Baptist megapreacher Robert Jeffress is upset with churches that take in undocumented immigrants in need of food and shelter. In fact, he thinks that they’re going against the word of God. What would Jesus do? He’d turn them over to the government, Jeffress says.
Jeffress said that he would not check the immigration status of every person who came to First Baptist Church in Texas, “but we’re also not going to harbor illegal immigrants who are criminals like some of these churches are doing.”
“Look, a lot of these liberal churches that harbor illegal immigrants who are criminals say they are following the example of Jesus, the only problem is they are following the Jesus of their imagination rather than the Jesus of the Bible,” he insisted. “Jesus was not this wimpy little guy who walked around munching sunflower seeds and saying nice things to people.”
“The real Jesus of the Bible said ‘render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s,’ that is obey the government,” Jeffress continued, adding that the “real Jesus” cared more about American citizens who were victims of violent crimes committed by immigrants.
So Jesus didn’t really mean it when he said “whatever you do to the last of these, my brethren, you do unto me also.” This is how casually and conveniently Jeffress reads his own political beliefs into the words of Jesus, but he also does this hypocritically. Here’s the proof:
Pastor Robert Jeffress, who signed the letter and leads a 12,000 member congregation at First Dallas Baptist Church, compared himself to Martin Luther King for his civil disobedience.
“That may mean we experience jail time, loss of tax exempt status, but as the scripture says, we ought to obey God rather than man, and that’s our choice,” Jeffress told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Jeffress said when he announced to his congregation his decision to take a stand on the issue, they gave him a standing ovation.
Cases of legal punishment for bakers and florists who refused to serve gay weddings have fueled this fear. In Washington state, an elderly florist named Barronelle Stutzman was sued by a gay couple for discrimination after she refused to arrange flowers for their wedding.
Funny how quickly his interpretation of “render unto Caesar” changes instantaneously depending on which law is being broken. When it gives him an excuse for treating immigrants like shit instead of doing what Jesus explicitly commanded over and over again and care for the poor and the hungry, it is an impregnable barrier to being compassionate in the name of never, ever disobeying the government. But when it involves gay people and anti-discrimination laws, suddenly civil disobedience is an absolute moral necessity and bakers and florists are not just allowed to disobey the government but are required to do so. How very convenient for you, Mr. Jeffress.