One megachurch pastor is claiming to speak on God’s behalf this week, saying that President Trump has the moral authority to “take out” North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Texas Pastor Robert Jeffress, who is one of Trump’s evangelical advisors and preached on Inauguration Day, released a statement saying this:
“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.”
The statement was sparked by Trump’s brazen comments yesterday that North Korea will be met with “fire and fury like the world has never seen” if they continue their threats against the United States.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 8, 2017
Trump doubled down on that threat, assuring North Korea that America’s nuclear arsenal is strong:
— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 9, 2017
It’s unusual for evangelical leaders to make such bold statements regarding foreign policy, especially related to the killing of foreign enemies, so Jeffress will likely face some backlash from the religious community.
He acknowledged that there are some pacifists who will argue against his Biblical reference to Romans 13, which he says gives the government authority to deal with evildoers. Such detractors may cite Romans 12, which says “do not repay evil for evil” but Jeffress believes that is only referring to individuals, not government.
Jeffress has compared Trump to the Biblical leader Nehemiah, who helped rebuild the city of Jerusalem, perhaps a reference to the President’s key slogan, “Make America Great Again” and his primary campaign issue of building a wall on the Mexican border.
“People instinctively know that this president is not going to draw an imaginary red line and walk around it like President Obama did,” Jeffress said.
It remains to be seen what other leaders in the evangelical community advising Trump have to say of Jeffress claim about Jong Un.