Famed Modalist T. D. Jakes has taken a potshot at white evangelical Christians, saying they’ve lost their way on account of putting too much emphasis on decrying abortion and same-sex marriage, and not enough on poverty and criminal justice problems.
T. D. Jakes, though continuing to be platformed by those at the Christian Post and Charisma News, has gone on record as saying he doesn’t believe that Jesus is the second person of the Trinity, but rather is just a “manifestation” of God. In fact, even now his church website reads, “There is one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in three manifestations: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”
In an interview with the Atlantic’s Emma Green, Jakes recounts how COVID-19 has caused much suffering in his church, including “marriages imploding, self-medication, and serious bouts of depression” along with death and permanent disability.
As a result, one of the hardest things for black people has been not being able to attend funerals, given that the funeral, or homegoings, are more important and meaningful to black people than to white folk.
Speaking of the black experience vs the white one and the disproportionate way COVID-19 has affected the black community, he notes:
Jakes: It is amazing to me that we can live in the same city and have two completely different experiences. You can kind of be willfully blind to the pain of the people who are in your own city and have ladies’ meetings and come together to solve poverty around the world and not think a thing about poverty right in your own city.
Green: You know, when I hear you say that, I can’t help but hear an implication about the way certain other Christians—maybe white Christians in particular—live, with a kind of international orientation toward helping kids in Africa but not caring that much about helping people who are their neighbors in their own city. Am I hearing you right?
Jakes: [Laughs.] I think that’s true in some cases, but I don’t think that they are a monolith. I’ve met pastors who cared, and who have joined hands and tried to help and serve, and who were first responders in times of crisis. But by and large, it makes people uncomfortable to look at complicated problems. And the problems in underserved communities are complicated by poor education, poor access to medical care, crime, and the distance in culture. As a whole, I think white evangelicals lost sight of “What would Jesus do?” because they only define Jesus in very narrow terms.
Green: Well, you’re going to have to say a little bit more about that.
Jakes: [Laughs.] I think that social issues define the spaces where faith and politics and society intertwine—Roe v. Wade and same-gender-loving people. [White evangelicals] don’t always put the same level of weight on the poor, the disenfranchised, or criminal-justice problems. They don’t see that as important.
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