In a letter sent to Timothy Dalrymple, the president of Christianity Today, on Sunday, nearly 200 evangelical faith leaders 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 faith leaders said in the letter, which can be read in full below, that 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 signatories also decried Galli who they say “offensively dismissed” their point of view in comments he made in an interview with CNN Friday, where he said that evangelicals who are upset or outraged by his Christianity Today editorial do not read the magazine because they are “Christians on the far right, evangelicals on the far right, so they’re going to be as dismissive of the magazine as President Trump has shown to be.”
“We are, in fact, not ‘far-right’ evangelicals as characterized by the author,” the letter states. “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.
It continues, “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.”
They 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 individuals 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.
The letter also assumes that Christianity Today will support a Democrat in the 2020 presidential election, and issues a challenge to publicly declare which Democrat they will support.
Although Galli’s opinion is that Trump must be removed from office, he stressed in an interview with The Washington Post Friday that he has supported some of the president’s policy decisions, “including the judges he nominated and his support for anti-abortion policies.”
Galli, who will be retiring from his position at the magazine in January, added that despite the attention his editorial has received, he’s keenly aware that it’s not likely to change many people’s opinions. “I don’t have any illusions that because of what I wrote or because it was under the masthead of Christianity Today that it’s going to change many minds. It’s not going to change many minds.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Melissa Barnhart