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CLARITY – 4-6-19 Not the End

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 4-6-19

Not the End

What’s Happening: “Hundreds gathered at the funeral of 21-year-old Samantha Josephson, the college student who mistakenly took a Uber ride with a killer. ‘The sadness that is being suffered will never end. It may wane in the future, but it will always leave a hole in the hearts of her fun-loving, generous kind parents and sister. Today they don’t know and can’t contemplate how they will think of a future,’ Seth Josephson, the victim’s cousin penned. (https://www.yahoo.com/news/hundreds-gather-funeral-samantha-josephson-184512141.html) From the article: ‘The Josephson family thanked authorities in South Carolina for their work to arrest the driver of the vehicle, 24-year-old Nathaniel David Rowland, who was charged with murder and kidnapping.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “What a tragedy! Her parents must be inconsolable!”

Biblical Response:  “I agree with the tragedy part…as far as being inconsolable…well, that depends on your belief system. Like a preacher once said: “I have good news and bad news. First, the good news. When you die, you get a brand new body. It can never be killed; it can experience all the five senses to their maximum degree; it can never be killed. Now, the bad news. When you die, you get a brand new body. It can never be killed; it can experience all the five senses to their maximum degree; it can never be killed. You may think that sounds just like the bad news. I guess it depends on where you spend eternity.’ (Rev. 21:1-8)”

“Christians? Oh we experience grief, too…but it’s from missing our ‘gone on’ loved ones, not from not knowing what happens next. (1 Thess. 4:13-18) We are not ‘inconsolable.’”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us be understanding of those who have no hope and offer them the peace that can be theirs when they believe 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 – 4-5-19 Just Because It’s Popular

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 4-5-19

Just Because It’s Popular

What’s Happening: “Taken separately, Lori Lightfoot’s recent successful bid for Chicago’s Mayor and ‘Mayor Pete’ Buttigieg’s run for the Democrat nomination for President (he’s a two-term Mayor from South Bend, Indiana) is no big deal…but these are not isolated occurrences. There are now 37 openly LGBT Mayors, 1 Governor (Colorado), 8 Representatives in the House, and 2 Senators in the Senate. The issue has become a non-issue (https://www.yahoo.com/news/lgbt-progress-seen-lightfoots-win-rise-mayor-pete-212023074–election.html). ‘”The real news is not that openly gay candidates are successful, but that being openly gay has become irrelevant. Here are two people with fresh ideas and a new vision for the future. Voters don’t care about their sexual orientation. That’s a sea change,’ said former President Clinton advisor, Richard Socarides.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “What does sexual orientation have to do with anything? If they have good ideas, I say more power to them.”

Biblical Response:  “Thankfully, you are not in charge…GOD  IS! This is still His world (Ps. 95:5). There are many things which are neutral…sexual orientation doesn’t happen to be one of them (Lev. 18:22; 20:13, 1 Cor. 6:9: 1 Tim. 1:10; etc.). And just because a practice has become popular or acceptable, doesn’t make it right. As we continue to spiral downward as a culture, the may be many issues that become non-issues for the majority. What has that got to do with people who follow God?”

“Christians? My main concern is that we might send the wrong signal to the LGBTQ community. While we are to abhor homosexuality, we are not to ostracize the homosexual. Sure, there may be more collateral damage in their practice (many young people have been assaulted by a gay or lesbian babysitter or relative), but in a separation-from-God issue, homosexuality is no worse than any sin. What is to be our attitude toward them? Prov. 29:27 LB says: ‘The good hate the badness of the wicked. The wicked hate the goodness of the good.’ We may not like a person’s behavior, but we are called to show them love.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to love those whose habits we might be repulsed by…there, but or the grace of God, go I; 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 – 4-4-19 Space Invaders

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 4-4-19

Space Invaders

What’s Happening: “More women have come forward (two yesterday – to date, that makes four – Lucy Flores, Caitlyn Caruso, D. J. Hill, and Amy Lappos) to make claims that former VP and undeclared front-runner for the Democrat nomination for President in the 2020 election, invaded their space with inappropriate physical gestures…from laying a hand on a thigh, to smelling hair followed by a slow head-kiss, to rubbing noses, etc. (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/04/02/joe-biden-donald-trump-cracks-jokes-new-accusers-come-forward/3347778002/). ‘In my many years on the campaign trail and in public life, I have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort. And not once – never – did I believe I acted inappropriately. If it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully. But it was never my intention,’ said Joe Biden, Sunday.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “His opponents are just taking potshots at an innocent man…”

Biblical Response:  “Probably…and ‘if you can’t stand the heat you should get out of the kitchen’….which is exactly what Bernie, Warren and Kamala want. Still, in this #MeToo-era, there is little room for ‘innocent’ gestures. What may be Biden’s common mannerisms are apparently not welcomed by all. Maybe his explanation statement above, while not an actual apology, may suffice…maybe not. Time alone will tell..”

“Christians? We’re a huggy bunch, too. And it’s not generally wrong to show innocent affection (Rom. 16:16; 1 Cor. 16:20). However, one of the fruit of the Spirit is self-control (Gal. 5:22). Perhaps, a little more sensitivity to the reception of our affectionate gestures is in order.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to steer clear of the wrong signals we could be unwittingly sending; 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 – 4-3-19 Dealing With the Real Problem

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 4-3-19

Dealing With the Real Problem

What’s Happening: “Just weeks after 50 Muslims were killed in a shocking mosque attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, their parliament passed sweeping gun bans. According to a USA Today article posted today, April 3, the specific guns used are at the heart of the program  (https://www.yahoo.com/news/zealand-apos-parliament-advanced-sweeping-205225636.html), If you compare their laws with other countries,’ you get a sense of how restrictive they are (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2019/03/22/new-zealand-mosque-shootings-how-12-countries-compare-weapons-ban/3235123002/). This does nothing to deal with the prejudice of the killer or his wanton disrespect for authority and human life.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Will this take care of the problem?”

Biblical Response:  “Yes…until the next time. You might as well ban vehicles (often used by terrorists as weapons). Until you ban evil – oh yeah, you can’t do that effectively – the perp will always find a way. It seems that the fallen nature of man will prevail – except that’s not the testimony of Scripture (Matt. 16:18; Hab. 2:14; Isa. 11:9) – the last two scriptures talk of a future blissful time. Until then, laws must be enacted. They might temporarily solve some issues…or at least make us feel better. Deal with the real problem? Nope.”

“Christians? We believe that some laws are like trying to herd cats…an exercise in futility. The only long-term cure is the Lordship of Christ (Rom. 10:9-10). Of course, if He’s not Lord of all, He’s not Lord at all.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us realize what the real problem is (unregenerate man) and deal with that in the very manner You recommend; 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 – 4-2-19 LUI – Living Under the Influence

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 4-2-19

LUI – Living Under the Influence

What’s Happening: “Ukrainian officials seized about $60 Million worth of heroin – over half a ton – Sunday, officials said. It appears that the US is not alone when it comes to the illicit use and smuggling of drugs…on March 21, $51 Million worth of heroin was seized in a cargo ship in the Black Sea port of Odessa. This crescendos a recent uptick in psychotropic substances seized (https://www.yahoo.com/news/ukraine-police-seize-60mn-heroin-never-seen-much-153613737.html).  Some argue that what you do privately ought to be private.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Well, shouldn’t it? Taking an illegal substance out of your house…now I can see the crime in that.”

Biblical Response:  “A lot of people have that view…they argue: ‘It is ny body, isn’t it? (Sounds like a pro-choice argument…hmmm).’ I thought you were bought with a price (1 Cor. 6:20; 7:23) Whether you are talking alcohol or drugs or some other controlled substance, the influence inside the home is different than the influence outside…right? Of course. the potential for collateral damage is always higher the more people that are exposed to behaviors influenced by mind-benders. That’s why there are laws governing the way we behave in public (public intoxication, DUI, etc.).

Sure, some will argue that anything that comes from something God made cannot be bad. Really? What about toxins or other poisons? And I’m not of the opinion that Jesus turned water into grape juice at the wedding in Cana! Didn’t He say something about that (Eph. 5:18)? Maybe it’s how much or how we use such substances (Phil. 4:5). ”

Christians? For us (maybe for others, too), there is no such thing as ‘private.’ Even what we do ‘alone’ in the ‘privacy’ of our own homes, God was present for (Ps. 139). The mistake comes when we think it’s our life we live.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to be ever mindful of Your all-seeing eye…and grateful (if we but ask) for Your all-forgiving heart; 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 – 4-1-19 Appearance of Evil

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 4-1-19

Appearance of Evil

What’s Happening: “When Lucy Flores, former Nevada lawmaker, in a personally written piece in the New York Magazine, alleged that in 2014 she was approached from behind by then Vice President Joe Biden at a campaign rally in which he inappropriately touched her, it came as a completely believable accusation by many. Although he says he cannot remember the incident, the former Vice President, and as yet undeclared 2020 contender for the Democrat nomination for President (and front-runner – 29%), ‘Uncle Joe’ was filmed by accident being similarly ‘friendly’ to the wife of Ashton Carter, who was then being sworn in as Defense Secretary (https://www.yahoo.com/news/joe-biden-accused-kissing-former-164948342.html). ‘Neither then, nor in the years since, did he or the staff with him at the time have an inkling that Ms. Flores had been at any time uncomfortable, nor do they recall what she describes,’ a spokesman for Biden said last Friday.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Where there’s smoke there’s fire…what were they doing behind the scenes?!”

Biblical Response:  “No, sometimes there’s just smoke. Besides, there was probably nothing going on elsewhere…why would she invite additional scrutiny if there was? And it is just an allegation…of course, as Brett Kavanaugh found out, that can do damage by itself. However, as leaders, we have to set an example (1 Tim. 4:12). We are to be so well known by our good behavior that the ‘appearance of evil’ (1 Thess. 5:22) is unbelievable. By that standard, not many qualify (James 3:1). Maybe that is as it should be.”

Christians? Of course, there are few who call themselves Christian who qualify, either. However, I’m not saying that the blood of Christ doesn’t make us clean before God. I’m just saying the electorate may not be as forgiving as He.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, thank You for forgiving AND forgetting; help us when we feel tempted to act ignobly; 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 – 3-30-19 Accountability Too Late

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-30-19

Accountability Too Late

What’s Happening: “In a last-ditch attempt at accountability, the Catholic diocese in South Carolina released a list of 42 priests (all but 11 have already died) Friday that have been credibly accused of sexually abusing children. Other lists have been previously released from dioceses in Pennsylvania, Texas, and Mississippi. The Catholic Church has released over 1,000 priests and others as part of a ‘house cleaning’ … but that number is in the U.S. alone. This latest list was only released as part of a class-action suit settlement reached in Charleston (https://www.yahoo.com/news/catholic-church-sc-names-priests-accused-sex-abuse-230433260.html).  ‘It is my fervent hope and prayer that publishing this list will help bring healing to the victims and their families who have been so grievously harmed by the betrayal of priests and church leadership,’ Bishop Robert Guglielmone wrote.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Wow! Over a thousand! What a tragedy!”

Biblical Response:  “Not to minimize the damage done to generations of the congregants, but what’s worse is it appears this was only done because it was forced. Aside from the natural tendency of the victims for silence, those that did know (or at least suspected) remained quiet, too. What happened to ‘when you see a brother overtaken in a fault’ (Gal. 6:1)? The church does not have to air its dirty laundry if it handles these things inside…EARLY.! It may also alleviate collateral damage.”

Christians? We believe in self-discipline and confession (hopefully the self-discipline eliminates the need for confession…or at least keeps the sin to impure thought, not allowing evil to mature to action)..”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, forgive the church for not dealing with the problem till it was forced…for installing the wrong men in the first place (1 Tim. 5:22); 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 – 3-29-19 Fighting Unnecessary Battles

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-29-19

Fighting Unnecessary  Battles

What’s Happening: “Yesterday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was castigated for slashing the federal contribution her department makes to a Democrat ‘Sacred Cow:’ Special Olympics. She has no negative feelings toward the mentally challenged (she donated a portion of her salary to a division of Special Olympics last year), she was just trying to comply with a budget-cutting mandate and hit a Democrat nerve. Trump overrode her decision later and she happily complied (https://www.yahoo.com/news/betsy-devos-donates-salary-disability-201933549.html).  ‘We had to make some difficult decisions,’ DeVos said when questioned.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “But the disabled?! Why did she have to go after the disabled?”

Biblical Response:  “Obviously, she didn’t have her political-thinking-cap on. Cutting the budget is a good thing, but why attack an organization that is so near and dear to lots of people’s hearts? It’s a cinch with a divided Congress there will be plenty of battles…so why pick major battles over something so small (we’re only talking about ~$17.6 Million – that is less than 10% of the Special Olympics’ overall budget – over 90% of which is raised from private sources anyway)?”

Christians? We believe in maintaining peace where possible (Rom. 12:18; Heb. 12:14). But we also believe in paying our bills…which may include some belt-tightening (Rom. 13:8). It’s a matter of balance. It might be helpful to remember that our struggle is not with ‘flesh and blood’ (Eph. 6:12).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us not to make mountains out of molehills…and to see from others’ perspectives, 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 – 3-28-19 Putting Your Finger on the Scale

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-28-19

Putting Your Finger on the Scale

What’s Happening: “After Secretary of State Mike Pompeo interviewed former Chinese prison camp detainee (and Muslim minority) Mihrigil Tursun, he criticized Chinese treatment of religious minorities such as the Uighur ethnic group, one million of which are in Chinese camps (https://www.yahoo.com/news/china-slams-us-criticism-muslim-treatment-absurd-095417128.html). China hit back today calling these camps ‘vocational training centers.’ ‘We urge the US to respect the facts … and stop the malicious smearing and groundless accusations against the Chinese side,’ Chinese Foreign Minister Geng Shuang said.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I guess they don’t have freedom of religion over there.”

Biblical Response:  “No, they don’t. They want you to espouse the tenants of the State, Communism, or nothing…atheism is the only religion promulgated. Some have said that our Founders missed the boat in not making Christianity the state religion. The occupants of the Mayflower, having fled Europe for religious freedom, would have rightfully seen that as hypocrisy.  Leaving Christianity to fend for itself in the marketplace of ideas – not putting your proverbial ‘finger on the scale’…requires faith….which, I believe, is the point anyway.

Christians? We believe in the inherent superiority of Christianity (Jn. 8:32) It needs no help from government or man…or it’s not the truth. The First Amendment only guarantees a level playing field.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us not to take the easy way…and to apply the truth ‘written on our hearts’ (Rom. 2:15); 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 – 3-27-19 “Come-Uppins”

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-27-19

“Come-Uppins”

What’s Happening: “Two bits of news (major to those concerned) came out yesterday that were surprises to almost all (and I’m not talking about the Mueller report of no collusion or the failure of Congress to override Trump’s veto of his National Emergency declaration – though these, too, were newsworthy in their own right). What I am talking about is Empire actor and singer, Jussie Smollett’s charges being mysteriously dropped and his record expunged and sealed (https://www.yahoo.com/news/prosecutors-drop-all-criminal-charges-against-jussie-smollett-his-attorneys-say-153000280.html), AND famed celebrity attorney, Michael Avenatti (think Stormy Daniels), being arrested on extortion and bank fraud charges (https://www.yahoo.com/news/avenatti-arrested-and-charged-with-extortion-embezzlement-bank-and-tax-fraud-193542807.html). If found guilty on all charges, Avenatti could get 97 years. Who knows what the truth is in either case? I guess that’s what courts and trials are for.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Isn’t a man innocent until proven guilty in this country?”

Biblical Response:  “That’s how it’s supposed to work. Of course, there’s also the court of public opinion…ask Trump, Kavanaugh, or Judge Roy Moore about that. Whether or not they are guilty, history is changed. Not forever (the Final Judge will do that), but enough to affect their lives here on earth.”

“Christians? Apart from a mandate to keep things in their proper perspective (Prov. 11:13; 20:19), we are also encouraged to wait for the truth (Gal. 6:9). The facts have a tendency to come out…eventually. As Shakespeare said (Merchant of Venice): ‘the truth will out’…or as the Scripture renders: ‘…be sure your sin will find you out.’(Num. 32:23).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to wait for final justice…we are thankful Your justice makes hell necessary, and Your mercy makes heaven possible; 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