Evangelical leaders continue to react an op-ed by Christianity Today's (CT) editor-in-chief calling for President Donald Trump to be removed from office.
Nearly 200 evangelical leaders have signed an open letter to Timothy Dalrymple, the president of Christianity Today, to defend their support of Donald Trump as president of the United States.
"We are ... grateful that our president has sought our advice as his administration has advanced policies that protect the unborn [and] promote religious freedom … while making our world safer, including through our support of the State of Israel," the letter states.
The full letter, which tells CT the op-ed "not only targeted our President; it also targeted those of us who support him and have supported you," can be read at Christian Post.
"When we go in and vote for president, what are we voting for? We hope a president will have a good bedside manner – but that's not the primary reason we vote for a president. The primary reason we vote for a president is to protect innocent people from evil. That's why we vote for a president or a government at all.
"In fact, Paul talks about this in Romans 13 – that the leader doesn't bear the sword for nothing. The reason we have a government is to protect innocent people from evil, as James Madison famously said, "If men were angels, no government would be necessary." We need some form of government to protect innocent people from getting hurt.
"In other words, we're voting for a president primarily for his policies, not his personality. But I think that Christians like Mark Galli think that if a guy doesn't have a personality that is 'Christian,' then we can't vote for him. I don't think that's true.
"I wish [President Trump] had a better personality; I wish his demeanor was better. But if I have to make a choice between demeanor and policy, I'm going to go with policy every time."
Dr. Frank Turek, president
(on American Family Radio)
Bishop Harry Jackson of the High Impact Leadership Coalition, which exists to protect the moral compass of America and be an agent of healing to our nation through education and empowerment, says Trump critics are stuck in the weeds.
"These things seem to be overlooked for what I'm going to call a politically correct approach to public engagement," he submits.
Taking a line almost verbatim from the Democrat articles of impeachment, CT editor-in-chief Mark Galli's editorial reads, "President Trump has abused his authority for personal gain and betrayed his constitutional oath."
"I've seen a pattern of high-sounding rhetoric coming from some well-meaning white evangelicals. They're Christian pundits, but without a commitment to actually practicing the truths they espouse," Jackson responds.
He argues that what support Trump may be losing among white evangelical "never-Trumpers," the president is more than making up for with inroads into the African-American and Hispanic evangelical communities.
"I believe the election is going to be won this year by minorities, and I mean blacks, Hispanics, and Asians who shift towards Trump in swing states to a five- to seven-percent increase," Jackson concludes.
Trump's first rally in 2020
In the wake of that editorial calling for his removal from office, the president will be looking to shore up his support among Hispanics as well as evangelicals at his first rally of the new year.
The rally on Friday evening will take place at King Jesus International Ministry in the Miami area – one of the largest Hispanic churches in the country. That venue will enable the president to touch base with two constituencies at once. Trump spiritual advisor Dr. Robert Jeffress (pictured above with the president) spoke with OneNewsNow about the rally.
"[The rally] will show not only the support of evangelical Christians, but Hispanics for President Trump as well," he points out.
The president, says Jeffress, is pushing back against the op-ed in Christianity Today that questioned the president's character – specifically his use of his Twitter account – and called for his removal from office.
"I think it's significant that the president's first rally of the new year, an election year, is going to be about his evangelical support," he notes, "and I think that demonstrates how critical that support is for the president's reelection in 2020."
The Southern Baptist pastor says polling indicates evangelical support for the president is holding steady – as is his opposition from evangelical "never-Trumpers."
"From the very beginning there has been a small, but noisy group of evangelicals opposed to this president," Jeffress explains. "They don't like him because of his tweets or his temperament or some other ridiculous reason."
Jeffress expects that level of opposition among evangelicals – which has remained at about 19 percent – is going to continue through 2020.
Editor's note: Comments from Robert Jeffress and Frank Turek added after story was originally posted.