Pastors John Hagee and Jerry Falwell have both denied a report in The Jerusalem Post earlier this week that they embrace the "dual covenant" theology, which holds that Jews are saved through a special relationship with God and so need not become Christians to get to heaven.
In a statement to the Post, the Texas-based televangelist Hagee said that neither he nor Southern Baptist pastor Falwell "believe or teach Dual Covenant."
Hagee added that he had "made it a practice for 25 years not to target Jews for conversion" at any "Night to Honor Israel" events. If Jews "inquire about our faith at a later time, we give them a full scriptural presentation of redemption."
He stressed that "regardless of the response from the Jewish person, we remain friends in support of the State of Israel as required by scripture."
Falwell, meanwhile, posted a statement on his website to the effect that he believes "all people - Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals, Jews, Muslims, etc." must accept Jesus in order to enter heaven.
Falwell highlighted his strong support of the State of Israel and his "love" for the Jewish people - "the chosen people of God." He went on to "reaffirm that I am a Zionist in terms of Israel's entitlement to its homeland.
I continue to pray daily for the peace of Jerusalem, as the Bible instructs Christians to do. And I have dedicated my life and ministry to working for the peace of Israel."
But he stressed: "I have been on record all 54 years of my ministry as being opposed to dual covenant theology... I simply cannot alter my deeply held belief in the exclusivity of salvation through the Gospel of Christ for the sake of political or theological expediency. Like the Apostle Paul, I pray daily for the salvation of everyone, including the Jewish people."