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CLARITY – 10-31-19 Good Fear

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 10-31-19

Good Fear

It’s Happening: “While much of the western world is Trick-or-Treating, using good-natured ‘fear’ as its calling card, the U.K. (and France, the U.S., Russia, etc.) patrols the oceans with submarines that strike real fear in their nuclear missile threat to kill billions. This threat will be updated, the U.K. announced (it’s assumed the other nuclear powers are doing similarly), with subs launching in the 2030’s and programmed to last into the 2060’s (https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/royal-navy-may-not-be-most-dangerous-it-can-kill-billions-91846)). At any one time, there are 64 nuclear warheads under the sea…and that’s just from the U.K’s threat. Imagine how that number is exponentially multiplied by others.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Should I be doing duck-and-cover drills?”

Biblical Response:  “If that makes you feel better. Of course, that was only created to give the helpless 1960’s public school kids a naive sense of safety…as they huddled under desks with arms over their heads…as if desks and arms could provide any real protection against nuclear holocaust.! And that’s just physical protection. All this alert, alarm, and drill does nothing to shield anyone from spiritual death…the real threat to be feared:”

Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matt. 10:28 NASU)

 This ‘good fear’ hopefully will have some rethinking their ‘preparations.’”

“Christians? Generally, we do not favor fear (Matt. 6:34; Phil. 4:6; 1 John 4:18). However, when you consider how holy and great and powerful God is…and how puny comparatively we are…it only makes sense to take Matt. 10:28 to heart (printed above).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, give us the wisdom to not make threats emptily, but to make real preparations spiritually, 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:subdeo.com.’ 

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CLARITY – 10-30-19 Denied

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 10-30-19

Denied

It’s Happening: “Last Sunday, in a South Carolina Catholic Church, history was made…Vice President and 2020 Democrat Presidential hopeful Joe Biden was denied holy communion by a priest saying, any ‘public figure who advocates for abortion places himself or herself outside of Church teaching.’ Rev.Robert Morey, the priest of Saint Anthony Catholic Church in Florence refused to serve Vice President Biden because the Catholic Church is vehemently Pro-Life, and Biden, though his philosophy on the issue has been varied over the years (recently – in June – dropping his long-standing support of the Hyde Amendment which blocks government funding of abortions), he considers the issue a private one now (https://www.yahoo.com/news/catholic-priest-denies-joe-biden-144747433.html). ‘Sadly, this past Sunday, I had to refuse Holy Communion to Former Vice President Joe Biden,’ Morey was quoted. ‘Holy Communion signifies we are one with God, each other and the Church. Our actions should reflect that.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “So, I’m a Protestant…does that make any difference to me?”

Biblical Response:  “Maybe…maybe not. It really depends on God’s posture on the subject. Let’s see what He has to say:  ‘For the life of the flesh is in the blood…” (Lev. 17:11) Life at least begins at the circulation of the blood…some say at conception…  ‘I will give thanks unto thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…’ (Ps.139:14) ‘…thou didst form my inward parts: Thou didst cover me in my mother’s womb.’ (Ps 139:13)  Hmmm…seems obvious to me.

“Christians? We could have the argument as to whether Catholics or Protestants are Christians…that’s a subject for another blog. Still, there is no doubt that God seems to be for the life of the unborn…and certainly a priest has the right (some would correctly say the responsibility) to serve whom he will in Communion (1 Cor. 11:27-28). Of course, maybe Mr. Biden should not have presented himself for Communion.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, give us the courage of our convictions and to pay whatever price that may cost; 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:subdeo.com.’ 

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CLARITY – 10-29-19 Discretion IS the Better Part

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 10-29-19

Discretion IS the Better Part

It’s Happening: “Trump got booed at the World Series-Game IV (there were even some who chanted ‘lock him up’), Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer were livid, but there were no leaks…and no U.S. casualties in the secret raid that resulted in Baghdadi’s death. Forget that the electorate in Washington, the site of the game, voted 90% for Trump’s opponent (and the presence of swamp-fans is undeniable), having a successful mission against ISIS Founder (and subsequently killing  his right-hand man Monday) may be worth the criticism. Besides, as Trump, Jr. tweeted: ‘I’ll take boos from the leftist DC fan base and cheers from the great men and women of the United States Armed Forces any day of the week!’(https://www.pressherald.com/2019/10/28/donald-trump-jr-criticizes-leftist-baseball-fans-for-booing-his-father-at-the-world-series/). The only one in a deeper hole than Trump is the Washington Nationals themselves, as they are three losses to two wins with the Houston Astros’ 3-game winning streak.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Maybe he should have let the Democrat leaders know.”

Biblical Response:  “And maybe you’re right…but why take the chance? Or perhaps you don’t think Washington leaks enough already. The quote from Shakespeare (King Henry IV, Part 1, Act V, Scene 4): ‘Discretion is the better part of valour’ comes to mind. It sometimes takes more courage not to speak, even if it costs you criticism after the fact. Whom you tell anything, and when is crucial (Tit. 2:5-8).

“Christians? Oh, we believe in discretion. In fact, the Bible has much to say on the subject (Prov. 1:4; 2:11; 3:21; 5:2; 8:12; 11:22; etc.). Controlling your tongue is a pretty big deal (James 3:6).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to control our tongues and take criticism in stride…You did; 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:subdeo.com.’ 

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CLARITY – 10-28-19 More Like a Scorpion

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 10-28-19

More Like a Scorpion

It’s Happening: “Some have likened the killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as cutting off the head of the snake, as he was the founder and leader of ISIS (Islamic State in Syria and Iraq), also known as the caliphate. President Trump, as the Commander and Chief of U.S. forces, gave a press conference early Sunday morning announcing some of the details surrounding the raid that resulted in al-Baghadi’s death. Although the last territorial holdout of ISIS’ caliphate was defeated months ago, there are pockets of the Sunni terrorist fighters and some of their leaders in various places around the world. Baghdadi had been in hiding for nearly five years (https://q13fox.com/2019/10/27/president-trump-isis-leader-abu-bakr-al-baghdadi-is-dead/). Trump said, ‘He died like a dog. He died like a coward. The world is now a much safer place’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “At last, the end of ISIS!”

Biblical Response:  “Probably not…there are other pockets of jihadists, other terrorist leaders, al-Qaeda, other aligned terrorist organizations, etc. As long as there are ideologies that use terrorism, and particularly Islamic jihadism, as a method of forcing their will upon vulnerable groups, there will be a violent struggle to defeat them. As I’ve said before, there will never be peace on earth until the Prince of Peace rules in the heart of every man.

Eliminating a terrorist leader is, no doubt, helpful…at least psychologically, if not practically. Like today’s title hopefully communicates, the death of al-Baghdadi may be more like cutting off the head of a scorpion, as you still have to worry about the tail. Besides, his death might assuage the need for justice many feel (like the wife of journalist Foley, whose husband ISIS brutally – and publicly – murdered), but these efforts are still only playing the short game. The long game is revealed by the truth of Scripture (Eph.6:2: 2 Cor. 10:4).”  

“Christians? While we see the value that the temporary relief that winning the short game brings, we must not abandon the efforts of playing the long game and the eternal benefits that brings. It just takes more perseverance and patience.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to make progress in both arenas, the short-term and the long-term…and be careful to give You the glory for both; 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:subdeo.com.’ 

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CLARITY – 10-26-19 Friendship?

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 10-26-19

Friendship?

It’s Happening: “Filipino President Duterte, making his second trip to Moscow in less than a year, may be seeking a strategic relationship with Russia, in particular Vladimir Putin. He has bought Russian military hardware (specifically helicopters and kilo-class submarines), which has been a poke-in-the-eye to the U.S., ostensibly to protect its interests in the South China Sea, a bone of contention with China. To make a confusing alliance even more chaotic, let’s not forget the ideological relationship between the Russians and the Chinese…both ‘Communist’ countries  (https://nationalinterest.org/feature/new-realignment-between-russia-and-philippines-90901). The recently appointed by Moscow, Manilla Defense Attache was quoted as saying, ‘What we can assure you, if you are going to procure military equipment for us, we are going to give you brand new ones and not second hand’. This was a thinly-veiled poke at recent Philippine purchases from the U.S., which had purportedly used their allies as a dumping ground for old military hardware.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Why should I care who the Filipinos have as friends?”

Biblical Response:  “Because friendship implies certain strategic alliances…and they might not have America’s best interests at heart. Putin has a history of offering friendship with an angle. Talk about ‘quid pro quo’, it’s hard to say ‘no’ when the supplier of your military hardware makes certain demands on you. I have no idea what those demands might be, but you don’t load the gun of the guy who’s got it in your back. (Sure, the Filipinos might have elected the wrong guy, but they stuck with him for now…the Dems probably feel the same way aboutTrump.) The moral of the story is that friendship has consequences…not all of them positive (James 4:4).”  

“Christians? We know that friendship with a poisonous snake requires that certain precautions be taken…and that it rarely turns out harmless. That’s why choosing the short-term over the long-term seldom works out well (Matt. 6:19-21).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to choose our friends carefully…that way, we don’t always have to watch our backs; 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:subdeo.com.’ 

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CLARITY – 10-25-19 The Scoop on Area 51

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 10-25-19

The Scoop on Area 51

It’s Happening: “No less than CIA/NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden totally debunked all the conspiracy theories regarding aliens being held at Area 51 in Nevada when he broadcast  from Russia Wednesday via ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’ podcast. No doubt many conspiracy theorists were profoundly disappointed. Snowden, on the run since 2013, also said that we really did land on the moon, and that climate science is not a hoax (https://www.businessinsider.com/edward-snowden-no-evidence-in-cia-databases-that-aliens-exist-2019-10). ‘”Everybody wants to believe in conspiracy theories because it helps life make sense.’ said Snowden to Rogan. ‘It helps us believe that somebody is in control, that somebody is calling the shots.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Life still doesn’t make sense to me.””

Biblical Response:  “Or me, either…of course, I chalk that up to me not being God (there was a sign in the cafeteria where I taught Bible college that said: ‘There are two immutable facts in the universe: 1 – There is a God, and 2 – You are not He.’), me not knowing how the present fits into the future (God does – Is. 46:10), some things falling into the category of mystery (Eccl. 7:24), etc. Just because some things don’t seem to make sense could be due to Man’s limited (by time and space)  perspective. That there are no aliens is no surprise to me, but I don’t expect anyone to ever find evidence of former life anywhere in the universe, either…not just a testimony of evolution being a pipe dream, but also testifying to the specialness of the Earth.”  

“Christians? We, especially, should not be surprised when the truth matches up with what the Word of God teaches (and we should not spread the false rumors that many ‘conspiracy theories’ teach – Tit. 3:9).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to be grateful for our uniqueness, and not have to know all things…to trust Someone Who does; 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:subdeo.com.’ 

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CLARITY – 10-24-19 The Problem With Debt

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 10-24-19

The Problem With Debt

It’s Happening: “Yesterday was the seventh day of Chicago’s teacher strike and was marked by a march downtown of teachers and sympathetic protesters (20,000-30,000), and a speech by Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot. She has a plan to deal with the city’s $838 million budget shortfall…but it involves new debt, higher taxes,…and meeting few teachers’ demands. What Chicago is experiencing is no different than what the federal government faces with its own set of revenue woes as it nears $25 trillion in debt and more if you include unfunded liabilities (https://abc7chicago.com/education/teachers-strike-march-during-mayors-budget-address-classes-canceled-thursday/5640234/). ‘We’re teachers. We’re going to read your homework assignment. You turn in half a paper, then we’re not going to give you a complete grade for that. She is going to have to do enough for us to say this is fair and it’s a real change for our schools,’ Chicago Teachers’ Union President Jesse Sharkey said.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I’m sure glad I don’t live in Chicago!’”

Biblical Response:  “Yeah, but you do live in America. You may say it’s different nationally because the federal government just prints itself out of debt (they alone possess the power to print more money). That’s true, but they also must find someone to buy their debt. Here’s how it works: The U.S. Government advertises bonds they guarantee to pay, and then they sell those bonds generating revenue. This allegedly makes up the shortfall between projected IRS collections, Customs’ revenue, Tariffs, etc., and approved budget expenditures. Everything’s okay…until you take into consideration the old saying, ‘Who pays the piper, calls the tune’ (from ‘The Pied Piper of Hamlein’ – 1605). Although the American people buy most of the bonds, countries like Communist China buy some, too. Do you naively think their money comes without influence?

“Christians? Are we all debt-free? Hardly! However, we at least try to heed the Scripture (Rom. 13:8). And we do recognize that with debt comes the loss of freedom (Prov. 22:7). Are Christians even allowed to borrow? Yes, or there wouldn’t be scriptures on loaning in the Bible (2 Kings 4:7; Neh. 10:3; Ex. 2:14; etc.). It’s just that all borrowing comes with a price, except for those for whom Christ died. That debt is real though, and comes with a price, too (godly living), it’s just that it can never be repaid and there are dividends for attempting.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to live within our means, both personally and nationally, and to live like You are our Source; 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:subdeo.com.’ 

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CLARITY – 10-23-19 Not Unmourned or Unnoticed

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 10-23-19

Not Unmourned or Unnoticed

It’s Happening: “39 dead bodies, likely of Bulgarian descent, have been discovered in a truck in Essex, near London, police said today. The driver, a 25-year-old from Northern Ireland, has been arrested and is currently in custody. Although nothing is certain yet, it appears that the truck entered the U.K. through the town of Holyhead on a mission of human trafficking. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is being personally updated on the tragedy (https://www.yahoo.com/news/murder-investigation-launched-39-dead-bodies-found-semi-090748598–abc-news-topstories.html). ‘I’m appalled by this tragic incident in Essex,’ Johnson posted on Twitter, ‘I am receiving regular updates and the Home Office will work closely with Essex Police as we establish exactly what has happened. My thoughts are with all those who lost their lives and their loved ones.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I guess they have the same problems we do…only the dead are not Hispanics.’”

Biblical Response:  “Crime knows no boundaries. As long as there people willing to take the risk to escape their dire circumstances and people willing to profit nefariously from it, there will be repeated human trafficking…and occasional tragedies of horrific proportions. Although this crime will, no doubt, receive eventual justice…and be forgotten by all those except the families…this tragic circumstance and the individual lives lost will not go unmourned or unnoticed by God (Luke 13:4-5). And we should weep with those who weep (Rom. 12:15).

“Christians? Sure, we want to empathize with those who suffered loss, but we also should endeavor both to alleviate the desperation of the victims of human trafficking and bring to justice those who perpetrate such crimes (Is. 31:2).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to express empathy for the victim, but champion justice for the guilty; 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:subdeo.com.’ 

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CLARITY – 10-22-19 Slow, But Inevitable

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 10-22-19

Slow, But Inevitable

It’s Happening: “Out of sight…out of mind…at least for most of us, but WikiLeaks Founder, Julian Assange, held for the time being in Belmarsh Prison in England, will eventually have his day in court. He lost his appeal yesterday, however, for further delay, the ruling given by District Judge Vanessa Baraitser. His full hearing on extradition is scheduled for late February, though he will have brief appearances in court in November and December. He faces espionage charges in the U.S. stemming from allegedly scheming with then American Intelligence Officer Bradley Edward Manning to break the password of a government computer (https://www.foxnews.com/world/wikileaks-julian-assange-appears-in-court).   ‘Our case will be that this is a political attempt to signal to journalists the consequences of publishing information,’ said Mark Summers, Assange’s attorney. ‘It is legally unprecedented.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Everyone is entitled to their ‘day-in-court.’”

Biblical Response:  “They may be entitled…at least in the civilized West (not so, where some endure totalitarianism)…but that may…or may not…be good news. If he’s found guilty, he may join Manning who is currently in prison for his/her crimes. The courtroom of God may also be slow…I guess it depends on how long you live (Heb. 9:27. Of course, compared to eternity, it may come quickly. 

“Christians? Oh, we believe in final judgment (2 Pet. 2:9). For us, however, having our names written in the book of life, it is Good News (Phil. 4:3; Rev. 21:27). Oh sure, we are, no doubt guilty, but Someone (Jesus) has taken the punishment we deserve. He has become our substitute, our payment in full (Rom. 3:25; Heb. 2:17).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to patiently await judgment, not in fear and trembling, but confident in the power of His sacrifice; 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:subdeo.com.’ 

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CLARITY – 10-21-19 The Plans of Mice and Men

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 10-21-19

The Plans of Mice and Men

It’s Happening: “The next conflict will look a little different- at least if the U.S. Army and Marines have anything to say about it…that statement was made loud and clear by the sinking on July 12, 2018 of the USS Racine, a 522-foot long tank landing ship, in the waters north of Hawaii. Of course, it was a planned sinking – by land forces from Japan, Australia, and helicopters and drones and a Los Angeles-class submarine from the U.S., to prove that the upgrading of forces is sufficient to counter recent military moves by China (like the creation of island bases in the South China Sea) (https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/us-army-and-marines-have-plan-take-china-and-russias-navies-88996).  I didn’t list half of the forces that were involved – all this to avoid the famously quoted ‘Never get involved in a land war in Asia.’ (Miracle Max in the Princess Bride – 1987).”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I knew they had to have a plan,,”

Biblical Response:  “Yeah, but is it the right one? It is the Pentagon…so it must be, right? Being on the right side (God’s side), helps, too. How do I know it is God’s side? Well, it certainly was in WWII (the Nazi’s killing of 6 million Jews in concentration camps kind of assured us of ultimate victory…you don’t want to go against God). Of course, we made a few mistakes there, too… mistakes we’ll be paying for for a long time (but that’s another topic). 

We have exterminated well over 60 million innocent babies via abortion (which doesn’t bode well for us in the favor department), but atheistic Russia and China…hopefully…trumps that. In any case, whatever ‘plans’ we make, the Lord may have other plans. Besides it is not good to ‘trust in chariots and horses’ (Ps. 20:7). Sometimes “the best-laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley’ (Bobbie Burns’ poem – 1785 – meaning His plan might overrule).

“Christians? As the scripture from Proverbs says: “Man proposes, but God disposes.” (Prov. 19:21 LB). Maybe it’s time to pray.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to see and understand the long-term plans You have in light of the short-term plans we’ve made; 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:subdeo.com.’