Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz isn’t backing away from the endorsement of Mike Bickle, a controversial evangelical pastor who once characterized Hitler as “a hunter” sent by God to go after Jews who don’t to convert to Christianity.
Despite calls from Jewish groups to denounce Bickle’s interpretation of scripture, a senior advisor to Cruz instead welcomed the pastor’s support in a statement published today in the Jewish Journal.
Bickle, who runs the Kansas City-based International House of Prayer, made the Hitler comment during a 2011 sermon where he discussed two methods he believes God will use to convert the world’s Jewish population to Christianity — grace and violence.
After discussing the “fishermen” that will use “grace” to persuade Jews to convert, Bickle turned his attention to the “hunters” he believes will use violence toward the same end.
“And [the Lord] says, ‘And if they don’t respond to grace, I’m going to raise up the hunters,'” Bickle said. “And the most famous hunter in recent history is a man named Adolf Hitler.”