The CEO of Office Depot has apologized to a woman who was denied service at the store to print an anti-abortion prayer. Now the CEO says he will print it if she wants to return.
Maria Goldstein asked a Chicago area Office Depot to make 500 copies of an anti-abortion flier. The store refused citing what they claimed was language of persecution of pro-choice people. The company originally defended the action but after the news hit the Drudge Report, Office Depot’s CEO got involved and apologized in a statement Friday.
This story draws comparisons to Christian bakers and florists who have refused to provide services to same-sex weddings. Goldstein sought legal counsel and “felt discriminated against.”
Psychologist Gordon Allport once said “the role of religion is paradoxical. It makes prejudice and it unmakes prejudice.”
UPDATE: Tchividjian advises on how to recover from failure.
Kevin Labby told me today that they are “working within our Presbyterian system to satisfactorily address the issues associated with Tullian’s [Tchividjian] entrance into the Willow Creek Church family.”
To that end, Labby posted an apology and clarification on the Willow Creek blog today.
Greetings Brothers and Sisters in the Lord –
First, I want to apologize for creating confusion regarding the nature of Tullian Tchividjian’s employment at Willow Creek Church through a poorly chosen title for his position. That fault rests squarely with me. Please forgive me. We will be choosing another in due time, one better reflecting his limited role with us.
Second, I want to reiterate that we recognize the propriety of the South Florida Presbytery’s decision to depose Tullian Tchividjian from ordained ministry as a teaching elder. Also, and as stated previously, Tullian’s position does not involve responsibilities unique to the office of teaching elder. His work with us is as a non-ordained support staff member.
Finally, I appreciate your continued prayers as we endeavor to care for Tullian and, by extension, his family during this difficult time.
Kevin Labby, Senior Pastor
Willow Creek Church
Tchividjian’s title was “Director of Ministry Development” which sounded like a ministry position and one which might require ordination. In his post, Labby clarified those points. What seems clear is that the Tchividjian’s role with the church continues.
For all articles on Tchividjian’s new position, click here.
In May 2010, Gospel for Asia’s CEO and founder, K.P. Yohannan, told GFA staff that GFA might move from Carrollton, TX to Wills Point, TX. A month later, GFA acquired 350 acres which would eventually become the site of the current compound. As reported previously, GFA began building the project without sufficient funds in hand to complete it. In April 2013, GFA leaders realized they were very low on cash and approached City Bank in Lubbock for a loan. According to GFA COO, David Carroll, the City Bank was willing to loan the money but before that happened, a board under the control of Believers’ Church in India took a loan there and then sent almost $19.8 million as a gift to help GFA complete the office buildings (link).
I have since learned that GFA borrowed $11.5 million from City Bank in Lubbock in July 2014.
In May and June of 2010, GFA staff were informed that GFA had initiated a process of acquiring land for a new headquarters and compound. During these meetings, staff were told that the move would save millions and be cheaper for staff living expenses (neither of these claims appear to be true which will be addressed in future posts). In addition, staff were told that GFA would not divert money from the field nor take loans to help construct the headquarters. However, as we have seen, GFA did both. In October 2013, nearly $19.8 million was wired to GFA from a source in Asia (later disclosed to be Believers’ Church, headed by K.P. Yohannan). In India, GFA is an arm of Believers’ Church. According to GFA’s David Carroll, Believers’ Church took a loan which allowed them to give the $19.8 million to GFA in the U.S. to complete the headquarters. In one act, it appears that GFA reneged on the earlier promises to staff. Then another loan was taken by GFA in the U.S. in 2014.
Below listen to Yohannan’s statements to staff in 2010.
One of the main complaints from former staff is a feeling of betrayal over the policies portrayed by GFA leaders and that which actually happened. The story that is emerging about the move to Wills Point is quite different than what was described at the time.
What might be more serious even than misleading statements to staff are the the misleading statements in the 2013 audit conducted by Bland Garvey. The $19.8 million payment from Believers’ Church in India to GFA was clearly a related party transaction with financial repercussion both in India and the U.S. However, the “anonymous” gift was reported in a different section of the audit:
This description does not alert potential donors or potential lenders (e.g., City Bank in Lubbock, TX who loaned $11.5 million to GFA) that the cash to help build the buildings actually came from a related party (Despite his claims to the contrary, Yohannan is listed in legal documents in India as the managing trustee of Believers’ Church). Some donors might wonder why funds are so urgently needed on the field if a beneficiary of GFA’s work can turn around and give such a large gift with assurances that it can be repaid very quickly. A bank might view the credit worthiness of GFA differently if it is known that an anonymous donor is really a related party.
The ECFA review of Gospel for Asia is supposed to be completed by October when GFA is supposed to answer all outstanding questions. Looking forward to that.
The PAC backing Ted Cruz calls Mitt Romney a “terrible candidate” and believes Cruz will be able to turn his Cuban heritage into Hispanic votes if he wins the GOP presidential nomination. In a report titled, “Can He Win?” the PAC now headed by David Barton is sharply critical of Mitt Romney and his campaign for the presidency. CNN posted a link to a slide show with the same content back in July, but that link now is dead.
The report repeatedly tells readers, “In 2012 a terrible candidate with a terrible campaign almost won” and then refers to Romney’s performance among African-Americans and Hispanics. Here is the Colorado analysis:
Given Cruz’s Christian nation positions and the addition of very un-Libertarian Barton as head of the Keep the Promise PAC, my opinion is that this is wishful thinking.
A big part of the Keep the Promise strategy is to use wedge issues to get white voters to stay in the GOP fold.
What will bring out the white voters? According to Keep the Promise, Common Core, Immigration, Future not Past, National Security and Foreign Money. Honestly, I am not sure how Cruz is going to drive up white and Hispanic vote at the same time if his wedge issue is immigration.
Readers, do you think this PAC will bring home a Cruz victory?
The Keep the Promise Super PAC now being run by David Barton is not supposed to collaborate with Ted Cruz or his campaign. Thus, Cruz can’t be criticized directly for the fact that the PACs supporting him named Barton as the head of day to day operations. However, Cruz can be criticized for lending his credibility to Barton’s work when he speaks at Barton’s pastors briefing. Cue Alan Noble’s article on how to revitalize young conservatives.
These events will now be scrutinized very carefully.