Touré Roberts: One Church LA
Roberts launched One Church of LA in 2002, but he recently joined it to The Potter’s House brand in August 2017. Now officially linked to T.D. Jakes’ business and theological influence, Roberts is contractually obligated to preach false doctrine for as long as he pastors his church. This isn’t to say Roberts wasn’t already a purveyor of compromise and Biblical error in his own right, of course. In fact, Roberts made headlines - secular and faith-based - in 2013 when he called Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland to the pulpit and repented to Destiny’s Child on behalf of Body of Christ! “It’s called identification repentance. Where you stand in the gap of an individual, a community - it could be a race of people - that have wronged someone, and you repent on behalf of that people or that group,” Roberts told his congregation. According to Roberts, he had the authority to repent in such a way because he’s a pastor.
Of course, ‘identification repentance’ isn’t Biblical. But it does pervert a Biblical truth. Before Christ, under the Law, God ordained certain men high priests to “offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins” on behalf of the people and for themselves (Hebrews 5:1). These men, being of a sin nature themselves, had compassion for those who were “ignorant and going astray” (Hebrews 5:2). Yet their calling to stand in the gap was of God - not of their own accord; for matters pertaining to God - not matters pertaining to the world; and for sins committed against God - not for perceived offenses between mankind! And their service was a foreshadow of Jesus Christ, who is NOW our High Priest - there is no other man serving in this role, nor is another needed, nor will there ever be another. When Jesus died for our sins on the cross, He was the final sacrifice for sins (Hebrews 10:12). And now He sits at the right hand of God and is the ONLY mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5-6).
But back to Roberts, because he wasn’t done repenting to celebrities on behalf of the Church.
“I wish Bey was here. And in the spirit, she is…People accuse [Jay-Z] and accuse Kanye of being anti-Church and anti-Jesus. But I’ma tell you something, the Church picked that fight.”
Meanwhile, Jay-Z’s rapping lines like “And Jesus can’t save you, life starts when the church ends” and “God sent me to break the chain I’m the true and livin’ God in the flesh, the rest of these [expletive] is vain”. Then Kanyé’s changing his name to “Yeezus” (a portmanteau of his nickname “Yeezy” and the name of Jesus); publishing his own ‘bible’ and replacing every mention of "God" with "Yeezus”; and releasing a profanity-laced “Gospel” album. Point is, these men are on record for blaspheming God on numerous occasions over the years, and it’s a matter not to be taken lightly. But Roberts is defending THEM over US, his professed brethren? “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20)
But enough of pop culture, let’s address an even deeper matter: Roberts’ instructions to the saints in these last days.
In his sermon “It’s Birthing Time” Roberts reads Romans 8:18 through verse 22 (for proper context, read through verse 25). Now, the text actually speaks to the sufferings of the present, fallen state of all of creation due to sin, yet the anticipated revealing of a new creation when Christ returns and redeems the Body of Christ. Granted, this passage isn’t as easy to exegete as the parable of the wheat and the tares, but if you understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ, you know that this passage is meant to encourage Believers to maintain our hope in Christ through sufferings (which are only going to get more intense). Paul compares these sufferings to labor pains during childbirth, and Jesus elsewhere outlines what those specific sufferings/"labor pains" would be (Matthew 24; Mark 13; and Luke 21). Before a new life comes into the world, there is labor. So will it be with Jesus’ return. Creation is in labor to usher in the return of Christ! (Praise God! Hallelujah! Come Lord Jesus! Come!) Yet, somehow, like most prosperity preachers, Roberts finds a way to make this passage about pursuing personal dreams and goals. Let him tell it, the labor pains are a sign it’s time to “turn up” and hurry to “be all God called us to be”! “We’re in labor,” he says. “That’s all that’s happening...and I’m going to tell you what you’re pregnant with: Yourself. You are pregnant with you!”
But while Roberts is telling his congregation to pursue their destinies while they still have time, those of us who follow Jesus know He tells us to gird ourselves spiritually that we are strong enough to endure and love even in the midst of what’s coming: severe persecution, hatred and lawlessness (Matthew 24:9-12; Mark 13:11-13; Luke 21:12-18). All of this is because sin entered into the world through Adam, the first man in creation (Romans 5). But Christ, who died for our sins, was resurrected as the "Firstfruits" of a NEW creation (1 Corinthians 15:23). And if we confess with our mouths that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead, we too will be raised to glory on the last day (Romans 10:9-10). Paul is telling us to remain encouraged. Jesus is telling us to stay woke (Matthew 26:41)! But if you hang your hope on anything Roberts says, you’ll be among those who are spiritually blind and unprepared - probably someplace repenting to celebrities - when Jesus returns.