Posted on Leave a comment

CLARITY – 4-7-20 Attitude Reflects Altitude

CLARITY

Biblical Response to Current Events – 4-7-20

Attitude Reflects Altitude

What’s Happening: “The sexual abuse conviction of Cardinal George Pell was overturned by Australia’s highest court, it was announced yesterday. He had been unanimously convicted and sentenced to six years of imprisonment in April of 2019. He was the highest Roman Catholic church official ever convicted of sexual abuse. A lower court had refused to overturn his conviction on a 2 to 1 vote, This was the court of his last appeal. He stated that he was not offended by the earlier ruling but that he simply did not do it…apparently the higher court agreed (https://www.yahoo.com/news/cardinal-pell-released-prison-court-004900979.html ‘I hold no ill toward my accuser, I do not want my acquittal to add to the hurt and bitterness so many feel; there is certainly hurt and bitterness enough,’ the Cardinal said. ‘However my trial was not a referendum on the Catholic Church; nor a referendum on how Church authorities in Australia dealt with the crime of paedophilia in the Church,’

Knee-Jerk Response:  “He must be guilty of something…the vote was unanimous!”

Biblical Response:  “I don’t know. Could be that the witness just wanted revenge for some other tragedy he suffered. God will see to it that ultimate justice is served (Mal. 3:18). However, one principle should be noted: The higher a position in leadership that is attained, the greater the responsibility to be circumspect (Phil. 1:10):

“…circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: (MSG).

“Circumspect.’ now there’s an interesting word. It is not common, so let’s go to its Latin roots to discover its meaning. ‘Cir’ (we get ‘circle’ from this word), ‘cum’(the preposition, ‘with’), and ‘spect’ (from the verb ‘spectare’, which means ‘to see’). Therefore, this word, in context, means that our behavior must be integritous whether seen from any angle.”

“Christians? We believe that our behavior must match our witness (Tit. 1:7-9). To use the scripture in bold above, our behavior must be ‘exemplary,’ worthy of example. Are we? Some have made more progress towards the holiness the Lord desires…they are set aside as leaders…but we are all dependent on the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus (1 John 2:1-2). ”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to live up to the name we take: Christian; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books, or donate, or to subscribe, or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link:subdeo.com.’  Copyright © 2020 Alan E. Sargent

Posted on Leave a comment

CLARITY – 11-21-19 Free or Mandatory

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 11-21-19

Free or Mandatory

What’s Happening: “In an article published Tuesday by The Telegraph, Roman Catholic Bishop, Guo Xijin, 61, is fleeing the government-ordered joining of the government-run religious association in Communist China. In officially atheist Communist China, there are two Roman Catholic churches: the state-run church, loyal to the government, and the underground church, loyal to the Vatican…though a compromise was recently reached that was supposed to rectify that (https://www.yahoo.com/news/chinese-bishop-run-refusing-join-115240747.html). CLARITY’s prayer? Run! And may God hide him.” 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Doesn’t China claim to have freedom of religion?”

Biblical Response:  “They do…apparently, the claims have been ‘greatly exaggerated.’ If you don’t believe me, ask the million or so in ‘re-education’ camps. Am I not for facing the music? Yes, even if it means martyrdom. But I’m also for following the Holy Spirit. Paul fled sometimes, too (Acts 9:23-25), and later in the scripture we read of other disciples fleeing (Acts. 14:1-7). As far as following government mandates is concerned, I’m generally for obeying those put in authority over you (1 Pet. 2:12-17). However, Peter and John make plain the distinction when they say in Acts 5:29, ‘We must obey God rather than men.’ (NASU).”

 “Christians? We believe that true freedom of religion must be uncoerced. You cannot legitimize force by applying it under government sanction…not where a person’s belief system is concerned.” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to remember to pray for the persecuted Church of various ilks…some fleeing…some in prison…some under orders to be executed; and may Your will be done; 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

Reader:

May I indulge in a little self-promotion? Many of you read CLARITY every day…and you hopefully forward it on to still others. Some even subscribe from the website. Thanks! (one mother wrote that she wanted to subscribe to read it to her children everyday – read away!) However you get CLARITY, would you consider donating on the website? I’m happy to find useful purpose in helping folks stay informed and supplying what I think God has to say on the subjects of the day…still, I want to get this word out to others…which is what I’ll do with your gifts. Thanks in advance.

Blessings,

Alan

Posted on Leave a comment

CLARITY – 10-30-19 Denied

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 10-30-19

Denied

It’s Happening: “Last Sunday, in a South Carolina Catholic Church, history was made…Vice President and 2020 Democrat Presidential hopeful Joe Biden was denied holy communion by a priest saying, any ‘public figure who advocates for abortion places himself or herself outside of Church teaching.’ Rev.Robert Morey, the priest of Saint Anthony Catholic Church in Florence refused to serve Vice President Biden because the Catholic Church is vehemently Pro-Life, and Biden, though his philosophy on the issue has been varied over the years (recently – in June – dropping his long-standing support of the Hyde Amendment which blocks government funding of abortions), he considers the issue a private one now (https://www.yahoo.com/news/catholic-priest-denies-joe-biden-144747433.html). ‘Sadly, this past Sunday, I had to refuse Holy Communion to Former Vice President Joe Biden,’ Morey was quoted. ‘Holy Communion signifies we are one with God, each other and the Church. Our actions should reflect that.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “So, I’m a Protestant…does that make any difference to me?”

Biblical Response:  “Maybe…maybe not. It really depends on God’s posture on the subject. Let’s see what He has to say:  ‘For the life of the flesh is in the blood…” (Lev. 17:11) Life at least begins at the circulation of the blood…some say at conception…  ‘I will give thanks unto thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…’ (Ps.139:14) ‘…thou didst form my inward parts: Thou didst cover me in my mother’s womb.’ (Ps 139:13)  Hmmm…seems obvious to me.

“Christians? We could have the argument as to whether Catholics or Protestants are Christians…that’s a subject for another blog. Still, there is no doubt that God seems to be for the life of the unborn…and certainly a priest has the right (some would correctly say the responsibility) to serve whom he will in Communion (1 Cor. 11:27-28). Of course, maybe Mr. Biden should not have presented himself for Communion.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, give us the courage of our convictions and to pay whatever price that may cost; 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.’ 

Posted on Leave a comment

CLARITY – 9-25-19 Discipline Rescinded

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 9-25-19

Discipline Rescinded

What’s Happening: “Although Archbishop Charles Thompson revoked the Catholic status of Cathedral High School in Indianapolis, Indiana, over their refusal to fire a gay math teacher, Layton Payne  Elliot, the Vatican suspended the order. At another Catholic school in the archdiocese, Roncalli High School gay guidance counselor, Lynn Starkey, was put on administrative leave last August for marrying Ms.Shelly Fitzgerald. Ms. Starkey has sued  (https://www.yahoo.com/news/vatican-pauses-decree-revoking-schools-143831057.html).  ‘The Archdiocese of Indianapolis awaits a final determination by the Congregation for Catholic Education,’ the archdiocese said.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Does that make the Pope pro-gay?”

Biblical Response:  “Maybe…so? Thankfully, God doesn’t vacillate with the culture and the Word of God, although living and powerful (Heb. 4:12), does not change with the current popular trends (like some who want to interpret  a ‘living’ Constitution). Although Pope Francis speaks for the Roman Catholic church, he does not speak for the Kingdom of God. The Bible? Oh, it’s unequivocal about the whole issue (Lev. 18:22; 20:13 ;and 1 Cor. 6:9, to name a few – also see the CLARITY of 11/13/18 – subdeo.com).“ 

“Christians? While we may be anti-gay, we are not anti-gay-people. We may hate the act for what it does to people (to say nothing about the effrontery to God’s created order), but we don’t hate the actors. The Living Bible puts the right emphasis on it in Proverbs 29:27:

The good hate the badness of the wicked. The wicked hate the goodness of the good.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to have Your loving attitude toward all sinners: hating the sin, while loving the sinner; 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.’ 

Posted on Leave a comment

CLARITY – 4-27-19 Cleaning House

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 4-27-19

Cleaning House

What’s Happening: “The Archdiocese of New York released a list yesterday of 120 priests and  clerics (the list actually includes Bishops, high school teachers, a Scouting Chaplain, and a Cardinal) for sex abuse. The list only includes those whose abuses have been substantiated. Most of the abuses stem from acts in the ‘70s, ‘80s or early ‘90s. Some have resulted in civil suits and the church has paid out over 65 million dollars to over 350 individuals (https://www.yahoo.com/news/york-archdiocese-names-120-priests-accused-sex-abuse-230007592.html). I realize ‘the shame that has come upon our church due to the sexual abuse of minors’ and I ask for forgiveness ‘for the failings of those clergy’ who betrayed the trust invested in them to protect young people. ‘It is my heartfelt prayer that together we as a family of faith may be healed,’ Cardinal Timothy Dolan said.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “How embarrassing! Attendance was already down.”

Biblical Response:  “Yes…but I don’t know which is more shameful…the revelation that what some have suspected is really happening or sweeping it under the ecclesiastical rug for another generation! The Protestants, wisely, are being particularly quiet. I don’t imagine they have much room to throw stones (John 8:7). The scripture about laying hands too quickly also comes to mind (1 Tim. 5:22). Teachers (and essentially, that’s what all Christians are) have a special responsibility to live exemplary lives (James 3;1-2;  1 Pet. 5;3).”

“Christians? Since we believe in accountability, especially for leaders (Heb. 13:17), these abusers should be restricted from ministry. It’s kind of like asking a Christian former alcoholic to minister in bars – there might just be a little too much temptation. Some would even say: Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic. One could also state: once a sinner, always a sinner…hopefully, saved by grace.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to be ‘gentle, patient teachers of those who are wrong’ (2 Tim. 2:24); 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

Posted on Leave a comment

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

Posted on Leave a comment

CLARITY – 9-13-18 Like Gasoline on a Fire

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 9-13-18

Like Gasoline on a Fire

 

What’s Happening:  “In case you haven’t been aware (or are living your life in a phone booth…wait, that metaphor is obsolete…or are living your life under a rock), there is a huge officially sanctioned persecution of Christians going on in China. The ‘underground church,’as large as 70 million (excluding Catholics), is under assault with church closings and threats (https://www.yahoo.com/news/prominent-chinese-pastor-defiant-church-closure-104056258.html). A pastor of one such 1,600-member church in Beijing, Jin Mingri, is reported to have said, ‘A church is more than just about a space. It’s about gathering together to worship, it’s about belief.’”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “At some point, won’t the underground church become extinct?”

 

Biblical Response:  “Probably not. Historically, some of the Church’s largest periods of growth came during the greatest persecutions (one only has to look at the birth of the underground church in China, when Mao killed 70,000 Christians per month during the Red Guard revolt of the 1970’s). The message of salvation is irrepressible.”

 

“Christians? We should not be surprised when the world hates us. It hated Him first (John 15:18). How do we respond to persecution? Be led of the Spirit. Some have done good to their persecutors (Rom. 12:21) Others, when threatened with bodily harm, did as they were called to do anyway (Acts 5:40-41). It’s kind of like trying to put out a fire with gasoline (Acts 5:42 through Acts 6:1).”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, of course we pray for persecuted believers everywhere, but give us the courage of our convictions and may we do something today that fully convinces others of our primary love of You; 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