A leading Baptist minister who prayed at the opening of the new US Embassy in Jerusalem is being attacked for past statements about other faiths.
Dr. Robert Jeffress
, pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas and a member of President Donald Trump's Evangelical Advisory Board and White House Faith Initiative, was called a 'bigot' Sunday by former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who is a Mormon.
Romney tweeted: "Robert Jeffress says 'you can't be saved by being a Jew,' and 'Mormonism is a heresy from the pit of hell.' He's said the same about Islam. Such a religious bigot should not be giving the prayer that opens the United States Embassy in Jerusalem."
Jeffress responded with the tweet: "Historic Christianity has taught for 2,000 years that salvation is through faith in Christ alone. The fact that I, along with tens of millions of evangelical Christians around the world, continue to espouse that belief, is neither bigoted nor newsworthy."
Jeffress was attacked for saying publicly what the Bible teaches; that faiths like Mormonism that add to the Bible are cults, and that any person who has not accepted Christ is not going to Heaven.
In a 2010 Politically Incorrect lecture series, Jeffress is reported to have said: "God sends good people to Hell. Not only do religions like Mormonism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism — not only do they lead people away from God, they lead people to an eternity of separation from God in Hell."
Jeffress has also strongly criticized the Roman Catholic Church.
Jeffress said it was "sad" that Romney attacked him ahead of the embassy inauguration in Jerusalem, saying, "I think it's sad that Mitt feels the need to lash out in anger on such a historic day but it's not going to overshadow what is happening here."
He told The Associated Press that statements attributed to him have been taken out of context.