DALLAS - President Donald Trump's blunt talk about North Korea is being backed up by his Dallas spiritual advisor’s own “fire and fury” about war and assassination.
Tension has ramped up significantly since the announcement that North Korea developed a mobile nuclear warhead. The president threatened fire and fury if the regime made any more threats. So North Korea turned around and threatened to attack Guam. Japan and the U.S. launched B1 bombers from Guam in a joint training exercise.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson tried to calm down the tension by saying there's no imminent threat. But even the president's spiritual advisor, Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress, is fanning the flames.
Jeffress doubled down on his comments that President Trump has divine authority to take whatever force necessary to deal with Kim Jong-Un.
“He's fulfilling his God-given responsibility,” the pastor said.
The pastor of the First Baptist Church in Downtown Dallas gave a resounding endorsement for Trump and issued a statement Tuesday as he returned from a Hawaiian vacation.
Jeffress said in part, “God has given President Trump authority to take out Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un." He said he fully expected blowback from critics.
“I expected that, but I also knew that there are many well-meaning but misguided Christians who don't understand what the Bible says about the use of force,” Jeffress told FOX 4.
While there’ve been religious leaders weigh in on social-political issues before, like Pope Francis on immigration, it's far more unusual for a pastor to wade into to geopolitical warfare.
James Lee is a professor of church history at SMU’s Perkin’s School of Theology.
“More commonly in the Christian tradition, the movement is to say that war is unjust. We should avoid war,” he explained. “And it's very rare to have people who would endorse war.”
For those who may disagree with Jeffress’ interpretation, perhaps a page from the Trump playbook.
“Can you see why maybe other Evangelicals might take issue with your statements?” asked FOX 4 Reporter Natalie Solis.
“Not if they read the Bible,” Jeffress replied. “The only reason they would take issue with my statements is that they don't know what the Bible says or they don't believe what the Bible says.”
Jeffress continues to serve on the president's faith council. He does not plan to include it in his sermons, instead focusing on the gospel.