Not Far From The Tree?

Potter House Church in Dallas

Potter House Church in Dallas

This one is so old it definitely has whiskers. However, I couldn’t pass it up, because the irony is palpable:


Dallas megachurch pastor T.D. Jakes has said that he would never hire a sexually active gay person, has spoken out against same-sex marriage, and has called homosexuality a “brokenness.” Now his son has been arrested in a sex sting after approaching law enforcement officers in a park and exposed himself to them while masturbating, according to the Dallas Voice.


The item from the Dallas Voice goes on:

Jermaine Donnell Jakes, 29, faces a charge of indecent exposure after allegedly exposing himself in front of two undercover vice detectives shortly after 10 p.m. on Jan. 3. Senior Cpl. Janice Crowther, a DPD spokeswoman, confirmed Thursday, Feb. 12 that the detectives were both male. According to an arrest affidavit, the detectives were conducting an investigation into citizen complaints of sexual activity when they observed Jakes and several other unknown males park their vehicles in the lot east of the park at 2106 W. Kiest Blvd. The detectives followed Jakes into a wooded area, where he approached them with his penis exposed through his unzipped pants, the affidavit states. Jakes masturbated for several seconds while making eye contact with one of the detectives. Jakes made no attempt to conceal his penis despite people walking and jogging on a trail nearby, the affidavit states. According to court records, Jermaine Jakes listed his place of employment as T.D. Jakes Ministries.

The Dallas Morning News also commented:

 The son of Potter’s House Bishop T.D. Jakes turned himself in to the Dallas County Jail on Thursday on an indecent exposure charge stemming from an incident at a southern Dallas park last month. Jermaine Jakes, 29, posted $1,000 bail and was released Thursday morning, according to jail records… He was detained at the scene and released, as is often the procedure in such cases. The charge is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a $2,000 fine.

Not up on T.D. Jakes? Here’s something from Wikipedia:

Thomas Dexter “T. D.” Jakes, Sr. (born June 9, 1957) is the bishop/chief pastor of The Potter’s House, a non-denominational American megachurch, with 30,000 members. T. D. Jakes’ church services and evangelistic sermons are broadcast on The Potter’s Touch, which airs on the Trinity Broadcasting NetworkBlack Entertainment Television, the Daystar Television NetworkThe Word Network and The Miracle Channel in Canada. Other aspects of Jakes’ ministry include an annual revival called “MegaFest” that draws more than 100,000 people, an annual women’s conference called “Woman Thou Art Loosed”, and gospel music recordings

Of these references, I am only vaguely acquainted with Daystar Television Network. Ten years ago Joe Barnhart and I agreed to participate in a debate with creationist Ralph Muncaster on the Joni Lamb Show. This was on the Dallas area TV Channel 2, whose studios were at the Daystar facility in Bedford, Texas:

The Joni Lamb show runs thirty minutes, and part of that time is given over to requests for donations. That gave Joe and me only a few minutes each with Ralph, and I spent my flash in the spotlight answering his claims about abiogenesis. Even the simplest living cell, Ralph said, is way too complex to have developed by accident in one fell swoop. Being the engineer he is, he then laid out the probability calculations.

I couldn’t check his calculations on the spot, but I was ready to agree his conclusions were probably close to the mark. It would be just about impossible for a single cell to pop into existence by accident. Of course, science doesn’t claim that anything even nearly like that happened, so such computations are just a pointless exercise with a calculator. Which pointlessness is lost on those who buy Ralph’s kind of argument.

Joe and I had groused about going to a lot of trouble to show up and only getting to debate for less than half an hour, so the producers decided to use the opportunity and make hay while the sun shines, so to speak. After the scheduled program was in the can the producers had us all three on the set, then turned on the mikes, and let the tape roll. They figured they could get as many as two more shows at the expense of the extended session.

Joni Lamb talks the language of her audience, and her audience is dead sure that evolution is the antichrist. For myself, I am sure her audience is immune to any attempts to educate them about the science behind evolution. When I got a chance to speak to Joni’s audience I reported that in the real world, the world that exists in that rarified spectrum above Channel 2, a great number of very serious Christians find mainstream science to be no challenge to their faith. “Being a Christian doesn’t mean you have to be stupid,” I emphasized.

Joe Barnhart teaches about philosophy and religion at the University of North Texas, and he argued very skillfully that Joni’s audience is driving Christian belief off on a tangent from its original course. Joe’s arguments relied on historical research and the work of numerous biblical scholars. Unfortunately, Joni’s audience doesn’t cotton to any contrary facts.

I noted at the time that the Daystar facility in Bedford was a modern and thoroughly-equipped facility, with multiple studios and industrial-grade video editing and production equipment. The parking lot within the walled complex sparkled with high-end road iron. You will notice when watching their productions a banner running along the bottom of the screen with an 800 number for phoning in contributions. This has all the appearances of a successful for-profit business operation.

My religious friends keep telling me of the ruin this country faces without Christianity. OK, they really don’t tell me this, but I read it from other Christian sources. And I continue to wonder—what ruin? And I may soon begin to ask, when are the benefits going to start to kick in? I can only chuckle.












One thought on “Not Far From The Tree?

  1. Pingback: Democrats On The Prowl | Skeptical Analysis

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