Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney decried the pastor that President Trump chose to pray at the historic ceremony for the opening of the US embassy for Israel in Jerusalem.
Robert Jeffress says "you can't be saved by being a Jew", and "Mormonism is a heresy from the pit of hell". In 2010, he said that Judaism, along with Mormonism, Islam and Hinduism were religions, quote, "that lead people to an eternity of separation from God in hell". Afterward, Jeffress spoke with reporters and told them that the Mormon Church is a cult.
"Historic Christianity, for 2,000 years, has taught that salvation is through faith in Christ alone".
Along with backing Netanyahu's government and Trump's embassy move, Jeffress was reported to have vehemently supported the USA president during his 2016 campaign as a member of the then presidential candidate's evangelical advisory board.
"Those comments Mitt used were out of context, they were twisted, some were not accurate at all", Jeffress said, insisting that the fact that he and millions of other evangelicals believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven is "really not newsworthy and it certainly doesn't qualify me as a bigot".
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If that's not enough to make your head spin, Christians United for Israel founder Pastor John Hagee will deliver a closing blessing at the ceremony. Past U.S. presidents have historically declined to weigh in on the dispute over the city. Mass protests broke out along the border fence with Gaza in the hours before the embassy opening on Monday, and Israeli soldiers shot and killed more than 50 Palestinians, the Health Ministry reported.
The Open House for Pride and Tolerance, a Jerusalem-based LGBT activist organization, also joined in the criticism, saying pastor Jeffress had earlier billed homosexual rights promoters as "pedophilia activists", and gays as "perverts". The message was clear but Hagee said his position was misrepresented and "the ugliest of lies".
Jeffress, a leading evangelical supporter of Donald Trump, said without the president's "determination, resolve, courage, we would not be here today".
The ADL, referring to the opening of the embassy, stated, "We need prayers of peace, hope, openness and respect".
A church member gave him the two books - "Heather Has Two Mommies" and "Daddy's Roommate" - and then Jeffress sent a $54 check to the library for the cost of the books.