

Has she officially, for forty five years, upheld the “rights” of women to have abortions?

Has America embraced evolution in its classrooms, media, and entertainment industry, making it its default view of the origins of the universe?

Has America officially legalized, embraced, accepted, and celebrated homosexuality?

The answer to all of these questions is, “Yes!” And this says nothing of our materialism, our lust and wantonness, and our religious pluralism. It also says nothing of our present stance towards Israel.

There are two simple yet profound spiritual principles at work in America. The first is simply this: if you sow to the Spirit, you reap life everlasting. If you sow to the flesh, you reap corruption.

7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.  Galatians 6:7-8, NIV (1984 Edition)

This holds true for nations too!

The second is when you choose not to retain the knowledge of God in your heart, God releases you to become reprobate in your thinking and thus your behavior.

28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. Romans 1:28-32, NIV (1984 Edition)

The bottom line is this: We have invited God to leave our schools, celebrated the deaths of millions of babies through abortion, accommodated and promoted atheism by embracing evolution, and now the homosexual juggernaut has achieved “normal” status by decree of the Supreme Court. Genuine Bible-believing Christians know that individuals nor nations can so eloquently reject God and not reap terrible consequences.

Poor America! She had so much light and now is entering into just as much darkness!

 

 

 

 

Irrelevant Comments About the Bible’s Irrelevance

More and more I am hearing references made to the Bible’s age and irrelevancy. When asked by Oprah Winfrey when the Church was going to get it that homosexuality is normal, Rob Bell told her, “We’re moments away.  . . . I think the culture is already there. And the church will continue to be even more irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2,000 years ago as their best defense…” [1] Miley Cyrus made an offhand reference to the Bible’s irrelevancy in reference to the Indiana religious freedoms legislation. [2]

The problem with this sentiment is that it puts our perception of the Bible’s cultural relevancy front and center rather than the source of the Bible’s authority. The Bible is either the Word of God or it isn’t. If it was the Word of God two thousand years ago it does not cease to be simply because we long to express unchecked our Bohemian, hedonistic passions! More proof that we have never gotten past the important Enlightenment era questions of authority and revelation.

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.

Rejecting the Premise of the Question

The Euthyphro Problem—The question whether things are good because God wills them or God wills them because they are good. These two aspects of the question do not do justice to a Judeo/Christian Biblical worldview.

Any concept we have of what is good must stem from God’s self-revelation. If we follow Judeo/Christian concepts and teachings concerning God and creation we see that our first glimpse at what is good comes from God in His creative act. In Genesis 1:1-3 we learn that God called light into existence, observed what He had done, and made the assessment that it was good.

If we ignore the Bible and its concepts and look at the universe from strictly naturalistic or evolutionary perspectives, we would have to say that our concept of good begins with a process the outcome of which is a perpetual, predictable, measureable system (order from chaos). Once such a system is seen as one which is favorable to and sustaining of life we come closer still to being able to distinguish between that which is good (pro-life) and that which is either hostile to or anti-life.

Approaching the discussion from the Judeo/Christian concept and understanding of God and the universe (where it rightly belongs and can best be viewed and discussed), we realize that we cannot make a separate postulation about “the good” or that which is good or good as universal or nominal category outside of God’s self-revelation and His revelatory acts in creation. The concept of goodness is only known to us because of God. Therefore, the question as to whether something is good because God wills it or God wills it because it is good is an inadequate framing of the larger question of goodness. God is good. We know this because in His self-revelation, we have observed Him to be inclined toward life. Our ability to determine what is good and what is not is traced back to the image of God in which we have been created. Further, we cannot rightfully imagine what things might have been like had God been evil instead of good. In a scenario where God was evil there would be no life since, as God, He would be pure in His nature and, consequently would not be life sustaining. It is not reasonable to postulate a universe created and sustained by an evil God.

 

 

Former Baptist Bishop Becomes Pastor of ‘Inclusive’ Church after Marriage to Gay Partner – Christian News Blog

Here’s more “great” logic from another “pastor gone gay,” and a new twist on Luke 7:1-10!

According to Carrie Dedrick in a ChristianHeadlines.com article, Allyson D. Nelson Abrams (who was a bishop of a Baptist church and now is a bishop in a gay Metropolitan church) says:

“the Bible allows same-sex relationships according to Luke 7:1-10 and its reference to the love a man has for his servant.
‘I progressed in my theology and came to the point where I would love whichever came to me. I wasn’t just open to (a specific) gender, I was open to love in whatever way the Lord would bless me,” Abrams said. “People have the right to interpret scripture whatever way they please. I respect difference of opinions.'”

 

Wow! The Roman Centurian values his servant, and “bishop” Abrams says that means same-sex relationships are ok and we should just love whoever comes to us regardless of gender, and, for her finale, “People have a right to interpret scripture whatever way they please.”

 

Former Baptist Bishop Becomes Pastor of ‘Inclusive’ Church after Marriage to Gay Partner – Christian News Blog.