LEWISVILLE, TX: Mark Galli, editor-in-chief of Christianity Today, wrote: “Trump Should Be Removed from Office. That he should be removed, we believe, is not a matter of partisan loyalties but loyalty to the Creator of the Ten Commandments.”
President Trump tweeted his predictable response to Christianity Today’s charge,
“A far-left magazine, or very ‘progressive,’ as some would call it, which has been doing poorly and hasn’t been involved with the Billy Graham family for many years,”
A far left magazine, or very “progressive,” as some would call it, which has been doing poorly and hasn’t been involved with the Billy Graham family for many years, Christianity Today, knows nothing about reading a perfect transcript of a routine phone call and would rather…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 20, 2019
Christianity Today is not a “far-left magazine.” It is a trusted evangelical forum for Christians to interpret the modern world news in a way that reflects Christian values. It should be said that Galli has criticized Trump in the past.
Additionally, evangelicals have been known to question the direction of CT.
I don’t know their readership numbers, but I doubt the President does either.
Mark Galli is a fine writer who has published many articles and books that were well written and argued.
His latest editorial is no exception. It is well presented with a plea for political toleration. However, his basic conclusions are not above serious criticism.
“The typical CT approach is to stay above the fray and allow Christians with different political convictions to make their arguments in the public square, to encourage all to pursue justice according to their convictions and treat their political opposition as charitably as possible. We want CT to be a place that welcomes Christians from across the political spectrum, and reminds everyone that politics is not the end and purpose of our being.”
And yet, he digs into the fray.
Galli rightly acknowledges the Democrats prejudged the situation.
“The Democrats have had it out for him [Trump] from day one, and therefore nearly everything they do is under a cloud of partisan suspicion. This has led many to suspect not only motives but facts in these recent impeachment hearings. And, no, Mr. Trump did not have a serious opportunity to offer his side of the story in the House hearings on impeachment.”
Galli ignores his own “partisan” view in addressing the issue and seems to want to add issues not included in the House impeachment articles. These may be “profoundly immoral” but to remove a president for them goes beyond the House charges.
Galli focuses on past moral deficiencies rather than the specific impeachment charges when he states:
“His Twitter feed alone—with its habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies, and slanders—is a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused.”
Who could avoid Galli’s moral criticism of past transgressions: Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Mitt Romney, Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, or Bernie Sanders?
On moral grounds the Bible’s standard eliminates all candidates:
“There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Of course, reconciliation comes from an eternal perspective is that
“all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.” (Romans 6:22-24)
Some prominent Christian leaders have mistakenly suggested Galli is hoping for an impeached President to be replaced by a liberal Democrat.
He did not imply that. The removal of an impeached president would elevate the Vice President—a step up on the moral ladder rather than a step down into the Democrat moral abyss.
There is a basic flaw in the political process of choosing leaders based only on a moral compass matching our own.
It is certainly valid to question moral standards within party affiliations but less valid to cross parties to do so. Do we go to the polling booth on the day of the election and peruse the ballot to choose who has the best character not thinking of political philosophies?
Whom do we choose—a Baptist over an Episcopal, a moralist over a liberal Catholic, a straight over a gay person or a Democrat over a Republican? Or, do we choose the leader whose political philosophy matches our own?
Our system of government (it is not a theocracy) allows the governed to choose who is to lead them.
Therefore, we must choose the candidate that will govern best—according to our principles. Our two-party system gives us a choice between the Democrat or Republican parties. The Independents don’t really have a platform, so they choose the candidate from either party—often random or persuaded by the latest news cycle.
I have basic beliefs that I look for in a political system which will represent me in government: the freedom to practice my faith, the sanctity of life, biblical authority in morals, small government, and opportunity to provide for my family—and yes, hopefully, a candidate with biblical morality.
The party that best fits those criteria is the party and/or candidate I want to support.
My dilemma surfaces when political platforms or candidates do not embrace these fundamentals. A decision must be made. To abstain from voting abdicates my role in the democratic process—a privilege that could someday disappear. So sometimes I simply hold my nose, say a silent prayer and pull the proverbial “voting lever.”
Galli’s charges of President Trump’s moral failures have validity.
Yet the President’s stand on religious freedom, the sanctity of life, restoring America’s standing in the world, economic success, and lowering unemployment are positives. Do I wish he would take Christian principles more seriously—yes? Are flaws in his character or method of governing worthy of impeachment as charged—no? And no, not all Evangelical Christians blindly support Trump.
If he is a “poor” leader, then let the 2020 fall ballot box speak. We are to pray for our ordained leaders—not impeach them.
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness [freedom to worship]. This is good, and pleases God our Savior.” (1 Timothy 2:1-3)
“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” (Romans 13:1)
The imperfections of President Trump are no more objectionable—although they surely are objectionable—than in many past presidents and our present House and Senate leaders. Legal scholars warn that removal from office for the articles of impeachment the House articulated trivializes the impeachment process—high crimes and misdemeanors. The future could make impeachment a routine process for objecting to a political leader who is creative in governing or who makes controversial decisions.
As Tip O’Neill once said, “All politics is local.”
Don’t wait until the day of the election to choose your future leader. If you want a real legitimate voice in selecting a moral, ethical candidate or a voice in the political platform, get involved in local politics and began working to get your party and candidates elected that share your moral and ethical beliefs.
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