T. D. Jakes Covers JET Magazine: Discusses Homosexuality, Tyler Perry, and Filmmaking

T.D. Jakes must be a horrible driver because he doesn't believe in staying in his lane, and for good reason. When you're blessed with a fire to spread the word, a little swerving might be required.

T.D. Jakes lives at the crossroads between religion, education and entertainment. With two films out this fall, a new talk show on BET and the launch of a digital venture to expand economical instruction internationally, it is a wonder he has time to sleep let alone shepherd his flock of 30,000 at The Potter's House, his 17-year-old church in Dallas, TX.

He also just executed another successful Mega-Fest, a three-day jubilee Jakes and his wife, Serita, host every two years that is chockfull of celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry. The latter guest stole the show when he laid hands on Jakes, who seemingly caught the Holy Ghost. "When you start talking about prayer, no one is exempt from the need of it," explains Jakes humbly. "It doesn't matter who it comes from as long as it comes from a place of purity."

While the premise-- that a man of the cloth seeks to engage audiences with drama, comedy and suspense-- might be disconcerting to some, Jakes believes it is a natural progression in the evolution of his ministry. "When I'm asked what does filmmaking have to do with being a member of the clergy, I often direct them back to Jesus who told parables," he says. "If those stories were put to screen, they would be movies. The great commission calls Christians to go into the world and spread the Good News. We can use television, we can use books, but there are more people in the theaters on Friday nights than the pews on Sunday morning."

Even though the 56-year-old's impact is vast, some say it doesn't stretch wide enough; and that he should use his influence to sway his following to accept homosexuality and same-sex marriage. On his other shoulder, Christians are calling for him to speak out further against the lifestyle. During the 2012 season of Oprah's Next Chapter, he told Winfrey that although he aligned with the Bible's view of homosexuality-- scripture condemns it-- he's not anti-gay. When asked his view about detractors who've called him homophobic, Jakes responds: "I think our country is diverse enough to accommodate a wide range of thoughts."


SOURCE: JET Magazine
Marcia A. Talbert
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