Religious Scholar Calls T.D. Jakes a “Charlatan”, Says He’s Twisting Jesus

Religious scholar Reza Aslan recently took aim at prosperity gospel and anyone associated with it.tdjakes

While speaking at the 2014 Indian Summer Festival in Vancouver, the University of California at Riverside professor said the portrayals of Jesus in movies are mostly “fictionalized” representations.

Aslan then blasted prosperity preachers, pointing to Joel Osteen and T.D. Jakes, as two of the worst offenders.

“The fastest growing Protestant movement in North America is this movement that is referred to as the prosperity gospel,” he said. “This is the gospel preached by people like Joel Osteen and T.D. Jakes — and when I say people, I mean charlatans. The argument of the prosperity gospel, if I can put it flippantly, is that Jesus wants you to drive a Bentley. That is basically what the argument is. That what Jesus wants for you is material prosperity, and that if you literally give, you will literally be given tenfold. That’s not a metaphor, as it is in most churches. It is literal. You give me $10 and Jesus will give you $100.”

According to Aslan, Jesus never encouraged people to get wealth. In fact, he says, Jesus actually condemned wealth.

“This is as profoundly an unscriptural interpretation of Jesus that exists,” Aslan remarked. “I mean, if there is one thing that is just so clear cut and just not open to interpretation at all of any kind when it comes to Jesus’s message, it is his condemnation of wealth.”

Aslan says preachers are twisting the teachings of Jesus so that they can preach whatever message they want.

“And yet, not only does this version of Christianity exist, as I say, it is honestly the fastest growing version of Protestant evangelical Christianity in North America. That’s because Jesus can be whatever you want him to be, and the Christian message can be whatever you want it to be.”

Watch the video below:

h/t: The Raw Story

78 comments
lawgraceorg
lawgraceorg

abstract from: “Let the Church of Jesus Christ Say “Amen” –Others Say: “Oh My”!”   

Racism is NOT confined to skin color.  People who sit in pews besides fellow members have become MORE racist than people being pointed at!  Also, current protests some people are making about a Black Jesus show is for lots of people disingenuous. To many protesters the issue is regard is for personal esteem and social seals of approval for what their religion bestows on them before peers, business circles, and social arenas.  It is not at all about love for God and His glory.  And shame on even the (jail house?) ‘preachers’ who formerly were inmates, are not bothering to scratch the surface as far as what can be done regarding INCARCERATION and their families.  Moreover, it’s despicable what’s going on with all federal $$$$$ for “Let’s Make A Deal” preachers who pretend helping  people via federal and state funding, but actually becoming immensely enriched.
(It’s common –and pathetically a foregone conclusion among lots of Black church-going people, that becoming spiritually, financially, and personally crippled (Psalm 55:12-14) by fellow church member is ‘one of those things’ if it’s business advancement. GAG!!!!)

For some members, these can be their prisons: sexual confusion; insurmountable debt; suicide, homicide thoughts; medical conditions; jailed loved-ones; incest, molestation; domestic violence; BULLIED AT WORKPLACES; gambling; pharmaceutical, substance addiction; loneliness; AIDS –and some people’s troubles are linked to disconnect they feel at churches (unless they’re “prominent” in society!).  Ironically, fame seeking pulpit celebrities who climb social ladders by means of their –not God’s– pulpit pretty much are saying to their flock who can't surmount their troubles: 'good luck with ALL that', and leave your money here!!!

To non-clergy church goers and others who hasten to interject that people are in their predicaments because of their poor choices –the "GO ALONG, TO GET ALONG FOLK" who are selfishly "at ease in Zion"!  Much of the issue with people who assert the "poor choices" mantra, are those who make a practice of "passing by on the other side,"(-Luke 10:31-32) while looking away from hurting people with disdain. (And even worse: Or, are you among the shocking, shameless people who formed a nonprofit, and then obtained a skilled grant writer so you can tap in to those overflowing federal and state dollars –after all since people make poor choices; you should enrich yourself and your family with those funds by means of your favorite politician and courtroom judges!?).

Moreover, those who –without knowing all the details– blame people for their circumstances must be proud of your wonderful selves for all your good choices –and possibly social connections or whatever you were blessed with that enabled your "respectability" –until your dirty laundry becomes exposed. Regarding poor choices –even if peoples’ choices caused their predicament, should someone’s grandmother or auntie be involved in an auto accident because someone was so overwhelmed with his or her sorrows he / she drank alcohol?  Also, should people who can’t find employment that includes DIGNITY so they won't feel so oppressed they won't resort to getting drunk or high or gamble or ultimately his / her disoriented thinking, result in their concluding the only CHOICE is home invasion? And would you please furnish your address for their next home for them to enter?! Alternately, would you offer your wisdom to your comrades about the value of dignity –even for “have nots”?

Regarding the person who's mentally distressed because life is too challenging, he / she should “get back with you when he gets himself together,” –right? And he should be avoided like an outcast -correct? As school shootings occur –society should be surprised; or blame "choices" after kids have lost their lives. Right?

I also wish to convey the following statements to whoever is being labeled, “first lady”, and to married or unmarried women, and fits any of the following characteristics:
•When you show up at your husband’s church or office, dressed in what you think looks good (and may / may not stand out above others), and as far as you’re concerned, people with problems could go see Jerry Springer, or enquire to “Madea,” you are a last lady!
•When you cannot state when and how you evangelized or helped some of the above people when the spotlight was not on –or what that even means; if you don’t bother complying with Matthew 28:19-20, (but you invite “walking dollars” to churches so there’ll be additional contributors), you are a last lady!  
•If you don’t isolate time daily to pray for your church members to have blessed lives, so that they can be God’s Kingdom builders and healthy support system to your husband, you're a last lady!
•When you cannot recall when you’ve walked the street or considered walking –since “he that winneth souls is wise” (not walked because it’s within your job description, and you’re on the clock!), as Jesus did, a first lady you are not!
•If you get dressed for church with thoughts in mind of being seen, instead of simply enjoy looking nice; if you don’t hug people, or hold babies because you’re concerned about getting your clothes messed up, you're not a first lady!
•If you use your children for spying on your husband; giving reports of what they think they heard or saw; if you carry tales to drive who or what threatens you, you're a last lady!
• If you remain in the front of the church, or edifice gawking at audiences to see who's who; if you don't greet and interact with people as if they matter as much as you do and determine how you can help, you are a last lady!
• If you think you can talk your husband in to doing what you want, someone else can talk him out of it. But God’s preacher will do what God wants, and for such that kind of preacher, God's mission is not optional. . . “

 from: “Let the Church of Jesus Christ Say “Amen” –Others Say: “Oh My”!”   
http://www.lawgrace.org/2014/08/28/let-the-church-of-jesus-christ-say-amen-others-say-oh-my/

Michael mcduffie
Michael mcduffie

U need bible School training. ..Jesus had no problem with people being rich..he had a problem with riches having people!!!...The rich man going through the eye of the needle ...is symbolic of sacrifice s...being made through Christ ...but if sacrifice s ..are made properly ...There are a new set of riches on the other side of the eye of the needle (symbol of entrance into another territory)...U do err....

Rich man couldn't turn some of his physical assets. ..into ..liquid ...and give some too the poor....HE WORSHIP..HIS RICHES....!!!!!....CHRIST HAD some rich supporters........

1) Solomon- rich

2)Abraham-rich

3) Laban - rich

4) Nicodemus - rich

5) David - rich

6) Job-rich...

......Role of the Rich is to freely distrute...but yet stay committed to Christ

TonyJackson2
TonyJackson2

He talks about the misrepresentation of Jesus and shows Jesus as the biggest misrepresentation of them all. That Jesus was WHITE.........Get The Beam Out Of Your Eye First Son!

Michael mcduffie
Michael mcduffie

Don't worry my talk show will be coming out and when I make billions for and through Christ jesus; u can player hate all u want !!! I will continue to invade; impede and influence the 7 mountains of the world and establish God's rule; reign and love on top of each one !!! And by the way ; I'm Black; saved and a Pastor !!!!!

Www.mightbroadcastddv.com

hiroader2
hiroader2

The "speaker " is WRONG and behind the times "Prosperity Gospel " is NOT. the fastest growing Christian Movement in North America..., Conservative Christian Political Gospel is... In most regions of the country whether it's the Midwest, Southwest, Southeast, or Northwest along with their conservative christian Gospel, their getting political conservative rhetoric to pray for... If you thought daytime conservative talk media was divisive .., It's nothing compared to the late nite conservative brainwashing and Sunday right-wing liberal bashing in the lord's name... This speaker must not have referenced this...

blackheywood97
blackheywood97

 Reza Aslan  is SPOT ON, that's one of the reasons I cannot allow myself to believe in the bullshit TD Jakes preach. He is not alone, it's a damn shame how those charlatan and film flam people take advantage of folks I always ask American Black people "who taught us about Christianty", the same evil asses who enslaved and brutalized us for centuries. Do you TRUST them?

voiceoftruthusa
voiceoftruthusa

To be clear, Jesus never condemned wealth. He condemned the love of wealth. Remember he stayed at the homes of wealthy people, and a wealthy man gave up his tomb for the body of Jesus to be laid in.

Michael mcduffie
Michael mcduffie

Jesus is good..".make Em jealous "....T.D.Jakes.....they mad; because your a successful black man in Christ Jesus.....I'm loving it .....

ClavellJackson
ClavellJackson

The obscenity called the Prosperity Gospel is the result of the unholy mixing of religion and capitalism. It is a spiritual Ponzi scheme with the preacher at the top of the pyramid and the parishioners at the bottom. Church ain't nothing but a business.

FireBreathingHeathen
FireBreathingHeathen

Let's be clear, There is no ACTUAL VERIFIED proof that "Jesus" "Yoshua" actually existed.  The only Historical accounts of his life were written hundreds of years after he "lived"  For all of my black christian friends:  if your slave master wasn't a christian would you be one?  Slavery provided us with nothing of value but for some reason this "religion" is pure and the folks who pervert it are somehow doing you a service....2+2 is never ever 5....

freethinker666
freethinker666

since my last reply to you disappeared, let me re-post it:

people like you are hilarious!! being a slave to religion is no more necessary to give life meaning and purpose than money is. people who don't believe in deities - and we've been around as long as there have been humans - have the same meaning and purpose to their lives as religious people (some of you, anyway): to live a good, productive and happy life, to help people, to raise intelligent, empathetic and compassionate children, and to hopefully leave the world a better place than we found it. ... eternalove, if you truly believe you have to be ruled by religion or your life is meaningless, then you are a sad, pathetic human being who deserves our compassion and pity. i feel sorry for you.

and "kill yourself"? really? LMAO!! what are you, 12?! because your response reeks of adolescent angst and impotent rage that somebody would DARE live a happy, meaningful life without being a slave to imaginary beings made up by illiterate and primitive goat herders, which you obviously feel obligated to do.

btw, does your mommy know you're on her computer? and shouldn't you be in school anyway?

freethinker666
freethinker666

livefyre, why is my response to eternal ove - or is it eterna love? - not showing up?

eternalove
eternalove

So, your life has no meaning or purpose. You're just here on this earth by chance.  Kill yourself!

eternalove
eternalove

@freethinker666- I take it you don't believe in God?

ZoeEllenBrain
ZoeEllenBrain

@Michael mcduffie "when I make billions for and through Christ jesus"... so you'll be donating those billions to him then? Not keeping them for yourself?
You'd be the first to do so if you did.
Still, it's a sweet scam if you can stomach it.

CarolParks
CarolParks

@Michael Mcduffie,

Much success! Don't let anyone stop you.

CarolParks
CarolParks

@hiroader2,

You must be speaking about Faux Fox Lies. The Five, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, & the rest of the bigoted scum. Anyone listening to that trash, is brain dead.

Michael mcduffie
Michael mcduffie

I shop at walmart....eat at mcdonalds....and buy gas ....and every single of these companies make billions of dollars; all owned by European s...and no one says a thing but time a man of God ; Black even; seems successful; we jump on the bandwagon of the white man ice is colder!!!!..BLACK SELF-HATRED...AND JEALOUSY SPEAKS LOUD ON THESE POSTS!!KEEP DOING YOUR THING TD JAKES.....AINT NOBODY...MAD BUT A DEVIL! !

BeamerBeamer
BeamerBeamer

@Michael mcduffie Man of Christ, more like a man of himself.  Just think how many black owned business he could invest in the community with his jet.  His clothes alone could invest in educating our children, prison to home programs, after school programs to uplift the community.  This man is using money from the poor to make him rich.  For those who idolize money call him successful, but he can't take it with him.

voiceoftruthusa
voiceoftruthusa

@FireBreathingHeathen  Nonsense. Christianity existed in Africa long before it popped up in Western Europe, so the Christian faith is very much for those of African descent.

ahemahem
ahemahem

@FireBreathingHeathen  The existence of Jesus the Nazarene is presumed throughout the academy, from Stanford to Harvard to Duke to Oxford. Un-verifiability is urban myth.

eternalove
eternalove

@freethinker666 We're not slaves to religion.  I don't consider myself to be religious at all.  I'm just smart enough to know that no one is here by chance and this entire universe is not the result of a big bang sparked out of darkness.  In essence, you can't get something from nothing.  And I'm not 12, I'm 15 and in law school. 

No rage at all. I advised you to kill yourself to prove my point....that there's life after death and you'll find out soon enough.  We all will.  However, I haven't completed my PURPOSE, so my time isn't up. 

Do you realize that every prophecy ever spoken in the Bible has either happened or is happening?  To what would you attribute that?  Do you know where your sense of being, meaning and purpose come from? Do you really believe that this imperfect, yet harmonic, life we live is just by chance?  I mean, just look how your body works, the universe aligns, the birds fly, the fish swim, etc, etc, etc.  How can you believe that there is no greater power beyond what we can fathom.  Or do you just believe what your tiny mind can concieve?  Trust me or not, there is more.

freethinker666
freethinker666

@eternalove no, i don't believe in gawd, jeebus, the debbil, zeus, thor, aphrodite, mercury or any of the other tens of thousand "gods" man has created over the eons ...

Michael mcduffie
Michael mcduffie

Zoe...money isn't evil ...it's an neutral enlarger ...who - ever u are in heart; mind and soul....This money (which we call evil; because others have it , and we want it ; and can't get it; and too proud full; to ask those; who have it ; to mentor us; how to get it)...will expose it !!!! I've seen people who have hearts of a giver ; and billions; flow through them...and I also seen ; the cheapest and modest; act so cheap !!!!! THE HEART IS EXPOSE BY HOW U HANDLE money!!!!! PEOPLE; WHO THROW OTHERS UNDER THE BUS; BASED ON preconceived notions; based on media; hear-say; and never spoke too that person 1 on 1 ...should shut the HEAVEN up !!!!

Www.mightbroadcastddv.com

hiroader2
hiroader2

@Carol Parks said... No, I'm speaking about the growing Christian political radio movement in the farming and ranching regions... These are Christian global & national religion concerns with conservative political ideologies... Some sindicated throughout the red Republican states, Some radio programming locally broadcasted... Yet it's radio ministry on conservative policies it's LARGE and it has Washington infiltration and representation as the Christian right-wing like Mike Huckabee & Rick Santurum... There's noway prosperity Gospel can compete with this expanding media... If the United States has a Taliban or Al Quaida it would be the Christian right-wing convincing government policies on conservatism... It's political cloaked with CHRISTIANITY broadcasted with radio church services and conservative sponsors.. It's the modern Christian Crusades .., They've *made* their God & Jesus conservative right outside the metropolitan areas....

KeithBussey
KeithBussey

DAWN OF THE DEAD at that KKK station

BlackheywoodHeywood
BlackheywoodHeywood

@Michael mcduffie He cannot be a man of something that does not exist. Who taught Black people about God, Jesus and Religion? Was it not the same savages who enslaved, brutalized, terrorized and psychologically damaged us. Yet you chose to believe them. smh

Michael mcduffie
Michael mcduffie

Everything u mentioned in your paragraph ...Mr Jakes...already does that.....I personally know this (not just through media/player-haters)...and he dosnt have to dress like a bum and look poor to be a blessing! !!Give and it shall be given....don't falsely accuse....dued to your partial views....or the black-balling from jealous or mean spirited media............?? U ever notice that people who publicly attack the rich; never get a reaction from the rich on this forum...to defend their success! ?!! ..because ignorance only has power ...If u give it significance.To ignore is wise....and Golden!!!!!

Www.mightbroadcastddv.com

blackheywood97
blackheywood97

@voiceoftruthusa @FireBreathingHeathen You do know African  slaves only had skin color in common,which was done intentionally when they were transported here from the Great Continent  . You also know since they didn't SPEAK ENGLISH how did they "worship christ".Just the suspicion of knowing how to read or write meant Death. So please tell me where did our Slave ancestors learn about Christianity from if not from this who enslaved them.

JayContreras
JayContreras

@voiceoftruthusa @FireBreathingHeathen  No disrespect intended. Yes, you are correct the basic tenets of what is now known as Christianity began in Africa---but as African MYTHOLOGY & sun worship; not based on actual living people. Aset/Asar/Heru...Osiris/Isis/Horus..God/The Holy Ghost/Jesus...all are based on Kemetic Sun worship & mythology. The Sun of God became the Son of God. The 12 astrological signs became the 12 disciples, etc.The bible is allegorical & astro-theological in nature..Made literal while also deifying the white man by the Council of Nicea 325AD. And the brotha above is so correct..the crucified & resurrected christ figure existed in many other cultures prior to the Jesus reincarnation.This topic has been written about extensively over the centuries so it's not news for those willing to consider it.

FireBreathingHeathen
FireBreathingHeathen

@ahemahem @FireBreathingHeathen  Please don't try to pawn presumptions off as facts.  The clearly is no historical evidence (the bible doesn't count) as to the veracity of the life of "jesus".  Tacitus and Josephus (the two most widely regarded "jesus" historians weren't even born anywhere near the time he was to supposed to have lived.  Look1 Up in the sky....it's a UFO (unverified Faith Object).  See here's the thing with FACTS, They stand up to scrutiny and can be verified through first, second, third parties and so on.  We know Imhotep lived, because there is a historical record even a tomb.  why is the birth, death and resurrection of "the christ" such a common story among ancient folks? This same story has been passed down a gang of times.  Horus, krishna and others....

freethinker666
freethinker666

@eternalove @freethinker666 i don't have time to fully respond to your reply right now, as i am still at work and should not even be on here. ... but i will take the time to say this: if you truly are 15 and in law school, you really should be smarter than this. most people of exceptional intellect are at the very least agnostic, because they realize that religion in general, and the bible in particular, do not stand up to true intellectual scrutiny.

i am surprised to realize i am actually disappointed in you ...

eternalove
eternalove

@freethinker666 @eternalove  - So, your life has no meaning or purpose or inspiration?  You're just here walking, talking, and breathing by chance?  You should probably kill yourself.  What is life about if there is no purpose?

ZoeEllenBrain
ZoeEllenBrain

@Michael mcduffie "I've seen people who have hearts of a giver "

So have I. None are preachers.

There may be some - just as there may be camels small enough to pass through the eye of a needle.

Which is a gate in Jerusalem just wide enough to pass an unladen donkey. I've been through it.

Not completely impossible, in theory. As likely as an honest politician, or a pastor who's read the Bible in its entirety, apocrypha and all, in the original koin.


Michael mcduffie
Michael mcduffie

People jealous; envious; and player-hating...because they want the same attention. ..and power !!! U ever notice how the Rich and powerful never respond to these acussations? ...because there is a law called ...empowering insignificane by my significance...!!!! TO IGNORE IT ...PROVES MY WORTH/VALUE!!!!

WWW.MIGHTBROADCASTDDV.COM

CarolParks
CarolParks

@hiroader2,

Ok, I get what your saying. But, I think the majority of people under the age of 30, are not religious, or as religious as their parents. But, this Christian Right Wing stuff, is part of the Fox Cable Networks political agenda. And the majority of Fox Cable viewers are over the age of sixty, so that won't last forever. These Right Wing Extremist's, have really messed up our country. And the amazing thing to me is how many people listen to that garbage. I think eventually they will die out, as they are against both the middle class, & the poor.

CarolParks
CarolParks

@KeithBussey,

Lol! Couldn't agree more!

voiceoftruthusa
voiceoftruthusa

@FireBreathingHeathen @ahemahem  If you don't want to believe, then so be it. Don't visit your pseudo-knowledge on the rest of us because it is clear you need to read other sources of history besides the anti-Christian historians you rely on.

ahemahem
ahemahem

@FireBreathingHeathen @ahemahem I am not pawning. I am simply stating the reality that the world's most advanced religious studies and philosophy departments are not reinventing that wheel. They presume the discussion begins farther down the road because it is so clearly substantiated. Because of 2 centuries of archeology, we are more certain now than scholars before us.


Bombast, emotion, punctuation, capitalization and creative language don't get us anywhere in academia, and in fact, make one less credible.

ahemahem
ahemahem

@freethinker666 @ahemahem @FireBreathingHeathen That's where the conversation begins as there is no debate on that point, and thus you have the Jesus Seminar and other quests for the historical Jesus seeking to determine the shape of his self-understanding and his place in culture.

ahemahem
ahemahem

@freethinker666 @eternalove freethinker666 it appears that you have been in something of an academic ghetto if you don't know that a substantive number of brilliant people, including Francis Collins, who headed the human genome project, are among those with faith.


My siblings and I hold advanced degrees, some at the head of our classes, and we embrace faith. 


It could be that the kind of faith that you've been exposed to seems shallow, and in that case I can understand your conclusion inasmuch as the arguments raised by most of my religious fellows have no appeal to me, either. 


I think they would be better served by abandoning their fundamentalisms and just sharing how they are personally enhanced.

KeithBussey
KeithBussey

There's always a purpose in life if you don't believe something. He's here talking about this so there is a purpose so go kill yourself

ahemahem
ahemahem

@ZoeEllenBrain @Michael mcduffie This is more a reflection of your exposure than reality. The vast majority of pastors are bivocational. They work in the community with their flocks during the week, do weddings and funerals, and speak on Sundays, while holding down another job to pay the bills. 


Apparently you didn't know that.

BeamerBeamer
BeamerBeamer

@Michael mcduffie Surely you must know it will be easier for camel to get through the eye of a camel than for a rich man to get into heaven.  Study up on your bible.  Read about the money changers.  Many are called but few are chosen.

Michael mcduffie
Michael mcduffie

Y do men of God have to be broke ? Can they be successful businessmen ? Or businesswoman? WE SHOULD BE CELEBRATING....THEIR WISDOM!!!!! GOD DOSNT HAVE PROBLEMS...WITH MONEY....ASK THE JEWS?..THEY OWN...THE BANKS....; LAW FIRMS?...Their God's Chosen people ? Rich and powerful. ...now if a Black preacher rise to wealth. ..we call it evil????....Let's not talk about Oprah. ....

Stop playing hating....

ahemahem
ahemahem

@ZoeEllenBrain @ahemahem @Michael mcduffie Did someone hurt you? You seem to have an axe to grind. 


There are at least 10,000 pastors in the USA to every one who has a radio station.


But honestly, I hope you find whatever method works for you toward healing.