Last night, Trump-loving pastor Robert Jeffress appeared on Fox News to explain why reports that President Trump had an adulterous affair with adult-film actress Stormy Daniels were “totally irrelevant” to the evangelicals who support him.
Jeffress insisted that “evangelicals know they’re not compromising their beliefs in order to support this great president” and that Trump’s personal behavior is “totally irrelevant” because he is displaying “strong leadership” and promoting their political agenda.
This argument struck us as rather remarkable and reminded us of a debate the Jeffress had with Jay Sekulow back in 2008 over the propriety of evangelical Christians voting for a Mormon like Mitt Romney, during which he insisted that it was unacceptable for Christians to overlook questions about a candidate’s faith, worldview and behavior simply for the sake of “some temporary change in the law.”
Back then, Jeffress blasted “the hypocrisy of some evangelical leaders … who, for the last eight years of the Bush administration, have been telling us how important it is to have an evangelical Christian in office who reads his Bible every day. And now, suddenly, the same leaders are telling us that a candidate’s faith really isn’t that important. In fact, one of those leaders—a good friend of mine—said on national television, when it came to supporting Mitt Romney, he said, ‘Well, after all, we are not electing a theologian in chief, we are electing a commander in chief.’ My fear is such a sudden U-turn is going to give people a case of voter whiplash. I think people have to decide, and Christian leaders have to decide once and for all, whether a candidate’s faith is really important.”
“Christians need to remember that the kingdom of God is not going to come riding in on Air Force One,” Jeffress said. “The danger in all of this discussion is that Christians sometimes are willing to sacrifice the temporal for the eternal, that in order to get their candidate elected, to enact those laws that they feel are crucial, somehow we fool ourselves into thinking we are going to bring about the kingdom of God here on earth. We are not going to do that. I’m not willing to trade people’s eternal destiny for some temporary change in the law.”