Voddie Baucham, pastor of Grace Family Baptist Church, has explained why he declined to participate in the Elephant Room 2, and why he did not speak as expected at James MacDonald’s Harvest Men’s Conference.
Buacham offers a thoughtful and intelligent analysis of the problem with T.D. Jakes’ invitation to the Elephant Room, showing how it was a ‘lose-lose for evangelicalism’:
Bishop Jakes is an example of the worst the black church has to offer.
One of the goals of ER2 was to address the issue of “racial” unity. Thus, Bishop Jakes was there (at least in part) as a representative of the “black church.” In light of the aforementioned issues, I was disinclined to participate in such an event. You see, Jakes was an invited guest; an invited ‘black’ guest. If he were mistreated, he had the race card; if he was accepted, he had entree into a new audience. It was a win-win for Jakes, and a lose-lose for evangelicalism. Obviously, he was not going to spout unadulterated modalism. Nor was he going to repudiate his roots (remember, this is his “heritage,” both ethnically and theologically). He had a perfect opportunity to find a middle ground and show “humility” in an environment that would be portrayed as “hostile” even though hostility was forbidden in light of the unwritten rules surrounding his blackness. Thus, his opponents had to choose between outright defeat and pyrrhic victory.
Baucham enumerates the problems with Jakes, and confronts the disgraceful insinuations of racism that have been in play. Finally, Baucham names the real elephant in the room:
I’m not angry with James MacDonald. He’s my brother, and I love him. We disagree. We both understand that. Ironically, that’s what The Elephant Room is supposedly all about. Brothers should be able to disagree with one another and still be brothers. There’s just one problem: Embracing Jakes while rejecting others because we question his history of modalism and Word of Faith teaching…that’s the real “Elephant in the Room”?
Baucham’s piece is well worth reading in full:
My thanks to Paula Coyle of purposedrivel.com for alerting me to Baucham’s article.