WEEKLY NEWS SUMMARY - JUNE 15, 2022
In this week's Intersect, read about:
Inflation Tightens Economic Squeeze
“The prices of gas, food, and most other goods and services rose by 8.6 percent last month from 12 months earlier. Friday’s news from the U.S. Labor Department defied Americans’ hopes that inflation would slow its breakneck climb once the Federal Reserve started raising interest rates. Consumers have not been able to rein in spending on food and energy as costs skyrocket. Prices at the pump are averaging nearly $5 a gallon nationally and closing in on the inflation-adjusted record of around $5.40 reached in 2008. Meanwhile, Americans are still forking over cash for airline tickets, restaurants, and hotels, and credit card debt is increasing. The Fed plans to continue hiking interest rates in hopes of slowing spending.” read more at World
Years ago, around Christmas time, I saw a Target commercial that said, “Hallelujah, The Target Red Card!” I thought it was odd that they would be singing praise about a credit card. Think about that: Hallelujah, debt! In Hebrew, Hallelujah is a compound word, from hallelu, meaning “to praise joyously,” and yah, a shortened form of the unspoken name of God. So, this “hallelujah” is an instruction to the listener or congregation to sing to Yahweh. In short, whether realized or not, the commercial was about singing praise to Yahweh for debt. Some of the reasons we are facing the highest inflation in 40 years include: rise in prices for goods and services, production costs, consumer demand, the increase of printing money, and increased government spending. Unfortunately, the printing and spending of money here in the US has no end in sight. It seems that the anthem of our government is that of the old Target ad, “Hallelujah, debt!” The Bible has quite a bit to say about money, and a significant part of these financial warnings concern debt. Proverbs 22:7 and Psalm 37:21 are a good place to start. So, what can we do as Christians? The plan that God has for us is to live within our means. I get it, it’s a shocking method to so many today. The Apostle Paul gives us some incredible insight when he says in Philippians 4:11 “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” Contentment can be an elusive thing. How many of us can confidently say we’ve found contentment? Most of us are drawn to the idea that if things were just a bit different, if I just had a little bit more of this, or if I just had a little less of that, then life would feel more full and joyful. What’s interesting is that there is nothing about Paul’s circumstances that says he should be able to say things like this. He’s in prison. He’s not rich. He’s not married. His circumstances are wildly out of his control and yet, he says, “I can rejoice. I’m content.” And right off the cuff, that tells something massively important: joy and contentment are never an issue of having or not having enough. We’ve all been lied to that “just a little” more will give us contentment. If we believe that, we will also join with the anthem of our government and go into a large amount of debt to try to find contentment only to be faced with the reality that comes with debt. Instead, let’s learn, with Paul, “the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
Father, help us to be content with the things of this world. Give us wisdom to steward our own finances well and help us to be a mirror to our leaders in what fiscal responsibility looks like. Thank you that as a Christ follower, we know that our struggles will not endure forever. Our hope is not built on a make-believe escape from life’s frustrations and agonies, but it does promise that evil, deprivation and heartache will not be the last word.
It is important to know and understand your current financial picture. The Crown Stewardship Podcast is a valuable resource during these uncertain times. You can also find helpful resources for yourself and for your church through Crown Financial Ministries here. These tools can help guide you in the many facets of God’s financial principles.
Armed Man Arrested for Threat to Kill Justice Kavanaugh
“A man carrying a gun, a knife and zip ties was arrested Wednesday near Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s house in Maryland after threatening to kill the justice. Nicholas John Roske, 26, of Simi Valley, California, was charged with the attempted murder of a Supreme Court justice. During a court hearing, he consented to remain in federal custody for now. Roske was dressed in black when he arrived by taxi just after 1 a.m. outside Kavanaugh’s home in a Washington suburb. He had a Glock 17 pistol, ammunition, a knife, zip ties, pepper spray, duct tape and other items that he told police he would use to break into Kavanaugh’s house and kill him, according to a criminal complaint and an affidavit filed in federal court in Maryland. Roske said he purchased the gun to kill Kavanaugh and that he also would kill himself, the affidavit said. Roske told police he was upset by a leaked draft opinion suggesting the Supreme Court is about to overrule Roe v. Wade, the landmark abortion case.” read more the Associated Press
Is the media covering up what should be labeled an assassination attempt? In the last week, mainstream media largely underplayed the news, instead suggesting that "both sides" of the abortion debate are guilty of violent rhetoric. Congress continues to turn a blind eye to the tyrannical acts of the far-left as well. House Democrats have refused to vote for the Supreme Court Police Parity Act, passed unanimously a month ago by the Senate, which would offer enhanced protection for all justices; the same protection already offered to members of Congress. The sticking point is that Democrats argue the legislation should include enhanced protections that are extended to others who work within the Court, not just the justices. Pro-abortion groups, Planned Parenthood and the Women’s March, recently declared this should be a “Summer of Rage” and now pregnancy resource centers and pro-life organizations have been firebombed, vandalized and threatened. Ruth Sent Us frequently calls for demonstrators to “voice your anger” and has published the home addresses of justices. The organization Jane’s Revenge demands “the disbanding of all anti-choice establishments, fake clinics, and violent anti-choice groups within the next thirty days.” Pregnancy Resource Centers are anything but “fake.”
In their latest report, the Lozier Institute states that the over 2,700 pro-life pregnancy centers nationwide served almost two million people at an estimated value of nearly $270 million. Those centers have over 68,832 workers serving in the pregnancy centers, and 8 in 10 of these workers are volunteers, including more than 6,400 licensed medical volunteers. Pregnancy centers outnumber abortion clinics nationwide by an average of 3 to 1. As William Wolfe states, “Ultimately, all other political rights, causes, and efforts are secondary to the movement to stop the legalized institution of on-demand infanticide in America. That’s why we, as Christians, are obligated before God to speak out and up — loudly — for those who are never given the chance to speak or cry or even to breathe. There is no cause so clear cut, so unquestionably just and aligned with the law of God and His purpose for mankind, so tied to absolute truth, so grounded in God’s revelation that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, so respectful of His creation, and so valiant in defending His image than the pro-life cause.” We must remain steadfast in prayer as we bring biblical values into every one of our civic decisions. Let history record that our stand
gave a voice to the unborn.
Lord, we pray for the safety and security of each Supreme Court Justice and their families. We are grateful for the tireless work that Pregnancy Resource Centers are providing throughout the nation, and we ask that they continue to be able to bring hope and life to those they serve every day. In a culture that wants to promote and celebrate violence and death, may we remember John 10:10 which says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
We’re calling on Christians to put faith in action and donate a pack of diapers to your local Pregnancy Resource Center. Often, the public narrative suggests the those who stand for life are only “pro-birth” and not caring about the moms in need. While we know this is not true, supplying the necessity of diapers is an easy way to demonstrate action. When a woman visits a Pregnancy Resource Center and a test reveals she is pregnant, she is often given a gift basket of baby items upon first learning the news. A simple pack of diapers can humanize the fact that a baby is growing inside of her womb. Find a local Pregnancy Resource Center near you by visiting CareNet or Heartbeat International and donate a pack of diapers today.
San Francisco Votes Overwhelmingly to Recall Progressive DA Chesa Boudin
“San Francisco residents voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to recall District Attorney Chesa Boudin, one of the nation's most progressive top prosecutors. Partial results from the San Francisco Department of Elections on Tuesday night showed the recall measure — also known as Proposition H — had the support of nearly 60% of voters, with 40% voting against it. Boudin sought to reform the criminal justice system, ending the use of cash bail, stopping the prosecution of minors as adults, and focused on lowering jail populations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Boudin also became the first San Francisco DA to file homicide charges against city police officers.” read more at CBS News
"This election does not mean that San Francisco has drifted to the far right on our approach to criminal justice," said Mary Jung, a chair of the recall campaign. "In fact, San Francisco has been a national beacon for progressive criminal justice reform for decades and will continue to do so with new leadership." So why did voters recall Boudin just two and a half years into his term? What were his policies, and what was the result? Josh Hammer, research fellow with the Edmund Burke Foundation, summarizes, “Boudin’s 2019 platform focused on eliminating cash bail, active resistance of federal immigration enforcement, blocking prosecution for various drug- and gun-related offenses during traffic stops, and fully ceasing the prosecution of so-called quality-of-life crimes such as public urination and defecation.” Burglaries increased by forty-five percent, and homicide rose by thirty-seven percent. Citizens were less safe. What are the underlying beliefs behind Boudin’s reckless policies? In a fascinating edition of The Briefing, Albert Mohler explains, “In the 1960s… in America's law schools, there arose a different way of looking at the law. The assumption was that if you look at social inequalities or what are sometimes called inequities, they are the cause of big societal forces, not because of personal behavior. And so…you would say that if there is a disparate pattern of crime, and prosecution, and jail terms, it must be because of some kind of social oppression, some kind of racial or ethnic discrimination.” Proponents of this idea see the current system of police and prosecutors as oppressive. That is why liberal prosecutors do not want to prosecute certain crimes. In simple terms, instead of protecting society from these criminals, they are protecting criminals from “societal oppression.” Government agents can abuse their power, no doubt, and outside influences can contribute to causing a person to commit crimes. But if we forget that human beings are sinners, and “each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire” (James 1:14), then we will incorrectly place the blame for crimes. As Mohler rightly points out, “you are not going to correct anything wrong with government by taking away one of its most important God-given responsibilities which is to resist sin and to punish the evil doer.” There are less than 5 months until the midterm elections on November 8th. One of your most crucial votes affecting the safety of your community could be for District Attorney.
Your district attorney is extremely crucial to maintaining Biblical justice in your city. Do you know who he or she is? Do you pray for them? Thinking about the causes of crime, we know fatherlessness is a major contributor. Pray also for the fathers and father figures in your community as they shape the path of the young men and women whom God has entrusted to them.
Can a letter really encourage someone to vote? Yes! And it’s easier than you might think. If you’re rooted in prayer, have the right tools and the right message to share, we know it works. Join with others across the nation and start writing letters for our “Write Now” campaign to impact the Midterm Elections. Anyone can volunteer. You are provided with instructions, letter templates, and a list of names. Letters can be written individually or by families, Bible studies, small groups, and church congregations. Get your pen ready and join the “Write Now” campaign here.
The Daughter Who Fought for the Creation of Father’s Day
“The man who inspired Father’s Day was a single dad whose daughter wanted the nation to celebrate all he did for their family. William Jackson Smart’s wife died when their daughter was just 16, so Sonora Smart Dodd grew up watching her dad take care of her and her five younger siblings by himself. When the nation started observing Mother’s Day in the early 1900s, Sonora thought dads like hers deserved recognition, too.” read more at The Gazette
I found it fascinating that Father’s Day originated as a local movement with the support of ministers, initiated by a grateful daughter. Jennifer Rogers, in a blog post titled "Reasons Why We Celebrate Father's Day", noted that “In the 1920s and 1930s, a movement actually attempted to eradicate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. The movement’s supporters called for replacing those holidays with Parent’s Day, in which both parents are celebrated. Despite the movement’s efforts, Mother’s Day stayed on the calendar, and Father’s Day would eventually be added to the national calendar.” Father’s Day was finally made a national holiday in 1972, interestingly, around the same time as an increased recognition among psychologists of the significance of fathers. It is good to have both days on our calendar, because the uniqueness and irreplaceability of mothers and fathers needs to be acknowledged. As Ryan Anderson stated, children “still need fathers because, among other reasons there is no such thing as “parenting”—there is mothering, and there is fathering.” Christians should lead the way in gratitude towards good fathers as cultural forces downplay their influence. Earlier this year, former Super Bowl Coach and outspoken Christian Tony Dungy came under fire for pointing out that fatherlessness is a major contributor to crime among young men. Reflecting on his visit to a prison, he said, “‘How do those young boys get here?’...It’s not racial. It’s not education. It’s none of that. Ninety-five percent of these boys did not grow up with their dad.” Author Adam B. Coleman agreed with Dungy, and added, “We avoid talking about broken families because you can’t legislate a happy home and the government can’t welfare its way into a healthy environment for children…We spend so much time wanting to empower single mothers that we ignore how it disadvantages their children.” Given what we know about the influence of fathers in the trajectory of their children’s lives, let’s celebrate Father’s Day by honoring our fathers, grandfathers, and father-figures, and equip them to be the leaders God has called them to be.
Lord, thank you that You are not simply our God, but our Heavenly Father! Thank You for bringing me into Your family. Thank You for my father; help me to honor him if I have the opportunity. Forgive our nation, Lord, for ignoring the importance of fathers. Help us to honor Your design for the family, build up the fathers in our community, and equip them to bring up their children “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4) In Your Son’s name, Amen.
The Fatherhood CoMission is a collaboration of over 200 different ministries and organizations coming together for one purpose: “To champion Fatherhood by inspiring leaders and influencers to champion Fatherhood both inside and outside the Church through clear, compelling evidence of God’s design for dads as noble difference makers in their families and the world.” We encourage you to check out their resources, one of which is the latest documentary by the Kendrick brothers, Show Me the Father. We interviewed Stephen Kendrick to talk about the critical role of fathers in today’s society, inviting people to think differently about how we view our earthly fathers and how to personally relate to God. You can watch our interview here.
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.