Former megachurch pastor and grandson of Billy Graham, Tullian Tchividjian, has written an extended post on expastors.com, explaining that he was on the brink of suicide after the revelations of two affairs ended his marriage and his job. Last summer Tchividjian stepped down as pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church after he confessed to an extramarital affair. Initially, he said the affair happened after he learned that his wife was also, having an affair, though, in a statement to The Washington Post, she said, “The statement reflected my husband’s opinions but not my own.”
This March, he was fired by Willow Creek Presbyterian Church after another affair was revealed. It was all a really ugly situation, and even led to the resignations of several leaders involved in one of his other ministries.
Now, in a deeply personal post, Tchividjian explained how he nearly killed himself—and even wrote a suicide note—after the revelations. He explains how ashamed he was of his actions:
But as shocking and painful as all these losses were, my instinctive response shocked me even more: the rage, the blame-shifting, the thirst for revenge, the bitter arrogance, the self-justified resentment, the dark self-righteousness, the control-hungry manipulation, the deluded rationalization, the deep selfishness, the perverted sense of entitlement.
How did I arrive at that dark place where I actually wanted to kill myself? … What I see now that I couldn’t see then is that this explosion had been building for a few years. The shift from locating my identity in the message of the Gospel to locating my identity in my success as a messenger of the Gospel was slow and subtle … My confidence was severely misplaced: Confidence in status, reputation, power and position, the way I spoke, the praise I received, financial security and success.
No matter what your thoughts are about Tchividjian, the piece is a compelling read, and offers a look at someone who truly seems to be dealing with the consequences of some of his actions, their repercussions and what it means for their faith. Discuss
Well, that didn’t take long. The autotune geniuses the Gregory Brothers have teamed with Blondie to songify last night’s debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and the results are 1,000X more watchable than the actual debate. Discuss
A new report from Christian Solidarity Worldwide—a charity that promotes religious freedom out of the UK—has found that Christians in North Korea could face rape, torture, enslavement and death for being openly Christian.
The report, released this week, is called Total Denial: Violations of Freedom of Religion or Belief in North Korea and details how the freedom of belief almost doesn't exist in the country under Kim Jong-Un's dictator regime.
The report says: "Religious beliefs are seen as a threat to the loyalty demanded by the Supreme Leader, so anyone holding these beliefs is severely persecuted."
It detailed Christians as "being hung on a cross over a fire, crushed under a steamroller, herded off bridges and trampled underfoot ... extra-judicial killing, extermination, enslavement/forced labour, forcible transfer of population, arbitrary imprisonment, torture, persecution, enforced disappearance, rape and sexual violence, and other inhumane acts."
North Korea's official numbers say that there are 13,000 Christians in the country, but the actual number is believed to be between 200-300,000 practicing Christians.
Any Christians caught publicly practicing their faith can be sent to hard labour camp, but they can also be sentenced if a family member was caught practicing their faith or even if they become Christian and move to China, they can still be sent back and imprisoned, according to the report.
There are five Christian places of worship in North Korea, of the 121 total, but the report speculates that they are only there to make the country look better internationally.
"The UN and other members of the international community must ensure that human rights are central in any negotiations with North Korea. ... Every effort must be made to seek accountability and justice for the North Korean people, who suffer human rights abuses on a scale unparalleled in the modern world," the report advised. Discuss
Despite threats of lawsuits and an outcry from some medical professionals and abortion advocates, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is continuing to fight for new fetal burial laws.
The new proposed rules state that all fetal remains—including in cases of miscarriage and abortion—must be either properly buried or cremated.
Abbot said that the rules are going into effect because he doesn’t believe that the human remains should be “treated like medical waste and disposed of in landfills.” He told reporters, “It is imperative to establish higher standards that reflect our respect for the sanctity of life.”
The laws, which are now being reviewed under a public comment period, will likely spark a legal battle over who would pay for burials and whether or not such rules should even be on the books. Discuss
Muslim and Christian children in Syria are meeting next month to gather in prayer for an end to the region's brutal war.
Aleppo was once a bustling economic hub surrounded by ancient architecture. It is now the center of our generation's greatest humanitarian crisis as hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the area and 200-300,000 remain trapped in the region seized by rebels.
Forty percent of those trapped are children, like Omran Daqneesh, 5, whose photograph upon being rescued from the rubble of an airstrike captivated the attention of the world.
Archbishop Boutros Marayati, head of Armenian Catholic church in Aleppo, told Agenzia Fides (the Vatican's news agency) that schoolchildren in Aleppo, both Christian and Muslim alike, will gather next month to pray and sign an appeal to world leaders urging them to intervene and put an end to the bloodshed.
He explained to Agenzia Fides, "Above all, they will pray. They will pray for all of their peers. And we trust in the fact that children's prayer is more powerful than ours."
Selena Avalos, a resident of San Jose, California, got free pizza for an entire year for returning $5,000 she found in her Domino's delivery order.
According to TIME, Avalos had quite the surprise when she opened her order of chicken wings only to discover thousands in wads of cash. Avalos, a manager at Spacetel Wireless, contacted the franchise owner and returned the delivery.
No statement has been made about what the money was doing in Avalos' order in the first place but she was given a week off from work, in addition to all of the pizza she could possibly order for a year. See, kids, it really does pay to be honest. Discuss