Right-wing pastor Robert Jeffress has been growing increasingly defensive as he faces criticism over his warm embrace of Donald Trump, especially from fellow right-wing Christians like the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer.
Jeffress is particularly upset that self-professed Christians who support Trump are having the legitimacy of their faith questioned for doing so:
Robert Jeffress, the pastor of the 12,000 member First Baptist Church in Dallas who has endorsed Donald Trump, is pushing back against several high profile Christian leaders and pundits who have mocked the professions of faith of Trump and anyone who votes for him.
“Every Christian has the right to his own opinion about a presidential candidate, but no Christian has the right to impose his preference as a litmus test for someone else’s Christianity or spirituality,” Jeffress tells Breitbart News in an exclusive interview.
This is quite a change for Jefress who, during the last Republican presidential primary, urged Christians not to vote for a Mormon like Mitt Romney because “every true, born-again follower of Christ ought to embrace a Christian over a non-Christian.”
In fact, back in 2011, Jeffress sat down with none other than Bryan Fischer to explain that “evangelical Christians need to support and encourage true born-again followers of Christ to be president” and therefore needed to support Rick Perry over Romney.
Paraphrasing John Jay, Jeffress stated that “as Christians, we have the duty and the privilege to select and prefer Christians as our leaders.”
“We ought to have a born-again follower of Christ in the Oval Office if we have a choice,” he stated, insisting that Christians should always prefer the candidate who is “in-dwelt by the spirit of God” over one who isn’t.
Jeffress even attacked Romney for being “all over the map” on issues like abortion and marriage:
This time around, the GOP primary race still has more than one candidate that would presumably meet Jeffress’ standard for being a “true born-again follower of Christ,” yet Jeffress is not supporting them and is, instead, proudly standing by the one who has been “all over the map” on the issues he claims to care so dearly about.