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Current Page: U.S. | Sunday, December 22, 2019
Nearly 200 evangelical leaders slam Christianity Today for questioning their Christian witness

Nearly 200 evangelical leaders slam Christianity Today for questioning their Christian witness

President Donald J. Trump addresses his remarks Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019, at Turning Point USA’s 5th annual Student Action Summit at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Fla. | Official White House Photo/Shealah Craighead

In a letter to Timothy Dalrymple, the president of Christianity Today, 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.”

On Sunday, 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.”

He also pushed back against a belief held by many that the publication is tilting left, including the president who labeled Christianity Today as “far-left” and “progressive” in a series of tweets Friday in response to the editorial. 

Support for the publication hasn't waned, he told the Post, which reported that the magazine has "received a surge in donations and new subscribers." 

Galli argued in the Thursday editorial that Trump has to be removed from office because he violated the Constitution and is “profoundly immoral.”

“... The president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents. That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral,” Galli wrote in the piece published a day after Trump became the third president in U.S. history to be impeached by the House of Representatives.

He added, "To the many evangelicals who continue to support Mr. Trump in spite of his blackened moral record, we might say this: Remember who you are and whom you serve. Consider how your justification of Mr. Trump influences your witness to your Lord and Savior."

Ralph Reed, chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, dismissed the publication in an interview with Fox News opinion host Laura Ingraham Friday night, recasting it as "Christianity Yesterday."

"You cannot imagine a publication more out of step with the faith community that it once represented," Reed said before lauding Trump's policies supporting religious liberty and Israel. 

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins also hit back at Christianity Today's editorial in an interview with Shannon Bream on "Fox News @Night" by asking whether they had written editorials condemning the Obama administration's actions in thwarting Congress' investigation into Fast and Furious, or refusing to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act, or forcing Christian-owned businesses to pay for birth control and abortion-inducing drugs under the HHS' Obamacare mandate. 

Franklin Graham, son of the late evangelist Billy Graham, who founded Christianity Today, also responded to the magazine's editorial, saying Friday that in spite of the president’s shortcomings, his father voted for him and would not be in support of Galli’s opinion.

“Christianity Today released an editorial stating that President Trump should be removed from office — and they invoked my father’s name (I suppose to try to bring legitimacy to their statements), so I feel it is important for me to respond,” Graham began in a statement posted on Facebook.

“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. 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 history for our nation.”

The letter to Christianity Today can be read below: 

Dr. Dalrymple,

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.  

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.”

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 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. 

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?” 

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. 

Sincerely,

Lourdes Aguirre 
President 
United Marketing Solutions

Stephen Alessi
Pastor
Metro Life Church

Chuck Allen 
Pastor
Sugar Hill Church

Rev. Rick Amato
Dream Believe Institute 
Wellington , FL

Doug Anderson
Pastor
Rose Heights Church

Michele Bachmann
US House of Representatives 
Fmr. Member, Minnesota 

Marty Baker
Pastor 
Steven’s Creek Church

Rev. Wesley Baldwin, PhD
Lead Pastor 
Aloma Church

Luke Barnett
Pastor
Dream City Church 

Tommy Barnett 
Pastor
Dream City Church

Gary Bauer
President
American Values

Henry Becarra 
Pastor
City Church International

Steve Berger 
Pastor
Grace Chapel - Nashville

Gary W. Blackard
President & CEO
Adult & Teen Challenge USA

Paul Blair
Fairview Baptist Church
Liberty Pastors Network

John Blanchard 
Pastor
Rock Church International 

Bill Bolin
Pastor
Floodgate Church

Ryan Bomberger
Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer
The Radiance Foundation

Mario Bramnick
President 
Latino Coalition for Israel 

Josh Brown
Founder & CEO
SoulHeart.co

Dr. Daniel Caamaño
President 
Alma Vision Radio and Television 

Paula White Cain
Paula White Ministries
Pastor, City of Destiny

Chris Cambas
CEO Relationscape 
Founder / Chairman of Board Full Circle

Anita Christopher 
President
West Michigan Prayer Center 

Barry Clardy
Pastor
Princeton Pike Church of God

Dr. Tim Clinton
President
American Association of Christian Counselors

Bishop Kelvin L. Cobaris
Cobaris Ministries International

Paul Cole
Christian Men's Network 

Cynthia Collins 
Founder, SpeakHope.net
Global Advisor, OperationOutcry 

Jack Countryman
Vice President & Publisher Emeritus
Ministry Development
Harper Collins

David Aaron Crabb
Pastor
Restoring Hope Church

Brad Dacus
Pacific Justice Institute 

Dr.Jimmy L. De La O DDiv. 
Founding Senior Pastor 
Iglesia Cristiana Nuevo Pacto

Apostle Alberto Delgado
Senior Pastor
Alpha and Omega

Rachel Dennis
Awaken The Dawn

Dr. James Dobson
President
James Dobson Family Institute

Dave Donaldson 
Co-founder and Chairman
CityServe International 

Greg Dumas 
Pastor
The Crossing Church

Dr. Kirk Elliott
Founder
Veribella Foundation 

Jenna Ellis
Constitutional Law Attorney

Al Elmore
Senior Pastor
Lima Baptist Temple

Jerry Falwell Jr. 
President
Liberty University 

Joey Fine
Pastor
Seasons Church 

Dan Fisher
Pastor
Fairview Baptist Church

Jentezen Franklin
Senior Pastor
Free Chapel 

Jim Franklin
Pastor 
Cornerstone Church

Dr. Gary D. Frazier, 
President
Discovery Missions International 

Dr. Day Gardner
President
National Black Pro-Life Union

Brian Gallardo
Pastor
LifeGate Church

Jim Garlow
Founder
Well Versed

Rosemary Schindler Garlow
Schindlers Ark

Dr. Nick Garza
NHCLC Board member 
Sacramento, CA

James Gildwell
Pastor
Amazing Grace Baptist Fellowship 

Bishop Anne Gimenez 
Rock Ministerial Fellowship

Jack Graham
Senior Pastor
Prestonwood Baptist Church

Brad Graves
Senior Pastor
Ada First Baptist Church 

Danny Gokey 
Contemporary Christian Artist

Paul Marc Goulet 
Pastor
International Church of Las Vegas 

Rev. Mark Gurley 
Director 
Michigan Oak Initiative

Ken Gurley
Vice President/Director of Operations
National Apostolic Christian Leadership Conference.

Jon & Jolene Hamill 
President
Lamplighter Ministries 

Dr. Frank Harber, Ph.D., J.D.
President
The Institute for Christian Defense

Len Harper
Pastor
Overflow Church

Mike Hayes
Founder/President 
Center for National Renewal

Skip Heitzig 
Pastor
Calvary Church of Albuquerque

Randall Hekman
Director 
Grand Awakening Prayer

Jim Henry 
Pastor Emeritus FBC Orlando 
Former SBC President 

Robert Herber
Pastor
All Peoples Church

Jack Hibbs
Pastor
Calvary Chapel Chino Hills

Rev. Tim Hill 
General Overseer
Church of God

Mark Hoover 
Lead Pastor 
NewSpring Church

Walter B. Hoye II
CEO
Issues4Life Foundation 

Lori Hoye 
CFO
Issues4Life Foundation 

Mike Huckabee
Honorary National Chairman
My Faith Votes

Shane Idleman 
Pastor
Westside Christian Fellowship

Bishop Harry Jackson
Pastor
Hope Christian Church 

Brian Jacobs
Pastor
Metroplex Family Church 

Dr. Mike & Cindy Jacobs
Founders 
Generals International

Phillip Jauregui 
Judicial Action Group

Dr. Thomas Jamieson 
Senior Pastor 
First Baptist Church of Mount Dora, FL

Obed Jauregui
Pastor, Betania Church 
President of MBCS 

Robert Jeffress
Senior Pastor
First Baptist Dallas

Brian & Jenn Johnson
Bethel Music 

Travis Johnson
Church of God Executive Council Member

Dr. Brad Jurkovich
Senior Pastor
First Baptist Church Bossier City, LA

Troy Keaton
Pastor
EastLake Community Church

Becky Keenan
Pastor
President of One With Israel

Alveda King
Pastoral Associate, Priests for Life
Director, Civil Rights for the Unborn

Gary Kirouac
Tent America 

David Kubal 
CEO/President 
Intercessors for America 

Kelly Monroe Kullberg
Veritas Forum

Hank & Brenda Kunneman
Pastors
Lord of Hosts Church and One Voice Ministries

Greg Laurie
Senior Pastor
Harvest Christian Fellowship

Jerry Lawson
Pastor
Daystar Church

Todd Lamphere 
Pastor of Global Outreach
City of Destiny 

Chris Leader
Ignite Outreach

Greg Locke
Pastor 
Global Vision Bible Church

Frank López
Senior Pastor, Doral Church
VP of Hispanic Association of Pastors

Cissie Graham Lynch
Samaritans Purse

Apostle Guillermo Maldonado
President and Senior Pastor
King JESUS Ministries

Tim Martin
Pastor 
New Life Christian 

Victor Marx
President & CEO 
All Things Possible Ministries

Gregg Matte
Senior Pastor
Houston’s First Baptist Church

Bishop Joseph Mattera
Christ Covenant Coalition

Pastor Jurgen Matthesius
C3 Church San Diego
Overseer C3 Churches in the Americas

Bob McEwen
US House of Representatives 
Fmr. Member, Ohio

Dr. David H. McKinley
Pastor-Teacher
Warren Baptist Church 
Augusta GA 

Dr. Yolanda McCune
Director 
HAPN Kingdom Culture 

Rev. Dusty McLemore
Senior Pastor
Lindsay Lane Baptist Church

Barry Meguiar
President Meguiar’s, Inc, 
Founder, Revival Outside the Walls

Eric Metaxas
Author, Host 
Eric Metaxas Radio Show

Jonathan Miller
Pastor
New Beginnings Church

Morgan Mitchell
Director 
Grand Traverse House of Prayer 

Pastor Sergio De La Mora
Cornerstone Church

Kent Morgan
President 
Randall Bearings, Inc. 

Robert Morris 
Senior Pastor
Gateway Church 

Pastor Tom Mullins 
Senior Pastor
Christ Fellowship Florida 

Penny Nance
CEO and President 
Concerned Women for America

Rev. Dean Nelson 
Chairman of the Board
Frederick Douglass Foundation

Dr. Malachi O’Brien 
Former 2nd Vice President
Southern Baptist Convention 

Tim Oldfield
Pastor
Potters House Church 

Dr. Rod Parsley
Founder and Lead Pastor
World Harvest Church 
Founder and Chancellor Valor Christian College

Ramiro A. Peña
Pastor
Christ the King Church

Tony Perkins
President
Family Research Council 

Paul Pickern 
Executive Director
All Pro Pastors 

Chonda Pierce
Comedian 

Dr. Everett Piper 
Best Selling Author
Former University President

Dr. Anthony Ponceti
Director, South & Central America
All Pro Pastors International

Rob Price 
Associate Professor, Communication Arts
Southwestern Assemblies of God University

Ralph Reed 
President 
Faith and Freedom Coalition

Steve Riggle 
Pastor
Grace Church International

Rev. Dennis Rivera
Assemblies of God 
NHCLC executive committee

Ernie Rivera 
President 
Las Americas Evangelistic Association 

Marilyn Rivera
Pastor
President of Hispanic Association of Pastors

Juan Rivera
Executive Director
Hispanic Israel Leadership Coalition 

Jeremy Roberts
Pastor
Thomasville Road Baptist Church

Wayne Roberts 
Pastor
Bethel Baptist Church

Gerald Rohn
Pastor
First Renaissance Community Church of Sterling Michigan

Dudley Rutherford 
Pastor
Shepherd of the Hills Church

Myles & Delana Rutherford 
Pastors 
Worship with Wonders Church

Dexter Sanders
Founder/President 
Back 2 God Movement 

Rick Scarborough 
Recover America Now

Tom Schlueter 
Texas Apostolic Prayer Network

Darrell & Belinda Scott 
Pastor
New Spirit Revival Center 

Tony Scott
Pastor
theChurch, Maumee

Mark Seppo 
Pastor
Vassar Victory Center

Scott Sheppard 
Pastor
Cornerstone Church

Danny Silk
President
Loving on Purpose

David Smith
Pastor
Oak Park Church

Ron Smith
Pastor 
FBC At The Villages

Ted Squires
CEO Squires Global

Dr. Jay Strack
Founder
Student Leadership University 

Mat Staver
Liberty Counsel

Darryl & Tracy Strawberry
Strawberry Ministries 

Pastor Tom Sterbens
New Hope Church

Tony Stewart
Pastor
Citylife Church 

Rev. Tony Suarez
Executive Vice President 
National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference 

Lanny Swaim
Worship Artist

Michael Tait
Christian Music Artist

Zach Terry
Senior Pastor 
Fernandina Beach, First Baptist Church

Claude Thomas
Former Executive Director
GP3

David Tipton
Vice President
National Apostolic Christian Leadership Conference.

LaNell Babbage-Torres
National Diversity Coalition

CT Townsend
Pastor
Victory Baptist Church

Pasqual Urrabazo
Pastor
International Church of Las Vegas 

Andre Van Mol, MD
Elder
Bethel Church

Kris Vallotton
Senior Associate Leader
Bethel Church

Dr. Gilberto Velez
Founder and Senior Pastor for Iglesia Cristiana Misericordia
Chairman of the Board for National Hispanic leadership Conference.

Anthony Verdugo, 
Founder and Executive Director
Christian Family Coalition (CFC) 

Wendell Vinson
Pastor
Canyon Hills Church

Judy Wade
Uniting Our Hearts

Kevin Wallace 
Pastor
Redemption to the Nations Church

Lance Wallnau
Lance Learning Group

Rick Warzywak 
Director 
Michigan Capitol House of Prayer

Wendy Waterson
Pastor
Sanctuary Ministries 

Edward Watts
Pastor
Gateway Hope Center 

Tom Winters 
Winters & King Associates

Ken Whitten
Pastor
Idlewild Baptist Church

George Wood
Chairman
World Assemblies of God Fellowship

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