WEEKLY NEWS SUMMARY - MAY 18, 2022
In this week's Intersect, read about:
10 Killed, 3 Injured in Mass Shooting at Buffalo Supermarket
“On Sunday, 10 people were killed, and three others were wounded in a mass shooting at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket. Payton Gendron, an 18-year-old White male from Conklin, New York, was arrested after he carried out the shooting at Tops Friendly Markets in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Buffalo. According to the FBI, the shooting was described as a racially motivated hate crime. Gendron, who wore a bulletproof vest and carried an assault-style rifle, live-streamed the massacre in real-time on Twitch, a live streaming service platform, before surrendering to police. According to The Christian Post, among those killed in Saturday’s shooting were three professing Christians: 77-year-old Pearly Young, 86-year-old Ruth Whitfield and 67-year-old Heyward Patterson.” read more at Christian Headlines
The eighteen-year-old shooter posted a manifesto stating that he chose the location of his attack because it has strict gun laws and a large Black population, also saying, “The truth is my personal life and experiences are of no value.” A shooting also took place on Sunday at Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, California, where a Taiwanese church was meeting. Five were injured and one man, John Cheng was killed. Dr. Cheng, a physician and father of two, heroically attempted to disarm the gunman, which gave other parishioners time to restrain and tie him up. According to one undersheriff, “That group of churchgoers displayed what we believe is exceptional heroism and bravery in intervening to stop the suspect”. Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes stated, "This was a politically motivated hate incident, a grievance that this individual had between himself and the Taiwanese community…it is believed the suspect involved was upset about political tensions between China and Taiwan." Tragic violence like we saw over the weekend once again relays the result of devaluing life. Stopping rampage killings like these is something we all support, but many stop short of addressing the foundation of these senseless killings. Much of the focus will be on gun control, racism, and the role of certain ideas and social media in the radicalization of some people. While these are significant aspects of the issue, what we often don’t see addressed is the real value of life - all life, and the tragic result of allowing life [and murder] to be relegated to a choice depending on age and viability. We are morally confused if we cannot condemn these murders without also condemning the abortion that is legal in our country. When we devalue life, the consequences ripple throughout society. New York Governor Kathy Hochul commented, “It strikes us to our very hearts to know that there is such evil that lurks out there.” Jesus made it clear that evil doesn’t just lurk “out there”–evil acts start in the heart (Mark 7:20-23), and no human being is exempt. The evil in human hearts allows men to rationalize gunning down innocent human beings, and drives elected officials to legalize the murder of unborn human beings.
Heavenly Father, we are grieving for the tragic murders last weekend. We know instinctively that such acts are wrong, so we pray for a renewed value of human life. We also pray for many to turn to You for forgiveness and salvation through Jesus, who gives us a new heart to love You and our neighbors. We know several of those who were killed are our brothers and sisters in Christ, and we grieve for all their families and friends. Comfort them and help us to “weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:14)
While we cover top stories from a biblical worldview once a week, where can you find trusted news every day? The Epoch Times “has passed blind tests as “balanced and close to center.” My Faith Votes is partnering with The Epoch Times to give you an exclusive one-time offer. As a part of the My Faith Votes community, you can receive $22 off your first year’s full digital subscription after your $1 for the first month trial (offer valid for first-time subscribers only). Use promo code MFV and subscribe to The Epoch Times here.
26 million Americans Stopped Reading the Bible Regularly During COVID-19
“When researchers for the American Bible Society’s annual State of the Bible report saw this year’s survey statistics, they found it hard to believe the results. The data said roughly 26 million people had mostly or completely stopped reading the Bible in the last year. ‘We reviewed our calculations. We double-checked our math and ran the numbers again … and again,’ John Plake, lead researcher for the American Bible Society, wrote in the 2022 report. ‘What we discovered was startling, disheartening, and disruptive.’” read more at Christianity Today
The troubling report also pointed out that just 10 percent of Americans say they read the Bible every day. Only 39 percent say they read the Bible 3-5 times a year. It’s not for a lack of access as most Americans say they own at least 3 Bibles and technology has put Bibles at our fingertips wherever we are, for free, on our smartphones. The most common reason given for why people don’t read the Word of God is “I never seem to have enough time.” Yet data on phone users in the US shows that the average person spends around 5.4 hours a day on their device. When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment is, he answered in Matthew 22, “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind.” But how can you love Someone you do not know? Because we do not know our Bibles, we crumble at the most basic challenges to our worldview. The consequence of discarding God and His Word is that it leaves us at the mercy of the loudest public opinion rather than the secure foundation of absolute truth. Many leaders today have arrogantly tried to cut the truths of God’s Word out of the governing process. They think they can get to the right answer without believing in or acknowledging that there is an Author of truth. They want to create a society that relies on experiential, sensory perception driven by public opinion rather than God’s order, wisdom, and biblical discernment. Without discernment, people will get it wrong when it comes to valuing life, respecting God’s design for marriage and family, and understanding how to restrain evil and promote good. Public opinion pushers are on a quest to silence any voice that speaks truth to their illusion of situational ethics. This is why we see cancel culture, marches in favor of dismembering babies in the womb, and disjointed public policy that increases financial burdens on families, reduces the role of parents, and eliminates the voice of Christianity from public debates. There is only one foundation for absolute truth and that is the unfailing Word of God - and it NEVER returns void…but everything else does. We need to understand that biblical illiteracy is a discipleship issue. To be a disciple is to be a learner of Jesus. Since the Scriptures are the way Christians learn about God's revealed character, the gospel, and much more, there is no other way to grow in Christ than by engaging in personal and corporate Bible reading. And then we are to go and make more disciples.
Pray that God would open your eyes to the wonder of His Word and that it would produce genuine change in your life. Ask Him to allow the seeds from Scripture to bear real, noticeable fruit in tangible acts of sacrificial love for others. “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22). Thank Him for not leaving us in the dark about who He is and what He is doing in the world, but that He has revealed Himself and His will through the Bible, His sacred words to us.
How much time have you spent in God’s Word this week? It’s not too late to begin right now! Need help to go deeper in your knowledge and love of God? Want to help mentor a new believer in your life but don’t know where to start? These amazing and free resources can help guide you. Download and get started today.
Biden says Baby Formula Shortage to Ease in Weeks as U.S. Imports More
“The U.S. baby formula shortage should improve dramatically in coming weeks, President Joe Biden and top officials said on Friday as the administration scrambled to reverse a shortfall that hits lower-income Americans particularly hard. The United States is working with manufacturers to allow more importation of baby formula, Biden told reporters in the Rose Garden. ‘We’re going to be, in a matter of weeks or less, getting significantly more formula on shelves,’ he said.” read more at Reuters
What are some of the causes of this serious shortage? It appears to be a mixture of production problems, government regulations, and economic issues. In February, Abbott Nutrition, which is one of only a handful of baby formula producers in the U.S., was forced by the FDA to temporarily shut down one of its factories after four babies contracted bacterial infections and two died. So far, the FDA has not found enough evidence to determine whether the infection came from the production plant. The factory will be allowed to restart production in two weeks. This incident, plus supply chain issues and government regulations that have made it extremely difficult to import formula, are contributing to empty shelves at grocery stores. Business, regulations, and economics have a profound and hard-hitting effect on families and can be significantly impacted by whom we elect to office. Congresswoman Kat Cammack (R-FL) revealed that she had received photos from border patrol agents showing an abundance of baby formula for immigrants being held at the border. After traveling to the border, she posted on Facebook, “What I saw were multiple stocked warehouses filled with baby formula, diapers, wipes, and clothing, with a confirmation from Border Patrol that was more in route. Meanwhile, American families see empty shelves in stores across the country. This crisis is a direct consequence of Biden's FDA canceling 43% of Abbot's [Abbott Nutrition] baby formula production with no plan to backfill that market share.” What is being done about this crisis? The House of Representatives will consider a bill that gives the federal Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program emergency authority to relax some regulations to make it easier to obtain formula. At the private level, we see neighbors helping each other out. One pregnancy center in Michigan has been giving away formula to families in the community in addition to the mothers they serve. They providentially had a surplus of formula from donations during the pandemic. Others have been helped through friends and family on social media. Representative Beth Van Duyne (R-TX) created a website, DFW Baby Formula, where people can update a map when they find a grocery store that has a supply in stock. This can be an impactful opportunity to minister to families in need. It also exposes a flaw in our society. Albert Mohler notes that as America’s birth rate has decreased and our priority on getting married and having children has waned, “there's a shift of political momentum away from children and families.” That may be a reason we were so unprepared for this shortage.
Father, You are merciful and tender, and You see the situation many parents are facing. Please provide resources so they can feed their babies and enable Your church to shine as a light –helping those in need– so that many people would give glory to You. Help us to value our children as gifts from You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
While physical food is critical for the body, so is spiritual food for the soul. As 1 Peter 2 says, “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.” Is there a child in your life you could help learn more about Jesus? Here are some helpful tools to share the gospel with younger ages.
My Faith Votes Launches Massive ‘Write Now’ Postcard and Letter-Writing Campaign Ahead of Midterm Elections
“My Faith Votes has launched ‘Write Now’, a campaign to send handwritten letters and postcards to Christian voters encouraging them to participate in the 2022 midterm elections. My Faith Votes executed multiple Get Out the Vote campaigns at the state level in Virginia in 2021 and saw tremendous success –an unprecedented 57% increase in voter turnout. During the Senate runoff election in Georgia, My Faith Votes planned to send 500,000 postcards, but that number doubled to 1 million due to the overwhelming response from volunteers. Every election cycle, many Christians across America believe their vote won’t make a difference. In their frustration, millions choose to sit on the sidelines. This election season, My Faith Votes wants to see those Christians at the polls.” read more at My Faith Votes
Can a postcard really make an impact? Recently, we received an email from a woman who received a postcard from us in 2020 and expressed how it changed her life. You can watch our CEO, Jason Yates, talk about it in this short clip. I am convinced that we as a church need to be more involved in bringing godly principles to bear in the government realm. Churches often get skittish when people mention government, elections, or voting, but when we see elected leaders support policies that marginalize Christians, censor our faith, and push us out of our children’s education, we’re past the point of concern and action is needed. If Christians were voting like their virtues mattered, we might not see the government invading territory that God instructed His people to be relaying His virtues to. As Christians, we hold the key to restoring godliness. It is grounded in the foundational truths of scripture, not the public opinion of man. When we vote for leaders who will let Christian virtues be included in public policy discussions, we have the chance to relay what God has to say about how to live life, define success, conduct relationships, and steward our economy. Christians often seem so apprehensive about speaking up for what is right, but what we don’t realize is it can be as easy as voting in an election. This year, My Faith Votes has a goal to reach 3 million Christians who normally don’t vote. We want to see a great swell of Christians united in faith, bringing godly virtues to the 2022 midterm election this November. To accomplish this, we need you.
Lord, thank You for allowing us to be a part of Your plans. We pray that through a simple postcard or letter that is handwritten and prayed over, that more Christians would see the need to put their faith in action and vote. Thank You for all those who are volunteering to be a part of this unique campaign to impact the midterms. May lives be influenced for Your glory.
Ready to write? We walk you through the entire process and provide instructions, letter templates, postcards, and lists of names. Letters and postcards can be written individually or by families, Bible studies, small groups, and church congregations. Make a big impact in the 2022 midterms and start writing 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.