WEEKLY NEWS SUMMARY - SEPTEMBER 13, 2023
In this week's Intersect, read about:
1 in 6 Churchgoers Have Had, Paid for or Encouraged an Abortion, Survey Finds
“One out of every six regular churchgoers in the United States has had, paid for or encouraged an abortion, while one-fifth doesn't believe the Bible identifies when life begins, a new study suggests.” read more at The Christian Post
- The numbers are sobering. As David Clossen points out from the data, “To put these percentages into perspective, consider the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), the nation’s largest Protestant denomination. In 2023, the total membership was 13.2 million. If we were to apply the 16% figure from the FRC and Lifeway surveys, approximately 2.1 million Southern Baptists have, at some point, actively participated in an abortion. In other words, we can conclude that millions of theologically conservative Christians have a personal history with abortion, even if they do not talk about it.”
- Although the popular assumption is that churchgoers are adamantly pro-life, the survey demonstrates that Christians are not monolithic in their views about abortion. In fact, a recent poll by researcher Ryan Burge revealed the shocking levels within denominations who disagree with this statement: “Make abortions illegal in all circumstances.” Unfortunately, those attitudes were reflected in 2022 ballot measure results. Voters approved ballot measures to establish state constitutional rights to abortion in California, Michigan, and Vermont. In Kansas and Kentucky, voters rejected ballot measures to state that nothing in their state constitutions creates a right to abortion or requires government funding of abortions. And in Montana, voters rejected a measure called the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act. For Christians, we can’t pray one way and vote another way.
- A positive takeaway from the survey showed “Roughly one-third of adults (31%) expressed a desire to hear about abortion at church more frequently.” Pastors, it’s time to speak up and speak out on a biblical view of the sanctity of life! Those who claim to follow Christ are clearly confused. The statement made by German essayist Kurt Tucholsky, “A country is not just what it does, it is also what it tolerates" echoes the truth of Solomon’s statement in Proverbs 14:34.
Pray for a spiritual and moral awakening in our churches. Pray for pastors and clergy to be bold and preach about the sin of abortion. Pray that churches would be equipped to counsel and bring gospel-centered support to those seeking an abortion and to those who are post-abortive in need of healing.
There is an issue on the ballot in Ohio this November that threatens all of us. It’s called Issue 1. Issue 1 is an extreme, virtually irreversible expansion of abortion that would outlaw commonsense restrictions — allowing abortion at any time, by any method, for any reason, while keeping parents in the dark by preventing parental notification. Why does it matter to you? Issue 1 is bigger than Ohio. Instead of trying to pass legislation legalizing unrestricted abortion, abortion zealots are trying to change state constitutions, rendering all laws regulating abortion unconstitutional. They’ve already done it in Michigan, California, and Vermont. And if they succeed in Ohio, they’ll be targeting your state next. You can help defeat it! Join the My Faith Votes Write Now Ohio campaign. We’re asking believers like you to send letters to OH voters, educating them on the issue and encouraging them to vote NO. Will you write at least 20 letters to Ohioans? After signing up here, you will receive a confirmation email that will provide you with everything you need and give you next steps. Thank you for standing for life!
New Mexico Governor’s Gun Ban Draws Bipartisan Backlash
“New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is facing harsh criticism from both sides of the aisle over her recently issued order suspending certain gun rights in Albuquerque and its surrounding county. Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, on Friday announced a 30-day ban on the right to carry open or concealed firearms in public in an effort to curb gun violence and illegal drug use in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County. State police were tasked with enforcing the order, which carried fines for violations.” read more at NBC News
- What did she say? After issuing multiple public health orders, Grisham spoke to reporters stating, “If there’s an emergency and I’ve declared an emergency…I can invoke additional powers. No constitutional right, in my view, including my oath, is intended to be absolute.” Under this legal theory, all our “rights” are essentially eliminated.
- Within hours of the announcement, a federal lawsuit to block the ban was filed, state lawmakers called for her impeachment, and even gun control activists rebuked her for violating the U.S. Constitution. New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez issued a letter saying, “Though I recognize my statutory obligation as New Mexico’s chief legal officer to defend state officials when they are sued in their official capacity, my duty to uphold and defend the constitutional rights of every citizen takes precedence,” Torrez’s letter stated. “Simply put, I do not believe that the Emergency Order will have any meaningful impact on public safety but, more importantly, I do not believe it passes constitutional muster.” And Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen announced Monday that his office would not be enforcing the order citing its alleged unconstitutionality.
- The governor acknowledged in her press conference that she doesn't expect the lawless to abide by her "executive order," but that didn't stop her from trying to impress her ideas for "peace" on the peaceable. "Kings" tend to do that (1 Samuel 8:10-17). The solution is not to take freedoms away from good men but to bring the gospel to all men and, as necessary, deal severely with those who refuse to be good men (1 Peter 2:14). The governor would do well to remember that sinners are not motivated to run from evil or respond to a ban on their instruments of destruction (Proverbs 1:16).
Did you know there was a prayer that saved the Constitution? Our friend, Pastor Robert Morgan, writes about that interesting part of our American history here. “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.” Psalm 127:1
I once heard it said, “The Constitution doesn’t need to be re-written; it needs to be re-read.” That’s a good call to action for each of us and for our elected officials. Take 2 minutes to send an email with our easy to use tool to your elected officials urging them to follow their oath and support the Constitution.
California Passes Bill Requiring Parents to Affirm Kids’ Gender ‘Transitions’
“The California State Assembly passed a bill Friday that would require judges in child custody cases to consider whether a parent has affirmed a child’s ‘gender transition’ by making ‘gender affirmation’ an equal part of a child’s ‘health, safety, and welfare’ under state law. Democratic lawmakers’ bill, AB 957, passed the Assembly by a vote of 57-16 along party lines. The California Senate passed the bill Wednesday, 30-9, also along party lines. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, is expected to sign the bill into law.” read more at the Daily Signal
- This bill is a direct assault on parental rights. While it would not require a court to side with the parent who affirms the child’s gender identity, it presents a threat that, if a parent is judged by a court to be inadequately supportive of their child or teenager's gender identity, then that can be used by the court to separate the parent from the child. Since it is likely to become law, the only recourse for parents is to challenge it in court.
- AB 957 places Christian parenthood alongside other actions that might result in a loss of parental rights, such as child abuse. It states, “the health, safety, and welfare of the child includes, among other comprehensive factors, a parent’s affirmation of the child’s gender identity or gender expression. Affirmation includes a range of actions and will be unique for each child, but in every case must promote the child’s overall health and well-being.” Our recent conversation with David Closson, Director of The Center for Biblical Worldview at Family Research Council, discussed how the Bible grounds our understanding of gender in our biology. To promote anyone’s “overall health and well-being,” we can’t affirm an identity that is inconsistent with reality. “Love…. rejoices with the truth.” (1 Corinthians 13:4,6)
- If a parent does not affirm their child’s gender identity, that parent is not promoting their child’s well-being in the eyes of this bill in California. A judge last week blocked a southern California school district’s policy that respected parental rights by requiring parents to be informed if their child requests to go by different pronouns or gender identity. California’s attack on parental rights is really an attack on God’s authority, since God entrusted children to their parents, not the state.
Sovereign Lord, we pray that those who are abusing their authority will repent and turn from opposing what is good instead of evil. Don’t let this law stand, Lord. Remind us to take refuge in You, for You are our fortress. For Christian parents who desire to raise their children according to Your word, give them strength, wisdom, and peace. In Jesus’ name, amen.
In addition to attacks on God’s authority in the law, children are being influenced by a humanistic worldview (which promotes LGBTQ ideology) in many schools. How do you know if your child’s school is promoting LGBTQ ideology, and to what extent? We’ve created a free assessment to help you diagnose how extensive the problem is and some tips to help you address the problems and strengthen your child’s mind against the propaganda. Download the school assessment here.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy Announces Formal Impeachment Inquiry Against President Biden
“House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday said House Republicans have ‘uncovered serious and credible allegations into President Biden's conduct’ that will serve as the basis of an impeachment inquiry. ‘Today, I am directing our House committees to open a formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden,’ McCarthy announced in a statement at the Capitol Tuesday. ‘This logical next step will give our committees the full power to gather all the facts and answers for the American public.’” read more at Fox News
- What exactly is an impeachment inquiry? An impeachment inquiry is an investigation that would potentially give the House additional legal leverage in obtaining documents and witness testimony. The investigation will be led by House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH), and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO). An impeachment inquiry doesn’t always end in an impeachment.
- What are the constitutional requirements for impeachment? Article II, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution states, “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
- Do any of those requirements potentially apply to President Biden? One of the allegations against the president is that an executive with Burisma, a Ukrainian energy firm, paid a $5 million bribe to Biden while he was vice president to affect U.S. policy to benefit the company. Last month, the House Oversight and Accountability Committee learned that while vice president, Biden used a pseudonym for email contacts forwarded to his son Hunter Biden and a business partner. Bank records during his vice presidency show the amount of money from foreign individuals and entities that poured into Biden family companies reached $20 million. Speaker McCarthy told reporters, “These are allegations of abuse of power, obstruction and corruption, and they want further investigation by the House of Representatives."
Now that a formal impeachment inquiry has launched, Christians must be informed and committed to faithfully praying for our nation during this process (1 Timothy 2:1-2). While the political and partisan noise continues to rise, will you join me in faithfully praying for our nation during this time?
This Sunday, September 17th is Constitution Day, an annual federal observance that recognizes the adoption of the United States Constitution. Take a moment to read through this remarkable document so you can know your rights and be a responsible citizen and voter.
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.