Posted on Leave a comment

CLARITY – 4-30-19 Free Will is Preferred

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 4-30-19

Free Will is Preferred

What’s Happening: “What administration officials may be saying is “It seemed like a good idea at the time.” I’m referring to publicly backing Juan Guiado instead of Maduro in Venezuela, thinking surely there would be regime change by now. And there is no doubt that hyperinflation and mass starvation, to say nothing of the mass exodus of over one million Venezuelans to neighboring countries, have taken their toll. But no one thought the support of Cuba, Russia, and China would encourage the military sufficiently for the government to last this long (https://nationalinterest.org/feature/washingtons-woeful-maduro-miscalculation-55007). Quoting from the above-linked article by Reuters’ Ted Carpenter: ‘An increasingly annoyed and uneasy U.S. government has tightened already onerous economic restrictions on Venezuela. U.S. officials appear worried that Guaido’s bid for power is faltering—a concern that is well-founded.’ It’s not that nation-building hasn’t been tried before – it’s just that it never turns out well.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Maybe we should take a hint and quit trying the impossible.”

Biblical Response:  “Or maybe realize it’s multi-generational…you see, God prefers Free Will. Sure, our Founders could have mandated capitalism and Christianity. England and much of Europe had tried that before. It just led to bloody wars. Mandated faith is not real faith at all (the Crusades, with its mass false-conversions of Muslims at the point of the sword, should have taught us that). In America, they decided that Freedom of Religion was to be preferred…that man would eventually choose Christianity from the basis of its inherent superiority. Sure, England tried to export democracy everywhere it went (and it worked in India – but not for several generations – India today is the world’s largest democracy). You have to be committed for the long haul, because God prefers Free Will (Josh. 24:15). Whether we can be committed for that long in Venezuela remains to be seen.”

“Christians? We believe in Free Will, Choosing foolishly has its negative consequences (Deut. 28:15-45) and choosing wisely its positive consequences (Deut. 28:1-14). Believe me, there’s a law at work (Gal. 6:7). Doing according to that law, however, requires patience.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to be willing to pay the costs of persistence and patience; 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

Posted on Leave a comment

CLARITY – 4-29-19 Bloody Hands

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 4-29-19

Bloody Hands

What’s Happening: “Although the President and Prime Minister of Sri Lanka both claim to have no prior knowledge of the suicide attacks Easter that killed more than 250, the Indian intelligence service say they gave weeks of warning. Indian police intercepted a National Towheed Jamaat communication, the heretofore unknown IS-linked terror group that launched the attack, with warnings detailing the plot to the Sri Lankan government…which went obviously unheeded (https://www.yahoo.com/news/indian-police-uncovered-plot-sri-lanka-didnt-act-131730238.html). ‘That is why the kind of detailing of the incident they received was very, very specific, They knew the group, they knew the targets, they knew the time, they knew the whereabouts of the suicide bombers, and all of this was communicated to the Sri Lankan government,’ said Ajai Sahni, executive director of the Institute for Conflict Management in New Delhi.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “What’s the use of having warnings, if you won’t heed them?!”

Biblical Response:  “Indeed, what is the use? Maybe the recent civil war there was a distraction. Still, that gives the current leadership little excuse. I predict a political shake up that will trace its roots to these unheeded warnings. Is there responsibility to heed credible warnings?Yes. Read what the Word has to say about it:

‘When I tell the wicked, you shall surely die; and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at your hand.’ (Ezek. 3:18)”

“Christians? We believe that warnings are not obligatory, but a grace gift. They are to be heeded, however. Maybe the above scripture has application for all Christians concerning the wrath that is to come…thankfully, Jesus took that wrath on the cross for me…how about you?”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, give our leaders the wisdom to heed credible warnings…and us the wisdom to select leaders with ears to hear; 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

Posted on Leave a comment

CLARITY – 4-27-19 Cleaning House

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 4-27-19

Cleaning House

What’s Happening: “The Archdiocese of New York released a list yesterday of 120 priests and  clerics (the list actually includes Bishops, high school teachers, a Scouting Chaplain, and a Cardinal) for sex abuse. The list only includes those whose abuses have been substantiated. Most of the abuses stem from acts in the ‘70s, ‘80s or early ‘90s. Some have resulted in civil suits and the church has paid out over 65 million dollars to over 350 individuals (https://www.yahoo.com/news/york-archdiocese-names-120-priests-accused-sex-abuse-230007592.html). I realize ‘the shame that has come upon our church due to the sexual abuse of minors’ and I ask for forgiveness ‘for the failings of those clergy’ who betrayed the trust invested in them to protect young people. ‘It is my heartfelt prayer that together we as a family of faith may be healed,’ Cardinal Timothy Dolan said.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “How embarrassing! Attendance was already down.”

Biblical Response:  “Yes…but I don’t know which is more shameful…the revelation that what some have suspected is really happening or sweeping it under the ecclesiastical rug for another generation! The Protestants, wisely, are being particularly quiet. I don’t imagine they have much room to throw stones (John 8:7). The scripture about laying hands too quickly also comes to mind (1 Tim. 5:22). Teachers (and essentially, that’s what all Christians are) have a special responsibility to live exemplary lives (James 3;1-2;  1 Pet. 5;3).”

“Christians? Since we believe in accountability, especially for leaders (Heb. 13:17), these abusers should be restricted from ministry. It’s kind of like asking a Christian former alcoholic to minister in bars – there might just be a little too much temptation. Some would even say: Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic. One could also state: once a sinner, always a sinner…hopefully, saved by grace.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to be ‘gentle, patient teachers of those who are wrong’ (2 Tim. 2:24); 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

Posted on Leave a comment

CLARITY – 4-26-19 Default Citizenship

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 4-26-19

Default Citizenship

What’s Happening: “Not only has Russia invaded the Crimea region of Ukraine, annexing it in 2014 (Eastern Ukraine is now in a war that has so far claimed 13, 000 lives), but it now offers to expedite claims for Russian citizenship rights for Crimeans. Although president-elect TV comedian Volodymyr Zelensky has called for international sanctions against Russia for its recent moves, Putin has offered to give fast-track process to applications for new passports, saying that applicants should not be restricted in their movements (https://www.yahoo.com/news/ukraine-anger-russia-eases-citizenship-rules-east-ukraine-165432712.html). ‘This is another clear confirmation for the world of Russia’s real role as an aggressor state, waging war against Ukraine,’ Zelensky’s press service said.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Big deal! Do you think Crimeans really care? They just want to go abroad for vacation.”

Biblical Response:  “Can’t blame them for wanting to be as far away as possible from the chaos and death. But citizenship does matter. The Crimeans may not care which country issues them a passport…but they should. Citizenship comes with an oath of allegiance. To swear their allegiance to an invading power means they are in favor of that invasion. Are they? There’s a lot that comes with citizenship.

It’s kind of like the enemy’s invasion of the church. Although the Church has been promised to prevail (Matt. 16:18), those invaded are free to switch sides (of course, it may prove they were the enemy’s citizens in the hearts all along). Folks that are invaded may not recall signing up for anything, but by NOT signing up, they signed up. That’s called default citizenship.”

“Christians? Oh, we believe in the concept of default citizenship. Just like your parentage can determine your citizenship, we were citizens of heaven under Adam and Eve…before the fall (Gen. 3). Now, since they’ve switched allegiances, so do we – by default – until we decide to become apart again of our original heritage by making Jesus the Lord of our lives (Phil. 3:20).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to realize in whose kingdom we are…and in Whose kingdom we should be. We certainly want to be on the winning side; 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

Posted on Leave a comment

CLARITY – 4-25-19 Mostly Dead

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 4-25-19

Mostly Dead

What’s Happening: “The state of Texas put to death convicted hate crime convict John William King, 44, by lethal injection yesterday for the gruesome dragging murder of James Byrd, Jr.  two decades ago. The Supreme Court refused to hear a last-minute appeal, making King’s capital punishment death the second one in that crime (Laurence Russell Brewer was also executed in 2011; Shawn Allen Berry received a life sentence). This heinous crime was punished by what some think is ‘cruel and unusual’ means. Texas is one of only 31 states that still have capital punishment, 19 have bans. The crime occurred in Jasper, a small town 140 miles NE of Houston   (https://www.yahoo.com/news/texas-executes-white-supremacist-convicted-002230118.html). ‘It’s a very, very sad time,’ said Clara Byrd Taylor, 71, sister of the victim. ‘You don’t feel any satisfaction in observing this but it is absolutely necessary to send a message: Hate crimes – especially this type of savagery – will not be tolerated in our society.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I’m sorry for their loss, but you don’t cure death with death.”

Biblical Response:  “I appreciate your bleeding heart, but that’s exactly how you cure it. Don’t make your argument with me…One mightier than I established that maxim long ago…or haven’t you heard, ‘Life for life, etc. (Deut. 19:21). You might argue that that was Old Testament. We serve a more merciful God now. Mercy to whom? How about those who try to live in a peaceable society? Besides, God killed Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5: 1-11) just for lying, and that was New Testament.”

“Christians? Oh, we believe in capital punishment. The commandment of ‘thou shalt not kill’ rendered in Hebrew is really ‘thou shalt not commit murder’ which is the shedding of innocent blood. King was hardly innocent. Miracle Max’s utterance of ‘mostly dead’ comes to mind.(from The Princess Bride – 1987 – 20th Century Fox). King will be granted another trial before the 2nd death is applied – (Rev. 20:12-15).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, while capital punishment may seem final and to be feared, help us to fear even more Your wrath; 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

Posted on Leave a comment

CLARITY – 4-24-19 Taking Advantage of Chaos

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 4-24-19

Taking Advantage of Chaos

What’s Happening: “It is disheartening to say that the death toll in Sri Lanka has risen to 359 (from 290 just a couple of days ago – BTW, CLARITY needs to make a correction in its 4/22 edition; there were 4 Americans killed, not 39), but rude and crass to learn that there are political forces wanting to take advantage of the lapse in security of the present regime, and the chaos that resulted, to promise a better way.  The FBI is due to arrive today to help in the investigation, but the current government is being criticized by Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the former president’s brother who led the army in the recent civil war (https://www.yahoo.com/news/easter-massacre-opens-door-strongman-210000402.html). ‘“If there was even the slightest thing, we chased them and arrested them and took action to prevent incidents,’ Rajapaksa said. ‘Without security, you lose everything. Is there reconciliation now? Is there freedom now?’…  It may be a stretch to think this terrorist attack was anything more than revenge for the mosque terrorism in New Zealand a few months ago.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I guess there’s always someone waiting in the wings to take advantage of someone else’s tragedy.”

Biblical Response:  “Sad, but true. The long-term solution to terrorism is more Christian  missionaries (Eph. 4:11-15). There will never be peace on earth until the Prince of Peace rules in the heart of every man.”

“Christians? Oh, we believe in peace (which is not the mere absence of conflict), but we believe this peace comes from lordship (Rom. 10:9-10). And, if He’s not Lord of all, He’s not Lord at all.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to be willing to go…or send others; 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

Posted on Leave a comment

CLARITY – 4-23-19 The Definition of Integrity

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 4-23-19

The Definition of Integrity

What’s Happening: “Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, announced yesterday the end of waivers granted to eight nation for continuing to buy Iranian oil. It was part of Trump’s ‘maximum pressure’ campaign following the U.S.’s decision to unilaterally pull out of the Iran Nuke Deal. Although the linked article is not written from a pro-Trump perspective it does mention Saudi Arabia’s pledge to increase its production to ameliorate any global oil shortage. Iran, for its part, has threatened to begin its ‘stopped’ nuclear program and close down the Strait of Hormuz (https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-aims-stop-iran-oil-193459113.html). ‘This decision is intended to bring Iran’s oil exports to zero, denying the regime its principal source of revenue,’ a  White House statement said.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Oh my! That means the price at the pump will probably go up,”

Biblical Response:  “Probably…even more than the usual summer driving-season bump…the price of doing what you said you were going to do. Which, by the way, is a good definition of integrity. Besides, no one respects what you say if you only threaten. Will it cost us at the pump (in our pockets)? Probably. So? To be unwilling as Americans to pay a small price for our nation’s integrity is…well, unpatriotic. I know there are some who believe we should still be in the Iran Nuke Deal, but we’ve decided to pull out…and that has real consequences for us to bear. At least terrorism will not be as well-funded. You may say getting out of the Iran Nuke Deal was Trump’s decision. True, but the last time I checked, he was still President…that is, unless you want to change the definition of integrity.”

“Christians? We believe in doing what we say (Num. 32:23). We also believe in being careful with our words (Prov. 13:3). It is only the integritous man that has the right to complain when he thinks integrity is being forfeit for self-interest. It may be painful, but we should silently bear the consequence.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us be willing to pay the price for our integrity…especially if it brings about a lessening of terrorism; 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

Posted on Leave a comment

CLARITY – 4-22-19 It Knows No Boundaries

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 4-22-19

It Knows No Boundaries

What’s Happening: “The death toll in a series of seven suicide bombings yesterday in Sri Lanka has reached 290 (injuring 500), the Associated Press reported. Since the bombings (which killed at least 39 Americans) occurred at churches and hotels, and happened on Easter, officials think that it was religiously motivated…and coordinated internationally. Seven members of the radical Muslim group, National Thowfeek Jamaath, were involved, but it was not known yet their motive  (https://www.yahoo.com/news/sri-lankan-officials-radical-domestic-122114907.html).  ‘We do not believe these attacks were carried out by a group of people who were confined to this country. There was an international network without which these attacks could not have succeeded.’ said Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I guess that’s one destination I can take off my bucket list.”

Biblical Response:  “I can’t imagine why anyone would have the tiny island nation of Sri Lanka on their bucket list, but I think Americans are generally targeted…the world over. Why? Maybe it’s jealousy…maybe it’s the attention it will get in the media…whatever. Fear knows no boundaries. Am I advocating a fatalist, ‘que sera, sera’ attitude? Hardly! And we should pray for those who lost loved ones (Rom.12:15). But wringing our hands in fear or anxiety is not the answer. That’s just what the terrorists want (1 John 4:18). Sure, we should be vigilant. And, where it makes sense, harden soft targets. But the main thing is not to get so ‘jacked-up’ when these things happen. After all, we all have an appointment with the end…and we are not going a moment before…or after.  If it were not so, He would have told us (Jn.14:2).”

“Christians? When tragedy strikes on Easter (Resurrection Day), we need to realize a religious message was being sent. It was wasted on us (or it should have been). We know where we are going, and regardless of the method we leave, we are received with open arms…the message of Easter should have told us that.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, while we know our destination is secure, we don’t need to go before our appointed time…nor do we need to be manipulated by fear; 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

Posted on Leave a comment

CLARITY – 4-20-19 Certainties

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 4-20-19

Certainties

What’s Happening: “It’s 24 years later for most of us, but for the families of those killed (168) or injured (680), it was like yesterday when Timothy McVeigh and co-conspirator Terry Nichols blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Before 9/11 happened, it was the deadliest terror attack in the U.S. (albeit domestic terrorism). Memorials were only local (https://www.reddit.com/r/Thunder/comments/bf0k35/alfred_p_murrah_bombing_memorial_remembrance/). Posted by u/homefree122, ‘I woke up and watched the local news hour, and of course it was covering the bombing memorial. But, sadly, when the national news came on, not a word was said about the Murrah Bombing.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “What a tragedy! Those folks were just going about their business!”

Biblical Response:  “I weep, too (Rom. 12:15). However, like I’ve said before, all tragedy is local. Sure, it makes a big contemporary splash, but those national ripples are pretty small when diminished by time.  The tragedies in Parkland, Columbine, Sandy Hook , the World Trade Center, terrorist activities the world over,.etc., were peopled by folks just ‘going about their business’, too. The uncertainties of life find most of us seeking the certainty of justice…and always feeling cheated, However, heaven and hell are probably the certainties we seek…whether we know it or not.”

“Christians? We believe, also as I’ve said before, justice makes hell necessary, mercy makes heaven possible. We look at this life and agree that there are two inevitable certainties: death and taxes, but beyond this life (the length of which pales by comparison) are certainties that are eternal realities: heaven and hell (ps. 139:8).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, may we take comfort from this truth, not fear; 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

Posted on Leave a comment

CLARITY – 4-19-19 Kinda Sorta

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 4-19-19

Kinda Sorta

What’s Happening: “How can two factions read the same thing and arrive at two completely different conclusions? Perspective…or should I say bias? Independent Counsel Bob Mueller’s report was released in its redacted form yesterday and the GOP and the Democrats couldn’t be further apart in their reactions. The Democrats want to investigate further; some calling for impeachment, others want to have Barr and later Mueller testify before Congress. The GOP says it fully exonerates the President. Trump tweeted ‘Game Over’ (https://www.yahoo.com/news/mueller-report-sets-fresh-battle-100030902.html). ‘The country also has a right to ask when are you going to legislate and not investigate? Is this oversight or overreach? asked Trump’s Special Assistant Kellyanne Conway.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Where’s the truth?”

Biblical Response:  “Probably somewhere in between. I mean, if only some of Trump’s aides had not done what Trump ordered in the heat of the moment, we might be looking at a Pence Presidency (which may be why the Democrats are a little hesitant to really pursue impeachment).”

“Christians? This is why we are cautioned to examine the ‘whole counsel of God’ (Acts 20:27). For instance, taking Titus 2:11 out of context might support universalism (that all are going to be saved).

`For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people.’ (Tit. 2:11)

What about that scripture in John 1?

‘But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name:’ (John 1:20)

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to be patient enough for the truth to emerge (‘Truth stands the test of time, lies are soon exposed.’ – Prov. 12:19); 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