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CLARITY – 1-31-20 The Value of a Witness

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-31-20

The Value of a Witness

What’s Happening: “In a stunning statement late last night, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-LA) wrote the trial manager’s ‘proved’ Trump had made an inappropriate call to the Ukrainian President, that no additional witnesses were needed, and that the President’s actions, while inappropriate, didn’t rise to the level of a high crime or misdemeanor and should not be removed for office…that what elections were for (https://www.yahoo.com/news/lamar-alexander-says-charges-against-trump-are-proved-but-will-vote-against-witnesses-041858313.html). Alexander wrote specifically: ‘It was inappropriate for the President to ask a foreign leader to investigate his political opponent and to withhold United States aid to encourage that investigation, But,’ he added, ‘the Constitution does not give the Senate the power to remove the president from office and ban him from this year’s ballot simply for actions that are inappropriate.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I think the whole thing was a sham from the get-go!”

Biblical Response:  “Beginning from BEFORE Trump’s inauguration, why would you think that (tongue placed firmly in my sarcastic cheek)? Seriously, I’m all in favor of additional witnesses (as if 17 in the House Impeachment hearing were not enough!), but even as Bolton’s leaked comments from his upcoming book reveal, there’s nothing we do not already know. We’ve known from the beginning that Trump speaks his mind (maybe that’s why his fans like him…he’s real), but the electorate didn’t have much of a choice in 2016. And maybe we needed a rabble-rouser to ‘drain the swamp.’ In any case, his improved economy and an all-time joblessness will probably overcome folks reluctance in 2020.”

 “Christians? We believe in witnesses. In fact, we believe that’s how truth is established (Matt. 18:19-20). Further, we believe God was not satisfied with the obligation of a witness to testify, That’s why He commissioned witnesses (Acts 1:8). He must have considered them important because they were the last words Jesus spoke on earth. Have you testified lately?” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to be willing to follow the Great Commission (Mk. 16:15-16) that the whole truth might be told; 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 © 2020 Alan E. Sargent

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CLARITY – 1-30-20 Mixed Agendas

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-30-20

Mixed Agendas

What’s Happening: “It’s nothing personal, the Iranian manufacturer, the top manufacturer of  flags in the country, may say…we make flags to burn…Israeli, British, American…we’re an equal opportunity burner, but flags are only symbolic. Of course, after Iran admitted to mistakenly shooting a passenger plane down killing all occupants, protesters avoided even walking on an American flag painted on the street…maybe they were saying by their actions, ‘but symbols are important’  (https://www.yahoo.com/news/iranian-factory-makes-u-israeli-020204211.html). Factory owner Ghasem Ghanjani, said: ‘We have no problem with the American and British people. The people of America and Israel know that we have no problem with them. If people burn the flags of these countries at different rallies, it is only to show their protest.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Maybe he doesn’t mean anything personal, but I take anyone burning my country’s flag personally!”

Biblical Response:  “And, as a red-blooded American,  you should. Still, it’s just so much posturing. There’s the agenda of the protesters, the agenda of the government who hired them, the agenda of the media who filmed them, etc.. Maybe too many agendas. Of course God had an agenda, too, when He chose a cross for a sacrifice place foe His son Jesus. It, too, is only a symbol (perhaps the most famous symbol in the world), but a well-chosen one. As the song ‘The Old Rugged Cross’ says, ‘a symbol of suffering and shame….’,”

“It was an appropriate enough symbol to be chosen to top millions of churches worldwide. And it is loved and hated worldwide, too. Some even hate what it represents enough to burn it, too… along with the structures it tops. However, persecution is unifying. And you can’t suppress a truth by lies (or as Jer. 6:14 says: ‘You can’t heal a wound by saying it’s not there! …’ [LB]). Symbols are important, but it’s the reality they represent that really makes the statement.”

 “Christians? We believe in symbols, but we are set free by the truth they represent (John 8:32). And the Holy Spirit was given to us, among other things, to help us discern between the mixed agendas everyone has (John 16:12-13).” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to ferret through everyone’s mixed agendas so the truth of symbols is not drowned out; 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 © 2020 Alan E. Sargent

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CLARITY – 1-29-20 It Happens

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-29-20

It Happens

What’s Happening: “Nobody is sure yet whether it was pilot error, a mechanical failure, or weather related (though with the fog, it was not the best of conditions), but the Sikorsky S76B bearing retired NBA star Kobe Bryant, his daughter, 13, and six other passengers crashed killing everyone. Apparently, they were on what should have been a routine trip from Orange County to Ventura. The fog had forced them to fly lower than instrument rules would have allowed, but they were on visual rules at the time of the crash. TAWS (Terrain Alert Warning System) was not apart of the otherwise updated craft, though the NTSB had recommended it after a 2004 crash (https://www.yahoo.com/news/kobe-bryants-ex-pilot-helicopter-215610208.html). Quoting from the USA TODAY article: ‘Zoey Tur, a veteran news helicopter pilot with more than 10,000 hours of flying time, said pilots of corporate helicopters, often seated directly with passengers, may be hesitant to admit they are lost or headed into a dicey situation. They may fear a celebrity passenger will ask not to fly with them again or [face getting an] FAA penalty.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Not a good day for Mister Bryant to be flying!”

Biblical Response:  “Probably an understatement…regardless of the ultimate cause. I think we forget sometimes just how tenuous life is. We wave goodbye to our spouse or kids without a thought to the reality that this may be our last time to see them this side of glory. Thankfully, life was not designed that way, but then there was the Fall (read Gen. 3). Also, thankfully, God doesn’t leave us necessarily only succumbing to the effects of our own stupidity. Romans 6:23 offers hope: ‘For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (KJV)”

“Also, the Bible talks about a restoration to what was intended before the Fall:

‘And the wolf will  dwell with the lamb, And the leopard will lie down with the young goat, And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a  little boy will lead them. Also the cow and the bear will graze, Their young will lie down together, And the lion will eat straw like the ox. The nursing child will play by the  hole of the cobra, And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den. They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.’ (Isaiah 11:6-9 NASU).”

 “Christians? We believe in the Fall and all its curses, but we also believe that is why Jesus came (‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.’ John 10:10 NASU)” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to not forget the fragility of life and to thank You for not leaving us in a futile state: 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 © 2020 Alan E. Sargent

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CLARITY – 1-28-20 Rule by Polls

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-28-20

Rule by Polls

What’s Happening: “The latest Fox News poll has the economy approved by most (56%), but a confusing 45% overall approval rating for Trump. How do you think the economy is okay, but think the President is not? It could be the areas where Trump is underwater (guns, immigration, foreign policy, health care, government spending, the environment, race relations and trade deals). Ruling by polls has proven chaotic and ever-changing…especially when the pollsters also have an agenda….and then there’s of the media…whose only loyalty seems to be profit (https://www.yahoo.com/news/fox-news-poll-trump-economy-113724981.html). Quoting from the Yahoo article: Republican pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson sees the glass half full: ‘The President’s job approval on the economy has consistently outpaced his overall job approval.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I’m confused…so how am I supposed to vote?”

Biblical Response:  “Many folks are equally confused. Maybe you (and they) need to learn how to think for yourself. The only thing consistent about polls is inconsistency. Then only thing right about polls is their snapshot accuracy. I use the word snapshot because it only accurately portrays reality at a moment in time…and life is a series of those, a video. The Scripture says, “Truth stands the test of time, lies are soon exposed (Prov. 12:19 LB). If your vote (and your opinion) are in as much a state of flux as those polls, you better hope you’re living in Oklahoma (there they say, ‘If you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute’). This may mean you are hopeful, but, resignedly, you believe life is inevitable…not the way life in America was intended. How did our Founders intend? They gave us the right to vote…they presumed an informed public, a free press, and a Christian consensus…maybe not too prescient. And, as with anything written just after (and with much influence from) the Enlightenment, the U. S. Constitution may need much further amendment.”

 “Christians? We are citizens of the Kingdom  of God first, not Americans first. This does not absolve us of our responsibility as Americans…the need to be informed and to vote…but all under the counsel of the Word of God (2 Tim. 3:16).” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to think for ourselves…read the polls, but take into account what the Word says, the context of the times, what the questions were, how they worded them, the margin of error, the agenda of the pollsters, etc. 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 © 2020 Alan E. Sargent

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CLARITY – 1-27-20 We’re All Infected

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-27-20

We’re All Infected

What’s Happening: “The coronavirus has stricken in the U.S. again! This 5th case, confirmed yesterday (and the Los Angeles County Health Department said the patient was receiving medical treatment), is the same virus that has killed 56 people in China so far (though there are 1,975 confirmed cases). The devastating aspect of this particular respiratory virus is the fact that it is contagious before symptoms appear. Its epicenter is Wuhan, China, and the city’s 11,000,000 population and its location in the center of the country doesn’t help (https://www.yahoo.com/news/third-us-coronavirus-case-confirmed-141650698.html). China Health Minister Ma Xiaowei was quoted as saying, ‘From observations, the virus is capable of transmission even during incubation periods’ of one to 14 days, ‘There are hidden carriers.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Should I be wearing a mask?”

Biblical Response:  “Probably not…unless you’ve been to Wuhan lately. Besides, you’ve already been infected by a disease with longer-lasting repercussions. This disease cannot be avoided and is always fatal. If you’re born, you have it. What am I talking about? Sin. It is universal and always fatal (Is. 53:6; Rom. 3:23), and though it’s symptoms may plague this world for some time, there is a cure (Rom.6:23). For those who do not apply the cure (John 7:3-8), the second death awaits (Rev. 2:11; 20:6, 21:8 – spiritual death – eternal separation from God). Does this mean we should not take proper physical precautions to guard against those infected with coronavirus, SARS, Azika or whatever? No. Guard against those…but regard sin as a greater infection. Its damage is far more devastating and universal…not to mention its longer-lasting repercussions.”

 “Christians? We believe in both kinds of ailments: those that affect the body…and those that affect the soul and spirit. Sometimes medical doctors can treat a physical problem and delay the inevitable, but there is one malady only healed by the Great Physician.” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to walk warily, seek help, and remember that medical doctors may treat, but only God heals; 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 © 2020 Alan E. Sargent

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CLARITY – 1-25-20 A House Divided

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-25-20

A House Divided

What’s Happening: “Perhaps the ‘universal’ Shi’a condemnation of Soleimani’s assassination-by-drone is not so universal. In an article posted yesterday, there seems to be a rift between Shi’a regarding his killing…some are in mourning…some are actually in celebration. While pro-Iranian Shi’a  are convinced Quds Force Commander Gen. Soleimani is a martyr, euphoria in South Yemen and sporadic celebrations throughout the Arab Middle East – amongst Shi’a! – has many seeing a rift they didn’t know was there (https://www.yahoo.com/news/damaged-drone-strike-suleimanis-sainthood-155200496.html). Many Iraqi Shi’a just want all foreign troops to get out. It’s more of a sovereignty issue with them.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Who cares how Shi’as are reacting; it doesn’t make Soleimani any less dead…and I am rejoicing.”

Biblical Response:  “While I may share your feelings, rejoicing the just death of a murdering terrorist mastermind, how Shi’as may be responding – that there is a divide – is good news! Let me explain. There are basically two kinds of Muslims: Sunnis and Shiites. Those of the Sunni persuasion are mostly peace-loving. They represent approximately 80% of the Muslim world. Those of the Shiite persuasion think change must happen and favor terrorism and holy war (jihad) to accomplish it. They represent approximately 20% of Islam. Obviously, when there is a factionalization of the Shiites, it is potentially good news, as a house divided against itself cannot stand (Lk. 11:17).”

“Christians? We believe unity is a huge thing, not always to be encouraged (Gen. 11:1-7). To favor the unity of your enemy is insanity, as you don’t want the prosperity of their cause. Of course, we want them to come to the knowledge of the truth: that Jesus is the only way…not Allah (John 14:6), that there is no other name men may call upon to be saved (Acts 4:12). Actually, that is a message for all Muslims.” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to favor disunity in our enemies, unity in ourselves; 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 © 2020 Alan E. Sargent

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CLARITY – 1-24-20 A Bill Already Paid

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-24-20

A Bill Already Paid

What’s Happening: “Competitor for the Democrat nomination for President and billionaire Tom Steyer brought up his views on reparations Wednesday in an interview with Brittany Sheppard of Yahoo News. A poll released in early January showed him second only to Joe Biden in South Carolina, a state particularly heavy with the population of African-Americans (https://www.yahoo.com/news/steyer-us-reparations-for-slavery-will-help-repair-the-damage-225252324.html). ‘“We would retell the story over the last 401 years so everybody understands not just the legalized, institutionalized injustice in racism — which is definitely a huge part of this story — but also the contribution of the African-American community,” Steyer said. ‘I don’t think we can be the country that we want to be until we acknowledge the past and move to accept the mistakes this country made that are dramatic and obvious, and then repair the damage.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “What’s wrong with what he says? Surely, the African-American should be compensated for their egregious losses!”

Biblical Response:  “I take a few issues with his noble desires. Was it wrong to enslave people just because their skin is darker? Of course, No one should involuntarily be forced to be another’s property. Note how I carefully worded that last statement. ‘Involuntarily’: forced against their will. Can you ‘voluntarily’ become someone else’s property? Yes, they’re not then called slaves, but indentured servants; serving until a condition is met, a debt repaid or for a particular time period. Has this been done historically? Yes…even contemporarily…some might even list convicts as indentured servants…they ’serve’ until their ‘debt’ to society is paid.”

“‘Question:  Then why would reparations not be appropriate?”

Answer:  Can enslavement ever be repaid? How do you compensate lynching? Beatings? Auctionings off? These inhumane treatments fall into the category of heinous sins. Thankfully, they have already been paid for by the voluntary (John 10:17) sacrifice made by Jesus on Calvary (Luke 23:33). Of course, for this ‘universal reparation’ to be applied and accepted as payment-in-full the government and African-Americans would have to acknowledge it…and that’s …at least contemporarily…impossible.”

“Christians? We believe that Christ is our ‘Universal Reparation,’ our ‘Substitute.’ He voluntarily paid a price we could never repay.” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us not to cheapen what You have already done in sending Your Son to die on the cross for us…or to feel better by trying to pay for what cannot be paid; 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 © 2020 Alan E. Sargent

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CLARITY – 1-23-20 Rightly Honored

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-23-20

Rightly Honored

What’s Happening: “Forget ‘A Boy Named Sue’ (country song Johnny Cash popularized), the next Ford-class aircraft carrier will be named after hero-of-Pearl-Harbor Cook First Class Doris Miller it was announced at a recent MLK Day celebrations in Hawaii. Miller was awarded the Navy Cross for his heroism on Dec. 7, 1941 but was listed as killed-in-action two years later.  When the USS West Virginia was hit by a Japanese torpedo, he manned a machine gun – for which he was not trained – and rescued the Captain, carrying him to safety (https://www.yahoo.com/news/u-next-aircraft-carrier-named-212900927.html). Quoting his citation: ‘Miller was below decks December 7, 1941, when the first Japanese torpedo struck USS West Virginia (BB 48). His battle station in the magazine damaged, Miller was ordered to the bridge, where he helped carry the ship’s mortally wounded captain to safety. Miller then loaded and fired an anti-aircraft machine gun—a weapon that, as an African American in a segregated military, he had not been trained to operate. Miller stayed behind once the order to abandon ship was passed to help evacuate shipmates and save the lives of sailors in the burning water.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Pretty impressive for a black man!’

Biblical Response:  “Wow! What a racial comment! I’m sure it would be impressive for anyone! It’s way past time when African-Americans were honored like other Americans… Is there a race that is considered superior? No!!! In fact, we are all from one race (Acts 17:26)…the human race. So why is Doris Miller being honored? Because he did things superhuman, uncommon! Most of us would cower at calamity, or, at best, rescue ourselves. Not Miller! How was he able to do differently? He’s not here to ask, but I’m sure a Force within him took over (Phil. 2:13).”

“Christians? We believe heroism is common in uncommon people…made uncommon by the blood of Christ (Rom. 5:9-21).” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to act uncommonly and embrace ALL who have made uncommon contributions to our common dilemma (Rom. 3:23); 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 – 1-22-20 The Ultimate Answer for Injustice

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-22-20

The Ultimate Answer for Injustice

What’s Happening: “Monday was not a good day for Nigeria: Islamic militants killed Christian Pastor, Rev. Lawan Andimi, then other extremists attacked his hometown, it was announced Tuesday by a human rights activist. This in the same Chibok area where 276 school girls were abducted by Islamic State break-away Boko Haram in April of 2014 (100 are still missing)..  President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, lamented the Pastor’s slaying, ‘I am greatly saddened by the fact that the terrorists went on to kill him even while giving signals of a willingness to set him free by releasing him to third parties,’ he tweeted (https://www.yahoo.com/news/islamic-extremists-kill-nigerian-pastor-122733648.html). The last few weeks have been dangerous for Christians in Nigeria:

  • Last Friday the Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP) released a video of a hooded child executing a Christian man 
  • On Christmas Day nine Christians and two other captives were executed

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I guess it’s not safe to be a Christian in Nigeria!”

Biblical Response:  “You think?! However, it’s not enough that we just wag our heads and co-miserate. Sure, we need to ‘weep with those who weep’ (Rom. 12:15), but we need to bring in the big guns, too: intercessors. Persecution and suffering may be the reasonable expectation of those who dare stand up for Christ (1 Pet. 4:12-14), but we have our own weapons with which to fight. It’s just that our fight is in the heavenlies (Eph. 6:12), where the real war is decided. Sure, we might like earthly justice, but ultimate justice is what we really seek…and we’ll get it (Mal.4:1-3).”

“Christians? Oh, we believe in ultimate justice. Like I’ve said before: justice makes hell necessary, mercy makes heaven possible.” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to act in love, not react in vengeance; 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 – 1-21-20 ‘Soon’ Exposed

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-21-20

‘Soon’ Exposed

What’s Happening: “An apology by a TV Host (Host of  state TV’s Good Morning Iran, Gebareh Jabarri)  posted on instagram Monday (the post has since been deleted) for lying about the downing of a Ukrainian jetliner, killing all 176 on board. ‘Apologies for lying to you for 13 years. It was very hard for me to believe our people have been killed, forgive me for believing this late.’ Others have apologized for believing the lies of the regime, including Taraneh Alidoosti star of the popular 2016 movie, A Salesman (https://www.yahoo.com/news/sorry-lying-13-years-iranian-201452298.html). ‘We are not citizens, we are captives, millions of captives,’ she wrote (this post, too, has been deleted.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Didn’t the Iranian regime initially say they had nothing to do with the downing?”

Biblical Response:  “Yep…guess their lie was ‘soon exposed’ (Prov. 12:19 LB) – ‘Truth stands the test of time; lies are soon exposed.’) Of  course, it can be argued that 13 years is not soon (which is why it’s in quotes in today’s title). But then, nobody likes to believe their own government is corrupt, least of all left-leaning media types. The first part of the verse refers to the eternal nature of truth…the last part: the temporal nature of lies. That’s why the prevailing truth always wins out..,.eventually…and why we have to learn patience.”

“Christians? Oh, we believe in truth triumphing in the end…and that truth is a person (John 14:6). And He will set us free (John 8:32).” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to know the truth and be set free by it; 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