Robert Jeffress, senior pastor at the First Baptist Church in Dallas, made remarks on Sunday before the election that should Obama win, his victory would lead to the reign of the Antichrist.
“I want you to hear me tonight, I am not saying that President Obama is the Antichrist, I am not saying that at all. One reason I know he’s not the Antichrist is the Antichrist is going to have much higher poll numbers when he comes,” said Jeffress.
“President Obama is not the Antichrist. But what I am saying is this: the course he is choosing to lead our nation is paving the way for the future reign of the Antichrist.”
Jeffress would go on to say that “it is time for Christians to stand up and to push back against this evil that is overtaking our nation” and to do so via “the ballot box.”
This is not the first time that Jeffress has garnered controversy for his remarks regarding major political figures. During the Family Research Council’s “Values Voters Summit” in October of last year, Jeffress called Mormonism a cult.
“Mitt Romney is a Mormon, and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. Even though he talks about Jesus as his Lord and savior, he is not a Christian. Mormonism is not Christianity. Mormonism is a cult,” said Jeffress, who was supporting Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s bid to become the GOP presidential nominee.
“It’s a little hypocritical for the last eight years to be talking about how important it is for us to elect a Christian president and then turn around and endorse a non-Christian.”
Jeffress’ remarks received much criticism, both for his refusal to vote for someone over their religious beliefs and because in the opinions of some there had been a different understanding as to what the word “cult” meant in the context Jeffress was using.
In a column for The Christian Post, Dr. Richard Land noted the disparity between how Jeffress used the word “cult” and how the public perceived it.
“The problem is that while Mormonism may technically be a cult theologically, in that it has moved well beyond the parameters of orthodox, apostle’s creed Trinitarian Christianity, it does not behave as a cult culturally or socially,” wrote Land.
“Most people would tell you that Mormons are solid citizens and among the nicest and most moral people they know.”
Despite the statements made at the VVS in October, as Romney gained the nomination Jeffress proceeded to voice his support for the Mormon candidate.
“I haven’t changed my tune … In fact, I never said Christians should not vote for Mitt Romney. When I talked about his theology,” said Jeffress in an interview with Fox News.
“I still maintain there are vast differences in theology between Mormons and Christians, but we do share many of the same values, like the sanctity of life and religious freedom.”