Friday, August 2, 2019

Yes, Robert Jeffress, Democrats Can Be Christians Too

When they talk about God, they are not talking about the real God - the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God who revealed Himself in the Bible.  These liberal Democrats are talking about an imaginary God they have created in their own minds: a god who loves abortion and hates Israel.
Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Dallas and an evangelical adviser to the president, June 29, 2012

Contrary to popular belief, the Republican party does not have the corner on Christianity.  There is no one party that has got it right.  No one party that can claim to be Christian over the other or that one party is doing it right or wrong.

Parties do not have religious affiliations.  Their members do.  And this may come as a shock to many, but 62% of those who claim to be staunchly Democrat or lean Democrat would claim some form of Christianity.  

Yet here we have a pastor who chooses to write them all off.

I've already had issues with Jeffress.  He has made many statements that indicate that he has traded in Christianity for political power.  Here are just a few of his gems.

"I believe any Christian who would sit at home and not vote for the Republican nominee...that person is being motivated by pride rather than principle...”. 

You know, I was debating an evangelical professor on NPR, and this professor said, ‘Pastor, don’t you want a candidate who embodies the teaching of Jesus and would govern this country according to the principles found in the Sermon on the Mount?’  I said, ‘Heck no.’ I would run from that candidate as far as possible, because the Sermon on the Mount was not given as a governing principle for this nation.”

“Government is to be a strongman to protect its citizens against evildoers. When I’m looking for somebody who’s going to deal with ISIS and exterminate ISIS, I don’t care about that candidate’s tone or vocabulary, I want the meanest, toughest, son of a you-know-what I can find - and I believe that’s biblical.”
“Evangelicals still believe in the commandment: Thou shalt not have sex with a porn star.  However, whether this president violated that commandment or not is totally irrelevant to our support of him.”

“Let me say this as charitably as I can. These ‘Never Trump’ evangelicals are morons.  They are absolutely spineless morons and they cannot admit that they were wrong.

Or how about the time he had the First Baptist Choir sing a Make America Great Again hymn.

This is clearly a person who has thoroughly entwined himself with one particular political party.  A bit different from his ideals proclaimed in his book Twilight’s Last Gleaming, that Christian leaders are preferable to non-Christians because their “core beliefs” would keep them from “immortality” and “corruption.”

What has Jeffress gained from this change?  A spot on Trump’s evangelical advisory board.  National prominence.  Publicity for him and First Baptist Dallas.  A regular spot on Fox News.

I tend to side with Messiah College history professor John Fea, who argued, “Historically, whenever…ministers get involved in politics it ends up being bad for the church.  If you mix ice cream and horse manure, it doesn’t do much to the horse manure, but it sure does ruin the ice cream.  [Ministers] must always be in the business of speaking the truth to power.  And there is a LOT of truth that needs to be spot to Donald Trump.

Maybe it's time to start treating Jeffress as a political figure, and not a pastor.  To view his proclamations as having little to do with the Word of God, and more to do with his political affiliations.

If this is where he wants to plant his flag, let's treat him as such.

* And for those asking, what about abortion, how can a Christian support abortion - please note that there are pro-life Democrats.  Democrats for Life America was created in 1999 for the purpose of electing pro-life Democrats.  A 2014 Gallup poll found that 28% of Democrats were pro-life.  This should be unsurprising given the Catholic position on abortion and the number of Catholics that vote Democratic.  There are others that may not label themselves pro-life but struggle with separating their personal feelings from what they believe the government should do.  Further, the Democratic party platform includes many social programs that actually reduce the number of abortions performed.  We have to stop looking at these as either-or-issues, or nothing will ever change.

1 comment:

  1. This is why I no longer consider myself Southern Baptist.