Robert Jeffress

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Robert Jeffress
Robert Jeffress.jpg
Jeffress in 2011
Born Robert James Jeffress Jr.
(1955-11-29) November 29, 1955 (age 62)[1]
Alma mater Baylor University (B.S.)[2]
Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M)[2]
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (D.Min)[2]
Occupation Pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Amy Lyon Renard Jeffress
Children 2
Website https://ptv.org/

Robert James Jeffress Jr. (born November 29, 1955) is an American Southern Baptist (Evangelical) pastor, author, and radio and television host. Jeffress hosts the program, Pathway to Victory, which is broadcast on more than 1,200 television stations in the United States and 28 other countries. He also has a daily radio program, Pathway to Victory, which is heard on 900 stations and broadcast live in 195 countries.[3][4] He is the pastor of the 13,000-member[5] First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas.[6]

Personal life and education[edit]

Jeffress's father was Robert Jeffress Sr. (1925–1990). Jeffress and his wife, the former Amy Lyon Renard, have two daughters.[7]

Jeffress received a Bachelor of Science degree from Baylor University in Waco, Texas; a Master of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary; and a Doctor of Ministry from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.[3] In May 2010, he was awarded a Doctor of Divinity degree from Dallas Baptist University.[2]

In 1986, Jeffress was a contestant on the game show Card Sharks, and he won more than $4,000 as a four-day champion.[8]

Jeffress grew up under pastor W. A. Criswell of First Baptist Dallas and cited him as an influence on his own ministry.[9]

In 2006, Jeffress received the Daniel Award from Vision America.[10] On August 12, 2007, he was elected pastor of First Baptist Dallas, now a church of 13,000 members. He succeeded Mac Brunson. Previously, Jeffress had been the senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Wichita Falls since 1992. He had been the senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Eastland, Texas, from 1985 to 1992.[11]

At the Southern Baptist Church annual meeting on June 15, 2011, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary awarded Jeffress a distinguished alumni award for the impact of his ministry in Texas.[12]

On January 20, 2017, Jeffress preached the sermon at a private service at St. John’s Episcopal Church, attended by President-elect Donald Trump, on the day of the latter's Inauguration.[13][14]

First Baptist Church of Dallas[edit]

Under his leadership, the First Baptist Church of Dallas broke ground on the construction of a new 3,000-seat Worship Center. As of 2013, it was the largest Protestant church building campaign in modern history. The $130 million church campus officially opened for Easter Sunday worship on March 31, 2013.[15]

While the modern trend for many growing churches is to purchase old buildings, renovate existing space, or open satellite campuses in neighboring suburbs, First Baptist Church Dallas decided to keep the entire church in Downtown Dallas, where it has been since its inception in 1868.[15]

Views[edit]

Social issues[edit]

In the aftermath of the racial unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017, Pastor Jeffress condemned white supremacy: "Let there be no misunderstanding. Racism is sin. Period."[16] In a separate interview, he also stated that white supremacy and neo-Nazism are "repulsive and totally contradictory to the teaching of God." [17]

During an interview with CBN, Jeffress further addressed racial issues: "There has been a failure on the part of the Church, even a failure on conservative Christians in decades past, to denounce racism, to embrace segregation, which is so wrong." He added, "I think we did have some catching up to do but I think that in this environment, we need to say clearly, that racism is abhorrent in the eyes of God."[18]

In the summer of 2017, addressing the issue of DACA and children born to illegal immigrants, Jeffress said the "president is one of the most compassionate people I have ever been around, and he was sincerely torn between his sincere compassion for the DACA recipients and the oath of office he took on January 20th to execute all the laws of the land." Commenting on the future for those who would be affected by a change in DACA policy, Pastor Jeffress added, "I think [the president] came up with the perfect solution of delaying the ending of DACA and allowing Congress, the rightful people, to make the laws to fix this problem."[19] Jeffress summed up his views by stating, "Like nearly every pastor in America, I want to see a solution for children threatened with deportation...I believe it is unbiblical to tear apart families and to punish people who are in our country illegally through no fault of their own."[20]

An outspoken opponent of same-sex marriage, Jeffress has described such marriages as being "counterfeit."[21]

In 2008, Jeffress, in his sermon "Gay Is Not OK,"[22] stated, citing Romans 1:27: "And the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity." He declared: "What they [homosexuals] do is filthy. It is so degrading that it is beyond description. And it is their filthy behavior that explains why they are so much more prone to disease."[23]

After the Las Vegas massacre in October 2017, Jeffress appeared on the Fox Business network and said, "Evil is real, but evil is also temporary."[24] After the church shooting in Charleston in June 2015, Jeffress was on Fox News and referred to the attack as "pure, unadulterated evil."[25]

Religion[edit]

Jeffress believes that Jews, Muslims, Mormons, Catholics and Hindus have rejected Christ and will go to hell.[26][27] In a sermon in August 2010, Jeffress said that Prophet Muhammad and Islam promoted pedophilia referring to Aisha's age at marriage.[28][29] Also in 2010, Jeffress referred to Roman Catholicism as a "Satanic" result of "Babylonian mystery religion".[30] In another interview the same year, he said, "Mormonism is wrong, it is a heresy from the pit of Hell; Judaism, you can't be saved being a Jew, you know who said that by the way, the three greatest Jews in the New Testament, Peter, Paul, and Jesus Christ, they all said Judaism won't do it, it's faith in Jesus Christ."[31] In October 2011, at the Values Voter Summit, Jeffress called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) "a cult." He received widespread criticism for the statement but did not retract it despite Mitt Romney's request for him to do so.[32]

In December 2010, Jeffress established a "Naughty and Nice List" in which businesses were identified based on whether or not they openly celebrated Christmas: "I wanted to do something positive to encourage businesses to acknowledge Christmas and not bow to the strident voices of a minority who object to the holiday."[33][34] In December 2016, Jeffress said in an interview that he believes Christians are being "marginalized and attacked" in the United States and all around the world.[35]

Political activity and endorsement[edit]

Jeffress supported Governor Rick Perry in the Republican presidential primaries for the 2012 presidential nomination.[36] On October 7, 2011, he provoked a national controversy when he introduced Perry at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC, by indicating that one of Rick Perry's rivals, Mitt Romney, of Massachusetts, is opposed to Christianity. According to Jeffress, Romney's Mormonism contradicts the teachings of Jesus Christ.[37] Jeffress had previously made a similar statement during the 2008 presidential primaries.[38] Nevertheless, in April 2012, Jeffress endorsed Romney for president and strongly opposed the re-election of Barack Obama.[39]

In September, Jeffress warned Romney that he was risking defeat by concentrating solely on economic issues in the campaign: "Up to this point, the Romney strategy has been to focus on the economy. Well this isn't working out well for him, is it? Because the economy is improving, and it fails to recognize that many of the Republican base, many of them are social conservatives who care about the economy, but we also care about the moral and spiritual deterioration of our country."[40]

On November 4, 2012, the Sunday before the 2012 election, Jeffress commented on Obama and 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. 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.[41]

For the 2016 US Presidential election, Jeffress endorsed and appeared at rallies for the Republican candidate, Donald Trump although he initially endorsed Ben Carson. Jeffress also declared that Christians who would not vote for or support Trump as the Republican nominee were "fools" and "motivated by pride rather than principle."[42] Jeffress also stated that if a candidate ran on the principles found in the Sermon on the Mount in dealing with foreign enemies of the United States such as ISIS, Iran or North Korea, Jeffress "would run from that candidate as far as possible" and would still vote for Trump.[43]

On June 21, 2016, candidate Trump named Jeffress as a member of Trump's Evangelical Advisory Board and White House Faith Initiative.[44] Jeffress has described the Board's relationship with Trump as "This isn't so much our advising the president as it is the president seeking our perspective on a number of issues."[45][46]

In March 2018, Jeffress appeared as a Fox News contributor to discuss allegation that Donald Trump had an affair with a former adult film star Stormy Daniels, saying, "Even if it's proven to be true, it doesn't matter." stating it is irreleveant as policy matters more than the presidents personal life.[47]

Works[edit]

  • Faith at the Crossroads: Responding to the Challenges of Life by Robert Jeffress, Baptist Sunday School Board, 1989, ISBN 978-0805450736
  • Choose Your Attitudes, Change Your Life, Servant, 1992 ISBN 978-0896931237
  • The Road Most Traveled: Releasing the Power of Contentment in Your Life, Broadman & Holman, 1996 ISBN 978-0805462661
  • Say Goodbye To Regret by Robert Jeffress, Multnomah, 1998 ASIN: B01F9GCVUQ
  • As Time Runs Out: A Simple Guide to Bible Prophecy, Broadman & Holman, 1999 ISBN 978-0805420197
  • When Forgiveness Doesn't Make Sense, WaterBrook, 2001 ISBN 978-1578564644
  • Hearing the Master's Voice: The Comfort and Confidence of Knowing God's Will, WaterBrook, 2001 ISBN 978-1578562480
  • The Solomon Secrets: 10 Keys to Extraordinary Success from Proverbs, WaterBrook, 2002 ISBN 157856249X
  • I Want More!, WaterBrook, 2003 ISBN 978-1578565191
  • Coming Home: To the Father Who Loves You, WaterBrook, 2005 ISBN 978-1578568574
  • Grace Gone Wild!: Getting a Grip on God's Amazing Gift, WaterBrook, 2005 ISBN 978-1578565214
  • The Divine Defense: Six Simple Strategies for Winning Your Greatest Battles, WaterBrook, 2006 ISBN 978-1400070909
  • Second Chance, Second Act: Turning Your Messes into Successes, WaterBrook, 2007 ISBN 978-1400070916
  • Outrageous Truth: Seven Absolutes You Can Still Believe, WaterBrook, 2008 ISBN 978-1400074945
  • Twilight's Last Gleaming, Worthy Publishing, 2012 ISBN 978-193603-458-1
  • Clutter-Free Christianity: What God Really Desires for You, WaterBrook, 2009 ISBN 978-1400070923
  • Bible Studies for Life: Honest to God - Bible Study Book, LifeWay, 2013 ISBN 978-1430028956
  • How Can I Know?: Answers to Life's 7 Most Important Questions, Worthy, 2013 ISBN 978-1936034598
  • Pathway to Discovery, Pathway to Victory, 2014 ASIN: B074WMPGTX
  • Perfect Ending: Why Your Eternal Future Matters Today, Worthy Publishing, 2014 ISBN 978-161795-183-1
  • Countdown to the Apocalypse: Why ISIS and Ebola Are Only the Beginning, FaithWords, 2015 ISBN 978-1455563043
  • Not All Roads Lead to Heaven, Baker Books, 2016 ISBN 978-0-8010-1875-6
  • A Place Called Heaven: 10 Surprising Truths About Your Eternal Home, Baker Books, 2017 ISBN 978-0801018947

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Free Family Tree, Genealogy and Family History - MyHeritage".
  2. ^ a b c d "Senior Pastor Dr. Robert Jeffress · First Baptist Dallas". First Baptist Dallas.
  3. ^ a b "Who is Dr. Robert Jeffress?". Ptv.org. Retrieved 2012-11-12.
  4. ^ "Why on Earth Should We Be Thinking About Heaven?". www.christianpost.com. Retrieved 2017-09-26.
  5. ^ "About · First Baptist Dallas".
  6. ^ "Perry supporter says Romney's religion 'a cult'". CNN. October 8, 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-12.
  7. ^ "Robert James Jeffress". familytreemaker.genealogy.com. Archived from the original on April 4, 2013. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
  8. ^ "How First Baptist's Robert Jeffress Ordained Himself to Lead America". D Magazine. January 1, 2012. Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  9. ^ Ledbetter, Tammi Reed. "Criswell's leadership, vision, influence cited by Jeffress, Patterson, Hawkins". Baptist Press, 1/17/2002.
  10. ^ "Our Senior Pastor". First Baptist Church.
  11. ^ Staff. "FBC Dallas elects Jeffress new pastor". www.bpnews.net. Retrieved 2017-10-05.
  12. ^ "Southwestern honors distinguished alumni from Texas | Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary". swbts.edu. Retrieved 2017-09-27.
  13. ^ Bailey, Sarah Pulliam (January 20, 2017). "'God is not against building walls!' The sermon Donald Trump heard before his inauguration". Washington Post. Retrieved January 20, 2017. Following the example of President Obama and George W. Bush before him, Trump attended the private service at St. John’s Episcopal Church, which is near the White House. The morning worship service on Inauguration Day tradition began with President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933.
  14. ^ "Read the Sermon Trump Heard Before Becoming President". Time.
  15. ^ a b Cole, Kristin. "How Robert Jeffress Justifies $130 Million Church Campus". Charisma News. Retrieved 2017-09-27.
  16. ^ "'Racism is sin. Period': After Charlottesville, Christian leaders from across the US condemn white supremacy | Christian News on Christian Today". www.christiantoday.com. Retrieved 2017-09-26.
  17. ^ "Pastor Robert Jeffress Tells CBN's Faith Nation: White Supremacy Is Totally Repulsive, All Racism Should Be Denounced". CBN.com - The Christian Broadcasting Network.
  18. ^ "'Charlottesville Declaration' Calls on Evangelicals to Condemn White Supremacy". www.christianpost.com. Retrieved 2017-09-26.
  19. ^ "Faith Inside the Oval Office: Evangelical Advisor Shares What It's Like to Counsel Trump". CBN.com (beta). 2017-09-06. Retrieved 2017-09-26.
  20. ^ "Evangelical Trump Supporter Robert Jeffress Backs Solution for Dreamers as DACA Expires". The Christian Post. 13 Feb 2018. Retrieved 26 Feb 2018.
  21. ^ "Pastor Robert Jeffress: Gay Marriages Are 'Counterfeit' – alan.com".
  22. ^ "The Savior Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Dallas".
  23. ^ "How First Baptist's Robert Jeffress Ordained Himself to Lead America," Michael J. Mooney, D Magazine, January 2012
  24. ^ "Trump's faith-based address encourages nation after Las Vegas: Pastor Jeffress". Fox Business. 2017-10-03. Retrieved 2017-10-05.
  25. ^ "Dr. Robert Jeffress: Evil exists". Fox News. June 18, 2015. Retrieved October 5, 2017.
  26. ^ Haag, Matthew (14 May 2018). "Robert Jeffress, Pastor Who Said Jews Are Going to Hell, Led Prayer at Jerusalem Embassy". The New York TImes. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  27. ^ Scott, Eugene (14 May 2018). "Analysis | A look at Robert Jeffress, the controversial figure giving the prayer at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem today". Washington Post. Retrieved 18 June 2018. God sends good people to Hell. Not only do religions like Mormonism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism — not only do they lead people away from God, they lead people to an eternity of separation from God in Hell.
  28. ^ Burke, Daniel. "Inflammatory pastor preached to Trump before inauguration". CNN. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  29. ^ "Dallas Pastor Defends Claim That Islam 'Promotes Pedophilia' (VIDEO)". Talking Points Memo. Retrieved 2017-09-27.
  30. ^ "Jeffress Says Satan Is Behind Roman Catholicism". Right Wing Watch. October 8, 2011.
  31. ^ "Jeffress: Jews, Mormons, Muslims And Gays Are Going To Hell". www.rightwingwatch.org. Retrieved 2016-09-14.
  32. ^ Karen Brooks and Peter Bohan (October 9, 2011). "Texas pastor stands ground on 'cult' comment about Mormons". Reuters. Retrieved 2011-10-09.
  33. ^ "December 7, 2010 Podcaset". Christian News Weekly.
  34. ^ "First Baptist's Robert Jeffress to Publicly Shame Stores That Don't Celebrate Christmas". Dallas Morning News. December 7, 2010.
  35. ^ Insider, Fox News (2016-12-23). "Pastor: Christians Are Being 'Marginalized & Attacked' in the U.S. & Around the World". Fox News Insider. Retrieved October 5, 2017.
  36. ^ "Jeffress endorses Perry at Values Voter Summit". The Washington Post. October 7, 2011.
  37. ^ Burns, Alexander. "Perkins: Perry camp approved Jeffress". Politico.
  38. ^ Roche, Lisa Riley. "Prominent Dallas minister says Romney no Christian". Deseret News, October 20, 2007.
  39. ^ Walker, Joseph (April 17, 2012). "Rev. Jeffress endorses Mitt Romney and shared values". Deseret News. Retrieved 2012-11-12.
  40. ^ "Pastor Robert Jeffress Warns Romney of Losing Evangelical Base on Social Issues, September 28, 2012". The Christian Post. Retrieved December 13, 2012.
  41. ^ Gryboski, Michael (November 8, 2012). "Texas Megachurch Pastor Says Obama Will 'Pave Way' for Antichrist". The Christian Post. Retrieved 2012-11-12.
  42. ^ Blair, Leonardo (March 2, 2016). "Robert Jeffress: Christians Not Voting for Donald Trump If He's the Nominee Are Foolish, Prideful". The Christian Post. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  43. ^ Gettys, Travis (July 13, 2016). "Megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress would vote for Trump over Jesus: The Bible calls for a 'strongman'". The Raw Story. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  44. ^ "Trump Campaign Announces Evangelical Executive Advisory Board" Archived 2017-01-18 at the Wayback Machine. (Press Release). Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. June 21, 2016. Trump-Pence website. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  45. ^ "Faith Inside the Oval Office: Evangelical Advisor Shares What It's Like to Counsel Trump". CBN News. 6 Sep 2017. Retrieved 26 Feb 2018.
  46. ^ Graham, Ruth. "How Robert Jeffress became one of the most influential Trump supporters in Christendom". Slate. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  47. ^ "Pastor Jeffress talks evangelical reaction to Stormy Daniels". Fox News. 2018-03-08. Retrieved 2018-03-09 – via YouTube.