When Mark Galli, the recently retired editor-in-chief of Christianity Today, wrote an outrageous op-ed in December saying President Donald Trump should be removed from office, it created a firestorm on Twitter and the internet. The leftist media quickly latched on to it, since they finally found a prominent evangelical who bought into their anti-Trump narrative.
Immediately, major evangelical leaders such as Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell Jr., Jim Garlow and David Lane tore apart Galli’s op-ed. Others signed a letter blasting CT, as did the online news website Christian Post and commentator Dennis Prager, an orthodox Jew.
Since the secular media seems fixated on what evangelicals think about President Trump, I want to go on the record that the “other” evangelical magazine—Charisma—is 100% behind the president because even though he is not perfect (no one but Christ is), God has raised him up as president to give America a reprieve.
When I started Charisma as a 24-year-old newspaper reporter in 1975, Christianity Today was already a highly respected and influential publication founded 19 years earlier. Over the years, I’ve known most of the CT leaders and editors, including Mark Galli, whom I respect. However, over these intervening years, I have become alarmed to see how liberal CT has become.
CT President Timothy Dalrymple has written that CT has always been apolitical. Of course, it had to be, as a 501(c)3. Because of the Johnson amendment, the magazine could have lost its tax-exempt status if it had endorsed candidates as Charisma has every four years since 1984, since we are privately owned and have that right.
During the 2016 election, Charisma reported on modern-day prophets in the charismatic community who prophesied Trump would win because God had raised him up as He did King Cyrus to rescue the children of Israel in the Old Testament. CT never reported this because the segment of Protestantism it represents believes the gifts of the Spirit, like prophecy, died with the apostles.
Now, thanks to Mark Galli, the “Never-Trump” arm of evangelicalism (less than 20% based on how many white evangelicals voted for Trump) is back in the news. As I write in God, Trump and the 2020 Election, the term “Never-Trumper” represents a very dangerous strain of evangelicals who still hold to the feeling that they should vote for anyone but Trump (even if the Democratic challenger is an extreme leftist).
When I told my friend Dr. Mark Rutland I was writing this article, he said something I thought was worth repeating: “The term ‘Never-Trump’ is a statement of stubborn pride. Never say ‘never’ to God. Saying it means not even God can change my mind. Those married to the term ‘Never Trump’ can never retreat from it no matter what—because their pride cannot admit they might have misjudged.”
Still, these liberal evangelicals are a factor that can’t be ignored. Franklin Graham recently criticized these members of the “Christian left” in Decision magazine.
“Using new terms like ‘Progressive Christianity’ and the ‘Christian left’ may sound appealing to some, but God’s laws and standards do not change … (Mal. 3:6),” Graham wrote. “Progressive Christianity is simply another name for theological liberalism and its accompanying permissive lifestyle that ignores God’s call to holiness and obedience. There is really nothing progressive about it, other than an increasing slide into sin and disobedience.”
And that may be the crux of the divide between the 80% of what I call “red evangelicals” and the 20% who tend to be “blue evangelicals.” One has to wonder if the status quo will be good enough as the country moves further left. Or is a disruptor what we really need to bring a much-needed course correction?
However, I wrote God, Trump and the 2020 Election to try to emphasize how important this election is. I believe when evangelicals know what the real issues are and see Trump from a spiritual perspective, they will support the president’s reelection in even greater numbers.
By the way, as I document in the new book, several prophets also have said he will serve two terms.
Stephen Strang is founder of Charisma. He believes God, Trump and the 2020 Election (Charisma House), available wherever Christian books are sold, is his most important book. Listen to his new podcast by the same name on the Charisma Podcast Network.
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