Weekly Briefing

Weekly briefing: Todd Bentley, Vermont nurse, Hurricane Dorian

Hurricane Dorian
A satellite image of Hurricane Dorian about 505 miles east of the Northwest Bahamas on August 30, 2019. |

We've compiled the top stories of the week. Here's what you need to know:

Evangelist Todd Bentley accused of sexual misconduct

Controversial healing evangelist Todd Bentley, who leads Fresh Fire USA, has been accused of sexual misconduct toward interns and others outside his marriage. His estranged protégé, Stephen Powell, went public with the claims last week.

Bentley denied committing adultery or being involved in sexual affairs though he admitted to sending inappropriate texts several years ago.

Newer allegations were made this week against the revivalist with pastors in Pakistan claiming that Bentley sexually assaulted three girls in their country.

Bentley is scheduled to lead a “healing outpouring” in Rochester, New York, this weekend.

Trump admin says Vermont hospital unlawfully forced nurse to help with abortion

The Trump administration sent a violation notice to the University of Vermont Medical Center for reportedly forcing a nurse to perform an abortion despite her conscientious objection to the procedure.

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights asked the hospital to take “corrective action” within 30 days or it may face the loss of federal funds.

“Forcing medical staff to assist in the taking of human life inflicts a moral injury on them that is not only unnecessary and wrong, it violates longstanding federal law.” — OCR Director Roger Severino

The hospital disputed the allegations of the unnamed nurse.

Florida braces for Hurricane Dorian

Hurricane Dorian is expected to strengthen into a Category 4 and make landfall in Florida on Monday. With the forecast also showing that Dorian will move slowly up the Florida Peninsula into the middle of next week, President Donald Trump declared a statewide emergency.

Churches and relief agencies, including Decatur Church of Christ in Alabama and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, are preparing to respond.

Judge blocks Missouri’s heartbeat abortion law

A day before taking effect, Missouri’s ban on abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detected was blocked by a federal judge.

The block will remain as a lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri remains in the courts.

Film distributor drops Joshua Harris documentary

Exploration Films announced that it has halted promotion of the film “I Survived I Kissed Dating Goodbye,” a documentary in which Joshua Harris does an about-face on and apologizes for his best-selling book.

The film distributor cited “lack of transparency” given that Harris did not inform them before he made the shocking announcement that he’s no longer a Christian.

“[T]he former pastor's public statements on marriage and especially Christianity undermine key parts of the film. It puts our team in an awkward position to promote it.” — spokesman Stephen Penn

Read CP’s interview with Christian singer/songwriter Ellie Holcomb

Pray for

Family of Bible translator Angus Abraham Fung, who was killed in Cameroon and whose wife’s arm was cut off

Family of Father José Martín Guzmán Vega, who was killed in Mexico

New releases



Not by Chance by Aaron Cole (Aug. 30)

The Way Home by The McClures (Aug. 30)


Christobiography: Memory, History, and the Reliability of the Gospels by Craig S. Keener (Aug. 27)

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