‘I’m Convinced He’s a Christian’: Jerry Falwell, Jr. Again Vouches for Trump Following ‘Pope’ Remarks

Falwell-compressedFollowing controversy over comments made on Thursday by the Roman Catholic Pontiff known as “Pope Francis” suggesting that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump might not be a Christian, Jerry Falwell, Jr., the president of the what heralds itself as the world’s largest Christian university, again went on national television to vouch for the casino-owning, foul-mouthed candidate.

“I’ve seen his generosity to strangers, to his employees, his warm relationship with his children,” he said on CNN’s “Legal View With Ashleigh Banfield.” “I’m convinced he’s a Christian. I believe he has faith in Jesus Christ.”

“I have no doubts that he is a man of faith and he is a Christian,” Falwell also stated on Fox’s “Hannity.”

Francis had been asked by a Reuters reporter on a flight back to Rome from Mexico to comment on Trump, at which time he referenced the candidate’s immigration plans.

“[A] person who only thinks about making walls, wherever it may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian,” the pontiff said. “This is not the gospel.”

When asked if he would influence Roman Catholics during the election, Francis stated that he did not wish “to get into that,” but repeated his statement with the notation that he wished to give Trump the benefit of the doubt.

“I say only that this man is not Christian if he has said things like that,” Francis said. “We must see if he said things in that way and in this I give the benefit of the doubt.”

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Trump, after learning of the pontiff’s remarks, quickly shot back, calling the suggestion that he is not a Christian “disgraceful.”

“No leader, especially a religious leader, should have the right to question another man’s religion or faith,” he said at a campaign rally. “If and when the Vatican is attacked by ISIS, which as everyone knows is ISIS’s ultimate trophy, I can promise you that the Pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been president.”

“I’m proud to be a Christian, and as president I will not allow Christianity to be consistently attacked and weakened, unlike what is happening now with our current president,” Trump stated.

By Thursday evening, Trump softened his outrage at the Vatican, stating that he thought Francis’ comments were inflated by the media.

“I don’t think this is a fight,” he stated. “I think he said something much softer than was originally reported by the media.”

“I don’t like fighting with the pope,” Trump outlined, calling the pontiff “a wonderful guy.” “I have a lot of respect for the pope. He has a lot of personality and I think he’s doing a very good job. He has a lot of energy.”

The Vatican also brought clarification to the controversy, with spokesman Frederico Lombardi telling Vatican radio, that the pontiff’s remarks “didn’t intend to be in any way neither a personal attack nor an indication in how to vote.”

Jerry Falwell, Jr., the president of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, also took to national television after the controversy to again affirm Trump as a Christian just as he did last month after inviting the Republican presidential candidate to address students during convocation.

“I’ve gotten to know Mr. Trump very well over the past few years and I’ve seen his acts of generosity to strangers; I’ve seen how well he treats his employees; I’ve seen how close a relationship—how loving it is—[he has] with his children,” Falwell told Fox host Sean Hannity. “And I’ve had conversations with him just within the past few weeks about his faith, and I have no doubts he is a man of faith and he’s a Christian.”

“I think [the controversy] will hurt the pope more than it will hurt Donald Trump,” he also told CNN host Ashleigh Banfield. “I just don’t think people in this country take statements like that seriously. I don’t think they look to religious leaders to tell them who is the best Christian, and if they understand politics, then they’re not choosing a political leader based on who is the best Christian, who says all the right things, who uses evangelical lingo.”

As previously reported, during Trump’s visit to Liberty University last month, Falwell spent ten minutes providing an introduction for the presidential nominee, painting a picture of a man whose life has been marked by good deeds.

“As our friendship has grown, so has my admiration for Mr. Trump,” Falwell stated.

He quoted Scripture in suggesting that Trump’s life comports with Christianity.

“Matthew 7:16 tells us that ‘By your fruits you shall know them.’ Donald Trump’s life has borne fruit,” Falwell said. “Fruit that has provided jobs to multitudes of people, in addition to the many he has helped with his generosity.”

“In my opinion, Mr. Trump lives a life of loving and helping others as Jesus taught in the Great Commandment,” he declared.

Falwell made similar comments to Fox talk show host Sean Hannity that same day.

“He may not be a theological expert and he might say two Corinthians instead of second Corinthians, but when you look at the fruits of his life and all the people he’s provided jobs, I think that’s the true test of somebody’s Christianity not whether or not they use the right theological terms,” he contended.

But some have expressed concern about Falwell’s actions.

“Shame on you, Jerry Falwell, Junior for elevating success in business over the principles of right and wrong that flow from giving priority to the word of God over the priority of a balance sheet,” wrote Michael Farris, chancellor of Patrick Henry College and founder of the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, in a recent post on social media. “I am deeply saddened.”

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  • Donna Charles

    I could go so on and on, but I will say a few things. Mr. Farrell, is the same age as I am. Although quite aware of the Presidential office when Carter served, I was not on a mental level to know nor Judge if he was a good or bad president. I was being what I was. A kid. So I am assuming that he made this statement through hearsay opinionated household indoctrination. And Hannity, says he reads the bible. I have been to several invites to a catholic church and has never seen one person OPEN a bible, otherwise I think he would have read where Jesus say call no man your father. But then again it explains why he so gun ho on Trump. Neither would know that it is in error to address 2nd Corinthians as Corinthians 2 Then you have Dr. Mega Church Jeffries, who not so long ago said the SATAN runs the Catholic church. Listening to him can be very convincing. As he knows the Bible. Guess what, the same Bible tells me the the angel of darkness is so cunning, he can be perceived as light. Do this mean that I am saying either of the jokers are or not Christians? Most certainly not. I am saying study to show yourself approve and let the Word guide not only you hearing but let it order your doing and fill your heart with truth. JESUS says, The World Will Know That We Are Christian By Our Love. Where is the Love?

  • Psygn

    The Pope has no business sticking his nose into the US election process.

    • acontraryview

      Nor did he

  • Magister_militum_praesentalis

    Now, what does Falwell, Jr. have to say about Ted Cruz’s ties to the Dominionist movement?

  • Josey

    There is only one way to know you are saved and it’s in believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, you can’t add up your many works that you consider good works and claim I must be saved, that would be wishy washy thinking for one day you might do better as far as works are concerned than another and then you end up doubting your salvation for the devil will confuse you from one day to the next and condemn you, the pharisees, sadducees thought they were right with God also because the followed what they thought was the letter of the law and Christ let them know they were hypocrites for they left out the compassion of God in their works, you have to know you are saved by obedience to the word of God, that is a sure foundation, Jesus is our sure foundation.

    Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. This is the sure way to know you are saved by believing in the word of God, it’s not by acting good that saves us, if that were the case an individual could claim salvation based on what they think is good merits and there are none righteous apart from Christ and the sacrifice He made on the cross for us. I can’t look at another and say they are saved because they do good things for others or vice versa, Christ took our place on the cross because we needed a sinless savior, a sacrificial lamb of God. Perhaps my good works look good to another but only God knows why I did the good works, He looks upon my heart. You can do good works for praise of men and out of selfishness to further your own self, this is one reason why our good works can’t save us, only faith in the work of Jesus Christ on the cross and recognizing that He alone is perfect and can save and change us assures us of our salvation. No minister or man or woman can tell you are saved, or a Christian or born again either, you will know it based on your faith and obedience to Christ. The devil can disguise himself as an angel of light and so can a man so we cannot judge another mans work as being good enough to be saved, salvation must be based on the word of God that never changes and on Christ alone. I have no right to say to someone you are not saved because of the works they do or don’t do. I can judge their fruit for a child of God will hunger and thirst for righteousness and will want to obey God above all, that doesn’t mean they don’t struggle or are perfect in it for Christ perfects us as we grow up in Him. A truly born again Christian will draw nigh to God even in all their imperfections.1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

    John 14:1-15 vs1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. 4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
    The Way, the Truth, and the Life 5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. 8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? 10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake. 12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. 15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

  • Josey

    And as far as the Pope talking down on Trump about building a wall, the vatican has a wall around it so that is hypocritical of him to make such a statement if he said it that way, the media has a way of twisting things and there is so much propaganda out there nowadays, you have to take things said with a grain of salt and I myself don’t esteem the Catholic religion anyway. They come off as pompous religious people who trust in their works not in Christ and they add so many pagan rituals into their religions, there doesn’t seem to be a personal relationship with Jesus.

    • sandra-paquette-

      This was a way of the Pope bringing down Trump. But it backed fired. Which the Pope didn’t expect cause he is use to having the last word.

  • Pastor D

    People of every ilk make judgments every day, all day long. So make them. Then, after they are made let each person decide whether they are true or false, valid or invalid. Donald Trump aside; a person building a physical wall is not the issue. Christians build physical walls all the time. I’m glad my house has physical walls that keep my family in and others out. The Vatican has formidable physical walls that keep people out. There is nothing wrong with walls that protect a country. There is nothing Christian or unchristian about physical walls.

    • afchief

      Your right! The Pope is being a hypocrite and has NO business saying what he said.

      • acontraryview

        Not a believer in free speech, huh?

      • Pastor D

        I have no problem with people making statements. However, after any of us speak, let others check and see if what was said is true. Granted, people filter reality through various filters. Granted, people spin truth to resemble what they want it to say.
        However, this is the reason why I have grown to love and trust the Bible and God of the Bible with all my heart.
        Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.
        Amen. Let God be true (and God of the Bible is) and every man a liar.

        • afchief

          As believers in Jesus Christ, we are no longer liars, but we are the righteousness of God.

    • acontraryview

      “The Vatican has formidable physical walls that keep people out.”

      Actually, no, it doesn’t. There are no walls that people must pass through to reach the Vatican.

      “a person building a physical wall is not the issue.”

      Then why bring up the issue of walls at the Vatican?

      • Pastor D

        Actually a person building a physical wall is the issue. the pope was referring to trump’s proposal to build a wall between us and Mexico; and, then, he went on to say that a wall (physical) disqualifies Trump as a Christian.
        The Vatican does have walls; and, walls protect the pope from people walking in on him in his residence. Walls are perfectly sensible and they have little or nothing to do with a person’s profession of faith.
        This is the context for the comment on walls.

        • acontraryview

          “Actually a person building a physical wall is the issue”

          You: “a person building a physical wall is not the issue.”

          You seem conflicted. Which is it?

          “and, then, he went on to say that a wall (physical) disqualifies Trump as a Christian. ”

          The Pope did not single out Trump. The Pope’s comments were focused on the teachings of Scripture that Christians should accept those who are in need and not turn them away.

          “The Vatican does have walls”

          Yes, it does. But that was not your statement. Your statement was: “The Vatican has formidable physical walls that keep people out.”. That is inaccurate.

          “walls protect the pope from people walking in on him in his residence.”

          No, they do not. The guards do that.

          “Walls are perfectly sensible and they have little or nothing to do with a person’s profession of faith. ”

          Nor was the Pope’s comments about walls in general.

  • afchief

    I do not think Trump is a Christian. I see NO fruit. Here is an insert from Michael Brown on Trump’s Christianity today.

    “How does Donald Trump line up?

    We know that in the past he boasted about his numerous adulterous affairs and that he built the first casino in America with its own strip club, actually featuring 36,000 square feet of adult entertainment. Yet he sees no need to ask for forgiveness for these past acts (which are just a small sampling of ungodly behavior) because he is “a very good person.”

    This is the opposite of Christianity, which begins with a recognition of guilt and an open confession of our need for forgiveness. As for Donald Trump, at no point in any interview that has ever been conducted with him has he offered the slightest understanding of the heart of the gospel.

    That alone would indicate that Trump is a not a real Christian.

    As for his conduct, while we have no idea how he lives in private, and while he presumably has many good qualities that are commendable, we do know that his public conduct is often deplorable, with his tweets and comments violating almost every standard of Christian decorum.

    This is the standard Paul laid out for followers of Jesus: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Eph. 4:29, NIV).

    Trump’s vitriolic, nasty, often vulgar, sometimes patently false attacks on others violate this verse from beginning to end, both in spirit and in letter. And remember that it was Jesus who told us that it was out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.

    Jesus also “told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt [does this sound familiar to you at all?]

    ‘Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector [remember that in New Testament times, tax collectors were notoriously corrupt].

    ‘The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: “God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.”

    ‘But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!”

    ‘I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted'” (Luke 18:9-14).

    Which one sounds like Donald Trump, the Pharisee or the tax collector? And which is more characteristic of Mr. Trump, the person who exalts himself or the person who humbles himself?

    Again, God is the ultimate judge, but He does tell us to judge the tree by its fruit, and that means that Donald Trump could really use our prayers.

    You may still plan to vote for him to be president, even though he shows no true signs of being a genuine Christian (although it’s clear he believes he is one). That’s obviously your call entirely.

    But let’s not foolishly proclaim him to be a Christian when, until recently, many of his ardent supporters acknowledged that he was not.

    And just consider what a world changer Donald Trump could be if he really knew the Lord. Through prayer and God’s mercy, it could happen.

    http://www.charismanews. com/opinion/in-the-line-of-fire/55312-can-we-judge-the-christianity-of-donald-trump

    • sandra-paquette-

      Who would you pick for next president?

      • afchief

        Ted Cruz

        • FoJC_Forever

          Ted Cruz in underhanded and a player, just like the rest of the politicians. He’s like you – pushy, high-minded, and provocative. Ted Cruz is not better or worse than Donald Trump.

          • afchief

            I see you have been manipulated by the media. I’ve heard this man speak. He is a Christian and loves the Lord.

            Use some discernment!

          • FoJC_Forever

            You see very little. He is quite the speaker. He has many fooled into believing him, for certain.

            You should follow your own advice. But, you’ve always been better at giving advice than following it.

          • afchief

            I would advise you to read James 1:5. Your lack of wisdom and discernment is alarming!!!

            http://www.christianpost. com/news/5-interesting-facts-about-ted-cruzs-christian-faith-139247/

          • FoJC_Forever

            Again, you’re giving advice rather than following it. You have much to say, but nothing to do with the Truth. You preach nationalism, not the Gospel of Jesus (the) Christ. You compel people to follow politicians, not Jesus. You are an accuser of the brethren, which should alarm you to no end. Instead, you continue scream and tirade and intimidate.
            Those who know Jesus can see that you merely like to fight and argue.

            Judgement is coming.

          • afchief

            What? You said Cruz is just like Trump! That is a boldface lie!!!! When did I preach nationalism? When did I compel people to follow politicians?

            You are showing me that YOU are the liar!!!

          • FoJC_Forever

            Ah, the bully personality surfaces. Am I supposed to be intimidated?

            Cruz is a nasty political player. He’s not better or worse than Trump, just has a different angle for the same goal, money and power. He using his religion to accomplish his goal, Trump uses his business connections and savvy to accomplish his goals.

            The astonishing thing is that people keep falling for the same old political positioning and power plays. Obviously, it’s what they want, or they wouldn’t support it.

            I’m not accusing you, just pulling back the veneer with which you cover yourself.

            Follow Jesus, find Truth.

          • afchief

            Wow! For you to say that Cruz is not better or worse then Trump show a total lack of wisdom and discernment!!!! Cruz has professed Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior and walks the walk. Trump does not and is a liar and has no morals. Totally two different men.

            It is apparent you have done NO research on either candidate and rely on the media to inform you.

            You did accuse me!! You said ” You preach nationalism, not the Gospel of Jesus (the) Christ. You compel people to follow politicians, not Jesus”

            Where have I said these things? I will call you out and call you a liar for doing so. You have accused me with no proof.

          • FoJC_Forever

            Talking to you is like talking to an Unbeliever. You just go on and on, making statements that aren’t Truth. You’re a hothead.

            Maybe you need to go work out to let off some steam.

          • afchief

            I would say the same about you. You accused me with NO facts or proof. Why? I have done nothing to you. You are the one who seems angry.

            Why can’t we just get along?

        • sandra-paquette-

          Just what I thought

  • Cawren

    Donald Trump is more unpredictable than a four year old

    Why don’t we hand this reality game show host the
    United Stated Of America because, with incredible tax breaks and mutable
    bankruptcies he made billions of dollars off his deceased fathers massive empire.

    And…. give that man a hair net. He’s gonna hurt someone with that thing..

  • Kerry

    Jerry Falwell would never have endorsed Donald Trump, period. What a bunch of BULL.

  • FoJC_Forever

    Nothing but a diversion to keep people from trusting in Jesus and to point them to trusting in the POTUS and government in general. Politics is a dirty business. Catholics aren’t Christians, anymore than a large number of people who claim to be, but only serve their own minds and opinions and natural desires.

    Every election people get stirred up over who is going to be the POTUS. It’s filled with drama, and pandering. Every election ends the same, and has for decades, if not hundreds of years. The same people running the country now will be running it after the POTUS is elected. Money serves money, and this is what drives America.

    Christians need to focus on Jesus, not money and not the plethora of leaders who claim to be Christian. Jesus is the Leader of the Church, not the pope and not some other person who has built a “ministry” or any other religious organization. What most people consider to be Christianity isn’t Christianity, but just a construct of religious opinion and tradition. The vast majority of people are arguing about the religiosity of their beliefs, not intent on serving and knowing the LORD Jesus (the) Christ.

    Follow Jesus, find Truth.

  • Jo Lux

    Below is a statement made by Dr. Everett Piper, President of Oklahoma Wesleyan University (in response to reporters who asked if he would also be having Donald Trump speak to his student body).

    This man eloquently states what I wanted to say and more!


    Jerry Falwell, Jr. welcomed Donald Trump to Liberty University to speak in the school’s chapel and I have been asked by the media if I would be next: Will I be inviting Mr. Trump to Oklahoma Wesleyan University to speak in our chapel service? My answer has been simple and brief. No, I will not. Frankly, Donald Trump simply doesn’t represent OKWU’s behavioral, theological, moral or political ideals.

    “But, we need to defeat Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders,” many have said: “Your criticism of Trump only helps them. You need to stop attacking those on ‘our side!’”

    My response:

    “Anyone who is pro-abortion is not on my side. Anyone who calls women “pigs,” “ugly,” “fat” and “pieces of a–” is not on my side. Anyone who mocks the handicapped is not on my side.

    Anyone who has argued the merits of a government takeover of banks, student loans, the auto industry and healthcare is not on my side. Anyone who has been on the cover of Playboy and proud of it, who brags of his sexual history with multiple women and who owns strip clubs in his casinos is not on my side.

    Anyone who believes the government can wrest control of the definition of marriage from the church is not on my side. Anyone who ignores the separation of powers and boasts of making the executive branch even more imperial is not on my side.

    I’m a conservative. I believe in conserving the dignity of life. I believe in conserving respect for women. I believe in conserving the Constitution. I believe in conserving private property, religious liberty and human freedom. I believe in morality more than I do in money. I hold to principles more than I yearn for power.

    I trust my Creator more than I do human character. I’d like to think that all this, and more, makes me an informed and thoughtful citizen and voter. I’ve read, I’ve listened and I’ve studied and there is NOTHING, absolutely nothing, in this man’s track record that makes Donald Trump “on my side.”

    I refuse to let my desire to win “trump” my moral compass. I will not sell my soul or my university’s to a political process that values victory more than virtue … No, Donald Trump will not be speaking at Oklahoma Wesleyan University.”

  • Gott Mit Uns!

    Well, now we know.

  • bcole39

    My guess is that if you checked the requirements for serving on staff at Liberty University, Donald Trump would not qualify.