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CLARITY – 3-30-19 Accountability Too Late

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-30-19

Accountability Too Late

What’s Happening: “In a last-ditch attempt at accountability, the Catholic diocese in South Carolina released a list of 42 priests (all but 11 have already died) Friday that have been credibly accused of sexually abusing children. Other lists have been previously released from dioceses in Pennsylvania, Texas, and Mississippi. The Catholic Church has released over 1,000 priests and others as part of a ‘house cleaning’ … but that number is in the U.S. alone. This latest list was only released as part of a class-action suit settlement reached in Charleston (https://www.yahoo.com/news/catholic-church-sc-names-priests-accused-sex-abuse-230433260.html).  ‘It is my fervent hope and prayer that publishing this list will help bring healing to the victims and their families who have been so grievously harmed by the betrayal of priests and church leadership,’ Bishop Robert Guglielmone wrote.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Wow! Over a thousand! What a tragedy!”

Biblical Response:  “Not to minimize the damage done to generations of the congregants, but what’s worse is it appears this was only done because it was forced. Aside from the natural tendency of the victims for silence, those that did know (or at least suspected) remained quiet, too. What happened to ‘when you see a brother overtaken in a fault’ (Gal. 6:1)? The church does not have to air its dirty laundry if it handles these things inside…EARLY.! It may also alleviate collateral damage.”

Christians? We believe in self-discipline and confession (hopefully the self-discipline eliminates the need for confession…or at least keeps the sin to impure thought, not allowing evil to mature to action)..”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, forgive the church for not dealing with the problem till it was forced…for installing the wrong men in the first place (1 Tim. 5:22); in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on 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 – 3-29-19 Fighting Unnecessary Battles

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-29-19

Fighting Unnecessary  Battles

What’s Happening: “Yesterday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was castigated for slashing the federal contribution her department makes to a Democrat ‘Sacred Cow:’ Special Olympics. She has no negative feelings toward the mentally challenged (she donated a portion of her salary to a division of Special Olympics last year), she was just trying to comply with a budget-cutting mandate and hit a Democrat nerve. Trump overrode her decision later and she happily complied (https://www.yahoo.com/news/betsy-devos-donates-salary-disability-201933549.html).  ‘We had to make some difficult decisions,’ DeVos said when questioned.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “But the disabled?! Why did she have to go after the disabled?”

Biblical Response:  “Obviously, she didn’t have her political-thinking-cap on. Cutting the budget is a good thing, but why attack an organization that is so near and dear to lots of people’s hearts? It’s a cinch with a divided Congress there will be plenty of battles…so why pick major battles over something so small (we’re only talking about ~$17.6 Million – that is less than 10% of the Special Olympics’ overall budget – over 90% of which is raised from private sources anyway)?”

Christians? We believe in maintaining peace where possible (Rom. 12:18; Heb. 12:14). But we also believe in paying our bills…which may include some belt-tightening (Rom. 13:8). It’s a matter of balance. It might be helpful to remember that our struggle is not with ‘flesh and blood’ (Eph. 6:12).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us not to make mountains out of molehills…and to see from others’ perspectives, too; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on 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 – 3-28-19 Putting Your Finger on the Scale

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-28-19

Putting Your Finger on the Scale

What’s Happening: “After Secretary of State Mike Pompeo interviewed former Chinese prison camp detainee (and Muslim minority) Mihrigil Tursun, he criticized Chinese treatment of religious minorities such as the Uighur ethnic group, one million of which are in Chinese camps (https://www.yahoo.com/news/china-slams-us-criticism-muslim-treatment-absurd-095417128.html). China hit back today calling these camps ‘vocational training centers.’ ‘We urge the US to respect the facts … and stop the malicious smearing and groundless accusations against the Chinese side,’ Chinese Foreign Minister Geng Shuang said.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I guess they don’t have freedom of religion over there.”

Biblical Response:  “No, they don’t. They want you to espouse the tenants of the State, Communism, or nothing…atheism is the only religion promulgated. Some have said that our Founders missed the boat in not making Christianity the state religion. The occupants of the Mayflower, having fled Europe for religious freedom, would have rightfully seen that as hypocrisy.  Leaving Christianity to fend for itself in the marketplace of ideas – not putting your proverbial ‘finger on the scale’…requires faith….which, I believe, is the point anyway.

Christians? We believe in the inherent superiority of Christianity (Jn. 8:32) It needs no help from government or man…or it’s not the truth. The First Amendment only guarantees a level playing field.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us not to take the easy way…and to apply the truth ‘written on our hearts’ (Rom. 2:15); in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on 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 – 3-27-19 “Come-Uppins”

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-27-19

“Come-Uppins”

What’s Happening: “Two bits of news (major to those concerned) came out yesterday that were surprises to almost all (and I’m not talking about the Mueller report of no collusion or the failure of Congress to override Trump’s veto of his National Emergency declaration – though these, too, were newsworthy in their own right). What I am talking about is Empire actor and singer, Jussie Smollett’s charges being mysteriously dropped and his record expunged and sealed (https://www.yahoo.com/news/prosecutors-drop-all-criminal-charges-against-jussie-smollett-his-attorneys-say-153000280.html), AND famed celebrity attorney, Michael Avenatti (think Stormy Daniels), being arrested on extortion and bank fraud charges (https://www.yahoo.com/news/avenatti-arrested-and-charged-with-extortion-embezzlement-bank-and-tax-fraud-193542807.html). If found guilty on all charges, Avenatti could get 97 years. Who knows what the truth is in either case? I guess that’s what courts and trials are for.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Isn’t a man innocent until proven guilty in this country?”

Biblical Response:  “That’s how it’s supposed to work. Of course, there’s also the court of public opinion…ask Trump, Kavanaugh, or Judge Roy Moore about that. Whether or not they are guilty, history is changed. Not forever (the Final Judge will do that), but enough to affect their lives here on earth.”

“Christians? Apart from a mandate to keep things in their proper perspective (Prov. 11:13; 20:19), we are also encouraged to wait for the truth (Gal. 6:9). The facts have a tendency to come out…eventually. As Shakespeare said (Merchant of Venice): ‘the truth will out’…or as the Scripture renders: ‘…be sure your sin will find you out.’(Num. 32:23).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to wait for final justice…we are thankful Your justice makes hell necessary, and Your mercy makes heaven possible; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on 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 – 3-26-19 Red Sky at Morning

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-26-19

Red Sky at Morning

What’s Happening: “When planes and troops from Russia landed at Caracas airport (Venezuela),  the U.S. saw it as a provocation, escalating the tensions that already exist between those who support Maduro (Cuba, Russia…and to a lesser extent, China) and those who support Juan Guaido (the OAS – Organization of American States – the U.S., and the rest of the western world – over 50 countries in all). Venezuela maintains the Russians are just there to service military equipment that some previous bilateral agreement purchased (https://www.yahoo.com/news/pompeo-urges-moscow-cease-unconstructive-behavior-venezuela-145013258.html). ‘The United States condemns Russia’s deployment of military aircraft and personnel to Caracas, which is another contradiction of both Nicolas Maduro’s and Russia’s calls for non-intervention in Venezuela and is a reckless escalation of the situation,’ said the State Department.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “This is just so much ‘sabre-rattling.’”’

Biblical Response:  “Maybe. I know Trump has said he is not taking the military option off the table. The Russians surely don’t want a war fought over a little two-bit dictatorship in a country on the other side of the world. Still, it would love to have a socialist puppet in our backyard…and they already have a lot invested in Cuba. With socialism on the Democrats’ playlist. I wouldn’t dismiss anything offhand. Hopefully, someone’s advising Trump to seek the diplomatic solution as recommended in scripture first (Luke 12:56-58). If not, there might be a lot of deaths in the future. I’m not saying: ‘better red, than dead,’ but diplomacy should be tried first.”

“Christians? The companion scripture in Matthew (16:3) reveals how we shouldn’t be surprised here, but how to solve the problem is from Luke  12:56-58…if a peaceful agreement is possible. It might not be.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, let those who negotiate these things act slowly and thoughtfully, not emotionally and reactionarily; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on 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 – 3-25-19 Talk About Transparency!

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-25-19

Talk About Transparency!

What’s Happening: “At least two things of newsworthy magnitude happened yesterday, both expected: 1) AG Rob Barr released his letter to Congress summarizing Mueller’s report and concluded no collusion and insufficient evidence for obstruction AND 2) the Democrats in Congress called for the total report to be made public (actually, that was a bipartisan call – Congress voted 423-0). The Republicans took a victory lap with calls for resignations and apologies; the Democrats said it wasn’t over – no surprise anywhere (https://www.cbsnews.com/live-news/mueller-report-trump-russia-investigation-william-barr-summary-latest-updates-today-2019-03-25/). ‘While this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,’ Mueller’s report said”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Now that the report is submitted, are we any farther along?’

Biblical Response:  “Well, at least that particular drain on the taxpayer’s dollars is shut…and it was a multimillion-dollar drain, taking 1 year, 10 months, and 6 days! As far as the controversy about the 2016 election is concerned, we have not gotten far: the Dems think Trump stole the election…the Repubs don’t (although nobody but the Kremlin denies there were two dozen Russians indicted for trying to influence the election). Is it over? HARDLY! Will it fade? Probably. When the media’s ratings start going down because the American public bores of finger-pointing, other more newsworthy events will push the ‘witch hunt’ aside…at least until the 2020 election.”

“Christians? True transparency should be expected. There is no such thing as things being done ‘in the closet.’ God is omnipresent (Ps. 139). He was in the closet all along (Matt. 10:27).”  

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, give us the grace to accept the truth…even if we don’t like what it is; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on 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 – 3-23-19 Facts are Facts

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-23-19

Facts are Facts

What’s Happening: “It’s finally over. Late yesterday USAG Barr notified Congress that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had submitted his final report and he was reviewing it. Although Trump’s vociferous opposition, the Democrats, called for the report’s immediate and public release, Trump has called the investigation repeatedly a ‘witch hunt.’ Even if the report does not give them what they seek, no doubt the spin-meisters will be at work trying to get the facts to line up with their narrative. Their success may well determine the outcome of the 2020 election…at least that is what they hope. The spin-meisters? They are on both sides (https://www.yahoo.com/news/the-political-battle-over-robert-muellers-report-is-just-beginning-232806437.html.  ‘As Donald Trump said, ‘Let it come out.’ ‘I call on the Trump administration to make special counsel Mueller’s full report public as soon as possible. No one, including the President, is above the law,’ said  Bernie Sanders.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I think he’s guilty!”

Biblical Response:  “As the old saying goes: ‘Opinions are like noses – everybody’s got one…’ Trump might be guilty…so might be the DNC, Christopher Steele, Hillary Clinton, etc. We won’t know definitively for some time. Although the temptation is to jump to conclusions according to your political bent, that temptation must be resisted (1 Pet. 5:8-9). The truth can set us free (John 8:32), but only if we are patient enough for the facts to lead where they will.”

“Christians? The question we must ask ourselves: Are we really prepared to enter the political fray with no preconceived conclusions? If not., then our opinions are worthless unless supported by facts…then, I guess they wouldn’t be opinions at all.”  

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, we need your help to demonstrate the necessary patience….we are just too invested in the conclusion; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on 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 – 3-22-19 Agreement is Irrelevant

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-22-19

Agreement is Irrelevant

What’s Happening: “The tweets just keep on coming! Yesterday, the President tweeted the following: ‘After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!’ This recognition during Netanyahu’s election campaign in Israel was seen by his opposition as an underhanded political stunt, but only affirms the reality that has existed since Israel claimed the Golan Heights in its 1967 War victory (https://www.yahoo.com/news/gift-netanyahu-trump-tweets-u-s-support-israel-annexing-golan-221952277.htmlIn). Quoting the article written in Yahoo News by Ben Manson, ‘Israel extended Israeli law over the Golan Heights in 1981, marking the lowest point in the history of U.S.-Israeli relations. Now American recognition of Israeli control over the same territory has become a touchstone of the closest relationship ever between leaders of the two countries.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I guess that means that Israel now has the power of agreement by the greatest military might in the world!”

Biblical Response:  “So? God’s greater might makes our agreement irrelevant. Think that is a bit presumptuous? Perhaps you haven’t read about God giving the Promised Land to Israel. (Ps. 47:4, et al). Or that He has the right to do so (Ps. 95:4). Remember, He is the Creator and Owner, we are only stewards. Does He give other people land? You bet (Deut. 2:2-12). He will defend their right, too. But today, we are talking about usurping Palestinians. Oh, think that Who is God is up for debate? Check out history…it hasn’t worked out well for those who differ with Him.”.

“Christians? We should be supporters of a move that recognizes an obvious truth.. Not so obvious? And whose fault would that be?”  

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to get and stay on the right side of history; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on 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 – 3-21-19 Good Idea vs. God Idea

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-21-19

Good Idea vs.God Idea

What’s Happening: “In an article by Yahoo News today, Elizabeth Warren, hopeful for the Democrat Presidential nomination in the 2020 election, (or ‘Pocahontas’ as President Trump mocks), introduced Universal Child Care  (UCC), a birth-to-kindergarten government-run system that promises healthier, less crime-prone adults…at ONLY $700 Billion in cost (over the first ten years)…all paid by increased taxes on the rich. She praised Scandinavian countries who use this system as a model, only costing from 7-12 dollars per day (https://www.yahoo.com/news/whos-minding-kids-warren-pushes-universal-child-care-090032595.html). The ‘rich’ has been defined by her as only those that make more than 50 million dollars annually and says that will generate 2.75 Trillion dollars (again, over the first 10 years).”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “What parent won’t go for that?!”

Biblical Response:  “Not many…at least she hopes (though I do not accuse her of this proposal for purely political reasons). Many married couples seeking a higher standard of living have opted for private and faith-based child care, but complain that increased costs may offset many of the gains made in having two incomes. Warren’s proposals seem to make that elusive goal within reach…but the cost may not be just economic. Scripture plainly says, ‘ Train up a child in the way he should go…’ (Prov. 22:6) and we are told not to seek great things (Jer. 45:5), that the pitfalls of the rich are many (Matt. 6:19).

“Christians? We see two potential problems: Allowing someone else to raise our kids (I’m all for delegation, but you cannot abdicate ultimate responsibility) AND Spending so much time chasing things that we miss the real ‘treasure’ (Matt. 6:20). I’ve yet to meet the parent who regretted hearing their child’s first word or congratulating their first step. I’m not saying that parents don’t often need help…that’s what extended family is for.”  

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to know the difference between a ‘good idea’ and a ‘God idea’ (Is. 55-8-9); in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on 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 – 3-20-19 Is Anybody Listening?

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-20-19

Is Anybody Listening?

What’s Happening: “Massive flooding in the Midwest causing several states to declare emergencies (https://www.yahoo.com/news/vice-president-mike-pence-visit-103643826.html), earthquakes in Indonesia, Mexico, Guatemala and elsewhere in 2018 and 2019 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_earthquakes_in_2019), volcanoes causing their usual damage (https://www.volcanodiscovery.com/volcano_news.html), to say nothing about other natural disasters of local significance (mudslides in China, tornadoes in Alabama, wildfires in California, drought in Africa, etc., ad nauseum). Most blame these on global warming (or the more popular term – especially in the winter: climate change), but the question is: What is God trying to say? Or, especially among atheists, ‘is anybody listening?’ If you pay attention to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, we only have twelve years to figure out what we are doing wrong.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “The sky is falling! The sky is falling! I mean, didn’t an unexpected  meteor just hit?”’”

Biblical Response:  “You and Chicken Little…but yes, one ‘just’ exploded over the Bering Sea about noon on December 18 – about a few meters in size – but with the force of 173 kilotons (about 10 times Hiroshima). It was only reported a couple of days ago because it went unnoticed  (https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-47607696). Fear and panic aside, the Lord might be trying to tell us something. The ‘what’ I’ll leave for the interpreters of those things, but that God still speaks through events is clear…though we may not be listening.”

“Christians? Oh, we believe in God speaking through events (Matt. 16:3-4). The real problem in listening comes from the din of our personal circumstances that competes for our attention. Shutting out that distracting cacophony is difficult, at best.”  

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to listen carefully to what you are trying to say…you gave us twice as many inputs for sound as outputs for a reason; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

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