On Mark Galli’s Editorial

What do I think of what Mark Galli said in Christianity Today? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

So there has been no lack of controversy in evangelicalism with Mark Galli of Christianity Today coming out and saying Trump should be impeached. Immediately, liberal atheists everywhere started taking Trump seriously. On the other hand, a number of evangelicals accused of sinning against God had a few words to say, with about 200 of them signing a statement against the article.

So let’s state bias upfront in this. I did vote for Trump. Why? Very simple. Hillary Clinton is why. I had had enough of the Obama years and did not want more of that. I did not want the Supreme Court to fall into the hands of the left. My honest first pick was Ben Carson, but he didn’t really last long. The left has been taking our country on a route I don’t like and I wanted it to stop, so I held my nose as it were and made my vote for Trump.

But since then, I have been impressed. I have not approved of everything, but generally, I have liked the way things have gone. I definitely appreciate what has happened with the Supreme Court. I also like that Trump doesn’t just roll over and play dead and give in. He’s a fighter. I admire that.

But Mark Galli wrote an article saying he should be impeached. One statement he made was that the facts were clear about what happened with the Ukrainian phone call. The reality is, they are not. This often seems to be a more partisan issue. Conservatives like myself say they’re not. Those on the left are equally convinced the other way.

So if you’re saying “The facts are clear, but only people who agree with me think that”, then you’re starting off on a bad note. I know many people who still can’t stand Trump and will say that no, the facts are not clear. Anything that was done does not rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors.

Galli has also said elsewhere that,

“I know hardly anyone, let alone any evangelical Christian who voted for Trump. I describe evangelicals like me as ‘elite’ evangelicals … and this class of evangelicals has discovered that we have family members so different they seem like aliens in our midst. These other evangelicals often haven’t finished college, and if they have jobs (and apparently a lot of them don’t), they are blue-collar jobs or entry-level work. They don’t write books or give speeches; they don’t attend conferences of evangelicals for social justice or evangelicals for immigration reform. They are deeply suspicious of mainstream media. A lot of them voted for Donald Trump.”

And right here we have a major problem. The elitism. I know several evangelicals. I interview them on my podcast. I count many of them as friends. I also know many of them voted for Trump. My in-laws voted for Trump. Robert Gagnon has been quite explicit in his support of Trump and stance against NeverTrumpers. Eric Metaxas is another one. William Lane Craig has even criticized Mark Galli and Craig rarely gets critical like that.

You can say these people are wrong in their vote and you have all the freedom to do that, but if you’re an evangelical and really, even if you’re not, you can’t say they’re idiots. Many evangelicals who voted for Trump also do care greatly about Christian character. They saw themselves as voting for the lesser of two evils.

Galli goes on to talk about the character of Trump and says based on that, Trump should be removed from office. Unfortunately for him, that’s not how the system works. “We don’t like his behavior” is not a valid reason. I couldn’t stand Bill Clinton and didn’t care for his behavior, but he did get some things right. What got him impeached was not having an affair. What got him impeached was lying under oath about it.

Yet in a twist, Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, commented and said that his dad would have been disappointed. He had never wanted to say it, but then he told everyone that his dad voted for Trump. Therefore, the remarks Galli made would apply to the founder of the magazine he published them in.

A big problem we get to from all of this is the idea of “No true Christian would”. Why not say let each be convinced in his own mind? Many of us voted for Trump because we value the lives of the unborn and didn’t want Hillary to have power. The only means to do that was to get the other guy in instead. Interestingly, I know a number of people who were NeverTrumpers the first time around and have now decided they will vote for Trump because of what the Democrats have done.

Another interesting side effect now is that many of us, including some who I know at least did not support Trump the first time around, are convinced that due to the impeachment hearings, Trump has been sealed to win the 2020 election. Even the Babylon Bee had an article about this. It has been known from the beginning that they would not go anywhere and would be shot down in the Senate and it has been known that the Democrats have been looking to impeach Trump since day one and more and more people who support conservatives but did not support Trump, are willing to put a stop to that.

If anything, this also just furthered any divide. Most evangelicals would not mind disagreement on their vote for or against Trump. Most of them mind when they have their Christianity called into question because of it. It looks really like Galli wrote an article and knew he would retire and then went riding off into the sunset leaving the magazine to deal with the damages.

We can only see what will happen after the 2020 election. My prediction is Trump wins and wins bigger than last time. The Democrats will continue to seek to remove him, but at this point I am convinced they are hurting themselves more than the opposition and setting up a precedent they won’t like IF they ever get power again. I am also thinking it quite likely that the Republicans will retake the House.

We’ll see.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

What Christians Can Learn From The 2016 Election

What are the lessons we can learn from last night? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

It’s not a secret to many of you that I do vote Republican and conservative consistently. This past election was no exception. Like many of you, I was skeptical. I was thinking it looked like Hillary would win. So was most everyone else. The reality is that we were in fact, wrong.

As I watched the results rolling in last night and thinking there could be a chance that Trump could pull this off, I wondered what I could learn from this. Eventually, we got to the point where it was no longer asking “What does Trump have to do to win?” and instead had switched to “What does Hillary have to do to win?” No doubt, for the Democrats, this was an upset.

I went to bed shortly before the announcement came since I had heard Pennsylvania might not be called until the morning. I got up to go to the restroom during the night and checked my emails to see if there was anything new. One of my friends emailed me and said that Hillary had indeed conceded.

Some of you are pleased. Some of you are disappointed. Some of you don’t know. Still, I hope that the lessons I give here will be ones that you can use whether you agree with President-Elect Trump or not. I think there are several things he did right that we Christians can learn from.

First, if you believe something is true, be willing to say it. Something that I think people found refreshing in Trump is that he blew apart political correctness and yes, I think that does need to die. It got us to be more individualistic and centered on ourselves and our feelings and make those dominant. This is also one reason I think a TV show like House was so popular. A TV Guide cover I saw once about it said “People say they want House to change but they don’t. You watch it because he’s a jerk.” House’s being straight-forward was refreshing to a lot of people.

Second, along with those lines, don’t be afraid of offending people. There’s no need to offend needlessly, but at the same time, we’ve reached a point where we’re afraid to say anyone to anything that will offend them. If we give the Gospel, we will offend people. It will be offensive to people to tell them they’re sinners. It will be offensive to them to tell them Jesus is King and they are not. If you are afraid of offending people, you will not be able to do evangelism well.

Third, be able to accept criticism. Remember the basket of deplorables remark? Many people were described with slurs of racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, and Islamophobic. If you speak out against Islam, well you won’t make it anywhere. You had better get in line with the culture also on homosexuality as well.

The slurs didn’t stop the President-Elect at all. Too many Christians when they get told that they’re a homophobe or Islamophobe or something similar (And I am not saying that Trump is right in line with us on the issue of homosexuality) shut down immediately. They think the label might be true. All it takes then is to have your opponents put a label on you and you stop.

Fourth, we can win in the face of opposition. Trump did it. Naturally, the Republican candidate had the Democrats against him, but also many in his own party and the media. We Christians in the face of opposition often fall back and don’t do anything. What could happen if we push forward?

Finally, what led to his win? Because there were plenty of people who were staying silent, but were supporting him. Most every poll was wrong. There were a lot of people who were shy about their support of Trump and didn’t want to tell a pollster, but they were willing to show up and vote. So now we have to wonder. How many people out there could be silent but do agree with us on issues like abortion, homosexuality, etc.?

Ideological battles can be won. The problem isn’t that the church can’t win battles. The problem is that the church rarely shows up to fight the battle. We assume often that we are a lone voice like Elijah, but there could still be 7,000 that have not bowed their knees to Baal we don’t know about.

Maybe you’re disappointed after last night. Maybe you’re not. Maybe you’re not sure. Either way, wherever you are, this should be a learning time regardless. I often like to listen to Herman Cain and he ends each show with saying “I hope you learned something.”

I hope we all did.

In Christ,
Nick Peters