This is Toby Sumpter with your CrossPolitic Daily News Brief for Thursday, May 21, 2020.
Before we get into the News Brief, we are hosting our first annual Fight Laugh Feast Conference in Nashville October 1st through 3rd. Step out of the boring, benign Christian conference circuit, and step into the rowdy Christian world of engaging culture with your faith, standing firmly on God’s word. Most conferences will lull your faith to sleep and teach you how to be nice, all the while our culture needs a gospel that packs a punch that is full of fighting, laughing, and feasting. So please join us this October 1st through the 3rd as we build a rowdy Christian culture for God’s glory and our good.
Just one news story and then a bit of longer editorial, or devotional, or mini-sermon.
37 Planned Parenthoods Applied for & Received Federal Stimulus Checks
Thirty-seven Planned Parenthood affiliates applied for and received a total of $80 million in loans from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” has learned — and now the federal government wants the money back, saying the affiliates should have known they weren’t eligible for the coronavirus stimulus payouts.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is reaching out to each involved Planned Parenthood affiliate explaining that affiliates of larger organizations with more than 500 employees aren’t eligible for PPP distributions, Fox News is told. The Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PFFA) alone has had more than 600 employees.
A Planned Parenthood affiliate in Metropolitan Washington (PPMW), for example, will receive a letter stating that although self-certified that it was eligible for a $1,328,000 PPP loan in accordance with the SBA’s affiliation rules, it will need to return the money.
PPMW’s request for money from the Trump administration came just months after the affiliate’s president and CEO, Laura Meyers, promised to turn down federal funds.
“Planned Parenthood is never going to allow the Trump-Pence administration to bully us into withholding critical health information from our patients,” Meyers said last August, after the White House banned Planned Parenthood clinics from making abortion referrals if they wanted to continue receiving federal funds. At the time, Planned Parenthood vowed to give up federal funds entirely, rather than comply with the order.
The SBA warned more “severe penalties” were possible, beyond mandatory repayment. In particular, incorrect or false eligibility certifications by PPP recipients could result in criminal or civil sanctions if the SBA determined borrowers made knowingly false statements, the SBA letter read.
The letter explained that PPFA affiliates clearly were covered by the PPP affiliate rules. “PPFA’s bylaws, a version of which is publicly available, reveal that becoming a PPFA affiliate requires a certification by the PPFA board,” the document continued. “Once certified, “[e]ach Affiliate shall be governed by written bylaws, which conform to PPFA policies.”
The largest single government loan was a $7.5 million allotment to the Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties in California. One Planned Parenthood affiliate received a loan but declined it.
After this report was published, Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Josh Hawley, R-Mo., called for an investigation and said the money needed to be returned, warning that criminal prosecution may be appropriate. Rick Scott, R-Fla., and James Lankford, R-Okla., also demanded Planned Parenthood return the funds.
Despite these Shenanigans by America’s Largest Molech Machine, Christians should be at the forefront of discerning what God is up to in all of the Corona Catastrophe. In fact, given that we know that God is behind all of this, we ought to be looking for signs of “eucatasrophe” – a sudden turn of events that brings great good. It was JRR Tolkien, author of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, who coined the term “eucatastrophe” as a key to understanding history, the world, and many of the stories that are foundational to civilizations. While some complain that it is a cheap trick, a Deus Ex Machina – God from the machine, God out of nowhere solution to stories, the true sense of the word “eucatastrophe” recognizes that the unexpected, the unforeseen deliverance is actually woven into the story all along.
For example, in Lord of the Rings, the entire saga comes to its great climax with Frodo actually failing in his quest at the very last minute, and yet, at that moment, Gollum reappears, and does what we’ve suspected he might do for a great portion of the story, and all of his characteristics come together in their evil to actually counteract Frodo’s folly. Yet, we also see that perhaps Frodo’s greatest and most heroic act was actually his compassion on Gollum earlier in the story. And so the ring is destroyed and middle earth is saved.
The point is: if we serve the God who works all things according to the counsel of His own will, and all things includes coronaviruses cooked up corrupt labs, and if God also works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose, and if what wicked men mean for evil, God is able to overrule and mean for good, then we should be looking for the signs of all of that in our current moment. What has good meant for good in all of this?
This doesn’t mean we should not fight real injustice or push back against tyranny or apathy or real sickness. All of us have our duty to do, and then we watch how God weaves the stories together for good.
I’ve actually heard some wonderful stories of families seeing wonderful healing and restoration and salvation with dads and moms and children sent home for weeks. When you’ve read the final verses of the Old Testament, “He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers,” did you ever think God would do it with a vastly overblown virus scare? Did you ever think He would do it with incompetent governors and health officials? The Wall Street Journal had a mournful article over the weekend about how women have been hit harder with layoffs. You know we’ve been sounding the alarm about unemployment, and we should still sound that alarm. And yet, we are also free to point out that God has been sending wives and mothers home in a far more effective way than John MacArthur could have ever sent Beth Moore home. But even the men, who are called by God to work and provide for the families: many of them are thinking about this duty and what they are called to with far more care and diligence than ever before. They are realizing that they cannot put their trust in the false gods of the government. They are seeing weaknesses the globalization of everything – leaving them and their families vulnerable. We can rejoice in modern technology, and at the same time see potential weaknesses. And many men are taking steps to be better prepared, thinking more carefully about how to use their gifts and skills and how to acquire new ones, how to work harder, work smarter and so on.
And have you seen the reports and heard the rumblings of many parents, forced to homeschool for the first time in their lives, suddenly looking up and realizing that they can do this? God cancelled public schools. Those sick and twisted indoctrination centers got shut down by the foolish fears of their own high priests. Praise God. And what will the percentage of returning students and families be in the fall, among those schools that actually reopen? Hopefully the numbers are disheartening to the statists. Or the colleges: what manner of evil takes place on most American college campuses? From the sexual debauchery to the philosophical and ideological brainwashing, what a relief that those concentration camps got emptied.
Related, is the massive exposure of the hubris of our governmental elites. They think they are kings. They think they can make decrees and command us to close our businesses down. Apparently many of them are not even very familiar with the Constitution or Bill of Rights, or they think they are free to suspend those things if enough members of the media are whipped up into a lathered frenzy. And most of us are sitting here realizing that the corruption is way worse than we ever thought. In America, we don’t have kings, we have servants. We have representatives who serve us, the people and they are bound by the constitution of our nation and the various constitutions of our states. Suddenly, many Americans know the names of the Governors, representatives, mayors, and city council members. And suddenly, many of us have read our constitutions with a whole lot more care. This is wonderful. This is good news. Come November there may be a complete blood bath for statism and governmental overreach. And hopefully in the next year or two, many state legislators remind their governors that they serve at our pleasure. We do not have kings. We have civil servants.
And sure, many abortion clinics remained open, and some of them managed to illegally obtain federal stimulus money, but many other abortion clinics shut down. I suspect that the number of overall abortions fell during these months. I also suspect that we’re looking at a Covid baby boom in nine months. And isn’t it glorious that many of the pride parades have been cancelled? All of these things combine for the potential of a radical shift in the momentum of our nation. God is giving us all the fixings for a massive renewal of fruitfulness and life: fruitfulness in families, churches, business, states – the fruitfulness of real freedom. There is a great deal of devastation, but there is also a great opportunity.
Many of us pray regularly for Reformation and Revival in our land. But I don’t think we often consider what that would actually be like. It would be a massive upheaval. Real reformation and revival isn’t a momentary experience, it rearranged the whole landscape. It upends institutions and powers. Could this Corona Crisis God’s way of igniting something deep and lasting? I am not yet seeing signs of widespread reformation and revival and repentance, which we should continue praying for, but the very people who most adamantly believe in the so-called “science” of COVID 19 also believe in all that fruitless and suicidal insanity. God is allowing those people to get drunk on their own delusions. And rest of us have been given an opportunity to rethink a bunch of stuff that is really practical
And of course that is often the pattern with folly: fools fall into the pit they have dug. Schemers like Haman are hung on the gallows they had built for the righteous. And of course the greatest eucatastrophe of all: the death and resurrection of Jesus. The wicked Jewish leaders did their worst, and their worst actually accomplished the salvation of God.
So we are called to be faithful right where we are, to love our people, work hard, provide and protect those nearest to us, worship God faithfully every Lord’s day, and then watch our God do what does, working all things together for good for us.
This is Toby Sumpter with Crosspolitic News. You can find this and all of our shows at Crosspolitic.com or Fightlaughfeast.com or on our app, which you can download at your favorite app store, just search “Fight Laugh Feast”. Our app is the only way to get In the Bullpen with Mark Dewey. Support Rowdy Christian media, and become a Fight Laugh Feast Club Member, and for a limited time you can get your very own Fight Laugh Feast t-shirt and access to tons of content on Biblical Counseling, God and Government, End Times Eschatology (hint: we’re not in them), Pastors and Politics, Proverbs with Me, and our very own Worldview Shotgun Series. You also get $100 off your registration for our first annual Fight Laugh Feast Conference, where we hope to meet many of you in Nashville, TN October 1st through the 3rd. Go to fightlaughfeast.com to register now. Have a great day. https://flfnetwork.com/coming-soon/