TD Jakes and Christine Caine — Interview
Christine Caine: Welcome all over the world. We here live in Dallas. We are so excited. We have a fantastic program ready for you. You just wait until you see who our special guest is today! And I know that God is going to meet you right where you are. You have not tuned in by accident tonight. And you are hearing the time, the plan, the purpose of God. God has a word for you. Your life will be transformed. Why don't we look at our wonderful special guest today. We were watching that, I just saw, you started as a country preacher and then you had a ministry to women. That is a logical neck step?
TD Jakes: To me, I'm still a country preacher, you know. My roots run deep into the hills of west Virginia. In a rural area, making of the beginnings. My mother was a teacher, educator. My farther was a entrepreneur, janitor, that is a fancy flame for a janitor. He turned it into a business an ended up with 52 employees. I'm some mixture of my patients. Both of them are in me. My mother and father. My entrepreneur roots are in me, taking control of your own destiny and future and to be self-sufficient and to be creative and so, the preaching thing, I love a preacher. I am a preacher. My father was. And his father was. I have come from generations, but from self-reliant, boot strap people who were relentless, tenacious and God called me and you know, I went into ministry.
The women's thing is interesting. Because the women's, the ministry to women was born out of listening. I think that if you want to be a great speaker, whether it is physiologically or spiritually, you have to be a great listener. You cannot talk if you don't hear. And, in the process of pastoring, I started counseling women who had gone through all types of trauma. Nobody was talking about it. Men dominated the platforms. Women's issue, women dominated the pews but no power in the church. And, yet, they were suffering and we were, we were preaching the way that we do. And then, they were telling me things that they had been through that were not addressed on this date.
And, so, birthed out of listening and hearing them and hearing from God. And hearing from God. And recognizing that many of their secrets were shared sorrows amongst many women. It wasn't so much that I thought that my message would heal them, but I thought that even if I flopped, them being in the room with other women who had shared the scars and trials an traumas, just to find out that you are not alone. Just to find out that you are not the only one who survived the atrocities of life. That alone would be a ministry.
And, so, we started on that journey with about 42 women in a Sunday school class. In a little storefront church in, by then, south Charleston, west Virginia. And, I thought I was going to have one class. I didn't finish, being long winded, like this. I went to two classes. And, the second week, I pouted and got places being. The third week, I had women standing outside to hear. By the fourth week, it was all over town. I thought, wow, I'm on to something. I called my friend Archie Dennis. I said, Archie, I'm teaching this class. People are going crazy about it. He said, what do you call it? I didn't have a name for it. It was Sunday school. So many women signed up, I moved out of the church into the hotel. About 86.000 women and the fire marshal.
Christine Caine: And surely, God has used Women Thou Art Loosed to be among women to bring healing and homeless. I had the privilege to be there a few times. That is part of the Mega Fest you have coming up as well.
TD Jakes: Mega Fest is a conglomerate part, of ministry to children. I always wanted to minister to teens and children but I couldn't figure a way to do it on the scale we do it. Without a thousands and thousands of chaperones. But, going on simultaneously with man power. Then we have things for young adults. Things for millennials. Things for children. Things for teenagers. What I am trying to do is get our family back. I know, I'm outdated and old school, but we can grow. We could afford to fly, take road trips. You got in the car with your parents and got in the back seat and started singing and doing talent shows. By the time you got to the end of the alu aluminum foil and frd chicken out of the car, you got to where you wanted to go.
We were family. My sister is here right here in this room. We are still together. My mother is deceased. My brother is still here. We are still family. If you get that family thing tight, you might not control all of the things that life will give you, but if you have a group of people, that got your back, no matter what, you can just about go through anything and land on your feet.
Christine Caine: And, Mega Fest is rare in that it brings everyone together?
TD Jakes: It is rare that it brings everybody together. It is also rare because I deal with more than church. I think that this is a cultural thing here. I think that it is a cultural thing. Clearly, amongst African-Americans, we see church differently. And you have to see that all of our schools started in church. Okay? All of our leaders came out of church. Civil rights leaders from Frederick Douglass to Martin Luther King, were all ministers. When we go to church, we don't just expect our minister to know something about faith and Jesus, we want him to know something about politics. Want him to know something about music. Write a letter to the judge. We want him to do all kinds of things. We want counseling, free labor, we want it all.
So culturally expectation of going to church is different. Whereas other parts, you want counseling, you go to counseling. You go to church, you go to church. That's not how it is. One stop shopping. They want everything. And so, Mega Fest is a reflection of that. We have empowerment sessions. We have entrepreneurial questions for people trying to upgrade their career. You know what? A lot of the problems in the community and every community, is not just centered around sin, but economics. Can you feed your family? Clothe your kids? Can you send your kids to school?
We can't just close your Bible and end up getting them saved and say we are through with it. If you don't have a job, guess what? You are going to relapse back into where you came from again. If you don't see a way forward, you are going to see an easy slide backwards. We have empowerment sessions for them. We have training sessions. We have women events. We have fashion shows. We have activities. We have family film festival, because I'm in the film society, in the production society. We are bringing faith and film. What we did as a church is, we let the enemy take over the screens.
We were, that is the devil in hollywood is going to hell and we preach all of that. We withdrew ourselves. We are the salt of the earth. We ought to be sprinkled everywhere. You know what I'm saying. When the Bible talks about how without the vision the people perished, our vision now is on screen. Anything that is not on screen, people don't watch it. Any time we withdraw from the height of people, where they cannot see Christ in us, they cannot see our message. They cannot see who we are. Then we have turned this huge vehicle over to the enemy. And then, people will, people become what they see.
Yes. Dress like what they see. Become what they see. We need to go back into Hollywood. We need to go back on television. We need to thank God for Christian television. But mostly, Christians watch Christian television. We need to go right out there with the fish and get right involved in the process. And, show them the love of Christ.
Christine Caine: And is that a lot of the thinking behind the talk show? You are right there in the middle of it all.
TD Jakes: Absolutely. It is scary. Scary, never been done before. It is tough. Because, see, I am, we were talking in the back, I'm a visionary. Most of the things that I do now, is because what I want to see happen 20-30 years from now. I'm trying to break into arenas where we have never been, stand shoulder to shoulder on mainstream television with hundreds of millions of people watching, so that our voice can be heard. In that arena. You have to walk a tightrope. You have to be contemporary enough to get in there. Okay. But, then, hold to your convictions enough that you don't get swallowed up in the current.
It is such, such a dance. It is especially when you are the first one. And the church is so broad. It is ideas that are often so narrow, that you can, you can just about say anything and make church people angry because any time you go somewhere they have never been, they have issues with it. Okay. But you cannot allow people's issues to detain your destiny. You cannot do that. You have to know who God created you to be. And, then follow that. Follow that into new thought, new realm, new create at this time, new resource, go where nobody has been before. Most of the people that we admire today, we hated them in their lifetime.
I do, I tell, Martin Luther King came back out of the ring today, he would be shocked at streets named after him, schools named after him. They hated Dr. King and his life. It was why he got murdered. Wasn't just white folks. Many, many churches that would not let Dr. King in the door. He was highly controversial. If you were going to do something that matters you cannot be swayed by what the people like you, or do not like you. You have to stand up.
Christine Caine: You know, I'm thinking about Jesus, he came in through Jerusalem and all of the people say, hosanna, hosanna, a week later, the same people say, crucify, crucify. They say, he didn't care, because he knew what was in the heart of man. Like you are saying, you really like Jesus, if you are going to pioneer a road, you cannot be swayed. How do you allow the naysayers not to get to you?
TD Jakes: First, let me touch on the thing about Jesus. Jesus was radical. My gosh was he radical. He went into church and turned over the table. He was radical. Jesus was radical. Unclean hands, broke all of the food, fed people, ran around, didn't hit the bow. Church people gave him the boo. Jesus was radical. And you cannot be revelational and be religious. If you are going to walk in revelation, you can't walk in tradition.
People love traditions because they make them feel safe. Just keep it like it was. Don't move anything around. Don't just read the scripture first and say the prayer, you are not going to say the prayer, without the scripture. We have more rules which there are no scriptures. That any place in the world, but we are serving a radical Jesus. A radical relentless Jesus who talked to people who wasn't supposed to talk to. You know your people have no dealings with my people. That is what the woman at the well said. He broke rules. Crossed the line. Yet, we have a church today who if they see you with anybody, doesn't believe like you believe. What are you doing with him? What are you doing with her? Jesus hung out with him. It was what he stayed away from.
Christine Caine: That is so powerful. You know, we are going to come right back to this because this is powerful. Bishop Jakes, I'm so inspired by what you say. I was thinking through John 17, what Jesus said, Father, I do not pray that you take them out of the world but keep them from the evil one. Sanctify them by the word. You sent me. I sent them. You are talking right now, and being salt. You are right there at the forefront. In fact, even that in Mega Fest, you are trying to have an inter-connective life. You are not saying a sacred and secular life. One life.
I'm watching that in everything you are doing. Listening to it and preaching. I listen to you every week and so I keep think, that in the world, not of the world, seems to me that in many case, the church, in fact, become of the world, and no longer in it it. And, rather than being in it and not of it, you can't change the world you are not in.
TD Jakes: You can't change the world you are not in. You can't change the person. You are not in. You have to get involved with people where they are. And leave them with the love of Jesus Christ. I went out to Hollywood and shocked at the hunger. The hunger is staggering. A prominent people who really want to know about Christ. Want to know about your faith and have been offended by church. And ostracized by church but yet, hungry for Christ. And it is, if we can go out there and we can minister to people, everybody can't do it in the way that I did it. I can't do it in the way that you did it. But all of us have a responsibility within our spirit influence, to affect people. To affect people's live. To leave people better than when you met them. That is the assignment for every Christian to leave somebody better than you found them.
Christine Caine: So how do people affect the culture and not let the culture affect them.
TD Jakes: The truth be told, we are affected by the culture. We are affected by the culture and we always have been. If you read through the early epistles, there was large debate, almost of the disciples of cultural ramification. Should women cut their hair? Men shave? All of the debates should their head be covered or not? Did nature not teach yourself unsinly for women have short hair? Should we eat meat? Not eat meat? What days work? This is not new. You are going be affected by the culture of the society you are in. And you are going to be affected by your age. And you would be surprised by how differently you think at 07 than you did at 17. Some of those things that came through, because you can't get up anymore. Your knees hurt. Back hurt. All of a sudden it is easier to live holy as you get older.
I'm kidding. Kidding. But it is true. Your idea between women and men are different. All of them affects the way that we see the world. Okay. So our world, my world view has changed drastically. The first time I left the country, my world began to change. When you travel international, you begin to stop, you stop thinking in the microcosm of the Americanism. And as if America is the globe. You find out, oh, there is a world out there. There are other people and other issues. It changes everything. Yes, we are affected. Our world views are affected, and this is progressive revelation that we continue to evolve in species. If we are not evolving, with we are dead.
The question become, how effective are we at affecting the world that is affecting us? Okay. Have we left as much effect on it as it has on us? And I love that there are people out there watching, it has no affect on me. All I want you to do is send me a picture of what you have right now. I want to ask were you 300 years ago? I want to see your hairdo, your make up, shoes, were they wearing them 300 years ago? Yes, you are affected by culture. Absolutely. The question become, how become more in-depth in affecting the culture that affects us? That means we have to engage in politics an have to go into forbidden area, dangerous areas, toxic. We have to get involved in the decisions that are made around the world. We have to be involved on television and technology at everywhere there is an issue or interest. There should be a site of God with the word. With that thought.
Christine Caine: Do you think that the division between the sacred and secular is like a lot of the issues that somehow the church instead of running towards it, thought that I'm holy, I have to be coming out from amongst it and be separated? How have you reconciled that?
TD Jakes: In the 8 chapter of the Book of Acts, the disciples all open to the 8 chapter kept going back to Jerusalem. Home base. I understand why they go back to Jerusalem. Jesus is, that must have been awfully scary. Holy Spirit is coming. Now you are directed by the invisible, scared. Especially when you are beheaded. That is scary stuff. They kept running back to Jerusalem until finally he scattered them. Out of Jerusalem. And, force him to go into all of the world. And then, they went into all of the world, until we got so caught up in our buildings. It used to be faith was inherent in the fabric of daily life. Continued daily in the breaking of bread and fellowship moving from house to house.
When we started building, organized cathedrals we started saying for people to come. But Jesus really said, go. Okay? And, so, now we have this issue here that we have taken our faith and locked it up in an address. What God really wants us to be a part of the daily life. Daily bread. How you live. How you get up in the morning much how you go forward. The only reason to really come, that you came to church to worship. I can worship at home. I can worship right now. Anywhere. The only real reason to come to church, get further instruction to be fed. To be fed. So that you can live your life out in everyday living. He wants us out there engaging people. And many way, antagonistically.
I was reading in Ezekiel the other day, he says he goes to the rivers of Shabar, I think he say, I went in the heat of my own spirit. And he said, when I get there, I sat where they sat. And he said, I sat where they sat. Of course, seven days this astonishment. When you go to correct people that you don't know, you think one thing. But, when you sit where they sit and you go through what they have been through, it will shut your mouth. It will shut your mouth. It is easy to say how to fix something you were not affected by. When you are actually in it, it changes the whole tone.
For seven days, didn't say anything. Then he say, the Spirit of the Lord came upon me. Look at the contrast. He went into your spirit. But it couldn't be affective until the Spirit of the Lord came. I think that so many people are saying and doing things this their own spirit and using scriptures in it, because they have attitudes about it. That they have infected the integrity of the power of the word, polluting it with the toxicity of your opinions and the vices and ideologies. We need to sanctify the word. We need to sanctify. Because, of the potency of God's word. It is not just some cream to which we have subscribed allegiance to. God's word is his sermon, it is how he reproduces. It can't be polluted or diluted with us. Let's it lose its effectiveness.
Christine Caine: You know, as you were talking, I felt even the word himself, Jesus, before he did any miracle, or even talked to people, he was always moved with compassion. So that attitude, or, that feeling, the guts, of love and mercy and empathy. He had it, whether it came to, whether he, you know, said the 5.000. He had compassion on them. He taught them many things. He is teaching with compassion. Or healing the blind man or the leper and I think, what I hear you saying, is this what is full of life. You can cause it to sound like one, if you walk in with your attitude and judgment and make criticism. How do you balance the speaking the truth in love, and not throwing out truth in the name of love.
TD Jakes: I think a lot of time, we don't thing people speak the truth unless we get to her them speak it. Which comes to us, influence the people. And we could win them to Christ but we have affect them because we have to validate the fact. I stood for righteousness, when you really want to influence people, you don't do with lights and cameras. When you really wants to touch somebody. It is gradually leading them to a place. It is not showy. Real witnessing is not showy. Preaching. Preaching can be showy. But witnessing is not showy. This is a heart to heart. My sister says it better than I do. Christianity at its best, one beggar telling another beggar where he found the bread. We have confused real ministry with just preaching. Sometimes we paint that platform and we go at people. We go at them. Not go with them but at them.