Donald Trump gains support of evangelical pastor Robert Jeffress

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump leaves the stage after speaking about the results of the Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Illinois and Missouri primary elections during a news conference held at his Mar-A-Lago Club, in Palm Beach, Florida, March 15, 2016. | REUTERS / Joe Skipper

Donald Trump has gained the support of prominent Southern Baptist Pastor Robert Jeffress, who defended the Republican presidential frontrunner's controversial platforms.

For Pastor Robert Jeffress, evangelical elite members who are against Donald Trump do not get what the average evangelical Christian wants. While the polls do not reflect significant support from evangelical leaders, four out of 10 evangelical voters support the billionaire, according to Christian Today.

Jeffress recalled that in the 1980 presidential race, more evangelicals supported pro-abortion Ronald Reagan compared with devout Christian candidate Jimmy Carter. The pastor said the people did not choose the most religious candidate because they felt that the country had a greater need to have quality leadership, the report details.

In an interview with The Christian Post published earlier this month, Jeffress said Christians who would choose Hillary Clinton over Trump are "fools." He praised the real estate mogul for his belief in pro-life movement and religious liberty.

In addition, Jeffress defended Trump's push for national security.

"I think it's wrong to say that Donald Trump or anyone who advocates for national security, who wants to build a wall, is somehow not a Christian, as the pope intimated a few weeks ago," Pastor Jeffress said. "Look, building walls is not non-Christian. God told Nehemiah 'build a wall around Jerusalem.' The purpose of that wall was not to keep the Jews from going out but to keep the enemies from coming in."

Meanwhile, Southern Baptist Convention Ethics head Russell Moore has expressed concern over some Christian leaders' support for Trump. He highlighted the billionaire's practice of flaunting his adulterous affairs, usage of racially charged language, and his declaration that he does not ask God for forgiveness, the report relays.

Jim Wallis of Sojourners echoed Moore's sentiment. While he acknowledged that not all of Donald Trump's supporters are racists, he also pointed out that the racists are all rooting for the Republican presidential frontrunner.