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Conservative Dallas Pastor Stands By His Remarks About Jesus, Border Fence

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(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - The leader of one of Dallas’ largest congregations is facing some criticism, based on statements he made on a national newscast.

After Pastor Robert Jeffress offered an assessment on the border crisis involving unaccompanied minors, some accused him of invoking scripture in an inappropriate manner.

Dr. Jeffress told CBS 11’s Steve Pickett while Jesus loved children, he also respected the law. In that context, Jeffress believes a complete act of compassion for these children starts with tightening the border they’re allowed to cross.

“If people want to see what I actually said about this issue, they need to click on the interview I did with Fox & Friends yesterday,” directed Jeffress. He added, “I think the most compassionate thing we can do for these children is secure the border.”

Jeffress serves as leader of the First Baptist Church of Dallas and its 11 thousand members. His call to enhance security presence at the Texas-Mexico border is facing support, as well as also ridicule and criticism.

A liberal-leaning news website posted a headline indicating Jeffress said Jesus would have wanted a border fence. That’s false.

Here’s a look at what Jeffress did say:

“The Bible says in Romans 13, the government exists to protect people from evil doers, and so when we look at a Christian response, its one of compassion for those who are already here, but also a respect for the rule of law that God has ordained,” said Jeffress. “We’re talking about the Jesus whose family crossed the border into Egypt to flee the prosecution of Herod.”

Dallas Pastor Frederick Haynes III says he respectfully disagreed with Jeffress point of view of border security as a toll of compassion for immigrant children. Haynes recently traveled with Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins to McAllen, to see the thousands of children being detained at the border.

“They are being thrown out the window of a burning house in Central America. Compassion doesn’t build a fence and say throw them back in the burning house,” said Haynes.

Pastor Jeffress’ will be part of a meeting on Tuesday to discuss outreach for children scheduled to be bussed to Dallas. He says “compassion” includes stopping the dangerous treks through Mexico for children and families.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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