DALLAS — In a House Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday, Rep. Luis Gutierrez used the Christmas story to attack President Trump’s insistence on a border wall to protect the country, “Thank God there wasn’t a wall that stopped [Jesus] from seeking refuge in Egypt. … and thank God there wasn’t an administration like this or [Jesus] would too have perished … when Herod ordered the murder of every child under two years of age.”
In an interview Saturday on Fox & Friends, Dr. Robert Jeffress, the pastor of the 13,000-member First Baptist Church of Dallas, responded:
“The comments of Rep. Gutierrez were ludicrous for so many reasons but let me mention just two.
“First, the Bible says it was God through an angel who told Joseph and the family to flee to Egypt. Had there been a wall in Egypt, God would have obliterated it, or He would have sent the family someplace else. God wasn’t about to allow His Son to be murdered prematurely before His appointed time on the cross.
“Second, it was Jesus when He was an adult who said, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.” Jesus was saying God has given government unique authority and responsibility—and that chief responsibility is to protect citizens from evil doers. I had the privilege of preaching the sermon before President Trump’s inauguration, and I chose the Old Testament story of God telling Nehemiah to build a wall around Jerusalem. I said, ‘Mr. President, God is not against walls, walls are not unchristian. The Bible says even heaven is going to have a wall around it. Not everyone is going to be allowed in.’
“I’m not one who believes that the Bible doesn’t inform political decisions. It does. But I think people like this congressman and others may be sincere, but they’re sincerely wrong because they confuse the role of government with the role of the church.
“Tomorrow morning at my church, we’re going to open our doors to everyone. We don’t check people’s green cards at our doors. But government has a different responsibility. Romans 13 says the responsibility of government is to maintain order and protect its citizens. When President Trump is insisting on a wall, he is fulfilling not only his constitutional but his God-given responsibility to keep this country safe, and he should not be demonized for doing that.”
Dr. Robert Jeffress is a best-selling author of 25 books, a nationally and internationally syndicated TV and radio host and the senior pastor of First Baptist Dallas, one of the largest and most influential churches in America. Pathway to Victory, Dr. Jeffress’ broadcast ministry, airs daily nationwide on more than 900 radio stations and is broadcast live to 195 countries. His latest book, Choosing the Extraordinary Life: God’s 7 Secrets for Success and Significance, is available in bookstores everywhere. He is an evangelical adviser to the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump.