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CLARITY – 11-27-18 Bullies Will Bluster

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 11-27-18

Bullies Will Bluster

 

What’s Happening: “First, the Annexation of Crimea (remember the ‘little green men’?), then the opening of a bridge by Putin (last May) over the Strait of Kerch (connecting Russia with  the Crimean peninsula just south of the Sea of Azoz and north of the Black Sea), then the forced inspection by the Russian Navy of all vessels entering the Sea of Azoz, and then, most recently, (last Sunday) the firing on and subsequent capture of three Ukrainian vessels attempting to sail under the bridge into the sea of Azoz (https://www.yahoo.com/news/tensions-between-russia-ukraine-flaring-134830896.html). ‘Regardless of who lives in Crimea, Russia signed a treaty upon the dissolution of the Soviet Union to respect the boundaries of all its former republics. Since then, Russia has separated Transnustria from Moldova, invaded Georgia separating Abcazia and South Ossetia and taking over Crimea. Not to mention instigating and supporting the war in eastern Ukraine,’ commented Oleh.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I thought we were not supposed to be the world’s policemen.”

 

Biblical Response:  “We aren’t…but it’s complicated. Ukraine is looking to the West (the EU and US) for intervention…we need to respect all nation’s sovereignty, but we don’t want Russia to bully Ukraine either (besides, inaction only further encourages Russia). If we don’t get involved, Russian influence will only increase. That’s tolerable, except where freedom is involved and innocent lives are at stake. Also, it’s general wisdom to realize a war fought later might have been avoided by earlier checking of unfair  aggression, Hence Nikki Haley’s words of condemnation yesterday at the U.N.”

 

“Christians? We’re generally for nations respecting the rule of law (Rom. 13:7), but there are those who disrespect the weak (that’s what bullying is all about). Besides, doesn’t God control borders ultimately (Acts 17:26)?”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, give our leaders the wisdom and discretion that furthers Your will;  in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

 

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

 

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CLARITY – 11-26-18 Unwelcome Invasion

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 11-26-18

Unwelcome Invasion

 

What’s Happening: “Is any invasion welcome? That’s why it’s called an invasion! I could be referring to the absence of a Martian welcome mat (we are due to land there today – just an unmanned science probe launched in May), but I’m  referring to the protest that greeted the caravan at the U.S. border…from Tijuana, Mexico residents! )https://dcalert.com/2018/11/20/protests-in-mexico-as-locals-agree-with-trump-this-is-an-invasion/) Apparently they don’t want them any more than the U.S. Border Patrol does https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/11/25/immigrant-caravan-us-agents-fire-tear-gas-slow-migrants/2110267002/). ‘I will not allow our binational relationship to be fractured by bad actions of the migrant caravan. They are doing things outside of the law,’ said Tijuana Mayor Juan Gastelum.”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “They are not invading! They just want a new home!”

 

Biblical Response:  “Believe me, I don’t blame them wanting to improve their situation (notice that they are fleeing to capitalism, even though socialist Venezuela is half the distance). However, how long do you think America would remain economically attractive were we to welcome all immigrants? Sure, we want immigrants…we need them…but a merit-based system is good for the immigrants (it gives them a reason to improve themselves) and it’s good for us (it makes us want to compete for the best jobs). Talk about welcoming them…if they come legally!”

 

“Christians? We’ve been regarded as an invading horde…first by the Jewish leaders (Acts 4:1-3)…then by the Romans in the regions under their control (2 Cor. 25-27)…and we should expect persecution (John 15:18-19). Of course, we bring the message of hope…and not everyone is excited about that.”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to speak with boldness, not have unreasonable expectations about everyone’s reception, deal compassionately with others, yet demand justice and know that Your hand is often involved in hardship;  in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

 

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

 

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CLARITY – 11-24-18 The Cultural Issue of Our Time

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 11-24-18

The Cultural Issue of Our Time

 

What’s Happening: “Mike Lindell, former cocaine addict and inventor of the popular ‘My Pillow.’ has just invested one million dollars into the anti-abortion film ‘Unplanned.’The film, made by the same filmmakers who brought us ‘God’s Not Dead’ and ‘I Can Only Imagine’ is expected to gross many times its total budget of less than $7 Million (the other two movies previously mentioned grossed $61 M and $84 M, respectively). That it strikes a cultural chord that may be the hot-button of today probably helps (https://greatamericanpolitics.com/2018/11/inventor-of-the-mypillow-just-invested-an-astounding-amount-of-money-in-anti-abortion-film/).  ‘I don’t get into things for the money; I get into them if the message is right,” Lindell said to The Hollywood Reporter.”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I think his TV ads are cheesy!”

 

Biblical Response:  “They may be, but it’s hard to quibble with success (as evidenced by his over $300 Million net worth). Heck, his products are probably cheesy, too…but I get a better night’s sleep. Yes, I bought them …at my wife-s insistence…and skepticism became begrudging endorsement. In any case, there were many who opposed Kavanaugh’s confirmation for fear he might be the deciding vote to overturn Roe v. Wade (the 1973 decision that legalized abortion). He might be…if it comes up for a vote (not at all a certainty – nothing is planned yet [no pun intended]).”

 

“Christians? It’s hard to read John 10:10 and still be ‘Pro-death’ (liberals prefer the moniker ‘Pro Choice’).”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us navigate compassionately through treacherous cultural waters;  in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

 

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

 

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CLARITY – 11-23-18 Obfuscation

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 11-23-18

Obfuscation

 

What’s Happening: “When the head of the Russian spy agency, Igor Korobov, (62) died recently, it came as no surprise to many (the GRU’s previous head died at 58). He is credited recently with interfering in the 2016 U. S. election and the poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Krispal in the UK (https://www.yahoo.com/news/russian-military-intelligence-head-korobov-042059166.html). Of course, who believes TASS (the Russian government-sponsored news agency) anyway.”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “TASS is known for serving its own ends.”

 

Biblical Response:  “Yep. Perhaps they think both investigations will die with Korobov. In any case, we may complain about the need for transparency here, but they have plenty in Russia…it’s just you can’t trust any of it. TASS reminds me of the tongue-in-cheek Soviet-era news agency PRAVDA (‘truth’ in Russian)…it’s no more reliable. What happens when the ‘fourth estate’ isn’t functioning properly? Just look at Russia.”

 

“Christians? We believe in transparency and truth (John 8:32), but as Jer. 6:14 (LB) says: ‘You can’t heal a wound by saying it’s not there.’ Just telling people to ‘pay no attention to the man behind the curtain’…will not divert attention from the truth.”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help our pursuit of the truth not blind us to the rampant obfuscation attempts of the Deceiver; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

 

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

 

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CLARITY – 11-22-18 Caught Between

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 11-22-18

Caught Between

 

What’s Happening: “I thought about telling you how Providential it was for the Pilgrims to land in the territory of the only English-speaking native American in North America (Squanto), but decided to opine on Trump’s Saudi Arabian dilemma. I mean, on the one hand Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) has made a $110 Billion dollar arms purchase (and there’s the jobs to consider) and the fact that the Saudis are a big deterrent to Iranian hegemony…on the other hand, the C. I. A. thinks MbS may have ordered journalist Khashoggi death and dismemberment (to say nothing about the poor humanitarian statement it makes for us not to condemn MbS’s actions wholesale). I’m glad I don’t have the President’s job (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/18/us/politics/trump-khashoggi-saudis.html).  ‘Everything points to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, MbS, ordering @washingtonpost journalist Jamal #Khashoggi’s killing.’ tweeted Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker.”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “If Khashoggi’s murder was ordered by MbS, it ought to be condemned in no uncertain terms!”

 

Biblical Response:  “In a perfect world, it would be (of course, in a perfect world, it would have never happened); it’s complicated. The worker, who loses his job when those arms deals get cancelled, didn’t do anything wrong…of course, the civilian collateral damage in the Yemeni clash (which is Saudi’s proxy war against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels) is also unfortunate…I said it was complicated. Trying to make black-and-white decisions in a gray world is not my idea of a good time. Maybe that is why Trump has vacated to Mar-A-Lago for the Thanksgiving holidays.”

 

“Christians? We believe in calling a spade ‘a spade.’ but timing is everything. There are many mitigating factors (including other political hazards):

 

  • The presumption of innocence
  • Israel’s struggle against Iran
  • Our desire that Russia or China not get arms orders

Still, we cannot let murder go. Hopefully, it’ll put a President on his knees.

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help our President to know the right thing to do…at the right time; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

 

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

 

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CLARITY – 11-21-18 To Recuse or Not to Recuse

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 11-21-18

To Recuse or Not to Recuse

 

What’s Happening: “Should Acting AG Matthew Whitaker do as now-resigned AG Jeff Sessions did and recuse himself from the Mueller probe? If you ask three Democrat Senators who recently (Monday) filed a complaint in D. C.’s federal district court questioning Trump’s right to appoint him (citing the appointment clause), they would shout a resounding ‘yes.’ Others disagree (https://www.foxnews.com/politics/democratic-senators-sue-to-block-appointment-of-matthew-whitaker-as-acting-attorney-general). ‘There are over 160 instances in American history in which  non-Senate confirmed persons performed, on a temporary basis, the duties of a Senate-confirmed position,’ said DOJ spokeswoman Kerri Kupec.”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Is he going to be the President’s permanent pick for AG?”

 

Biblical Response:  “Probably not…until then (and whomever he picks should submit to the ‘advise and consent’ role of the confirmation process), I see no problem with his position. He has given reassurances that he has no intention of directing Mueller to do anything with his assigned investigative duties. Besides, since Trump has submitted his answers to Mueller’s written questions (yesterday), the probe should be nearing its conclusion.”

 

“Christians? Oh, we believe in getting to the bottom of any accusation. That the Trump Campaign colluded with the Russians in any way (there still is no evidence of collusion or obstruction) is a matter for Mueller to uncover. The truth has a way of coming out (Matt. 10:27). As William Shakespeare expressed his sentiment in the Merchant of Venice, the truth will out.”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us discover and operate under the truth; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

 

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

 

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CLARITY – 11-20-18 The Gray Area is Not Gray

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 11-20-18

The Grey Area is Not Gray

 

What’s Happening: “A Judge has ordered that asylum seekers don’t have to go to official ports of entry to be legal…nullifying Trump’s Executive Order to the contrary. Maybe this will give new hope to the caravan…maybe the order will be appealed…hopefully, Congress will bring this up (https://www.yahoo.com/news/legal-groups-argue-court-against-trump-asylum-ban-193608107.html). ‘Whatever the scope of the President’s authority, he may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden,’ said Obama appointee Judge Tigar.”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I guess there is no gray area…an asylum seeker can enter anywhere.”

 

Biblical Response:  “Yep…according to the judge…which may be why a wall gets approved. The Congress may be in a “lame duck” session, but till the new Congress gets sworn in…and there’s a funding bill coming…the Republicans still have the Legislative and the Executive. I wonder what they’ll do with it.”

 

“Christians? Oh, we believe in immigration…after all, we are ‘aliens’ ourselves (John 18:36). And we have been left here to make a difference. However, we have also been called to obey the laws of the land…whether we agree with them or not (Tit. 3:1). Of course, there is a higher authority and a higher law (Acts 4:19-21).”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, while we want to be merciful we don’t want our grace to exceed Your purposes…give us wisdom; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

 

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

 

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CLARITY – 11-18-18 Is My Name on the List?

CLARITY

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

Is My Name on the List?

 

What’s Happening: “The California wildfire in Paradise may be over, but the lists of the dead and missing keeps growing. At latest count, 77 dead and over 1,000 missing! Some of the missing may be duplicates or already in a shelter somewhere, but fears of the fate of the largely retirement community are still in doubt (https://www.yahoo.com/news/california-wildfire-victims-may-never-found-searcher-111325906–finance.html). ‘We have been told we’re to look as hard as we can, but it’s still possible we may not be able to find something left of someone,’ said Trish Moutard with the the California Rescue Dog Association.”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I guess there’s a list you don’t want to be on…”

 

Biblical Response:  “Right you are…but there’s also a list you DO want to be on (Rev. 3:5). The heat of a crematory gets to almost 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit – enough to turn bone into ash – the heat of the Campfire (Paradise wildfire) may have been in excess of that. Of course, the heat of the fires of hell may be in excess of that, but like the burning bush that was not consumed (Ex. 3:2), those cast there will not get the relief that consumption brings.”

 

“Christians? We believe in hell. We also believe that God knows the number of our days (Job 14:5). We have an appointment with Judgement. And we definitely want our name listed in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Being listed as missing, then, from the Paradise Fire is no big deal compared with those listed as missing from Paradise!”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to find those missing in the Paradise Fire and help us to warn of the ‘other’ fire, too; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

 

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

 

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CLARITY – 11-17-18 Paying it Froward

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 11-17-18

Paying it Froward

 

What’s Happening: “A GoFundMe account is no guarantee that the cause is just (or even real)…this has been the unfortunate fact behind the efforts of one couple who conspired with a “homeless” veteran who “gave his last dollars” to fill their  stranded car. It turns out that the more than $400,000 that was raised was mostly spent on casino gambling. etc. (https://www.yahoo.com/news/new-jersey-couple-homeless-man-whose-feel-good-story-went-viral-charged-gofundme-scam-193432689.html). ‘“The paying it forward story that drove this fundraiser might seem too good to be true. Unfortunately it was,’ said Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina.”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “So, I’ll never give again!”

 

Biblical Response:  “That would probably be tragic to the majority-real claims of need. Still, if you’re (and the vast majority of folks do) giving out of guilt, or to make you feel good about yourself, maybe you should examine your own motives even before the legitimacy of the cause. I’m all for compassion, but we need to think with our heads, feel with our hearts, and give as the Lord directs. It’s all His anyway (1 Cor. 10:26), isn’t it?”

 

“Christians? We are commanded to give (Luke 6:38), and promised a reward (Mark 10;29-30). Even to give with a cheerful heart (2 Cor. 9:7-9). I’m not saying to give less compassionately, just more prayerfully.”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to think, pray, and listen before we give purpose to our excess; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

 

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

 

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CLARITY – 11-16-18 Trust But Verify

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 11-16-18

Trust But Verify

 

What’s Happening: “Ronald Reagan may have said it first (referring to former Soviet promises to de-escalate), but now President Trump gets to use it as a doctrine in real time. And there has only been mixed progress in North Korean president Kim’s pledge to denuclearize. True, North Korea has not done any nuclear testing or launched a missile since the pledge, but there seems to be evidence of further new development…but the sanctions are still on….and also the U.S. has suspended joint U.S./South Korea military games. Obviously, the jury is still out…amid hopes (https://www.yahoo.com/news/pence-says-trump-likely-meet-kim-2019-wont-050838225–business.html). Vice President Pence declared, ‘The plans are ongoing. We believe that the summit will likely occur after the first of the year, but the when and the where of that is still being worked out.’”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “A lot of talk…”

 

Biblical Response:  “True…but talk is preferred to war, right? Of course, I’m concerned that North Korea is just using talks of peace as a stall technique…while centrifuges continue to spin. But you also have to give diplomacy…and sanctions…a chance. The only problem is that  I think the Chinese are ignoring sanctions to help the North Koreans…and to further delay the convenient distraction that this dance provides.”

 

Christians? The concept of ‘trust but verify’ is biblical. Moses (and later Joshua) sent out spies (Num. 13:2; Josh. 2:1) to determine what the truth of a matter was. It would be great if we were omniscient, but we’re not…God understands our need for verification and He doesn’t want us to operate under presumption. So, what are we called to do? Pray.”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to have the faith and hope to trust, but also the wisdom to verify; 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