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CLARITY – 11-18-19 Like Father, Like Son

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 11-18-19

Like Father, Like Son

What’s Happening: “It’s hard to believe, but a five-year old boy ate a little powdered heroin at school that he brought from home (he said he got it off the coffee table) saying it made him feel like Spider Man. Authorities said they found over 200 bags in the home when they searched it with the mother’s permission. As the boy’s father was arrested, a bag of heroin fell from his pocket…Benny Garcia, the boy’s father, pled not guilty (https://www.yahoo.com/news/massachusetts-man-arrested-son-5-233157331.html). Quoting from the Associated Press article in yesterday’s USA Today, “Garcia will be held without bail until a court hearing on Wednesday. He was previously charged with drug possession in 2018.’” 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Duh?! I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

Biblical Response:  “True, but surely the kid is the innocent victim here. I mean, the Scripture doesn’t say to raise your child in the nurture and admonition of drugs (Eph. 6:4)! Parents have a holy trust from the Lord over their children. He will hold them accountable….whether our courts do or not. Children naturally follow the example of their parents. The window of this ‘blind following’ is narrow. Before long, teenage rebellion sets in and must be confronted (with firmness and compassion – 2 Tim. 2:24). Better to visit the woodshed early, than to visit the prison later.”

“Christians? We believe that our children are like arrows that we let fly into the future (Ps. 127:3-5). Since our legacy is dependent on them, we should make every effort to make sure they fly straight and true.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to think twice before we act…someone is watching and mimicking: 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.’  Copyright © 2019 Alan E. Sargent

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CLARITY – 11-16-19 Judges Judged

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 11-16-19

Judges Judged

What’s Happening: “In a statement released Tuesday, three judges were suspended from their places on Indiana’s courts. They ‘engaged in judicial misconduct by appearing in public in an intoxicated state and behaving in an injudicious manner and by becoming involved in a verbal altercation,’ a USA Today article quoted. Judges Bradley Jacobs, Andrew Adams, and Sabrina Bell were suspended in an altercation that left Jacobs and Andrews shot and hospitalized. The two perpetrators who were engaged by the Judges, Brandon Kaiser and Alfredo Vazquez, fled the scene but were ;later captured (https://www.yahoo.com/news/3-judges-drunkenly-fight-indiana-115911950.html) . The Indiana Supreme Court said in a statement, ‘”Respondents’ actions were not merely embarrassing on a personal level; they discredited the entire Indiana judiciary.’” 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Kind of makes you want to throw out all their DUI convictions, huh?”

Biblical Response:  “Yeah, talk about hypocrisy! I don’t know if they have kids, but it would be kind of hard to respect anything they would tell their children decrying the evils of drunkenness. Judges are supposed to be circumspect and above reproach. In fact, the Scriptures have much to say on the subject of judging (1 Cor. 6;1-11). The most oft-quoted scripture in the Bible is ‘judge not’ (from Matt. 7:1). Unfortunately, it’s quoted completely out of context, and is often brandished about as an indictment against judging. It’s not that we are told to not judge, but that those who judge are to be judged by the same standard they judge by. Personally, I think these judges, who are all being returned to the bench after their suspensions are up, have disqualified themselves from so serving…ever! You might think that is a little harsh…but maybe some respect would be returned to their profession.”

“Christians? Oh, we believe in judging, alright…just not by double standards. The scriptures above (1 Cor. 6:1-11) even talk about our judging of angels…surely we need God’s wisdom to do any judging, but especially that!”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to judge wisely…by Your standards…but to remember to grant mercy, too; 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.’  Copyright © 2019 Alan E. Sargent

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CLARITY – 11-15-19 The Drama Continues

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 11-15-19

The Drama Continues

What’s Happening: “Interim president of Bolivia, Jeanine Anez, recognized Juan Guaido of Venezuela as the legitimate president of Venezuela Thursday, shifting the balance of power away from socialist Maduro, Bolivia had been one of Venezuela’s staunchest allies and the shake-up fallout of Anez’s cabinet replacements is bound to send reverberations internationally. Her opponent Morales has fled the country fearing reprisals (https://www.yahoo.com/news/bolivia-interim-leader-recognises-guaido-174412075.html). ‘Above all, we will have to have faith in God,’ said newly-appointed Bolivian Defense Minister, Fernando Lopez Julio. Obviously, there has been a shift in governmental emphasis, too.” 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I mean, I feel sorry for the starving people of Venezuela, and I think I want to cheer for the changes in Bolivia…but what has that to do with me? ”

Biblical Response:  “Quite a bit, actually…but it’s complicated. I’ll try to explain. First, there’s an ideological war going on. It’s everywhere, globally, but the impact on you is most acute in this hemisphere. It is the struggle between capitalism and socialism. Who will rule the day?! In the U.S., Progressives in the Democrat Party (Sanders, Warren, AOC, and the like) say that the wealthy should pay for what the poor deserve (health care, education, etc.) and that evil corporations have no concern for global issues (like  Climate Change, human rights, etc.). If they are successful next November, they will begin to implement the changes they think will direct our nation down a more controlled and bright future. However, one has only to look at the starvation and chaos in socialist Venezuela to realize the agony we would be inflicting on ourselves.”

“Christians? We believe the only reason why Capitalism works (and Socialism does not) is that it makes the right assumption about mankind: Man is basically bad. Socialism makes the wrong assumption: Man is basically good. While we are not for Man’s greed or ambition….that’s why we have a consumer-driven economy…we do believe only God can change the human heart (Rom. 3:23,

;6:23; Rom. 5:8, 10:9-10). We must treat people the way they are, not the way we want them to be. A utopian society is not possible if ruled by selfish hearts.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us not to be so easily duped when someone nearby has already shown us the folly of their ways; 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.’  Copyright © 2019 Alan E. Sargent

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CLARITY – 11-14-19 Not as You Think of Swift

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 11-14-19

Not as You Think of Swift

What’s Happening: “If everything went according to plan (and there’s nothing to indicate anything went awry), Ray Jefferson Cromartie, 52, died of lethal injection last night at 7:00 p.m. EST, in Georgia’s Diagnostic and Classification Prison, 25 years after his conviction and sentencing for shooting a convenience store clerk in the head…twice…and killing him. Cromartie had entered the store to steal beer. The defense said it was never proven that Cromartie was actually the killer (https://www.yahoo.com/news/death-row-inmate-executed-hours-133406760.html). Quoting from the article in The Independent: ‘Cromartie was scheduled to be executed on 30 October, but proceedings were halted because an appeal was still pending before Georgia’s Supreme Court. On 1 November, the state secured a new execution order, setting it for Wednesday.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Which is worse, dying by lethal injection, or having to wait 25 years (!) for sentencing to be carried out?”

Biblical Response:  “Right…to answer that question, I’d have to know whether you were referring to the wait by the convict or the family of the victim. Doesn’t the Constitution promise swift justice? Yeah, the 6th Amendment does provide for a speedy trial but the U.S. Supreme Court has termed it ‘ambiguous’… ‘amorphous’… and ‘slippery.’ Whatever our Founders originally intended, I’m sure they would have been appalled at 25 years! Something more akin to Achan’s stoning (Josh. 7:1-26), but maybe not as quick as Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11 – they died in a matter of hours, not even days). Of course, the latter judgment was by God, and He already knows the truth of every situation (1 John 3:20).”

“Christians? We believe in complete justice, whether it’s swift or not (our estimation of time from a temporal perspective can be confused with an eternal – God’s – perspective).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to be in favor of truth (John 8:32)….and help us discover it sooner rather than eventually; 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 – 11-13-19 You Can Run, But…

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 11-13-19

You Can Run, But…

What’s Happening: “Venezuelan General Hugo Armando Carvajal, stripped of his rank by Maduro when he came out in favor of opposition leader and acting president  Juan Guaido last February, has mysteriously gone missing after an order for his extradition to the U.S. to stand trial on drug trafficking charges was approved last Friday. His path since he first left Venezuela for Dominican Republic by boat, has been kind of convoluted – First Dominican Republic…then Spain (where he was arrested in Spain and detained for five months while the first case for his extradition was being decided)…then released by a court order (when he won against his extradition)…finally gone missing (when he lost his extradition on appeal) – they went to his house and couldn’t find him (https://www.yahoo.com/news/venezuela-ex-intel-chief-missing-spain-ahead-us-094630755.html). He could serve from 10 years to life…if found guilty…if he gets extradited…if they ever find and re-arrest him.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Sounds pretty ‘iffy’ to me.”

Biblical Response:  “Yeah…probably they shouldn’t have released him until all the appeals were exhausted…but hindsight is 20/20. He might escape justice temporarily, but he’ll face the Ultimate Judge one day (Heb. 9:27). He may not be guilty of drug trafficking – he’s accused of helping the FARC rebels transport 5.6 tons of cocaine to the U.S. – still, as the old saying goes, ‘you can run, but you can’t hide.’ At least not indefinitely. Thankfully, final justice will be meted out…you hear that Maduro?”

“Christians? We believe in final justice…and we believe that this max 120 years (Gen. 6:3) is just a pittance compared with the eternity that awaits. All the more reason to be careful how we live our lives…and to trust ourselves to the redeeming blood of Jesus (1 John 2:2).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, if he’s not guilty, let him be found, tried and adjudicated so…if he is, may that be so adjudicated…here or there…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 – 11-12-19 Chariots and Horses

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 11-12-19

Chariots and Horses

What’s Happening: “They kind of don’t want it to leak, kind of do…and pray that it never really does. I’m talking about the ‘rumored’ second nuclear-capable sub, the Sinpo-C, of North Korea. A satellite photo revealed that the North Koreans had one, but this second one…with accelerated development after the Trump/Kim talks…is only hear-say and strategic leaks. It might be true…as a deterrent to the U.S. should talks fail…or it might be false…to keep their leverage with Trump up. And, in a sense, nobody wants a sub to spring a leak (https://www.yahoo.com/news/north-korean-threat-evolving-come-223000664.html).  Quoting an article that appeared in the National Interest on the 10th, ‘The nuclear weapons, and the rocket technology to deliver them, are extremely expensive investments by Pyongyang, and the Kim dynasty is unlikely to give them up entirely because they are seen as guarantors against a U.S. attack.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Yeah, but their nuke-sub fleet is puny beside ours”

Biblical Response:  “True…but then it only takes one hit…or the threat of it…to sway opinion.  Of course, that assumes we only attack by submarine…which is not a serious consideration. Biblically, we are not to trust in horses (or chariots – Ps. 20:7). Our President boasts of the strongest military on earth…and he’s probably right. But then again, we’ve aborted over 60 million babies since Roe v. Wade (1973). It is not good to give God a reason to not favor you.”

“Christians? The familiar part of the above verse is that we should not trust in chariots or horses, but the rest of the verse is worth quoting, too… ‘but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.’ (KJV)”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, while we want to be strong…we also want to be humble; 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 – 11-11-19 What Did They Think Was Going to Happen?

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 11-11-19

What Did They Think Was Going to Happen?

What’s Happening: “Another protester was shot by police in Hong Kong over the weekend. The victim could be seen on a Facebook post attacking an officer as he was collaring another protester. The protesters, who have been at it for five months protesting a proposed bill that would allow extradition to mainland China, were particularly agitated over the death of a protester who fell some time ago, but finally succumbed to his injuries Friday (https://www.yahoo.com/news/hong-kong-protester-appears-shot-020411886.html).  ‘I do not want to go into details, but I just want to make it very clear that we will spare no effort in finding ways and means that could end the violence in Hong Kong as soon as possible,’ leader of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam told reporters.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Any protests are useless and just a waste of time and lives.”

Biblical Response:  “You may be right…time alone will tell. However, I do remember a protest that began nearly 250 years ago against the greatest power of the day. That, too, ended in bloodshed and a ‘shot that was heard around the world’…and a new country that has become the envy of the world (I mean, I don’t see droves of people risking their lives to get into any other countries). What will be the outcome here? I don’t know. It’s a cinch more blood will be shed before it’s over. You give folks a taste of freedom and they usually want more. All that’s missing is a religious element (or the MSM is not reporting about it). One thing is for sure: ‘Freedom isn’t free…you’ve got to pay the price, you’ve got to sacrifice…for your liberty’ (a line from a song sung by ‘Up With People’). ”

“Christians? Do we believe in freedom? Absolutely…but we know it only comes with bloodshed (Rom. 5:9). Of course, I’m talking about spiritual freedom…but freedom in this world is akin to it (John 8:33-36).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help those who seek freedom to realize there is none without 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 – 11-9-19 Be Careful What You Export

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 11-9-19

Be Careful What You Export

What’s Happening: “Russell Travers, acting director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said that many countries view the U.S. as exporting white supremacy. In an article yesterday, it was stated that Racially Motivated Violent Extremism (RMVE – pronounced ‘remvee’) is a global movement that has killed many in non-coordinated mass terrorism – Anders Brevjik killed 77 in two attacks in Norway in 2011; Dylann Roof, an American white supremacist who killed African-Americans in South Carolina in 2015; and Brenton Tarrant who killed 51 in two attacks on mosques in New Zealand this past March, to name a few (https://www.yahoo.com/news/america-seen-as-exporter-of-white-supremacist-ideology-says-us-counterterrorism-official-232420985.html). ‘For almost two decades, the United States has pointed abroad at countries who are exporters of extreme Islamist ideology,’ said Travers. ‘We are now being seen as the exporter of white supremacist ideology. That’s a reality with which we are going to have to deal.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Who cares what people believe. Doesn’t everyone have the right to believe any way they want?”

Biblical Response:  “To respond to your first statement: the relatives of those killed care. To answer your question: sure, everyone has a right to believe how they like…as long as they don’t take violent means to express themselves. What really saddens me (apart from the indiscriminate loss of innocent lives), is that America is ‘exporting’ any message other than the Good News (Mk. 16:15-16). I believe this is our reason for our founding…for our ongoing existence. Should we cease to ‘export’ the Gospel, we will cease to exist…at least we will no longer be fulfilling our unique destiny. Some might argue that sincerity is the real test of truth, that all one really needs to do is sincerely believe ANY truth. 19 men who flew planes into buildings on September 11 thought that way. They were wrong…as 2,994 now cannot attest!”

“Christians? We’ve, like Don Francisco’s song says, ‘…got to tell somebody.’ We should be driven by a compulsion to share the Good News of God’s grace…in season and out (2 Tim. 4:2).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us, from the love we have so freely received, to feel compelled to give to others so great a message of hope; 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 – 11-8-19 It’s Not the First One You Should Fear

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 11-8-19

It’s Not the First One You Should Fear

What’s Happening: “Multiple rapist and convicted of the rape and murder of Stacey Stites, Texas death row inmate Rodney Reed is scheduled for death by lethal injection in a couple weeks. Several celebrities, a number of bi-partisan Texas lawmakers, and the Ambassador to the European Union have asked Governor Abbot for a reprieve. Some have accused former policeman and Stites’ fiance, Jimmy Fennell, of the crime (https://www.yahoo.com/news/celebrities-others-ask-texas-halt-211903059.html).  ‘All the evidence makes it plain as day that Rodney Reed is the killer and these fantastic 11th hour attempts to implicate Jimmy are the same song, 200th verse,” Bob Phillips, attorney for Fennell said.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “With a list of objectors like that, surely Gov. Abbot will reconsider.”

Biblical Response:  “Maybe. He has granted one reprieve since he took office in January of 2015. Still, the evidence is pretty strong for the crime that was committed 25 years ago. Much of Reed’s support is coming from people who just oppose the death penalty…and the justice and closure the Stites’ family seeks must also be taken into consideration. Besides, he was convicted by a jury of twelve, and sentenced to death. Is he innocent of Stites’ murder? I don’t know. Only God does. However, it’s not the first death that Rodney Reed should fear, rather it’s the second one (Matt. 10:28; Rev. 20:14).”

“Christians? Do we believe in the second death? Absolutely! And fear of it is MUCH greater than the fear of the first one (and should be). Will justice be served? Ultimately. We can trust God… even if we get it wrong.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to get it right, but trust in ultimate justice before we do our own penal system; 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 – 11-7-19 Snapshots

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 11-7-19

Snapshots

What’s Happening: “Arwin Rahi of The National Interest published a story yesterday about how the Taliban may now be the victor in the U.S.’s 19-year war in Afghanistan, citing the on-again/off-again talks between the insurgent Taliban and the U.S., which he views as parlaying with the enemy. He also cites the victories his people have had historically, first with the British and later with the Soviets…and he may not be wrong,,,at least in the short-term (https://news.yahoo.com/taliban-won-americas-nineteen-war-162600538.html). Quoting from the opinion piece, ‘Despite some important—albeit fragile—achievements, Afghanistan as a whole hasn’t benefited the way it should have from U.S. presence, owing to the collective incompetence and irresponsibility of the international community and the Afghans alike.’

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I thought we didn’t negotiate with terrorists…”

Biblical Response:  “We don’t, but in the Taliban’s case, it’s complicated. You have to separate the Taliban (which is now – allegedly – more of a political organization with a violent wing) from Al-Qaeda, those involved in the 9/11 attack. Like I said, it’s complicated. To give you a little recent history lesson, go to Wikipedia’s site (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_invasion_of_Afghanistan).

In any case, I think we all have a tendency to judge long-term issues myopically (in short-term measures). I call it ‘snapshot judgment.’ You know, you look at a group of people who smile at the camera for a picture…say: ‘cheese!’. It’s kind of like the pictures we hang over our mantel of our happy families…the visiting public has no knowledge of the family bickering or inbred competition that goes on elsewhere. When Joseph made his brothers swear to carry his bones to the Promised Land (Gen. 50:25), he was taking the correct longer view. The Taliban may look like the victor now (there was a time when the Brits, the Soviets, and the Americans did, too). But only God really knows what the score truly is.”

“Christians? We believe an eternal perspective is the only correct one. That’s why we look to the One Who declares the end from the beginning (Is. 46:10) for our direction. Any other perspective is just too short-term.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to see and judge from Your eternal perspective, not our own temporal one; 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.’