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CLARITY – 1-25-20 A House Divided

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-25-20

A House Divided

What’s Happening: “Perhaps the ‘universal’ Shi’a condemnation of Soleimani’s assassination-by-drone is not so universal. In an article posted yesterday, there seems to be a rift between Shi’a regarding his killing…some are in mourning…some are actually in celebration. While pro-Iranian Shi’a  are convinced Quds Force Commander Gen. Soleimani is a martyr, euphoria in South Yemen and sporadic celebrations throughout the Arab Middle East – amongst Shi’a! – has many seeing a rift they didn’t know was there (https://www.yahoo.com/news/damaged-drone-strike-suleimanis-sainthood-155200496.html). Many Iraqi Shi’a just want all foreign troops to get out. It’s more of a sovereignty issue with them.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Who cares how Shi’as are reacting; it doesn’t make Soleimani any less dead…and I am rejoicing.”

Biblical Response:  “While I may share your feelings, rejoicing the just death of a murdering terrorist mastermind, how Shi’as may be responding – that there is a divide – is good news! Let me explain. There are basically two kinds of Muslims: Sunnis and Shiites. Those of the Sunni persuasion are mostly peace-loving. They represent approximately 80% of the Muslim world. Those of the Shiite persuasion think change must happen and favor terrorism and holy war (jihad) to accomplish it. They represent approximately 20% of Islam. Obviously, when there is a factionalization of the Shiites, it is potentially good news, as a house divided against itself cannot stand (Lk. 11:17).”

“Christians? We believe unity is a huge thing, not always to be encouraged (Gen. 11:1-7). To favor the unity of your enemy is insanity, as you don’t want the prosperity of their cause. Of course, we want them to come to the knowledge of the truth: that Jesus is the only way…not Allah (John 14:6), that there is no other name men may call upon to be saved (Acts 4:12). Actually, that is a message for all Muslims.” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to favor disunity in our enemies, unity in ourselves; 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 © 2020 Alan E. Sargent

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CLARITY – 1-24-20 A Bill Already Paid

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-24-20

A Bill Already Paid

What’s Happening: “Competitor for the Democrat nomination for President and billionaire Tom Steyer brought up his views on reparations Wednesday in an interview with Brittany Sheppard of Yahoo News. A poll released in early January showed him second only to Joe Biden in South Carolina, a state particularly heavy with the population of African-Americans (https://www.yahoo.com/news/steyer-us-reparations-for-slavery-will-help-repair-the-damage-225252324.html). ‘“We would retell the story over the last 401 years so everybody understands not just the legalized, institutionalized injustice in racism — which is definitely a huge part of this story — but also the contribution of the African-American community,” Steyer said. ‘I don’t think we can be the country that we want to be until we acknowledge the past and move to accept the mistakes this country made that are dramatic and obvious, and then repair the damage.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “What’s wrong with what he says? Surely, the African-American should be compensated for their egregious losses!”

Biblical Response:  “I take a few issues with his noble desires. Was it wrong to enslave people just because their skin is darker? Of course, No one should involuntarily be forced to be another’s property. Note how I carefully worded that last statement. ‘Involuntarily’: forced against their will. Can you ‘voluntarily’ become someone else’s property? Yes, they’re not then called slaves, but indentured servants; serving until a condition is met, a debt repaid or for a particular time period. Has this been done historically? Yes…even contemporarily…some might even list convicts as indentured servants…they ’serve’ until their ‘debt’ to society is paid.”

“‘Question:  Then why would reparations not be appropriate?”

Answer:  Can enslavement ever be repaid? How do you compensate lynching? Beatings? Auctionings off? These inhumane treatments fall into the category of heinous sins. Thankfully, they have already been paid for by the voluntary (John 10:17) sacrifice made by Jesus on Calvary (Luke 23:33). Of course, for this ‘universal reparation’ to be applied and accepted as payment-in-full the government and African-Americans would have to acknowledge it…and that’s …at least contemporarily…impossible.”

“Christians? We believe that Christ is our ‘Universal Reparation,’ our ‘Substitute.’ He voluntarily paid a price we could never repay.” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us not to cheapen what You have already done in sending Your Son to die on the cross for us…or to feel better by trying to pay for what cannot be paid; 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 © 2020 Alan E. Sargent

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CLARITY – 1-23-20 Rightly Honored

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-23-20

Rightly Honored

What’s Happening: “Forget ‘A Boy Named Sue’ (country song Johnny Cash popularized), the next Ford-class aircraft carrier will be named after hero-of-Pearl-Harbor Cook First Class Doris Miller it was announced at a recent MLK Day celebrations in Hawaii. Miller was awarded the Navy Cross for his heroism on Dec. 7, 1941 but was listed as killed-in-action two years later.  When the USS West Virginia was hit by a Japanese torpedo, he manned a machine gun – for which he was not trained – and rescued the Captain, carrying him to safety (https://www.yahoo.com/news/u-next-aircraft-carrier-named-212900927.html). Quoting his citation: ‘Miller was below decks December 7, 1941, when the first Japanese torpedo struck USS West Virginia (BB 48). His battle station in the magazine damaged, Miller was ordered to the bridge, where he helped carry the ship’s mortally wounded captain to safety. Miller then loaded and fired an anti-aircraft machine gun—a weapon that, as an African American in a segregated military, he had not been trained to operate. Miller stayed behind once the order to abandon ship was passed to help evacuate shipmates and save the lives of sailors in the burning water.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Pretty impressive for a black man!’

Biblical Response:  “Wow! What a racial comment! I’m sure it would be impressive for anyone! It’s way past time when African-Americans were honored like other Americans… Is there a race that is considered superior? No!!! In fact, we are all from one race (Acts 17:26)…the human race. So why is Doris Miller being honored? Because he did things superhuman, uncommon! Most of us would cower at calamity, or, at best, rescue ourselves. Not Miller! How was he able to do differently? He’s not here to ask, but I’m sure a Force within him took over (Phil. 2:13).”

“Christians? We believe heroism is common in uncommon people…made uncommon by the blood of Christ (Rom. 5:9-21).” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to act uncommonly and embrace ALL who have made uncommon contributions to our common dilemma (Rom. 3:23); 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

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CLARITY – 1-22-20 The Ultimate Answer for Injustice

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-22-20

The Ultimate Answer for Injustice

What’s Happening: “Monday was not a good day for Nigeria: Islamic militants killed Christian Pastor, Rev. Lawan Andimi, then other extremists attacked his hometown, it was announced Tuesday by a human rights activist. This in the same Chibok area where 276 school girls were abducted by Islamic State break-away Boko Haram in April of 2014 (100 are still missing)..  President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, lamented the Pastor’s slaying, ‘I am greatly saddened by the fact that the terrorists went on to kill him even while giving signals of a willingness to set him free by releasing him to third parties,’ he tweeted (https://www.yahoo.com/news/islamic-extremists-kill-nigerian-pastor-122733648.html). The last few weeks have been dangerous for Christians in Nigeria:

  • Last Friday the Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP) released a video of a hooded child executing a Christian man 
  • On Christmas Day nine Christians and two other captives were executed

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I guess it’s not safe to be a Christian in Nigeria!”

Biblical Response:  “You think?! However, it’s not enough that we just wag our heads and co-miserate. Sure, we need to ‘weep with those who weep’ (Rom. 12:15), but we need to bring in the big guns, too: intercessors. Persecution and suffering may be the reasonable expectation of those who dare stand up for Christ (1 Pet. 4:12-14), but we have our own weapons with which to fight. It’s just that our fight is in the heavenlies (Eph. 6:12), where the real war is decided. Sure, we might like earthly justice, but ultimate justice is what we really seek…and we’ll get it (Mal.4:1-3).”

“Christians? Oh, we believe in ultimate justice. Like I’ve said before: justice makes hell necessary, mercy makes heaven possible.” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to act in love, not react in vengeance; 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

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CLARITY – 1-21-20 ‘Soon’ Exposed

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-21-20

‘Soon’ Exposed

What’s Happening: “An apology by a TV Host (Host of  state TV’s Good Morning Iran, Gebareh Jabarri)  posted on instagram Monday (the post has since been deleted) for lying about the downing of a Ukrainian jetliner, killing all 176 on board. ‘Apologies for lying to you for 13 years. It was very hard for me to believe our people have been killed, forgive me for believing this late.’ Others have apologized for believing the lies of the regime, including Taraneh Alidoosti star of the popular 2016 movie, A Salesman (https://www.yahoo.com/news/sorry-lying-13-years-iranian-201452298.html). ‘We are not citizens, we are captives, millions of captives,’ she wrote (this post, too, has been deleted.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Didn’t the Iranian regime initially say they had nothing to do with the downing?”

Biblical Response:  “Yep…guess their lie was ‘soon exposed’ (Prov. 12:19 LB) – ‘Truth stands the test of time; lies are soon exposed.’) Of  course, it can be argued that 13 years is not soon (which is why it’s in quotes in today’s title). But then, nobody likes to believe their own government is corrupt, least of all left-leaning media types. The first part of the verse refers to the eternal nature of truth…the last part: the temporal nature of lies. That’s why the prevailing truth always wins out..,.eventually…and why we have to learn patience.”

“Christians? Oh, we believe in truth triumphing in the end…and that truth is a person (John 14:6). And He will set us free (John 8:32).” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to know the truth and be set free by it; 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

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CLARITY – 1-20-20 Controlling the Borders

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-20-20

Controlling the Borders

What’s Happening: “The pot is starting to boil as thousands of Central American immigrants gathered in the Guatemalan town of Tecun Uman earlier today. Their ultimate intended destination? Somewhere in the U.S,…setting up an immigrant  crisis. However, due to recent agreements with Mexico, to avoid economic sanctions, the Mexicans have agreed to stop caravans at their southern borders and only allow those seeking asylum in their country…thus shifting the immigrant crisis away from the U.S./Mexico border (https://www.yahoo.com/news/large-migrant-caravan-prepares-enter-071932594.html). ‘However, in the majority of cases, once the particular migration situation has been reviewed, assisted returns (read; deportations) will be carried out to their countries of origin, assuming that their situation warrants it,’ the Mexican Interior Ministry said.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “What’s the harm in sharing America’s wealth? It’s the Christian thing to do.”

Biblical Response:  “The Word does say “Blessed are the poor…” (Matt. 5:3 – of course, it’s been taken out of context – the rest of the text is: ‘..in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven’ – any asylum seekers wanting to go to heaven, should be shown the way; also the Word says: ‘For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.’ [2 Thess. 3:10 NASU]). As far as the poem quote by Emma Lazarus (1883 – ‘The New Colossus’),  I would also add:…except the criminals, terrorists, and those who seek us harm’…everyone should be vetted. It’s noble to open a welcoming arm, but there should be a due diligence, too.”

“And I’m all for sharing the wealth, but let’s remember our greatest wealth is not the creature comforts many hollowly pursue, but the freedoms enshrined in our Constitution. Freedoms that deserve protecting, too.”

“Christians? Oh, we believe in vetting…the New Testament is full of pre-qualifications for leadership, the greatest might be one of service (Mk. 9:35). We also believe that ultimately it’s God Who controls the border (Acts 17:26).” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us discern a person’s true intentions; we know that only You can know what’s in the heart (1 Cor. 2:10); but we count on You revealing it to 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:subdeo.com.’  Copyright © 2019 Alan E. Sargent

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CLARITY – 1-18-20 Agree…Sort Of

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-18-20

Agree…Sort Of

What’s Happening: “The left-leaning 9th Circuit Federal Court ruled yesterday, that they weren’t going to hear arguments from the Oregon-based advocacy group Our Children’s Trust, representing 21 youths in a Climate Change case filed in 2015. It may have dealt a death blow to the case that was seeking an injunction against the use of fossil fuels. The Court reasoned that steps taken by Congress and the Executive Branch would be insufficient if not in tandem with other countries. Trump pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord in 2017  (https://www.yahoo.com/news/us-court-dismisses-suit-youths-183236607.html). ‘“That’s the heartbreaking thing about this opinion. The 9th Circuit recognizes that climate change is an existential threat … and agrees that the political branches have not done enough to address this problem in the past and are unlikely to do so in the future. But the court just feels it’s in a really difficult situation,” said Cara Horowitz, co-director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “If, as AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) maintains, the planet only has 11 ½ years anyway (the Green New Deal), I don’t think it’s going to matter.”

Biblical Response:  “That’s assuming a worst-case scenario (and there are many who think either that Climate Change is a hoax or not man-made). I’m not saying we don’t have overall rising temperatures (though I do remember the media’s doom-and-gloom predictions of a coming Ice Age in the late 60’s). It really makes a difference how far you go back in time for temperature comparisons.”

“Besides, changes in the Sun or some localized phenomenon is usually discovered to be the cause-agent. I remember during a Christmas vacation and ski trip to Bozeman, Montana in the late 60’s, the temperature going from minus 40 to plus 41 (in 30 minutes!). It turns out a Chinook (southern wind) that blew in was the culprit. When we get all adither about Climate Change or Global Warming, we need to remind ourselves of God’s promise (Gen. 8:22). Of course, the media’s profits, grant funding, and education may already have the deck stacked.”

“Christians? We believe in responsible stewardship of the environment. It’s part of our original purpose (Gen. 2:15). We also believe our God is bigger than our petty fears.”  

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us not to be jerked one way, then another in matters that You have well in hand; 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

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CLARITY – 1-17-20 Paid in Full

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-17-20

Paid in Full

What’s Happening: “In a Florida Supreme Court legal opinion yesterday, the high court sided with Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis…convicted felons who have served their time must also  pay off all court assigned fines and fees before they can get their voting rights restored. The Southern Poverty Law Center immediately filed an appeal. This is all over Amendment 4, which was overwhelmingly passed by Florida voters in 2018. This would give 1.4 million convicted felons voting rights (https://www.yahoo.com/news/florida-high-court-sides-governor-170332043.html). ‘By holding Floridians’ right to vote hostage, the Florida Supreme Court is permitting the unconstitutional modern-day poll tax,’ objected Nancy Abudu, the deputy legal director for the Southern Poverty Law Center.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “They’ve paid their debt to society; their voting rights should be restored.”

Biblical Response:  “Remind me not to move to Florida anytime soon. I sure want to live by laws made by legislators elected by felons…NOT! (whether they’ve paid their fines or not) It’s bad enough letting Fallen Man (read Gen 3) vote…these people have been adjudicated guilty of serious crimes. I’m all for forgiveness and restoration, but when someone makes poor choices in life, I sure don’t want those choices to have sway over me (1 John 2:15-17). Still, if the voters of Florida have spoken, I can just decide not to live there. Besides, I do understand their logic. Either the penal system is for punishment or rehabilitation. To be hopeful, you have to side on those who claim to have been rehabilitated…if they truly have.”

“Christians? We believe in forgiveness (1 John 1:9) and restoration (Acts 3:21)…of course, that’s not going to happen this side of glory…here, by convicted felons?…well, we’ll see.”  

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to see with Your eyes…we want to believe the best, but we don’t want to be naive; 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

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CLARITY – 1-16-20 Pictures Can Be Deceptive

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-16-20

Pictures Can Be Deceptive

What’s Happening: “In an act that Sheriff Gibson. of Osceola County, FL called ‘despicable,’ Anthony Todt  (44) confessed to killing his wife (Meghan – 42), his two sons (Alek – 13, and Tyler – 11), his daughter (Zoey – 4), and their family dog, Breezy, it was announced at a press conference yesterday. Everyone that knew them had nothing but good to say about them, though a recent eviction notice from their rented five bedroom home in Celebration (A Disney development that backed onto Disney World) indicated some financial difficulties (https://mail.yahoo.com/d?reason=norrinuser#7741662286). ‘ They were always god people’ said Dimitri Koutsofavas, a friend. ‘We met when we were coaching our kids at soccer,’ he said. ‘All the people that knew them had nothing but good things to say.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I read the article and saw their pictures…so deceptive!”

Biblical Response:  “That’s the problem with snapshots and portraits…everybody puts their ‘say-cheese’ smiles on, but reality can often be different. Anyone can look like everything is hunky-dory for a frozen moment in time, but real life is a three dimensional video that keeps rolling, even in tough times (Jer. 6:14; Jer. 8:11). Face it, evil exists (Eph. 6:12), we live in a fallen world (read Gen. 3), and things are not always as they seem (Matt. 7:15). As horrific and tragic as these events are, we should not be surprised…God isn’t (Ps. 139).”

“Christians? We believe in keeping short accounts (with our brothers and sisters…and with God). Things only build up to impossible proportions, when we don’t unburden ourselves often (James 5:16).”  

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to know our own breaking points and not to be so proud that we don’t ask for help; 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

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CLARITY – 1-15-20 Giving and Taking

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-15-20

Giving and Taking

What’s Happening: “John Gardner, 64, at 6pm (CDT), barring any successful last-minute appeal, will be put to death by lethal injection tonight in Huntsville, Texas, for shooting to death his estranged wife Tammy, 41, in 2005. It was testified at trial that she had said that she would not come out of her marriage alive. John, who had been married five times, had allegedly shot his pregnant second wife and injured his third. The U. S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976 (https://www.yahoo.com/news/texas-execute-man-convicted-shooting-110739174.html). Quoting the Reuters article by Brendan O’Brien: ‘On Jan. 23, 2005, about a month after she filed for divorce, Tammy Gardner asked a co-worker to help her ‘disappear’ so no one could track her. That night, John went to Tammy’s home and shot her once in the head, prosecutors said. She died two days later at a hospital.’” 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Maybe he had anger issues.”

Biblical Response:  “You think?! Everyone gets angry, which is no sin, but to lose control…it looks like in his case he was out of control (Eph. 4:26). The Defense probably tried to lay his anger off on some event in his childhood…that, however, is no excuse for taking a life (Ex. 20:13). Giving your life? Well, that’s a different matter (Gal. 1:4, 1 Tim. 2:6, 14). Why different? Because, as in the case of Christ, he did so voluntarily. (He could have called more than twelve Legions of angels to His aid – Matt. 26:33…and at 6,000 per legion, that’s maybe overkill – if you’ll pardon the pun).”

“Christians? We believe there’s a huge difference in giving your life and taking a life. We also believe that there’s a difference in the first death and the second one (Rev. 20 14). The first separates a person temporally from the requirements of physical life – heart beat, respiration, brain function, etc., the second separates them eternally from what’s necessary for spiritual life: God.”  

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to control our anger, but to not live dispassionate lives…also, may we realize the difference in giving our lives and taking someone else’s life; 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