EXCLUSIVE: Robert Jeffress: ‘No Christian Has the Right to Impose His Preference as a Litmus Test for Someone Else’s Christianity’

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump applauds while visiting Saint Francis of Assisi Church, a caucus site, Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, in West Des Moines , Iowa. (
AP/Jae C. Hong

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.

“Some Christians, including a well-known Christian author, have denounced Trump for his ‘tone’ and ‘vocabulary.’ However, when I’m looking for a leader who is going to sit across the table from Iran or confront radical Islamic terrorists, I don’t care about that leader’s tone or vocabulary. I want the toughest, meanest, son-of-a-gun I can find!” Jeffress adds.

From radio hosts Glenn Beck and Erick Erickson to Richard Land and the editors of the Christian Post, self-proclaimed Christian “leaders” are rushing to render their own Biblical judgments on Trump and his political supporters.

On Monday, the senior editors of the Christian Post stepped outside their usual policy of not endorsing or opposing specific candidates and published this broadside against the GOP front runner, headlined, “Donald Trump Is a Scam. Evangelical Voters Should Back Away.

“We feel compelled by our moral responsibility to our readers to make clear that Donald Trump does not represent the interests of evangelicals and would be a dangerous leader for our country,” the Post editors wrote.

“Trump claims to be a Christian, yet says he has never asked for forgiveness,” they note.

They then list Trump’s purported sins in detail.

“Trump is a misogynist and philanderer. He demeans women and minorities. His preferred forms of communication are insults, obscenities and untruths. While Christians have been guilty of all of these, we, unlike Trump, acknowledge our sins, ask for forgiveness and seek restitution with the aid of the Holy Spirit and our community of believers,” they opine.

Land, the executive editor of the Christian Post and former president emeritus of The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, is a signatory on the George Soros-funded Evangelical Immigration Table’s statement in support of the pro-amnesty 2013 “Gang of Eight” bill that passed the Senate but failed in the House.

As Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit pointed out, radio host Erick Erickson is also no fan of Donald Trump or Christians who vote for him:

Erick Erickson joined St. Louis radio host Mark Reardon on Tuesday to promote his new book. Erickson told Reardon, “I have no intention of ever voting for the guy.”(Trump) This is not the first time Erickson has made that promise. Erick is one of those fair weather conservatives who would rather see Hillary in the White House than Donald Trump.

Erickson: I’m not voting for him. I’ve said not this entire week I’m not going to vote for a liberal who supports Planned Parenthood and supports liberal [universal] Socialist-style healthcare. If the choice is between Hillary Clinton and a six figure donor to the Clinton Foundation I’m finding someone else to vote for.

If that wasn’t bad enough, Erick then attacked Evangelical Christians who support Donald Trump.

“Let’s take evangelicals for a minute because the media says Christians have the same divorce record [rate] as the secular world. Actually, the more you attend church the less you do divorce. In the same way self described evangelicals support Trump. But self-described evangelicals who go to church every week don’t support Trump,” Erickson told Reardon.

Erickson’s assertion that “self-described evangelicals who go to church every week don’t support Trump” is belied by the results of two Breitbart focus groups conducted of evangelical Christians conducted in Nashville, Tennessee recently. In those focus groups, a significant minority of “committed” evangelical Christians–those who not only attend church every week but for whom their faith is the definining element of their lives–supported Donald Trump.

Erickson is not the only radio host who loudly condemns Donald Trump on grounds his life is not sufficiently Christian. Nationally syndicated radio host Glenn Beck is equally judgmental when it comes to the GOP front runner, as Breitbart News reported last month.

TV host Glenn Beck attacked Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump Thursday, saying “too many people are looking at Trump and believing that man has ever opened a Bible … that’s the biggest crock of bullcrap I’ve ever heard.”

A number of lesser lights among the evangelicals busy judging others do not like Trump either.

“Trump is a not simply a charlatan, a huckster, a con-man, though he is all of that. He is also shameless. The more outlandish he is, the more he is rewarded with the only currency he cares about: attention,” writes Matthew Lee Anderson at the Mere Orthodoxy blog.

Reverend Franklin Graham, CEO of the Billy Graham Ministries, has a more even-handed approach to the candidates competing for the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination, as the Christian Post reported on Wednesday:

“I’m calling for a truce! A time out. A halt to the insults, the back-stabbing, the dirty tricks, and the name-calling that has been spewing from most of the presidential candidates. ‪#‎SuperTuesday is now over, but the campaign for the highest office in our land has stooped to a new low — and it’s not something to be proud of,” Graham wrote on Facebook Wednesday morning.

“I call on the candidates to drop the childish bickering and get back to the issues that can change America for the good, for the sake of our children and grandchildren. Otherwise America is ultimately the loser. It’s obvious that this country is in trouble — spiritually, morally, and politically,” he added.

Graham, who embarked on a nationwide tour of all 50 state capitals in January to encourage Christians to vote for candidates who represent their values, has a higher opinion of the ability of believers to make up their own minds than the self-proclaimed Christian leaders who are criticizing Donald Trump.

“There are particular sins that our nation has embraced–homosexual marriage and abortion. I encourage Christians to vote for politicians who stand for Biblical values. Let the individual Christians make the discernment as to what those values are,” Graham told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview in January.

“I’m not going to tell them to vote for or against a particular candidate,” Graham concluded.


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