Dr. Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of the First Baptist Church in Dallas, said Monday in an interview with Fox News' Bill Hemmer that "no one goes to heaven in a group," when asked about the eternal state of Mormons.
When prompted by Hemmer to discuss whether or not he believes Mormons will go to heaven, Jeffress replied, "We all go to heaven or hell individually based on what we do with Jesus Christ. I don't think all Baptists are going to be in heaven, I don't believe all Catholics are going to be in heaven, I don't believe all Mormons will be in heaven. It's whether we trust in Christ personally as our savior."
Jeffress made headlines last Friday after telling reporters that Republicans should not vote for presidential contender Mitt Romney because he is a Mormon and that by voting for him Republicans would be "giving support to a cult."
Jeffress is a strong supporter of Republican presidential nominee Rick Perry, and although Perry welcomed the endorsement, he declined to support Jeffress' comments on Mormonism.
During the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. Saturday Romney said, "Poisonous language doesn't advance our cause. It's never softened a single heart nor changed a single mind. The blessings of faith carry the responsibility of civil and respectful debate."
Although the former Massachusetts governor's campaign says his comments were directed at a radio host taking the podium directly after him, some have expressed the possibility that those comments might have also meant to address Jeffress' anti-Mormon statements.
When questioned by Hemmer, the Baptist pastor said he completely stands by his comments that Mormonism is a "theological cult" because of the fact that it was founded 1800 years after Christ, it has a human leader as opposed to a divine one, and it has its own set of doctrines apart from the Bible.
"Mormonism is not historical Christianity, it is a theological cult," said Jeffress. "I don't take [the comments] back at all. In fact, USA Today, this morning, cited a poll of 1,000 Protestant pastors who agreed with my position; three out of four agreed with the position that Mormonism is not Christianity. Mormons are not Christians; this is no new news."