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CLARITY – 8-24-19 Emotion Gone Awry

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -8-24-19

Emotions Gone Awry

What’s Happening: “The accused (manslaughter) Michael Drejka, has been found guilty for taking the life of Markeis McGlockton in front of his family at a convenience store in Clearwater, FL, yesterday, and will return to court for sentencing October 10. Though everyone’s story is different, he apparently got into an altercation over Mrs, McGlockton taking a handicapped parking spot when there was nothing on the car to indicate a handicap. Mr. McGlockton exited the vehicle to confront Drejka, putting him on his back in the parking lot. Drejka says McGlockton took a step toward him and then he shot with a concealed handgun he was permitted to carry Mr. McGlockton, killing him as he stepped toward Drejka…the video camera outside the store does not record a threatening step, but actually a step back (https://www.yahoo.com/news/michael-drejka-invoked-stand-ground-defense-shooting-unarmed-025715170–abc-news-topstories.html). ‘We are incredibly grateful and thankful to the prosecution, We are grateful to the jurors of this case that they saw what we saw and I’m so proud and honored to stand here with Markeis family,’ said the lawyer for the family. Drejka’s remark was predictably different: ‘What’s going through my mind is he’s coming after me again. I was thinking he’s going to finish what he started.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Sounds to me like justice was served.”

Biblical Response:  “Maybe…I wasn’t there. That’s why a jury of his peers voted. In any case, it was overreaction on steroids. Mrs. McGlockton should not have taken a parking spot to which she was not entitled…and Drejka probably should never have shot. Nothing good comes from unbridled emotions and actions have consequences (Gal. 5:22-23; 6:7). Of course, a whole lot more  may go into play here…racial tension, recent stand-your-ground laws, etc…but we have a culture of taking things into our own hands, too…then there’s the whole flawed nature of Man to consider.”

“Christians? Thankfully, there is One Who knows all hearts (Rom. 8:27; Luke 16:15). Temporally, we have to rely on juries, judges, and attorney skills…sometimes we get things right and justice is served…sometimes not. In heaven, The Eternal Judge always gets it right and His justice is always just.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to look forward to a truly just time…and give us the grace and patience to endure till then; 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 – 8-23-19 Victims AND Champions

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -8-23-19

Victims AND Champions

What’s Happening: “The New York Times’ 1619 Project was introduced this week and immediately it was pounced on by conservatives as an attempt to reframe America’s early history…and there is some truth in both (https://www.yahoo.com/news/newt-gingrich-says-slavery-needs-170017001.html) and (https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/new-york-times-1619-project-leaves-out/). Early African-Americans were victims of oppression, but they also were champions, doing some pretty heroic deeds which didn’t fit the NYT victim narrative. The omission of various positive contributions throughout our history rewrites our record to give a distorted view of reality. Perhaps this is a prelude to a real push for reparations, Many of the Dems running for the Presidency in 2020 have this as an important plank in their campaign to win a lion’s share of the African-American vote.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Does it really matter how we got here? We’re here…good or bad…and we just need to learn, and move on.”

Biblical Response:  “I’ll agree with the need to move on, but  an accurate understanding of how ‘we got here’ is of paramount importance when it comes to charting a course to where we go from here. If we are to eliminate the division in our country, we have got to quit using hyphenated American terms. We are not African-Americans, Native-Americans, Hispanic-Americans…just Americans! Of course this also eliminates the victim card the left is so quick to play. Have these important contributing groups been treated poorly in our past…even our very recent past? Absolutely. But painting them as victims and in need of a groveling populace who can never adequately assuage their guilt…well, it’s not helpful, motivational, or productive.

The ‘can-do’ American spirit is stifled by victimhood. It is difficult to reap what you sow (Gal. 6:7), if you are told repeatedly that others reaped where you sowed…you will have a tendency to quit sowing. This may be true in some cases, but the Lord is quite capable of rendering justice (Rom. 12:19).”

“Christians? We need to be examples of even-handedness (Col.4:1; 1 Cor. 11:1); we can’t invite people to do as we do, if we are not fair ourselves. We need to let truth be our guide (John 8:32), and face our true history whether it’s to our liking or not.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to move on…in truth and justice; there’s a lot of work we all have to do; 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 – 8-22-19 Unreliable

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -8-22-19

Unreliable

What’s Happening: “A press conference was called this week by Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich) and Tlaib ‘teared-up’ when referring to her Palestinian grandmother – ‘sitty’ in Arabic – who, though barred because of her antisemitic remarks and calls for a  boycott of Israel, has received a waiver to visit in the West Bank. Though initially accepting this invitation, she later rejected it amid emotional expressions (https://www.yahoo.com/news/blocked-visit-tlaib-gets-emotional-220606966.html). ‘All I can do as my Sitty’s granddaughter, as the granddaughter of a woman who lives in occupied territory, is to elevate her voice by exposing the truth the only way I know how, by humanizing the pain of oppression,’ Tlaib said.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I’d be emotional, too, if it was my grandmother.”

Biblical Response:  “Perhaps…but can you cry on command? Seriously, I’m suspect of the tears of any granddaughter who hasn’t visited her grandmother in over a dozen years. Don’t get me wrong…they may be real…or just convenient. Tears may be regret on her part, too…so why didn’t she accept the opportunity when it was afforded? I’m just saying emotions are unreliable. When Joseph was confronting his brothers for the treachery they’d done to him, he lost control and had to retreat to cry in privacy (Gen. 43:30-31). Maybe Tlaib should have done that…of course, emotion expressed can underscore sincerity…or increase manipulation. Truly, only God knows the heart (Lk. 9:47; Acts 1:24).”

“Christians? It is one thing to express emotion (indeed we are told to ‘weep with those who weep’ – Rom. 12:15), it is another to manipulate with the emotions expressed. Thankfully, we have been given discernment to know the difference (Prov. 10:13; Ps.119:66 ).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, give us wisdom and discernment; and help us not to be manipulated by manufactured emotion, if You’ve determined it’s only that; 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 – 8-21-19 Watchful But Not Rattled

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -8-21-19

Watchful But Not Rattled

What’s Happening: “North Korea keeps testing short-range missiles (https://www.yahoo.com/news/pompeo-says-north-korea-missile-125513626.html), China keeps threatening the Indo-Pacfific region where U.S. and allied bases are located (https://www.yahoo.com/news/china-could-render-us-military-104141882.html), and now that both Russia and the U.S. have abandoned the INF (Intermediate Nuclear Forces agreement), the testing of those intermediate missiles has been resumed by the U.S., launching its first ground-based missile from California since the early 80s (https://www.yahoo.com/news/pentagon-conducts-1st-test-previously-182317892.html). All this to challenge America’s undisputed leadership militarily: A report has described the US military as an ‘atrophying force that is not sufficiently ready, equipped or postured for great power competition…’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Another arms race…great! Next we can expect our taxes to go up or our deficit to increase!”

Biblical Response:  “Or both. Still, threat-of-force seems only to be deterred by further threat-of-force. Why is that? Because you’re dealing with natural men (Is. 53:6) and fear is the denomination of terror (1 John 4:18). As long as we (metaphorically speaking) ‘trust in horses’ (Ps. 20:7: Is. 31:1), we will be in an arms race. Maybe we should just increase our vigilance (Ezek. 33;3)…through increasing our satellites, I guess…that might be cheaper…still, as long as you’re dealing with natural men, maybe it’s just not possible to completely eliminate the possibility of armed conflict. There will never be peace on earth until the Prince of Peace rules in the hearts of all men. Sounds like heaven. Exactly!”

“Christians? Oh, we believe in dealing with men as they are, not the way you want them…but we also believe in calling those things that are not, as though they were (Rom. 4:17). Hopeful, but not naive.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, give us wisdom, but help us to look positively…You know, ‘trust, but verify’…but trust; 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 – 8-20-19 Not the Last

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -8-20-19

Not the Last

What’s Happening: “Four wolves were authorized to be killed on July 31 by the Department of Fish and Wildlife and were executed in Washington state’s region bordering Canada…and environmentalists are outraged, of course. They were the last four of a pack that had killed or wounded rancher’s cattle relentlessly, 29 since 2018 and 9 over the last month. They were killed from helicopters by state hunters. Cattle interests had killed off the wolves by the 1930s, but they have returned over the last 15 years, mostly from British Columbia and Idaho (https://www.yahoo.com/news/4-last-wolves-washington-pack-180455113.html). ‘It’s unbelievably tragic that this wolf family has already been annihilated by the state. It seems like Washington’s wildlife agency is bent on wiping out the state’s wolves,’ said Sophia Ressler of the Center for Biological Diversity.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Aren’t wolves an endangered species?”

Biblical Response:  “Not on cattle ranches, apparently…besides, nobody fights for the poor cattle…the recent vegan craze and the attempt to decrease cattle flatulence has them ‘endangered’ as well. Sure, we are charged to keep the environment healthy (Gen. 2:15), but what about the environment for humans? If cattle ranching is to be profitable, cattle ranchers need to be able to manage their herds…that requires removing predators. You could remove the cattle to make room for the wolves…but that just might be letting the tail wag the dog (pun intended).” 

“Christians? The concept of stewardship (in preference to ownership – Luke 16:2) might have us changing a lot of things. Don’t get me wrong, the pride of ownership has us taking care of things we own, but taking care of things for God is quite a motivation. After all, He not only owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Ps. 50:10…which makes Him a cattle rancher, too), He owns the hills (Ex. 19:5).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to be good stewards of all Your resources, but let us not give preference where You do not; 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 – 8-19-19 Destination Known

CLARITY

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

Destination Known

What’s Happening: “It’s kind of like a huge ping pong ball…and nobody really knows its destination…or even its real name. I mean, the oil tanker from Iran was the Grace 1 when it was captured by the British near Gibraltar. It was suspected of heading for Syria, which is currently under EU sanctions. Then it was renamed the Adrian Darya 1 and the U.S. issued a warrant for its further detainment, but saying it was bound to release the vessel by EU law, the Adrian Darya 1 was released by Gibraltar and is  believed to be headed to Greece. Who really knows? BTW, the British oil tanker which was seized in the Strait of Hormuz by the Iranians weeks ago is still in an Iranian port (with its British crew) and won’t be released until the Adrian Darya 1 docks (https://www.yahoo.com/news/iranian-tanker-caught-standoff-west-053520289.html). ‘Until the Iranian oil tanker arrives at its destination the British must help end the crisis, This means that the crisis with Britain is not over. Britain has the primary responsibility for ending the oil tanker crisis,’ Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, a member of parliament’s national security and foreign affairs committee said.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Sounds to me like the Iranians are holding the British crew hostage.”

Biblical Response:  “You’re probably right…and, at least until Brexit (no later than Oct. 31), the Brits are dancing to the EU’s timid tune. It’s all political…which much in our world  lately seems to be…and our time to pray…and be grateful that our destination is already sealed (2 Tim. 1:12). The world may be full of uncertainties, but a Christian’s ultimate destination is not one of them…and He promises we’ll never be alone (Matt. 28:20).” 

“Christians? Eternal security is one of our comforts. I wonder about that British crew…and the crew of the Adrian Darya 1.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to make things that are so complicated…simple. We will need Your wisdom, of course; 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 – 8-17-19 I Guess it Wasn’t Her Time

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -8-17-19

I Guess it Wasn’t Her Time

What’s Happening: “It’s hard to know when ‘your time’ is, but it’s easy to tell when ‘your time’ isn’t…at least it might be for one Canadian female skydiver (whose identity has not yet been released). In the story filed yesterday, the woman, an experienced 30-year-old skydiver, fell a mile and miraculously survived, her main and emergency chutes failing to open. Perhaps it was the grove of trees she hit…or perhaps it just wasn’t her time. In any case, she was admitted to the  hospital with several broken bones, but none of her injuries were life-threatening (https://www.yahoo.com/news/woman-survives-plunging-mile-earth-114953420.html). It’s a miracle. I don’t know how a person can survive a fall from an airplane like that,’ said witness Denis Devers.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Wow! I guess she didn’t pack her chutes too well, huh?”

Biblical Response:  “Perhaps…it also could be foul play…but neither explain why she didn’t die. Of course, the Bible is full of examples where other ‘appointments’ apparently took precedence over what should have happened (I’m thinking Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace – Dan. 3:26-28: Daniel in the lion’s den – Dan. 6:7-22; the raising of Jairus’ daughter – Mark. 5:2-24,35-43; the raising of Lazarus – John 11:38-44; the stoning of Paul – Acts 14:19-20, etc.)

In fact, I should have been killed on January 3, 1986, in a car accident in the mountains of Tennessee…at least that is what the emergency doctors told my wife as they put me on a life-flight helicopter to go to the U. Tenn. hospital in Crossville – and I did have a fractured pelvis, a broken back, a shattered heel, and internal bleeding – but I walked out of the hospital five days later with no surgery – and I took a singles group skiing for three days less than a year later. I guess you needed to read this…also, I had yet to teach at a Bible College for twenty-five years…thank God it wasn’t my time, either.” 

“Christians? Oh, we believe in divine appointments. Obviously, this woman has one…perhaps you could point to some miraculous times in your own life. Are you doing what you were created for? Why frustrate the purposes of God?”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to keep our divine appointments and never think we are not here for a purpose; 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 – 8-16-19 It’s the Law

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -8-16-19

It’s the Law

What’s Happening: “Though AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D., NY) disagreed vocally, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) were both barred by the government of Israel from the country, including a planned visit to Palestinian cities on the West Bank, Thursday. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was only obeying the law and both Muslim Representatives had expressed hatred for Jews and Israel (https://www.yahoo.com/news/israel-ban-omar-tlaib-reactions-200932835.html). ‘There is no country in the world that respects the U.S. and the U.S. Congress more than the State of Israel. As a vibrant and free democracy, Israel is open to any critic and criticism, with one exception: Israel’s law prohibits the entry of people who call and operate to boycott Israel,’ Netanyahu’s statement read.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “What right does an alleged democracy have to barr Muslims from entry?”

Biblical Response:  “Actually, every right…they have a prior obligation to protect their citizens. You might ask what harm two women could do? (google women terrorists sometime – your next question might be: ‘Are you calling them terrorists?!’ – a brief review of their anti-semitic comments will yield disturbing results – you be the judge – there are those who wield weapons and those who wield words). Netanyahu might be likened to a watchman on the wall (Is. 21:6). He bears a responsibility for those he warns (Ezek. 3:18).” 

“Christians? Deciding who gets into heaven is way above our paygrade, but no one will deny the momentousness (is that a word?) of the decision. Imagine someone who wants to do harm in heaven!”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to tone down the rhetoric and realizing the importance of decisions made, keep our leaders in prayer; 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 – 8-15-19 Why “One Country, Two Systems” Won’t Work

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -8-15-19

Why “One Country, Two Systems” Won’t Work

What’s Happening: “Another protest by the Civil Human Rights Front is planned for Sunday in Hong Kong, the scene of massive crowds (2,000,000 strong) objecting to Beijing’s attempt to change the extradition laws. The protests have clogged the airport, causing nearly 1,000 flight cancellations, and local police have had to deal with the clashes, which have sometimes turned violent, but not with anything other than clubs, water cannons, tear gas, and rubber bullets. What will come of this? Nobody really knows, but Chinese military exercises nearby are intimidating (https://www.yahoo.com/news/normal-operations-resume-hong-kong-000449706.html).  The demands of the protesters? They want authorities to stop referring to their actions as “rioting”, charges against detainees dropped, a resumption of political reforms and an independent inquiry into police actions during the unrest.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Is this the reason the Stock Market fell 800 points yesterday?”

Biblical Response:  “Not directly, and not totally, though I’m sure it had something to do with it…the market doesn’t respond well to chaos. I’m sure the trade tariffs, the U.S.’s ‘war’ with Chinese tech-giant, Huawei, the fed’s recent rate changes, etc., all had their downward influence. (A ‘perfect storm?’) In any case, there has been little but unrest since Hong Kong reverted from British rule to Chinese in 1997. The announced (by Beijing) ‘one country, two systems’ may have sounded conciliatory to begin with, but was unworkable long-term. A house divided against itself, cannot stand (Matt. 12:25).” 

“Christians? We believe in unity, not disunity (Eph. 4:3). What will win out? Freedom is catchy…it is also costly. My prayer is minimal bloodshed. As the old Up With People song quipped: ‘Freedom isn’t free, freedom isn’t free; you’ve got to pay the price, you’ve got to sacrifice…for your liberty.’”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to foster unity…but not ‘peace at any price’…freedom isn’t free; 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 – 8-14-19 Justice is Inevitable

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -8-14-19

Justice is Inevitable

What’s Happening: “Some are complaining of justice denied, because of the apparent suicide (by gunfire) of Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, the two teens that were the subjects of a huge manhunt in Canada and suspected of three murders a few weeks ago. They were themselves considered missing, until their bodies were discovered  a few days ago amidst dense brush five miles from their burnt-out car. The medical examiner just released Monday that they were killed by self-inflicted gun-shot wounds (by the same guns that committed the murders?) (https://www.yahoo.com/news/canadian-fugitives-suspected-three-murders-223905624.html0. Officials said two firearms were found with the teens. ‘The two died in what appears to be suicides by gunfire,’ police said.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I guess this is one case where the Royal Canadian Mounted Police didn’t ‘get their man.’”

Biblical Response:  “That may be true, but that does not mean that ultimate justice won’t be served in the cases of McLeod and Schmegelsky. They may not stand trial for the three murders before a Canadian judge, but they will stand trial – and for five murders (their own lives were not theirs to take, either – Jn. 5:26). And only the Eternal Judge of All Men knows their hearts (Ps. 44:21; Acts 15:8; 1 John 3:20)…so only He can decide their fate. This reality may be the only comfort those left behind (the families and friends of the deceased) have…if they are believers.” 

“Christians? We believe in ultimate justice; that there is a Judge who knows the truth of all matters. It’s not that we all don’t fall miserably short (Rom. 3:23), but, thankfully, there is Someone who took the punishment we deserved (Rom. 6:23). As far as suicides are concerned, some of them are repentable – you have the time it takes for your body to fall from the bridge to the water to repent – others are more immediate. Where is the Good News in all this? Indeed, justice makes hell necessary, mercy makes heaven possible.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to trust in inevitable and ultimate justice…and in the gracious provision of mercy through Your Son; 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.’