The CEO of the evangelical journal Christianity Today (CT) published an editorial Sunday defending the magazine’s call for the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
In his essay, CT president and CEO Timothy Dalrymple defends the magazine’s decision to side with those demanding Trump’s removal, saying that CT has received “countless notes of encouragement from readers who were profoundly moved” by its editorial and insisting that the journal is beholden to God alone and not the Democrat party.
“Out of love for Jesus and his church, not for political partisanship or intellectual elitism, this is why we feel compelled to say that the alliance of American evangelicalism with this presidency has wrought enormous damage to Christian witness,” Dalrymple writes. “It has alienated many of our children and grandchildren. It has harmed African American, Hispanic American, and Asian American brothers and sisters.”
Mr. Dalrymple suggests that the perceived alliance between the president and evangelical Christians in the U.S. has hurt the credibility of Christians across the globe.
“While the Trump administration may be well regarded in some countries, in many more the perception of wholesale evangelical support for the administration has made toxic the reputation of the Bride of Christ,” Dalrymple writes.
As evangelicals we are “associated with President Trump’s rampant immorality, greed, and corruption; his divisiveness and race-baiting; his cruelty and hostility to immigrants and refugees; and more,” he states.
This is “not merely about impeachment, or even merely about President Trump,” Dalrymple insists. “He is not the sickness. He is a symptom of a sickness that began before him, which is the hyper-politicization of the American church.”
In response to CT’s call for the impeachment of Mr. Trump, Franklin Graham — evangelical pastor and son of the magazine’s founder, Billy Graham — issued a scathing rebuke in the form of a lengthy Facebook post Friday.
“Yes, my father Billy Graham founded Christianity Today; but no, he would not agree with their opinion piece. In fact, he would be very disappointed,” Graham said.
“For Christianity Today to side with the Democrat Party in a totally partisan attack on the President of the United States is unfathomable,” Graham wrote. “Christianity Today failed to acknowledge that not one single Republican voted with the Democrats to impeach the President.”
“This impeachment was politically motivated, 100% partisan. Why would Christianity Today choose to take the side of the Democrat left whose only goal is to discredit and smear the name of a sitting president?” Graham asked. “They want readers to believe the Democrat leadership rather than believe the President of the United States.”
On Sunday, a group of over 100 prominent evangelical leaders sent a letter to Mr. Dalrymple, reproaching him for publishing Thursday’s editorial.
The letter, signed by well-known evangelicals such as Dr. James Dobson, Mike Huckabee, Gary Bauer, and Eric Metaxas, took the magazine to task for calling for the removal of “our duly elected President, who was put into office at the behest of over sixty million voters.”
The editorial “supported the entirely-partisan, legally-dubious, and politically-motivated impeachment,” the letter said, while also “calling for Donald Trump not to be elected again in 2020.”