MH News September 19, 2019

Lynchburg
A former student at Liberty University published a scathing article about the university and its controversial president, quoting extensively from interviews of many current and former administrators and students at the university. The article depicted president Falwell as perpetuating a culture of fear and intimidation on campus. Pictures accompanying the article appear to show Falwell drinking and dancing at a Miami nightclub. Students held a protest march calling for his removal, but Falwell threatened criminal or civil action against the writer of the article.

 

Atlanta
Kanye West continued his unofficial big city worship tour with a stop last Sunday in Atlanta, at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, where Jamal Harrison Bryant is pastor. West delivered a ten-minute sermon and offered a prayer, which included these words, “Thank you for saving me, for replenishing me, for delivering me….When I found out about you…I got closer to my children, I got closer to my family….” His wife, Kim Kardashian, told television audience on The View that “Kanye started this, I think, just to heal himself…. He has had an amazing evolution of being born-again and being saved by Christ.”

 

Louisville
Pizza tycoon John Schnatter has secured some redemption from his racist remarks a few years ago by pledging two $1 million gifts to two African American institutions in his adopted town of Louisville, Kentucky. The founder of Papa John’s Pizza was forced out of the company in 2018 after word of racist comments in a phone call surfaced. He has pledged one million dollars to Simmons College of Kentucky, an historically black Baptist college whose president is noted Louisville pastor Kevin Cosby, and another million dollars to the National Baptist Convention of America to build a building on their new campus on the outskirts of Louisville; their president is Louisiana pastor Sam Tolbert.

 

Dallas
Concord Church, led by pastor Bryan Carter, concluded it fourth Cohabitation Challenge with a wedding ceremony for 24 couples. The church put these couples through 11 weeks of marriage preparation then join them as husband and wife in a mass ceremony entirely paid for by the congregation. Carter cited (1) evidence that unhealthy behavior is more prevalent in cohabitating relationship and (2) marriage is a means of honoring God as two justifications for this emphasis on tying the knot. The pre-wedding program covers 90 days and, in addition to the counseling, provides each couple with a married couple as mentors for a full year. Eighty-one couples have taken advantage of this marriage program; in addition, seven persons have made Christian commitments and submitted to baptism.

 

Fayetteville and Marietta
President Trump spoke at a campaign rally with a message about religion. “Our evangelicals are here tonight”, he said. “What we’ve done for them and for religion is so important.” Pew Research Center reports that 70% of white evangelical Protestants approve of Trump and his presidency. He mocked Democrats as unbelievers, but the evidence says otherwise: 86% of Democrats believein God or a higher power. As if to counter the Trump narrative, a Democrat in Georgia announced her candidacy for the United States Senate. Sarah Amico, 40, is trying to help Democrats flip one of the two Senate seats that are up for grabs in 2020. In an ad full of scripture, she described her Jesus as “this brown-skinned Jewish refugee and wrongly convicted death row inmate who told people to give away their possessions and help the poor and ministered specifically to the marginalized…”