COLORADO SPRINGS, Co. — James Dobson, the founder of the renown Colorado-based organization Focus on the Family, is seemingly walking back comments he made last week asserting that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is a “baby Christian” who needs to be “cut some slack.”
As previously reported, Dobson was interviewed last Tuesday by Michael Anthony of GodFactor.com, who was among the nearly 1,000 evangelicals who came to listen to Trump at the Marriott Marquis in Manhattan. During the brief talk, Dobson shared his belief that Trump is himself a Christian.
“There are a lot of people ministering to him personally—a lot of ministers,” he stated in the recorded interview. “I mean, he did accept a relationship with Christ. I know the person who led him to Christ, and that’s fairly recent. I don’t know when it was, but it has not been long.”
“I believe he really made a commitment, but he’s a baby Christian,” Dobson contended. “We all need to be praying for him, especially if there is a possibility of him being our next chief executive officer.”
He said that he believes Trump is open to hearing about the things of God, but that he really doesn’t understand Christianity at the present.
“He doesn’t know our language. We had 40 Christians together with him [and] he used the word ‘Hell’ four or five times. He doesn’t know our language. He really doesn’t,” Dobson said. “He refers a lot to religion and not much to belief and faith in Christ.”
Interviewer Michael Anthony then interjected that the Saul “probably didn’t know much of the language either” when he converted and became Paul.
“Well, you’ve got to cut him some slack,” Dobson replied. “He didn’t grow up like we did.”
But following controversy over his remarks, Dobson released a statement on his website that some perceive as walking back his previous assertions.
“Only the Lord knows the condition of a person’s heart. I can only tell you what I’ve heard,” he wrote. “First, Trump appears to be tender to things of the Spirit. I also hear that Paula White has known Trump for years and that she personally led him to Christ.”
“Do I know that for sure? No,” Dobson continued. “Do I know the details of that alleged conversion? I can’t say that I do.”
He opined that it is a “good start” for Trump to have an evangelical advisory board.
“[T]here are many Christian leaders who are serving on a faith advisory committee for Trump in the future. I am among them,” Dobson wrote. “There are about 45 of us that includes Franklin Graham, Robert Jeffress, Jack Graham, Ben Carson, James Robison, Jerry Johnson, and many others whom you would probably know.”
“We’ve all agreed to serve. How will that play out if Trump becomes president? I don’t know. It is a good start, I would think,” he said.
Dobson repeated that he doesn’t think Trump understands Christianity, and said that if Trump is a Christian at all, he is a baby one. He advised that he selected Trump because he fears a Clinton presidency.
“If anything, this man is a baby Christian who doesn’t have a clue about how believers think, talk and act,” Dobson stated. “All I can tell you is that we have only two choices, Hillary or Donald. Hillary scares me to death.”