The Rev. Franklin Graham ripped asunder the notion Friday that Christianity Today magazine, which his father founded, in any way speaks for the legendary evangelist in calling for President Donald Trump to be removed from office.
Franklin revealed that the Rev. Billy Graham — “the pastor to the presidents” — voted for Trump in November 2016 in what would be the faith leader’s last opportunity to cast a presidential ballot before his death in February 2018.
Franklin Graham tweeted Friday, “I hadn’t shared who my father @BillyGraham voted for in 2016, but because of @CTMagazine’s article, I felt it necessary to share now. My father knew @realDonaldTrump, believed in him & voted for him. He believed Donald J. Trump was the man for this hour in history for our nation.”
I hadn’t shared who my father @BillyGraham voted for in 2016, but because of @CTMagazine’s article, I felt it necessary to share now. My father knew @realDonaldTrump, believed in him & voted for him. He believed Donald J. Trump was the man for this hour in history for our nation.
— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) December 20, 2019
In a Thursday editorial headlined “Trump Should Be Removed from Office,” Christianity Today editor-in-chief Mark Galli wrote, “In our founding documents, Billy Graham explains that Christianity Today will help evangelical Christians interpret the news in a manner that reflects their faith.”
“The impeachment hearings have illuminated the president’s moral deficiencies for all to see,” Galli contended. “None of the president’s positives can balance the moral and political danger we face under a leader of such grossly immoral character. …
“Whether Mr. Trump should be removed from office by the Senate or by popular vote next election — that is a matter of prudential judgment. That he should be removed, we believe, is not a matter of partisan loyalties but loyalty to the Creator of the Ten Commandments.”
In a lengthy Facebook post on Friday, Graham rebutted Galli’s editorial, writing, “Yes, my father Billy Graham founded Christianity Today; but no, he would not agree with their opinion piece. In fact, he would be very disappointed.”
“For Christianity Today to side with the Democrat Party in a totally partisan attack on the President of the United States is unfathomable,” he added.
“Christianity Today said it’s time to call a spade a spade,” Graham said. “The spade is this — Christianity Today has been used by the left for their political agenda. It’s obvious that Christianity Today has moved to the left and is representing the elitist liberal wing of evangelicalism.”
My Response to Christianity Today:Christianity Today released an editorial stating that President Trump should be…
Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. agreed, tweeting, “Less than 20% of evangelicals supported @HillaryClinton in 2016 but now @CTmagazine has removed any doubt that they are part of the same 17% or so of liberal evangelicals who have preached social gospel for decades! CT unmasked!”
Bestselling Christian author and talk show host Eric Metaxas addressed the controversy in multiple tweets, including observing, “What makes the @CTmagazine
editorial odd (if not preposterous) is that it implies those like [leading Democratic presidential candidate Joe] Biden or [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi, who use the power of their offices to promote the murder of the unborn & the demonization of a biblical sexual ethic, less ‘morally troubling’ than Trump & his tweets.”
What makes the @CTmagazine editorial odd (if not preposterous) is that it implies those like Biden or Pelosi, who use the power of their offices to promote the murder of the unborn & the demonization of a biblical sexual ethic, less “morally troubling” than Trump & his tweets.
— Eric Metaxas (@ericmetaxas) December 20, 2019
In an interview with Metaxas late last month, Graham suggested some of the resistance Trump has faced since taking office could be “demonic” in origin.
“It’s a very bizarre situation to be living in a country where some people seem to exist to undermine the president of the United States,” Metaxas said. “It’s just a bizarre time for most Americans.”
“Well, I believe it’s almost a demonic power that is trying –” Graham began to respond when Metaxas interjected, “I would disagree.”
“It’s not almost demonic,” the talk show host said. “You know and I know that at the heart it’s a spiritual battle.”
In an interview with The Western Journal this summer, Graham said Trump might go down as one of the greatest presidents in U.S. history.
He described Trump as the most pro-life president in his lifetime and cited other accomplishments, such as appointing conservative judges, unleashing a roaring economy, defending religious liberty and defeating the Islamic State’s caliphate.
A Pew Research study released in March found that 69 percent of white evangelicals approve of Trump’s job performance. That number represented a decrease from 78 percent in February 2017, just after the president took office.
According to Pew, white “born-again/evangelical Christians” made up a consistent 26 percent of the electorate overall in the last three presidential races.
Trump tweeted Friday in response to the Christianity Today editorial, saying, “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 have a Radical Left nonbeliever, who wants to take your religion & your guns, than Donald Trump as your President.”
He added, “No President has done more for the Evangelical community, and it’s not even close.”
….have a Radical Left nonbeliever, who wants to take your religion & your guns, than Donald Trump as your President. No President has done more for the Evangelical community, and it’s not even close. You’ll not get anything from those Dems on stage. I won’t be reading ET again!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 20, 2019
Faith leaders such as Graham, Metaxas and Falwell represent more of the heart of the evangelical voting base than Galli.
Graham, who held rallies in all 50 state capitals ahead of the 2016 election, told The Western Journal earlier this fall that he is considering holding rallies in key swing states this election cycle.
Trump’s record and fidelity to his campaign promises to Christians are no doubt motivating Graham, as they will the vast majority of evangelicals who vote in 2020.
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