Bishop T.D. Jakes, senior pastor of The Potter’s House in Dallas, Texas, is teaming up with iconic rap artist Sean “Diddy” Combs to bring sermons to Combs’ cable television network, Revolt. Combs has gone by “Puff Daddy,” “Puffy,” and “P. Diddy” before settling on his current stage name in 2005.
Combs founded and launched Revolt in October 2013. The digital cable television network, which primarily focuses on urban contemporary music, also includes original programming that covers social justice news.
During the call, Combs talked about his love and excitement over the bishop’s work, saying that a couple of years ago, the three-time Grammy Award winning hip-hop artist and successful entrepreneur was in a very dark period in his life.
“I just lost everything. Girlfriend. The mother of my children passed. My best friend passed. A lot of things that just really was taking my mind and my soul…I was just in a dark place,” Combs said. “I started watching you [Jakes] and listening to you and it gave me hope; it gave me strength.”
“When you started talking about traumatic times,” Jakes responded, “our whole country, our whole planet, have been going through some traumatic times and now more than ever having something uplifting that’s rejuvenating for your soul, for your mind, for your rest, for your peace is so, so important. That’s why I’m so happy to be a part of Revolt and to have an opportunity to spread the love around.”
Jakes told Combs he is honored to be able to influence the influencers.
Is T.D. Jakes’ Team-Up With Combs Unbiblical?
The Potter’s House has a weekly attendance of over 17,000. The church has a Dallas campus and four other campuses, two of which are in states outside Texas. Jakes’ preaching influence has been key in the church’s growth and popularity. He’s authored over 35 books, has produced multiple faith-based films, and has appeared on Oprah many times.
Combs was raised Catholic and has Psalm 23 tattooed on his forearm as well as “God’s Child” on his neck. In a Charisma article discussing a gospel album his label Bad Boy Entertainment produced, Combs was quoted as saying, “God is my best friend. The reason I wanted to do a gospel album was to give thanks. Over the years, Bad Boy has made a lot of things cool, from the way we dress, dance, the sunglasses that we wear, and the designers we endorse. Well, now God is something we’re going to endorse. A lot of kids think it’s cool to spark a blunt in front of people, but they won’t nod their heads to pray in front of those same people. Now, we want to make God cool.”
Combs has released four solo albums during his career with lyrics that are laced with profanity and sexual innuendo. Critics have questioned whether a pastor should join forces with a powerful media mogul for the sake of the gospel, citing 2 Corinthians 6:14 where the Holy Spirit tells Christians not to be “yoked” with unbelievers because righteousness and wickedness have nothing in common.
Not Everyone Thinks T.D. Jakes Should Be Influencing Others In Christ’s Name
Jakes himself is not without controversy. In 2012, he appeared alongside disgraced pastor James MacDonald and pastors Steven Furtick, Mark Driscoll, Wayne Cordeiro, Crawford Loritts, and Jack Graham—some of whom have their own controversies—during the Elephant Room Round 2. Jakes was asked about his controversial belief in modalism.
Modalism is the belief that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not three distinct persons but rather are different modes of existence of a single person. MacDonald invited Jakes onto the Elephant Room in an attempt to clarify his views. The discussion left the audience unclear about what Jakes believes, and left some, including Kevin DeYoung, wondering why the other pastors didn’t address the prosperity gospel he preaches.
“You can find them with little trouble by picking up [Jakes’] books or watching his sermons on YouTube. I know people can point to good things Jakes has done — almost everyone has done some good things,” DeYoung wrote. “But the health-wealth-blessing theology is unbiblical and anti-gospel. It has deceived many.”
Popular blogger and author Tim Challies warned, “T.D. Jakes is associated with several troublesome teachings including the prosperity gospel and positive thinking.”