"America's Demise is Inevitable": Our Chat With Robert Jeffress After Sunday's Sermon

Categories: Politics, Religion

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America is imploding, the world is ending, and there's nothing we can do to stop it. Our limited mortal power, however, can slow the process by spreading Christianity -- at least according to First Baptist Pastor Robert Jeffress, who last night launched his 11-part series based on his forthcoming tome Twilight's Last Gleaming, due on bookshelves in January 2012.

"The overall purpose is to tell Christians -- or to help Christians to understand -- how they should respond to the culture in which they're living," Jeffress told Unfair Park when we spoke this afternoon.

Kicking off on 9/11, the series explores "why America's collapse is inevitable, what Americans can do to delay America's eventual demise, the relationship between abortion and America's fiscal crisis, how to prepare for the coming persecution against Christians in America," according to the promo video. Last night's lecture didn't back down from the promised dramatics.

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Jeffress, dressed in a dark suit and red-striped tie, looked decidedly presidential standing at a podium in front of a blue backdrop featuring the stately image of the Statue of Liberty you see above. He began his lecture by praising a figure upon whom he showered much complimentary honor -- not Jesus, who received the expected ample praise, but Glenn Beck, the "conservative former Fox luminary" and new North Texan. Though he tells Unfair Park he disagrees with Beck in many instances, Jeffress says he took a long, hard look at Beck's Restoring America rally and was decidedly impressed by his desire to change the status quo. "I began thinking at that time, 'What can I do in our country to make a difference as well,'" Jeffress says.

Yesterday, the energized pastor told the approximately 1,800 churchgoers that he had both bad news and good news. He started with the bad.

"America's demise is inevitable," Jeffress said. "We have been conditioned to believe in America's resilience." But America will end because the world will end. And America's downfall will come first because the world will be ruled by the Antichrist in its final days, which means there won't be, you know, democracy. With the bad news hanging like the thickest storm cloud imaginable, Jeffress relaxed for a moment.

"Now enough gloom and doom," he told the crowd. He told them they have the "ability and responsibility to delay the decay of our country" and warned that curing short-term social ills must never overtake the long-term goal of spreading the gospel.

"We should see our present situation as an opportunity" to share the message of Christ, Jeffress said of our country's "rampant immorality." He explored several biblical metaphors to drive home this point, urging parishioners to spread the light to displace the darkness and to act as salt, preserving the earth's good and slowing our culture's inevitable and irreversible decline.

During his first 18 years as a preacher, Jeffress said, he avoided discussing social issues when speaking in the pulpit. Though he insists social issues are not typically his focal point --sayeth the man who preached "Why Gay Is Not O.K." and create the so-called Grinch List -- he said in our interview today that that while he expects terrorism and the federal deficit are battles that will eventually be won, he is more concerned about "the spiritual issues that are rotting away the foundation of our country," such as gay marriage and abortion. He does not believe there is a biblical perspective on immigration or health-care reform, and stressed that it would be a "great mistake to biblicize what are political issues."

As for the intersection between the Bible and politics, it was impossible not to ask Jeffress his feelings about Rick Perry. The pastor tells us that though he feels Perry is a "God-fearing man" who has "energized the race," he will not endorse a candidate just yet, especially with "a lot of strong Christians" in the running. (But, as we noted in July, Jeffress was among the group of pastors who met with Perry in June at James Robison's LIFE Outreach International campus in Euless.) Even without addressing a specific contender, one of Jeffress's 11 sermons will focus on guidelines in choosing our nation's leader.

"There is a tide of evil rising up that is about to engulf our nation," he said near the conclusion of last night's sermon while looking directly into the cameras that broadcast his message throughout the massive church and the web. "We can tolerate no more." Before welcoming members of the crowd to approach the pulpit to join the congregation or simply say hello, he gave a brief commercial for next week's message: "When a Nation Implodes," which will explore three Supreme Court decisions "that will ensure the eventual collapse of our nation." Stay tuned.


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51 comments
Lenny
Lenny

I don't know about slowing the demise down, but we can sure speed it up by continuing to spread the doctrine of hate many churches pass off as the Gospel.

We followers of Jesus are told by Christ to "love our enemy", "turn the other cheek", and "do unto others".

With that as the test. How many real followers of Jesus do you know?

Peace and Love to you and yours in the name of my Lord Jesus Christ.

Lenny

seabird20
seabird20

Don't forget the pastor is just the head of marketing not the CEO! And then remember that marketing is often used to make something unpalatable look palatable.When a Church advertises and puts pictures of the pastor on the signage, I know that is a house of pastor, not a house of God.

Montemalone
Montemalone

I hope mine are all men, preferably between 5'10" and 6'4", black hair, blue eyes, and versatile/bottoms.

Edmondsrj
Edmondsrj

The end of the this world for everyone is coming soon. Either by death (80 yrs max) or Christ's return. The signs in the Bible are all coming true and the Bible has never been wrong. Repent and be saved by Christ alone or spend eternity in hell. You are saved by faith and faith alone. People who hate Christians, hate Christ, and by rejecting the only means provided by God to be saved, they are condemned.

cbs
cbs

Maybe I missed something, but why exactly is everyone inflamed?  All Christians believe there will be an end time. Jeffress, as best I could discern, made no prediction on when (this would be a false teaching if he did, as aptly pointed out above). Christians believe EVERYONE (but for Jesus Christ) is a sinner, this includes me, you, gays, D&D players, Tony Romo, etc.  Where the majority of confusion/consternation seems to arise is in the treatment of the sin and sinner. My reading of the bible is that we are to love the sinner (since that is everyone), but not the sin.  Ideally, we want to avoid sin, we just all fail at it (each in our own unique way). Mr. Jeffress is using marketing and emotional ads to get people into the church (I fully understand why some are offended by this) BUT once there, his messages all seem fully consistent with what the bible provides.  I have not seen this sermon yet, but fully expect, like his prior similar series, this one will attempt to take current societal struggles his parishioners face and show that they are the types of issues the bible raises concern about and that the bible foretells that ultimately the separation between God and man will be resolved at a finite point in the future. (a point that only God knows- but he has provided clues to indicate when it is approaching). Again, if you oppose the message of Christianity, I understand your position and disagreement with Mr. Jeffress, although I am not sure why it really bothers you as a non-believer.

Maybe go listen to one of his messages before concluding he is a hypocrite or false teacher. Even for a non-believer that would seem reasonable.

randy from sachse
randy from sachse

Suburban Idiot, (sorry, my reply button doesn't work) Thanks for your thoughtful organized reply. bully. 1. A person who is habitually cruel or overbearing, especially to smaller or weaker people. 2. A hired ruffian; a thug. I disagree here.  I don't find him cruel, and I don't think gay people are smaller or weaker than him. bigot : a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance This is harder to argue, for sure, because the word intolerance is very subjective, but let me just say that I do not see the hatred in him.  If he didn't care about gays, he would ignore them (I know I'm setting myself up for attack here, and it's fine).

randy from sachse
randy from sachse

Thanks for an unbiased post Leslie.

Reading the comments, it's ironic that the same people who scream, "intolerance!" and "I'm so persecuted!" don't seem at all tolerant of beliefs that differ from their own.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

Hell for Accordion Bob will be a place were there and No Sinners or Sin .Whats he going to do for eternity ?

Basking in the reflected  glory of someone else isn't going to satisfy the EGO of a Man who has Basked in such Glory himself .Given time I bet old BOB can find Fault with the way G*D himself runs the show in Heaven.This does not bode well for our Heavenly Host.

I wonder if this is all just a time loop ?

Joe L
Joe L

This man seriously needs a good psychiatrist.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

When I see that man outside the steps of the school where I teach---waiting to help me with all the problems my kids face on a daily basis, THEN I will consider him a man of God. Right now, he is a book-peddler with a steady church gig.

Am I the only one who thinks the Anti-Christ will be a Protestant minister who will not get off the gay-bashing train? We have crime in this city, yet I do not see him working with the gangs. We see teen moms, but I do not see him helping them into his exclusive downtown school. We have homeless, but I do not see him building homes for them.

God will judge us all, and I bet when he and his ilk get in front of God, they will have to answer why they let so much evil walk right past them to go after gays and women in trouble. Cannot wait to see their answers then...

P.S. The parable of the Good Samaritan is a good story for health care reform. And as Jesus was a refugee, so are many who come to our country. So, to say there are not Biblical answers, there are. He, like so many who are not of God, but profess to be, pick and choose what they want to hold up for condemnation.

God is watching Mr Jeffress, and He is not amused nor pleased. He told me so.

Travis Rex
Travis Rex

The only "christians" that will ever get persecuted are the ones that can't seem to keep their jesus out of everyone els's business.  If he means backlash aimed at the conservative nutbags that have insinuated themselves intoout political system, then I say persecute them all!

Thelisma Partridge
Thelisma Partridge

1. If America's demise is inevitable, why is FBC building this mega-million $$$ church downtown?  Should they be building an Ark or something instead?

2. I thought Glenn Beck WAS the Antichrist.

Montemalone
Montemalone

xtians self-immolating would go a looooong way towards delaying the destruction of the earth, with the added benefit of making it a much nicer place for the rest of us to go about our merry ways.

Guest
Guest

"Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy." Ezekiel 16:49

That does sound a lot like the United States.

John_McKee
John_McKee

I hear the crusades and the Salem witch trials were awesome when the Christian fascists like him were in charge.

replay
replay

He must have forgotten whatever he may have learned in Theology 101...........if you believe in the Bible (New Testament), no one (includng the good reverend) will be able to predict the end of days. The end times will come without pronouncement, based on Revelations. So, Y2K, 9/11/01, etc., despite predictions of the beginning of the end, never materialized anything.

Downtown Resident
Downtown Resident

Too long; didn't read... I just need to know whether to blame the state of our country on the sodomites or the baby killers?

SteveT
SteveT

Of course, the USA's collapse has nothing to do with our ecological and economic overextension (a 60-year binge), which are producing rampant resource depletion and enviornmental payback on a scale we haven't seen, and that most still refuse to acknowledge.A case study:  First Baptist's building program and promotional campaign.

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

Wow, talk about a cheery guy. Anything to get butts in the pews of Jeffers Memorial JesusDome at FBC Dallas and money out of peoples pockets. Again, this is the same schtick he and other SBC preachers have been flogging over the past 50 years, If it wasnt the Commies or Dem. party giving blacks, gays or women rights it was the D&D players or Alice Cooper leading the children down satans guilded path...In other words, SSDD

Edmondsrj
Edmondsrj

How does pitch black isolation for a billion years sound funny man.

mynameisURL
mynameisURL

If you're trying to confuse us with math problems, It's working.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

You condemn, God does not. You limit God's love to a few, He does not. The "signs' in the Bible are easily interpreted in all ages. And the Bible has errors in it. Creation of man is contradicted in Genesis Chpaters 1 and 2. There are two version of the Flood, and God commanded the sun to stay still in the sky, when we all know the Earth moves, not the sun. Put your faith in God more than a book edited and changed by Man.

Mavdog
Mavdog

"The signs in the Bible are all coming true and the Bible has never been wrong"

excuse me but....really? you wrote that with a straight face? you're not being facetious?

although you apparently didn't intend it this way, thanks for the good laugh.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Maybe some of us are sick and tired of FIFTY years of Criswell, Jeffress and all in between, deciding for themselves what God wants. What God has in store for us.

This church is not, "hate the sin but love the sinner." This church has been HATEFUL to those it sees as sinners. It is unabashedly mean-spirited, but with a smile and a Christian handshake. When AIDS first showed up in Dallas, My church, Holy Trinity Catholic in Oak Lawn, opened its doors to the men who were sick. This Baptist church not only shut its door, it turned off the lights and then yelled at the "lepers" to go away. They CONDEMNED these poor souls, some of them close friends, for being what GOD MADE THEM.

Abortion? Do they want birth control to be made available, for sex ed to come into schools, no limits, to help stop unwanted pregnancies? Heck no. Just make sure she does not kill the baby, then criticize her for being a single, sinful mother.

And why their non-profit status has not been revoked, with all the heavy anti-Democratic politicking they do is beyond me. They even used to have flyers which told Christians how to vote with God, implying that THEY knew God's will for America.

This church, along with the rest of their kind in Dallas, are exclusive, arrogant and plain wrong. When they get to God, as we all will, they will be shocked to find my gay friends, my friends who had abortions and the rest of us sinners in line ahead of them.

Coming from the part of Christianity which sponsored the Crusades, it takes a lot for me to really slam a church, but baby, this church is NOT of God.

mynameisURL
mynameisURL

It's not really Jeffress that ticks me off so much as it is the folks that buy his particular brand of bullshit.

As a nonbeliever, I wouldn't ever consider attending one of his services because all I find there is exclusivity. Jeffress sells his brand of soft bigotry behind the inclusive sounding "God loves everyone, even you, you homo sinner, as long as you realize that what you are doing is an abomination in the eyes of the loooooooord!"

You know the old saying: With friends like that...

I think that it's true that there is no "Heaven" or "Hell" but what we make of our lives while we are lucky enough to have the opportunity to be here. The idea that Jeffress and his ilk are tormented by the mere fact that these types of people even *exist* seems to keep them walled into their own sort of hellish existence.

Imagine what it must be like to have to carry the burdens of the whole of humanity on those skinny little shoulders. Frankly, if the way that other people live troubles him to the extent that he is losing sleep over worrying about it, then he deserves to lose the sleep. 

Guest
Guest

Sorry people are so intolerant of bullies and bigots.

We're all hypocrites in our own way. Most of us don't hold ourselves up as paragons of virtue while we're being hypocritical, though. I fully admit that I am a flawed individual, and I further admit that, as my own Baptist preacher repeatedly informs all of us, I am a sinner.

I understand that, like pretty much everybody, I don't live strictly according to the teachings of the Bible, but I also don't go around singling out a particular brand of sinner and claim they're going to be responsible for the downfall of America.

Bill Holston
Bill Holston

Travis, I agree with you about America. But Christians are persecuted in other parts of the world regularly. I've met people beaten and tortured for simply reading a bible

I have always thought that the American Christian habit of claiming persecution was belittling to those in authoritarian regimes that really do face torture.

I do agree with your general point that Christians are earning the tags that many people place on them.

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

Its a funny thing with all these "End Days" types, who always try this type of schtick during times of crisis. Its been done as long as christianity and organized religion have been around, We wont know the time of (enter deity) return, the best suggestion I've always found is just be a decent human being to people first, then worry about the religion...

Montemalone
Montemalone

It could be the sodomite-baby-killers, or the sodomite-baby killers as well.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

Hidden option "C" -- Both

For now, at least.  Seems like the Supreme Court has a play in there, too.  Probably for supporting the baby killers and not shipping the sodomites off to Russia, though.

I would love to be a fly on the wall when this guy finally meets his maker...

(Jeffress when speaking with God):  "Whatta ya mean I got it all wrong?  I'm going where?"

Catbird
Catbird

Correct and then not so much so. Over the last 50 years the Commies and Dem Party have merged and are farming the blacks, gays and womens rights groups for votes....And I can think of lots of things that would be worse for you Chris than attending FBC next Sunday.

Montemalone
Montemalone

Guess that gives me plenty of time to turn those guys into ex-virgins.

Edgar
Edgar

"As a nonbeliever, I wouldn't ever consider attending one of his services because all I find there is exclusivity."

Just trying to wrap my mind around the many facets of that sentence.  I sense an aneurysm coming on...

Montemalone
Montemalone

But folks are less wiling to send in an "indulgence", I mean donation, when times are good.

Marvin
Marvin

It could be the sodomite-baby-killers, or the sodomite-baby killers as well.

I think you could go 3 ways:a) sodomites who kill babiesb) killer babies who are sodomitesc) killers of sodomite babies

Montemalone
Montemalone

band name alert, although I'm guessing it already exists.

Downtown Resident
Downtown Resident

"Hidden option "C" -- Both"

Of course, gay abortion doctors! This was predicted in the book of revelations.

Chevytexas
Chevytexas

We all love it when you're being sarcastic but we're never exactly sure which clauses contain your sarcasm. Is it the part about fascists blending with Christian mainstreamists to subvert the democracy... oh wait, I just re-read your answer. This guys does, however, need to run for office. Seriously.

Marvin
Marvin

I just read Montemalone's comment again, and realized it already says the exact same thing as my comment.  The "as well" should have clued me in. Is there a delete function?

Chevytexas
Chevytexas

LOL, for a minute I thought I read "brand name". We're working on a brand agenda, so I must've read that into it. Please recall that Hitler also used us for our fierce barbarous aggression, if I recall, from some recent observations.

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