A Christian filmmaker has taken the time to define “bigotry” for Utah Senate candidate Mitt Romney after the Mormon politician issued a statement that appeared to demand that a Christian pastor express views that are non-Christian.
The dispute erupted in conjunction with the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, a move President Trump took to fulfill a campaign promise and carry out a federal law that had been waived for more than two decades.
Romney jumped onto social media to bash a Christian pastor, a Trump fan, who was selected by the president and his administration to deliver a prayer at the ceremony today in Jerusalem.
Robert Jeffress says “you can’t be saved by being a Jew,“ and “Mormonism is a heresy from the pit of hell.” He’s said the same about Islam. Such a religious bigot should not be giving the prayer that opens the United States Embassy in Jerusalem.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) May 14, 2018
Romney blasted the Christian pastor, Robert Jeffress, over his beliefs.
“Robert Jeffress says ‘you can’t be saved by being a Jew,’ and ‘Mormonism is a heresy from the pit of hell.’ He’s said the same about Islam,” Romney charged. “Such a religious bigot should not be giving the prayer that opens the United States embassy in Jerusalem.”
Jeffress responded with a statement insisting his views are in accord with Christian teaching.
Historic Christianity has taught for 2,000 years that salvation is through faith in Christ alone. The fact that I, along with tens of millions of evangelical Christians around the world, continue to espouse that belief, is neither bigoted nor newsworthy.
— Dr. Robert Jeffress (@robertjeffress) May 14, 2018
“Historic Christianity has taught for 2,000 years that salvation is through faith in Christ alone. The fact that I, along with tens of millions of evangelical Christians around the world, continue to espouse that belief, is neither bigoted nor newsworthy,” Jeffress wrote.
Christian evangelist, author and advocate Ray Comfort, whose library of work includes “Hitler, God, and the Bible,” “Nothing Created Everything,” “Noah: The Real Story” and “You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence But You Can’t Make Him Think,” wondered about Romney’s own beliefs.
Comfort said in a statement Romney is “sadly mistaken.”
He said “tweets such as this can only cause more division in our government, and potentially cause division between Israel and the United States. ”
“If Mitt Romney knew the Scriptures, he would know that no one is saved by being a Jew. God saves by grace, not by race. I’m a Jew and trust alone in His grace. If Romney knew the Scriptures, he would know that the Jesus revealed in the Bible is not the brother of Lucifer, that God doesn’t live on a distant planet with multiple wives, and that we are not all going to eventually become gods. These are just some of the beliefs of the Mormon church – not doctrines that are found anywhere in the Bible.”
He urged Romney to watch a video of “a civil discourse” he had with a “very likeable Mormon” in Huntington Beach, California, just days ago.
“The God of the Jews provided one Jewish Savior who went first to the Jews, then the offer of eternal life went universal – to the Jews and to Gentiles. The biblical gospel is good news for Jews, Mormons, atheists, Muslims, Hindus, agnostics, etc. — ‘whosoever will may come,'” he said.
“Christianity is not bigotry. It’s just the opposite.”
Romney’s rebuke of Jeffress drew the attention of NBC, which described the pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas as “controversial.”
In response, Jeffress told the network Mormonism “has never been considered a part of historic Christianity.”
“People may disagree with that view, but it’s not a view unique to me.”
NBC criticized Jeffress for the comments about the Bible’s teaching that those who fail to follow Jesus will not go to heaven.
“While a staunch ally of the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Jeffress has been criticized for preaching that all non-Christians, including people who are Jewish, will not go to heaven,” the network said.
Jeffress said in a Feb. 6, 2017, video posted on his church’s website that “the truth everyone headed to hell has rejected is that Jesus Christ is the only means by which a person may be saved.”
“Jesus could not have been more clear [when] he said, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me.'”
The network also pointed to other biblical beliefs Jeffress has expressed, such as Islam “is a false religion that is based on a false book that was written by a false prophet” and the “New Testament also prohibits homosexual marriage.”
ABC reported Jeffress’ prayer included, “I believe, Father, I speak for every one of us when I say we thank you every day that you have given us a president who boldly stands on the right side of history, but more importantly stands on the right side of you, God, when it comes to Israel.”
President Trump announced Dec. 6 that the U.S. would formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in accordance with a law passed overwhelmingly by Congress in 1994 that had been waived every six months by the president for national security considerations.
Social media comments ranged from “Spot On!” and “Hallelujah!!!” to “Mitt Rommney (sic) is using you to get his name back in the news,” with almost nothing in the middle.
See Ray Comfort’s library of works, including “Hitler, God, and the Bible,” “Nothing Created Everything,” “Noah: The Real Story,” “You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence But You Can’t Make Him Think,” and many others, at the WND Superstore.