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CLARITY – 3-20-18 Co-opting God’s Icons

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-20-18

 

Co-opting God’s Icon

 

What’s Happening:  “While Vice President Mike Pence visited the Savanna, Georgia, St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the predominant and expected green color was replaced by rainbows by protesters from the LGTBQ community. Trump and the Vice President have been vocal critics of the gay community (https://www.yahoo.com/news/lgbtq-activists-had-st-patrick-183626559.html). Quoting Yahoo News: ‘Some [protesters] shouted, “Savannah’s so gay,” while others held placards with messages like “Love is love” and “The devil went down to Georgia.” “

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  Isn’t the rainbow the chosen icon of the LGBTQ community?”

 

Biblical Response:  “Yeah, but they got it from God, first… and it was to send Man quite a different message.  The icon from the story in Gen. 9:13-17 was originally a sign of the covenant between God and Man….that He shall never destroy the earth by rain again. If you will remember, all the people he destroyed in Noah’s flood were killed for their sinfulness (Gen. 6:5-7). This included homosexuals…in fact, the only eight people He saved in the ark were  heterosexual (Gen. 6:18). Ironic, isn’t it?”

 

“Christians?  There are plenty of scriptures, Old and New Testament (Lev. 20:13; Rom. 1:26-27; etc.), condemning the gay lifestyle. Of course, that is not to license a failure to separate the sin from the sinner (Prov. 29:27). While we are to abhor the slavery their lifestyle engenders, we are to embrace them. Failure to do so has led many to think they are irreparably damaged. They are not.”

 

“Choosing a rainbow as an icon may seem inclusive and accepting to them, but borrowing God’s icon must come with God’s message: not that He will not destroy…but that He will not destroy with a flood. Romans 8:32 says that the end result of such lifestyles is death. Sure, there are many sins named in that passage, and all are worthy of judgment, but being gay is one of them. ”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, teach us that branding is fine, but with the brand comes all that the brand represented originally (it might make you think twice before wearing that cross necklace or speeding with a Christian bumper sticker); in  Jesus’ Name, amen.” © Alan E.Sargent

 

Share as you like; just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe to any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com/. He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

 

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CLARITY – 3-19-18 Tit for Tat

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-19-18

 

Tit for Tat

 

What’s Happening:  “The expulsion of 23 diplomats (read: unregistered intelligence officers) from the U.K. (for the poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal, his daughter Yulia, and Det. Sgt. Nick  Bailey – all still in the hospital) resulted in the expulsion of 23 British diplomats from Moscow by the Kremlin…and the closing of the British Council (dedicated to cultural relations between the two countries). (http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-43440992). It is believed that someone may unknowingly witnessed the poisoning event. Details of Skripal’s movements are being solicited. Neil Basu, Metro Police Assistant Commissioner, appealed, ‘We are learning more about Sergei and Yulia’s movements, but we need to be clearer around their exact movements on the morning of the incident.’”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “(yawn) This concerns me how?”

 

Biblical Response:  “I know that this may seem mundane…especially to the average American. I mean, the UK expels a few, Russia expels a few in retaliation…big deal…so what?” Right? Well, first it IS  a big deal if you are one of those diplomats or their families. And the British Council is trying to prepare young people for a post-Putin Russia. Still, it’s a small deal until you consider that these might be the precursors to war. Hopefully cooler heads will prevail. Is anybody else seeing an alignment of Russia, North Korea and Iran forming?”

 

“Christians?  Nobody in their right mind looks forward to war. However, we’d be foolish to think we were not in a struggle. We have to remind ourselves that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the ideologies that challenge the Lordship of Christ (see Eph. 6:12). How do you win that struggle? Long Term; missionaries. Short Term: prayer…and we may have to prepare to defend ourselves. ”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to show meekness (extending the olive branch of peace with one hand, while holding the club of war back in the other); in  Jesus’ Name, amen.” © Alan E.Sargent

 

Share as you like; just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe to any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com/. He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

 

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CLARITY – 3-17-18 With Great Power…

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-17-18

 

With Great Power…

 

What’s Happening:  “Andrew McCabe, 2nd in command at the FBI, was fired only hours before the deadline to receive his much-vaunted retirement by Attorney General Jeff Sessions – he was following the recommendations of the Inspector General. Accused of deliberately misleading questioners, many times under oath, the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) also recommended the action (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/03/17/former-fbi-deputy-director-andrew-mccabe-fired.html). ‘This attack on my credibility is one part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally, but to taint the FBI, law enforcement, and intelligence professionals more generally,’ McCabe said.”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “First James Comey (former FBI Director), then Andrew McCabe…what’s the FBI coming to?”

 

Biblical Response:  “Hopefully integrity and trustworthiness. I mean, everyone hates to see him and his family not receive his long-awaited pension…at the same time, had he been someone much less powerful, he’d have been gone long ago. You can’t not let him go (bad English – good sense). To quote an old equal- justice-under-the-law saying: ‘What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander’ or to quote the superheroes’ mantra: ‘With great power, comes great responsibility.’”

 

“Christians?  We are not unfamiliar with the requirements of power (Acts 1:8). The sword of justice swings both ways and the very laws we judge by become the laws we live by (Matt. 7:2). Thankfully, just as the Lord knows we are incapable of such integrity, He has made a provision for us (Rom. 5:8). Can’t we just be merciful to him? Yes, but that requires repentance first (Luke 13:3). ”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, we do pray for Andrew’s family…that you will make a provision for them in spite of their breadwinner’s behavior; in  Jesus’ Name, amen.” © Alan E.Sargent

 

Share as you like; just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe to any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com/. He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

 

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CLARITY – 3-16-18 A Navy Idea that Won’t Float

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-16-18

 

An Navy Idea that Won’t Float

 

What’s Happening:  “Can you imagine a Naval  chaplain being an atheist?! That’s what is being proposed…and there are many who oppose it: over 40 Representatives and over 20 Senators have written Gen. Mattis to say so. Jason Heap has tried to sue his way into the chaplain corps before (2015), but his alignment with several secular humanist organizations and several attorneys against him won out in the courts. Not to be discouraged, he is trying again (http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=WA18C27&f=WU18C10). Quoting from the letter to the Secretary of the Navy, Richard Spencer: ‘The Chaplain Corps serves religious needs, not philosophical preferences. Approving a secular-humanist chaplain would open the door to other applicants representing other philosophical worldviews. Over time, this situation would erode the distinct religious function of the Chaplain Corps.’”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “The minorities need to be represented, too.”

 

Biblical Response:  “Racism is about race, not about parity of philosophical preference. The presence of Naval psychologists should satisfy that. Chaplains are for the other 97% that believe in a God. Again, quoting from the above article: ‘The Department of Defense’s own guidelines also reinforce the uniquely religious purpose of the chaplain corps, defining ‘religious organization’ as ‘an entity that is organized and functions primarily to perform religious ministries to a non-military lay constituency’ and defining a religious ministry professional as ‘an individual endorsed to represent a religious organization and to conduct its religious observances or ceremonies.’”

 

“Christians?  We should support any effort that reserves pastoral religious duties to non-atheists. Only fools think there is no God (Ps. 14:1). It’s hard, in good conscience, to recommend a religious solution (and naval personnel and their families are faced daily with religious challenges) when you are non-religious…unless, of course, you are willing to admit that secular humanism is a religion…but that’s a discussion for a different day.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help the Secretary of the Navy and the Joint Chief of Staff see the senselessness of appointing an atheist chaplain; in  Jesus’ Name, amen.” © Alan E.Sargent

 

Share as you like; just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe to any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com/. He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

 

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CLARITY – 3-15-18 Expelled

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-15-18

 

Expelled

 

What’s Happening:  “If you’re a student and get expelled…well, it’s one thing…but if you’re a diplomat and get called an ‘undeclared intelligence officer’ living in a host country at their behest and you get expelled…well that’s quite another thing. It’s an affront to a denying Kremlin and a test of loyalty to everyone else. Was Russia really involved in using a nerve agent in Salisbury? Something put spy-swapped Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in critical condition (http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-43402506). British PM Theresa May said the use of a Russian-made nerve agent on UK soil amounted to an ‘unlawful use of force.’”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Wasn’t a detective investigating the attack also harmed?”

 

Biblical Response:  “Yes, Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey is in serious, but stable condition,  presumably from the same nerve agent that was used on the father-daughter pair…at least he was investigating the incident when he fell ill. I don’t want to call them guilty just based on accusation, but it it waddles and quacks like a duck… How will the U.S. respond? How should it respond? Even though the incident occurred on British soil (and their response should and will be more condemning), still our response (especially when concrete evidence becomes available…and it will…if it’s true) should be strong and supportive of our ally, the U.K. U.S, Ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, was.”

 

“Christians?  A) We are no strangers to expulsion. When you say or do anything unpopular you can expect that kind of treatment Acts 4:1-21). B) However, there is no excuse for taking the law into your own hands. You night not like what someone says or does, but it’s no cause for vengeance, the exclusive territory of God (Rom. 12:19; Heb. 10:30). By the way, for all you ‘snowflakes’ out there who think we now serve only a universally forgiving God, both those scriptures were in the ‘merciful’ New Testament.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to demonstrate wisdom, patience, and discretion…and, of course, we do pray for Sergei, Yulia and Nick; in  Jesus’ Name, amen.” © Alan E.Sargent

 

Share as you like; just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe to any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com/. He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

 

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CLARITY – 3-14-18 It Finally Caught Up

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-14-18

 

It Finally Caught Up

 

What’s Happening:  “At 76, Stephen Hawking, who just died, might have been the most famous and certainly the most brilliant person to have ever suffered from ALS. Also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease (for the famous ball player that may have died from the disease in 1941), most people diagnosed succumb within two or three years, making Hawking’s bout of over five decades extraordinary (https://www.yahoo.com/news/als-disease-stephen-hawking-defied-decades-070228204.html). Others who have died of ALS are ‘Sesame Street’ co-creator Jon Stone and playwright Sam Shepard (2017).”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Wasn’t Hawking a famous atheist?”

 

Biblical Response:  “Yes, but he is probably better known as a British physicist. His perspective of God is now a little more accurate, no doubt, though I’ll leave the judging up to God. He battled ALS bravely, living most of his life in a wheelchair and spoke through a keyboard. ALS, a neurological disease, never impaired his thinking much, though it’s a shame he didn’t arrive at a saving faith…at least as far as we know.”

 

“Christians?  If we’re not too careful, we can become too smart for our own good (which is not to put down intelligence or education). Some things cannot be explained logically…that’s where faith comes in (Heb. 11:6).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, give us the faith to believe the inexplicable and the mercy to empathize with the Hawking family; in  Jesus’ Name, amen.” © Alan E.Sargent

 

Share as you like; just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe to any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com/. He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

 

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CLARITY – 3-13-18 Few Things Are Permanent

 

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-13-18

 

Few Things Are Permanent

What’s Happening:  “Out with Tillerson, in with Pompeo…President Trump reportedly asked Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to step down, but not until he had CIA Director, now Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and team set for the upcoming talks with Kim Jong-un. Gina Haspel, the CIA Deputy, is to become the new Director of the CIA, the first woman ever to hold that position (https://www.yahoo.com/gma/trump-replaces-secretary-state-tillerson-cia-director-125003830–abc-news-topstories.html). Trump tweeted, ‘Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!’ I guess few things are permanent.

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “There’s a whole parade of folks leaving Trump’s cabinet…chaos!”

 

Biblical Response:  “Actually, Tillerson is only the second cabinet appointee to leave (Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price left in September over his use of taxpayer funded private jets), however there has been a lot of ‘palace intrigue’ over other White House staff (Priebus, Spicer, etc., out and Gen. Kelley, Sanders, etc., in). Whether for a break or posturing or for greater effectiveness, these departures underscore the transitory nature of political appointments.” .”

 

“Christians?  With most Youth Pastors eyeing higher pastoral positions to which  they can advance, we are not unfamiliar with the procedure of ‘getting the right team’ in place. Sometimes, moves are legitimate…sometimes to demonstrate power…but, sometimes to truly answer an increasing call. Still, everyone likes the stability of the predictable. Unfortunately, change is often necessary. Few things are truly permanent….maybe it’s better that way.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, while we love for everything always to remain comfortably the same, progress is impossible without change. Help us to be pliable and full of faith for the future; in  Jesus’ Name, amen.” © Alan E.Sargent

 

Share as you like; just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe to any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com/. He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

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CLARITY – 3-12-18 You Never Know

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-12-18

 

You Never Know

 

What’s Happening:  “It’s been almost a week, but the tragedy is still palpable: Tony-Award-winning actress (2015 – The King and I) Ruthie Ann Miles, pregnant, and her two children, 4 and 1 (in a stroller), were struck by a car going through an intersection (in Brooklyn, New York), against the light. Ruthie is in critical condition in a nearby hospital and her kids were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the car had had a seizure and wasn’t even aware of the accident (https://www.liftable.com/amandathomason/pregnant-tony-winning-actress-struck-car-age-4-daughter-age-1-toddler-dead/?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=patriotupdate&utm_campaign=weeklyam&utm_content=libertyalliance). You just never know.”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time!”

 

Biblical Response:  “True…I’m just thinking about a grieving father, a praying family. Tragedy is unpredictable. I’m sure Ruthie never dreamed she would be clinging to life or that her kids would  be in heaven today. We should all pray…and hold our kids a little closer.”

 

“Christians?  Sometimes we forget we live in a fallen world, subject to the life-taking forces of natural events. Sometimes, the unexpected happens. And sometimes, bad things happen to good people (Luke 13:4-5). This is not cause to doubt our faith or question a seemingly capricious God. He’s as upset about it as we are…He sure didn’t create things to go that way. Is He not then impotent? Nope. He was just serious when He gave Man dominion (Gen. 1:26). Thankfully, He took it back from the serpent Man had yielded it to by dying on the cross.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, while we pray for Ruthie and her family, we know (and rejoice) that her two children that died are now sitting on the Savior’s lap; in  Jesus’ Name, amen.” © Alan E.Sargent

 

Share as you like; just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe to any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com/. He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

 

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CLARITY – 3-10-18 Not Just Uncool but Dangerous

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-10-18

 

Not Just Uncool but Dangerous

 

What’s Happening:  “There was a lot at risk this week in Oakland, California (a declared ‘sanctuary state’): Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf’s reputation and personal freedom (she could even be arrested); President Trump’s and Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s reputation (they filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Federal Government against the state of California); the fate of felonious illegal immigrants (some of whom heeded the mayor’s warning that ICE was coming); not to mention the lives of the ICE officers and other law enforcement personnel who made the raids (https://www.yahoo.com/news/oakland-mayor-dings-trump-calls-031949115.html?.tsrc=jtc_news_index). ‘How dare you needlessly endanger the lives of our law enforcement officers to promote a radical open-borders agenda?’ AG Jeff Sessions said.”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “It’s like the time just before the Civil War, huh?”

 

Biblical Response:  “Hopefully, it’s only a battle of words and lawsuits…you know, States’ Rights vs. Federal Rights (which was the real reason behind the original American Civil War, 157 years ago…slavery was just an expression of that). We haven’t heard the end of this conflict, but we have postponed it for awhile…lawsuits are ponderously slow.”

 

“Christians?  Respect for authority is supposed to be a hallmark of the godly (1 Tim. 2:1-3). That is not to say righteous disobedience is forbidden…just that the risk of incarceration must be considered…as Daniel Boone once responded to a reporter’s question if he could give the secret to his never being lost, he said, ‘Be sure you’re right…then go ahead.’ I give the Mayor of Oakland the same advice (I’m not saying she’s right or wrong); just be willing to bare the consequences of your actions.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help all parties above to just breathe…surely, there is an accommodation that can be made that is both merciful and just; in  Jesus’ Name, amen.” © Alan E.Sargent

 

Share as you like; just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe to any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com/. He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

 

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CLARITY – 3-9-18 Throwing Around the “D” Word

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-9-18

 

Throwing Around the “D” Word

 

What’s Happening:  “‘Denuclearization’…such a big word for such a ‘little rocket man’…yet that, apparently, is what DPRK leader Kim Jong-un is saying in his offer to meet with South Korean leader Moon and President Trump (who has offered a May meeting). There is much to be gained by all: for the South, peace, and the possibility of re-unification…a long-held dream on the peninsula; for the U.S., a huge political win for Trump, validation for his ‘peace through strength’ posture…and his challenging rhetoric; for the North, an easing of sanctions…and more time for centrifuges to spin? (https://boingboing.net/2018/03/08/noko-denuke.html). ‘He pledged that North Korea will refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests,’ said South Korean spokesman  Chung Eui-yong. ‘President Trump would meet Kim Jong-un by May to achieve denuclearization.’”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Whew! We dodged a big bullet!”

 

Biblical Response:  “Not so fast. There’s always hope for diplomacy to be productive, but this has happened before (I’m thinking of Clinton’s efforts, etc….however, you can only kick the can so far down the road). As ‘Ronnie Ray-gun’ was fond of saying: ‘Trust, but verify.’ Maybe Kim is being an honest broker…still, I’d use this opportunity to remove all U.S. citizens and non-essential personnel (I’m thinking the families of servicemen not the soldiers themselves) from South Korea; either the peace talks will work and they’ll be no longer needed or war is inevitable and why expose more than necessary to harm?”

 

“Christians?  Oh we believe in peace…and we believe you should give peace a chance…but we’re not naive. The heart of man is wicked and not to be trusted (Rom. 3:23). Kim Jong-un may want the best for his people…or his petty ego might get the best of him (or he may not be right in what he thinks is best for his people). In any case, let us proceed with one eye open….and the button within reach.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, while we want peace, we don’t want it at any price. Give our leaders wisdom and discretion; in  Jesus’ Name, amen.” © Alan E.Sargent

 

Share as you like; just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe to any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com/. He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent