Robert Jeffress: 'God Has Given Trump Authority to Take Out Kim Jong Un'

Dallas megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress, the same man whose church performed a "Make America Great Again" "hymn" at a political rally in July, caused a stir earlier this week when he said President Donald Trump has a God-given right to "take out" North Korean President 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," Jeffress, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, said in a statement. "In the case of North Korea, God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong Un."

In an interview with The Washington Post, Jeffress cited Romans 13, arguing that that passage gives the government authority to punish evildoers. "That gives the government the authority to do whatever, whether it's assassination, capital punishment or evil punishment to quell the actions of evildoers like Kim Jong Un."

Jeffress seemed to expect criticism, noting that many pacifist Christians will cite Romans 12, a passage that forbids Christians from seeking revenge and telling them to "not repay evil for evil." He said that passage is for Christians, not governments.

"A Christian writer asked me, 'Don't you want the president to embody the Sermon on the Mount?'" Jeffress recalled. In that sermon (Matthew 5-7), Jesus held his disciples to a high moral standard, telling them to love their enemies, to refrain from anger and lust, and not to resist evil. Jeffress said he did not want a president to abide by this morality — "absolutely not."

In his sermon on the morning of Trump's inauguration, Jeffress compared the new president to the prophet Nehemiah, who rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem (and made the Persians pay for it!). He first met Trump over cheeseburgers at Wendy's in Iowa last year, and after that meeting, Jeffress said he believed Trump would be the next president.

The Dallas megachurch pastor attacked former President Barack Obama as paving the way for the antichrist, and he attacked Mormonism as a cult during the 2012 Republican primary, undercutting the eventual nominee Mitt Romney.