WEEKLY NEWS SUMMARY – Jan 30, 2019
In this week's Intersect, read about:
OREGON COULD BECOME THE FIRST STATE TO REQUIRE IN-HOME SURVEILLANCE OF NEWBORN BABIES
If Oregon Governor Kate Brown has her way, the Beaver State will become the first to require universal home visits for newborn children in the care of their own parents. Senate Bill 526, introduced this month in the Oregon Legislative Assembly as part of Brown's budget, orders the Oregon Health Authority to "study home visiting by licensed health care providers." Lawmakers went so far as to declare that SB 526 is an "emergency" measure — one that requires a resolution by the end of the year. The 18 sponsors of the bill claim that its passage is "necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety," and therefore "an emergency is declared to exist." read more
Extreme policies are being introduced across the nation. While Oregon is proposing a policy that would trample parental rights, other states are introducing and passing policies that would take more lives by allowing abortion up to birth. Last week New York passed a bill, and Governor Cuomo signed it, which removes restrictions on abortion after 24 weeks, decriminalizes it and makes abortion a constitutional right. Sadly, New York is not the first state to allow late-term abortions. Other states including Alaska, Colorado, District of Columbia, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, and Vermont all have little to no restrictions on late-term abortions. But New York’s law has drawn national attention because elected leaders burst into celebration when it passed, even lighting up the World Trade Center in pink. Other states are already seeking to follow New York’s lead. Vermont has now introduced a bill that would allow abortion without restrictions, as well as New Mexico and Rhode Island.
Pray specifically today for the states of New York, Vermont, New Mexico, and Rhode Island. There is a spiritual battle being waged in these states between a culture of life and a culture of death. Pray for pro-abortion leaders and advocates to have their eyes opened to the horrors of abortion and pray for these laws to have no success in increasing the number of abortions.
Here’s an easy way to stand for life! Click here to see a list of 32 states that currently have pro-life license plates. If you live in one of these states, purchase a plate for your car, show you stand for life, and a portion of the proceeds will support various pro-life organizations. Check your state DMV website for info.
VENEZUELA CHIEF PROSECUTOR TRIES TO BLOCK OPPOSITION LEADER JUAN GUAIDO FROM LEAVING THE COUNTRY
Venezuela’s chief prosecutor is seeking a court order to ban opposition leader Juan Guaido from leaving the South American nation, launching a criminal probe into his anti-government activities. Attorney General Tarek William Saab also asked the government-stacked Supreme Court on Tuesday to block Guaido’s financial accounts. He did not specify what crimes the 35-year-old opposition leader is being investigated for, only claiming the probe is tied to the unrest sparked by his decision last week to declare himself interim head of state. Saab’s requests appear to be a bid to silence Guaido, who has given a series of interviews with members of the foreign press in the days after his emphatic declaration last Wednesday. “I am the only legitimate president of Venezuela,” the 35-year-old told broadcaster ARD. “There was no election in 2018. Maduro’s term in office is over, so he is unlawfully in office and is governing as a dictator.” The United States, which led more than a dozen countries in recognizing Guaido’s claim to the presidency, announced Tuesday it had handed control over Venezuela's U.S. bank accounts to Guaido. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo certified that Guaido has the authority to take control of bank accounts that Venezuela's government has in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York or any other U.S.-insured banks. read more
A Shocking 90 percent of Venezuelans live in poverty. Reports indicate that at least 8,290 deaths took place between 2015 and 2017 because of officials who received instructions from the government as part of a “social cleansing.” Once detained, government agents subjected these Venezuelans to abuses ranging from severe beatings to torture involving electric shocks, asphyxiation, and other grotesque techniques. Maduro proudly boasts that he still communes with deceased former leader Hugo Chávez. Some reports indicate that he hosts rituals and sacrifices in Chávez’s honor at the presidential palace. In some churches, the Lord’s Prayer has even been changed to say, “Our Chávez, who art in heaven.” Maduro may have power right now, but there will come a day when "all the kings of the earth shall give thanks to the Lord” (Psalm 138:4). In the Scriptures, we read that "though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly” (Psalm 138:6). Christians in Venezuela have asked for prayer for their nation.
Pray Psalm 138:8 for the people of Venezuela: “Do not forsake the work of your hands.” Maduro may still be in power, but one day every knee will bow before the Lord. Evil reminds us of what God has already defeated and that this earth is not our home. Please pray daily for the people in Venezuela and for Christians to be God’s light there in the midst of a dark time.
For months, Venezuelans have been fleeing the country seeking refuge in Columbia. Samaritan’s Purse has been on the ground in Columbia meeting the physical and spiritual needs of thousands of Venezuelan people entering the country. If you desire to help with the crisis consider supporting Samaritan’s Purse Ministries.
‘BIBLE LITERACY’ COURSES ARE SWEEPING ACROSS THE COUNTRY RIGHT NOW, GIVING PUBLIC STUDENTS THE CHANCE TO STUDY THE BIBLE
Efforts to infuse “Bible literacy” courses into the public school system have garnered so much attention, President Donald Trump is tweeting about the topic. Trump lauded the idea of “giving students the option of studying the Bible” in school. President Trump tweeted, “Numerous states introducing Bible Literacy classes, giving students the option of studying the Bible. Starting to make a turn back? Great!” The President’s tweet came not long after Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” aired a segment reporting on the “Bible literacy” bills that have been introduced in six state legislatures. This year, such proposals are under consideration in North Dakota, Missouri, Indiana, West Virginia, Virginia and Florida. The “Bible literacy” proposals would “require or encourage public schools to offer elective classes on the Bible’s literary and historical significance,” according to a USA Today report. Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin signed legislation in June 2017, paving the way for similar courses in public education. read more
The pilgrims came to America to build a new life and a community that would protect freedom of conscienceand religious liberty. It was this desire for spiritual freedom that drove them to risk their lives by coming to America in the hope of passing freedom on to their children and future generations. And then the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and our nation’s founding era made clear the fact that faith was central in the birth of our nation and the establishment of our government. The fact that offering elective Bible literacy courses in public schools is so controversial and foreign to Americans reveals how far we have drifted from the entire quest for religious freedom that gave birth to our nation. The founding fathers had no intention of barring religion from the public square. Yet, the phrase “Separation of Church and State” has in many ways been used to do exactly that and it’s important for us to read about and know the true history behind the phrase.
Pray for the bold legislators who are introducing this legislation in six different states. Pray for them to have wisdom on how to present the legislation and to have favor with their colleagues as they work to get it passed. Pray for biblical truth to take hold in the hearts and minds of this nation.
My Faith Votes Influencer, Phil Robertson (The Duck Commander), has an incredible book releasing next week that talks about lies and truth in this nation. Consider purchasing a copy here. You can watch our recent, fascinating conversation with Phil here.
TOP PAKISTANI COURT UPHOLDS ACQUITTAL, FREES CAPTIVE CHRISTIAN ASIA BIBI
Asia Bibi is now free to leave Pakistan and join her daughters in Canada after more than eight years of prison and detention. The Islamic country's highest court has just upheld its acquittal of Bibi, clearing her of all charges of blasphemy. Bibi spent eight years on death row, falsely accused of insulting Islam. Even though she was acquitted last October, her life has been in danger from radical Muslims, so she hadn't been freed yet. She has been held under guard at a secret place since then. It all started in 2009 when Bibi brought water to help some fellow workers, but they wouldn't drink from the same container as her because she's a Christian. They ended up arguing and accused her of insulting Islam and its founder, Muhammad. Her attorney called Tuesday's ruling a victory not only for Bibi but for Pakistan's constitution and the rule of law. One justice went as far as to say Bibi's accusers were guilty of perjury, and if the case had not been so sensitive, they should have been jailed for life. A friend told the Associated Press anonymously, fearing for his own safety, that Bibi is overjoyed, quoting her: "I am really grateful to everybody, now after nine years it is confirmed that I am free and I will be going to hug my daughters." read more
This news is an answer to prayer. However, Asia Bibi’s safety is still in jeopardy until she leaves Pakistan. In October when she was first acquitted, radical Muslims reacted in outrage demanding Bibi’s execution. They rioted in the streets and Bibi went into hiding as Muslim extremists went house to house looking to kill her. An appeal was filed on her case which is why Bibi was unable to leave Pakistan until today when the court again has ruled in her favor. Open Doors ranks Pakistan as the 5th highest country in the world for religious persecution. We encourage you to read more about Pakistan so that you can be better equipped to pray for our brothers and sisters who are following Christ in a place hostile towards their faith.
Pray for the protection of Asia Bibi, her family, and all Christians in Pakistan. Pray that this ruling would be an important step forward in the Pakistani justice system to protect those falsely accused of breaking Blasphemy Laws.
John 16:33 says “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Are you prepared to face suffering and persecution for your faith? My friends, it is already happening to Christians here in the US, and it will only continue to get worse. It’s critical to have a correct biblical worldview on suffering and persecution. Take a few minutes to read this article to help prepare your heart and mind for what is sure to come.
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.