Evangelical Christians around the nation are condemning failed presidential candidate Mitt Romney for smearing Dr. Robert Jeffress as a “religious bigot” for believing that salvation can only be found through faith in Jesus Christ.
“I think it’s just sad that he is that bitter, I guess, over the 2012 election,” Jeffress said Monday on my nationally-syndicated radio show. “Maybe he’s bitter as he thinks to himself he could have been president and done what President Trump is doing, or the fact is he couldn’t have, which is why he’s not president.”
On Sunday night Romney posted an unhinged Twitter diatribe questioning why Jeffress had been selected to pray at the opening of the new embassy in Jerusalem.
“Robert Jeffress says ‘you can’t be saved by being a Jew,’ and ‘Mormonism is a heresy from the pit of hell,'” Romney wrote on Twitter. “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.”
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
Jeffress, who is a regular guest on my nationally-syndicated radio show, was stunned by Romney’s ugly remarks.
“Historical Christianity has taught for 2,000 years that salvation is through faith alone in Jesus Christ,” Jeffress said. “The fact that I, along with millions of evangelical Christians around the world, espouse that belief is neither bigoted or newsworthy.”
Romney’s scathing attacks brought condemnation across the nation.
“Mitt Romney should stick to politics and try harder there,” said
Prestonwood Baptist Church pastor Jack Graham said on my radio show.
“I suppose Mitt Romney believes as long as you believe the Bible and the New Testament and theology of the Christian faith and pray in the name of Jesus — you don’t have the freedom to speak (at the embassy opening),” he added.
“Mitt Romney is showing his true colors as a liberal RINO by using the Democrat playbook to attack a Baptist pastor who is simply standing for the orthodox Christian faith,” said Dr. Emir Caner, president of Truett-McConnell University. “After all, if Jeffress is a bigot for declaring that there is only one way to heaven, so too was Jesus a bigot by declaring, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
The views expressed by Dr. Jeffress are in line with the teachings of the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest Protestant denomination.
The North American Mission Board of the SBC labels the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as “cultic.”
“Mormon teaching is not orthodox nor biblical in that it does not hold to the inerrancy of Scripture, nor to the full, eternal divinity of Christ. On those two points alone, Mormon teaching does not qualify as orthodox Christianity,” NAMB states.
“Obviously, the question “Are Mormons Christians?” is not controversial because of a mere disagreement over classification. The real issue is whether the LDS Church is a valid, authentic, faithful expression of the Christian faith. On this question, we must simply accept the fact that evangelicals and LDS will disagree,” NAMB states.
The question must be asked — does Romney consider the 14 million members of the Southern Baptist Convention to be religious bigots, too?
“Ultimately, a good Jew, Muslim or Baptist cannot go to heaven without the saving blood of Jesus Christ,” Caner said.