The Editor-In-Chief of Christianity Today thinks he’s taking the moral high ground against Trump. He has violated one of the Ten Commandments in the process.
Billy Graham’s ministry founded Christianity Today years ago with a mandate to ‘interpret the news in a manner that reflects their faith’ By throwing Trump to the wolves, are they ‘upholding’ that mandate, or are they just waxing pharisaical?
Mark Galli points back to their condemnation of Clinton in 1998 as ‘proof’ that they are ‘just playing fair’. But are they? Here’s what he’s saying:
Let’s grant this to the president: The Democrats have had it out for him 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.
But the facts in this instance are unambiguous: The president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents. That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral.
The reason many are not shocked about this is that this president has dumbed down the idea of morality in his administration. He has hired and fired a number of people who are now convicted criminals. He himself has admitted to immoral actions in business and his relationship with women, about which he remains proud. 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.
Source: Christianity Today
We could take him apart on this article theologically, morally, politically, or pragmatically.
Theologically, we could begin with the Romans 14:4 rebuke of those too eager to measure the faith of another by externals ‘who are you to judge the servant of another, to his own master he stands or falls and the Lord is able to make him stand’. Pharisees are really good at sniffing out the people who don’t pass Christian purity tests, people who are ‘near-perfect examples’ of the morally lost and confused. Unfortunately for Mark, Pharisees were also eating the blunt end of Christ’s rhetorical pool cue on the regular.
Morally, while listing Trump’s moral failings and accusing him of abusing his political power, he has run afoul of the 10 Commandments — bearing false witness. And citing the Clinton impeachment is no defense.
With Clinton — even his supporters acknowledged a specific violation of law, lying to a grand jury, and asking Monica Lewinsky to do the same. There is no comparable crime in Trump’s case. You can parrot the allegations against him, but — to cite Proverbs: The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.
Politically, if you prefer to hear it in less ‘religious’ terminology, how about this: “Innocent until proven guilty.” Burden of proof remains in on the accuser, not the defendant.
Trump’s accusers have tied his actions, which they dislike, with cynical motives — which they have not proven, nor has Trump has an opportunity to speak in his own defense. In fact, evidence given in testimony that ran contrary to Schiff’s hostile narrative was actively suppressed from the ‘impeachment’ hearings.
Complaining about all the ACTIONS of the President is not enough. If it is even plausible that his actions were done for reasons consistent with performing the duties of his office, their arguments evaporate like morning dew.
What WOULD have warranted such a denunciation from CT is an obvious example of such a misuse of Presidential office — perhaps when the IRS had to apologize for being weaponized against political rivals (Tea Party) in a Presidential election year, for example.
Even Galli’s finger-wagging that ‘he hired and fired criminals’ angle is dishonest. General Flynn was coerced into confessing after lawyer’s fees pushed him into penury and cost him his house. Had he not already confessed, he could have a strong case — because the FBI withheld exculpatory evidence against him (sounding familiar?) — to have charges thrown out. Carter Page was ground zero of another sketchy investigation for which the FBI was excoriated by Horowitz AND a FISA judge.
The other arrests connected with him? It’s beyond suspicious that the partisan group in the Mueller investigation habitually gave immunity to Democrat-connected Americans and dropped the hammer on Trump-connected ones. (Manafort’s business partner was Tony Podesta, brother of Hillary’s campaign manager. He got immunity, but Trump’s campaign manager had irrelevant old dirt dug up on him DURING the Presidential campaign. That grew out of a cynical attempt to derail a political opponent, in which a ‘black ledger’ from Ukraine was thrown into our political discourse.)
And before we dismiss Ukraine Interference as a ‘conspiracy theory’ here’s a 2016 NYTimes headline: “Secret Ledger in Ukraine Lists Cash for Donald Trump’s Campaign Chief”
And earlier this year was another headline: FBI was warned Manafort ‘evidence’ probably fake Bureau nevertheless used ‘black ledger’ to pursue case
Only AFTER the fake pretext for launching an investigation into Manafort did they find other unrelated wrongdoing to charge him with.
Pragmatically, Trump is the strongest defender of religious rights — including Christian rights — both domestically and internationally.
The apostle Paul — who was far too ‘tainted’ an individual to have passed the CT editor’s purity tests — never actually insisted on CHRISTIAN political leaders. He insisted on Christian RELIGIOUS leaders.
Paul’s expectation of political leaders is much more modest:
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.
Look at the Trump record. Not just jobs (raising the poor out of poverty, and letting those who do work have more money for charitable causes of their choosing), not just judges — although both of those are relevant to the above point — but on issues of abortion, religious freedom, personal freedom, boxing in our political enemies with NON-military methods to minimize the risk of war, and bring our troops home where possible.
Yeah, sure. It’s obviously ‘imperative’ that such a ‘dangerous’ leader be removed immediately… for the gospel’s sake.
That way we can hurry back to the OLD social norms of having an aggressive secular left squeeze the Christian voice out of every corner of society, while our politicians stand back and watch it happen.
We need to do this ‘for the gospel’s sake’.
What about Billy Graham’s son. Was he impressed by the article that he should rethink his position on the President? Not at all.
Franklin Graham: “My father would be embarrassed. It is not going to change anybody’s mind about Trump. There’s a liberal element within the evangelical movement. Christianity Today represents that.”
— Jack Posobiec ?? (@JackPosobiec) December 20, 2019
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