Yes, pastor Robert Jeffress sounded off this week about North Korea. Dave Miller has written an excellent and thoughtful response to Mr. Jefress’ comments here: Robert Jefress and Romans 13
Dave has responded adequately to this, as he calls it, “kerfuffle”. I’d like to tackle one of the more insulting statements from Mr. Jefress’ comments. He said, “Some Christians, perhaps younger Christians, need to think this through. It’s antithetical to some of the mushy rhetoric you hear from some circles today. Frankly, it is because they are not well taught in the scriptures.”
There are several problems with Dr. Jefress’ comment.
- It’s insulting: I know Mr. Jefress will probably never read this post, so this may be just me blowing off steam, but as a younger Christian and a young pastor, I’m insulted. I’m guessing he’s not interested in encouraging future generations. Why pin mushy rhetoric on younger Christians? Why accuse us of not thinking? Why state that we probably haven’t been well taught?
- We have been well taught: Many of us have been to seminary (and in my case, a seminary in Mr. Jefress’ backyard). We have been well taught, but we don’t agree with him. We believe the admonitions of Paul when he says that we should strive to live at peace with all men.
- We have thought: I think the most insulting part of his statement is the insinuation that we have not thought. We have thought, and have thought very deeply on this issue. We have seen the videos and still shots of Hiroshima’s aftermath. We do not want that. We actually have reservations about dropping a couple thousand tons of TNT on a country full of innocent and brainwashed people. We would rather find a way to share the gospel with them rather than incinerate them. Does Mr. Jefress understand how many people will instantly be condemned to an eternity separated from God? That fact alone gives me pause. It should give all of us a lot of opportunity to think. I have thought: I do not wish to see a country wiped off the map. I do not wish to see us use nuclear weapons again.
I’m not interested in a policy debate here. There are people smarter than me who can find answers to political questions. I wish to call attention to the insulting nature of Dr. Jefress’ comments, his complete lack of compassion for the lost population of North Korea, and his irresponsible interpretation of Romans 13. He does not speak for our convention nor for my generation of leaders. I’m sure we will be treated to more grandstanding and more bad interpretations of scripture in the coming years, but if Mr. Jefress thinks he is gaining influence, he is sadly mistaken. Here is my advice to him: first, quit acting like you’re speaking for anyone other than yourself and your congregation. Second, go have a gospel conversation with someone. (If you need some help with that, you can go here: Gospel Conversations Website.) And third, when the news outlets call – secular or otherwise – hang up.