WEEKLY NEWS SUMMARY – May 15, 2019
In this week's Intersect, read about:
Pro-Life Activists Rally in Philly to Counter Representative’s Vicious Viral Attack
Pro-life activists rallied in Philadelphia Friday morning in response to a viral video of a Pennsylvania state representative harassing pro-life teens and women. The rally came together to protest the actions of state Representative Brian Sims who is seen in viral videos harassing and threatening teenagers and a woman silently praying outside of this particular Planned Parenthood clinic. Pro-life activists like Abby Johnson, Matt Walsh, Graham Allen, and Lila Rose organized the pro-life rally which took place at 11 a.m. Friday, and they invited Sims to man-up and join them for debate, to pick on someone his own size instead of bullying teen girls and older women. Representative Sims did not show up. read more
On April 18, Representative Sims not only hurled verbal insults at a mother and her teenage daughters praying outside of a Planned Parenthood clinic but even more upsetting, he videotaped the girls and asked his followers to expose their identities, and in exchange, he promised to donate to Planned Parenthood. Sims is an elected official, and it is outrageous for any political party, Republican or Democrat, to believe this kind of behavior is acceptable. In 2017, 11,140 babies were aborted in the city of Philadelphia. This particular Planned Parenthood not only performs the most abortions in PA, they have failed numerous health inspections and violated many safety standards.The city needs prayer. We are grateful to the mother and her daughters, and many others with the organization Sidewalk Servants in Philadelphia, who have been praying for more lives to be saved in Philadelphia. As long as our country fails to protect the most vulnerable, Christians must be willing to boldly stand in the gap for the innocent and pray for life to be protected (Psalm 139:13-16). Mother Teresa said, “Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.”
Pray for the sidewalk advocates not only in Philadelphia but across the nation. Pray for God to give them increased boldness as they pray outside of abortion clinics and for God to turn women's’ hearts towards the Lord and to choose life.
Visit Sidewalk Advocates for Life’s website to see various locations across the country where people are gathering to pray for and counsel women who are considering abortion. We know prayer works because former abortion workers report that the no-show rate for abortion appointments can go as high as 75 percent when there is someone praying in front of an abortion facility.
California OKs New Sex-Ed Guidelines for Teachers Despite Objections from Parents, Protesters
The California Department of Education approved controversial sex education guidelines for public school teachers that encourage classroom discussions about gender identity and LGBT relationships, but removed five resources and books, including one that explains sex to students as young as kindergarten. LGBT advocates praised the new recommendations for giving attention to a community that is often left out of sex education policies. But some parents and conservative groups assailed the more than 700-page document as an assault on parental rights, claiming it exposes children to ideas about sexuality and gender that should be taught at home. read more
Planned Parenthood is already championing California’s change to their Sex-Education Guidelines. Cheri Greven with Planned Parenthood said, “These are conversations these students are having," Greven said. "So do we meet them with no information at all -- or do we meet them where they are at and give them medically accurate information that they can make the healthy decisions for their own lives?” Keep in mind these new guidelines are not for high schoolers; they start at the kindergarten level. Just two days after the new guidelines were adopted, more than 700 students in Rocklin California were kept home from school by their parents in protest. While progressive activists claim the new guidelines are intended to include lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans in history lessons, Informed Parents of Rocklin have a different belief. “We believe that anyone who has made a significant contribution to society should, of course, be included in our history textbooks,” Rachel Crutchfield, spokeswoman for Informed Parents of Rocklin had said earlier in the week. “However, the concept of sexual orientation is far too complex of a topic for elementary-aged children to be introduced to at school. …Let’s let kids be kids.” Children are entrusted to parents, and while the state may think they are primarily responsible, it is the parents who must lead (Proverbs 22:6, Psalm 127:3-5).
Pray for parents in California to have wisdom as they consider the state’s new sex-ed guidelines. Pray for parents to be informed, and to know what their children are being taught and to equip their children with Biblical truth. Pray for these guidelines to be unsuccessful in the implementation in California, and pray that other states would not adopt similar guidelines.
If you live in California, we encourage you to get involved with a great grassroots group called Informed Parents of California. They will help you learn about what curriculum your children are being taught in public schools and will provide you with opportunities to speak out. If you don’t live in California, please consider learning from Informed Parents of California and starting an informed group in your community to help keep track of sex-ed curriculum being taught to your children.
Vice President Pence to Graduates: Be Prepared to be Ridiculed for Being Christian
The last time Vice President Mike Pence spoke at Liberty University, he used the backdrop of one of the world’s largest Christian schools to vouch for candidate Donald Trump’s faith credentials during the 2016 campaign. When Pence returned to the school Saturday to deliver the commencement address, his remarks were more personal. Pence, who has been facing criticisms of his own religious views recently, warned graduates that they have to stay strong against the challenges they’ll get from Hollywood, the media and the secular left. “Some of the loudest voices for tolerance today have little tolerance for traditional Christian beliefs,” Pence said. “Be ready.” With his wife, Karen, sitting on stage as he spoke, Pence recounted the “harsh attacks” he said they endured when she returned this year to teaching art at a Christian elementary school where she’d worked when he’d served in Congress. read more
Vice President Pence warned the graduates, “Throughout most of American history, it's been pretty easy to call yourself Christian. It didn’t even occur to people that you might be shunned or ridiculed for defending the teachings of the Bible. But things are different now.” Pence is right. In popular culture today Christians are more frequently labeled as being hateful and intolerant of others beliefs instead of respected for their sincerely held religious beliefs. The sanctity of marriage, gender and life, as God established and defined, have all come under tremendous attack. President Pence’s charge to Liberty University students should serve as a sober reminder to all Christians in America that we must stand firm and bold in our Christian faith. According to a recent Barna Group study, even 50 percent of pastors are afraid of offending someone with their biblical beliefs by speaking on hot button issues. Proverbs 28:1 says, “the righteous are bold as lions,” and Joshua 1:9 commands us to be strong and courageous, promising that God is always with us and will never forsake us. This promise should encourage us to stand boldly for our faith in the public square and share God’s truth and love with others.
Pray for all the young Christian graduates across the nation to stand strong for the Lord in their faith. And pray for God to give you increased boldness to stand for his truth and principles in your community and sphere of influence.
Visit the My Faith Votes Worldview page for more information on Biblical principles as they relate to some of the hot button issues our society is facing today. Make sure you are informed and equipped to speak out in your community.
There is a Second ‘Asia Bibi’ On Death Row in Pakistan
Though Christian mother Asia Bibi has finally been allowed to leave Pakistan, there is another woman of faith who continues to fight her death sentence for allegedly “insulting Islam.” In a case heavily resembling Bibi’s, Shagufta Kauser and her husband Shafqat Emmanuel face death by hanging for violating the same archaic blasphemy laws that left Bibi languishing in jail for a decade. Not only is Bibi’s lawyer Saif-ul Malook representing the couple, but, staggeringly, they are being held in the same cell that Bibi called home during her long, torturous years on death row. Malook has continued to protest their innocence. read more
Asia Bibi may have finally exited Pakistan after years on death row, but the fight for justice is not over. Christians are Pakistan’s largest religious minority making up roughly 1.6 percent of the 210 million population. The highest number of blasphemy charges are filed against Christians because of their inferior status, their poor origins and their association with the West. Despite tensions surrounding the case, continued threats to his family, and their own religious differences, Malook is taking this case. He has been described as a “modern-day Good Samaritan” and an “example of how we can help each other regardless of differences in our religions or beliefs.” As Christians, we can learn from Malook’s actions. The Bible tells us that Christ died for every tribe, tongue and people (Revelation 5:9). Jesus commands us to love people (Mark 12:31), and religious differences aren’t any exception. But we can stand confident in our relationship with a unique God who is incomparable and allows no rivals (Exodus 15, Isaiah 40:12).
Pray for Shagufta Kauser and her husband Shafqat Emmanuel as they are faced with death. Pray for Malook as he continues to fight for their justice and that his eyes would be open to Jesus, the one true king. And pray for Christians in Pakistan to remain strong and bold in their faith, causing the Gospel to continue to spread.
Blasphemy laws make it difficult for all religious minorities in Pakistan. We encourage you to get informed and listen to this quick podcast by Christianity Today that details the realities Christians face in that part of the world.
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.