Megachurch Leader Says Critics of Choir’s ‘Make America Great Again’ Trump Slogan Ode Are ‘Evangelical Gnats’

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

DALLAS, Texas — A well-known megachurch leader and Trump supporter says that those who have been critical of last Saturday’s choir performance of a song based on Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan are “evangelical gnats” who are just upset that Trump won the election.

“They are absolutely nothing but evangelical gnats who are looking for any excuse to nibble at the president,” Robert Jeffress of the First Baptist Church of Dallas told the Christian Post this week. “If you take these critics’ argument to their logical end, then Christians need to quit saying the Pledge of Allegiance.”

As previously reported, the song, which had been written by the church’s former music minister, Gary Moore, was performed by the Southern Baptist choir during Saturday’s “Celebrate Freedom” rally in the nation’s capital. The event was co-sponsored by Jeffress’ congregation and featured a message from the president.

“Americans from ev’ry corner of this blessed land/Come together with one voice/Help us take a stand/Following the vision to make her proud and grand/And make America great again,” the choir sang out.

The brief tune followed a rendition of “Break Every Chain,” led by Leo Day, the dean of the School of Church Music at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. The song speaks of the power in the name of Jesus.

“Make America Great Again” is now licensed by the worship music resource group Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI) for other churches and religious gatherings to sing.

While the song was received with applause and cheers from those present, some who viewed the video footage of the performance expressed concern.

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“It seems innocent enough. Indeed, if it were just another little ditty to whistle on Independence Day, it would be fairly innocuous,” wrote Jonathan Aigner for Patheos. “The problem is that it has been adopted by a significant portion of the evangelical church. It’s their mantra, their creed, and their prayer, and they shout it out with nationalistic fervor.”

“Pledging allegiance to God and to America in the same breath, melding together the kingdom of God and self, they pray a blasphemous prayer to a red, white and blue Jesus,” he opined. “How tragically this prayer cancels out the prayer of Jesus himself. The political church prays, ‘Make America great again!’ Jesus prayed, ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.’”

J. Cal Davenport of The Resurgent hearkened back to when school children were chanting “Mmm mmm mmm, Barack Hussein Obama’ while reciting a poem about Obama’s election goals—and conservatives found it to be troubling.

“Of course, choirs singing patriotic music is nothing new, especially surrounding holidays like Independence Day. Some patriotic hymns have even melded explicitly biblical language with historic America events, as is the case with the Battle Hymn of the Republic and the Civil War,” he wrote. “But there is something fundamentally different about appropriating the slogan of the (never-ending) campaign of a sitting president.”

“When a local school or some private organization creates musical odes to a new president, such secular worship is troubling in a fascistic way,” Davenport opined. “At the Kennedy Center this weekend, the First Baptist Dallas Choir crossed the line into idolatry. The Church has no business putting its faith in and singing songs in honor of worldly leaders.”

Jeffress, however, disagreed and said that the song was no different than when choirs belt out the “Star Spangled Banner” at patriotic events.

“There is nothing wrong in Christians desiring God’s best for the country we love so much. That is what Saturday night was all about,” he said. “No one is worshiping Donald Trump. What we are doing is showing respect for our president and praying God’s blessings on him as he leads our nation. That is biblical and Christian to do.”

Jeffress, who has been a staunch supporter of the president and serves on his evangelical advisory board, also raised eyebrows in November when he suggested that Christians should move on from fighting same-sex “marriage” and focus on other moral issues, such as abortion.

“This is not going to be re-litigated by the Supreme Court. That is the law of the land. I wish it were different, but it’s not different,” he said emphatically.

Jeffress outlined that he told Christians and others not to urge Trump to make the sanctity of marriage a part of his campaign.

“And actually I had to argue against some hard-right Catholics and evangelicals who wanted Mr. Trump to make that a campaign issue,’” he explained. “I said, ‘Guys, forget it. It’s over.’”

“We need to go on to other things, like protecting the unborn,” Jeffress said.


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  • Charles Hadden

    too much focus on legalism and not nearly enough on personal holiness and sanctification. This is the cancer of the American church.

    • Amos Moses – He>i

      the cancer of pragmatism …………..

    • Robert

      Sanctification its a God given understanding that Jesus his merits alone have won us salvation and that we need to repent daily of sin even harder when we think we have nothing to repent for..

      • Charles Hadden

        yes, but there are two sides to sanctification: God’s imputed righteousness through Christ and the walk in this world that He uses to prepare us for that great day of glory, to wit, the redemption of our physical bodies.

        • Robert

          Since God brought you to faith in Jesus don’t you think he will also carry your faith out to completion? Equip you with the means even to say thanks for what Jesus has done ephesians 2: 8 ,9 and 10 .

  • akagaga

    Several years ago, I was attending an Explorers event in church to see the son of a friend “graduate.” At the beginning, we stood to say the pledge. I got as far as “I pledge allegiance to the flag,” when I was stopped with my mouth hanging open, I believe by the Holy Spirit. I heard “What are you vowing?” I prayed and mulled this over for a few days, searching scripture and the history of “the pledge.” But that was the last time I stood for or regurgitated the pledge. My allegiance is to my Lord only.

    So I think Jeffress is correct: “If you take these critics’ argument to their logical end, then Christians need to quit saying the Pledge of Allegiance.”

    I would not ask anyone else to adhere to my belief, as it would gain them nothing if not from the heart. But please don’t require me to adhere to yours.

    Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

    James 5:12 “But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but let your yes be yes, and your no, no; so that you may not fall under judgment.”

    • Amos Moses – He>i

      AMEN ……… been there … done that …. i will stand out of respect ….. but that is it ……….

      • akagaga

        I did stand once, but was convinced it was a form of denial, so I don’t anymore. It’s much easier to stand with everyone else, but who said this life is easy?

    • Bob Johnson

      How will we ever have Christian judges if they won’t take the oath of office? And by this logic no Christian should be in the military or hold any elected government office.

    • Robert

      You perked my intrest i do know Jesus took a earthly oath ,so I will look James 5 : 12 in kretzmann commentary to see what it about.

    • Robert

      James 5 :12 is talking frivolous oath taking when Jesus took a oath he did not do it friviously. You here so many people just say I swear to god or I swear on stack of bibles. About this or that. It must have happened a lot back then to.

    • Mike D

      Amen brother. People pretend idolatry is a thing of the past, failing to recognize their idolatry of patriotism and nationalism. We will continue to be worthy citizens but I will not vow and worship sticks that hold up pieces of cloth that represent the dirt I walk on. My brothers and sisters are from all nations not just one. Present ourselves as an alien and a stranger and be Ambassadors for Christ.

  • RWH

    Church choirs sing patriotic songs all the time. What’s the problem?

    • Amos Moses – He>i

      the problem is you do not see a problem …..

      • RWH

        Well, if the choir members want to participate in such a rally, it is their right to do so. From what I gather from the article, the choir was composed by a group of Southern Baptists. You don’t feel that you can join them, don’t. Nobody is forcing you to do so. However, they have the right to participate just as you have the right not to participate. From my understanding, Baptist churches are autonomous, so there is no religious figurehead who has the right to dictate what they can and cannot do.

        • Amos Moses – He>i

          it is not about their “rights” …. and no one, and not me, denied that …… so a strawman argument …… thnx …… the problem is that a church was used for this …. and that makes it a spiritual and church matter …………….

          • RWH

            I’m seeing a problem with this logic. Every Baptist that I know tell me that a church isn’t the building. It’s the people. The church is merely a building where people congregate for worship and then use the room for other purposes during the week. If you were talking about an Orthodox, an Episcopal, or a Catholic church, you would have a point as the church is considered sacred space, and people are to treat it as such. However, the Baptists I know don’t acknowledge that distinction, so they have no problems in lending their churches for secular uses as graduation ceremonies and such. If the church auditorium is not considered sacred space, what’s the difference between lending the facility out to a secular ceremony or a partisan political rally?

          • Bob Johnson

            You really need to learn what is a “Strawman Argument”. This is not a “strawman” built for the purpose of knocking down; it is straight-forward opinion. His opinion, he even states, “From my understanding”.

    • Deke

      Not the true church.

      • Robert

        So you see hearts now. I thought the true church was invisible to us but not God.

        • Deke

          Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.
          Matthew 7:15-16

    • The General

      How old are you? That unfocused photo looks very suspicious.

    • zampogna

      I personally don’t like it because it’s a blatant mix of church and state.

  • FoJC

    This man is the epitome of the false pastor.

    Follow Jesus, find Truth.

    • Robert

      I’m going to get real Lutheran on you fast. No one is saved because they treated other people well ,no one has been saved because they deserved to be saved, not you not me not pastor Jeffers . The only reason any of us are saved is for Jesus sake alone because he lived perfect for and even died for you and me and Jeffers also Hitler to. Because of this fact alone What Jesus alone did .God the father has mercy on all of us not wanting even the Hitlers of this world in hell. But rather every one repent and believe that Jesus set his God Crown down and became his own created creature so that he could live perfectly for and then die for all of us other human created Creatures..

      • Coach

        Jesus died to save His people from their sins, Hitler didn’t receive salvation and the way it’s looking, neither has Jeffress. Jesus said “My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me.

      • FoJC

        Yet, Jeffress is still the epitome of the false pastor.

        Follow Jesus, find Truth.

        • Julia Ferrell Harris

          What makes him a false pastor?

  • Amos Moses – He>i

    the ‘Evangelical Gnats’ know your fruits ….. Patriot Jesus is a false Christ ……….

  • Deke

    Following Christ and pushing the agenda of a political party are diametrically opposed.

    “Why put me to the test? Bring me a denariusd and let me look at it.” 16And they brought one. And he said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said to him, “Caesar’s.” 17Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” Mark 12:15-17

  • BravesFan

    What America really needs is to repent in sackcloth and ashes.

    • Robert

      Man looks at the outside. But God sees the heart. Hypocrites can fool us but not God

  • FoJC

    Christians are not to pledge their allegiance to a flag or any other physical object. The Pledge of Allegiance is not only “for which it stands”, but also the object. This is idolatry. Fake Christians are
    always twisting the Scripture to justify their unbelief and false doctrines. A person who is in Covenant with God through the Word of God, Jesus Christ has no other allegiances. God only.

    Pledging allegiance to the “Republic for which it stands” is a promise to never go against the Republic, which includes it’s laws and beliefs. The Republic of the USA has affirmed that murdering babies in the womb is a Right. It has also affirmed that homosexuals can be Married to each other. Those who have pledged their allegiance “to the flag and the Republic for which it stands” are also affirming them.

    When you look at fake Christians through the eyes of the Holy Spirit, you can easily see their false doctrines.

    Follow Jesus, find Truth.

    • Bob Johnson

      So how do you answer those who claim that this is a Christian nation founded on God’s law when the Constitution itself contains the text for the president’s oath of office?

      • FoJC

        There’s only one Christian Nation and it’s comprised of all those who are in Covenant with God through Jesus Christ. Earthly governments and nations are temporary and will be destroyed when the LORD recreates the universe. The “Christian Nation”, those who have inherited the Kingdom of God through the LORD, will endure for Eternity.

        Follow Jesus, find Truth.

        • Bob Johnson

          Non sequitur, you where saying, “Pledging allegiance to the “Republic for which it stands” …”. We were talking about earthly governments. I was asking how the earthly United Staes of America can claim to be a Christian nation considering that all the executive, legislatures, and judges must, in order to hold office, take the oath of office.

          Earthly governments may indeed be temporary but will continue, by definition, for the foreseeable future.

          • FoJC

            You ignore the Truth and believe your comment board debate terms matter to God. Your kind has hurt many, but the LORD will lead them through the fog of lies spread by those who only seek to debate – which is a trait and tactic of Lucifer.

    • Chet

      Your opine appears to resemble that of JW’s. In that all men are sinners, no government on Earth will ever be without its faults, and, admittedly, abortion and homosexual marriage top the list for me for outright wrongs, period. Yet, America was supernaturally founded upon the Judeo/Christian ethic as found in our Holy Bible. Today, she has fallen a long ways since her humble beginnings for sure. Nevertheless, as long as we exist on Earth we will be citizens of one place or another, thus, I will support the USA above all others even as I strive to support politicos who are godly men and women, sparse as they seem to have become. I surely follow the Christ of Calvary first and foremost, with my country next and I’m sure most Christians do the same… God bless the USA even as she must needs repent IAW II Chronicles 7:14, Holy Bible… For sure, she is nearer that much needed repentance time now than during her most recent “fundamental transformation” under duress. God Almighty either placed President Trump in his position, or, at the very least allowed such, just as he does with weather. Frankly, I see men such as brother Jeffress and other brethren as having a most positive effect on the President and his own…

      • FoJC

        There was nothing supernatural about the founding of the USA. You believe and spread lies.

        • Chet

          Sure, it can be found in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence which, you might want to read and learn of. Is JW at work here?

          • FoJC

            Oh. “JW” I thought you were referring to a person who comments on here. You’re trying to pin a “cult” label on me – Jehovah’s Witness. No. I’m not one.

            Your belief that the founding of the USA is supernatural is definitely a belief a cult would have about itself and its origins. Are you a member of the false baptism cult?

            America was founded because a group of people got tired of Britain’s style of rule and gave themselves over to political violence (war). Nothing supernatural about that.

            Follow Jesus, find Wisdom.

          • Chet

            I see men who feared God Almighty and His Son, the Christ of Calvary, in their early work. America is the greatest nation ever created by the Almighty’s leading, save Israel… The USA resulted from no accident or mere work of ordinary men, sinners at best… And their break from the mother land was to enjoy their own freedom to worship the Lord via their own dictates ilo that of the state’s… But, you know that, surely you do.

          • FoJC

            You preach America, not the Truth. I used to believe the American propagandists, then I grew up in the LORD. Now I see a nation stinking with the stain of innocent blood, among other horrendous sins against the LORD. Your kind will be caught unawares when the LORD returns.

            America is the crown jewel of debauchery, slavery, and greed. Your kind preach a false Gospel and lead those who do not want to seek or know the Truth.

            Judgement is coming.

          • Chet

            My friend, I’m just as ready for the Lord’s soon coming as you. Meanwhile, I live in the best nation on Earth, full of sinners, some redeemed, most not… I preach the good news gospel, Jesus saves from the guttermost (me) to the uttermost, perhaps you… And America yet allows me the freedom to spread the gospel just as the Lord instructed in Matthew 28 and Mark 16. It’s never good for Christians to strive with one another, especially as Hell has enlarged he coast and thousands upon thousands are dropping into the pit daily. And not a one of them will do so because of the state of the USA or who is serving as her president, but, rather, due to their own freewill and choice to either reject the offer of mercy and grace as offered exclusively in the Christ of Calvary or put their decision to do so off m=one day too many till they snapped out into eternity. Thankfully, I’m not accountable to you thus your mean spiritedness means nothing to me personally. That said, I think we’ve carried our communications about as far as they need to go. God bless and out…

          • FoJC

            Paragraphs.

      • FoJC

        If you think God “placed” Trump in office, then you don’t believe in the very country you so ardently defend. If you believe God put Trump in office, then you have to believe God put Hitler in office. Then you must believe that God put the people in office that passed a law affirming abortion as a “right”, as well as homosexual “marriage” being legitimate. You have no right to fight against any law, because the people who passed them are put there by God.

        Your kind’s reasoning is Satanic.

        Follow Jesus, find Wisdom.

        • Robert

          So because your a sinner God could not have
          Made you part of his royal priest hood ? So because Hitler was a sinner God could not have made him a leader. I suggest look up the Bible passage Romans 13:1-7

          • FoJC

            Your grip on reality has slipped. All you’re doing is arguing, rather than seeking Truth.

          • Robert

            But your not the truth and I’m not the truth the bible is truth .

          • FoJC

            Jesus is the Truth, not the Bible. The Bible is the compilation of Scripture given to us by the Holy Spirit. Jesus is alive. The Holy Spirit isn’t a feeling or attitude. The Holy Spirit is God. Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit.

            A person shouldn’t trust you, because you’re a word trickster. Don’t include me in your assessment of yourself.

            Follow Jesus, find Truth.

        • Chet

          Why do you equate the monstrous human Devil responsible for the murder of over six million Jews/others to that of America’s current president? This president is no mass murderer, he’s not associated with the Manson cult nor is he secretly MS13… Hate is a terrible thing for one to carry. It’s not only bad for the nation and wholly undeserving of President Trump, but, it’s especially hard on one’s own heart and circulatory system…

          I said God either placed this 45th President of the USA in office or He allowed such, just as he did his predecessor… Nothing, but nothing catches the Almighty by surprise nor accident and He either orders or allows events to include weather, i.e., Global Warming/Climate Change. By the same token, he allows men to choose whether or no they will repent and receive His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ of Calvary, as one’s own personal Lord and Saviour. “The wicked shall be turned into Hell and all the nations that forget God” Psalm 9:17, Holy Bible. If you know your own Holy Bible you’ll recall numerous biblical events that God either caused or allowed, i.e., Joseph’s imprisonment following his brother’s rough treatment. My reasoning is biblical, dude…

          And those that men elected into office which support abortion and homosexual marriage are to be turned out in the selfsame fashion. Such is why I submit Psalm 9:17…

          • FoJC

            Hitler wasn’t the only one responsible. A bunch of people killed millions of people under his regime. Leading any country takes more than one person. Also, more than Hitler and his subordinates are(were) responsible for the loss of life in Germany during that time. Some of them being the American leaders who refused to get involved. As well, Hitler isn’t the Devil, although he is definitely in Hell, along with many of the people who were murdered by his regime.

            I don’t hate Trump. I’m just not blind to the reality of America. The American propagandists who are preaching that the USA is a Christian nation are simply lying. Nazi propagandists claim Hitler was a Christian, but obviously he wasn’t.

            Tens of millions of babies have been murdered in America. This is far more than died at the hands of the Nazis. More babies will be murdered next week. It is an American “right” to have your baby killed and there’s an entire body of science and industry developing the knowledge and making the tools to do it.

            Follow Jesus, find Truth.

          • Chet

            Hitler was a human Devil and indeed used of him mightily. And there are many humans so used by the wicked one today in other forms, i.e., those promoting abortion and homosexual marriage… The best Americans can do is join the fight with Christian conservatives in the Congress to defund the largest abortion provider in the land. Beyond voting those supportive of evil out of office, there’s nothing beyond prayer and fasting which can be accomplished. When one has the Lord Jesus Christ of Calvary, one has Truth… We all who name the name of Christ must pray for our president, period, like him or no… He is not busily attempting to further transform the USA into something other than what she was as founded… Have a blessed day!

      • Jeannia Bressler

        I’m surprised at all the negativity. Guess I am just a sinner (who talks to God several times a day) and a proud American

        • Chet

          So too am I…

  • HpO

    To which I say, sister Heather Clark, God bless all the “evangelical gnats who … nibble at the president” of the United States, Donald J. Trump – when it’s a must but all they could do, this side of the White House. Actually, though, Robert Jeffress got that all wrong. They weren’t “nibbl(ing)” at Trump so much as at him and his partner-in-cHime, Gary Moore! At this rate of such “nibbl(ing)”, who knows? And so I say also, May their megachurch be infested soon with my fellow “evangelical gnats”.

  • Chet

    Meanwhile, the Devil is most pleased as the body of Christ battles among its self even as onlookers, many of whom are lost, are unknowingly on their way to Hell… Ah, the Christian army has forgotten Stand Up Stand Up For Jesus Ye Soldiers Of The Cross… America needs repentance IAW II Chronicles 7: 14, Holy Bible…

  • George Jenkins

    ““They are absolutely nothing but evangelical gnats who are looking for any excuse to nibble at the president,” Robert Jeffress of the First Baptist Church of Dallas told the Christian Post this week. ”
    Like Trump or not, it hardly puts this pastor in a position to have a reasoned discussion if he cannot address the subject without calling those who disagree with him denigrating names.

    • Chet

      He’s yet human just like the rest of us. “Evangelical gnats” is extremely mild among denigrating names, no…

  • FoJC

    Jeffress has fanboys and fangirls who troll internet comment boards defending his false doctrines. They seek to frustrate and argue, because his kind draws power from the chaos, contention, and discord.

    Follow Jesus, find Truth.

    • Puppy

      Romans 16:18 – For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. Matthew 24:11 And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people.

      • FoJC

        Are the stalkers from 15+ years ago on my trail again?

        That describes them perfectly.

        Follow Jesus, find Wisdom.

  • Truthhurts24

    As a black man this American patriotism is a reminder that Americans continue to celebrate man instead of Christ. This country is very delusional to believe that Christ has anything to do with it when the land has been built by bloodshed and wickedness since its birth. It’s very disturbing to me that the slogan make america great again is being song in a church when this country has never been great far as righteousness
    is concerned. How can Americans believe Christ will bless a nation built on racism,greed,murder,the
    Occult, and various other iniquities.

    • FoJC

      The “nation” that is blessed by God is the nation of people who live by Faith in the Son of God, Jesus (the) Christ, the Word of God. It’s not righteousness wrought by works which saves people from Sin, but the Righteousness which is given to those who believe and believe in Jesus.

      Fallen man identifies with a fallen world. The Redeemed identify with Jesus.

      Follow Jesus, find Wisdom.

      • Truthhurts24

        Okay what are you trying to say in your post that Im not a believer because I see the obvious hypocrisy and evil of Babylon America.

        • FoJC

          No. I saw this earlier today and wasn’t sure how to respond. I reread my comment, and am not certain how you come to that conclusion.

  • FoJC

    America is not the modern day Israel of God. The Israel of God, the chosen people of God are those who live by Faith, as did Abraham, but most importantly, as his Seed revealed to those who love God.

    Follow Jesus, find Truth.

  • GreenLife Express

    Spiritual battle. Sooo many as some here claim to be Christians are merely tares among the Wheat….bloviating, pointing fingers and condescending Christs truth from real Christians. They’re blinded by their father… the fallen prince of the power of the air and wouldn’t know one because they are not one and therefore blind to God’s truth and the ability to see and know Christs true followers. The epitome of the end times we are living in…as in the days of Noah.
    MARANATHA God Bless America and continue to bless and protect our President. MAGA

    • Puppy

      Trump is the AntiChrist, during the Election he won with 666 Delegates, His Trump tower,was used in the filming of the Devil’s advocate, he allowed the Rolling Stones” Sympathy for the Devil” to be played at his presidential rallies, the name of his parents names.are Fred “Christ” Trump and Mary Trump.

      Thou shalt have no other gods before me.Thou shalt worship thy God and Him only. Trump is going against the Bible, he wants worship, praises and glory for Himself, Trump sees Himself as GOD and demands peoples to worship him, many of the Trump supporters/followers worship him, and see him as a Sun God

      Six Months ago, Trump invited one of his Trump supporters on stage who admits that he has a 6 foot cardboard cut-out of Trump that he salutes and prays to/for every day this Trump superfan admitted he loves Trump with all his heart and prays to his cardboard of Trump Not to GOD/..

      Trump is a known Murderer who has killed innocent woman and children around the World, thousands of innocent woman and children have died because of Trump. He is a Evil Person who have no respect for woman, the disable and the poor.

  • Jeffress ought to be avoided, shunned. He is no longer a servant of Jesus Christ but rather a servant of sinful man. The loyalty of any true Christ is to Christ alone. Those who love the world and the thinks of the world have not received the love of the Father.

  • billinghamboy

    Always best to stick emphatically to God’s word and make “truth”declarations only from that glorious platform,nothing else is worth believing or living by.