Wednesday, January 18, 2006

T.D. Jakes is Number One of The Top Fifty Most Influential Christians of 2005

Yeah right... And the Pope is a Calvinist

This list can be seen in its entirety HERE. Very few surprises on this list... The men of God that were clearly missing were Dr. John MacArthur, Dr. R.C. Sproul, Tim Keller, Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan, Philip Ryken, Tom Ascol, Don Whitney and D.A. Carson. The only exception was the inclusion of Dr. John Piper. How he made it I will never know! According to my review of the list, 14 of the fifty listed by CR you couldn't even consider as truly regenerated.

However, in spite of all that, the most shocking entry by far was (notwithstanding the inclusion of Romanists, Emergent liberals, politicians, psychologists, women preachers and lawyers) CR's number one pick... T.D. Jakes. What makes this so incredulous is that Mr. Jakes, by his own statement of faith and confession, denies the existence of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit - the Trinity. He worships a different god than the one triune God of the Bible. He is a heretic and must renounce this severe departure from orthodoxy before being embraced as a genuine brother in the Lord. BUT, what is doubly shocking to this, is what the Church Report reported under Mr. Jakes entry when saying, "He [T.D. Jakes] also spoke enthusiastically about his partnership with Jack Graham, the pastor of Prestonwood Baptist in Dallas, who he partnered with to host an international day of prayer. He explained that 'is a prayer movement that started in Africa and is sweeping the country and just to be a host with other pastors around the country was a great privilege!"'

Did you catch that? Jakes is partnering with Jack Graham in an international day of prayer... Jack Graham was widely known this past year in the SBC for his anti-calvinistic beliefs and support of a purely Finneyesque, Arminian, easy-believism, invitational gospel. I can't believe that there has not been outrage and concern from the SBC over this kind of unholy alliance and partnership for a international day of prayer? The Calvinist Gadfly rightly bestowed its honors on Jack Graham this past year for his sandy Arminian beliefs and vitriol against reformed baptist preachers that faithfully teach "the doctrines of grace." Mr. Jakes should be added to that list of "worthy" recipients for his anti-Trinitarian heresy. When gross error is accepted and embraced as truth by these kind of alliances, then it is time for church discipline and the call to repentance to be made publicly to both of these men--and for different reasons. But that will never happen folks; for neither is the SBC or charismatics in general brave and biblical enough to lovingly and boldly exercise such biblical standards of faith and practice.

This list perfectly paints the face of modern evangelicalism y'all: a TBN brand of ecumenism that is a carefully cultivated blend of Romanism, charismaticism, politics, psychology, pragmatics and Sabellianism. These people don't speak for me... do they for you? Let me know your thoughts...

Col. 1:9-14


Carla Rolfe said...

Not only do they certainly not speak for me, the only way that any of the people on that list were "influential" for me, was in regards to writing against what they stand for. That is, in the case of the pro-EC people on that list.

Not only that, there is a quote here that does in fact speak for me:

"This list perfectly paints the face of modern evangelicalism y'all: a TBN brand of ecumenism that is a carefully cultivated blend of Romanism, charismaticism, politics, psychology, pragmatics and Sabellianism."

Now that, speaks for me.


Hessel-Man said...

Dr. Phil is an Evangelical? They must have been running out of ideas by #50. Maybe they didn't realize that there are more than 50? :)

Glad that John Piper was there, though what a strange mix to be put in with. I think, though, that Chuck Swindal and Charles Stanley are also deserving of better company than Parsly, Crouch, Jakes, and Hinn. And not that I'm overly familiar with him, but I thought D. James Kennedy was pretty solid too.

No, I would say this list doesn't speak for me very well at all. I rather prefer the candidates you mentioned.

$teve H.

Des said...

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ - Matthew 7:21-23, English Standard Version

Tom Pilarski said...

I do feel sorry for Piper that he is included with this group. It' almost like he should call them and say "thanks, but no thanks!" As much as I want to think that the people reading lists like this are searching for a true Bible Expositior, I have to tell myself that these are the people that like their ears to be tickled and are moved by every wind of doctrine. (Eph.4:14)

Jeremy Weaver said...

I'm surprised they didn't list Ariel Sharon and Osama Bin Laden! They're as Christian as most of those guys!
I saw Piper and Kennedy. I could live without the rest of the list.

littlegal_66 said...

Three thoughts this evening: First off, I thought it ironic that when you click on "Meet the Staff," at the top of the CR page, you see that at least 8 of the top 50, including Jay Sekulow, George Barna, Paul Crouch, Sr., Brian McLaren, and yes, even Dr. Phil, are listed as writing regular columns for the magazine, technically categorizing them as "members of the staff." (Although, according to the preface to the article, the choices weren't made by staff members, but by nominations from Christians "across America and around the world," who, I presume, have been "influenced" by people on the list).
Which brings up my second thought--Two of Webster's definitions for "influence" are:
1. "To have an effect on the condition or development of,"
2. "Corrupt interference with authority for personal gain"

Well, if these two definitions are used as criteria, I guess T.D. and some of those of the TBN ilk would qualify as "influential." :-)
(After all, CR never said the individuals' influence had to be positive to make the top 50. ; )

littlegal_66 said...

Seriously, my third thought is this:
The sad reality is that some of those on the list ARE having a negative, albeit dramatic, influence on the church, (and are also negatively influencing the manner in which Christians are being perceived by non-believers) and it will take years to undo the damage they've done (that is, if it CAN be undone). :-(

Nope, the list doesn't speak for this gal.

**So now Dr. Phil is influencing some believers to have "a changing day in their lives." I wonder how "that's workin' for 'em?"

pilgrim said...

well let's see, if we define "Christian" in the broadest sense, then these 50 are among the most influential--that doesn't make it a good thing.

It's a statement about the state of the "Church" that this list exists.

pilgrim said...
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2Tal said...
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donsands said...

It seems this magazine is not one that is authorized to make such alist, if you ask me.
I would love to see a list from Christianity Today, or better yet, Modern Reformation.

It is sad that the Church is represented by false teachers, such as T. D. Jakes, Benny Hinn, Paul Crouch, Joyce Myers, and so many others.

It truly grieves my heart.
Joni Erickson is a wonderful aroma unto the Lord as she lives out her faith. I love this sister in the Lord. Piper is an incredible teacher of the Scriptures.
Some of the others are brothers in the Lord, and though we would be in opposite camps, Calvin vs. Arminius, I would not disassociate my self from them, but would intreat them as my brothers.

It does make my heart heavy to see T. D. Jakes as the #1 Christian, whenthis same man is a heretic.
"For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you weeping, that they are the enemies of the Cross of Christ". Phil 3:18

pkinsc said...

Steve, I too saw the list and was surprised by many names. T.D. Jakes is one that I already have had grave concerns about. However your comments on his beliefs concerning the Trinity were new to me. Can you point me to a written source where he speaks or writes about this, not one where others speak or write about him? Thanks for the help!

MarieP said...

donsands said: I would love to see a list from Christianity Today, or better yet, Modern Reformation.

I just sent Modern Reformation an email. I think that is a wonderful idea! Kind of like the "Hall of Contemporary Reformarers" over at Monergism.

- R said...

Steve -

I think this list is a pretty accurate portrayal of who is influencing people today. No one tried to paint it as "the top 50 people with clearest evangelical orthodox beliefs". I think it speaks more about the values and mindsets of those who voted than it does about those who made the list.

MarieP said...


This page should help you:


I wonder how the people who voted for these men and women would respond if they were asked the question " How have these men and women influenced our society today?"

I think the majority would respond by saying the following about a few who made the list:

1.He does great things for the community he lives in. T.D.Jakes

2.Tells great stories and always keep you feeling good despite the rainy day going on in your life. Joel Osteen and Robert Schuller

3.He puts on a great revival and healing service even when Jesus doesn't show up on stage. Benny Hinn

4.He has provided a fantastic gym to workout in here at the church. Bishop Eddie Long

5.He has taught me the most important thing about being a pastor " Show me the money"
Creflo A . Dollar

For these men and some others on this list I do not think the reponse would be " I hear the Gospel and the whole counsel of God every time he teaches .

Forgive me for being so sarcastic. I thank the Lord for many of the men and women on this list. I also noticed that they left my pastor off the list--Michael Youseff.

Mark J

Jonathan Cooper said...

With regards to the accusations made to TD Jakes (which I was unaware of.) I do not know too much about TD Jakes but having read your article I thought I had better check he was not the anti-Christ! A quick search on google brought up the following article from him.

The following quote caught my attention;

"I believe in one God who is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I believe these three have distinct and separate functions—so separate that each has individual attributes, yet are one. I do not believe in three Gods."

The article seems fairly sound and though you may hold some slight differences in opinion to Mr Jakes does that really warrent the forceful words you used against him? Am I missing some important information here?

SJ Camp said...


What you read in CT (quoting Jakes) is not the biblical orthodox statement on the Trinity.

Notice, what Jakes actually believes: "I believe in one God who is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I believe these three have distinct and separate functions..."

This is called modalism It is the belief that God has revealed Himself and functions accordingly in different ways in different times by putting on three different faces as Father, as Son, as Holy Spirit. That is heresy!

What Mr. Jakes is not saying is just as important. He is not saying that there is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit - co-existing, co-eternal, co-equal - three persons of the Godhead, but One. He denies their existence and only affirms "them" in name or function only. That again is heresy and is a different god than the God of the Bible.

Unfortunately , Jakes is deserving of all that is said here. Listen, he is a very effective communicator, a powerful speaker and can really rev up and move an audience. BUT, that doesn't make him orthodox or sound in theology.

Examine all things by the standard of God's Word.
Acts 17:9-11

donsands said...

Another place you could go to check out T. D. is on James White's site. I think he has some actual audio from T. D. that backs up our brother Steve.
May the Holy Spirit of Truth convict and reveal to Mr. Jakes the error of his ways. Amen.

Unknown said...


Sorry to break the streak in your comment section from your “amen corner”, but I find it very interesting that you have this innate ability to spot heretics from 1000 feet. That Steve Camp can determine who is “truly regenerate”. Is this some new spiritual gift or something. For you to link to a list of Christians on your blog and then leave commentary that only John Piper is worthy, is really outrageous.

Let review the list, Dr. Billy Graham… the modern day Finney I suppose, Joni Eareckson Tada..Heretic,
Chuck Swindoll … has a Harley, how could he possibly be saved. Dr. Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, Rob Bell, Brian McLaren … all pomo’s of the emergent mega church… is there a group more apostate than this? Dr. Stanley and his son Andy ... Unworthy; Max Lucado plants churches in Brazil, doesn’t he know there is no ELECT in Brazil!!! And of course Jay Alan Sekulow.... Surely a lawyer who tries abortion and religious rights cases in the Supreme Court is not truly redeemed. Dr. James Kennedy, man has he left the TRUTH or what, wouldn’t know the Gospel if he tripped over it. Chuck Colson…. Surely can’t possibly be Born Again…. Not as long as he attempts to dialog with anyone or anything Roman Catholic…. He needs to repent of this wickedness. And James Dobson … wow..if there ever was a guy that has done nothing for the Lord it’s him.

Steve, do you ever turn your super duper spiritual microscope on yourself? Is Steve and a handful of others the only ELECT in this country and the only ones who contend for the faith, and have TRUTH on their side. Have you put that microscope on the life of the guy all you hold so dear, John Calvin, and if so why do you all hold up his writings as the Gospel, when in fact if you look at his life, he murdered people who disagreed with him.

Your starting to sound like a broken record.


pilgrim said...

Contest is everything--see the TD Jakes stuff above, and the overstatements by candleman.

But I'll let Steve defend himself.

As for Calvin--that article is a wonderful example of context strecthing & twisting, and ignoring historical context as well.

cyd said...


I cannot speak for Steve, but I don't believe he uses records anymore, only MP3's, which can't be broken.

There are many fine people on this list which he would affirm, Joni Eareckson Tada, Jay Sekulow, Chuck Swindoll, James Kennedy, etc.

Anyone can spot T.D.Jakes anti- trinitarianism 1000 miles away.
My only question is, why can't you?

Would you affirm someone as a true brother in Christ who denies the very God of the Bible, His character and nature, as TD Jakes does with his modalism, even though he is clearly violating Gal.1:6 -8? (Of whom Paul says, he who preaches another gospel, let him be anathama). When you deny the trinity, you deny the doctrines of justification, propitiation, substitution, and santification.

Sounds like you're burning the wick a little too close to the wax. Remember the old 'Campfire' song, (no pun intended), "It Only Takes A Spark To Get An Arminian Glowing."


Unknown said...


Aaaahhhh, that was cute, “It only takes a spark to get an Arminian glowing”, if you read the link to my post above you’ll see your buddy John Calvin has a history of providing that spark. And it is true, that you can’t speak for Steve, because I too hope he would affirm the likes of Joni Eareckson Tada, Jay Sekulow, Chuck Swindoll, James Kennedy ect. But the simple fact of the matter is he didn’t. He said, “This list perfectly paints the face of modern evangelicalism y'al....These people don't speak for me... do they for you?” He mentioned a few names he thought should have been on, wondered how Dr. Piper ever made it, as if he was the only one worthy, and went on to question the salvation of at least 14 people on the list.

If you read my list of names, I never mentioned TD Jakes as someone I would attempt to defend. I saw him once for about 20 min. on TV and don’t consider his style of preaching of pouring water into a glass until it over flows all while screaming, as biblical preaching. My post is not about TD Jakes, it concerns those I listed and Steve’s statement that none of them can speak for him, therefore I don’t think you will be getting the affirmation from him you are expecting.


Walter said...

I wonder what God's list of the 50 most influential Christians would look like?

1. That little lady in her 70's in Slippery Rock, Iowa who's on her knees day in and day out, year after year, pleading for revival.

2. That young missionary in Bolivia who hasn't had a furlough in six years and whose suppoters rarely remember him in prayer...and sometimes forget to send that monthly support check.

3. That pastor who works with the homeless in New York City. He used to be homeless too, so he knows...

4. That dear wife who has once again forgiven her wandering husband. She loves him very much and prays for him constantly. And for their kids, whom dad seems to forget exist.

5. That single mom who has two jobs and four kids and fed her kids beans again for dinner tonight.

6. That college student who passed up a scholarship to Yale in order to study with Wycliffe Bible Translators.

7. That dear Christian dad who has taken in his son in the last stages of AIDS. Daily, he washes his son's sore body with soap and with tears.

8. That dear southern Black woman who refuses to stop praying for that man who has called her a bad name.

9. That struggling writer who prays over his keyboard before he types his words, searching for just the right message to touch as many as he can.

10. That pastor who is facing dismissal because he won't stop reaching out to the downtrodden and inviting them to his church.

And on and on and on...

Denise said...

Did anyone realize that almost half of those in the top 50 are also on the CR staff and writes for CR? Isn't this smelling like a conflict of interest here?

Darren said...

Steve, I would like to know where you got the information on T.D.Jakes' beliefs. I have read a few of his books as well as watched him from time to time and it appears that he does believe in the Father, Son & Holy Spirit. Fill me in.
Also, I agreed with about half of the list. My favs are Lucado, Stanley, Dobson, Hagee and Joyce Meyers

Darren said...

I would like to know where you got the information on T.D.Jakes' beliefs. I have read a few of his books as well as watched him from time to time and it appears that he does believe in the Father, Son & Holy Spirit, so fill me in.

I agreed with about half of the list. Some of the ones I agreed with were Max Lucado, John Hagee, Charles Stanley, Chuck Swindol, Joyce Meyers, George Bush, and Billy Graham.

Don't forget, just because they aren't Calvinists, doesn't mean they aren't Christians and haven't helped spread the Gospel.

I think what concerns me the most is the degree of judgmentalism and criticism on this blog that certainly does not build up and edify. It sounds more like a forum to tear down Christian leaders. Remember when the disciples came to Jesus when they heard that some others were casting out demons? They asked Him if they should go tell them to stop? Jesus told them no, whoever is not against me, is for me. In other words, just because these guys on this list may not have the same doctrinal beliefs as you do, doesn't mean they're hurting the Kingdom of God.

Darren said...

Steve, I would like to know where you got the information on T.D.Jakes' beliefs. I have read a few of his books as well as watched him from time to time and it appears that he does believe in the Father, Son & Holy Spirit. Fill me in.

~Mark said...

I have heard T.D. Jakes say in his own words that he doesn't believe int eh Trinity because it isn't in the Bible, and that Jesus was actually a rich man. He said that the "foxes have no holes" comment was only in reference to that particular night.

Here is a good source of direct quotes and links.

Darren said...

I have read some of Jakes' books and have heard him preach several times and I have not found any evidence that reflects that he does not believe in the Trinity. Actually I have found that he does believe in it, so what is the source of the accusation?

Overall, I agree with about half of the list. Some of the ones I liked that were picked were John Hagee, Charles Stanley, George Bush, Max Lucado, Billy Graham, Joyce Meyers and Chuck Swindoll.

I think what disturbs me the most is that this particular blog and the responses that followed is just a forum to slander the Christian community. Just because they may not be Calvinists certainly doesn't mean they aren't being used to help influence society and spread the gospel.

Remember when the disciples came to Jesus when the found that some others were also casting out demons that weren't part of their "group"? They asked Jesus if they should go and tell them to stop. Jesus said, no, whoever is not against us, helps the Kingdom. So let's not tear these Christian leaders down, but praise God that we have some men & women that are influencing this world for the Kingdom.

~Mark said...

Joyce Meyer and John Hagee are proponents of "Word of Faith" style teaching.

Please notice that I have not said one word about either person personally. I have merely provided information, as I did with T.D. Jakes.

SJ Camp said...


Go to Jakes's website and church site and read his statement of faith. Contact his associates, as I have, and discuss with them Oneness theology and about Jakes's own ordination in the Oneness faith which he still affirms and has never repudiated.

He doesn't deny he is a modalist--he just doesn't promote it... Why? It will cost him dearly--especially financially--something he is not about to jeopardize for anything.

He is a heretic...

Pray he come to the God of the Bible and not the god of his own vain imaginations. Until he repents, he must be treated as one who doesn't know Christ.


4given said...

I actually rewrote the 1st five "most influential" picks and renamed my rewrite "most heretical"... You had some excellent observations.

4given said...

Read "Top 50 most influential... I mean heretical Christians" at:

SJ Camp said...

Point of clarification:

When I said that "they" don't speak for me, I was referring to the folks at CR that produced this list... not every singly one of the people mentioned on this list. There are several fine ministries listed here: Joni, Piper, Swindoll, Sekulow, Kennedy, and Moore to name a few.

Piper, though, was the only true Bible expositor included here--that is what I meant by "an exception" with John. And Piper and Kennedy are the only Reformed--doctrines of grace pastors included here as well.

Hope this helps to clarify a bit more for you all.


cyd said...
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cyd said...

Thank you Steve!

4given said...

I agree. There a some on the list I have a tremendous amount of respect for... and if I had to rewrite all 50 as "TOP 50 Most Heretical..." those that I respect would be taken off the list and I should have clarified that. I merely rewrote the top 5. For Example, In re-writing Jakes, I pointed out that he does not beleive in the trinity, promotes easy believism, rhyming theology, prosperity gospel, etc. With the exception of Billy Grahm who is a generalist and never offends anyone, like Jesus did, and is absolutely lovable and loved by all, including myself. But for the most part, those on this list should not be there if equated with true Biblical influence. Are they influential. Sadly, yes. Some I am greatful they are influential, others, I cringe at the thought. But thankfully the will of God can never be thwarted by such prevailing heresy. He said the wolves would come.

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