So, a discussion about T.D. Jakes occurred on Facebook. He's yet another guy who should not be sold at Lifeway. He's another prosperity minister and he's a modalist. He's leading people astray into believing in God for wealth in this world and has a low view of Christ.
Anyway, I had to open my fat mouth and say, "Modalism is a heresy, but I don't think it's as damning as Arianism. At least Modalists believe in Christ's deity." Then I got slammed saying, if you don't believe in the Trinity you are not a Christian. Agreed. There's plenty of people out there who think they are Christians and yet miss the details of core doctrines.
But if you think about it, if you ask anyone in your church about the Trinity, they will give some analogy that sounds modalist whether they really believe it or not. Modalism is the unitarian view that God is one person but reveals himself as three different persons throughout history. They aren't separate persons, just like Peter Sellars playing the every role in The Mouse that Roared. Again, they still believe Jesus is God, but it is dangerous to believe this as God has always been three people and those three persons work together to bring our salvation. God is in the sky ruling the earth and sending Jesus to atone for our sins. Jesus atoned for our sins and sits before the Father to intercede for us. The Holy Spirit is how we can talk to God now and how we have Christ with us. It's very important to keep this distinction.
But your average person in church will know enough about Christ's deity to not catch this distinction for a long time. Does that mean they're not really Christian? Should we kick them out of the church for heresy? Depends.
If this is some young believer who is not well educated in the faith, then you simply tell the truth and hope God opens their heart. If this is a grown man using the analogy of him having three different roles in life, he's a father, a son, and a husband, then somehow I have to find a way to tell him to stop using that analogy as it reeks of modalism. Seriously, just stick with the water analogy or the shamrock analogy. They fail, too, but they aren't so modalist.
Then there's T.D. Jakes who knows the truth, has heard the truth, and still believes that Christ did not always exist. This isn't even modalism but a hybrid with Arianism. And he believes you aren't saved unless you speak in tongues. And his faith is in God so he can have a good life here with health and wealth, and he's leading people to a faith that will eventually disappoint them. So if he shows up in my church, I may welcome him with open arms and get him to hear the Gospel, but he does not need to preach or lead Sunday School, and we certainly should not go to a church where he preaches. But we should seriously pray for him and for mercy on those in his congregation that are simply uneducated. God will save whom he wants to save, and they will bear fruit at some point.