Evangelical pastor Robert Jeffress has become one of the few high-profile supporters of President Trump to publicly acknowledge that the election was won by Joe Biden — and to urge his followers to pray for (rather than against) him.
“When Joe Biden becomes president, we should commend him for the things he does right. We should condemn the things he does wrong. And above all, we must pray fervently for our president,” Jeffress wrote in an opinion piece for Fox News. “If President Biden succeeds, we all succeed. May God bless Joe Biden, and may God bless the United States of America.”
Jeffress, a frequent visitor to the White House who traveled with Trump during the 2016 campaign, is the senior pastor at First Baptist Church in Dallas, and his sermons are carried on 1,200 television stations across the U.S. Jeffress is also a frequent guest on Fox News, so his voice reaches many evangelical Trump voters. His message to those refusing to accept Biden’s apparent victory was simple: Don’t be hypocrites.
“It’s always easier to submit and to pray for someone when he was our preferred candidate. But the rubber really meets the road when the person who takes office is not the one we supported,” Jeffress wrote. “Here is our chance to show that Christians are not hypocrites.”
He also said that Trump was fully within his rights to challenge the election results in court, but he remains skeptical that those cases will yield a new winner.
“I don’t pretend to be an election expert,” Jeffress told the Dallas Morning News in a phone interview. “I trust that if there is that kind of fraud that it would be uncovered.”
On Wednesday, however, Jeffress abruptly reversed himself, saying that the outcome of the election would not be decided until the Electoral College votes in December.
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