An influential Texas pastor says voting for a Mormon –– the faith where Mitt Romney sits as a High Priest –– though a cult, is better than re-electing President Barack Obama, a Christian, and he compares Obama to Hitler.
First Baptist Church of Dallas Senior Pastor Robert Jeffress told religious leaders at WTBN Ninth Annual Pastors Appreciation Lunch on Tuesday that they needed to make politics a part of their sermons, according to The Tampa Tribune.
“I believe the preservation of America depends on pastors,” Jeffress said. “This is no time for God’s men to be passive. It’s time to stand up and push back against all the evil in our country… Tell your people that they have a choice: to cast a vote for righteousness or vote for unrighteousness.”
For weeks, Jeffress has been on a tour of 10 American cities to convince other evangelical pastors to tell their congregations to vote, and that they must vote for Romney. The pastor says that it isn't about partisan politics for him, but about what's right and wrong, about decency, Spiegel international said.
Jeffress said that pastors should urge church members to vote for candidates who support “biblical values” like opposition to abortion and marriage equality, Raw story writes.
“Stay silent, he warned them, and you’re no different than German Lutheran pastors who didn’t speak out against Hitler’s growing influence in the late 1930s. That lack of action led to the Holocaust, he said,” the Tribune‘s Michelle Bearden reported.
Mormonism is a cult
In an interview after the event, Jeffress said that he had not explicitly endorsed Romney, but “people can connect the dots. It’s clear which candidate shares our views.”
The Texas pastor first made news in 2007 when Mitt Romney made his first run for the presidency and question arose about his faith. "Mitt Romney is not a Christian. He's a Mormon and Mormonism is a cult," Jeffress told abc7news.
At the time, former Arkansas governor and Baptist minister Mike Huckabee was leading in polls of likely Republican caucus-goers in Iowa. An ABC News poll showed 39-percent of Republican evangelicals were uncomfortable with a Mormon president.
Jeffress made news again in 2011 when he told the Values Voter Summit that Gov. Rick Perry was a “a genuine follower of Jesus Christ” and Romney was “not a Christian” because he belong to a cult. Mormonism "is a heresy from the pit of Hell," Jeffress said.
That view hasn't changed in 2012. “It’s absolutely a cult,” Jeffress explained on Tuesday. "I still believe Mormonism is a false religion that leads people away from rather than toward the true God."
Christians helped reelect Bush in 2004
The election is still a week away, and the question is whether Romney will manage to mobilize the last doubters within his party with these fire and brimstone messages.
It seemed to help in 2004 when fundamentalist Christians helped reelect former President George W. Bush, but he was of the same faith. They have great reservations about Romney because his Mormon faith challenges their faith, Spiegel international said.
The Mormon religion has its own unique beliefs –– that Jesus Christ is Satan’s more meek older brother; that he's coming back to earth, but it will be in Missouri; that the Book of Mormon as translated by Joseph Smith supersedes the Bible as the word of God; and that when faced with criticism about the church, lie for the Lord (lying for the Lord consists of selectively giving unto the receiver the information that will help him view the Church, its history and its leaders in the most favorable light possible.)
However, Jeffress didn't talk about those differences Tuesday. “Mormonism is not part of Christianity. We clearly differ on theology," he conceded. But the fear of Obama, the other party's candidate, who has been a Christian for over 20 years, the man so many people still falsely believe is a Muslim, is greater. This is the most important issue. Romney, Jeffress said, is "the lesser of two evils."