The Christian Broadcasting Network

The 700 Club with Pat Robertson


Bishop T.D. Jakes on Love, Life and Racial Tension

Produced by Michelle Wilson and Sharon Dhinakaran
The 700 Club
Interview by Scott Ross
The 700 Club
May 2015

CBN.comThe events of Ferguson, Missouri, sent a shockwave of unrest and racial tension across America – one that was felt most recently in Baltimore.  Bishop T.D. Jakes, senior pastor of The Potter’s House in Dallas, Texas agrees that while we need to fix the criminal justice system, the church has to speak up and address the issues facing the black community.     

Scott: I don't want to get political here and you don't either but the black community or minority community has been having conflicts with the police, for instance the Ferguson situation. How do you teach people how to relate to the policeman who is, the scripture says, is a minister of the gospel.  But there's a balance in here somewhere that we seem to be missing and is running into issues and problems.

T.D. Jakes: Boy, if we start down this trail this is going to be a long-winding road okay? So I don't know whether I should buckle my seatbelt or you…but let's (laughs) let's go there.

Scott: (laughs) All right, go ahead.

T.D. JAKES: I think that what we're seeing on the sidewalk is just as much a symptom of a far deeper, more important issue.  I think that it is – yes, it is, we are seeing the loss of respect for all types of authorities, whether you're talking about fatherhood, or pastors, or executives, just the hemorrhaging of respect in general is beyond human comprehension. Having said that, I don't think that that is the total answer that we need to make: you respect people who wear blue.  Because I think there's a deeper scream coming out of the heart of this country. I think that we have a criminal justice system that has been hijacked by politics.  I think that we have created a system that has inequities for people.  I think that we have penalized people for small mistakes in their youth and left them marred the rest of their lives without the ability to get a job, to get proper housing, to be able to get back up on our feet again.

And we, who sit in our bedroom communities on our couches and watch television, say "This is America. You should work, get a job, be responsible" but then the same people who say that, when they see that you have a prior record, would never hire you or rent to you.  So you cannot integrate and discriminate at the same time and call it justice. I think that the police officers and those who wrestle with them are just symptoms of those who they represent, a whole world of people. We are creating these septic tanks of frustration and until we go in there and clean this system out and make sure that there is justice for all, we cannot look at stats that say that there are inequities between how blacks and whites are handled when they commit the same crime, and step over that and have lunch, and then say, "obey the guy in blue."

Scott: Where is the church?

T.D. Jakes: The church is totally silent about race.  We are ourselves dysfunctional in our ability.  We're family, but we're a dysfunctional family because we cannot talk about the elephant in the middle of the room.  And until we do, then the people on the street are taking up the conversation and I think that they are God's judgment on a silent church.

Scott:  Whoa.

T.D. Jakes: And until the church becomes relevant for the community that it serves, and takes on the difficult issues and goes beyond the kumbaya message, "Jesus is coming in the morning," what do we do through the night?

Scott:  Right.

T.D. Jakes: That is the message the church should hear, that our silence has caused blood to flow in the streets of the cities that we drive past on the highways to go to mission fields around the world, ignoring mission fields in our own city.

Scott: What you're saying now is a prophetic voice.

T.D. Jakes: Right.

Scott:  The church is to be prophetic.

T.D. Jakes: Yes.

Scott:  To speak to the issues of the day: root causes, etc.

T.D. Jakes: Right.

Scott:  We're not doing that.  So here's the question. How do I love my enemies?

T.D. Jakes: I think that love begins with the common human experience that we all have.

I think that the "loving your enemy" gets down to the basic human issues: air, water, lights, food, family, basic human essentials. At least let's love on the level that we exist, and then debate on the level that we think.  But we have lost all respect and civility and I think that it comes back to just respecting people because God made them, and how can you say you love God, who you have not seen, and hate that that is a reflection that he created? You cannot worship Him up there while you resent him right here.

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