Bishop T.D. Jakes, the senior pastor of The Potter’s House in Dallas, Texas, was challenged about his beliefs regarding the Holy Trinity during a brief, yet heated, Twitter debate last Friday. The subject of the twitter was the Trinity.
The Trinity is a hotly debated topic amongst many.
This recent discussion appears to have started when Jakes tweeted to his followers Friday the following message: “God brings us together so that He can dwell in the midst of our unity, the church must lift up a standard of unity.”
Another Twitter user with the handle “Defend Orthodoxy” then tweeted: “@BishopJakes: ‘…the church must lift up a standard of unity.’ // One reason why Modalism is a destructive heresy… misleading people.”
The Texas minister also began fielding accusations from Ken Silva (@RealKenSilva), pastor of Connecticut River Baptist Church in Claremont, N.H. Silva also runs an apologetics website, Apprising Ministries, where he is critical of teachings by various influential members in the Christian community, such as Jakes, Rob Bell and Rick Warren, to name a few.
Silva, an ordained Southern Baptist Conference minister, also questioned Jakes by tweeting to The Potter’s House pastor Friday: “@BishopJakes Which God are you talking about? The Triune God of the Bible, or the ficticious god of modalism? Which one do you believe in?”
Modalism is the insistence that members of the Holy Trinity are not three distinct persons, but only forms of God (a singular spirit)’s self-expression.
The Nicene Creed of 381 A.D., recited in some Christian churches along with the Apostle’s Creed, declares orthodox Christian beliefs regarding the nature of God, Jesus the Christ and the Holy Spirit. The primary purpose of the creed, originally crafted in 325 and edited years later by a council of church leaders during the reign of Constantine, was to challenge teachings questioning Jesus’ divine nature. The creed (which can be viewed here) is professed in Roman Catholic churches, Eastern Orthodox churches and most Protestant denominations espousing a Trinitarian theology.
The questions raised to Jakes and other Christians who hold this doctrine on the Holy Trinity often center on the meaning of “manifestations” in contrast to “persons” and the use of the word “existing” as opposed to “co-existing,” which some Christians say drives home the idea that the members of the Godhead are never separated.