Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Debate Worth Watching: Jay Sekulow vs. Pastor Robert Jeffress

Given that Rick Perry has decided to employ a passive aggressive attack against Mitt Romney's faith by having controversial Pastor Robert Jeffress of the Dallas First Baptist Church introduce the Texas governor at the Value Voter Summit, it is worth traveling back in time to watch a debate between a well known conservative attorney named Jay Sekulow and Pastor Robert Jeffress. 
I'm going to post the entire debate because the exchange is the best debate I've seen on the important question of whether or not a candidate's theology is more important than the values they promote. This debate took place sometime around December 2008.
In the first clip, Mark DeMoss, president of the DeMoss Group, opened the debate by giving his introductory remarks and discusses why he, as Christian, decided to endorse Mitt Romney in the 2008 Presidential election: 

The next clip is currently making the rounds on the Internet on various media sites and conservative blogs. After Mark DeMoss gives his introductory remarks, Pastor Jeffress steps up to make the case why Christians must always vote for a Christian candidate even if the non-Christian candidate is a very moral and conservative candidate.
What is even more interesting is that Pastor Jeffress asks the audience to travel forward in time to January of 2012 and imagine a hypothetical match up between Mitt Romney and Kay Bailey Hutchinson, who  Pastor Jeffress describes her as being a “professing Christian whose views do not completely mesh with what Evangelicals believe.” According to Pastor Robert Jeffress, voters must chose Christians over non-Christians regardless if the non Christian candidate is more moral than the Christian candidate.
Pastor Jeffress' scenario has become a reality in which Mitt Romney is up against another Texas politician named Rick Perry in this election.  Watch the clip below and listen to Pastor Jeffress try to make a rational argument that Christians cannot vote for someone like Mitt Romney.:

After Pastor Jeffress makes his case for why Christians cannot vote for an "unbeliever" like Mitt Romney, Jay Sekulow, a high powered conservative Jewish leader, demonstrates why Pastor Jeffress positions is dangerous and leads to some very disturbing outcomes if you follow the Pastor's argument to its logical conclusion by posing a hypothetical to Pastor Jeffress: ”If Mitt Romney was running against Jimmy Carter, would you support Jimmy Carter because he’s a born-again Christian? I find that premise to be troubling.”
Jay Sekulow makes some other powerful points and I'll let you watch the clip to discover them on your own:

I cannot find an embeddable video for Pastor Robert Jeffress's rebuttal to Jay Sekulow but in this video, he admits that if he was faced with voting for either Romney or Obama in the 2012 election, he would reluctantly vote for Mitt Romney because Obama's comments and positions run against the Bible. The Pastor, in this video, then asks Jay Sekulow if he would be willing to vote for a Muslim candidate who wants to impose Sharia law to which Mr. Sekulow responds.
Again, I cannot find an embeddable videos for the Question and Answer session that followed. However, you can watch the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eight, ninth, tenth and eleventh videos. Pastor Jeffress' responses to various questions is almost as eye opening as his opening statement in his debate against Jay Sekulow. 
Watching the debate and the following A&A session takes some time but I really think its worth watching in its entirety. 


  1. It is Pastor Jeffress's conviction that Mitt believes in a different God.

    I am concerned that Pastor Jeffress may believe in a God that is different than that preached by Jesus Christ.

    In 324 AD, the emperor Constantine made a decision for which he had no authority from God, deciding that God is not only without body, parts or passions, but also unknowable. Baptists subscribe to that doctrine. In fact, ALL Christian faiths between 324 AD and up until Joseph Smith taught that, in spite of the divisions that existed on the subject in 324 AD.

    In my reading of the Bible, God is NOT unknowable. Jesus called Him not only Father, but Our Father, a relationship that is sometimes translated even more personally as "Daddy." Does that ring of a God who is unknowable?

    If we do not know God, it is because we do not get on our knees and ask to know Him.

    Baptists continue to teach that God is unknowable, without body, parts or passions, in my view directly contradicting a core teaching of Jesus about our relationship with God and the nature of God.

    If you are a Christian who is not Mormon, and if you believe that God is knowable, it is very possible that it is because of the influence of the experience of that Joseph Smith who Pastor Jeffress rails against. Mormon missionaries and other Church leaders have now been preaching not only the divinity of Christ but this special relationship with God for 180 years, and I for one am the beneficiary of it.

    The idea that one can know God is not heretical. It is not to be feared. It is to be encouraged, and God's Spirit itself encourages it.

    Jesus taught that if we knock, the door will be opened. If we remain in ignorance of God as our Father, it is our own choice and our own unbelief that keep that door closed.

    Thank you for this excellent debate. :) I appreciate hearing Pastor Jeffress speak for himself, and honor his right to speak even if I vehemently disagree with his conclusions.

  2. I've yet seen or heard anti-LDS comments that are entirely accurate. The mis-information out there is amazing. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is entirely centered around Jesus Christ - His life, teachings and Atonement. It's members profess Jesus Christ as their Savior, saved by Him alone. They give unprecedented humanitarian service to relieve suffering throughout the world. Is this not what Evangelicals claim as being "Christian"?