PODCAST: Liberty University Campus Pastor Apologizes for Jerry Falwell Jr.’s Behaviour (BCNN1 8.28.20)

This is Black Christian News Network One podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.

According to News & Advance, David Nasser, Liberty University’s campus pastor, extended what he called a personal apology to the school’s student body Wednesday for the “sinful” behavior of ousted former president Jerry Falwell Jr. “I am sorry,” Nasser, a senior vice president who has led spiritual programs at the religious institution for the last six years, said. “In my opinion, you as a Liberty student deserve better. And the embarrassment that’s been brought upon you as a Liberty student, and more importantly brought upon the name of Christ, is wrong.” “I know that many of you are hurting and that breaks my heart,” he added. “Your concerns — if you’re concerned — are valid. If you’re not concerned, you should be concerned.” Nasser’s comments, which came during the first campus-wide worship service of the academic year, represents the first — and only — public rebuke of Falwell by a current Liberty official since the scandal-plagued evangelical leader submitted his resignation late Monday night. Falwell, who had been on an indefinite leave of absence since Aug. 7 when he resigned, stepped down after a former business partner alleged he had a yearslong affair with him and his wife, Becki Falwell — a claim the Falwells dispute. Falwell has repeatedly denied allegations of wrongdoing during his tenure. In a brief interview Thursday, he disputed the suggestion that he had sinned. “I called Nasser and asked him exactly what sin I committed,” Falwell said. “He couldn’t and wouldn’t answer. He just hung up and now won’t answer.” Nasser confirmed Falwell’s account in a statement after the initial online publication of this story. “It is true that Jerry Falwell called me and that I hung up the phone,” Nasser said. “The reason I did so was because it quickly became clear that he was not interested in an actual, sincere discussion about his sin. I love Jerry and Becki and would welcome a genuine conversation.”

According to BBC, Thousands are gathered in Washington DC to commemorate the 1963 civil rights March on Washington and in protest of police violence. The families of black Americans shot or killed by police will speak at the same site where Martin Luther King Jr delivered his I Have a Dream speech. Friday’s event is called the Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necks, a reference to George Floyd’s death. It follows renewed protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake. The relatives of Mr Blake, Mr Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Eric Garner are expected to deliver speeches at the march. They will be joined by civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton and Martin Luther King III – the eldest son of Mr King Jr. The event comes in the wake of at times violent protests over Mr Blake’s shooting that have left two dead in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Mr Blake was shot and injured by police last Sunday.

According to Daily Mail, A former Liberty University student who played in a band with Becki Falwell’s son claims she performed oral sex on him and pursued him on Facebook for months when he was 22. The scandals surrounding evangelist Jerry Falwell Jr and his wife Becki deepened on Thursday when a man, who declined to give his name, came forward to claim he had a sexual encounter with Becki in 2008 when he was a student, according to a Politico report published Thursday. Falwell Jr resigned as president of Liberty University, one of the nation’s largest evangelical Christian colleges, on Tuesday after a pool boy came forward alleging he had a six-year affair with the Falwells. In the sexual encounter, the former student said he had finished band practice with the Falwell’s eldest son Trey and was at the Falwell home in Cifax, Virginia when Becki allegedly jumped into bed with him and began to perform oral sex on him. He claimed her husband, the president of Liberty University who resigned this week, was away at the time. He said that he gave in to her advances but rejected her later ones when she pursued him with gifts and chit chat on Facebook messages. ‘She was the aggressor,’ he said of the relationship. The former student said that the incident with Becki made him spiral into a long battle with his faith and mental health. Becki and Jerry Falwell Jr have dismissed the former student’s claims as ‘false and fantanstic claims’. ‘It is unfortunate that the coverage of our departure has turned into a frenzy of false and fantastic claims about us. These false and mean spirited lies have hurt us and our family greatly and we will respond fully with the truth at an appropriate time,’ they said in a statement to the outlet.

According to the Christian Post, As many as one in five churches could permanently close as a result of shutdowns stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, according to David Kinnaman, president of the prominent Christian research organization Barna Group. In an interview with NPR Monday regarding the status of American churches after months of shutdowns, Kinnaman said although churches were handling things “pretty swimmingly” at first, circumstances have changed for some. He noted that although many churches have opened as states’ shutdown orders are loosened, their services have had “a lot less people coming.” “They’re recognizing that the relationships that they thought were much deeper with people were actually not as deep as they expected,” Kinnaman told NPR. Kinnaman then explained that, in keeping with research from earlier this year, he still expected to see about one in five churches permanently close within the next 18 months. “If anything, I think that prediction was based on data about two, two-and-a-half months ago, and I think we’re even more likely to see that to be the case today,” he noted. “The disruptions related to giving, and maybe even as important to all that, is that even for those churches that have reopened, they’re seeing much smaller numbers of people show up. So simply reopening a church doesn’t fix the underlying economic challenges that you might have.”

According to NBC News, The two Kenosha, Wisconsin, police officers involved in the shooting of Jacob Blake during an attempted arrest were identified Friday by the state’s Department of Justice. The state DOJ, which opened a civil rights investigation into Sunday’s shooting, had previously identified the officer who shot Blake, a Black man, seven times in the back as Rusten Sheskey, a seven-year veteran of the police department. In an updated press release on Friday, the department identified the other two officers as Vincent Arenas and Brittany Meronek, who joined the Kenosha Police Department in February 2019 and January 2020, respectively. Officers were called to a home in Kenosha, about 40 miles southeast of Milwaukee, after a woman reported that her boyfriend was at the home when he wasn’t supposed to be there. The officers tried to arrest Blake, the DOJ said. Police have not responded to NBC News inquiries on whether Blake was the subject of the woman’s complaint. “After the initial attempt to arrest Mr. Blake, Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey deployed a taser to attempt to stop Mr. Blake,” the release stated. “When that attempt failed, Kenosha Police Officer Vincent Arenas also deployed his taser, however that taser was also not successful in stopping Mr. Blake.” “Mr. Blake walked around his vehicle, opened the driver’s side door, and leaned forward. While holding onto Mr. Blake’s shirt, Officer Rusten Sheskey fired his service weapon 7 times. Officer Sheskey fired the weapon into Mr. Blake’s back. No other officer fired their weapon.” Blake was taken to the hospital, where he remains. The family’s attorney, Patrick Salvi, said Blake is now paralyzed from the waist down.

According to CNN, Jamarcus Glover, Breonna Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, was arrested on drug charges Thursday, a day after telling a local Kentucky newspaper Taylor had no involvement in any alleged drug trade. Glover was a focus in a narcotics probe by Louisville police that eventually led officers to execute a “no-knock” warrant on Taylor’s home in March. He told the Louisville Courier Journal on Wednesday that police used misleading and wrong information to obtain that warrant, during which Taylor, an EMT and aspiring nurse, was fatally shot. No drugs were found in her apartment. “The police are trying to make it out to be my fault and turning the whole community out here making it look like I brought this to Breonna’s door,” Glover told the news outlet. “There was nothing never there or anything ever there, and at the end of the day, they went about it the wrong way and lied on that search warrant and shot that girl out there,” he said. Taylor’s family and their attorney have maintained the 26-year-old Black woman was not involved in her ex-boyfriend’s alleged drug trade. Glover and Taylor had a past relationship. But Glover was not Taylor’s boyfriend at the time of her death and he was not at her apartment that fateful morning.

According to the Christian Post, Describing the coronavirus pandemic as “the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II” in a presentation to the U.N. Security Council in April, head of the World Food Program David Beasley warned that the number of people suffering from hunger could increase from 135 million to more than 250 million and urgent action was needed, especially when it comes to vulnerable populations in conflict-driven countries. Hoping to meet this need, a host of Christian artists and leaders including Hillsong, Kirk Franklin, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Amy Grant, Cece Winans, and for King & Country will join together for a virtual concert called Unite to Fight Poverty to bring the Christian community together to help the world’s most vulnerable. And behind the concert is three of the world’s largest Christian humanitarian organizations — World Vision, Compassion International and Food for the Hungry — which have joined forces together for the first time ever to meet the gargantuan challenge created by the virus. The concert will be streamed live but is also expected to air on Aug. 29 on Fox Business channel, and Smallbone hopes it will help generate a spirit of unity to fight poverty around the world.

You can read these stories and more at BlackChristianNews.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!