WEEKLY NEWS SUMMARY - OCTOBER 28, 2020
In this week's Intersect, read about:
Trump, Biden Present Dramatically Different Visions for America in Final Debate
President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden displayed sharp differences on coronavirus response, energy, immigration, and a host of other issues Thursday night during their second and final presidential debate. The event at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., was far more civil than the first debate, partially because the candidates’ microphones were muted when it wasn’t their turn to speak. The two candidates agreed on little. read more
Two prominent pastors made news this week for their public stances on how they will vote in the presidential election. Pastor John Piper stated, “I think it is a drastic mistake to think that the deadly influences of a leader come only through his policies and not also through his person,” Piper, founder of Desiring God, wrote on Thursday. “Flagrant boastfulness, vulgarity, immorality, and factiousness are not only self-incriminating; they are nation-corrupting.” Though he later clarified he is not voting for either Trump or Biden, Piper said he is “baffled” by the fact that “so many Christians seem to be sure that they are saving human lives and freedoms by treating as minimal the destructive effects of the spreading gangrene of high-profile, high-handed, culture-shaping sin.” He continued, “Christians communicate a falsehood to unbelievers (who are also baffled!) when we act as if policies and laws that protect life and freedom are more precious than being a certain kind of person. The church is paying dearly, and will continue to pay, for our communicating this falsehood year after year.” Piper’s blog post has elicited a wide range of responses from Christian and political leaders. Setting a very different tone, Dr. Albert Mohler stated, “We are tempted to separate personal character and political policies as if they can be cleanly divided, but character is policy and policy is character. Let me be as clear as I know possible: President Trump's behavior on Twitter and his divisive comments and sub-presidential behavior are an embarrassment to me. Constantly. His arrogance and ego and constant need for adulation drive me to distraction. But character is some strange combination of the personal, the principled, and the practical. Let me put it another way—I cannot accept the argument that a calm man who affirms the dismembering of babies in the womb has a superior character to a man who rants like Genghis Khan but acts to preserve that life.” Dr. Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has publicly stated he did not vote for Donald Trump in 2016. But for 2020, he says this: “In the protection of liberty, religious liberty is fundamental. President Trump has corrected many of the infringements on religious liberty caused by the policy mandates of previous administrations. He has made religious liberty an American priority at home and abroad. Under his administration, the Department of Justice and the Attorney General have defended religious liberty. President Trump even extended conscience protection to those whose worldviews are not explicitly religious...My convictions lead me to a very clear conclusion in this election. I hope and vote for the election of Donald Trump and the Republican ticket…” The time has come for us to make a choice when we fill out our ballot. But the selection of who we choose to lead our country is not the only thing on our ballot. Over 100,000 elections are taking place across the nation. Pray unceasingly over your votes and the elections, think biblically about the issues and learn how candidates line up against them and be confident when you cast your votes, knowing that ultimately, as John Quincy Adams stated, “Duty is ours, results are God’s.”
Join us on election eve, November 2, for a very special time of national prayer together. At 6:30 pm (Central), join us on the My Faith Votes Facebook page or our website to pray with us during our livestream. You will be joining Kirk Cameron, Mike Huckabee, Jason Yates, Pastor Jack Graham, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, Bishop Harry Jackson, and myself for a powerful time of corporate prayer and worship.
Have you voted? We have ballot guides and voter guides to help you learn about the candidates and referendums on your ballot in our Voting Assistance Center. Just enter your address and get all the information you need to make an informed vote on your specific ballot. Do you know where each party stands on the issues? Make sure you are aware by reading their party platforms. We break it down for you, for all parties, here.
Amy Coney Barrett Sworn in as Supreme Court Associate Justice at White House Ceremony
The United States Senate voted to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett as an associate justice to the Supreme Court Monday evening, approving President Donald Trump’s nominee a week before Election Day and securing likely conservative court dominance for years to come.
“This is a momentous day for America,” Trump said at a primetime swearing-in event on the South Lawn at the White House. Justice Clarence Thomas administered the Constitutional Oath to Barrett before a crowd of about 200. She will be able to participate in the court Tuesday after taking the judicial oath administered by Chief Justice John Roberts in a private ceremony at the court. Trump’s choice to fill the vacancy of the late liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg potentially opens a new era of rulings on abortion, and the Affordable Care Act. Democrats have been powerless to stop Trump’s third justice as Republicans set in motion her confirmation a month ago to reshape the judiciary. Monday’s vote for Barrett, 48, was the closest high court confirmation ever to a presidential election, and the first in modern times with no support from the minority party. read more
While Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer called Barrett’s confirmation “one of the darkest days in the 231-year history of the United States Senate,” the reality is that this is a very good day for every American who would prefer their laws to be made by elected representatives who are directly accountable to them, rather than by unelected judges who are not accountable to them. Joe Biden stated that, if elected, he would create a bipartisan committee to study a potential reform of the Supreme Court: "I will ask them to, over 180 days, come back to me with recommendations as to how to reform the court system because it's getting out of whack." This could include packing the Court--expanding the number of seats in order to appoint more liberal justices to gain a majority. Constitutionally, this is permitted, since the founders left the number of court seats up to the Senate. However, the obvious purpose for taking such measures is to be able to force preferred policies on the American people via unelected judges, something the Founding Fathers would have never agreed with. In Federalist 78, Alexander Hamilton believed that the judiciary was intended to be the weakest of the three branches of government, and that it could never endanger our general liberty, “So long as the judiciary remains truly distinct from both the legislature and the Executive. For I agree, that there is no liberty, if the power of judging be not separated from the legislative and executive powers.'” Our founders were wise to acknowledge the danger of sinful humans in power, and therefore the importance of separating governmental functions to prevent a single faction from taking over. The addition of a textualist like Amy Coney Barrett will hopefully help restore the Court to its proper constitutional boundaries. One of the first cases that Justice Barrett will face is related to abortion. The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to consider a major abortion case out of Mississippi on Friday. The case is significant, not only because of Justice Barrett, but also because it is widely considered to be a direct challenge to the precedent outlined in the Supreme Court’s landmark 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade.
Pray for wisdom, courage, and insight for Justice Barrett as she steps into her new role which carries much weight. Pray that the court will correctly rule according to the Constitution on the many important issues that will come before it in the weeks and months ahead.
Another system that Democrats have stated they are open to changing is how we elect our President. We encourage you to read this helpful article that explains the purpose of the
Trump, Netanyahu Hail Sudan Peace Deal as ‘Special’ and 'Dramatic Breakthrough'
President Donald Trump announced that Sudan and Israel have now normalized relations – the third in a series of Muslim countries making peace with Israel in what’s become known as the “Abraham Accords.” President Trump paved the way for the Sudan-Israel peace deal when he removed Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. "It's a very special deal. For much of recent history, the people of Sudan were ruled over by brutal Islamic dictatorships. It was the home of Osama Bin Laden – a place of terror, genocide and many of the tragedies. Today, a great people of Sudan are in charge and new democracy is taking root,” Trump said on Friday when the agreement was announced. Trump said the deal would unlock new trade, education and research opportunities. "For decades, Sudan has been at a state of war with Israel. They have been in a state of war and boycotted Israeli goods. There was no relationship whatsoever. Today's peace agreement will enhance Israel’s security and end Sudan’s long isolation from the world,” he added. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the deal as another “dramatic breakthrough" and referred to a decades-old declaration against peace with the Jewish state. “What a great change,” said Netanyahu. “In Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, they adopted in 1967 the ‘Three No's’ of the Arab League: no to peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel and no negotiations with Israel. But today, Khartoum is saying yes to peace with Israel, yes to the recognition of Israel and yes to normalization with Israel.” read more
President Trump now identifies as a non-denominational Christian. If he has indeed accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior, then Jesus’s words to his disciples also apply to him: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9) In addition to Sudan, President Trump says he expects the nation of Saudi Arabia to also be involved in some form of peace deal with Israel soon, and also mentioned that ‘really good progress” is being made with Armenia and Azerbaijan. He went on to suggest that even Iran may see improved relations with Israel. What is so significant about making peace with Israel? In Genesis 12:3, God calls Abraham to be the father of the Jewish nation, and expressly states: “I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse.” This promise is still in effect; therefore, if we want to be blessed, we should bless Israel! In 1948, America had a decision to make: whether to recognize the new nation of Israel. President Harry Truman, a long-time student of the Bible, decided to officially recognize Israel, against the advice of one of his most well-regarded advisors. In 2018, President Trump moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, recognizing it as the capital of Israel. The Bible says that one day Israel will recognize Jesus as their Messiah, and when He returns, He will rule the nations from His throne in Jerusalem.
Pray for the protection of Israel and for continued peace between her and other countries. Pray also for the provisional government of Sudan, which is more tolerant towards Christians than their previous dictator. As always, pray that more people in both countries will hear the gospel and place their trust in Jesus.
In our current culture, the case to support Israel seems to have to be made over and over. Why is it so controversial to support the Jewish state to some? Stephen Harper, the 22nd Prime Minister of Canada, lays out several fundamental truths about America’s most critical ally in this insightful short video.
There Is No 'International Right to Abortion,' U.S. and 31 Other Countries Declare
The United States joined 31 other countries Thursday in signing a document emphasizing the equal rights of men and women and declaring there is “no international right to abortion.” The Geneva Consensus Declaration was co-sponsored by the U.S., Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Hungary, and Uganda and represents 1.6 billion people and every region of the world, supporters of the document said. It was signed during a joint virtual ceremony. “In no case should abortion be promoted as a method of family planning,” the document says. The declaration involves three primary issues: promotion of equal rights for women, opposition to abortion for family planning, and the recognition of the need for universal health coverage. “Under President Trump’s leadership, the United States has defended the dignity of human life everywhere and always,” Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo said in a statement. “He’s done it like no other President in history. We’ve also mounted an unprecedented defense of the unborn abroad.” The Geneva Consensus Declaration, Pompeo said, “protects women’s health, defends the unborn, and reiterates the vital importance of the family as the foundation of society.” read more
Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar explained the significance of the Geneva Consensus Declaration in pushing back against a horrible practice: “With increasing frequency, some rich nations and U.N. agencies beholden to them are wrongly asserting abortion as a universal human right,” he stated. “These efforts pressure countries to institute progressive abortion laws or risk losing global funding or standing in international fora. Tragically, women around the world unnecessarily suffer health challenges – all too often deadly health challenges – while too many wealthy nations and international institutions put a myopic focus on a radical agenda that is offensive to many cultures and derails agreement of women’s health priorities.” Foreign aid to third world countries with a high maternal mortality rate should provide help for both the mother and the baby, if we recognize the inherent sacredness of every human life. Sadly, the government of the Netherlands does not appear to believe in the sacredness of life. The Dutch Parliament is expected to soon pass legislation legalizing euthanasia for terminally-ill children between the ages of one and twelve, if their parents request it. Abortion has been legal in the Netherlands since 1984. This tragic slippery slope should serve to remind us that a political candidate’s belief about life inside the womb will also influence their decisions about life outside of it. Remember that as you go vote.
Praise God for the pro-life policies that have been enforced by the Trump Administration. Regarding the tragic direction of the Netherlands on life, please pray that Christians in and outside of government will actively speak up on behalf of life. God knows each one of us before we are even conceived (Jeremiah 1:5), and has a purpose for our lives, no matter how long or short. Pray that more Christians in America will stand for life in our culture and government as well.
Did you know we have an entire page on our website with several ways you can take action on the sanctity of life? Check it out 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.