By Dave Bohon - thenewamerican.com
An editorial in Christianity Today declaring that President Trump "Should Be Removed from Office" is receiving significant response from a wide range of Christian leaders. Penned by editor-in-chief Mark Galli, the op-ed in the once-respected magazine founded in 1956 by evangelist Billy Graham, uses as its justification the allegation, contradicted by those personally involved, that Trump "attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president's political opponents." In his op-ed, Galli calls the unfounded charge "a violation of the Constitution" and "profoundly immoral."
Pointing to Trump's past "immoral actions in business and his relationship with women," Galli charges the president with bringing that immorality into his administration, accusing him of spreading "mischaracterizations, lies, and slanders" through his use of social media.
Calling Trump a "near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused," Galli proceeds to target the millions of evangelical Christians who have supported Trump with a heavy dose of classic puritanical guilt, admonishing them to "remember who you are and whom you serve. Consider how your justification of Mr. Trump influences your witness to your Lord and Savior. Consider what an unbelieving world will say if you continue to brush off Mr. Trump's immoral words and behavior in the cause of political expediency."
Personally worrying over Trump's perceived connection to the "reputation of evangelical religion" around the world, Galli warns evangelical Christians that if they continue to stand behind their president, "will anyone take anything we say about justice and righteousness with any seriousness for decades to come?"
Trivializing the defending of pre-born babies, Galli questions if we can "say with a straight face that abortion is a great evil that cannot be tolerated and, with the same straight face, say that the bent and broken character of our nation's leader doesn't really matter in the end?"
It didn't take long for a number of respected evangelical Christian leaders to respond to the piece, beginning with Billy Graham's son, evangelist Franklin Graham, who has been a longtime vocal supporter of Trump. Taking to Facebook, Franklin shamed Galli for invoking his father's name to attack the president, writing: "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 went on to note that "I have not previously shared who my father voted for in the past election, but because of this article, I feel it is necessary to share it now. My father knew Donald Trump, he believed in Donald Trump, and he voted for Donald Trump. He believed that Donald J. Trump was the man for this hour in the history for our nation."
Added Graham: "For Christianity Today to side with the Democrat Party in a totally partisan attack on the President of the United States is unfathomable. Christianity Today failed to acknowledge that not one single Republican voted with the Democrats to impeach the President. I know a number of Republicans in Congress, and many of them are strong Christians. If the President were guilty of what the Democrats claimed, these Republicans would have joined with the Democrats to impeach him."
Observed Graham: "Is President Trump guilty of sin? Of course he is, as were all past presidents and as each one of us are, including myself. Therefore, let's pray for the President as he continues to lead the affairs of our nation."
In an interview Franklin Graham pointed out to the Associated Press that Christianity Today "represents what I would call the leftist elite within the evangelical community. They certainly don't represent the Bible-believing segment of the evangelical community."
Among the other evangelical Christian leaders to weigh in on the editorial was Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, who challenged Galli to give his Christianity Today readers "a little more clarity on why President Trump should be turned out of office after being duly elected by 63 million voters? Is it really because he made a phone call that displeased you? There must be more to your argument than that."
Dobson added that "maybe the magazine would prefer a president who is passionately pro-abortion, anti-family, hostile to the military, dispassionate toward Israel, supports a socialist form of government, promotes confiscatory taxation, opposes school choice, favors men in women's sports and boys in girl's locker rooms, promotes the entire LGBTQ agenda, opposes parental rights, and distrusts evangelicals and anyone who is not politically correct."
In a Twitter post, bestselling Christian author and radio host Eric Metaxas referred to the Christianity Today editorial as "odd," and even "preposterous," noting that it "implies those like Biden or Pelosi, who use the power of their offices to promote the murder of the unborn & the demonization of a biblical sexual ethic, [are] less 'morally troubling' than Trump & his tweets."
Similarly, Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University, the largest evangelical post-secondary institution in the world, Tweeted that "less than 20% of evangelicals supported Hillary Clinton in 2016, but now CT magazine has removed any doubt that they are part of the same 17% or so of liberal evangelicals who have preached social gospel for decades! CT unmasked!"
And Dr. Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, and a vocal Trump supporter, Tweeted that Christianity Today "is a dying magazine that has been 'Never Trump' from the beginning. They are going against 99% of evangelical Republicans who oppose impeachment. President Donald Trump is the most pro-life, pro-religious liberty, pro-Israel President in history!"
In response to the editorial President Trump Tweeted his own disregard for Christianity Today, calling it a "far left magazine … which has been doing poorly and hasn't been involved with the Billy Graham family for many years." The president added that Galli "knows nothing about reading a perfect transcript of a routine phone call and would rather have a Radical Left nonbeliever, who wants to take your religion & your guns, than Donald Trump as your President."
In an interview with CNN, Galli, who is set to retire from his editorial post at Christianity Today in January, communicated his apparent disregard for the opinions of rank-and-file evangelical Christians. "I don't have any imagination that my editorial is going to shift their views on this matter," Galli said, adding that the "fact of the matter is Christianity Today is not read by ... 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."