PODCAST: Jerry Falwell Jr.’s Son is No Longer VP of Liberty University (UCN 4.16.21)

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

According to Politico, The son of Jerry Falwell Jr. is out of his job as vice president at Liberty University nearly eight months after his father resigned as president of the Christian school amid allegations of inappropriate personal behavior and financial self-dealing. Liberty University spokesperson Scott Lamb on Wednesday confirmed that Trey Falwell was “no longer employed by the university.” That development, Lamb said, occurred “this week,” but he declined to provide any additional details about what happened. Lamb also declined to answer questions about whether Jerry Falwell Jr.’s other son, Wesley, or his daughters-in-law were currently employed by the university. Liberty “does not answer questions about personnel,” he said.

According to NPR, Chicago has released video footage showing the fatal police shooting of Adam Toledo, more than two weeks after the 13-year-old was killed during a foot chase in the Little Village neighborhood. A graphic and disturbing video captures what police have described as an alleyway confrontation between Toledo and an officer identified as Eric Stillman in the early morning of March 29. Officials have expressed concern that the disturbing videos could set off a new wave of protests in the city against the police department, which activists accuse of brutality and abuse, especially against communities of color. Toledo is Hispanic, and Stillman, the officer who shot him, is white. Stillman was placed on administrative duty.

According to ESPN, Wyoming football recruit Tony Evans Jr. was killed early Sunday in a shooting at a Dallas hotel, police said. Evans, 17, and another person were shot around 1:35 a.m. Sunday at a Hawthorn Suites near Love Field airport. Evans was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The other victim is in stable condition. “Our hearts are with the Evans family as they go through this incredibly difficult time,” Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl said in a statement. “We are so sad to hear of Tony’s passing. We have been in contact with Tony’s family and are here to support them in any way we can.” No suspects have been named, and Dallas police are offering up to $5,000 for any information leading to an arrest for the shootings.

According to New York Post, The former Minnesota police officer who fatally shot 20-year-old Daunte Wright made her first court appearance Thursday afternoon in a brief, remote hearing that was held on Zoom — only speaking when asked by the judge if she was there. Kim Potter, who is charged with manslaughter, fleetingly appeared on camera during the short hearing and wore a dark, checkered button-down shirt. Her lawyer, Earl Gray, spoke on her behalf and waived a reading of the complaint against her. The former cop was ordered to appear in court again on May 17 and will remain free on $100,000 pending trial, Judge Paul Scoggin ordered. Potter will also be barred from handling firearms, ammunition and explosives while she’s free on bail, Scoggin said in the hearing.

According to the Grio, A student from Lansdowne, Delaware County, located just outside of Philadelphia, has been accepted into 18 colleges and awarded nearly $2 million in college scholarships. Laila Johnson was accepted into every single school for which she applied, winning $1.8 million in pledged funds for her studies. She said she decided to target so many schools to broaden her options and explore majors. Graduating from Monsignor Bonner & Archbishop Prendergast High School in Drexel Hill, Johnson plans to major in psychology. She had a 4.0-grade point average for all four years of high school and also participated in several extracurricular activities. She plans to be a child psychologist. Johnson is reportedly planning to choose a school in Pennsylvania to be close to her family. She is currently debating between Temple University, West Chester University, Neumann University and Penn State University.

According to NBC News, The NCAA, which regulates college athletics in the U.S., backed transgender athletes Monday, saying it won’t hold championship events in locations that aren’t “free of discrimination.” As Republicans in more than two dozen states target transgender athletes, the NCAA Board of Governors said it “firmly and unequivocally supports the opportunity for transgender student-athletes to compete in college sports.” The board said it would monitor situations regarding trans athletes’ participation without specifically mentioning states that have banned it or are considering bans. It did say the “environment” could affect the locations of championship games. Asked whether the statement meant the NCAA wouldn’t hold championship games in states that passed laws limiting trans athletes’ participation, a spokesperson said, “The Board of Governors continues to monitor the situation and has not made a decision regarding championships.”

According to the Christian Post, Justin Bieber weighed in on “celebrity pastor” culture and criticized those who use religion and their platform to boost their own fame, stressing that every human being, regardless of their status, “has the same access to God.” In a recent interview with GQ magazine, Bieber, who distanced himself from disgraced former Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz after the latter was fired over “leadership issues” and moral failures, including being unfaithful to his wife, weighed in on how he’s seen celebrity worship invade the church. Without mentioning Lentz by name, Bieber said he’s seen “so many pastors put themselves on this pedestal” in the church, with devastating consequences. “And it’s basically, church can be surrounded around the man, the pastor, the guy, and it’s like, ‘This guy has this ultimate relationship with God that we all want but we can’t get because we’re not this guy.’ That’s not the reality, though. The reality is, every human being has the same access to God,” Bieber stressed.

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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!