Ted Cruz is a well-known and well-liked Texas politician, but he really gained national notoriety when he ran against President Trump in 2016. That’s when people started to really dig into his past, especially his religious past. Who is he? Who does he worship? And, more importantly, how does he worship Him?
The digging led to what some call “radical” Christian roots. Though Ted describes himself as an Evangelist (a denomination of Christians who believe in teaching and sharing the message of Jesus Christ), his roots are Pentecostal. (Pentecostals are a denomination of Christians who believe in Holy Spirit baptism, healing, exorcism, prophecy, and speaking in tongues – all of which are mentioned in the Bible.) There is a huge overlap between the two denominations, so it’s easy to see why Cruz may refer to himself as an Evangelical while still identifying as Pentecostal. After all, there’s a reason you may hear people say ‘I’m an evangelical Baptist’ – it’s not mutually exclusive.
Though he used Pentecostal symbology in his campaign run in 2016, his campaign seemed to want to keep quiet on his faith and religion. But why could that be? Why would a man so steeped in faith want to hide it, especially when the “job” of an evangelic is to spread the word of Jesus? Unfortunately, there’s no clear answer – just speculation.
While Cruz has been a Texas name since he won a long-shot election in 2011, he wasn’t widely recognized by most until 2016. That’s when his faith really began to come into question. Most specifically, when he was running against President Trump. His Republican opponents began to question if he was “Christian enough”, with President Trump even floating the idea that Cuba may not be able to raise “true Evangelicals” and that Cruz may actually be Catholic. (Meaning that Cruz was purposely trying to mislead people with his faith.)
Though some Evangelical leaders came to his defense, they did admit that with such high-profile attacks on his religious views, it would no doubt negatively affect his campaign. And they were right – questions of his faith and devotion did ultimately sway voters in key states to choose a different presidential candidate.
So is he a closeted Pentecostal? That’s a bit harder to say. He doesn’t hide his faith, has used its imagery in his campaigns, and speaks openly about his beliefs. Perhaps it seems ‘sneaky’ to some, who don’t understand that you can be both an Evangelical and a Pentecostal. Perhaps Cruz prefers some privacy on the matter. Perhaps still, his campaign managers thought it would be a good idea to take a step back from such details after his beliefs were put through the ringers just a few years ago.
He was raised by evangelical Pentecostal parents, went to Evangelical private schools as a kid, and certainly evangelizes openly. His father speaks of him in Pentecostal terms, and he doesn’t rebuke him. With a father that speaks in tongues and evangelizes for the Pentecostal church, it’s easy to assume that Ted Cruz would be Pentecostal as well. However, we know that children don’t always follow in their parents’ footsteps.
Whether Cruz is Pentecostal or not may be up for debate, but there’s no doubt that man lives and teaches the word of God. As he says himself, he is an Evangelical.
Born and raised in Orlando, Nancy has seen and experienced various events that had happened. Because of that, she became involved with various political organizations in which do campaigns and education that will be for the good of the future.