T. D. Jakes Explains Racial Issues in a Way I've Never Heard Them

Mark Virkler's picture

For many of us, it is time to listen to a Spirit-led leader in the black community express his thoughts about the racial tension that has erupted around us. We need to hear what the concerns are so we can be active participants in promoting a solution. It is impossible for us to be part of the solution if we have not first listened.

He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him. (Prov. 18:13 NASB)

Well known minister, Bishop T.D. Jakes, is the founder and senior pastor of the 30,000-member Potter's House Church in Dallas, Texas.

In this one-on-one interview with Carl Lentz, pastor of Hillsong NYC church, T.D. Jakes is being asked his thoughts concerning the racial tension present in America today. His response is loving, kind, provocative, authoritative and spiritually enlightened. There is no blame-casting, no anger and no trite answers. He opens our eyes to the black man’s perspective and experience. He offers suggestions for how we can be effectively involved in bringing healing to the issues before us.

The interview, which is available here, is about 75 minutes long, so find a time you can settle down and prayerfully listen. I suggest you have paper at your side to jot down ideas which speak powerfully to you, so you can go back and journal about them and hear what God would say to you.

A few points which spoke to me

Jesus tells a story of the man who was robbed and beaten and left by the roadside to die. Three people come by: a Levite, a priest and the good Samaritan. The leaders in the church (Levite and priest) ignored the man in need and did not reach out a helping hand. The Samaritan (from a culturally different group) stopped and helped (Lk. 10:25-37). So as a Christian or a leader in the church, what am I to do when I see someone suffering? Be one of those who pass by and say, "This is none of my concern," or be the one who stops and says, "I am here to help the one who is hurting"?

Another point I considered was the issue of “white privilege.” T. D. Jakes says that when he walks into his church, he has “pastoral privilege.” I fully understand that as I have experienced it as a pastor and as a seminar speaker. His discussion helped me see the privilege I have had during my lifetime, which has provided me with an easier path than many blacks have had. Again, just an opening of my eyes to the situation.

Bishop Jakes discusses that what is a “crime” (drug use) in certain zip codes is a “sickness” (drug addiction) in others. He also admits that most police are upright and good citizens, but still when his son was in an automobile accident, he feared that when the police arrived his son would be hurt by them. That has never been a fear I have had when I have been stopped by the police.

So once you have listened to this interview, I suggest you journal and say, “Lord, what would You speak to me concerning the issues discussed?” I believe the ONLY answer that will work is that which is birthed in revelation from the Holy Spirit. Our government can throw billions of dollars into public assistance, and still not eradicate poverty. It is living and walking by the Spirit that heals one’s life, marriage, family and finances.

I believe the best answer to the racial tension we are experiencing is a spiritual revival where people are brought into intimacy with Jesus and He speaks into their lives, guiding them day by day.

Race in America Series

  1. Understanding and Responding to Racial Tension
  2. Should I Just Hunker Down, Pray, and Try to Avoid All the Turmoil Engulfing the USA?
  3. "All Sheep Matter!"
  4. T. D. Jakes Explains Racial Issues in a Way I've Never Heard Them
  5. A Lieutenant Discusses Racial Discrimination Within the NYPD
  6. Perception, Presumption & the Pain of Not Belonging
  7. What Can I Do To Help Heal Racial Tension?
  8. It's Time for Blacks and Whites to Talk About Race Issues

Related Resources: 

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Have you ever wished you could just sit down and have a long talk with the Lord? Wouldn't it be wonderful to move beyond having a theology that states that God loves you to actually hearing Him whisper words of love into your heart? When you're worried or confused, wouldn't you love to see the situation from His perspective and hear how He wants you to respond? When things don't seem to be going your way and your prayers aren't answered the way you had hoped, wouldn't it be great to hear Him tell you where He is in the midst of it, and what He is working out in your life? Are you ever just a little bit jealous of others who say with such confidence, "The Lord said...."?

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