Robert Jeffress

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

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 >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 02/26/2014, 5:10pm
Southern Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress warned today that churches that don’t embrace right-wing politics are going to “surrender the control and the direction of this country to the godless, immoral infidels who hate God.” He made the remarks at a National Religious Broadcasters convention press conference that also featured Family Research Council president Tony Perkins and pastor Rafael Cruz, the father of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. During the press conference, Paul Stanley of the Christian Post asked Jeffress about pastor John MacArthur, a conservative megachurch pastor who at... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 01/08/2014, 6:29pm
How do we know that people are not born gay? Well, "think about a newborn baby. Is he or she sexually and romantically attracted to people of the same sex? No, of course not." Robert Jeffress sure knows how to frame his books in order to generate attention. Did you know that "God invented social media"? Shockingly, Phyllis Schlafly says "raising the minimum wage may actually be worth considering if it has the side benefit of cutting the gigantic total of our hidden welfare programs." Finally, Sen. Ted Cruz obviously has no qualms about... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 12/26/2013, 6:35pm
Steve Benen @ The Maddow Blog: ‘I haven’t read the article.’ Simon Brown @ Wall of Separation: The Waltons' War On Public Education: Heirs Of Wal-Mart Founder Spend Millions Supporting School Vouchers. TFN Insider: 2013 in Quotes: Anti-Obama Derangement Syndrome. Matt Wilstein @ Mediaite: The ‘War on Christmas’ Comes to Israel. Christian Walters @ Towleroad: Pastor Robert Jeffress Defends Phil Robertson, Asserts Gays Are Sexual Threat To Children. MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 12/19/2013, 12:53pm
Robert Jeffress appeared on AFA's "Today's Issues" program yesterday to discuss "why should atheist celebrate Christmas" and the overall "War on Christmas" in general with host Tim Wildmon. MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Wednesday 07/17/2013, 11:02am
Senators and presidential hopefuls Rand Paul and Ted Cruz will head to Iowa this week as featured speakers at a closed-door event for conservative pastors that has been organized by David Lane, an anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-Mormon, Christian-nation absolutist who has declared war, not only on secularism and separation of church and state, but also on establishment Republicans who don’t embrace his vision of an America in which the Bible serves as “the principle textbook” for public education and a “Christian culture” has been “re-established.” He... MORE >