by Willie Muhammad
Some of my favorite interviews conducted on the Breakfast Club with hosts Dj Envy, Angela Ye and Charlemagne Tha God are the ones where they expose their listeners to some of the great thinkers, leaders, special teachers and entrepreneurs of this time. When I realized they were going to interview the dynamic preacher Bishop T.D. Jakes I was excited to hear the interview. Unfortunately, due to some tasks that required my full attention I was only able to hear the first thirteen (13) minutes of the interview and did not have the opportunity to hear it in full until I was tagged on a recent post on Facebook.
Last week someone tagged me to a clip of the interview that highlighted where Bishop T.D. Jakes was asked by Charlemagne Tha God the following question, “Why don’t we see more of spiritual thought leaders like yourself and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, like coming together having conversations maybe teaching people together?”
Bishop Jakes FIRST response focused on theological differences. He said, “Well theologically we would be on different pages as it relates to the theology of the Nation of Islam versus the nation of the church. Community issues we would be on the same accord because we got the same community issues to fight. I don’t know if we would be better together than we are separate. I think we have different callings, at different stations. Even where we have the same theology. Even where we have the same theology. I am not as hungry for us to get together and have conversations that’s interesting. I think I am more hungry to have what I am having right now. Conversations with you. I love having conversations with you. Because you are next and anything, tips, tools, hint watch out the bear is over there. That I can leave you, I love doing.” Segment: 34:01 – 35:03
In brief, with polished speech Bishop T.D. Jakes in an evasive manner basically said that he would not meet with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan because of the differences in their theological beliefs.
I must say I was disappointed in his response. I expected more spiritual maturity from the Bishop. In my opinion it showed that despite Bishop Jakes being a dynamic preacher, he still has not risen above the narrow mindedness that plagues so many “religious, God-Fearing” leaders. The more I thought about his response the more my mind reflected on a scripture in the New Testament that showed how those who profess to walk with and know Jesus would suffer from narrow-mindedness. Allah willing we will close talking about this particular scripture.
As I viewed the entire interview I felt that Bishop T.D. Jakes went on to make contradictory statements that further shows to me that there is more to his refusal to sit with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.
“The reason why I think it is important is because we as a people, can’t lose another fight. We cannot lose another fight. We cannot afford to be fighting with each other, castigating, destroying each other. We have so many enemies coming against us. Like I have not seen since I was a child. This community has to learn how to rally.. We have to learn how to rally. We have to get away from destroying each other and being cannibals, eating each other. Because we already got people hunting us and if we don’t use all of our information to come together, everything you know, and everything I know and everything Sean Combs know, and everything LL Cool J knows, and everything President Obama knows. We need everybody. Because if we don’t we are not gonna survive.” Segment 25:14 – 26:02
If we are truly honest, then we have to admit this is hypocritical. How can you say, “We need everybody,” but push aside the idea of meeting a man who has great influence on Black people who you state are besieged with so many enemies? Interesting enough is Every person he mentions that have talents the Black community needs has already personally met with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan – Sean Combs, LL Cool J and former United States President Barak Obama.
The contradictions did not stop there. Bishop T.D. Jakes goes further to talk about how damaging isolation is.
“It’s not so good to be isolated that you don’t communicate sometimes. It’s better to be a smaller part of a big thing, than a big part of nothing and sometimes we isolate as a community to our own destruction. Nobody wants to work together, every body works in isolation of each other while other peoples groups are forming conglomerates and their buying up and their building together. We work in Isolation and we love in silos. I am saying if you’re in an industry and I’m in the industry. Yes, we benefit by knowing each other. I can pick up the phone and text you and say I am gettin ready to do something I need your help. You need that kind of relationship. Don’t always be so competitive that you hating on everybody.” 38:49 – 39:30
Dear Bishop, how can you be in the same industry as the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan is, (which is supposed to be the reformation of our community), calling people out of Satan’s world to God, but refuse the suggestion of meeting with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, to discuss ideas that could benefit our community?
Charlemagne, who I believe picked up on the inconsistency asked Bishop Jakes, “That’s what I meant when I asked you about Minister Farrakhan, because I would love to see spiritual thought leaders like you two who have these flocks of people, together.” Segment: 41:08 – 41:16
Then Bishop Jakes replied…
“If getting together. I don’t know about him specifically, but because I don’t have that kind of close relationship with him. But I can name one hundred people off the top of my head, of different faiths. With whom I do have relationships with.” Segment: 41:17 – 41:30
I would have liked to see them ask him to elaborate more on the different faiths, but they did not. Bishop Jakes went on to talk about how he has met with several of the last United States Presidents and he did not rule out meeting or having a “relationship” with current President Donald J. Trump (Segment: 42:06-07), yet his desire to NOT meet with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan even on issues where their “theology is the same” is evident when the interview is watched.
I would like to know what’s really the issue Bishop Jakes? You met with and speak highly of your relationship with former President George W. Bush, who vacationed while Black people needed help during Hurricane Katrina. Yes the same Bush who applauded the efforts of the then head of F.E.M.A. Michael Brown. Remember, “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.“1 Those words showed the world how out of touch the then President was. Add to this the false premise that was used for starting the War in Iraq, and still today weapons of mass destruction have not been found.2 The same is true for your relationship with Clinton whose “Super Predator” comments helped to shape policy which added to the mass incarceration of Black and Brown men which sociologists admit has ravaged those communities. The facts show that Bill Clinton could have vetoed the bill but instead he signed it a week later after feigning concern about Black incarceration and ignoring pleas by Civil Rights leaders to veto the bill.3 I have never forgotten how Bill Clinton in 1998 ordered the bombing of a medicine factory in Sudan, which the country continues to suffer from under the lie of combating terrorism.4 Every president that you spoke about has the blood of innocents on their hands. Even President Obama has the blood of innocent civilians5 and African leader Muammar Qaddafi6 on his hands. Yet you gleam over your relationship and meeting with them but refuse the very idea of meeting with a man that has transformed the lives of MILLIONS and has worked to combat and repair the damage caused by many of the policies of these Presidents. Where is Jesus in that?
Dear Bishop, Jesus was against sectarianism, which is an excessive attachment to a particular sect or party, especially in religion. In John 9:49-50 the disciples suffered from this sickness as many “disciples” of Jesus continue still today.
49 Now John answered and said, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow with us.” 50 But Jesus said to him, “Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is on our side.”
The disciples wanted Jesus to commend them for their lack of maturity and narrow-mindedness regarding his mission. They did not see that this man was in deed following Jesus not by what he professed but by the effectiveness of his work. He was casting demons out when the disciples had yet to truly do so. Their forbidding of this “unknown follower of Jesus” had more to do with their own envy rather than their professed love and discipleship to Jesus.
I once heard a pastor say, “What’s in the well will come up in the pail.” This statement is talking about how what’s in us will come out of us. In my opinion, the words of Bishop T.D. Jakes shows an aspect of his heart which is still being impacted by sectarianism. If he really loved our people as he says he does, he would not allow “theological” differences to prevent him from meeting with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan who desires the same.
I have heard many people talk and teach about Jesus, but it is the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan who has demonstrated to me what the mercy, courage and LOVE of Jesus looks like. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has that type of love. That’s why he can sit with the rejected and the despised of society. He has a heart filled with love. Here is a personal testimony I can share that shows the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s character and even his love for Bishop T.D. Jakes:
Some years ago in Houston, TX, I was blessed to be one of those who had the opportunity to dine with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan after his speaking engagement. While at dinner, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan with that beautiful smile he has and a joyous spirit asked the Student Minister of the Nation of Islam in Dallas, TX, “And how is our brother the great preacher, Bishop T.D. Jakes doing?” The student minister began to talk about how a member of Bishop Jakes congregation whose child was enrolled in the local Muhammad University of Islam came with gossip that was supposed to be about the Bishop. Before the student minister could get the gossip out of his mouth, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan stopped him and said, “Let me stop you before you start!” The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan continued, “Brother be very careful about people who come from the house of another man with gossip and dirty laundry.” The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan went on to teach all of us at the table about the danger of slack talk and gossip. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s love for the Bishop and for what’s right moved him to stop the regurgitation of gossip and hearsay about the Bishop.
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has also publicly expressed his appreciation and admiration for Bishop T.D. Jakes. For example in a 2013 interview while applauding Tyler Perry, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan said the following:
“When you look at Tyler Perry’s movies, you see the brilliance of T.D. Jakes, a spiritual giant. You see the majesty of human problems acted out. So you could sit in the theater and see yourself in your madness, in your gladness, in your goodness, in your evil, then come out of that experience, for a $15 ticket and some popcorn, and say, ‘Wow, I feel better.”
(Willie Muhammad serves as the Student Minister at Muhammad Mosque No. 46 in New Orleans. Follow him on Twitter @BroWM46 and Instagram. Visit the official New Orleans mosque website @ noineworleans.org)
The following links are to articles referenced in the above message:
1The Undoing of George W. Bush: Hurricane Katrina badly damaged the former president’s reputation. And it still hasn’t recovered.
2Report documents lies leading to Iraq war
3Bill Clinton’s crime bill destroyed lives, and there’s no point denying it
4Bill Clinton’s Act of Terrorism NATHAN J. ROBINSON
5Casualties of endless war? BY BRIAN E. MUHAMMAD
6The Killing of Muammar Gadhafi and its Impact
7Farrakhan asks: ‘What is the best way forward?’