Former televangelist Jim Bakker claims that one’s support of Donald Trump (or lack thereof) is a litmus test of whether or not the person is a true Christian.
On Monday, Right Wing Watch posted a video on Twitter of Bakker, 80, appearing on what appears to be his own television show, The Jim Bakker Show, which airs on some cable/satellite packages and on some local television networks, according to the show’s website.
Right Wing Watch does not say when Bakker made the statement, but on Bakker’s website, the January 6 show portrays Bakker wearing the same black-and-white striped tie that he’s wearing in the Twitter clip, suggesting that he made the pronouncement during Monday’s show.
In the clip, which can be seen below, Bakker claims that whether or not one supports Donald Trump is a test of whether or not they are even saved. His guests and co-hosts vocalize what sounds like their agreement with an utterance of approval — “mmm-hmmmm” — while what sounds like gentle laughter comes from the studio audience as well as guests and co-hosts.
“Trump is a test… of whether you’re even saved. Only saved people can love Trump,” he says.
Bakker then goes on to preach on forgiveness, saying that “you forgive when you’re saved.”
Jim Bakker declares that supporting Trump "is a test [of] whether you are even saved." pic.twitter.com/Lay3BNfihc— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) January 6, 2020
It’s not the first time Bakker has made eyebrow-raising pronouncements about Trump and Christians.
For example, as Right Wing Watch reported at the time, back in April 2018 Bakker equated opposing Donald Trump to outright war against God.
“Our president, it is like he is in a war. He is not running the country like he should because he is trying to defend himself… There is a war in the world against God!,” he said at the time.
Similarly, back in November 2017, Bakker predicted that Christians would riot if Donald Trump was impeached.
“If they go through with that, there will be a riot in the United States of America and you’re going to find little old ladies rioting, you’re going to find the church people out rioting because they’re not going to take it any more,” he said at the time.
Donald Trump was, indeed, impeached — on December 18, 2019. There were no reports in the media on that date of any riots taking place, pro-Trump or otherwise, anywhere in the country, and since then there have been no such riots, as of this writing.
Bakker and his ex-wife, Tammy Faye Bakker, dominated the headlines for a few months in the late 1980s, as his televangelism empire came crashing down amid reports of fraud and sexual misconduct. After a prison sentence followed by a couple of decades in retirement from televangelism, Bakker returned to his televangelism roots, with a show and ministry headquartered in Branson, Missouri.