KEY POINTS

  • Almost 200 evengelical leaders praise Trump as "our President" as they defend him from criticism by Christianity Today
  • Christianity Today affirms its commitment to "irenic conversation with men and women of good faith who believe otherwise"
  • The magazine isn't apologizing for its editorial

The influential Christian magazine, Christianity Today, which assailed president Donald Trump as a "grossly immoral character" who must be impeached and removed from office, defended its denunciation of Trump against criticisms leveled against it by 200 pro-Trump evangelical leaders.

Dr. Timothy Dalrymple, president of Christianity Today, defended the scathing editorial written by the magazine's outgoing editor-in-chief, Mark Galli, while calling for civility among fellow evangelicals. Dalrymple said he hopes Galli's editorial can lead to greater debate among the evangelical community.

"In a political landscape dominated by polarization, hostility, and misunderstanding, we believe it's critical for Christians to model how to have a firm opinion and host free discussion at the same time," wrote Dalrymple in reply to the evangelicals' attack. "Evangelicals of different stripes cannot continue to shout one another down, bully those who disagree, or exclude one another and refuse to listen."

Dalrymple said Christianity Today holds fast to its view the wholehearted evangelical embrace of Trump has been enormously costly for Christians. It reaffirmed its commitment to "irenic conversation with men and women of good faith who believe otherwise."

That irenic conversation was nowhere to be found among nearly 200 evangelical leaders, many of them whole-hearted Trump supporters. They sent Dalrymple a letter condemning Galli's editorial calling for Trump's removal from office and Galli himself for dismissing evangelicals that oppose his political views as belonging to the “far right,” Christian Post reported.

They took exception to a TV interview given by Galli where he said evangelicals upset or outraged by his Christianity Today editorial of December 19 don't read the magazine because they're “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.”

The evangelicals slammed Galli for not only targeting "our President; it also targeted those of us who support him, and have supported you."

The evangelicals said Galli's editorial is offensive in that it questions the spiritual integrity and Christian witness of tens-of-millions of Christian believers. They affirmed their stand as Bible-believing Christians and patriotic Americans.

"[We 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."

Support for Trump remains strong among individual evangelicals. Pastor Greg Laurie of Riverside's Harvest Christian Fellowship said Trump has done so much for them "we all ought to be praying for him."