I agree with you that all of us need room to grow in our faith and understanding, but are there no hills to die on, no absolute certainties of the faith, no moral boundaries that cannot be crossed? You characterized your position on homosexuality as “Evolved and evolving,” adding, “I think that where I am is to better understand we, the church, bought into the myth that this is a Christian nation.” Bishop Jakes, what has your position evolved from and what is it evolving to? What did you previously believe and what do you currently believe?
Bishop Jakes, with real interest, I watched your interview with Marc Hill, and the one thing that was clear was that you did not answer with clarity.
Given your stature as one of the most influential Christian leaders in the country, and given the fact that headlines now read, “T.D. Jakes Comes Out for ‘Gay Marriage’ and ‘LGBT Churches,’ Says Position is ‘Evolving’,” and, “Bishop T.D. Jakes says Black church changing stance on LGBT community,” I appeal to you to remove all ambiguity and state clearly what you believe.
According to the Scriptures, is homosexual practice sinful in God’s sight?
Can you be in an active homosexual relationship and be a true follower of Jesus at the same time?
Do you affirm LGBT churches?
From my vantage point, Mr. Hill was seeking to get clarity from you on these kinds of issues, but your answers appeared to be intentionally ambiguous.
At best, your comments left your hearers in the dark; at worst, they gave the impression that you now support same-sex “marriage.”
Surely this is not a minor issue, and surely a shepherd has a responsibility to the sheep. What, dear sir, do you believe?
When Mr. Hill asked you if you felt that the black church could co-exist with the gay community, you responded, “Absolutely… I think it is going to be diverse from church to church. Every church has a different opinion on the issue and every gay person is different. And I think that to speak that the church—the black church, the white church or any kind of church you wanna call it—are all the same, is totally not true.”
Does this really answer the question he was asking? It seems apparent that Mr. Hill was asking (to paraphrase), “We know that black churches are largely conservative on the issue of homosexuality, so can the gay community and the black church really co-exist?”
To say that every church is different and every church has an opinion on the subject is to say nothing. We all know that some churches are gay affirming and some are not, and we know that churches have all kinds of opinions on different subjects.
But the reason Mr. Hill was asking this question was because he was looking for you to make clear what you believed about these issues. And just because a church has an opinion does not mean that there is any biblical support for that position.
You further counseled professing gay Christians to find a church that supports their views, as if there is no right or wrong and as if the goal of the church is to make everyone feel comfortable, regardless of their lifestyle, their morality, and their beliefs.
I thought the church was called to bring people to Jesus, to stand for righteousness, to care for the needy, to shine like light in the darkness, to declare God’s will and to live it out. And don’t you have a responsibility as a leader to warn people about deception?
You said, “LGBT’s of different types and sorts have to find a place of worship that reflects what your views are and what you believe like anyone else.”
That’s the counsel of a servant of God? “Regardless of what you believe, just a find a place that agrees with your views and makes yourself at home”?
You explained, “The church should have the right to have its own convictions and values; 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 find somebody who gets what you get about faith.”
Of course, I concur with you that churches need to have freedom to practice their faith, and if someone doesn’t like what a particular church believes he or she should go elsewhere.
But what, sir, do you believe? Are there are any moral or spiritual absolutes? Are there right things to believe and practice and wrong things to believe and practice?