Popular speaker and Bible teacher Priscilla Shirer and writer and Pastor Max Lucado joined with modalist T. D. Jakes of The Potter’s House two years ago in bringing an Easter message. This is not the first time that either Shirer or Lucado have associated with Jakes in ministry. Lucado has done several positive interviews of Jakes and Shirer’s associations with Jakes are too numerous to list.



It is important to first understand the grave issues of modalism. Modalism is an ancient heresy that denies the Trinity and teaches that God manifests as Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit (like God wearing three masks one at a time). The Modalist Jesus is God the Father and is the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit is usually viewed as an impersonal manifestation of God’s presence. Sometimes Jesus is called the human flesh or human costume of the Father. Modalism means that Jesus cannot be the eternal Son of God the Father since he is also the Father. God “manifests” in three modes or forms so the three persons of the Trinity are not distinct in modalism.


All Christian cults deny the Trinity. The Trinity is an essential of the faith since it about the nature of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit; therefore, a denial of it is heresy and was declared a heresy in the third century.


Whatever words Shirer and Lucado express in this Easter message that sound biblical are rendered hollow by the association with modalist T. D. Jakes. It is against Scripture to treat a false teacher like Jakes as though he is a brother in Christ, and to appear to be in theological agreement with him. Teachers are held to a higher standard; therefore, it is only biblical to warn about Shirer and Lucado because they are not trustworthy teachers. They either do not have discernment, or they fail to exercise it, or they have no issues with modalism.


Priscilla Shirer

Priscilla Shirer has received a “Lady of Destiny” award at T. D. Jakes’ church, and has given a platform to Jakes’ daughter, Sarah Jakes Roberts, a speaker and pastor of T. D. Jakes’ church in Los Angeles, thus violating 2 John 1:9-11:


“Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.”


As a modalist, T. D. Jakes preaches a different Jesus and a different gospel, which is condemned in Galatians 1:8-9, and Sarah Jakes Roberts endorses a false Jesus by being a pastor at the Potter’s House in Los Angeles.


T D Jakes and Sarah Jakes Roberts are heretics by endorsing modalism (even indirectly by not confessing the Trinity) and thus are not Christians. T. D. Jakes, whose first pastorate and ordination was with a Oneness Pentecostal church, is the quintessential wolf in sheep’s clothing warned about by Jesus in Matthew 7:15. Anyone claiming to be a Christian, especially a pastor, who will not confess the Trinity in clear terms and who is cagey when discussing it – redefining terms and playing games with words (as Jakes has been) — cannot be regarded as having confessed the Christian faith.


Priscilla Shirer’s books are heavily used in women’s Bibles studies. Even if some of the content is deemed heresy-free, using Shirer’s materials sends a message to Christians that her discernment can be trusted and that her materials are edifying. However, due to Shirer’s endorsement and embrace of false teachers, her books should not be used; instead, a warning should be issued.


Questions about Shirer

Shirer must be aware of T D Jakes’ modalism. Does she agree with it? Does she think modalism comports with Scripture? As a Bible teacher, her views on this matter. And as a Bible teacher, she has no excuse for endorsing and joining with heretics. One would think this would violate her publishing contract.



Aside from these points, Shirer has spoken at conferences put on by T. D. Jakes and joined with Jakes and/or his daughter numerous times. This is akin to the apostle Paul recommending or teaching with the Judaizers to the churches he visited.


Max Lucado

By appearing with Jakes, Max Lucado sends a false message that Jakes is a Christian and thus contributes to the deception that Jakes is a Christian and that modalism is Christian. Lucado’s appearance misleads non-Christians, new Christians, and already misguided Christians. To do this joint venture at Easter, a time when Christians remember the central event of Christianity, is egregious because every time Jakes says the word “Jesus” or “Jesus Christ,” he is speaking of a false Jesus. To appear with Jakes this way is to tell God you are okay with false teachers.


I have posted previous concerns with Lucado. One was about a film based on his book “The Christmas Candle” (there is a Facebook post on this).


The other issue is Lucado’s appearance on Progressive Jen Hatmaker’s program where he seemingly endorsed Hatmaker. He did not speak out against her well known Progressivism. Alisa Childers, who writes and speaks about Progressive Christianity, addressed this as well on her blog, “Max Lucado’s Endorsement of Jen Hatmaker: What It Means and Why It Matters.”


Others have pointed out issues with Lucado. In a sermon, Lucado called the Holy Spirit “the mother heart of God” (see video clip). Like Shirer, Lucado has preached at Word of Faith preacher Joel Osteen’s church and also praised Osteen.


Fake News: Jakes Renounced Modalism

Due to an interview in the 2012 Elephant Room with Mark Driscoll and James MacDonald, many thought Jakes had embraced the biblical doctrine of the Trinity. However, Jakes only redefined it in terms of “modes” and “manifestations.”


Driscoll and MacDonald did not question him well and let some of what he said slide without requesting further information. They did not ask him if he was renouncing modalism or any penetrating questions that could have led to more specific responses.


As bad as this was, what made it worse is that the Christian press jumped on this without investigation, announcing that Jakes had become Trinitarian. This was a sad day for the church when two pastors and the Christian press were so eager to see Jakes as Trinitarian that they neglected a careful analysis of what he said. Due to this, many mistakenly even today believe that Jakes became Trinitarian.


Taking a generous view of the dialogue in the Elephant Room dialogue, let us say that Jakes did not make his position clear and he perhaps agreed with Trinitarianism. If this had been the case, then there should certainly be evidence since 2012 for this supposed startling turn to orthodoxy. However, there is not a shred of evidence for it. In fact, the evidence is to the contrary:



In the article I wrote on the Elephant Room debacle, “Through a Glass Blurrily: T. D. Jakes and the Elephant Room Debacle,” I said that if Jakes has truly embraced the Trinity, within a short period of time he would renounce modalism, express clear language confessing a belief in the Trinity, start teaching the Trinity, resign his office and membership from the HGAAA, and stop speaking at the annual HGAAA conventions.


Has any of that happened? No, it has not.


Modalism: No Real Jesus Without the Trinity

If the Trinity is false, then who is Jesus? He would have to be another god, a lower god, or a mere man. Modalism means that when Jesus was praying to the Father and when he referred to the Father, he was lying or fooling people since he and the Father are the same person in Modalism.


In the Gospel of John, Jesus states many times that the Father “sent” him. But how could God send the Son if the Son is the Father? For that matter, how can Jesus be the Son of God if he is the Father? Some modalists say that God was the divine nature and Jesus was the human nature, that Jesus was the man whom God the Father indwelt, but that is dividing Jesus from his deity and it makes him temporary. There is no pre-existing or eternal Son of God in modalism.


Oneness Pentecostals only recognize a difference between the humanity of Jesus which they call “the Son” and the deity alone which they call “God the Father.” Oneness Pentecostals do not recognize a distinction between Jesus as eternally God the Son and God the Father.


Oneness/modalism is not only contrary to God’s word and the historic Christian faith (of all denominations) but it attacks God’s word and how God has revealed Himself in Scripture. If you have God’s nature wrong, you have the wrong God. The modalist Jesus is not salvific.


There are no good ways to go without the Trinity as explained here.


The Trinity can be seen in the Bible, both in the Old Testament (though not explicitly) and in the New Testament.


The Athanasian Creed was formed in the 5th century to refute several heresies:


The content of the Athanasian Creed stresses the affirmation of the Trinity in which all members of the Godhead are considered uncreated and co-eternal and of the same substance. In the affirmation of the Trinity the dual nature of Christ is given central importance. As the Athanasian Creed in one sense reaffirms the doctrines of the Trinity set forth in the fourth century at Nicea, in like manner the strong affirmations of the fifth-century council at Chalcedon in 451 are also recapitulated therein. As the church fought with the Arian heresy in the fourth century, the fifth century brought forth the heresies of monophysitism, which reduced the person of Christ to one nature, mono physis, a single theanthropic (God-man) nature that was neither purely divine or purely human. In the Monophysite heresy of Eutyches, the person of Christ was seen as being one person with one nature, which nature was neither truly divine nor truly human. In this view, the two natures of Christ were confused or co-mingled together. At the same time the church battled with the monophysite heresy, she also fought against the opposite view of Nestorianism, which sought not so much to blur and mix the two natures but to separate them, coming to the conclusion that Jesus had two natures and was therefore two persons, one human and one divine. Both the Monophysite heresy and the Nestorian heresy were clearly condemned at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, where the church, reaffirming its Trinitarian orthodoxy, stated their belief that Christ, or the second person of the Trinity was vere homo and vere Deus, truly human and truly God. It further declared that the two natures in their perfect unity coexisted in such a manner as to be without mixture, confusion, separation, or division, wherein each nature retained its own attributes. So with one creedal affirmation, both the heresy of Nestorianism and the heresy of Monophysitism were condemned.


The Christian faith is always under attack and defending the faith by exposing teachings against that faith is biblical.


Further Information

A Definitive Look at Oneness Theology: In the Light of Biblical Trinitarianism

By Edward L. Dalcour


The False Teachers: T. D. Jakes, by Tim Challies


The Athanasian Creed Affirming the Trinity


CANA Articles

Through a Glass Blurrily: T. D. Jakes and the Elephant Room Debacle


The Be Still DVD: An Ode to Silence