A group of notable Christian leaders, who have supported President Donald Trump and urged Christians to get involved in politics, are now telling their followers to focus their attention away from politics.
Pastor Greg Laurie posted a letter signed by his fellow evangelicals on his blog on Feb. 27 that declared 2017 to be the year of "Good News":
In a time of bad news, distracting news, divisive news, disorderly news, and, sometimes, depressing news we -- as Christians and as leaders -- want to recommit ourselves to making sure that the Good News of Jesus cuts through it all. We call upon Christians in America to make 2017 "The Year of Good News..."
...We need a national miracle to heal our political, racial and cultural divisions, and that miracle is found in the power of Jesus to change our hearts. Therefore, we commit to preach louder than our nation’s politics, and we aim to make the message of Jesus Christ transcend the monopoly of our media. We confess our only hope of unity is on the level ground at the foot of the cross of Jesus, and our only hope of healing is in the victory achieved through his empty tomb...
Because 2017 is such a critical year for America, it must become the Year of Good News.
Christian psychologist and blogger Warren Throckmorton, who flagged Laurie's blog on March 1, wondered if pro-Trump Christian leaders would drop their politicking against the Johnson Amendment, which, according to The New York Times, prohibits tax-exempt entities like churches and non-profit organizations from endorsing or opposing political candidates.
"Now I am waiting for these leaders to tell Trump that they don’t want the Johnson Amendment eliminated," Throckmorton wrote in a blog post. "If they are going to focus on the Gospel, then no need to intertwine the Gospel with politics is there? So now that they won, they want the rest of us to ignore the consequences. I suppose I would too."
Religion News Service notes some of the leaders who signed the letter include: Rev. Franklin Graham and Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, who both spoke at Trump's inauguration, notes CBN, James Dobson and Eric Metaxas, who both supported Trump's campaign, according to The Washington Post, and Anne Graham Lotz, who said Trump's election was God's answer to prayer, The Christian Post reports.
Laurie and Dobson praised Trump's election on Jan. 20 on Laurie's radio show, "A New Beginning."
Some of those who signed the letter opposed Trump, such as Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Al Mohler, The Atlantic reports.