Watch this video of Jim Bakker and Robert Jeffress on Bakker’s television program (if you can’t see it, I have included a transcript below.
It’s pretty remarkable that Jim Bakker and Robert Jeffress can’t even bring themselves to criticize Trump for swearing during a nationally televised speech from the White House. pic.twitter.com/2h65F4dj0G
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) February 20, 2020
Bakker: “Donald Trump. You think evil of him because he says something you don’t understand. But you know what, the people who hate Trump swear worse than that in the streets every day all the time.
Jeffress: “Let’s get real, every president, with perhaps the exception of Jimmy Carter, every president we’ve had in recent history, Republican or Democrat, has used salty language.
Jeffress is right, but that is not the most revealing part of this exchange.
In this clip, we see two evangelical preachers excuse Trump’s language. One seems to be defending the president’s potty mouth by claiming that his opponents use worse language. The other one invokes history–“every president has done it.”
This is what slouching into relativism looks like.
Call me old-fashioned, but it would seem that a minister of the Gospel should ALWAYS speak-out against this unholy language when it arises as a topic of discussion in a public forum of this kind. Perhaps such a minister might reference Colossians 3:8, Ephesians 4:29, or Ephesians 5:4. Or maybe such a minister would quote James 1:26: “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.” (Perhaps they did reference these verses or similar ones and Right Wing Watch did not include them in the clip. This is certainly possible). At the very least, one would think Bakker and Jeffress might shake their heads in disgust when the topic of Trump’s profanity is raised. Nope–not the court evangelicals.
I am also struck by the fact that Jeffress and Bakker would appear together. These two pastors have many theological differences. Twenty years ago we probably would not see a dispensationalist (Jeffress) and a prosperity preacher (Bakker) chatting-it-up on the same program. But Trump-love has a strange way of bringing people together and forming bonds of fellowship within the conservative evangelical church. Somehow I don’t think this was the source of Christian unity that Jesus had in mind in John 17.