Evangelical Leaders Confront Christianity Today for Magazine’s ‘Entirely Partisan, Legally Dubious’ Support for Trump Impeachment

US President Donald Trump gestures during the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Florida on December 21, 2019. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP) (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

More than one hundred influential evangelical Christian leaders sent a letter to the president of the far left magazine Christianity Today, chastising him for publishing a commentary on Thursday calling for the removal of President Trump.

The letter, addressed to Christianity Today president Timothy Dalrymple on Sunday, was signed by well know evangelical Christians, including Dr. James Dobson, former Gov. Mike Huckabee, former head of the Family Research Council Gary Bauer, author Eric Metaxas, and pastors Robert Morris, Tommy Barnett, and Jentezen Franklin.

“We write collectively to express our dissatisfaction with the editorial Christianity Today published on Thursday, December 19, 2019 calling for the removal of our duly elected President, who was put into office at the behest of over sixty million voters,” the letter began.

“The editorial you published, without any meaningful and immediate regard for dissenting points of view, not only supported the entirely-partisan, legally-dubious, and politically-motivated impeachment but went even further, calling for Donald Trump not to be elected again in 2020 when he certainly survives impeachment,” the signatories wrote in the letter.

“Your editorial offensively questioned the spiritual integrity and Christian witness of tens-of-millions of believers who take seriously their civic and moral obligations. It not only targeted our President; it also targeted those of us who support him, and have supported you,” the letter added.

Sunday’s letter to Christianity Today’s president was just the latest push back to the magazine’s commentary calling for the president’s removal.

Early Friday, Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham, who founded Christianity Today in 1956, criticized the organization’s current leadership for their pro-impeachment commentary:

Celebrated evangelical pastor Franklin Graham revealed Friday his father, Billy Graham, voted for Donald J. Trump in 2016 because he believed he was the best man for the job.

“My father knew Donald Trump, he believed in Donald Trump, and he voted for Donald Trump,” Graham wrote on Facebook early Friday. “He believed that Donald J. Trump was the man for this hour in history for our nation.”

 Rev. Franklin Graham was responding to an article that appeared Thursday in Christianity Today — a magazine founded by “America’s pastor” Billy Graham — declaring that President Trump should be removed from office.

Since “they invoked my father’s name (I suppose to try to bring legitimacy to their statements),” Rev. Graham wrote, “I feel it is important for me to respond.”

Robert Jeffress, pastor of Dallas First Baptist Church and Jerry Falwell, Jr., president of Liberty University, both signatories on the letter, appeared separately on Breitbart News Saturday where they criticized the Christianity Today commentary. You can hear the Jeffress interview here and the Falwell interview here.

In Sunday’s letter, the signatories called out the condescending elitism of its author, outgoing Christianity Today Editor-in-Chief Mark Galli.

“It was astonishing to us that your editor-in-chief, Mark Galli, further offensively dismissed our point of view on CNN by saying, ‘Christianity Today is not read by the people – Christians on the far right, by evangelicals on the far right – so they’re going  to be as dismissive of the magazine as President Trump has shown to be.’ It also came to our attention, that Mr. Galli has written other statements about Americans who chose Donald Trump over Secretary Clinton in 2016, referring to them as ‘These other 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’ as he describes himself with pride as an ‘elite evangelical.’” (emphasis added)

Galli delivered this disparaging quote of Trump-supporting evangelical Christians in an essay entitled “Looking for Unity in All the Wrong Places,” included in the book Still Evangelical?, published by IVP Books in 2018.

The letter continued:

Of course, it’s up to your publication to decide whether or not your magazine intends to be a voice of evangelicals like those represented by the signatories below, and it is up to us and those Evangelicals like us to decide if we should subscribe to, advertise in and read your publication online and in print, but historically, we have been your readers.

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.

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 letter concluded by calling on Christianity Today to honestly disclose its political partisanship.

“As one of our signatories said to the press, ‘I hope Christianity Today will now tell us who they will support for president among the 2020 Democrat field?'” the letter noted.

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