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CLARITY – 6-18-19 That Which Cannot Be Shaken

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -6-18-19

That Which Cannot Be Shaken

What’s Happening: “The southwestern province of China, Sichuan, was hit again. I say again because of the quakes of 2008 – 90,000 killed; and 1976 – 250,000 killed. This time the quake was only 6.0 on the Richter scale and 6 miles deep (the shallower the earthquake, the more the damage. 11 were killed and 122 injured, though aftershocks are still being reported (https://news.yahoo.com/strong-earthquake-hits-southwestern-china-161752310.html). The Associated Press reported: ‘The magnitude 6.0 earthquake collapsed a hotel in Changning county and damaged some roads, Xinhua said. Heavy rains were falling Tuesday morning.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “So, another earthquake kills 11. Big deal! I mean, I don’t want to be callous, but does that really matter to me?”

Biblical Response:  “Apparently not. Unfortunately, your sentiment is common. When poet John Donne penned the lines: ‘No man is an island…I am a part of Mankind…’ (Meditation XVII – 1572); he was obviously not speaking for you…then you didn’t lose a loved one, your house was not a pile of rubble. For many of us, we are myopic…if a problem doesn’t directly affect us…well, we just aren’t too concerned. Not jaded, exactly, but we have enough problems of our own, right? Maybe that’s why we have problems of our own.

The Lord is often trying to get our attention…if not through the calamity of others…then our own. He shakes our lives often to rid us of the junk…so ‘that which cannot be shaken’ may remain (Heb. 12:27).”

“Christians? Oh, we believe in God getting people’s attention. And we believe in commiserating with those whose attention He has gotten (Rom. 12:15).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, awaken in us the empathy and compassion You have demonstrated to us and help us to comfort the afflicted…and listen to Your voice, regardless if it’s others’ afflictions or our own; 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 – 6-11-19 Unreliable

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -6-11-19

Unreliable

What’s Happening: “Extradition to China from New Zealand is in question…A) It’s never been done before (China has no formal extradition rights for New Zealand); B) There is some evidence that though China rigorously challenges any accusation of torture it nevertheless occurs; C) The attempt to extradite someone from Honk Kong has resulted in a million-man protest there… Kyung Yup Kim is accused of killing a woman in Shanghai a decade ago. And the courts in New Zealand put a temporary halt to his extradition to China earlier today (https://www.yahoo.com/news/zealand-court-stops-man-being-082024042.html). ‘Nevertheless, torture remains widespread and confessions obtained through torture are regularly admitted in evidence,’ said the court’s report.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Maybe Kim really did kill that woman!”

Biblical Response:  “Maybe…but we’ll really never know…and neither will the Chinese…not if they rely on a confession obtained through torture. People being tortured will tell you anything just to get the pain to stop. It might be the truth, but it might not. Extradition has traditionally been used as a way for the long arm of justice to get even longer…if there’s no place to run, maybe criminals will just give up and face the music. The Apostle Paul, of course, used it to get justice. His appeal to Caesar led to his extradition to Rome (Acts 25:21), and a fair trial…at least fairer than the Jewish leaders would have given him.”

“Christians? Do we believe in extradition? Absolutely! That is what the translation of the saints at the end of the age is all about (1Thess. 4:13-18). Don we believe in torture? In what way can we construe torture to mean that it is a demonstration of loving our enemies (Matt. 5:44)?”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, while we want to be set free by truth (John 8:32), we don’t want to assume what we get from torture is truth; help us to discern; 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 – 5-22-19 Rumors of War

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -5-22-19

Rumors of War

What’s Happening: “A poll released yesterday revealed that most believe that war with Iran is imminent…the majority also believe that a first strike would be a mistake, but favor a military response if attacked, with 39% favoring an outright invasion (https://www.yahoo.com/news/half-american-adults-expect-war-iran-within-next-043709356.html). Quoting the author of the above-linked article, Chris Kahn: ‘Trump has said he would like to negotiate with the Islamic Republic’s leaders. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani rejected talks on Tuesday and has said “economic war” is being waged against Iran.’”   

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Iran’s just upset that the U.S. has pulled out of the Nuclear Deal. They’re not getting as much Euro-attention.”

Biblical Response:  “Maybe…especially if that Euro-attention brought petro dollars with it. Still, those crazy Iranians are the world’s largest sponsor of terrorism, and just wacky enough to think they might have something to gain by being in a war with us. This is not Armageddon, but American culture today knows nothing of world warfare. The Vietnam War was horrific (over 55, 000 Americans lost), and so was America’s longest war, Afghanistan (as of 5 August 2018, 3,458 coalition deaths). By comparison, WWII records 21-25 million soldiers and 50-55 million civilians! This culture might mature awfully quick if it experienced anything on that scale. Of course, China, Russia, and North Korea would have to get involved to produce those kinds of numbers. Like I said, that would be a quick, albeit drastic, route to maturity for a culture…but stranger things have happened…recently, as world history records time.”

“Christians? Pray (Phil. 4:6). Note that that scripture starts out by saying,”Don’t worry about anything…” Sure, we should take precautions like any responsible watchman (Ezek. 33:6), but God’s got an agenda that won’t be denied (perhaps I shouldn’t remind Him that we’ve aborted 60 million since Roe v. Wade).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father,help us to be wise and remember our frailty when You exact justice…and be merciful: 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 – 5-14-19 Time is a Multiplier

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -5-14-19

Time is a Multiplier

What’s Happening: “The announcement of Chinese retaliatory tariffs (on about $200 Billion worth of products – some of them agricultural), came as no surprise…especially after Trump made good on his threat to increase a tariff on Chinese goods from 10% to 25%. Farmers will have to pay more for Chinese steel and aluminum implements from recent tariffs, and sell less because of these. So far, they seem willing to tighten the belt…but margins are getting slim (https://www.yahoo.com/news/gets-hurt-china-apos-tariffs-213814221.html). ‘“I thought it was going to be resolved last week,’ says American Soybean Association president Heisdorffer. ‘I don’t know what to think now. It continues to ratchet down the amount of cash we have to pay bills.’”  

Knee-Jerk Response:  “It’s like we’re playing chicken…but the American consumer’s going to be left holding the bag (paying more for Chinese goods), right?”

Biblical Response:  “Probably…especially if it goes on long. And it will…short term. Long term? Well, we’re trying to correct the decades of looking the other way, of letting the Chinese steal us blind…literally. We acted like we didn’t care when we wanted/enjoyed their new markets. Now, we want to put an end to their intellectual theft AND eliminate their bans on U.S, products and the Chinese are understandably surprised. We haven’t acted like we minded before. Why all the sudden change? There’s a new sheriff in town! The question is, if we are prepared to pay for the past’s largesse?”

“Christians? The multiplying principle of time is familiar to us. We trespassed plenty in our former lives, and all of this has been ‘cancelled out’ (Col. 2:14), spiritually, by a merciful God. This is not to say that there aren’t consequences and collateral damage (Gal. 6:7). While our eternity is secure, we have no such guarantee on our temporality. Some of our transgressions come with repercussions…which are then often multiplied by time. May God be merciful to us.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to endure our consequences … even as You endured the cross; 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 – 5-8-19 Playing the Long Game

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -5-8-19

Playing the Long Game

What’s Happening: “The big brouhaha over the threat of increased tariffs on Chinese goods sent the stock market downward, though it recovered some of its steam by closing bell. The existing 10% tariffs will be increased to 25% (Friday) and some tech companies who get a significant portion of their revenue from China, registered a several percent decline in their stock values yesterday. Consumers, who fail to see the significance of this trade war, may change their tune as the outcome begins to affect prices at stores (https://www.yahoo.com/news/trade-talks-china-sour-us-121656942.html). ‘”The President’s willingness to risk a market disruption by threatening an unexpected tariff hike suggests that he might also be willing to risk the disruption that formally proposing auto tariffs or announcing the intent to withdraw from NAFTA might cause,’ said Goldman Sachs. Chinese industrial and technology theft, a major reason for the real and threatened hikes, might have to be ratcheted back.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “And this affects me how?”

Biblical Response:  “It might not have much immediate impact to anything but the value of 401Ks, but the theft, which has been going on for decades, has indirectly eroded our economy…and subsequently your paycheck. Theft is wrong for anyone (in fact, it’s never right to do wrong…or wrong to do right), whether you’re one of the two greatest global economies or not. Sure, there may be short-term gains but you always pay for it in the long-term (Gal. 6:7). It takes economic bravery to do the right thing sometimes, especially when vindication is slow and not very obvious…but that’s the price of playing the long game. Integrity is not something many think is in vogue for this administration.”

“Christians? We have often been accused of trying to throw our weight around morally, but that’s just the price of ‘bucking the system’ (John 16:33). Persecution is to be expected (John 15:18). We, too, are playing the long game.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to be willing to pay a short-term price for a long-term gain…didn’t 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

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CLARITY – 5-1-19 Saber-rattling

CLARITY

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

Saber-rattling

What’s Happening: “Two U.S. warships made the usual cruise through the Strait of Taiwan over the weekend and (Red) China made the usual protest. Does the U.S. have the permission of Taiwan (formerly the island of Formosa)? Yes, but the independent nation of Taiwan is claimed by mainland China, too, and they have to protest. Nothing will probably come of either action (the U.S. ‘incursion’ or China’s protest). Both are just trying to keep up their claims (https://www.yahoo.com/news/taiwan-reports-voyage-2-us-warships-taiwan-strait-022818485.html). ‘The Taiwan issue is the most important and sensitive issue in Sino-U.S. relations,’ said Geng Shuang, Chinese Foreign Minister, Monday.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “It’s just so much saber-rattling!”

Biblical Response:  “Probably. And China’s island-building in the South China Sea is just a blatant attempt at extending their territorial claims. Still, first come the claims, then the blockade (it hasn’t happened yet, but it probably will); then they’ll wait for us to blink…their just trying to get us to change our mindset. Their claims are just so much rhetoric until we quit making our cruises. By making them, we maintain our claim…by not making them, we reinforce their claim. Is our mindset important? Is treating that straight as a free sealane all that vital to our interests?  Yes. How you regard a disputed territory will govern your action toward it.

Take the earth for example: Does it belong to Lucifer – or – the Church? We have the title deed from God, Who owns it in the first place (Ps. 24:1; Matt. 16:18). In fact, that last scripture guarantees us victory…in our claims…and in reality!”

“Christians? Oh, we believe in territorial claims…but claims without corresponding action is just so much ‘saber-rattling.’”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, give us the right mindset…no one defends what he does not consider his; 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 – 2-20-19 Not If, But How

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 2-20-19

Not If, But How

What’s Happening: “In a stirring speech (at least to the Venezuelan and Cuban  immigrants) in Florida, President Donald Trump said that Maduro’s days are numbered and all options are on the table. He was also fighting the socialism of Venezuela that has produced an average weight loss of 24 pounds and an inflation rate of 10 million percent … and perhaps the socialism of many of the 2020 election Presidential Democrat party contenders (https://www.yahoo.com/news/nicolas-maduro-attacks-trump-apos-105545947.html).  Maduro’s reaction? ‘We will not make of the honorable Venezuela a Venezuela of beggars,’ Maduro said. ‘We will not accept it.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I smell armed conflict.”

Biblical Response:  “It may come to that…I certainly hope not; a lot of innocents may die. The outcome, however, is certain…what isn’t is the method of transition: peaceable…or not. With Russia, China, and, of course, Cuba backing Maduro…and most of the west backing Guaido…it is set up for a conflict. Sad, but if unchecked now it will get worse.”

“Christians? We believe that God really determines the outcome. Let me elaborate with a scripture:

‘…and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, …’ (Acts 17:26 NASU)

Like I said, the final outcome is determined. The details…not so much…at least from our perspective.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to act wisely and promote peace…You’ve already paid the price for 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: http://subdeo.com.’ He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

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CLARITY – 1-18-19 On the Rise…No Surprise

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-18-19

On the Rise…No Surprise

What’s Happening: “Open Doors, an NGO that keeps track of deaths proven to be strictly for religious reasons, reports a huge increase in the level of persecution of Christians – up 13.9% in just one year – mostly in Nigeria. Although now there’s almost daily fear in India and 1 in 3 Asian Christians experience severe persecution, China actually outlawed Christianity (https://www.yahoo.com/news/one-three-christians-asia-faces-persecution-report-004259377.html). ‘Africa has become the home of violence against Christians,’ claims Michel Varton, president of Open Doors France.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Not being a Christian, how does that affect me?”

Biblical Response:  “Actually, it should trouble everyone. Anytime any group, religious or otherwise, is singled out for punishment just because they believe differently, the freedom of all is in jeopardy. For Christians, this may not be new (John 15:18), but it’s still should be worrisome for everyone.”

“Christians? Although Christianity will prevail (if, as Christians believe, it is inherently superior) as the only real solution to Man’s problems (read the Sermon on the Mount” – Matt. 5,6,7), it will only happen as religion is allowed to have free expression.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, give our persecuted brethren the grace to withstand the onslaughts of the enemy; 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 – 12-5-18 Tariffying

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 12-5-18

Tariffying

 

What’s Happening: “The stock market fell almost 800 points yesterday making it the biggest sell-off since October 10…mostly on fears of tariffs: ours on China ($250 Billion) and China on us ($110 Billion). Also, the starting date of the 90-day pause in those tariffs, agreed by Presidents Trump and Xi at the G20 Summit, was corrected from  January 1 to begin December 1 (https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/04/stock-market-dow-futures-fall-amid-us-china-trade-deal-skepticism.html) ‘ From a math standpoint, this is screaming buy. The only concern I have is people are going to start getting irrational. That’s when the emotional trading starts taking place,’ said Steven Dudash, president of IHT Wealth.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Sell!”

 

Biblical Response:  “That’s just the kind of emotionalism that a lot of financial experts are warning against. Sure, you can probably find those that urge the other way…maybe just as many, but I’m cautioning against fear. The Scripture says, “Fear hath torment” (1 John 4:18). Of course, fear of danger can also help you escape. But we are not called to react, but act. Will the U.S. and China settle their differences? Yes…eventually. Isn’t it better to leave the timing of that to God?”

 

“Christians? To be ruled by fear is just what the enemy wants. To be ruled by faith is what God wants. Is it ever time to sell? Of course…just not out of fear. Better to do things slowly, at the prompting of the Holy Spirit.”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, give us the wisdom and attentiveness, financially, to invest and divest at Your leading, not from the basis of fear; 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