Christianity Today had their website crash yesterday. They disrupted news cycles. All major outlets (including FoxNews) have reported it.
Mark Galli, retiring editor-in-chief for CT, wrote the bold editorial that it is time for Trump to be removed from office.
I have followed Galli for quite some time. He is a co-host on CT’s podcast, Quick to Listen. He wrote a book on becoming Anglican that was very influential for me. He is also deliberate. There are certainly many Christian leaders who said, “Well, it’s about time!” concerning this editorial. But Galli is more deliberate. He has his views and he is willing to hear people out. I appreciate his pace.
For Galli, it wasn’t just about Trump and his action. It’s about the actions of the American evangelicals. This has been the crux of my grief for the past three years as well. Trump is merely a reflection of our culture. The reflection is ugly and we should have been taking note. We weren’t taking note, so I made some changes to separate myself from that label. I haven’t changed theologically in a lot of areas. I am not, as Franklin Graham tried to claim in his response to Galli, a “liberal” who voted for “the other side.” (What a ludicrous response from Graham.)
What has wearied me is the “doubling down” of evangelicals without the realization of the consequences. And Galli is strong on this:
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. 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? Can we 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?
The editorial dropped a lot of jaws, to say the least. Media outlets immediately began responding. Galli has been busy doing interviews. This one in The Atlantic explains his thinking a bit further.
For all the optimism I had earlier in the day when I first read the editorial, I was unbelievably crushed when the former superintendent of the Assemblies of God (my former denomination) actually chided Galli on Twitter:
Really disappointed with Mark Galli’s editorial in Christianity Today. Not only does he condemn Trump he throws shade on the great majority of us who support this President because his policies promote religious liberty, protect life, and so much more.
I was hoping someone had hacked his account. This was NOT the Dr. Wood I had admired for decades. This was NOT the Dr. Wood who, in a step of bravery and Christian love, called for a “Black Lives Matter” Sunday in 2014 when the Church of God in Christ called for one. Where was THAT guy?
And, to respond to that tweet, I would say Galli “throws shade” because that is the point of the editorial! We needed that rebuke! The evangelical community NEEDS that rebuke and someone from the evangelical community finally stood up and gave the prophetic word!
I expected negative responses from Franklin Graham and the “court evangelicals” that John Fea goes after on his blog. But from a former leader of the Assemblies of God…
It only confirmed my decision to leave the denomination that I had called home since childhood.
My encouragement for those who disagree is this: Don’t read the responses to Galli’s words. Read Galli’s words and think for yourselves. You can still disagree. Just don’t parrot other responses. For once… come up with your own words and form them into a response. If you are going to keep on defending Trump, just think… think… about Galli’s words.
If we don’t reverse course now, will anyone take anything we say about justice and righteousness with any seriousness for decades to come?