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Weekly briefing: TobyMac's son dies, Christianity in decline, John MacArthur

Weekly briefing: TobyMac's son dies, Christianity in decline, John MacArthur

TobyMac | (Photo: Courtesy of Jimmy Davis / JimmyDphotos.com - TobyMac)

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

Christian artist TobyMac’s son dies at 21

TobyMac’s son, Truett Foster McKeehan, died in his home this week. He was 21. The cause of death is not yet known.

The Grammy award-winning Christian hip hop artist paid tribute to his son, calling him a “true artist” and praising him for his infectious joy and his faith in God, despite not being a “cookie-cutter Christian.”

TobyMac also emphasized that he and his wife continue to trust in God.

“My wife and I would want the world to know this: We don’t follow God because we have some sort of under-the-table deal with Him, like, we’ll follow you if you bless us. We follow God because we love Him. It’s our honor. He is the God of the hills and the valleys. And He is beautiful above all things.” — TobyMac

New study shows continuous decline of US Christians

The Pew Research Center revealed the Christian population in the United States has dropped by 12 percent to 65 percent over the past decade.

The religiously unaffiliated population is currently at 26 percent, up from 17 percent.

“The data suggests that Christians are declining not just as a share of the U.S. adult population, but also in absolute numbers.” — Pew

Read Young people who leave church no longer returning as they get older

John MacArthur draws fire for ‘go home’ Beth Moore comments

John MacArthur, a prominent pastor in California, sparked outrage after he dismissed Living Proof Ministries founder Beth Moore as a preacher.

During a conference, when asked to respond to the words “Beth Moore,” who was not present, MacArthur said “go home” and then criticized evangelical churches for “caving in to women preachers,” calling it unbiblical.

Many, including Max Lucado, Kay Warren and Mandisa, came to Moore’s defense.

“Theirs is not an appeal for power or position, it is a request to be taken seriously; for all of us to recognize their unique calling. Respect and common courtesy should be the dialect of the church.” — Lucado

Suicide rate for young teens nearly triples

The suicide rate among children aged 10 through 14 has nearly tripled from 2007 to 2017, while the suicide rate among older teenagers has increased by 76 percent, according to the CDC.

In 2017, suicide was the second leading cause of death for children aged 10 to 14, teenagers 15 to 19, and young adults ages 20-24. 

“Not only is suicide trending upward, but the pace of increase is actually accelerating.” — Sally Curtin, co-author of CDC report

New ruling in custody battle of 7-y-o boy

Days after a jury awarded custody of 7-year-old James Younger to the mother, who insists her son is transgender, a judge ruled Thursday that both parents will have joint managing conservatorship and will make joint medical decisions for the child. 

Anne Georgulas sought to terminate the parental rights of the father, Jeffrey Younger, for not affirming their son as a trans-identified girl. She has enrolled him in school as “Luna” and has him use the girls’ restroom. But Jeffrey Younger maintains that when given the choice, their son shows no signs of wanting to be a girl.

He led a campaign to save his son from gender transition.

Feature: The Christian Post launched an eight-part series called “Leaving Christianity.” Read part 1.

Pray for:

Christians and other civilians in Syria where Turkey launched an attack

Read Christian NGO opens 58 food distribution centers in Syria and Open Doors CEO describing the crisis

Christians in Cameroon, where a second Bible translator was killed

New releases

Albums:

Home by London Gatch (Oct. 25)

The Greatest Gift: A Christmas Collection by Danny Gokey (Oct. 25)

Books:

Miracles and Other Reasonable Things: A Story of Unlearning and Relearning God by Sarah Bessey (Oct. 8)

The Will of God: Understanding and Pursuing His Ultimate Plan for Your Life by Charles Stanley (Oct. 15)

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