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CLARITY – 1-11-19 The Hard Part Begins

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-11-19

The Hard Part Begins

What’s Happening: “13-year-old kidnap victim, Jayme Closs, has been found…and she’s alive! This was the big news yesterday, as Jayme has been missing since the October 15 murder of her parents in their home near Barron, Wisconsin. She was found wandering the streets yesterday about 70 miles north of Barron in a small rural town there (https://www.yahoo.com/news/sheriff-jayme-closs-found-alive-suspect-custody-022922451.html). ‘Praise the Lord,’ said Allard, Jayme’s Aunt. “It’s the news we’ve been waiting on for three months. I can’t wait to get my arms around her. I just can’t wait.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I guess the rest of her family is relieved.”

Biblical Response:  “Probably in shock…most of these stories don’t have so happy an ending…though the murder of her parents will still be something Jayme will have to deal with…to say nothing of her own kidnapping.  I hope that her therapist – no doubt she will be assigned one – will help her realize God was not asleep at the switch.””

“Christians? How do we explain this (or any) tragedy? First, by saying God was just as sorrowful as Jayme’s family was (Rom. 12:15). Second, by explaining that Jayme’s parents and even Jayme herself were the victims of the evil unleashed in this world, against His will, and that things will not always be this way (Rom. 8:20-21). Listen to how the Living Bible puts it:

‘For on that day thorns and thistles, sin, death, and decay—the things that overcame the world against its will at God’s command—will all disappear, and the world around us will share in the glorious freedom from sin which God’s children enjoy.’”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to understand that You didn’t want any of this, but to receive unforced love You had to give us free will…and sometimes we choose poorly; 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 – 1-10-19 Supremes?

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-10-19

Supremes?

What’s Happening: “Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 85 and recovering from a recent surgery. This led her to being absent from oral arguments Monday, and there are certainly rumors that Trump may soon have another appointment to make. If he sticks with the list he put together on the campaign, he’ll be replacing a liberal (currently 4) with a conservative  (https://www.yahoo.com/news/u-top-courts-ginsburg-misses-162121239.html). Quoting from the Reuters article; ‘Ginsburg, who joined the court in 1993, underwent a surgical procedure called a pulmonary lobectomy on Dec. 21 at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York to remove two cancerous nodules in her left lung.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Three appointments! That’s a lot, huh?”

Biblical Response:  “Actually, excluding George Washington, who had to appoint the beginning Justices (he appointed 11 during his two terms), there have been 11 other Presidents who appointed more. That does not diminish President Trump’s ability to influence the court for many years to come or exclude the possibility that even more than three appointments will be made by him. Of course, we should not assume that Justice Ginsburg will retire, either. In fact, Justice John Paul Stevens and Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes both served till they were 90.”

“Christians? As far as we are concerned, there is only one Supreme Judge and He is ageless. Nevertheless, U.S. Supreme Court Justices do serve a lifetime appointment. Perhaps that is why the Senate’s role of ‘advise and consent’ is so crucial. Maybe not as contentious as the hearing Brett Kavanaugh had to endure, but at least as prayerful.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, we need Your wisdom in the selection of those who will adjudicate our laws; 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 – 1-9-19 Father Knows Best

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-9-19

Father Knows Best

What’s Happening: “Outgoing Gov. Rick Scott, (or should I say Senator Elect Scott?) has appointed the Parkland, Florida shooting victim dad Andrew Pollack, 52 (father of 18 year-old victim Meadow) to the Florida State Board of Education. Mr. Pollack is an outspoken gun advocate that believes each teacher should be trained and armed (https://steadfastandloyal.com/politics/republican-rick-scott-adds-surprise-pick-to-florida-state-board-of-education/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=subscriber_id:1583395&utm_campaign=22-Year-Old%20Son%20of%20Fire%20Captain%20Killed%20by%20%E2%80%9CUndocumented%20Person%E2%80%9D). ‘Accountability for School Boards and Superintendents, increased teacher pay, and enacting and enforcing school safety initiatives are my priority,’ Pollack said.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “What can one father do?”

Biblical Response:  “Plenty! Especially if he’s motivated…and he certainly has every right to be. Will he (or any State School Board) solve the shooting problem? Not until you remove the mentally ill or the evil of every human will that be the case…but he may be able to provide the impetus that will enact sufficient measures to decrease the collateral damage of insanity or evil…at least in the Florida public school system.”

“Christians? More guns and more training might be the short-term fix, but nothing short of universal transformation (Rom. 12:2) will ever be the long-term solution (and that may not happen this side of heaven).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to enact reasonable safety measures in our public institutions, while we seek the long-term solution only Your nature in us will provide; 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 – 1-8-19 “…He is There…”

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-8-19

“…He is There…”

What’s Happening: “‘Buddha Boy,’ as he’s been labeled by devotees (because they believe he’s the reincarnation of Buddha), is being investigated on allegations of sexual abuse and the disappearances of many attendees at his ashrams (https://www.yahoo.com/news/nepal-probes-buddha-boy-over-devotee-disappearances-001928933.html). ‘The police have started investigating these complaints against Bomjan.’ said Uma Prasad Chaturbedi, a spokesman for Nepal’s Central Investigation Bureau.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “He’s probably charging an exorbitant ‘fee’ for his ashram experiences.”

Biblical Response:  “Maybe….I would know nothing about that…and one shouldn’t project the warped material motivations of other religious hucksters on this guy…besides, he may even believe the hype. Of course, the allegations, if true, may represent an ‘out of body’ aberration to his otherwise ‘devout’ behavior. ”

“Christians? Two things. 1) Sincerity is not the measure of truth…otherwise there are 19 terrorists each enjoying the attentions of 72 virgins in paradise for their actions on 9/11. 2) We’ve been warned against such claims (Mark 13:21). May the truth of his actions be discovered and the false claims of his ‘deity’ be exposed for the delusions they are.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, it is easy to believe what is said about us, especially when it hides the true darkness of our hearts. Save us from such delusion; 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 – 1-7-19 Morality…Who Decides

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-7-19

Morality…Who Decides

What’s Happening: “In an interview with Fox News anchor, Jedediah Bila yesterday, Father Jonathan Morris, a Catholic priest, and Rev. Robert Jeffress, a Protestant pastor, found unity in defining a statement made by Speaker Pelosi labeling the border wall ‘immoral.’ (https://www.yahoo.com/news/pelosi-says-wall-immoral-two-133645503.html). ‘It’s absolutely absurd. The primary responsibility of government is to keep its people safe…’ said Rev. Jeffress, Pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas.”  

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Isn’t it immoral to keep people from freedom?”

Biblical Response:  “Perhaps…it’s complicated. Lots of people can make an argument that they were fleeing drugs, lawlessness, or violence (or a combination of them) in their home country…that’s why  they are trying to make it to America. While I’m sympathetic to their plight, there may not be any place to which to make an asylum claim if we don’t have border security. Sure, we need immigration reform (a faster means by which legal legitimate asylum claims can be adjudicated, an effective e-verify system for employers, etc.), but let’s move on with it, not shutdown government over it. Besides, doesn’t God define morality?”

“Christians? Everybody wants to talk inclusiveness…but doesn’t God’s opinion matter? Pastor Jeffress spoke about Nehemiah building a wall around Jerusalem (Neh. 2:20- 3:16) and that even heaven was not universally inclusive (Rev. 21:25-27).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, give our elected leaders the courage to do what’s right, even if the political wind is in opposition; 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 – 1-5-19 Far, But Not Dark

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-5-19

Far, But Not Dark

What’s Happening: “The news was full but the moon was not – especially on the “dark” side: The new Muslim Democrat Congresswoman uttered an expletive toward Trump (https://www.westernjournal.com/ct/sarah-sanders-trashes-rashida-tlaib-impeachment-talks/?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=newsletter-CT&utm_campaign=dailypm&utm_content=conservative-tribune), Nancy Pelosi took the Speaker’s gavel in the House, the government shutdown continues, the Kurds are wondering where they stand as America announces their intended troop-pullout, etc., but perhaps the most astounding news was the landing of the Chinese on the far side of the Moon (https://www.history.com/news/china-plans-historic-landing-on-dark-side-of-the-moon). The referring to the far side as ‘the dark side’ is really a misnomer as the far side is really fully lit everytime we experience a new moon (every 27 days).”  

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Details! Who cares?!”

Biblical Response:  “Truly insigficant to anyone but Pink Floyd…seriously, I’m sure the engineers who orchestrated the lunar landing for the Chinese cared. And so does God, who uses the reflective ability of the Moon as a metaphor for the Church…the periodic waxing and waning of the Sun’s (Son’s?) light on the Earth (Matt. 5:16; Matt. 24:29).”

“Christians? The God Who ‘rules in the affairs of men’ (Declaration of Independence) cares  about what’s happening in the world; including the scientific exploits of the Chinese. It’s all going according to His plan (Is, 55:8-9). Just because things seem chaotic to us does not mean there’s no plan…just that we don’t know it.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, while we don’t know the plans…we do know the Planner…and that gives us comfort; 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 – 1-4-19 Not Universal

CLARITY

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

Not Universal

What’s Happening: “Although (and not unexpectedly) Nancy Pelosi won the election of Speaker of the House, it was not unanimous (actually 12 Democrats did not vote for her). In fact, the only thing unanimous about the vote was the unanimous opposition of House Republicans (https://www.yahoo.com/news/democrats-didnt-vote-nancy-pelosi-house-speaker-202202741.html). She did not take impeachment of the President off the table after her election (https://dcalert.com/2019/01/03/pelosi-vague-about-impeaching-indicting-trump/), but left other lieutenants to introduce bills to do just that (https://www.dailywire.com/news/39931/breaking-democrats-introduce-bill-eliminate-ryan-saavedra?utm_source=cnemail&utm_medium=email&utm_content=010419-news&utm_campaign=position1). What will come of it all? Will the Democrats legislate or investigate? It remains to be seen.”  

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I thought the government was ‘shut down’…how can anybody do anything?”

Biblical Response:  “‘…mostly dead is still slightly alive’…as was remarked by Miracle Max (played by Billy Christol) in the Princess Bride. Or, you might say: ‘Shutdown, but not as you think of SHUT DOWN.’ Or as some would say, ‘The show must go on.’ In any case, the above articles (links) paint an ongoing, but not universal picture. It might do well to have a ‘wait-and-see’ attitude.”

“Christians? Although unanimity is seldom reached, unity should be sought (Heb. 12:14). Sometimes it is not possible (Rom. 12:18), but still it should be sought.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, give our elected leaders the civility that elevates us all, not the incivility that only underscores barbarism; 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 – 1-3-19 Innocent But Not Stupid

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-3-19

Innocent But Not Stupid

What’s Happening: “The return of a man arrested for spying (Paul Whelan) who was attending his brother’s wedding in Moscow, may really be to give Putin a bargaining chip for Maria Butina, arrested for trying to influence the 2016 elections in the U.S. (https://www.yahoo.com/news/retired-u-marine-suspected-spying-russia-innocent-family-170106701.html). Daniel Hoffman, former CIA Moscow station chief said, ‘Putin knows there will be a lot of public square pressure to get this guy out.’”  

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Do I hear ‘prisoner exchange’?”

Biblical Response:  “Probably. I sure am praying for his release and his family meanwhile. His arrest? It should not be unexpected (especially if your resume’ is one that may look suspect for spying – former marine, Security Director for his company, etc.). In fact, anyone traveling outside of the U.S. is in a reduced safety position. Traveling to Moscow, Beijing, or Pyongyang – I’m thinking Otto Warmbier – …well that just comes with an even higher level of wariness..or it should.”

“Christians? We are cautioned to be ‘wise as serpents, innocent as doves’ (Matt. 10:16). Are we not to travel outside the U.S.? Of course we are to travel (haven’t we been given a command to

‘go into all the world’ – Matt 28:18; Mark 16:15)? It’s just that we should listen carefully to what the Holy Spirit says. We will be protected if we are supposed to be (Acts 11:12). Perhaps Jim Elliot and John Allen Chau (both martyred by the tribes they were seeking to evangelize) have done more in their deaths than most Christians in their lives (I know the early Apostles did – all are credited with martyrdom).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, give our State Department negotiators wisdom,  those who travel abroad discretion, and all of us empathy; 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 – 1-1-19 Let’s Hear it for Localism

CLARITY

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

Let’s Hear it for Localism

What’s Happening: “In a surprise attack, two F-16 fighters from Iraq leveled the building where 30+ gang leaders from ISIS were meeting in Syria….perhaps an indication of increased Iraqi involvement now that the US has announced its intention to pull out of Syria (https://www.yahoo.com/news/iraqi-warplanes-strike-islamic-state-leaders-syria-military-125330030.html). This is actually the second withdrawal of U.S. troops. Following the Iraq War, they were at a maximum of 170,3000 in November of 2007 (Wikipedia).. That we have made strides sufficient against ISIS to be able to withdraw those that were deployed there to fight IS is a good thing. Maybe it will devolve into a local insurgency…without our involvement…one can always hope.””  

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Nobody wants us to be the world’s policeman…so why do it?”

Biblical Response:  “It’s complicated. Initially (and ostensibly) our involvement in Iraq was to rid Saddam Hussein of WMDs (remember). Subsequent searches revealed no such caches. Were the intelligence services wrong or did the Iraqis just quickly export them? Yes. If you are confused by my answer, it’s because it’s complicated (and that’s just on a small local scale). The intelligence services AND the powers that be in Iraq all had political agendas. Expand this local chaos to the entire world and you have the answer to the wider question why we don’t want to be the world’s policeman….We don’t have enough information (or power) to be God.”

“Christians? While we may arrogantly think we know best., we don’t. That is one of the reasons He gave us the Holy Spirit (John 16:13). Some of what happens on the world stage is God’s doing; others, God effecting Romans 8:28 – wisely, we should leave God’s work to Him (Is. 55;8-9); still others, the devil effecting his failing agenda.

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, give us patience, humility, discernment and discretion…and wise leaders; 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 – 12-31-18 Works for Prisons

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 12-31-18

Works for Prisons

What’s Happening: “An inmate, Shalom Mendoza, 21, just walked away from San Quentin while on an outside work crew. He was apprehended at a fast food restaurant  4 days later (https://www.yahoo.com/news/california-inmate-walked-away-san-quentin-caught-223511360.html). Quoting from the Associated Press article: ‘It isn’t unusual for inmates outside secure areas to walk away, and most are quickly caught. Far more uncommon are escapes from walled or fenced prisons.’”  

Knee-Jerk Response:  “The mistake was not putting him behind a wall…wait a minute…that sounds familiar.”

Biblical Response:  “The argument would be that caravans are not criminals. True, at least those who apply for asylum at official ports of entry…and they’re not a gang member, fleeing prosecution…or from a terrorist country, etc. What I find ironic is that the very folks who believe walls are for protection are against Trump’s border wall, Duh!?”

“Christians? Some think it’s un-Christian, to not offer these downtrodden a helping hand. What about that scripture that condemns not protecting you own? (1 Tim. 5:8). No doubt it’s complicated.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, we need discerning, merciful, but vigilant hearts. Since You know a man’s heart, guide us; 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