DALLAS, TX — First Baptist Church Dallas Pastor Robert Jeffress stepped into the debate over America’s response to escalating tensions with North Korea last night, issuing a statement that President Donald Trump has the God-given authority “to take out Kim Jong-Un.”
“When it comes to how we should deal with evil doers, the Bible, in the book of Romans, is very clear: God has endowed rulers full power to use whatever means necessary – including war – to stop evil,” read the statement.
Jeffress told the Washington Post he decided to make the statement after watching the President say North Korea would be “met with fire and fury” should the nation continue threats against the United States. Those comments came after North Korea’s success in building a miniaturized nuclear warhead capable of reaching the U.S. mainland. North Korea, in turn, responded with a threat against the U.S. Pacific island territory of Guam, home to a strategic U.S. naval base and Andersen Air Force Base.
Jeffress pointed to past administrations taking “sheepish stance[es] toward dictators and oppressors” in basing his support for a military strike. Trump “will not tolerate any threat against the American people” said the statement released to The Brody File of The Christian Broadcasting Network.
One of first Trump evangelical supporters
Jeffress first let his support for Trump known in January 2016, well before the New York businessman became the established front-runner for the Republican nomination. A formal endorsement came later, followed by the First Baptist Dallas pastor being named to Trump’s 25-member Evangelical Advisory Board on June 21 that year.
On the morning of Trump’s inauguration Jan. 20, Jeffress preached in front of the incoming president and others gathered at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington for the traditional worship service accompanying Inauguration Day.
At 4:20 p.m. yesterday, Jeffress tweeted, “When @POTUS draws a red line, he will not erase, move or back away from it. Thank God for pres. who is serious ab. protecting our country.” That would become the final line in his statement released to The Brody File. Host David Brody tweeted out a story containing the full statement at 5:58 p.m.
The Dallas pastor anticipated critics citing Romans 12, which says “Do not repay evil for evil.” However, he told the Post, that passage refers to individuals and not the government.
Romans 13, he countered, gives government the responsibility in dealing with rogue nations such as North Korea. “[The government has] the authority to do whatever, whether it’s assassination, capital punishment, or evil punishment to quell the actions of evildoers like Kim Jong -Un,” he said.
Jeffress’ full statement appears below:
“When it comes to how we should deal with evil doers, the Bible, in the book of Romans, is very clear: God has endowed rulers full power to use whatever means necessary – including war – to stop evil. In the case of North Korea, God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong-Un. I’m heartened to see that our president – contrary to what we’ve seen with past administrations who have taken, at best, a sheepish stance toward dictators and oppressors – will not tolerate any threat against the American people. When President Trump draws a red line, he will not erase it, move it, or back away from it. Thank God for a President who is serious about protecting our country.”