This is the Black Christian News Network One podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.
According to Religion News Service, David Platt had a dream for the future of McLean Bible Church. The largely conservative northern Virginia church across the Potomac from Washington had grown from a group of five families in the 1960s to a congregation of more than 10,000 spread across several campuses, attracting politicians and business leaders to the church’s evangelical message and values. Much of that growth had happened under former pastor Lon Solomon, a Jewish convert known for his Bible preaching, zeal for evangelism and passion for serving children with special needs. Platt, a bestselling author and speaker, recounted the church’s history in a sermon in the summer of 2019, about a year after he succeeded Solomon as pastor, in which he asked: “What if our best days as a church are ahead of us, not behind us?” Platt went on to call the church to give up everything for the glory of God, echoing the message of his 2010 book, “Radical,” a bestseller that called Christians to give up the American dream in order to serve Jesus and transform the world. But a series of controversies and the country’s growing political polarization have turned Platt’s dream into a nightmare. Critics say the church’s leadership has become “woke” and has substituted critical race theory and social justice for biblical teaching. Platt and other leaders, they say, have abused their power by violating the church’s constitution. In response, Platt has claimed that the church is trying to fight off a hostile takeover and that Satan is trying to divide the church. The dispute at McLean may now end up in court. In a complaint filed Thursday (July 15), five McLean members allege that Platt and other leaders illegally barred them from voting at a recent congregational meeting to approve new church leaders. The plaintiffs also claim a follow-up election at the church this weekend violated the church’s constitution. “This is a breach of contract action seeking to remedy Defendants’ illegal actions to deny Plaintiffs their rights to cast a free and fair vote, to have those votes lawfully counted, and to enjoy their right to a secret ballot,” according to the complaint.
According to NBC Washington, A 6-year-old girl was killed and five adults were shot Friday in what officials called a drive-by shooting in Southeast D.C. after gunfire erupted outside a liquor store and convenience store. Officers heard shots about 11 p.m. at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X avenues Southeast and saw people rushing toward them, Executive Assistant Police Chief Ashan Benedict said. The child, who officials identified as Nyiah Courtney, two women and three men were shot, police said. Nyiah was rushed to a hospital and pronounced dead. The adults were treated for their wounds and expected to recover, police said. Their identities were not released because they are considered witnesses in the case, D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee said. Police believe the shooter fled in a gray or silver four-door sedan and are investigating whether there were multiple gunmen. They released video Saturday of the suspect vehicle. “We’re asking… that everyone post that video far and wide,” Contee said. “That car should not be able to be in the DMV area anywhere and not be noticed. Someone in the community has seen that car operating, yesterday, perhaps today, and I’m asking justice for Nyiah. Let’s find that car and let’s find the individuals responsible.” A $60,000 reward is offered in the case and officials are urging the public to come forward with information. “There’s too much gun violence, still, perpetuated in this city and too many children are being harmed — innocent children — by gunfire,” Benedict said. “Please help the police department and our detectives bring those people to justice and help bring some closure to the families.”
According to the Associated Press, The men Ed Buck lured to his apartment for “party and play” found themselves in a situation of life and death, prosecutors said. Two men enticed by the promise of drugs for sex died. Those who survived overdoses reported harrowing encounters with a man bent on injecting them with methamphetamine and slipping them other drugs. Buck, 66, who has given more than $500,000 to mostly Democratic politicians and causes since 2000, has pleaded not guilty. He faces nine felonies that could put him in prison for life if he’s convicted. The arrest of Buck in 2019 marked a turning point for activists who rallied outside his West Hollywood apartment and pressured law enforcement to act after Gemmel Moore died on his floor in 2017. Even after Timothy Dean died 18 months later, it took another nine months and the near-death of another overdose victim before Buck was finally arrested in September 2019. Family members of Moore, 26, and Dean, 55, plan to speak before the trial Tuesday outside U.S. District Court, said Jasmyne Cannick, a political strategist who has helped lead the charge to bring Buck to justice. Cannick and others complained that Buck escaped prosecution because of wealth, political ties and race. “Just getting to trial is a victory,” Cannick said Monday, noting that Buck had already spent nearly two years in jail awaiting his day in court. “Who knows who could have died in that time.” Buck, a wealthy white man who was active in gay and animal rights issues, exploited vulnerable men — most of them Black — paying them to come to his home to use drugs and engage in sex play, prosecutors said. Many were destitute drug users who often worked as prostitutes to support their habit.
According to BBC News, At least 120 people have died and hundreds more in western Europe are unaccounted for after some of the worst flooding in decades. Record rainfall caused rivers to burst their banks, devastating the region. In Germany, where the death toll now stands at over 100, Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a determined battle against climate change. At least 20 people have died in Belgium. The Netherlands, Luxembourg and Switzerland are also affected. Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo declared 20 July a national day of mourning. “We are still waiting for the final toll, but this could be the most catastrophic flooding our country has ever seen,” he said. Even the authorities say they don’t know for sure how many people are missing. There is no phone signal in much of the region, making communication all but impossible. But the death toll is expected to rise today and with every hour that passes the magnitude of this disaster becomes ever clearer. All along the River Ahr there are flooded homes, broken bridges, the twisted remains of campsites and caravan parks.
According to USA Today, A Texas resident who recently traveled from Africa has been hospitalized after catching what the Texas Department of State Health Services believes is the first case of monkeypox in the state, a diagnosis that comes 18 years after the nation’s last outbreak of the rare disease. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other heath officials are working to trace the person’s contacts to help prevent another outbreak of the illness. But health officials say the risk to the public is low, especially because COVID-19 precautions on the person’s flights likely kept the virus from spreading. Monkeypox, which originates from the same family of viruses as smallpox, is a rare disease that causes flu-like illness and swelling of the lymph nodes, progressing to a widespread rash on the face and body, according to the CDC. Most infections last two to four weeks. While it’s known to cause mild infection, it can become a potentially serious viral illness. People can catch monkeypox by coming in contact with infected animals or animal products, including by preparing wild game or being bitten or scratched by an animal, according to the CDC. Experts believe human-to-human transmission of monkeypox occurs primarily through large respiratory droplets.
According to Reuters, French president Emmanuel Macron on Monday awarded U.S. civil rights leader Reverend Jesse Jackson the Legion d’Honneur, one of France’s highest honours, in recognition of what he called “a long walk towards emancipation and justice”. A political activist, minister, and former shadow U.S. senator for the District of Columbia representing the Democratic party, Jackson has been involved in civil rights activism since the 1960s, when he worked alongside Martin Luther King. Jackson, 79, was appointed commander of the Legion d’Honneur, one of the highest ranks in the distinction. “From your earliest years, you were hungry for knowledge and justice, and you are a special friend of France, a brother for us,” Macron said in a solemn address at the Elysee palace.
According to Page Six, Kanye West is setting aside thousands of free tickets to his “Donda” listening party to several Atlanta-area HBCUs. The “Jesus Walks” rapper, 44, is hosting the listening event on Thursday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta at 8 p.m. and has donated 5,000 tickets to faculty, staff and students of Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, Spelman College, Morris Brown College and ITC. The highly anticipated album was first revealed to be completed — and ready for release — over the weekend when West hosted a secret listening party in Las Vegas. “Kanye played his new album for me & [Kevin Durant] last night in Vegas,” web personality Justin LaBoy tweeted, stoking the trending Twitter fan frenzy.
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In closing, remember, God loves you. He always has and He always will. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you don’t know Jesus as your Saviour, today is a good day to get to know Him. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose from the dead for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Thanks so much for listening and may God bless your day!