WEEKLY NEWS SUMMARY - SEPTEMBER 29, 2021
In this week's Intersect, read about:
House Passes $1 Billion for Israel’s Iron Dome System in Blowout Vote
“The House passed legislation overwhelmingly to provide $1 billion to Israel to restock its Iron Dome short-range missile defense system just days after Democrats removed the funding from a broad stopgap spending bill. The 420-9 vote saw only eight Democrats and one Republican vote “no,” and two Democrats vote “present.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said ahead of the vote that it would continue support under the U.S.-Israeli aid deal signed in 2016, which calls for $500 million in annual missile defense funding. “The funding being appropriated today simply continues and strengthens this support,” Pelosi said during the hour-long debate. ‘Passage of this bill reflects the great unity, in Congress on a bipartisan and bicameral basis, for Israel. Security assistance to Israel is vital because Israel security is an imperative for America’s security.’” read more at DefenseNews
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer indicated that the Senate will also pass the funding for Iron Dome. The representatives who voted against it stated various reasons. Thomas Massie (R, KY) disagreed with additional foreign aid while our country is deeply in debt. Several Democrats also expressed their support for Israel’s right to self-defense but disagreed with the price tag or the process. Others, such as Rashida Tlaib (D, MI) based her opposition on Human Rights Watch’s label of Israel as an “apartheid regime”--a claim disputed by many South Africans who lived through apartheid in their country. And Representative Ilhan Omar (D, MN) stated, “We continue to pay lip service to human rights, peace and a two-state solution. Yet we also continue to provide Israel with funding without addressing the underlying issue of the occupation.” From the Bible, we understand that Israel is not merely ‘occupying’ the land; it is rightfully theirs because God gave it to them. Not everyone agrees, however. The popular ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s recently decided to stop selling their products in areas they believe Israel is unlawfully occupying, like the West Bank. In response, the states of Arizona, Florida, New Jersey, and Texas have divested from the company. Israel wants peace; but others do not. In the eyes of some governments, peace is not possible until Israel is wiped off the map. Newly elected prime minister Naftali Bennett referenced this fact in his first address to the United Nations on Monday. “Israel is, quite literally, surrounded by Hezbollah, Shia militias, [Palestinian] Islamic Jihad, and Hamas…These terror groups seek to dominate the Middle East and spread radical Islam across the world. What do they all have in common? They all want to destroy my country, and they're all backed by Iran,” he stated. “Every member state in this building has a choice. It’s not a political choice but a moral one. It’s a choice between darkness and light.” While Israel is far from perfect, it is a stark contrast to the surrounding nations because of its values and worldview, which are not held by many of its neighbors. This is one reason why America, which was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, should support her.
Heavenly Father, we know that you desire for the nation of Israel to turn back to You and recognize Jesus as the “Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” (John 1:29) Many of them “have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.” (Romans 10:3) We pray that the dangers they face would cause them to recognize Your gracious hand of protection, and to seek and find You.
Where do the Republicans and Democrats stand on Israel? Read their party platforms to see their positions here.
Cyber Ninjas Releases Findings on Maricopa County Election Audit
“Cyber Ninjas has released its findings on Friday about the Maricopa County election audit of the 2020 General Election. While it confirmed that final results were similar to those certified from the county, including that President Joe Biden won the county, auditors said the report reveals other problems with the election, particularly when it comes to cybersecurity and integrity of the vote.” read more in AZ Family
Our Honorary Chairman, Mike Huckabee, puts the audit into perspective: “Friday, the findings were announced from the Arizona Senate audit of the 2020 Presidential vote in Maricopa County. The way it was reported reminded me of the classic movie ‘Rashomon,’ which invented the concept of completely different versions of the same story being told by different narrators. Conservative outlets focused on the many irregularities that the audit turned up, such as over 17,000 duplicate ballots, 23,344 mail-in ballots voted from people’s prior addresses, 2,382 in-person voters who’d moved out of the county outside the window of eligibility, and other issues. The total ballots that had something questionable about them was 57,734, far more than Biden’s 10,457-vote margin of victory in Arizona. Meanwhile, liberal outlets trumpeted the finding that the hand recount of ballots that were accepted in the county showed Biden did win, even picking up a few hundred more votes than originally reported. This wasn’t unexpected, since they were just recounting votes that had already been recounted (and I’ve noticed that whenever you do that, the Democrat total always increases for some reason.)” Both sides may have misunderstood what the audit intended to do and what it accomplished. The audit was not a recount to determine who won the presidential election in Maricopa County, Arizona—not directly. AZ State Senate President Karen Fann (R) made it clear what was at issue was election integrity, the integrity of the processes used in determining the results of that election and future elections. It was doing the preliminary process (which should have been done by election boards on November 3 and following) of assuring that when the votes in the 2020 election were tallied, the results would be accurate. What the audit did confirm was that there were serious anomalies of various kinds which should have rendered a significant number of those ballots invalid and that future elections need to make changes to prevent illegal and invalid ballots like these from being counted. Fann sent a letter Friday to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R), calling for further investigation. In response, he stated, “The Arizona Senate’s report that was released on Friday raises some serious questions regarding the 2020 election. Arizonans can be assured our office will conduct a thorough review of the information we receive.” You can read the audit reports here.
Lord, we pray there will be a higher level of integrity in all of our elections, and that breaches in the process will be corrected. We pray for the mechanics of voting to be carried out in fairness and without hindrance or unnecessary drama. “Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is His delight” (Proverbs 11:1). See also: Amos 5:24; Proverbs 21:3
Our CEO, Jason Yates, was a guest this week on the Truth and Liberty livecast. He discussed the Arizona audit as well as the need for Christians to live out the principles we talk about here every week: Pray. Think. Act. You can watch the replay here.
FBI Data Shows an Unprecedented Spike In Murders Nationwide in 2020
“The number of murders in the United States jumped by nearly 30% in 2020 compared with the previous year in the largest single-year increase ever recorded in the country, according to official FBI statistics released Monday. The data shows 21,570 homicides in the U.S. in 2020, which is a staggering 4,901 more than in 2019. The tally makes clear — in concrete terms — just how violent last year was. The overall violent crime rate, which includes murder, assault, robbery, and rape, inched up around 5%, while property crimes continued their long-running decline and dropped 8% from 2019. But the spike in murders jumps out in the FBI report because of the sheer scale of the change.” read more at NPR
It’s the largest spike since national records were instituted in 1960 and several cities such as Albuquerque, Des Moines, Memphis, and Milwaukee logged their highest homicide rate ever. Experts point to “various pandemic stresses; increased distrust between the police and the public after the murder of George Floyd, including a pullback by the police in response to criticism; and increased firearm carrying” as some of the main drivers. Murder is defined as “the unlawful, premeditated killing of one human being by another.” It is the legal term for the intentional killing of someone or the killing of someone as the result of disregard for their life. The Bible condemns murder repeatedly as a characteristic of a wicked society (Deuteronomy 5:17; Isaiah 1:21; Hosea 4:2; Matthew 5:21). As Christians, we know that there will be godlessness in the last days, as 2 Timothy 3 states. We also can clearly see that our culture celebrates death, not life. Last week, the House passed a bill (218-211 with only one Democrat joining all Republicans voting against it) that has been overlooked by much of the media since it has virtually no chance of advancing in the US Senate. However, its consequences are so disastrous for every American and its rhetoric is so deceptive that every Christ follower needs to know more about it. The euphemistically called “Women’s Health Protection Act” would not only codify Roe v. Wade, but it would also override all state law and force all states to legalize the killing of unborn babies in abortions without limits, up to birth. The legislation would get rid of laws that protect women and girls, too, including parental consent for minors and informed consent laws that ensure mothers receive basic facts about her unborn baby’s development before going through with an abortion. This legislation clearly draws a line in the sand between the Democrats and Republicans on the issue of life. For the party that once touted abortion as “safe and rare” in their platform (which was expunged in 2012) they now demand abortion be “anywhere, anytime” even though a 2021 Marist poll that found 65 percent of Americans support allowing states to enact restrictions on abortion. In Ezekiel 21, the Lord turns to his prophet with this surprising command: “As for you, son of man, groan; with breaking heart and bitter grief, groan before their eyes” (v. 6). Like Ezekiel, we are to share and model our Father’s compassion for our lost and broken culture. Every person we meet—whatever their position on abortion any other issue—is someone for whom Jesus died. If we don’t grieve for them, we can ask Him, “Lord, break my heart for what breaks yours.” Is your heart broken for those who do not know your Savior?
When the wicked seem to be winning and evil abounds, take time to read and pray through Psalm 10. It’s a journey through David’s depiction of the wicked, his prayer for God to intervene and ultimately, it ends with praise to the Lord and reassurance of His ultimate victory.
We’ve got a downloadable prayer guide with 9 ways to pray for a culture of life. Use it to pray unceasingly, think biblically, and take action to preserve the sanctity and dignity of all life.
Thousands of High School Students Across the Country Just Bowed Their Heads to Pray in Unison
“In groups large and small, with thoughts said aloud and others held close in silence, America’s students began Wednesday in prayer at the annual ‘See You at the Pole’ event. As noted by CBN News, this was the 21st year of the student-led event, which takes place around the world at school flagpoles in the morning before classes begin. This year’s theme came from the New Testament: Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. – James 4:10. At Croatan High School in North Carolina, about 25 students gathered to pray, according to the Carteret County News-Times. ‘There is just so much going on in our country and in our leaders. It’s so important that we pray for our country,’ freshman Faith Eilertson said. ‘The leaders need wisdom because they are facing so many situations.’” read more at The Western Journal
These students inspire us with their words and their example. Not only do they recognize our need to seek God in prayer, but they also recognize the effects of praying together– it enables them to demonstrate Christ’s love and connect with fellow students as they hear their prayers. This young generation of believers needs our prayer and support as they take the message of hope to their friends amidst the turmoil, confusion, and despair in our culture. As the apostle Paul told Timothy, his young mentee: “You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 2:1-3) Something that has often inspired me to be unashamed in my faith is hearing about persecuted Christians whose obedience comes at great cost. Last Saturday, roughly one thousand Christians participated in the second annual March for the Martyrs in Washington, D.C.. Gia Chacon, founder of the non-profit group For the Martyrs that organized the march, spoke: "We're marching for the over 340 million Christians around the world who suffer for the name of Jesus. We're marching for the people who lay down their lives every single day to go to church, to own a Bible. To even say that they believe in Jesus, in some countries, is illegal." She commended President Biden for being the first president to officially recognize the Armenian Genocide that occurred in 1915-1916 but urged for more protection for Christians being persecuted today. As we remember those being persecuted, let’s allow their faithfulness to inspire more boldness in us, just as Paul’s imprisonment spurred his fellow Christians on to share their faith without fear. (Philippians 1:14)
Father, when You call me to do something, help me to do as You instructed. It is my desire to serve You and to be obedient to do whatever that may be. Help me to hear Your voice and follow Your instruction. I believe, Lord, if Your people who are called by Your name would do just that, our world would be dramatically impacted. Make me a change agent. Thank you, Jesus. Sign up here to join our weekly prayer calls on Monday mornings and evenings.
We are partnering with our friend and actor Kirk Cameron as he conducts the American Campfire Revival Tour: A Night of Revival Under the Stars. Starting on October 3rd in Plymouth, Massachusetts, Kirk will be hosting a limited number of in-person events to “awaken and mobilize the church in America to set “brushfires of freedom” and revival in living rooms and backyards across this country.” Tickets are free but you must RSVP. And they are going fast!
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.