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CLARITY – 7-19-18 Closer Not Necessarily Better

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 7-19-18

 

Closer Not Necessarily Better

 

What’s Happening:  “The Coast Guard has increased the distance tour boats may come to where the lava flow enters the sea at the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii after 23 were injured by an explosion. The distance is now 300 meters…before, you could apply for a 50-meter permit (https://www.yahoo.com/news/hawaii-volcano-boat-tours-continue-063516524.html).  ‘”If we stop operating, it not only hurts us, it hurts the community,’ tour director  Kanoa Jones said.”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Oops! I guess they got too close, huh?”

 

Biblical Response:  “You think?! That’s what they make binoculars for. They say, ‘Curiosity killed the cat,’ … but he (or in this case ‘they’) at least had a good view. Of course, the free publicity of a major natural disaster has helped many tour directors…except those who got too close.”

 

“Christians? Playing close to the edge is not worth the risk (2 Tim. 2:22). The question is not how close to danger you can get and remain unscathed…but how far away from temptation you can live and still feel the ‘heat.’ Like it says in James 4:8 ‘Draw nigh to God…’

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, while fascination may drive us closer, let us take Your Word for things we were never intended to experience; 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 – 7-18-18 Freedom Isn’t Free

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 7-18-18

 

Freedom Isn’t Free

 

What’s Happening:  “Dong Yaoqiong, 28, an activist in China, was detained recently by the Communist government of China when she splashed ink on a poster of President Xi Jinping…no surprise there (as many from Tiananmen Square days will attest). She actually expected to be arrested and she was; a reasonable expectation…those in China who want the freedoms Americans enjoy must also pay the price our Founders and others have paid (https://www.yahoo.com/news/chinese-woman-detained-tossing-ink-xi-poster-activists-053044789.html). AFP reports: ‘The US-based Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) activist network said authorities have also taken the woman’s father and a Chinese artist into custody after they sought to publicize her plight on social media.’”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Her act was stupid!”

 

Biblical Response:  “Probably not…at least to her. She protested to get arrested…and she was successful. Sure, it’s a shame China does not have true freedom of speech…(neither do we on some college campuses)…but things will change for them only with bloodshed…at least that has been the historical fact.”

 

“Christians? Whether it is freedom of expression or freedom from the slavery of sin (Rom. 6:10), we believe in bloodshed. Our Founders shed blood for the former, our Savior shed His blood for the latter. Like this woman, we know that freedom isn’t free.”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to applaud the courage of others as they seek freedom, and be brave (but wise and patient) ourselves as we seek to effect godly change; 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 – 7-17-18 Controlling the Narrative

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 7-17-18

 

Controlling the Narrative

 

What’s Happening:  “The news is abuzz about what Trump said about our intelligence services…that he believes Putin over them…that he believes maybe Russia didn’t meddle in the the 2016 election…that his ego is so big that he couldn’t see past the ‘witch hunt’ of the Mueller probe and even doubted the indictment of the twelve Russian spies…and that’s the conservatives (https://www.dailywire.com/news/33123/trump-slams-his-own-intelligence-agencies-insists-ben-shapiro?utm_source=cnemail&utm_medium=email&utm_content=071718-news&utm_campaign=position1). But perhaps he’s just taking a cue from the liberal playbook and controlling the narrative. Even conservative Allen West tweeted: ‘There are those who say you do not go into such a summit to embarrass, or confront. I say you do not sit with the devil and offer him something cool to drink.’ Perhaps a better saying is: You don’t confront a snake about the viciousness of his bite!’”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Dumb like a fox?”

 

Biblical Response:  “Yeah…kind of. I mean, you know what the liberals are going to say…whatever you say they are going to find fault with it. And you know how everyone believes (including Putin) about the size of your ego…say something that will give Putin pause. If you want to charm a tyrannical despot (or a snake), you can’t start by making accusations, however true they may be. Again…controlling the narrative..”

 

“Christians? Controlling the narrative is what the Sermon on the Mount was all about (Matt. 5-7). Read how many times Jesus said what was written in the law, then went on to say ‘But I say…’ or started his edicts with a ‘But…’ (Matt. 5:32,37,39,44; 6;3,6,7,15,17,23, 27, 33). I’m not saying President Trump is so wise or does not have a huge ego, I’m just say that controlling the narrative determines the direction of conversation…you attract more bees with sugar than with vinegar.”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to gain victory over the enemy by being wise as serpents and gentle as doves (Matt. 10:16); 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 – 7-16-18 Progressives Regress

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 7-16-18

 

Progressives Regress

 

What’s Happening:  “Though 85-year-old Feinstein is likely to win, the California Democratic Party has endorsed her opponent, State Senator Kevin de Leon. Senator Feinstein has been a centrist, but progressive elements of the Democratic Party have forced her to the left on the legalization of marijuana, where she has been historically against it (https://www.yahoo.com/news/california-democratic-party-snubs-dianne-133348215.html). ‘I just think we need a younger, progressive person there. The Democratic Party in California has moved to the left, and he personifies those values,’ said state Democratic committee member Lynne Standard-Nightengale.’”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Doesn’t Feinsein epitomize the swamp?”

 

Biblical Response:  “She is definitely a part of the establishment…being 85 almost certifies that. Still, just because something is new is not a sign automatically of a step forward. Not learning the lessons of the past only guarantees mistakes will be repeated…or worsened. Progressives assume that less control is forward thinking. But what if more control yielded progress? Sometimes it does.”

 

“Christians? Sometimes change is good…sometimes it is bad. How can we be certain when there are forces pulling both ways? Thankfully, God has given us a standard to judge by…a standard that is unchanging. It is called the Word of God (Matt. 4:4). When we begin to call things that are wrong right, it is because we have conveniently used our own desires as a standard (2 Cor. 10:12).”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, while we want progress, we don’t want to have to compromise to get it. Help us establish a standard to live by; 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 – 7-14-18 AND Stick

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 7-14-18

 

AND Stick

 

What’s Happening:  “Let’s see, President Trump has told NATO they need to stop immigrating so many disaffected people and contribute more to defense, met with U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May and hinted he was not too pleased with her visions of implementing Brexit, has pledged to spend on our military over $700 Billion this year (and over $700 Billion next), and is scheduled to meet in Helsinki with Vladimir Putin…sounds like he believes strength is the best negotiating position (https://www.yahoo.com/news/whats-stake-trumps-summit-putin-215539617.html). ‘If I were still secretary of Defense, I would have urged President Trump not to even hold the summit at this time,…’, said former Secretary of Defense William Cohen.”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “It’s a dangerous game.”

 

Biblical Response:  “In fact, it’s no game at all. This is serious stuff, but I’d much rather not exclusively use the carrot…all the benefits peace with us might engender them…but also the stick…what will happen if you don’t. We,ve already expelled some diplomats (over Russia’s use of nerve agents in the U.K.), indicted 12 Russian spies (for election meddling, offered Germany the option of buying their natural gas from us (rather than Russia), put trade tariffs on the Chinese, and peace with North Korea might be imminent. Sounds like President Trump believes in the old apothegm: “Fear of loss is a greater motivator than hope of gain.”

 

“Christians? Sounds peculiarly like that scripture in Proverbs: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” (Prov. 9:10) Of course, the fear of Trump is miniscule (or it should be) when compared with God. But it’s a cinch strength is more riveting than weakness.”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help our leaders to use time-tested biblical principle when negotiating with our allies and adversaries; 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 – 7-13-18 Private = Public

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 7-13-18

 

Private = Public

 

What’s Happening:  “FBI Agent Peter Strzok testified in a public hearing on Capitol Hill yesterday, but there were questions whether he came voluntarily or was subpoenaed (this would drastically change the rules of questioning). All of the partisan fighting was about whether his admitted bias affected his actions…did his privately held beliefs affect his public service? (https://www.westernjournal.com/gowdy-asks-strzok-first-question-then-all-hell-breaks-loose/?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=newsletter-WJ&utm_campaign=dailyam&utm_content=western-journal). ‘At no time in any of these texts did those personal beliefs ever enter into the realm of any action I took,’ Strzok said and CNN reported (https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/12/politics/peter-strzok-hearing-congress/index.html). ”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Private should be private and public should be public.”

 

Biblical Response:  “And in a perfect world there would be no need for there to be a difference…both would be the same and both would be righteous. However, we are not in that perfect world…at least, not yet. Unfortunately, we operate today like there should be a separation…that we should keep our private lives separate from our public lives. Someday I’m going to write that book, “The Myth of the Closet.” People think they can lead one life in the closet and another outside it. NEWS FLASH: God was in there the whole time! It didn’t work for Clinton (his oval office shenanigans with Monica, the blue dress, and all) and it won’t work for Strzok.

 

“Christians? We deceive ourselves when we maintain this private/public opaqueness. Transparency is a Christian reality and unrepented sin fosters the myth of the closet (Luke 12:3). We are hypocritically setting a standard of righteousness when we maintain we have no need of redemption in our thought-life. How do you achieve this holiness? It’s a cinch maintaining this false separation between private and public is no place to start. More of God’s Word will help (Phil. 2:5; Rom. 12:2)…and the Holy Spirit’s conviction (John 16:7-8).”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to choose men and women of impeccable integrity for our halls of justice, those with no difference between private and public; 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 – 7-12-18 Are You Kidding (no pun intended) Me?!

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 7-12-18

 

Are You Kidding (no pun intended) Me?!

 

What’s Happening:  “With the creation of an official designation (MAPs – ‘Minor Attracted Persons) and a flag (to be used in ‘gay pride’ parades), pedophiles have at last made their final stab at joining the ‘accepted’ LGBTQ community…it was started in 2003 by mental health pros (https://www.westernjournal.com/ct/pedophiles-desperately-join-lgbt-movement-acceptance-flag/?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=CTBreaking&utm_campaign=breaking&utm_content=conservative-tribune). ‘True pedophiles have an exclusive preference for children, which is the same as having a sexual orientation…,’ said retired Prof. Gijseghem of University of Montreal to parliament.”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “So that would be LGBTQP?”

 

Biblical Response:  “IF they are approved…and only in Canada. Why not just use the whole alphabet? Or simply: SINNERS? Truly, all sin separates us from a holy God…but in this case the collateral damage is unacceptable…or it used to be. We’ve come a long way, baby…but this is not in a good direction! We are not moving heaven and earth to save kids (the ‘Lost and Found…and Rescued!’ of yesterday’s CLARITY blog – subdeo.com) only to have them propositioned…or raped…they were safer in the cave!

 

“Christians? It’s not a sin to be tempted, but to give action to those thoughts…well, it doesn’t lead to a good place (James 1:15). If we don’t call outlaw unacceptable behavior AND use the Bible’s mandates as our standard…well what does it say about sowing the wind? You reap the whirlwind! (Hos. 8:7)”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, nobody wants their passions bridled, but help us to use our reins (and brains!) to bring us back onto the road of sanity; 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 – 7-11-18 Lost and Found…and Rescued!

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 7-11-18

 

Lost and Found…and Rescued!

 

What’s Happening:  “The whole world has been glued to their screens (TV, phone, tablets and laptops) for news of the “Lost Boys’ (http://www.subdeo.com for short blog – go to archives for July & scroll down to 7/5/18), a 12-boy soccer team and their coach who got lost cave exploring and later trapped by rising monsoon waters deep in Thailand. Although quarantined, all healthy (https://www.yahoo.com/news/trapped-thai-boys-being-closely-watched-health-problems-212226907.html). Millions kept track of their rescue and parents can hardly wait.”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “The coach needs to have his head examined. What was he thinking?!”

 

Biblical Response:  “He’s only 25…cut him some slack! Seriously, some are hailing him as the real hero in this thing. Imagine trying to keep a dozen boys (11-16-year-olds) calm…for 12 days…in total darkness! Too bad he is countryless, though I’m sure many would claim him… (https://www.yahoo.com/news/coach-ek-unlikely-stateless-hero-thai-cave-drama-074751040–spt.html). What a feat!”

 

“Christians? We should rejoice anytime the lost are found…we surely were (Luke 15:4-6). And we hopefully prayed…if not, now’s your chance…they will have a long road to walk down in the future. Others lost? Yes…all over the world. Just because their story is less publicized does not mean they are less lost…or cared for! (Matt. 18:14)”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us all to have Your Father-heart, caring for each precious soul as if it was our very 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 – 7-10-18 Persecution is Not Unfamiliar

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 7-10-18

 

Persecution is Not Unfamiliar

 

What’s Happening:  “Unfortunately, we live in an uncivil society…at least that is what former Trump adviser Steve Bannon learned when he was recently berated while browsing inside Black Swan Bookstore, but he wasn’t alone (Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders was refused service at the Red Hen Restaurant, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen received chants of ‘shame’ and ‘end family separation’ by protesters in a Mexican restaurant, etc.) https://www.local10.com/news/politics/steve-bannon-called-piece-of-trash-by-heckler-at-bookstore). ‘Steve Bannon was simply standing, looking at books….’ the owner said..”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.’ I guess we will see more resignations like Scott Pruitt.”

 

Biblical Response:  “Running away from problems solves little (though his family saw some relief, no doubt). I’m all for free speech OUTSIDE. I’m also for businesses making a profit INSIDE. While the owner of the Red Hen may have had the right to refuse Sarah service, it may not have made good business sense. And the last time I checked, conservatives is not a protected class (nor should it be).”

 

“Christians? We are to be examples of civility (2 Tim. 2:24-25; Rom. 15:1-2). Sure, we are not to love the world (1 John 2:15), but our protests against it should take on a different tenor. One of the early church’s first protests was held below the Tiber River Bridge in Rome as they caught babies being tossed by inconvenienced upper-crust Roman families attempting infanticide.”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, teach us to object without being objectionable; 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 – 7-9-18 Not Dead, But Not Well, Either

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 7-9-18

 

Not Dead, But Not Well, Either

 

What’s Happening:  “Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, may have characterized his recent meetings with the DPRK as ‘a great deal of progress was made’, but he also gave this caveat, ‘there’s more work to be done’…sure beats the NK’s accusation that the U.S. was ‘gangster-like’ (https://www.westernjournal.com/ct/pompeo-unloads-nk-officials-call-out-gangster-like-denuclearization-demands/?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=newsletter-CT&utm_campaign=dailypm&utm_content=conservative-tribune). ‘If those requests were gangster-like, the world is a gangster, because there was a unanimous decision by the UN Security Council about what needs to be achieved,’ responded Pompeo.”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I guess we will experience the same deceit other administrations have.”

 

Biblical Response:  “Maybe. It’s too early to tell. We didn’t get here overnight and we shouldn’t expect denuclearization will be quick either. At least as long as you are talking you aren’t lobbing nukes at each other. It’s kind of like talking a poisonous snake out of its venom…something that has to be done slowly and with great assurances.”

 

“Christians? Unfortunately, the headline of today’s blog might be an accurate description of the Church…and if we ever needed a vibrant Church, it’s today. We need to be on our knees asking for peace. Admittedly, I have not been a diligent spiritual warrior (Eph. 6:12), have you.? This is not to administer condemnation or even conviction (I’ll leave the Holy Spirit’s job to Him). Still, a little action would be helpful. Our negotiators don’t need to go in unarmed.”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to be prepared, not repaired. We need Your inspiration,  Your patience and diligence, and like You, we need to see the end from the beginning (Is. 46:10); 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