Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney decried Trump evangelical adviser Dr. Robert Jeffress as a “religious bigot,” saying he should not give opening prayers for the U.S. Jerusalem embassy on Monday.
Romney, a current Utah Senate hopeful, denounced the Baptist minister from Dallas on Sunday night over twitter, citing his remarks about Jews, Muslims, and Mormons, according to The Associated Press.
Jeffress denounced Mormonism as heresy and said Judaism does not lead to spiritual salvation in a 2011 speech at the Values Voter Summit. He has also denounced Islam for what he sees as negative cultural influence and false spiritual teachings. (RELATED: President’s Spiritual Mentor Says ‘God Has Given Trump Authority To Take Out Kim Jong Un’)
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 dismissed Romney’s accusations and said that Romney took his comments out of context, according to Haaretz. He clarified, however, that such beliefs are mainstream among Christians, as the claim of salvation exclusively through belief and confession in Jesus Christ as the son of God has been a central tenet of Christianity for thousands of years.
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
Jeffress also expressed full support for President Donald Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, citing the belief that god gave Jerusalem to the Jewish people, according to Haaretz.
“Jerusalem has been the object of the affection of both Jews and Christians down through history and the touchstone of prophecy, but most importantly, God gave Jerusalem — and the rest of the Holy Land — to the Jewish people,” Jeffress said after the announcement that the embassy would be moved.
Jeffress will deliver the prayer during the opening ceremony for the embassy. He said that he would pray for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, thank God for Trump, and recount God’s faithfulness to the Jewish people.
“In that prayer, I’m going to be recounting God’s history of faithfulness to His people, the Israelites. I’m going to be thanking God for the strong leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu, who is absolutely determined to protect Israel. And I’m also going to be thanking God for our President Donald Trump, who had the courage to do what no other U.S. President has done, and that is to officially recognize Jerusalem and to move the embassy. This is another example of promise made, promise kept,” Jeffress told Todd Starnes of Fox News.
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