It’s easy to forget the human cost of false gospels. Not only in eternity – though even one lost soul is immeasurably tragic – but also in this life. Thabiti Anyabwile, senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman, has posted the first-hand account of Sean, a man whose life was nearly destroyed by T.D. Jakes’ prosperity gospel. Here is Sean’s account:
I am, to be really honest here, very upset by the passé attitudes [towards Jakes] of these brothers (and pastors, I might add). I’m upset for a few reasons, but If I’m being honest, the main reason why I’m so disturbed by this is because the prosperity gospel nearly killed me. Literally. I was so sick I was on the verge of death. I was lying in a hot bath with a temperature of 96 degrees, way beyond dehydrated, and literally dying with mercury poisoning. My mother was crying over my naked body, begging me to go to the hospital for treatment. “NO!” I insisted. How could I put faith in a doctor? “God is my ultimate healer! In him alone will I place my faith!”
I did eventually receive treatment, but I was still being ravished by this heresy. When I married my beautiful wife, Amber, I taught her (with the Bible of course), that there would be no taking of medicine in MY HOUSE! We would be faithful. When we were dead broke I refused to get a job because “God had promised me (through Canton Jones, no less) that I would be a buisness CEO, fortune 500, of course. How could I not have faith in that word of prophesy?
And there were a hundred other things that nearly destroyed my life and marriage. Would you care to guess who my MAIN teacher was? Who I followed as if he himself were Jesus? Who I tithed to regularly? Who’s books I read faithfully? Who’s sermons I purchased? Who’s dress I imitated?
Yes, you guessed it. TD Jakes.
My brother, this man is not merely confused, he is a wolf. God’s gracious staff saved me from him. But don’t get it twisted. Under my fur I still bear many scars that he gave to me with his powerful bite.
Jakes’ false teaching has long been experienced in predominantly African-American and Hispanic-American communities. His reach extends throughout the Caribbean and sub-Saharan Africa. Recent events have given T.D. Jakes greater credibility in and access to communities that to this point were largely unaware of him. In my opinion, that can’t be a good thing.
Sean’s devastating experience highlights why it is essential for senior voices in the Church to speak out clearly, boldly and decisively against teachers such as T.D. Jakes and the actions of those who facilitate them. Pastor Anyabwile has done so, as have Pastor Voddie Baucham, Dr. James White, Pastor Dan McGhee, and Pastor Chad Vegas. Others yet remain silent, make their views known only behind closed doors, or else express their criticism in such muted terms that its impact is nullified.
With this in mind, Daniel Chew’s review of Dr. Don Carson and Dr. Tim Keller’s response to The Elephant Room 2 makes somber reading.
- Putting a Face on Destruction (Thabiti Anyabwile’s article on Sean)
- Daniel Chew’s Review of Carson’s and Keller’s Response to ER2
- Elephant Room 2: Bryan Crawford Loritts and the emergence of pachydermism
- Elephant Room 2: May we now regard T.D. Jakes as Trinitarian and Orthodox?
- A review of T.D. Jakes’ Code orange Revival Sermon