According to Fox News, nearly 200 evangelical leaders across the U.S. have signed a letter to the president of Christianity Today (CT) and condemned both its editorial calling for the removal of President Donald Trump from office and its editor-in-chief, Mark Galli, for dismissing evangelicals who oppose his views on the matter as being “far right.”
The letter to Timothy Dalrymple, the president of the magazine said the editorial “offensively questioned the spiritual integrity and Christian witness of tens-of-millions of believers who take seriously their civic and moral obligations,” the faith leaders wrote.
Christianity Today, one of the nation’s top Christian publications, was founded in 1956 by Billy Graham. The magazines editor-in-chief, Mark Galli who in the past referred to himself as an “elite evangelical” called for President Trump’s removal on Thursday, one day after the House of Representatives passed two articles of impeachment against him for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
The letter to Dalrymple said: “We are, in fact, not ‘far-right’ evangelicals as characterized by the author.” “Rather, we are Bible-believing Christians and patriotic Americans who are simply grateful that our president has sought our advice as his administration has advanced policies that protect the unborn, promote religious freedom, reform our criminal justice system, contribute to strong working families through paid family leave, protect the freedom of conscience, prioritize parental rights, and ensure that our foreign policy aligns with our values while making our world safer, including through our support of the State of Israel.”
The letter continued: “We are not theocrats and we recognize that our imperfect political system is a reflection of the fallen world within which we live, reliant upon the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, which is freely given to sinner and saint, alike. We are proud to be numbered among those in history who, like Jesus, have been pretentiously accused of having too much grace for tax collectors and sinners, and we take deeply our personal responsibility to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s — our public service.”
The editorial has faced severe rebuke from many Trump supporters.
The letter also denounced assertions Galli made in an essay published last year in the book Still Evangelical?, in which he derided the 76% of white self-identified evangelical voters who helped elect Trump in 2016. He described those voters as “evangelicals [who] often haven’t finished college, and if they have jobs (and apparently most of them don’t), they are blue collar jobs or entry level work.” In the same piece, Galli referred to himself as belonging to a different group of evangelicals, the “elite” evangelicals.
Jenna Ellis, a senior legal adviser for the Trump 2020 campaign, slammed the magazine in an op-ed for the Washington Examiner as being run by “pious ‘Never Trumpers’ who feel morally justified…in a self-serving desire to be proven right…”
The editorial was widely celebrated by the left and crashed its website.
“We want CT to be a place that welcomes Christians from across the political spectrum, and reminds everyone that politics is not the end and purpose of our being,” Christianity Today editor-in-chief Mark Galli wrote in the editorial titled “Trump Should Be Removed From Office.” “That said, we do feel it necessary from time to time to make our own opinions on political matters clear—always, as Graham encouraged us, doing so with both conviction and love. We love and pray for our president, as we love and pray for leaders (as well as ordinary citizens) on both sides of the political aisle.”
He said in an interview with CBS’ “Face The Nation” that Trump’s support of causes important to the evangelical community can no longer excuse his actions in other areas and said the president is “morally unfit” to occupy the Oval Office.
“I am making a moral judgment that he is morally unfit or, even more precisely, it’s his public morality that makes him unfit,” Galli said.
The son of the late pastor Billy Graham said his father would have been “disappointed” by Christianity Today’s editorial.
Evangelist Franklin Graham told Fox News his father “dissociated himself from the magazine years ago” and was “disappointed” himself by the “moral high ground” they’ve tried to take but don’t have for invoking his father’s name to get rid of Trump.
“My father knew Donald Trump, believed in Donald Trump, and in this last election, he voted for Donald Trump,” the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse added. “And if he were here today, I’m sure he would tell you that himself.”