A large number of prominent evangelicals sent a sharply critical letter to Christianity Today President and CEO Dr. Timothy Dalrymple today over the magazine’s Dec. 19 editorial, which called for President Trump’s removal from office and took issue with his evangelical supporters.
The leaders charged CT's outgoing Editor-in-Chief Mark Galli with characterizing them as “far-right” and publicly dismissing their views, at one point quoting a past statement by Galli that referred to evangelical Trump supporters 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.”
The letter also suggested that CT is at risk of no longer for speaking to a wider evangelical audience and losing their readership.
Galli posted the editorial just one day after Trump became the third president in United States history to be impeached by the House of Representatives. Galli wrote, "The impeachment of Donald Trump is a significant event in the story of our republic. It requires comment."
He went on to address the president’s evangelical leaders:
"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. If we don't reverse course now, will anyone take anything we say about justice and righteousness with any seriousness for decades to come?"
The evangelical leaders responded in their letter.
“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…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.”
The letter also accused CT of supporting “the entirely-partisan, legally-dubious, and politically-motivated impeachment” and for calling for President not to be re-elected next year.
“I hope Christianity Today will now tell us who they support for president among the 2020 Democratic field,” one evangelical leader who signed the letter told the press.
They also said that CT has targeted not only the president, but millions of evangelical voters who supported him and take seriously their civic responsibilities, including its readers.
“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.”
Dozens of evangelical leaders signed the letter, including pastors Greg Laurie and Skip Heitzig, as well as former presidential candidates who are noted evangelicals like Gary Bauer, Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Rep. Michele Bachmann.
Several members of the president’s evangelical advisory council also signed, including Ralph Reed, James Dobson, pastor Robert Jeffress, Jerry Falwell, Jr., pastor Jentezen Franklin, and Bishop Harry Jackson.
Other signers include: Pro-life activist Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King, Jr., award-winning musicians Michael Tait and Danny Gokey,and best-selling author Eric Metaxas.
Gilberto Velez, chairman of the board of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, is included, along with a number of other Hispanic leaders.
Evangelical Franklin Graham wrote on Facebook that "Christianity Today has been used by the left for their political agenda. It's obvious that Christianity Today has moved to the left and is representing the elitist liberal wing of evangelicalism."
In a statement on Facebook, Dr. James Dobson said "While Christianity Today is making its case for impeachment, I hope the editors will now tell us who they support for president among the Democrat field."