Pastors Judah and Chelsea Smith of Churchome, a hip-to-be-cool, celebrity-endorsed 10,000 member megachurch, further cemented their theological obliviousness by bringing on Trinity-denying Modalist T. D. Jakes as a Board Member of their congregation, effective January 1, 2021.
The Seattle-based church, spread across its five locations in Washington State and California, joins other celebrity preachers like now-disgraced Carl Lentz and Elevation Church’s Steven Futick in having very close ties with the “Jesus is a manifestion of God” Pentecostal Bishop. They made the announcement on their website, writing:
Bishop TD Jakes has been in church leadership for more than 40 years, and is the founder and senior pastor of The Potter’s House Church. He has been in relationship with Churchome since 2006.
One of the world’s most revered faith leaders, his passion to bring people together is evident over his decades of ministry. He is an inspiration in matters of reconciliation and racial diversity. The wisdom of his collective experience leading people to Jesus, and instinct to serve others in areas beyond the church brings invaluable leadership to the Churchome board.
It is not a supremely surprising move, given that both men have had close ties for years, speaking at conferences together and even at each other’s churches.
By way of a brief profile, the Smiths are about as seeker-sensitive and biblically compromised as they come. They live in a multi-million dollar home and have a penchant for Gucci luxury clothes, where a single outfit can cost upwards of $ 5000$. They count Justin Bieber as one of their members and let him occasionally lead worship, with theoerotic songs like Reckless Love being a mainstay.
He frequently tweets stupid, unbiblical things like this, clearly having no knowledge of Acts 10:38, 2 Corinthians 5:10, John 5:22, 27, and other scriptures.
He is, by all accounts, emblematic of the skinny-jeans-wearing soyboy pastors that breed effemininity and are a blight on the church today.
As for where the couple stands on abortion and LGBT issues, more unbiblical, cagey, waffling garbage abounds. In a long-form article in Marie Claire that is worth the read, writer Jennifer Swann quickly zeroes in on the ethos of the couple.
Regarding his 2005 comments on abortion, (where he preached against it) Judah says (through his publicist), ‘We have grown significantly in the past 15 years. I wouldn’t agree with my approach when I was a young pastor on many issues and understand that no life decision is easy. We hope to be a loving home for humanity, no matter what someone has experienced.’
When I ask Chelsea what she would say to a member of her congregation considering an abortion, she is quick to clarify that, unlike a priest, a pastor—at least at Churchome—isn’t meant to provide counsel. ‘We know what we’re good at, which is the Bible and Jesus and telling His story. And we know what we’re not good at. There are amazing trained professional psychologists and counselors [for that].’
That’s why, on the Churchome Global app, the Smiths titled a section of videos ‘Question and Response’ rather than ‘Question and Answer.’
Throughout the two days we spend together, Chelsea has few answers for me. So I call her up a few weeks later to ask more questions: What is Churchome’s position on LGBTQ members, for example? ‘Every individual is entitled to their own persuasion, and it’s not our job to persuade. It’s just our job to proclaim. They feel just as loved and welcome and a part of our community,’ Chelsea says.
Have Judah’s views on homosexuality changed since 2005? ‘We are a church who love and welcome people regardless of their beliefs or background,’ he says. Would Churchome be open to having a gay pastor? After a long pause, Chelsea says, ‘We are very much in the category of “We love everybody. God is for everybody. And God’s heart is for people.” So our hearts are for people, and that is where we land, absolutely.’
Having TD Jakes on their church board, as bad as that is, is clearly the least of their problems.
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