After a firestorm of criticism based on a headline he says was manipulated by Christian and secular media, TD Jakes is outlining exactly what he believes about same-sex marriage and the issues surrounding it.
The controversy started after a HuffPo TV interview with Marc Hill that lead to news headlines suggesting the megachurch pastor's position in LGBT views is "evolving."
I spoke with Regina Lewis, Chief Communications Officer of The Potter's House in Dallas, who offered me an in-depth statement from Jakes that should put an end to the questioning. Jakes statement follows in full:
Although the vast majority of people seemed to understand my previous post on this subject, a few seemed to question what was in their view a veil of ambiguity on the same-sex marriage statement.
I realize that there are those that will never be satisfied. But in good faith that these residual critics might have missed my true intent I provide additional clarity here.
A lot has been made of a brief interview that I conducted with HuffPo TV Live's Marc Lamont Hill on Monday, August 3 to promote my latest book, Destiny.
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After dialoging on the book, the interviewer asked a question, one of several pulled from the blogosphere about whether the "black church" and LGBT community could co-exist.
From the answer that I gave within the context that I was asked and within the time constraints imposed by live television, I responded.
Unfortunately, my answer became a flashpoint, spurring a virulent diatribe in cyber-Christian-land demanding that I reaffirm my stance on same-sex marriage—a topic that was never even broached in the HuffPo interview. In my nearly 40 years of ministry, and two decades of marketing books, I have learned that a two-minute interview does not a sermon make.
Such brief commentary is inadequate to explain complex theological principles or to evaluate societal norms from a biblical perspective.
This is especially true of secular audiences who are not obliged to understand or adhere to Scripture as the moral arbiter for their lives.
What I did say is that I am "evolving"—from the Latin, "volvere" meaning to "unroll, open, and unfold."
The inference is that I am "developing" in my approach to the LGBT community that I may share the gospel most effectively so as to lead "whosoever will" to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Granted, "evolving" is a non-church word.
It has come to my attention that for some, "evolving" is reminiscent of the term used by the president when he shifted his position on marriage, signaling a flip-flop, six months ahead of the 2012 election. That was never the intent of my comment—nor is it representative of my convictions on this subject.
Rather than play "whack-a-mole" with the online Christian media, I have decided to reinforce my statement to further ensure that my words are not unintentionally or intentionally misconstrued to gain more eyeballs on their various sites or confuse any who missed the point of the previous transmission!
First, my beliefs about sexuality and marriage—as with all topics—is based on Scripture (2 Tim. 3:16). I firmly believe that marriage is ordained by God as a union between a man and a woman (Eph. 5:31). My stance on the topic has never wavered. It is fixed, steadfast and well documented.
Nor am I ashamed of the gospel, for fear of appearing politically correct. It is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.
I believe that all sex outside of that sacred union is sin and that would include but is not limited to, homosexuality. I use Romans 1:24-29 and Hebrews 13:4 as the Scriptural basis for what I believe. I believe in transforming power of God's Word. It is the ultimate aim of Truth.
I also believe in balancing that truth with grace, so that the word becomes the personification of Jesus Christ, his love, mercy and compassion. (John 1:14)
A friend of mine once said that the gospel is advanced among friends. We cannot share faith with those with whom we will not engage.
Because truth absent of grace fails to exemplify my heart or the heart of the Father, I draw the line at the extra-biblical exercise of calling people names, ostracizing or humiliating them because our beliefs fall on opposite sides of the spiritual chasm.
That attitude hasn't shifted the tide in the battle for men's souls in the last 30 years.
With the recent Supreme Court ruling we've entered an age where the boundaries between Church and State are crystal clear.
My hope is that the church will always be "evolving" in how we address and minister to the LGBT community in ways that are in line with our biblically-based beliefs without losing sight of Christ like compassion.
That way of communicating isn't lack of courage, but exhibits the grace and love and forgiveness that reflects God's divine nature! (Ephesians 2:4-5)
I love all people—even those with whom I do not agree. I do not support same sex-marriage. But it is entirely possible to "speak the truth in love" and I shall never stop trying to do just that.
This seems crystal clear to me. Does this answer satisfy you?
Jennifer LeClaire is senior editor of Charisma. She is also director of Awakening House of Prayer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and author of several books, including The Next Great Move of God: An Appeal to Heaven for Spiritual Awakening; Mornings With the Holy Spirit, Listening Daily to the Still, Small Voice of God; The Making of a Prophet and Satan's Deadly Trio: Defeating the Deceptions of Jezebel, Religion and Witchcraft. She is the co-founder of AwakeningTV.com and a leader in the New Breed Revival Network. You can visit her website here. You can also join Jennifer on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and on Periscope @propheticbooks.
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