SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Rev. Raphael Warnock is under fire from Republicans for a remark made during a sermon several years ago that no one can serve both God and the military.
The senior pastor at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta faces Sen. Kelly Loeffler in one of the two Senate runoffs in Georgia on Jan. 5.
In a piece of the sermon, posted to YouTube in April 2011, Warnock said, “America, nobody can serve God and the military.”
“You can’t serve God and money,” he continued. “You cannot serve God and mammon at the same time. America, choose ye this day who you will serve.”
Warnock went on to speak about politicians trying “to keep their power.”
“Political parties lie, in order to keep their power. And church folk, yeah, you too, maneuver inside of God’s house…in order to keep your power,” he stated. “And Jesus says, ‘That’s not power. That’s paranoia.’ Because when you’ve got real power, you’re not worried about your place in the world.”
The video resurfaced on Twitter and conservative news outlets, including The Washington Times and Fox News. Loeffler appeared on the cable news channel Wednesday, calling Warnock “the most radically liberal candidate for Senate in the country.”
“Don’t take my word for it,” she told Fox News. “It is in his own words. He is someone that doesn’t support the police. He said that you can’t serve in the military and serve God.”
She and other GOP senators took to Twitter criticizing Warnock’s statement.
Warnock defended himself Wednesday, telling reporters that his ministry has always been about pulling people together.
“This accusation that they’re trying to make represents the classic play in the politics of division and fear and bigotry,” he added.