Pastor Dr. Robert Jeffress dismissed criticism over his sermon at President Donald Trump’s private service on Friday, saying God placed the new president in power.
Following his sermon at St. John’s Episcopal Church near Washington, D.C. before the inauguration ceremony, Jeffress was targeted by the media and critics as anti-Muslim, anti-gay and called the “inflammatory pastor” by CNN, Martha MacCallum reported on Fox News.
Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, delivered a sermon called “When God Chooses a Leader,” and compared Trump’s candidacy to the Biblical story of Nehemiah who was called by God 2,500 years ago to build a wall around Jerusalem to protect Israel.
Trump “got a big kick out of that” similarity, Jeffress noted.
The pastor of the Dallas megachurch backed Trump early on in the campaign because he felt he was the only one with leadership skills to “reverse the downward spiral of the country” and he was the only candidate who could defeat Hillary Clinton.
“I believe that you’re going to be the next president of the United States,” Jeffress recalled telling Trump. “And if that happens, it’s because God has placed you in this position of leadership.”
The pastor reacted to criticism of Trump’s inaugural speech and his own remarks and beliefs, arguing that part of the Left’s agenda is “demonizing” conservative Christians because they are the “last speed bump on the way to a liberal society.”
Jeffress believes Trump will not live up to the fearful expectations of his critics, and the new president is interested in preserving the rights and freedoms of all Americans.
“People are going to be surprised at how inclusionary he is,” Jeffress said.
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