When Pastor Robert Jeffress pronounced his blessing on a possible US first strike against North Korea, he was standing in an ancient biblical tradition. A very dangerous one.
Rosalind Hughes (also of the Cafe) writes in Religion Dispatches:
Christians have always had mixed feelings about political authority. Paul, himself a citizen of the Roman empire, was often critical of the authorities who arrested him and executed many of his Christian colleagues. And it was, after all, a representative of the Roman government who gave the order for Jesus’ crucifixion. To be fair, Jesus did tell Pilate that he only had that authority because it had been handed down to him by a higher power—but that is not the same as saying that he was using that authority properly.
It was not the ordained role of the religious adviser, even before the separation of church and state, to grease every decision of a ruler with the oil of divine approval—and to claim that those who have political power are always acting on behalf of God’s good judgement is arrant nonsense.
Jeffress does Trump no favors by pretending that when it comes to North Korea, the president can do no wrong.
Anyone who has ever picked up a bible knows that the kings of ancient Israel were by no means unequivocally righteous in their judgement and execution of power. The biblical prophets of Israel and Judah were employed by God to rail against the authorities, to provide a conscience that could stand against those advisors who told them only what they wanted to hear: “See, therefore, I am against the prophets, says the LORD, who steal my words from one another. See, I am against the prophets, says the LORD, who use their own tongues and say, ‘Says the LORD.’“ (Jeremiah 23:30-31)