I don't get into a lot of doctrinal discussion on this blog, although one who peruses the blog for a while can see that I am Oneness/ Apostolic Pentecostal in my beliefs. There's definitely no shame in my game regarding that. However, this blog primarily deals with current events in the light of endtime prophecy.
TD Jakes, one of America's well-known preachers, came out of a Oneness background himself , although for years he has seemed to be very cagey (some might even say disingenous) about his true beliefs on the Godhead, since his views had clearly shifted -- or were in the process of shifting -- from his original views on the issue.
Well, after years of playing doctrinal hide-and-seek on this issue, Jakes has now made it clear that he is no longer Oneness (no surprise to anyone who's been paying close attention), and has adopted a position that is closer to the typical Trinitarian view of God, although he doesnt seem to fully embrace the standard verbiage commonly associated with the Trinity doctrine. The Christian Post has the full article, which I found to be an interesting read. I'll just insert an excerpt here in this blog post, and allow those who're interested to read the full article if they wish via this link:
===="My father was a Methodist and my mother was a Baptist," he explained. "I was raised in the Baptist church ... but I didn't really have a real committed experience with Christ until my father died. When my father died, I had a real experience with Christ, a real conversion with Christ and I had it in a Oneness church."
The minister emphasized to Driscoll that the Pentecostal congregation he was referencing, which he pointed out was not a UPCI church, was home to "Christians who believe in Jesus Christ, believe he died, rose from the dead, is coming back again — all the same things you do."
"How they describe and explain the Godhead in a traditional Oneness sense is very different than how traditional Trinitarians describe the Gospel. I was in that church for a number of years and raised in that church for a number of years," Jakes said.
"As I began to progress, I began to understand that some of the dogma that I was taught in the Oneness movement was very dogmatic, very narrow and not the very best description of how I now understand the Godhead," he continued.
"My struggle as I was ordained in the Oneness church was in several passages – sometimes the doctrine fit, sometimes it doesn't. When the doctrine becomes the primary thing, you force it into fitting in places where it doesn't fit. I really at this point in my life don't want to force my theology to fit in my denomination."
Of course, the very same thing can be accurately said about the Trinity doctrine:
in several passages, sometimes the doctrines fits, and sometimes it doesn't. When adherence to the doctrine and tradition of the Trinity becomes the primary thing, you force it into fitting in places where it doesn't fit.
But that's a story for another day. I'm in the process of setting up a separate Chrsitian website which will be evangelistically and doctrinally focused, and this Godhead issue will be dealt with in full, from multiple angles. I have multiple articles already compiled on this issue, and others that are still works in progress. The plan is for this blog to essentially be an appendage to the main website when it is set up, which I hope will be within a year or so.
Meanwhile, I still find Jakes' revelation of his true position somewhat interesting, especially since he has played cat-and-mouse on this issue for many years. While many Trinitarians criticized (or condemned) him for being Oneness, and many Oneness believers proudly claimed him as "one of our own", it was fairly obvious to me that he was being coy and evasive on this issue, and doing so for a reason. I was never one of those to consider Jakes to be a Oneness believer all these years. I suppose Mr Jakes just finally got tired of being under a cloud of doubt and/or specuation over this issue. I guess in the end the old saying applies here: "to thine own self be true". Frankly, Jakes could have/should have done this years ago. But I guess... better late than never.
As for me, my position on the core doctrines of the Word of God is as rock solid now as it has ever been:
Belief in the Oneness of God, a view that essentially mirrors the monotheistic doctrine of God of the first century Jewish Christians , rather than the gradually-evolving and later-established third century doctrine of the Trinity ( I frankly despise the term "modalism" that's some used to describle the Oneness view)
Salvation consisting of repentance, baptism in/into the name of Jesus for the remission of sins, and infilling/bapstism with the Holy Spirit with initial evidence of speaking in tongues.
The pre-tribulation rapture of the church, the literal millenial reign of Jesus Christ on earth, the resurrection of the dead, the final judgement, eternal reward of the righteous, and eternal judgment in a literal hell for the unrighteous.
Indeed, that's a lot of "stuff" there that one might wish to dissect and have broken down. Time and space do not permit me to go into detail on these issues right now, but I look forward to laying this all out in the future (with an abundance of biblical references and thorough exposition), God willing, on the afrorementioned website still being constructed. I believe and know under God that it will be a blessing to many, to the glory of God and to the edification of the church.
May the Lord bring it to pass. Amen.
Meanwhile to all my first-time visitors and repeat visitors, thank you for stopping by. God bless you all.
The New Birth, by David K Bernard (in pdf format, downloadable)
The New Birth (paperback edition)