Robert Jeffress, a Southern Baptist megachurch pastor and one of President Trump’s “spiritual advisors”, has made a very bold proclamation.
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.
He’s either on-par with the best of the prophets and Apostles, or he is on the same footing as Hananiah.
If he turns out to be wrong–as Hananiah was–then it’s a very big deal, as he will have established himself as a false teacher.
I don’t throw that tag–false teacher–around lightly. There are many folks with whom I have disagreements, but I would not hit them with the “false teacher” tag. That carries huge theological implications.
I reserve that tag for teachers, preachers, and other would-be “church leaders” who, among other things, either (a) preach a false gospel, (b) deny essential doctrines of the Christian faith (e.g. the Fall, the Atonement, the Resurrection), (c) engage in behaviors that are immoral, malevolent, fraudulent, or otherwise disqualifying and then reject discipline when confronted, or (d) make prophecies that do not come to pass. There are other criteria on that list, but I’d say those four cover most of what qualifies one as a “false teacher”.
Examples of such teachers: Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar, Rob Bell, Joyce Meyer, Paula White, Benny Hinn, the late Jack Hyles, the late Harry Emerson Fosdick, John Shelby Spong, Harold Camping, and Jack Schaap. That is not an exhaustive list, but those are examples of teachers/preachers who would fall under my understanding of “false teachers”.
And if Jeffress is wrong here, then he has earned a spot on that list. This is because he has taken an opinion, and–using Scripture–boldly asserted a word from God.
That’s a heck of a truth claim on his end. And while he could be right, he does not seem to carry the gravitas of Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Ezekiel, or Daniel. His exegesis of Romans, quite charitably, leaves some room for concern.
Keep in mind that this is no small matter, as Trump could act on Jeffress’ advice and start a war that quickly goes nuclear and leaves millions dead.
If Jeffress is wrong, that will put the SBC will be in the mother of all dilemmas, as they will be under severe pressure to take decisive action against a popular pastor.
Don’t get me wrong: I will cry no tears for Kim Jong-Un. If things go south, it will be the end for the Kim dynasty. Having been good friends with the son of one who escaped that regime, I will drink Guinness…Extra Stout…to the death of
Ding Dong IIIKim Jong-Un.
Still, it’s a very bad idea to claim to have some special word from God on these matters. Unless, of course, you actually have such a word.
Having said that, as a recovering Baptist, I’m a tad and a half skeptical of Mr. Jeffress’ truth claim.