Robert Jeffress says 'biblical Christians' will know how to vote in November: 'There is no perfect candidate' (part 2)

Pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Dallas introduces President Donald Trump at the Celebrate Freedom concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. on July 1, 2017.
Pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Dallas introduces President Donald Trump at the Celebrate Freedom concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. on July 1, 2017. | MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Read part 1 of Jeffress' interview with The Christian Post here 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Ahead of a contentious election season, Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Dallas and former spiritual advisor to Donald Trump, is emphasizing the responsibility of Christians to vote based on biblical principles rather than party lines. 

“[Pastors] ought to talk about issues and not candidates,” Jeffress told The Christian Post during a sit-down interview at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention. “If you remind Christians that they have not only the right but the responsibility to vote, and then you teach biblical principles, they'll know how to vote for the right person without pastors trying to push them toward one party or another party.”

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Jeffress, who was one of the first Evangelical leaders to publicly support Trump and attend his rallies during the 2016 primary election, said Christians need to remember that the ability to vote is a “gift from God” and “stewardship.” He cited John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the United States, who once stated that God has given U.S. citizens the “privilege” of choosing their leaders. 

“Remember, the leaders who we elect determine the policies we follow, and the policies we follow as a nation determine the moral and spiritual direction of a country,” he said. “That's why every Christian has an obligation to vote. When we go into a voting booth, we're either voting for righteousness or unrighteousness. There are no perfect candidates, but we vote by policies. And if we'll take a biblical view of the world, I think we'll know how to vote.”

A recent study from the Pew Research Center found that overall, two-thirds of white evangelical Protestants say they have a favorable view of the former president, including 30% who have a very favorable opinion of him. Trump’s favorability rating was also found to be similar among Christians who attend church regularly and those who don’t.

But to professing Christians who are uncomfortable voting for either President Joe Biden or Trump, Jeffress pointed to the consequential nature of elections, citing the significant role the 2016 presidential election played in shifting the composition of the U.S. Supreme Court and ultimately overturning Roe v. Wade.

“I would tell people, 'Remember how serious elections can be and how important your vote is.' I wouldn't throw away a vote. But again, I think Christians have to follow their own conscience,” he said. 

When asked about American exceptionalism, Jeffress — who last year publicly rejected the label of “Christian nationalist" — acknowledged the blessings the U.S. has received but rejected the idea of an unconditional divine favor. He quoted Psalm 33:12 to support his assertion that any nation's success is contingent upon its reverence for God.

“I believe any nation that reverences God will be blessed by God,” he said. “Any nation, including the United States, that rejects God will be rejected by God. Never forget, in the End Times, Israel will still be a nation. But in the book of Revelation, there is no mention of the United States of America. So no, there's no unconditional promise of blessing.”

Reflecting on whether the U.S. is a Christian nation, Jeffress pointed to the country's founding principles and the Judeo-Christian values that have historically informed its laws and culture. 

“I believe we were established as a Christian nation,” he emphasized. “I'm not saying that all of our founders were Christians. Some were atheists, some were deists, but the vast majority were Christians. The fact is, our laws were based on the Judeo-Christian faith. It's interesting how many times in the first 150 years of our history, the Supreme Court review referred to America as a ‘Christian nation.’ So that idea is not fantasy. It's not fiction. It's historical fact.”

Whatever outcome the 2024 election brings, Jeffress offered the reminder that Jesus told His followers that while tribulation is a certainty in this world, so too is the ultimate victory of Christ and those who follow Him. 

“I would just remind people that although the world seems out of control from our vantage point, everything's running on schedule from God's point of view,” he said. “You know, Jesus was very honest in John 16:33. He said, ‘In this world, you will have tribulation.’ Don't be surprised by it in this world, you're going to have tribulation, but then He added, ‘Be of good courage, for I have overcome the world.’ Not only has Jesus overcome the world, but those of us who are His followers will also overcome in the end.”

Jeffress’ comments on Christianity and politics were made last month at NRB's International Christian Media Convention, where Trump also spoke. 

In his speech, Trump contended that the government under the Biden administration has grown hostile to Christians and vowed to address the issue with a special task force should he be elected in November.

"This time, the greatest threat is not from the outside of our country, I really believe this," he said. "It's from within. It's the people from within our country that are more dangerous than the people outside. We can handle China, we can handle Russia, we can handle all of them if you have a smart leader, but the inside people are very dangerous. They're very sick people, in my opinion; in many cases, they're sick."

Leah M. Klett is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at:

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