WEEKLY NEWS SUMMARY - MARCH 30, 2022
In this week's Intersect, read about:
Pro-abortion States are Moving to Codify a 'Right' to Abortion
“With the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization quickly approaching, legislators in pro-abortion states are bracing themselves for the possibility that Roe v. Wade’s reign over state abortion laws might finally come to an end, returning to the states the ability to regulate abortion as they see fit and more fully protect unborn life. Not surprisingly, it is the states with the most pro-abortion laws that are leading the effort to enshrine “abortion rights” language in their state codes or constitutions.” read more at the Christian Post
Maryland and Vermont are not simply passing a bill to enforce abortion “rights;” they are attempting to cement it into their state constitutions. This would make it harder to remove from the law. Both proposals will be on the ballot this November for voters to decide. Pro-abortion activists in Michigan are attempting a similar measure. It has been pointed out Maryland’s SB 669 goes beyond legalizing abortion to legalizing infanticide. It says, “This section may not be construed to authorize any form of investigation or penalty for a person…experiencing a…perinatal death related to a failure to act.” The definition of perinatal extends to 28 days postpartum, meaning a neglectful “failure to act” on the part of the mother which causes the death of a newborn cannot be prosecuted. California’s AB 2223 appears to do the same. “[A] person shall not be subject to civil or criminal liability or penalty…based on their actions or omissions with respect to their pregnancy or… perinatal death.” It is horrifying, but that is where the denial of personhood leads us. Colorado recently passed the Reproductive Health Equity Act (RHEA) explicitly denying unborn babies the right to life. “A fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent or derivative rights under the laws of the state,” the chilling language reads. The bill will likely be signed by Democratic Governor Jared Polis. California Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed a bill into law that eliminates out-of-pocket costs for abortions, becoming one of only six states requiring health insurance providers to cover such procedures. These bills all justify themselves by arguing for a person’s right to “reproductive justice,” “personal reproductive autonomy,” or similar language. Word selection has always played a major part in the abortion debate. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has released a “Guide to Language and Abortion” to justify what is plainly the murder of innocent human beings. It suggests replacing “baby” or “unborn child” with “fetus” or “embryo.” Such suggestions remove life-affirming words from our speech, just like the abortions they defend remove life from our world. In the face of these “Don’t Say Baby” bills, we must speak–and vote–for life.
Heavenly Father, like Thomas Jefferson, we tremble for our country when we reflect that Your “justice cannot sleep forever.” Abortion is a grave injustice, and many of our states are seeking to justify it in the name of “human rights.” Help our country to see through the lies of the abortion industry and realize that no right exists outside of You. Have mercy on us, Lord. Help us to strive to defend these precious unborn children, knowing that You have given us this responsibility as Your representatives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
My Faith Votes Opposes Nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to U.S. Supreme Court
“Much has been said about Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court and subsequent confirmation hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee. As we await the Senate Committee's vote on April 4, those who support Judge Brown Jackson want to keep our attention fixed on the ‘popularity’ of the candidate and her views. Christians understand that our support should not be influenced by public opinion or political rhetoric but through the foundational truths of God’s Word.” read more at My Faith Votes
At My Faith Votes, we prioritize four core values to guide our understanding and response to cultural shifts and government actions: Sanctity of Human Life, Religious Freedom, Strong Marriages and Families, and Care and Compassion for those in need. While our faith certainly is not limited to these four areas, we recognize them to be the Lord’s guidance and scope of our ministry. Upon examination of Judge Brown Jackson’s record, in both her words and her actions, our ministry has deep concerns relative to these core values. She is a clear supporter of abortion rights without restrictions, recognized by the full endorsement by Planned Parenthood’s CEO. Her unwillingness to provide a definition of the word “woman” signals her support for progressive views on marriage and sexuality. These progressive views also create concern regarding Judge Brown Jackson’s willingness to prioritize sexual politics over our nation’s first freedom of religious liberty. Jason Yates, CEO of My Faith Votes went on to say, “It is precisely for these reasons that I oppose the confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court and implore the Senate to vote ‘no.’ To my fellow believers who share my concerns about this nominee’s views, I exhort you to remain diligent in your prayers. Truth is not determined by popular majority, but by God alone.”
In our calling to pray “for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions” (1 Timothy 2:1–2), it is incumbent upon Christ-followers to pray for Judge Brown Jackson and for the senators who will consider her confirmation. Pray that she would know Christ personally and make Him known publicly. Pray that our senators would use wise judgment in determining if she should be confirmed to serve in such a prominent position. Remember that while nine Americans serve on our nation’s highest court, it is but one King that rules the universe.
Last Thursday, 85-year-old Eleanor McCullen testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Judge Brown Jackson's Supreme Court confirmation hearings. In 2007, McCullen famously challenged a 2007 Massachusetts law that created a 35-foot buffer zone that restricted pro-life advocates from speaking with people entering abortion clinics. Her case made it all the way to the Supreme Court, which unanimously struck down the buffer zone law, noting that public streets and sidewalks are venues for the exchange of ideas consistent with First Amendment freedoms. Judge Brown Jackson, in private practice at the time, advocated in favor of Massachusetts' buffer zone law in a legal brief on behalf of abortion clinics. McCullen’s 8-minute testimony is powerful and worth watching.
Biden Warns of 'Real' Food Shortage Following Sanctions on Russia
“President Biden said Thursday that a food shortage is ‘gonna be real’ following the sanctions that were placed on Russia by the U.S. government as a result of Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion into Ukraine. "With regard to food shortage, yes we did talk about food shortages, and it's gonna be real," Biden said during a press conference at a NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium, following a meeting with other world leaders. ‘The price of the sanctions is not just imposed upon Russia,’ he added. ‘It’s imposed upon an awful lot of countries as well, including European countries and our country as well.’” read more at Fox News
Farmers worldwide are feeling the sting of sanctions, as the Ukraine War has sent fertilizer prices soaring to new all-time highs, prompting concerns over a global food shortage. Why is fertilizer important? In its simplest terms, a friend told me, “You need fertilizer to grow food at scale and you need food to keep the peace.” Brazil, the world’s largest importer of fertilizers and second largest exporter of grains, was already expecting low crop yields this year due to an ongoing drought and is now scrambling to increase domestic production of fertilizing products as it looks to plug the gap left by Russia. But even before the invasion of Ukraine, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization had already warned that “acute food insecurity” was plaguing dozens of countries spanning Latin America, central Africa, the Middle East, and central Asia due to conflicts and erratic environmental conditions. Around 40% of Ukraine's wheat and corn exports are intended for the Middle East and Africa and shortages could start a mass migration crisis. According to Bread for the World, in Afghanistan, 98 percent of the population does not have enough to eat and up to 1 million children under age 5 could die from malnutrition by the end of the year. In Yemen, food prices have more than doubled and over half the population faces extreme hunger. Millions of people are left vulnerable to hunger and disease in Ethiopia’s Tigray region amid an ongoing civil war. And in Myanmar, more than one-third of households spend 70 percent or more of their income on food, and more than half of families must sell assets or skip meals to make ends meet. While many in the world face dire circumstances, rising prices and supply issues are impacting us here in the US. What would happen if we had to ration food again? I recently came across old ration books from the 1940’s in my grandma’s Hope Chest. It was a stark reminder that my generation as well as younger generations have been immensely blessed with ample choices and variety every time we enter a grocery store. It would certainly come as a shock to many in our nation to be required to make sacrifices when we are used to this age of abundance. We may benefit from the example of one of our North Korean sisters in Christ, who gave a tithe of her meager income in the face of possible starvation, trusting God to provide.
Pray for the millions of people around the world who have been displaced from their homes and don’t know where their next meal will come from. Pray for all those no longer able to afford basic foods. Pray that while the needs may be physically distant from our circumstances here, our hearts will be moved with empathy and compassion. (Luke 3:11) Pray for protection for the children and the most vulnerable. Lord, give wisdom, strength, and courage to our nation’s leaders who are making decisions that affect our most basic needs.
A few years ago, I came across the inspiring story of two friends in Oklahoma who started Fill My Basket. Their goal is to help strangers by randomly paying grocery bills. Ask God to direct you to someone in your community today and take time to “pay it forward,” whether it’s through paying their grocery bill, their gas at the gas pump or even paying for the person’s order behind you in the drive-through line. You just never know how God will use you to be a blessing to someone in need.
Only 4 Percent of Christian Parents Have a Biblical Worldview, Poll Finds: Children Are 'Spiritually Disadvantaged'
“Less than five percent of American parents who claim to be Christian possess a biblical worldview, new research out of Arizona Christian University found. The research also shows most parents today hold to a ‘syncretistic’ belief system that blends multiple worldviews. The study, released Tuesday by the university's Cultural Research Center, found that only 2 percent of all parents of pre-teens in the United States possess a biblical worldview. And although two-thirds of those parents are self-identified Christians, only 4 percent of that group holds to a biblical worldview.” read more at Christian Headlines
If Jesus wrote a letter to the church in America, as He did to the churches in Revelation 3, what would He say to us? Perhaps He would say something similar to Billy Hallowell, who commented on the survey’s results, “Christians have, in most cases, admirably spent decades trying to carry the gospel to the culture, and somehow, under believers’ noses, the culture, instead, brought its hopeless, self-centric, diabolical creed to the church. And believers just let it happen.” It seems we resemble the churches Jesus praised for doing good deeds but rebuked for tolerating false teaching. If our young people do not continue to be a part of the church, how will the great commission be carried out? How will they continue in the faith unless their parents teach them? How will their parents teach a biblical worldview which they themselves do not believe? And how will the parents believe unless the church teaches them? Considering this distressing survey, the church can do several things to equip parents: (1) Remind them of God’s call to disciple their children. In an individualistic society, young parents may reflexively shrink from the notion that they should try to shape their children’s worldview. However, Christ not only permits parents to do so, but commands them. According to Barna, "The typical American parent is either fully unaware that there is a worldview development process, or they are aware that their child is developing a worldview, but they do not take responsibility for a role in the process," Barna said. "Or they are aware the child's worldview is being developed but choose or allow outsiders to accomplish that duty on the parent's behalf." (2) Remind them that Christianity is a claim of truth, not taste. When parents teach their children about God, they are not “imposing their beliefs'' on them. Rather, they are leading them to the objective Source of truth Himself. See 2 Timothy 3:15. (3) Disciple them in the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27). The study found that most parents possess a blend of worldviews and beliefs, which is known as syncretism. “The parents of pre-teens are much more likely to harbor ideas drawn from Eastern Mysticism/New Age thinking, Moralistic Therapeutic Deism, and Biblical Theism (i.e., the biblical worldview),” according to the study. Learning and teaching “all scripture” will help prevent the unconscious adoption of a worldview buffet. In fact, a specific role of older women in the church is to instruct the younger women. (Titus 2:3-5) Barna noted that younger parents were the least likely to possess a biblical worldview. God can do much with simple faithfulness. "The reality is that culture-changing movements can transform a nation with as little as 2 percent of the population on-board,” reminded Barna. “We estimate that there are perhaps 10 to 15 million adults in the country who have a biblical worldview and therefore might be engaged in such a worldview transformation effort."
Let’s heed this call to prayer from George Barna: “We need dedicated prayer not just for renewal of our government, media, schools, and families but also for a purification of our communities of faith, that they all might be brought back to knowing, embracing, professing, and living God’s principles.”
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