WEEKLY NEWS SUMMARY - AUGUST 25, 2021
In this week's Intersect, read about:
15 Million Votes in 2020 Election Not Accounted For, Report Finds
“Almost 15 million mail-in ballots were unaccounted for in the 2020 presidential election, and more than a million more ballots were undeliverable, according to a new study. The Public Interest Legal Foundation, a conservative watchdog group on election integrity, released a research brief Wednesday assessing the effect of mass mail-in balloting in an election with a close presidential race in key battleground states such as Arizona, Georgia, and Wisconsin. ‘These figures detail how the 2020 push to mail voting needs to be a one-year experiment,’ J. Christian Adams, president of the Public Interest Legal Foundation, said in a public statement. The report found that 1.1 million mail-in ballots were undeliverable for various reasons. Election officials rejected another 560,814 mail-in ballots. Another 14.7 million mailed ballots met an ‘unknown’ fate, the report says.” Read more at The Daily Signal
The Election Integrity Project is raising concerns about California’s election system, publishing a list of questionable mail ballots sent out during the 2020 general election to deceased Californians and those no longer living in California. The group sent a letter to the Secretary of State’s Office last year raising concerns about the number of registered voters compared to the number who voted in the 2020 election. It found that California had 1.8 million more registered voters than eligible citizens in the last election, and that nearly 124,000 more votes were counted in California’s 2020 general election than voters recorded as voting in the election. Mail-in ballots will once again be put to the test in California, since all registered voters automatically received a ballot by mail for the upcoming September 14th recall election because of a law passed in February. And now, The California Secretary of State’s Office has made downloading mail ballots from home possible for the recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom, raising potential voter fraud and security issues. Downloading mail ballots from home is made possible through technology used during the 2020 election, the Secretary of State’s Office reports. The system includes two options, one for the entire state and one for Los Angeles County. The statewide system is called, “Remote Accessible Vote-By-Mail (RAVBM),” which enables voters to fill out ballots online, print them out themselves, and either put in the mail or drop off at a polling location. Even though RAVBM was created to be used by voters with disabilities, any voter could request to use it. Already, there have been multiple reports of suspicious activity surrounding the recall ballots throughout the state. If fraud exists, what’s the point of voting? In the face of evil, we must persist for good. It is not when we see evil that we back down. It is exactly when we move forward, press onward, doing the right things as God instructs. Then we trust Him with the outcome. Regardless of what evil men do, we are called to obey God, trust God, and move forward though we may not always understand the details. The question isn’t whether Christians should engage politically, but whether we will do it well. It is through our obedience that God makes a way.
Pray for accuracy when the California recall votes are counted. Pray for the mechanics of the vote to be carried out in fairness and without hindrance or unnecessary drama. “Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord, But a just weight is His delight” (Proverbs 11:1). See verses: Amos 5:24; Proverbs 21:3
If you live in California, make sure you’re ready to vote. We’ve got all the information you need, including a voter guide for the recall election here. If you live outside of California and want to help motivate and equip CA Christians to vote, join our phone call initiative here. Your voice can make all the difference, even in a personal message left on an answering machine. Elections matter and standing for Biblical values in America matters.
Taliban Say No Evacuation Extension as G7 Meets on Afghan Crisis
“Afghanistan's new Taliban rulers said on Tuesday all foreign evacuations from the country must be completed by Aug. 31, and U.S. President Joe Biden was reported to be aiming to stick to the date due to the high chance of a terrorist attack. The developments follow what two U.S. officials said was a meeting between CIA Director William Burns and Taliban leader Abdul Ghani Baradar in Kabul on Monday to discuss the chaos in Afghanistan after the Taliban's unexpectedly swift takeover. Biden, who said last week troops might stay past Aug. 31 to evacuate Americans, will follow a Pentagon recommendation to remove the troops by that date as long as the Taliban enables the U.S. to complete its evacuations, three U.S. officials said. Two U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there was increasing concern about suicide bombings by Islamic State militants at the airport, which has been overwhelmed by Afghans and foreign citizens rushing to leave, fearing reprisals. One U.S. official said it was no longer a question of if, but when, militants would attack, and the priority was to get out before it happened.” read more at Reuters
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he had called the G7 leaders’ meeting on Tuesday to discuss the crisis in Afghanistan and urged the international community to find ways to prevent it from escalating. Britain currently holds the rotating leadership of the G7, which also includes the United States, Italy, France, Germany, Japan, and Canada. In a joint statement afterward, the G-7 leaders expressed “grave concern” about the crisis and called for international partners to work together to help Afghans safely evacuate the country and resettle elsewhere. U.S. officials have been frustratingly vague about the exact number of Americans who have been evacuated from Afghanistan, and how many more remain in the country. According to the Daily Mail, to make sure Americans get priority for evacuation, “U.S. officials have ordered troops to only allow American citizens, Green Card holders and other foreign nationals through the gates of Kabul airport to board evacuation flights, leaving tens of thousands of vulnerable Afghan refugees stranded outside while the Taliban tightens its grip.” On Tuesday afternoon, officials announced that the U.S. military had already started withdrawing from Afghanistan, reducing troop presence before the 31st deadline. With so much desperation and chaos being seen in images coming out of Kabul, it’s causing private citizens to step in to try to take action. Over the weekend, Glenn Beck’s audience raised a staggering $28 million to fund twenty 757’s to ferry out Afghanistan Christian refugees from Kabul. Others are arranging private charter flights to help move out Americans and allies as well. Now, the clock is ticking rapidly until the window is closed on August 31st. My Faith Votes CEO, Jason Yates, issued the following statement in a press release last week: “It’s hard to view the events of the last few days as anything other than an abject failure of the Biden administration. It has already cost lives, and we know the suffering will continue. The lives of the persecuted church in Afghanistan - one of the fastest-growing churches in the world - are now in grave danger. Women are already being forcefully removed from their homes and there is no doubt their rights will erode further under the brutal and oppressive authority of the Taliban. This administration’s finger-pointing and defensive rhetoric do not project strength, wisdom, or compassion, and it will not change anything. It is essential that millions of Americans — both Democrats and Republicans — make their dissatisfaction known to their members of Congress. As Christians, we have a special responsibility to pray intensely and unceasingly for all vulnerable people whose fates rest in the hands of their oppressors. It didn’t have to be this way.”
Pray for those who are still trying to be evacuated and for those working on their behalf to make that happen. And from the ministry of FAI: Please pray for the Afghan Church to have strength and endurance. They continue to lead Bible studies, prayer meetings and are proactively evangelizing during the very events you are seeing in the news. Pray for them to be hidden supernaturally by the hand of the Lord just like in John 8:59 when Jesus disappeared into the crowd.
History has shown that persecution grows the church. Hear directly from leaders in the underground church as their nation implodes and the church flees to the mountains, the Gospel moves forward and what the Bible says about these significant events that are unfolding in Afghanistan here.
FDA Gives Full Approval to Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine for Ages 16 and Up
“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced the official approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine months after granting it an emergency use authorization status. In an announcement Monday, the FDA said that the Pfizer vaccine, first made available under EUA last December, was the first COVID-19 vaccine to get full approval for people 16 years and over and will be marketed as Comirnaty. Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock stated the approval is ‘a milestone as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. While this and other vaccines have met the FDA’s rigorous, scientific standards for emergency use authorization, as the first FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, the public can be very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product,’ Woodcock said in a statement.” read more at the Christian Post
The vaccine is still approved under emergency use authorization (EUA) for people twelve to fifteen years of age. According to the FDA, the approval process studied roughly twenty-two thousand participants over 15 years old who received the vaccine, and twenty-two thousand who did not. They concluded that the vaccine is ninety-one percent effective at preventing COVID-19. In addition, approximately twelve thousand participants were monitored for side effects for at least six months afterward. The FDA reports that this Pfizer vaccine can increase the risk of myocarditis and pericarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle or surrounding tissue), particularly in males between twelve and seventeen years old, and males under forty. The prescribing information will contain a warning about this risk. The FDA is also requiring Pfizer to conduct additional studies assessing the risk of myocarditis and pericarditis due to this vaccine, with the earliest final results due in December 2022, and the latest due in December 2026. People are wrestling with many considerations regarding their position on COVID-19 vaccines. One is the ethical consideration of using abortion-derived fetal cell lines in the production or testing of vaccines. The Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) gives information regarding where the various vaccines stand on that issue. Others grapple with moral considerations--some Christians believe they honor God by getting vaccinated against this virus, while others believe they honor God by abstaining (whether from this or from all vaccines as a principle). This news story gives an example of these differing convictions. Many are also concerned about the damage to liberty caused by pressuring individuals to get vaccinated based on an attempt to create herd immunity, and the precedents this could set for the future. Still, others are concerned about possible health risks, both personal and corporate. Dr. Robert Malone, inventor of the mRNA vaccine technology, and Peter Navarro, who helped facilitate Operation Warp Speed, believe the push for near-universal vaccination against COVID-19 risks enabling the virus to mutate into another form that would quickly spread amongst the entire population yet again. They think a wiser strategy would focus on vaccinating the vulnerable population while promoting effective preventions and treatment for everyone else. Wherever each individual lands, we should remember that Satan would love to use anything, including this issue, to drive a wedge between Christians and reduce our effectiveness for Christ. The fourteenth chapter of Romans provides some relevant guidelines for disagreeing Christians to still maintain Godly unity.
Begin every day by submitting to the Holy Spirit and then walk through the day in His power and leading. Pray that as you do, you will experience the empowering of God as you face the challenges of our broken world and have the courage to make wise choices. You will be able to stand boldly and courageously for biblical truth in a day that rejects both truth and biblical morality. And your example will touch lives you may never see, today and even for generations to come. (Adapted from our friend Dr. Jim Denison)
First Liberty, a legal organization that exclusively defends religious freedom, has produced a free kit containing information regarding vaccine mandates and your religious liberty. You can download this resource here.
60% of Adults Under 40 Say Jesus Isn’t Only Way to Salvation
“More than 60% of born-again Christians in America between the ages of 18 and 39 believe that Buddha, Muhammad, and Jesus are all valid paths to salvation and over 30% say they either believe that Jesus sinned just like other people when He lived on Earth or aren’t sure, according to a new study. There’s a “striking decline” in evangelical religious beliefs and practices over the last 10 years, as the number of self-proclaimed believers to hold these beliefs has increased by nearly 25%, says Probe Ministries in a statement announcing the results of its Religious Views & Practices Survey.” read more at the Christian Post
Probe Ministries summarized the impact of their findings, stating, “From a biblical worldview to doctrinal beliefs and pluralism to the application of biblical teaching to sexual mores, the number of Americans applying biblical teaching to their thinking has dropped significantly over this period. Unfortunately, the greatest level of decline is found among Born Again Protestants.” They categorized participants as “born again” based on their affirmation of receiving Christ as their Savior and considering that decision to still be important in their life. In an interview with My Faith Votes in 2017, George Barna described a worldview as “the mental framework, or filter, that you take into life every day to try to make sense of the world...it helps you to understand and interpret and respond to reality.” What could be the cause of this decline in young adults possessing a Biblical worldview? Pastor and author Voddie Baucham suggests the fault lies with government-run, secular education. In his video, The Children of Caesar, he states, “Less than 10% of American Christians possess a biblical worldview. I believe that’s because the overwhelming majority of them have been educated by Caesar. That’s where they got their worldview.” This brings up an important point: when our public schools removed the acknowledgment of God, another worldview naturally had to take its place. When children are explicitly or implicitly taught that “tolerance” means not finding fault with other viewpoints, is it any wonder that over 60 percent of ‘born again Christians’ do not believe Jesus is the only way to salvation? This trend away from Christians consistently living out a Biblical worldview will continue to have negative effects on policy as well. As the saying goes, all laws legislate morality; the question is, whose?
Pray that this admonition from Hebrews 2:1 would be true of the church in America: “Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.” Heavenly Father, help us to be diligent to read your Word, receive sound teaching, and live out a Biblical worldview so that we would “proclaim the excellencies of Him who called [us] out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9b)
Stand to Reason is a ministry that equips Christians to be ambassadors for Christ. They are hosting conferences across the country to help students move from “chaos to clarity” and develop a Biblical worldview. View their 2021-2022 conference dates here, and consider telling a young person in your life.
My Faith Votes—is a nonpartisan movement that motivates, equips and activates Christians in America to vote in every election, transforming our communities and influencing our nation with biblical truth. By partnering with national faith leaders, My Faith Votes provides resources to help Christians Pray, Think, and Act to create an America where God is honored in the public square.