A former Indiana megachurch pastor imprisoned for sexually abusing a former female student at his church's high school is attempting to overturn his prison sentence by accusing the victim of seducing him.
The former leader of a 15,000-person congregation, Jack A. Schaap, 56, who is married and has two children, has asked U.S. District Judge Rudy Lozano to overturn his 12-year sentence, "due to the aggressiveness of (the girl) that inhibited impulse control."
Schapp was sentenced in 2013 for sexually abusing the victim and taking her across state lines, and is not set to be released until 2023. more >>
Christians traveling to the site of the mass shooting in California where 22-year-old Elliot Rodger killed six people before taking his own life, argue that Christians must stand up and speak on these sensitive issues.
"Evangelical church leaders have been largely silent on this crisis and that can't continue. These tragedies are a matter of life and death and they leave individuals, families, and whole communities devastated and in terrible fear. Christian leaders can't simply shrug their shoulders and walk away from such enormous tragedy. Clergy have a unique perspective and unique contributions to make toward solving this problem," the Rev. Rob Schenck of the National Clergy Council in Washington, D.C., said Wednesday.
The shooting rampage near the University of California at Santa Barbara on May 23 that left seven people dead and over a dozen injured has prompted a national dialogue on the role of men and women in society, particularly in light of Rodger's numerous videos where he says he is carrying out the attack because of his loneliness and lack of success with women. more >>
The founder and executive director of a Christian-based addiction and mental health counseling helpline says that there were plenty of warning signs that should have prompted a number of different people to seek help for Santa Barbara, California, shooter Elliot Rodger, the 22-year-old who killed six people before dying from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The California murder spree that took place on May 23 raises questions about the nation's mental health system and the warning signs, says Lighthouse Network's Dr. Karl Benzio, who is also a psychiatrist. He adds that many mental health issues stem from lack of healthy decision-making and coping skills.
"At some point in our lives – and probably at many points – each one of us will face situations that are painful, disappointing, even devastating," Benzio said. "Whether it's broken or non-existent relationships, business or personal failure, or the betrayal or death of a loved one, painful experiences and situations are unavoidable. The only thing over which we have any control is our decision on how we respond to life's onslaughts. Some people respond by denying a problem exists, some by turning to prescription medication or illegal substances as an unhealthy coping mechanism, and some, sadly, by giving into anger and rage until these spill over into harmful actions against themselves or others." more >>
An Arizona State University student who was arrested by Missouri Water Patrol officers on suspicion of boating while intoxicated, drowned in handcuffs over the weekend after he went overboard while he was being transported by officers on a patrol boat.
The student, Brandon E. Ellingson, 20, was arrested on Saturday evening after he was seen driving a boat at Lake of the Ozarks with a few passengers, according to KSDK.
It is unclear if Ellingson jumped overboard or simply fell overboard accidentally, but the incident is now the focus of an investigation and the unidentified officer who was driving the patrol boat has been placed on paid administrative leave. more >>
A longstanding and bitter church scandal turned deadly Sunday when a Kentucky man, who accused a pastor of stealing his wife in 2006, fatally shot his now ex-wife's new husband, and then killed himself in front of his four children in the parking lot of a Dairy Queen.
A WCPO report says Zuriel Turk, 41, shot dead his ex-wife Amy's husband, Mark Kroening, 62, at about 6 p.m. as he dropped off his four stepchildren for a supervised visit with Turk. The children watched in horror as their father turned the gun on himself.
Covington Police Chief Spike Jones said soon after Turk fired several shots into Kroening's car he killed himself in front of his children, who are between the ages of 10 and 15. more >>
Persecution watchdog group Open Doors has released its top 10 list of countries where Christians face the most violent attacks for their faith, with Nigeria topping the list.
"The alarming trend of violence against Christians in Nigeria over the past months highlights the lack of religious freedom they have and the daily dangers they face from the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram and other violent Islamic organizations," said Open Doors USA President/CEO Dr. David Curry.
"Going to school, attending church or identifying yourself as a Christian is a very brave decision in Nigeria. It is turning into a bloodbath. Christians in the West must stand in the gap with our prayers and support." more >>