Robert Jeffress

Robert Jeffress Endorses Perry, Thinks America’s Doomed Anyway

The Southern Baptist Convention’s Robert Jeffress, a leading figure on the Religious Right, has announced that he will endorse Rick Perry for president later today at the Values Voter Summit.

Jeffress’s choice of Perry is not hugely surprising – in the past, he has attacked Mitt Romney for his Mormonism, saying, “Even though he talks about Jesus as his Lord and savior, he is not a Christian. Mormonism is not Christianity. Mormonism is a cult” and saying that Mormons “worship a false god.”

In 2010, Jeffress urged Christians to vote solely based on religion, saying “I believe we should always support a Christian over a non-Christian."

Mormonism isn’t the only religion Jeffress condemns – he has called Islam an “evil, evil religion” and said, “What we label today as ‘pluralism,’ God called ‘idolatry.’” This “idolatry,” Jeffress warned, has opened up the nation to “God’s wrath.”

Jeffress may have found a presidential candidate he likes, but he’s not too optimistic about the future of the United States. In September, he launched a series of sermons called “Twilight’s Last Gleaming,” in which he posits that America is doomed and Christians need to see the nation’s collapse as an opportunity to spread the Gospel.

 

"Twilight's Last Gleaming": America Is Doomed And Cannot Be Saved

Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church of Dallas is an anti-gay and anti-Muslim pastor who has generated attention in the past by going on the attack against Mitt Romney, urging Christians not to vote for him because of his Mormon faith and and for admitting that he'd vote for an incompetent Christian over a competent non-Christian if the two were running against one another.

But I expect that we'll be hearing a lot more about Jeffress considering that he is about to kick off a sermon series called "Twilight's Last Gleeming," beginning on 9/11, proclaiming that America is doomed and cannot be saved and that Christians need to see the nation's inevitable collapse as an opportunity to spread the Gospel:

As Jeffress told the Christian Post, the sermon series is based on a book that he has coming out next year for which Mike Huckabee wrote the foreward:

"Twilight's Last Gleaming" is actually based on my book coming out in January by Worthy Publishing. Mike Huckabee did the forward [sic] to the book, and the book is subtitled How to Make America's Last Days Your Best Days. In this series, what we're trying to do is help people realize that, ultimately, we are not going to save America.

America's days are numbered, because this world's days are numbered. But instead of reacting with despair and fear, Christians are to realize that while we cannot prevent the demise of our country, we can delay the demise of our country by being the salt and light Jesus commanded us to be. That's really what this series is about: how Christians can be salt and light in a decaying and darkening world.

I sure hope that America and the world still exist in January so that we can read all about how America and the world are doomed.

Jeffress: "A Competent Christian is Better Than a Competent Non-Christian"

Pastor Robert Jeffress is getting lots of softball press coverage for his new Grinch Alert effort which seeks to highlight "businesses and organizations that shut-out expressions of Christmas in their interactions with the public via marketing, advertising and public relations."

But what nobody seems to be bothering to point out is that Jeffress is also a vehemently anti-gay, anti-Muslim, and anti-Mormon Religious Right activist.  

Last night Alan Colmes had Jeffress on his program to discuss his endeavor and asked him about his claims that "Muslim men having sex with 4-year-old girls" and pointed out that behind Jeffress' seemingly lighthearted effort is a belief that Christianity is a superior religion and that non-Christians should not hold public office and even got Jeffress to admit that he's find it almost impossible to ever vote for a non-Christian candidate, even going to far to vote for an incompetent Christian candidate over a competent non-Christian one:

Colmes: When you do this thing for fun, which you're having fun with this this Christmas season and the so-called War on Christmas and you're doing this to have some fun with this Grinch Who Stole Christmas concept. But behind that is a point of view that you have that Christians are a superior religion and non-Christians should not hold public office. You truly have a bias against those who are not of your particular faith. Is that what Jesus taught?

Jeffress: Well I believe that Christians have a right to elect Christian leaders. I've never suggested, Alan, that they ought to be codified into law.

Colmes: So you'd never vote for a Jew? You'd never vote for an Atheist? You'd never vote for a Muslim? You'd never vote for a Buddhist? You would only cast your vote, and urge your flock to cast their votes, for those of the Christian faith.

Jeffress: Well, I believe that a competent Christian is better than a competent non-Christian.

Colmes: Why?

Jeffress: Because that is my religious belief.

Colmes: Is a non-competent Christian better than a competent non-Christian ... Can you see an election where a non-competent Christian is running against a competent non-Christian and the non-Christian would be the better candidate?

Jeffress: I can see that possibility and I think at that moment, it has to be a matter of conscience with the Christian.

Colmes: So could you see yourself voting for a non-Christian?

Jeffress: I could see if there were two non-Christians running, I could.

Colmes: But if one is a Christian, even if that person is the less competent person, you'd still vote for the Christian?

...

Jeffress: Alan, I'll have to pray about that.

Anti-Islam Activists Have Equally Negative Views of Mormonism

Last week I noted now Brannon Howse, who had been leading a crusade against Glenn Beck because of his Mormon faith, had started explicitly comparing Mormonism with Islam:

Both belief systems teach that they have the only true and complete religion on face of the earth. Both reject Christianity as corrupted. Both taught the plurality of wives, both on earth and in here-after. Both teach that the Bible is corrupt and mistranslated. Both revealed God’s true scripture. Both reject original sin and the doctrine of the trinity. Both teach a salvation by good works. Both use a lay clergy. Both founded by a holy uneducated prophet. Both founding prophets had angelic visitations that they were to restore Adamic religion. Both prophets' words were above scripture or earlier prophets. Both teach a theocratic form of government.

I guess it should not come as much of a surprise to learn that many of the Religious Right activists who are most vocal in attack Islam also have a long history of attacking Mormons as well.

Case in point is Bill Keller:

To an audience of about 50 people -- fully half of whom were members of the press -- Pastor Bill Keller launched his 9-11 Christian Center at ground zero this morning with a fiery sermon targeting Muslims and Mormons as hell-bound followers of false faiths. Keller took aim in particular at Glenn Beck, a Mormon, and Imam Rauf, the organizer of the Park51 Islamic community center.

Keller first made a name for himself a few years back by attacking Mitt Romney, claiming that vote for Romney was a vote for Satan.

Keller's anti-Mormon attacks against Romney were echoed by Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, who proclaimed that "Mormonism is a cult" and that Christians could not vote for Romney because "Christians are uniquely favored by God, [while] Mormons, Hindus and Muslims worship a false god."

So it is entirely predictable that Jeffress likewise hates Islam:

Prominent Pastor Robert Jeffress of the First Baptist Church of Dallas gave a sermon a few weeks ago saying, among other things: "The deep, dark, dirty secret of Islam: It is a religion that promotes pedophilia - sex with children. This so-called prophet Muhammad raped a 9-year-old girl - had sex with her."

...

First Baptist's Sunday evening service on August 22 featured an "Ask the Pastor" segment, in which Jeffress called Islam "oppressive" and violent." He also said that "around the world today, you have Muslim men having sex with 4-year-old girls, taking them as their brides, because they believe the prophet Muhammad did it."

"I believe," Jeffress added, "as Christians and conservatives, it's time to take off the gloves and stand up and tell the truth about this evil, evil religion."

...

"It does incite violence. It is used to oppress women around the world," he added, continuing that he "was not talking about this country" when referencing pedophilia. But, Jeffress said, "the worst thing about Islam is that it is a deception that leads people from the true God."

Jeffress contended that "we do not hate Muslims" and noted: "I have a very good friend here in Dallas who is a Muslim."

Something for Glenn Beck to keep in mind as he gins up anti-Muslim sentiment and opposition to Park 51:  people who hate Islam generally have equally harsh views about all other faith traditions as well, including Mormonism.

Pagan Prayer Circle Daring God to Unleash Haiti-Like Destruction Upon Our Nation

Last week, the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs announced that it had set aside an outdoor worship area for Pagans, Wiccans, Druids and other believers.

Today, via AU, we see that Robert Jeffress (best known for his militantly anti-Mormon opposition to Mitt Romney) has penned a response for the Washington Post's "On Faith" in which he warns that such accommodation of the "worship of pagan deities is an open invitation for God to send His harshest judgments against our nation":

What we label today as "pluralism," God called "idolatry." The first commandment from God was, "You shall have no other gods before Me." There is no evidence that God has changed His mind on the subject. To openly violate this most basic law is to invite God's judgment upon our nation. God has judged idolatry in the past through military invasions, earthquakes, a flood, and a mixture of fire and brimstone. The book of Revelation prophesies that God will employ the same agents of His wrath during the final seven years of earth's history. There is no reason to think God is on hiatus during this present age.

"But doesn't our Constitution demand that all religions be treated equally?' you might ask.

Since God is not an American, there is no reason to think He has a particular affinity for our ideas about the separation of church and state. Nevertheless, although the First Amendment guarantees the right of every American to worship however they choose, it does not require government to provide a stone monument to facilitate that worship - even if the same government provides a chapel for Christians.

...

I don't know the cause of the Haitian earthquake, the Indonesian tsunami or 9/11. But I can say without hesitation that any nation that officially embraces idolatry is openly inviting God's wrath.

This past week government officials testified they are "certain" of another terrorist attempt on our soil within the next three to six months. One would think this would be a good time to seek God's protection rather than kindle His anger.

Reactions To Robertson

Not surprisingly, a spokesperson for Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network quickly issued a statement yesterday after Robertson's statement about Haiti being "cursed" for having "swore a pact to the Devil" made news, insisting that Robertson "never stated that the earthquake was God’s wrath" and inisiting that it is "countless scholars and religious figures over the centuries to believe the country is cursed":

On today’s The 700 Club, during a segment about the devastation, suffering and humanitarian effort that is needed in Haiti, Dr. Robertson also spoke about Haiti’s history. His comments were based on the widely-discussed 1791 slave rebellion led by Boukman Dutty at Bois Caiman, where the slaves allegedly made a famous pact with the devil in exchange for victory over the French. This history, combined with the horrible state of the country, has led countless scholars and religious figures over the centuries to believe the country is cursed.

Dr. Robertson never stated that the earthquake was God’s wrath.

But it looks like some of Robertson's nominal allies aren't buying it:

Dr. Robert Jeffress of the First Baptist Church of Dallas said, "It is absolute arrogance to try to interpret any of God's actions as a judgment against this person or that person. & Our duty as Christians is to try to help these people pray for these people and to help them."

Franklin Graham, the evangelist son of Billy Graham and president of the Christian relief organization Samaritan's Purse, said he also disagrees with Robertson's assessment.

"He must have misspoken," Graham said. "But we need to get on the path of helping people right now. God loves the people of Haiti. He hasn't turned his back on Haiti."

Does Graham even know anything about Robertson? He says this sort of thing all the time - what makes him think that this time "he must have misspoken"? Also, if the name Robert Jeffress sounds familiar, it is because it is:

Dr. Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, said that Mormonism is a false religion and that Mr. Romney was not a Christian.

"Mitt Romney is a Mormon, and don't let anybody tell you otherwise," Dr. Jeffress said in a sermon Sept. 30. "Even though he talks about Jesus as his Lord and savior, he is not a Christian. Mormonism is not Christianity. Mormonism is a cult."

It is probably safe to assume that when a man who made himself famous for viciously attacking a presidential candidate's religion is blasting your "absolute arrogance," you have probably gone too far.

But of course, not everyone is outraged by Robertson's comments.  In fact, Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission is praising him for taking a stand and speaking the truth:

The modern cynic chaffs at any suggestion that there may be a connection between historical realities and unseen spiritual influences, or as the Bible calls it God's "blessing or cursing." Although most people are very comfortable with the notion that God blesses people, we are not at all comforted with the terrifying prospect that Almighty God might also curse.

The overwhelming majority of Americans believe in God and /or moral causality. Eastern religions call it Karma, but Christians call it God's Providence. I wonder if the reason that so many hate Pat is because he expressed what many Americans don't want to face- the moral and spiritual dimension of our lives.

As long as everything is going well we live as if we are never going to die. Then crisis hits and death slaps us in the face. Rather than humbling ourselves and searching our hearts like the Pilgrims did, we lash out at God and anyone who dares insinuate Him into our lives.

What the Robertson bashers left out is that finally, and with great compassion and concern in his voice, Pat said, "They need to have, and we need to pray for them, a great turning to God and out of this tragedy I am optimistic that some good thing may come, but right now we are helping the suffering people and the suffering is unimaginable."

Agree or disagree with what Pat said, it was well within the bounds of historic Christian theology. Maybe that's the real problem after all.

Man is offended by the fact that he is not God. They resent God's Providence. A simple reading of the Bible shows how God uses natural disasters to further his purposes. Earthquakes, floods, famine, locusts, etc. they're all there, but man hates it. Rather than humbly acknowledging that God's ways are not our ways, man rails against and accuses God. The last thing they will do is cry out for his mercy in Jesus Christ.

You may remember Cass from his statement last year before President Obama's inauguration when he told parents not to let their children watch because the Rev. Gene Robinson would be participating, making it the "most perverted [inauguration] in our nation’s history" and warning that God just might destroy the nation's capital because of it.

Jeffress Still Attacking Romney’s Faith

Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, first made a name for himself last year by openly and unapologetically attacking Mitt Romney and his Mormon faith, blasting Christians who supported his candidacy and declaring “that Mormonism is not Christianity. Mormonism is a cult.”

Now, Romney is not even running any more, but Jeffress isn’t done calling him a cult member or criticizing those who supported him:

Evangelicals who believe the country needs a Christian in the White House but promoted Mitt Romney's candidacy during the Republican primaries were hypocrites, according to a Texas pastor.
   
Romney, a Mormon, is not a Christian, the Rev. Robert Jeffress said, but a member of a "cult."

"I believe we should always support a Christian over a non-Christian," Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, told a packed audience of journalists at last weekend's Religion Newswriters Association (RNA) annual meeting. "The value of electing a Christian goes beyond public policies. . . . Christians are uniquely favored by God, [while] Mormons, Hindus and Muslims worship a false god. The eternal consequences outweigh political ones. It is worse to legitimize a faith that would lead people to a separation from God."

Jeffress made his remarks during a luncheon debate with Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), a law firm and educational organization that focuses on religious-liberty issues. The DeMoss Group, a Christian public-relations firm in Duluth, Ga., sponsored the event.

RNA president Kevin Eckstrom was quick to point out that they did not organize the event and that he thought it was important for people to be aware of Jeffress because of the influence he wields:

"A lot of people were uncomfortable with what Dr. Jeffress said about Mormons, but what we were hoping for was something provocative that would get people talking, and certainly this did it."

Many reporters said they had never heard the word "cult," which Jeffress repeatedly called the LDS Church, used so "freely and recklessly," said Eckstrom, editor of Religion News Service in Washington, D.C. But Jeffress used the same word to describe "Catholics, Hindus, Buddhists and virtually everyone else."

It was useful for reporters to be aware of such strident views, Eckstrom said, because they are "completely mainstream in a lot of evangelical quarters."

First Baptist of Dallas "is not a backwater pulpit somewhere. It is a major church in Texas and in Southern Baptist circles," Eckstrom said. "It's a huge institution and a lot of followers. He's not just spouting these opinions for himself but proud of the fact that he was going back to his congregation and declare every other religion was wrong, and at least 10,000 people hear this position every week."

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Robert Jeffress Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Tuesday 09/23/2014, 1:20pm
  Every year since 2006, Republican leaders have joined some of the country’s most notorious anti-gay, anti-choice activists and fringe conspiracy theorists at the Family Research Council’s annual Values Voter Summit.   This week’s summit will be no different, as potential GOP presidential contenders rub elbows with people who want to deny First Amendment protections to Muslims, defend laws criminalizing homosexuality, and think President Obama used the health care reform law to raise a private army of Brownshirts.   Don’t be surprised if... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Thursday 07/31/2014, 11:28am
Two current Religious Right fixations — the “persecution” of American Christians and the need for conservatives to do more to influence the pop culture — have come together in movies like “Persecuted” and “We the People—Under Attack.” The latest entry, “One Generation Away: The Erosion of Religious Liberty,” was screened by Rick Santorum at the Heritage Foundation on Monday night. Santorum said the movie will be released in September. His EchoLight Cinemas is trying to create an alternative to Hollywood distribution... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 07/29/2014, 5:35pm
Jeremy Hooper @ GLAAD: Former anti-gay activist: "I've never met an 'ex-gay' man I thought was not still attracted to men." Alan Colmes: Pastor Robert Jeffress: Gay Marriages Are ‘Counterfeit.’ Andrew Kirell @ Mediaite: Rep. Steve King: Obama Possibly a ‘Narcissist’ Who Wants to Get ‘Martyred’ by Impeachment. TFN Insider: Houston Anti-Gay Leader Issues Chilling Call in Effort to Repeal Anti-Discrimination Ordinance. Hemant Mehta @ Friendly Atheist: Mark Driscoll Admitted to Trolling His Own Church’s Online... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 06/12/2014, 10:45am
Surprise! Yesterday, the same Republican politician who tried to save his foundering presidential campaign with a gay-baiting TV ad defended ex-gay therapy and compared homosexuality to alcohol abuse. Speaking at a summit in California, Texas Gov. Rick Perry responded to questions about the Texas Republican Party’s endorsement of ex-gay therapy in its new far-right platform by arguing that homosexuality is like alcoholism: “Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that. I may have the genetic coding that I... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 05/29/2014, 3:04pm
Robert Jeffress was a guest on the American Family Association's "Today's Issues" radio program yesterday where he warned that it is probably inevitable that the Supreme Court will rule in favor of marriage equality and when that day comes, the federal government will then set about shutting down any opposition to gay marriage by revoking the broadcasting licenses of Christian radio stations. "What about stations who have license that are granted by the FCC?," he asked. "Can the FCC support stations that engage in hate speech or intolerance or that... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 05/08/2014, 11:15am
Last night, members of Congress and Religious Right activists gathered in Statuary Hall inside the US Capitol for an annual event called "Washington: A Man of Prayer" at which they honored George Washington by collectively praying that God would protect and defend the United States of America. Hosted by Mike Huckabee, the two hour event featured a variety of elected leaders, such as Rep. Tim Huelskamp and Rep. Steve King, who spoke together from the podium. Huelskamp asserted that God is at the heart of America because there is a small chapel located literally in the very center of... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 04/08/2014, 4:20pm
Fox News pundit Todd Starnes is outraged that TV shows these days include “families with two mommies or two daddies or a mommy who identifies as a daddy,” arguing in a Charisma column today that the gay community is largely responsible for the rise of divorce and single parent households. Starnes interviewed Southern Baptist megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress, who told him that marriage equality for same-sex couples “is having devastating sociological effects” because “when you counter something, you cheapen its value.” “The traditional nuclear family... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 02/27/2014, 10:57am
Robert Jeffress was interviewed yesterday about the decision by a federal judge striking down Texas' same-sex marriage ban. Not surprisingly, he did not agree with the ruling, declaring that there is no such thing as a constitutional right to marry, which is why siblings are not allow to marry one another. It was God who created the institution of marriage to be between one man and one woman, Jeffress stated, warning that America will not survive if it continues to condone "what God has condemned." "As an American," he said, "I also realize that no nation can... MORE >