PODCAST: Chick-fil-A Announces Plans to End Charitable Giving to Christian Organizations (UCNN 11.19.19)

According to Christianity Today, Chick-fil-A has announced plans to end charitable giving to Christian organizations—including the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA)—amid concern over LGBT backlash as the popular Christian-owned business expands beyond the US. The strategic shift has disappointed evangelicals who admired the chain’s stance and leaders at Salvation Army, who say its outreach supports members of the LGBT population facing homelessness and poverty. “There’s no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are,” Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulos told the site Bisnow on Monday. “There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message.” Chick-fil-A—the country’s third largest fast-food chain, behind McDonald’s and Starbucks—has been blocked from opening new locations in the San Antonio and Buffalo airports this year over criticism for donating to organizations with a traditional Christian view of sexuality. Previously, it has faced resistance for the same reason from politicians in Boston, San Francisco, and Chicago. Internationally, a shopping center in Reading, England, announced eight days into Chick-fil-A’s lease on a new location that the lease would not be renewed when it expired. The mall cited a desire to “offer an inclusive space where everyone is welcome.” An unnamed Chick-fil-A executive told Biznow the chain was “taking it on the chin” in media reports about LGBT protests and could not ignore the threat to its growth. Several years ago, the restaurant chain stopped giving to some organizations that oppose same-sex marriage, like the Family Research Council, but continued to support groups like FCA and Salvation Army, which are not focused on political action. Going forward, it will end multiyear commitments to both charities after donating $1.65 million to FCA and $115,000 to the Salvation Army in 2018, according to tax forms. Beginning in 2020, Chick-fil-A’s charitable arm, the Chick-fil-A Foundation, will instead focus $9 million in philanthropic gifts on three initiatives: promoting education, combating youth homelessness, and reducing hunger, Chick-fil-A announced.

According to The Christian Post, Bestselling author and Bible teacher Francis Chan has revealed God is calling him to move to Hong Kong to “bring relief, share the gospel, and plant churches among” the “ultra poor.” Days after announcing he and his family are moving to Asia in February 2020 to become international missionaries, the Crazy Love author identified the exact destination: Hong Kong. “Nine years ago, while we were in Hong Kong, Lisa and I both felt God was calling us to move there,” Chan wrote in an online update, adding that they enjoyed their “dependence on God in unfamiliar, uncomfortable places.” But at the time, the pastor said he felt God tell him there were two things he had to do in the United States before he could go anywhere else. “He wanted me to display a different picture of Church and a different picture of marriage/family,” he explained. In obedience to God’s requirements, Chan said he penned two books: Letters to the Church and You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity and noted, “I have tried to live those messages out, giving those around me an example of what I wrote about.” In 2010, Chan stepped down from Cornerstone Community Church in Simi Valley, California, after the focus turned to him and not the Holy Spirit, before taking his family overseas to India, Thailand and China. For the past nine years, The Chan family has been in San Francisco, where they started We Are Church, a house church network which has grown to 25 pastors, two of whom are now part of his family and plan to move with him. Two months ago, Chan was in Myanmar traveling “from hut to hut with a translator, sharing the Gospel with people who had never heard about Jesus.” The more he did it, the more he realized he wanted to do this for “the remainder of my life.” “When I considered the need and opportunity, I knew I wanted to be based in Asia,” he said. “I also have an opportunity there to work with the ultra poor (living off less than 50 cents a day)—to bring relief, share the gospel, and plant churches among them. When I compare that opportunity to things I currently do in the States, the Kingdom profit seems much greater overseas at this point of my life.”

According to KHOU 11, Kanye West attended two services at Lakewood Church on Sunday. The first was a question and answer segment during Lakewood’s Sunday morning service and the second was West’s “Jesus is King: Sunday Service Experience.” West and his choir performed for about two hours during the evening service. It was live-streamed on the church’s social media pages and website. Lines of fans wrapped around the block. One attendee, Melanie Rodriguez, said: “We traveled all the way from College Station.” Another attendee, Chinedu Anikwata, said: “I’m actually really surprised by the mayhem. I thought people had written Kanye off. I was surprised to see so much support for him tonight.” West told the congregation: “The same thing that people are using to say ‘We don’t know if he’s sincere,’ is what God is using to be able to save more. That you can see how low I had sunk.” Osteen said: “One girl had tears in her eyes and said ‘If Kanye can change, I can change.’ I think he reaches people we can’t normally reach.” West told the crowd he’s using that reach to spread the church’s message. The service was free, but everyone had to have a ticket to get in. Passes on Ticketmaster sold out in seven minutes. There was no assigned seating for the service.

According to Dallas Morning News, Plano police have arrested a 17-year-old in connection with the fatal shooting of an Allen High School football player late Saturday. Kemond Smith of Forney was taken into custody Monday on one count of murder. He was arrested at the Forney Learning Academy, an alternative campus in the Forney ISD, inForney.com reported. Smith was being held in the Plano jail Monday evening, and information about his bail was not yet available. Marquel Ellis Jr., a sophomore at Allen High, was shot about 10 p.m. Saturday at a home in the 3200 block of Peachtree Lane, near Spring Creek Parkway and the Santa Fe Trail. He was taken to a hospital, where he died. Police said that several people had been kicked out of a party at the home that night before someone fired shots into it, striking Marquel. Marquel’s mother, Jocelyn Maduagwu, told KDFW-TV (Channel 4) that he’d gone to the party with his older sister and that the teens had just been listening to music and playing video games. His sister tried to save his life after he was shot, Maduagwu said. “She went through the whole process with him. Holding him. She called me on the phone holding him,” she told the station. “She just said, ‘Mom, I tried everything’ on the phone screaming. ‘I tried everything.’” His father, Marquel Ellis, told KXAS-TV (NBC5) that the two had a special bond because he had his son at a young age — they were more like friends, he said. “He kept me going. He influenced a lot of us men, just seeing a kid so motivated,” Ellis said. “I mean, I’m proud of him. I’m proud of my son.”

According to The Washington Post, Police in the Dominican Republic have arrested six men and are looking for an additional suspect in the killing of an American teacher who was found dead Tuesday in her apartment in Puerto Plata. The killing has dragged the Caribbean island nation back into the spotlight after a slew of unexplained tourist deaths this year caught international attention, shaking the country’s tourism industry. Patricia Anton, 63, was tied up and strangled by seven men, police said in a statement. Anton had lived in the province of Puerto Plata for more than 15 years and taught at a local Montessori school for more than six. Michael Mariñez Rosario, Heuri Flores Hernández, Junior Alexis Suarez, Juan José Andújar Mella, Oroniel Canario Montero and Alexis Maquey were in custody, police said. They had an arrest warrant for a man with the alias of “El Venezolano” — the Venezuelan. Investigators said the men traveled to Puerto Plata “with the aim of committing crimes of such nature.” They said the men took a cellphone, a laptop computer, a 40-inch television and $80 in cash from Anton’s apartment. “A horrendous case,” Ramon Brito, a spokesman for the tourism police, told The Washington Post. “We profoundly lament what happened.” He said crimes against foreigners in the Dominican Republic are “uncommon” and “isolated.” Four of the six men in custody have criminal records for committing “different crimes” between 2017 and 2019, police said. Two of the men are Haitian. Anton, who was born in Italy but grew up in Traverse City, Mich., worked as a teacher and consultant at the 3 Mariposas Montessori school in Puerto Plata. The school described her as a “mentor” who could light up a room upon entering.” She left a husband, Patrick, two sons, 35 and 31, and a daughter, 28. Her husband, who traveled every week for work, spent the weekends in Puerto Plata with her.

According to Reuters, Police in the California city of Fresno were investigating a mass shooting at a football game party on Sunday in which at least nine people were shot, killing several, with others left in critical condition. Multiple media including ABC News and CNN reported four people died and six more hospitalized. Police spokesman Lt. Bill Dooley said at a press conference: “This is a mass casualty shooting, we’re not releasing the number of the dead. We do have deceased.” A gunman started shooting after entering the backyard of a south Fresno home where a gathering of family and friends was watching a football game after 6 p.m., and neighbors flooded 911 dispatchers with calls for help. The suspect fled the scene and police were combing the neighborhood for witnesses and possible security camera footage.

According to Pitchfork, Kanye West has announced his first-ever opera, Nebuchadnezzar. West took to Twitter earlier today to post artwork of a golden program featuring an engraving of the titular Babylonian king. The opera is directed by Italian performance artist Vanessa Beecroft and will take place at the Hollywood Bowl on November 24. The event will also feature music by Kanye’s Sunday Service performers, as well as Peter Colins & Infinities Song. Tickets for the opera went on sale Monday, November 18.

You can read these stories and more at UrbanChristianNews.com.

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!

Bestselling author and Bible teacher Francis Chan has revealed God is calling him to move to Hong Kong to “bring relief, share the gospel, and plant churches among” the “ultra poor.”

Days after announcing he and his family are moving to Asia in February 2020 to become international missionaries, the Crazy Love author identified the exact destination: Hong Kong.

“Nine years ago, while we were in Hong Kong, Lisa and I both felt God was calling us to move there,” Chan wrote in an online update, adding that they enjoyed their “dependence on God in unfamiliar, uncomfortable places.”

But at the time, the pastor said he felt God tell him there were two things he had to do in the United States before he could go anywhere else. “He wanted me to display a different picture of Church and a different picture of marriage/family,” he explained.

In obedience to God’s requirements, Chan said he penned two books: Letters to the Church and You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity and noted, “I have tried to live those messages out, giving those around me an example of what I wrote about.”

In 2010, Chan stepped down from Cornerstone Community Church in Simi Valley, California, after the focus turned to him and not the Holy Spirit, before taking his family overseas to India, Thailand and China.

For the past nine years, The Chan family has been in San Francisco, where they started We Are Church, a house church network which has grown to 25 pastors, two of whom are now part of his family and plan to move with him.

Two months ago, Chan was in Myanmar traveling “from hut to hut with a translator, sharing the Gospel with people who had never heard about Jesus.” The more he did it, the more he realized he wanted to do this for “the remainder of my life.”

“When I considered the need and opportunity, I knew I wanted to be based in Asia,” he said. “I also have an opportunity there to work with the ultra poor (living off less than 50 cents a day)—to bring relief, share the gospel, and plant churches among them. When I compare that opportunity to things I currently do in the States, the Kingdom profit seems much greater overseas at this point of my life.”