The senior pastor of a Dallas-based megachurch and a regular Fox News commentator spent Sunday morning calling on Christians to not be fatalistic but realistic: Christian culture is collapsing. America is imploding and people of faith must push back against that change for as long as possible before the end of the Earth.
Robert Jeffress, who leads First Baptist Church in Dallas, shared this message as the guest speaker at Abba's House for "All American Day." On Sunday, several hundred people experienced the Hixson church trade its hymns for national anthems, complete with an orchestra and choir.
Jeffress' presentation, titled "America's Coming Implosion," involved highlighting several Supreme Court decisions he said have contributed over the past decades to further the secularization of American society, such as removing Christian prayer from schools, legalizing abortion and allowing same-sex marriage.
Non-Christians and atheists have perverted the U.S. Constitution by making it more inclusive to non-Christians, Jeffress said. By changing a person's ability to worship, the country and its people are at risk, he said.
"God's no respecter of people or nations," he said. "Any nation that honors God will be blessed by God and any nation, including the United States of America, that rejects God will be rejected by God."
Jeffress referenced several Old Testament passages of the Bible in his speech to underline his point about retribution for sin, including for the decision by Americans to legalize abortion. Christians must evangelize as many people as possible into the faith and push back against these cultural changes, Jeffress said. Politics is one way forward for Christians, he said.
"When we go to the voting booth, we are either casting a vote for righteousness or for unrighteousness," he said. " We are the ones who are responsible for the spiritual direction of the nation by the policies and the politicians that we put into office."
The message of her country imploding was not what Robin Gore, 62, expected to hear when she came to Abba's House Sunday. While she did not think it was necessary to combine church and politics, she said she agreed with much of Jeffress' message.
"If we can get back to God's wish for us, I think we'd see more peace and prosperity," she said.
Gore said she would like to see a return of prayer and a greater emphasis on religion in schools. Since Christianity is the majority religion in the United States, it should be taught, she said, adding that other religions could be discussed.
Ellis Pearson, 85, said the dual message of Christians needing to resist the changing culture as well as evangelize was important to hear. Being a witness of his faith is something he tries to do but said he needs to reach out to people before it is too late.
Jeffress' visit to Abba's House is part of the July 4 tradition of guest speakers at the church, said Ronnie Phillips, lead pastor. Churches often struggle with attendance during the summer, and especially during the week of Independence Day, he said.
Phillips said Jeffress' message was powerful, even difficult, but it is important to hold others to truth while being loving.