WEEKLY NEWS SUMMARY - DECEMBER 6, 2023
In this week's Intersect, read about:
Dr. Albert Mohler: Stewarding Our Kingdom Responsibilities
Jason Yates, CEO of My Faith Votes, dove deep into the heart of our nation's future with Dr. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and host of the Briefing podcast. In his interview last week, Dr. Mohler brought unparalleled insights into the pivotal role of Christian voters in steering the course of our country. He and Jason explored the biblical take on stewardship and why skipping the vote is a missed opportunity for faithfulness. watch the interview on MFV-TV
- Many self-identified Christians do not allow their faith to influence their vote, or don’t vote at all. “Whether they want to admit it or not, voters vote their worldview. You find out what their worldview really is by how they vote,” Dr. Mohler pointed out. Not allowing your faith to influence your vote, therefore, “is another way of saying ‘My faith isn’t that central to my worldview.’” Dr. Mohler lamented, “It becomes increasingly…tragic that Christians are not operating out of a biblical Christian worldview and knowing how to apply that when they go into any place, and certainly into a voting booth.”
- Pastors must be ready to preach the word in season and out of season. (2 Timothy 4:2) Because, as Dr. Mohler pointed out, “[T]he word of God comes with implications…. Christianity comes with a stewardship and a responsibility that must be made clear through the preaching of the word of God.” Dr. Mohler continued, “We’re given the stewardship of influence. And, in our constitutional system of government, we’re given the stewardship of a vote…. The surest way to be unfaithful is not to vote. And then, when we take the stewardship seriously and say, “We must vote,” well then, the question is, “By what criteria do I vote?”
- Jason asked how to respond to Christians who object that politics is too ugly. Dr. Mohler pointed out that believers who hold to a biblical worldview should not be surprised by the presence of sin in politics, and in fact should be disgusted. But Jesus called us to be salt and light, and we can’t run from that calling. “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)
Lord Jesus, thank You for the honor of being Your steward here on Earth until You return. Help me to be a faithful steward of my opportunity to vote and to stand for truth against the destructive lies of this world. Help me to encourage others to do the same and not grow weary of doing good. (Galatians 6:9) In Your mighty name, Amen.
There’s much more I didn’t have space to include in this article! To watch the entire 17-minute conversation, go to MFV-TV. Please share it with others who need encouragement! Be sure to check out all our other videos on MFV-TV that are available on-demand. You can even look up topics and guests by keyword.
Governors DeSantis and Newsom Square Off in Unusual Televised Debate
“In an alternate reality, the prime-time showdown between California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom and Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday could have been a preview of a 2024 general election debate. Instead, the 90-minute meeting was a hard-to-explain event that pitted one struggling Republican presidential hopeful against a Democratic rival who may or may not seek the presidency in four years.” read more at Time
- While the purpose was to provide both governors a platform to contrast the approaches they’ve taken to leading their respective states (California and Florida are the first- and third-most populous states in the nation respectively) the amount of bad blood that has built up between the two men over the last few years seemed to elevate the stakes beyond their respective approaches to governance. Ultimately, the “The Great Red vs Blue State Debate" was a chaotic and intense event that covered some important ground but also devolved into name-calling and contrasting claims that likely led to a restless night for those with the task of fact-checking the myriad statements made by both men.
- Another debate takes place tonight. This time, four Republican presidential hopefuls will take the stage in Tuscaloosa, Alabama for the fourth primary debate. Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie barely qualified for the debate after claiming last month he reached the donor threshold and last week saying he was 'confident' he would meet polling requirements and be on the stage. Governor Ron DeSantis, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, and biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy are the other three candidates who qualified for the debate. Former President Trump and current presidential candidate will attend a private fundraiser in Florida on Wednesday night instead.
- North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum announced Monday that he is suspending his 2024 presidential campaign. Burgum, who did not qualify for the third GOP debate last month, criticized the Republican National Committee's qualification requirements in his statement saying, "The RNC's clubhouse debate requirements are nationalizing the primary process and taking the power of democracy away from the engaged, thoughtful citizens of Iowa and New Hampshire.”
Lord, it is sometimes difficult for us to know what is true and what is not. We struggle to discern truth from campaign slogans and political rhetoric. Fill us with Your truth during this election cycle. Grant discernment to voters and reveal hidden agendas, so we can cast ballots that reflect the truth of Your Word. Amen.
Are you prepared to vote or participate in your upcoming state primary elections or caucuses? Click on your state in the My Faith Votes My Voter Hub page for voter registration information, key dates, state resources, election reminders and more!
House Expels George Santos in Historic Vote
“The House voted Friday to expel Rep. George Santos, ending the New York Republican’s tumultuous tenure in Congress and officially etching his name in the history books as the sixth lawmaker ever to be ousted from the lower chamber. The extraordinary move, unseen in 20 years, took three attempts over six months and required support from large numbers in both parties to meet the inflated threshold — two-thirds of the chamber — for expelling a sitting member. The final tally, 311-114-2, surpassed that mark, with 105 Republicans joining almost all Democrats to remove the scandal-plagued Santos after just 11 months in office.” read more at The Hill
- Article I, Section 5, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution states, “Each House may ... with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.” What are the reasons for his expulsion? The House Ethics Committee released a 56-page report stating that Santos had “violated federal criminal laws.” Santos has a trial set for September 2024, where he faces 23 federal indictments for wire fraud, identity theft and other campaign finance charges. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
- The decision was controversial, however. More than half of House Republicans warned that removing an elected lawmaker from office without a criminal conviction sets a dangerous precedent that could lead to unwarranted, politically motivated expulsions in the future. There is also the question of applying the standard equally to other politicians–like U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), who was indicted in October for conspiring to act as a foreign agent for Egypt. He has not been expelled by the Senate.
- What are the consequences? This expulsion means the Republican majority in the House is even slimmer as they attempt to negotiate spending bills and aid for Israel. It has also triggered a special election for Santos’ seat, New York’s 3rd Congressional District, which includes part of the Queens borough and Nassau County in Long Island. Governor Kathy Hochel is expected to schedule the election for mid to late February. Special elections are a unique opportunity for voters because turnout is often low, giving each vote more weight. Local party leaders will choose the Republican and Democrat nominees.
Pray for wisdom and discernment for the voters in Queens and Long Island when they go to the polls in 2024. Pray for a representative who will uphold righteousness and truth. Take this opportunity to pray for your own Representative and Senators according to 1 Timothy 2:1-4.
Did you know My Faith Votes provides a Prayer Guide for Government Officials? It includes the names of committee chairs in the House and Senate. I encourage you to download this resource and make use of the suggested prayer points and Scriptures as you pray for our federal officials by name.
Sandra Day O’Connor, the First Female Supreme Court Justice, Dead at 93
“Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court and the justice who held the court’s center for more than a generation, died Friday, the court said in a statement. She was 93. Her cause of death was complications related to advanced dementia and a respiratory illness. Chief Justice John Roberts said in a statement that O'Connor ‘blazed an historic trail as our nation's first female justice.’ He said the justices ‘mourn the loss of a beloved colleague, a fiercely independent defender of the rule of law, and an eloquent advocate for civics education.’” read more at NBC News
- Nominated by President Ronald Reagan to the U.S. Supreme Court in July 1981, O’Connor’s rulings on abortion were different from her personal views. In 1992, she joined the 5-4 majority in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, co-writing the plurality opinion, which upheld what the court called the “essential holding” of Roe v. Wade. It’s interesting to note that after she retired in 2006, she was replaced by Samuel Alito, who has since become one of the most conservative justices and who wrote the majority decision in Jackson Women’s Health Center v. Dobbs, which overturned Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
- The world lost two other consequential lives last week as well; Henry Kissinger and Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter. Kissinger, Secretary of State to Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, died at age 100. He was the last of a controversial group of leaders from the Watergate era. Carter, who died at the age of 96 and was the wife of former President Jimmy Carter for 77 years, was described as the nation's foremost advocate for mental health and actively devoted to building a more caring society.
- Most of us will not find ourselves in the public eye nor have opportunities to impact our world as O’Connor, Kissinger and Carter have. But the idea of one’s life being consequential is akin to living one’s life in such a way to have an impact, to leave a legacy. Rosalynn Carter’s grandson, Jason Carter, said at her tribute service, “My grandmother doesn’t need a eulogy, her life was a sermon.” What sermon will your life preach today?
Lord, You are the Author and Creator of all life, including mine. Help me to live out what you say are the greatest commandments in Matthew 22:37-39: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ May my life be a testimony that brings glory to You.
Tomorrow, December 7th, is Pearl Harbor Day, the day to remember and honor the consequential lives of 2,403 Americans who were killed in the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 7, 1941, which led to the United States declaring war on Japan and thus entering World War II. On Pearl Harbor Day, the American flag should be flown at half-staff until sunset to honor those who died 82 years ago. Another way you can remember the day is to watch this documentary, which tells the stories of those who were there and witnessed history being made.
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.