Posted on Leave a comment

CLARITY – 10-2-20 Some Sad…Some, Not So Much

 CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 10-2-20

Some Sad…Some, Not So Much

What’s Happening: “Earlier today, the President and First Lady tested positive for COVID-19 and tweeted they would ‘get through this together.’ Trump may have contracted the virus by traveling with close aide Hope Hicks, who has tested positive. All three are in quarantine, and there may be others. The Trump Administration has not been keen to wear masks, but they have always made them available at his rallies (see CLARITY blog of 7/1/20…subdeo.com). He often does not wear them and has said he was downplaying the virus in order to not create a panic. During the prescribed 14-day quarantine period he has cancelled the upcoming previously scheduled campaign events…it is not known if he’ll attend the second debate currently scheduled for the 15th. Biden will, no doubt, send his condolences, but is he really sad? Maybe… (https://www.yahoo.com/news/president-trump-says-he-and-the-first-lady-have-tested-positive-for-covid-19-054718866.html). Quoting the Yahoo News article by White House Correspondent Hunter Walker: ‘Trump’s doctor, Sean Conley, said in a statement that ‘the President and the First Lady are both well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I wonder how this will affect his re-election chances?”

Biblical Response:  “Good question. He’s pretty resilient though. It will be a temptation for former V.P. Joe Biden to gloat a little, though it would certainly be bad form…he’d be wise to send flowers. As far as it affecting Trump’s campaign? It might…positively (never underestimate the power of sympathy – Rom. 12:15)! No doubt, Trump will send out a ‘tweet-storm.’”

“Christians? We believe in the power of sympathy…but we also believe in the power of prayer (James 5:16). Our job as Christians is to pray for ‘all who are in authority’ (1 Tim. 2:2 NASU).” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to remember to pray…we certainly have much that should be on our list; in Jesus’ Name, amen.

Share as you like -just give appropriate credit. 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.’ If he’s not in Twitter/Facebook/Email jail, he also tweets/posts.

Posted on Leave a comment

CLARITY – 9-26-20 The Pot Calling the Kettle

 CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 9-26-20

The Pot Calling the Kettle

What’s Happening: “The irony was palpable…so was the anger…first, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. had scathing remarks to make about China Thursday (in regard to their role in spreading COVID-19), then the Chinese Ambassador leveled an angered response. Sure, there were other remarks made by other nations (African nations asking for more economic relief from the coronavirus), but mostly it was the brouhaha between China and the U.S. Trump’s remarks, lately calling the disease the ‘China-virus,’ has succeeded in only inflaming the Chinese delegation, even if the facts do seem to support their claims (https://www.yahoo.com/news/enough-enough-china-attacks-us-194210842.html). In an AFP article that appeared yesterday,  authors Philippe Rater and Valerie Leroux related: ‘Using a phrase often told by US leaders to China, Zhang said, ‘The US should understand that a major power should behave like a major power. The United States ‘is completely isolated,’ he said in remarks enthusiastically backed by his Russian counterpart.’” 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “The U.N. is mostly impotent…does anyone pay them any attention, anyway?”

Biblical Response:  “Probably not as much as they would wish…that comes from not having a standing army (this is not an appeal for one) and having no real set of laws all subscribe to…there’s just too much disagreement. The report of Thursday’s bloviating is a good example of: saying what you feel, feeling good about it, but nothing really coming of it.”

Why do we have the United Nations, anyway? Maybe because we know we should pursue talking over fighting…but don’t really know how. Like I’ve said before: ‘There will never be peace on earth, until the Prince of Peace rules in the heart of every man,’ That’s not likely to happen any time soon because of wickedness (Is. 48:22)…at least not when we are looking for peace elsewhere.”

Peace is not the absence of conflict…that’s just detente (an agreement to disagree). You could argue that it sure beats fighting, with all it’s unintended consequences and collateral damage. But any peace achieved that way seems only to be temporary.”

“Christians? Oh, we believe in pursuing peace, alright…but it’s probably unachievable between fallen men. We all need Someone more powerful than we are, to hold our feet to the fire, Oh, wait a minute…if we only acknowledged that is exactly what is happening.” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to seek true Peace…and realize it’s really a Person;in Jesus’ Name, amen.

Share as you like -just give appropriate credit. 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.’ If he’s not in Twitter/Facebook/Email jail, he also tweets/posts.

Posted on Leave a comment

CLARITY – 9-10-20 Bad News vs. Good News

 CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 9-10-20

Bad News vs. Good News

What’s Happening: “If you believe the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics Evaluation (IHME), the Fall, Winter and Spring will bring us a huge increase in both COVID-19 cases and deaths. However, as Youyang Gu, trained at MIT, projects there will be an increase, but not nearly so severe. The difference? 400+%! (Gu projects 400 daily deaths by Nov. 1…IHME projects over 1,825!). Gu has been much more accurate in his predictions, but IHME’s forecast is the one that will make news (https://www.yahoo.com/news/a-new-covid-19-forecast-predicts-more-than-400000-deaths-by-the-end-of-2020-will-the-fall-wave-really-be-that-big-215402962.html). Quoting the Yahoo News article that appeared yesterday: ‘The truth is, nobody — not even the top coronavirus experts — has any clue how the pandemic is going to evolve over the next four months. That’s frightening in and of itself, of course. But it’s also why projecting the exact number of deaths and infections four months in advance is almost certain to be misleading.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Does that mean I need to go out and buy life insurance before the rates go up?”

Biblical Response:  “Maybe…I have no idea which projection the actuarialists (is that a word?) will use. I do have a little insight into which projection the media will use. Bad news means higher ratings. America seems more fascinated by how bad thing might get, not reality…though they are quite willing to breathe a collective sigh of relief when what they feared does not come to pass. It’s all about managing expectations.”

“Which narrative best serves which party? I’ll let you figure that out. Suffice it to say: ‘Good news from far away is like cold water to the thirsty.’ (Prov. 25:25 LB)” 

“Christians? We believe our knowledge of the truth will set us free (John 8:32) and that ‘fear has torment’ (1 John 4:18). The only problem is people want to believe a lie…if it’s bad enough (that’s why Stephen King sells). Or to put it another way, safety is more important than another person’s hardship…selfishness rules in the heart of a fallen man.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to default to optimism…(of course, that will require a new nature); in Jesus’ Name, amen.

Share as you like -just give appropriate credit. 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.’ If he’s not in Twitter/Facebook/Email jail, he also tweets/posts.

Posted on 2 Comments

CLARITY – 9-7-20 Failure to Thrive

 CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 9-7-20

Failure to Thrive

What’s Happening: “A Time article reported that for the first time youth, ages 18-29, living at home with their parents, was a majority (52%) in July (26.6 million). There is some validity to think that a portion of their motivation might be COVID-19, but the general trend has been increasing since it topped 48% in 1940, mostly due to the Great Depression (although it hit a low in 1960 of 29%, it has jumped to 36% in 1990, 38% in 2000, and 40% in 2010 – last year’s figure of 47% is particularly alarming, too). Some cite economic reasons, some cite college closings due to the pandemic, but the trend has definitely been up over the decades (https://www.yahoo.com/news/majority-young-adults-u-now-210114086.html). Nobody postulated a real reason the trend has been up…maybe this failure to thrive is the result of lack of preparation by busy parents.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Parents are busy these days…what ever happened to Mr. Rogers and Big Bird?””

Biblical Response:  “Other than an obvious opening statement, that response is disturbing on a whole lot of levels! First, let me respond to your question: Mr. Rogers (famed star of a daily children’s TV program) died at 74 in 2003; Big Bird was a children’s favorite faux live stuffed over-size animal, and appeared on the TV program Sesame Street, until the death at 84 of Caroll Spinney, Big Bird’s voice.”

A bigger point is the way we have increasingly let the TV (and now phones and tablets) babysit our children, allowing parents to pursue double incomes…a necessity for chasing the lifestyle our culture demands. The real question is how did we get here? Perhaps with the slide of our culture’s vibrant relationship with Christ (we used to have a Christian consensus in America). has come a sense that pursuit of personal pleasure overrules our responsibility of parenting. It doesn’t (Eph. 6:4; Prov. 22:6).”

“Christians? We believe our culture’s Christian decline is sad…that we need a new ’Great Awakening.’ Is it in the offing? I believe, YES! However, time alone will tell.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to believe for a rejuvenation (2 Chron. 7:14)…and be prepared to make the personal sacrifices in will inevitably cost; in Jesus’ Name, amen.

Share as you like -just give appropriate credit. 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.’ If he’s not in Twitter/Facebook/Email jail, he also tweets/posts.

Posted on Leave a comment

CLARITY – 9-3-20 I Get It

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 9-3-20

I Get It

What’s Happening: “In a Daily Beast  article yesterday, it was reported that Governor of Oklahoma, Bill Stitt, is one of a few GOP holdouts who have not issued a statewide mask mandate. His reasoning, even though the White House COVID-19 briefings have given him political cover: It’s a local issue…’I’m not going to mandate something statewide,’ he said. ‘Every community is different.’ There have been plenty of Democrat Mayors in Oklahoma that have issued mask mandates and even some GOP Governors who have finally caved on the issue, but not Gov. Stitt. Others have argued that a statewide mandate would help assuage the state’s 12th highest infection rate: (Quoting directly from the article) ‘It really is much less effective than if the governor would take action,’ said John Browne, the Democrat mayor of McAlester, Oklahoma. ‘Because I can have a mask requirement in my town and the town next door not have it. So you’re not getting the benefit that you would get if everyone were following the same rules’

 (https://www.yahoo.com/news/doesnt-matter-pushing-masks-ok-081315770.html). Says Dr. Dale Bratzler, the chief COVID officer for the University of Oklahoma who supports a statewide mask order, ‘I don’t think there’s any good political reason not to have a mandate. I just don’t get it.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “What’s there to get? More masks, fewer cases.’

Biblical Response:  “Sounds simple, but it’s not. Let me explain. In the first place, masks are not comfortable or friendly (and there are conflicting reports as to whether they are a net positive or negative). They might even give a false sense of security, making you not socially distance if you wear one. Then there’s the whole herd immunity issue. Gov. Stitt’s decision not to order a mandate may reflect these reasonings as underlying issues, but his main reasoning is much simpler: Let the local authorities decide. As far as those who claim a relationship with the Lord Jesus: Let what others want be your guide (Rom. 12:10 – see CLARITY of 7/1/2020).”

“Christians? We believe in treating others as better than ourselves (Phil 2:1-4), though it can seem unfriendly and is seldom comfortable (at least not to out flesh…which is quite selfish). Do I wear a mask? Sometimes. I actually have several in the compartment of my walker.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us not to judge too quickly or hypocritically; in Jesus’ Name, amen.

Share as you like -just give appropriate credit. 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.’ If he’s not in Twitter/Facebook/Email jail, he also tweets/posts.

Posted on 1 Comment

CLARITY – 8-13-20 A Little Perspective Please

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 8-13-20

A Little Perspective Please

What’s Happening: “Wednesday, Israel struck Hamas sites in Gaza over fire balloons they unleashed across the border Tuesday. Although over 60 fires were reported, there were no casualties. Hamas has been using kites and balloons for years to attack Israel who has been at war three times with Hamas since 2008 and often has skirmishes, border crossing closures, and other retaliations in response. Tanks, attack helicopters and jets were used in the retaliatory attack yesterday and some launch sites were destroyed…this is situation normal for a region that has been under siege since 2007 (https://www.yahoo.com/news/israel-strikes-hamas-positions-gaza-054549181.html). Quoting from the AFP article by Said Khatib: ‘Explosives tied to balloons and kites first emerged as a weapon in Gaza during intense protests in 2018, when the makeshift devices drifted across the border daily, causing thousands of fires in Israeli farms and communities.’” 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “So you’re saying that now would not be a good time to visit Israel, huh?”

Biblical Response:  “With COVID-19, restricted air travel, mandatory quarantines…now add in unrest in Israel…probably not (though there really hasn’t been a ‘safe’ time in decades). Of course, we talk today about safety as if it were our number one priority (I’m thinking about our over-reaction to a smalltime virus – see blog of 6-29-20). I agree, one death is too many, but we lost in excess of 55,000 in VietNam and millions in WWII. Let’s get a little perspective and not make a HUGE deal over this. Sure, for the families of those who’ve lost loved ones, it is quite tragic. Still, while I’m all for caution, over-reaction can be mostly political. As the Scriptures warn, ‘fear hath torment’ (1 John 4:18).”

“Christians? We believe in not making an unnecessary big deal over temporal life. It’s eternal life we should be more concerned with. Read Jesus’ reference to a local tragedy to get His sense of balance:

‘And Jesus said to them, ‘Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.’ Luke 13:2-3 NASU)”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to view things increasingly from Your perspective and have a more balanced approach; 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.’ If he’s not in Twitter/Facebook/Email jail, he also tweets/posts.

Posted on Leave a comment

CLARITY – 7-10-20 Losing Breeds Losing

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 7-9-20

Losing Breeds Losing

What’s Happening: “An incident where an un-masked customer, unidentified in the article, but wearing a red  t-shirt that said, ‘Running the World Since 1776,’ lost it at a Florida Costco – while being recorded – and it cost him his job as an insurance salesman, according to the insurance company, Tedd Todd Insurance. The 17-second video, shot by another customer or employee wearing a mask, shows the rant in full. A 911 call was made, but the person making the angry statement was nowhere to be found when the polce arrived. All customers and employees are required to wear masks while in the store (https://www.yahoo.com/news/feel-threatened-unmasked-florida-mans-165515391.html) Quoting from the NBC News article by Janette Griffith: ‘Florida man at Fort Myers Costco in ‘Running the World Since 1776’ shirt flips out on elderly woman who asked him to wear a mask and man who defended her #BecauseFlorida,’ Corben [filmmaker] tweeted.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Wear a mask while in Costco – got it.”

Biblical Response:  Hopefully, this unfortunate event taught you more than that…like not losing it – and your job -…showing a little self-control (Gal. 5:22). We live in an America that is post-Christian. Things that would be considered common courtesy just a few decades ago are quite uncommon today. Sure, I’m against much of the brouhaha that the media and the left has made over COVID-19 (and my blogs show it – just go to subdue.com and do a search for COVID-19), but there is such a thing as manners. And being in a high-profile job…I probably would have terminated the guy, too. Politics aside, there is a price to pay for civil disobedience. I hope the guy realized that and thought it was worth it to make his statement.”

“Christians? We believe in common courtesy (Rom. 12:1-21). The story should never be about us…which may fly in the face of all this independence stuff. It’s hard for such a dependent creature to demonstrate independence…but not impossible. One has to make a distinction between whether to obey man or God (Acts 4:19).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us not be in circumstances that require such a choice…and if in them to choose rightly; 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.’ If he’s not in Twitter/Facebook/Email jail, he also tweets/posts.

Posted on Leave a comment

CLARITY – 7-8-20 Whose Responsibility Is It?

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 7-8-20

Whose Responsibility Is It?

What’s Happening: “It was a full-court press event designed to give a singular message: reopen the public schools this fall, as President Trump, First Lady Melania, Vice President Pence and Second Lady Karen, Education Secretary Devoss and others urged all states to resume face-to-face instruction.. Asked by the press if they had the authority to require openings, they admitted these decisions were local. The American Federation of Teachers union is against it. There are dire warnings against it by some medical professionals citing reopenings accompanied by a resurgence in May in Israel. However, the CDC came out strongly for the reopening (https://www.yahoo.com/news/white-house-pushes-schools-to-open-their-doors-on-schedule-005251395.html). Quoting the Yahoo News article: ‘To open up America again, we need to open up our schools again,’ said Vice President Mike Pence, speaking from the State Floor of the White House, where he and others convened for an event billed as the ‘National Dialogue on Safely Reopening America’s Schools.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “What will working parents do with kids if they don’t reopen?”

Biblical Response:  “Good question…I guess muddle along like they have been…at least for the elite who have computer screens at home and internet access for distance virtual education…the impoverished, not so much…their kids will fall further behind. Parents may resort to homeschooling with one parent working two or three jobs and the other realizing they are unqualified to manage the kids’ education. It’s not a pretty picture. The economy continues to suffer, etc. Normalcy is a pipe dream.”

“Whose responsibility is the education of children? Ultimately, parents and God (Prov. 22:6, Heb. 12:9-10):

    Prov 22:6

‘Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.’ (NASU)

Heb 12:9-10

‘Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.’ (NASU)

“Of course, that’s fine for a nation with a Christian consensus…which we no longer are…but not so acceptable in this secular society. What are we to do? Return to a time when the average American saw the responsibility of educating their offspring as a personal mandate, not an optional and often inconvenient distraction. What am I describing? A Christian consensus.”

“Christians? Oh, we believe the education of our children is the parents’ responsibility (see the scriptures referenced above). Even if we have to settle for a lower standard of living. After all, they are the future…not the hope of the future…THE FUTURE…like it or not.””

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to make sense of what should be a simple issue, not a complex one; 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.’ If he’s not in Twitter/Facebook/Email jail, he also tweets/posts.

Posted on Leave a comment

CLARITY – 7-6-20 Memorial Stones

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 7-6-20

Memorial Stones

What’s Happening: “About 100-200 predominantly black protesters, some of them heavily armed, marched through Georgia’s Stone Mountain Park calling for a huge carved edifice (carved to commemorate Confederate struggles – the largest such carving in the U.S.) to be removed…it is carved into a granite mountain. In an Associated Press Reporter article that appeared yesterday, the protesters were reportedly peaceful. The site normally for a Fourth of July laser show and fireworks display, COVID-19 has every thing dampened (https://sports.yahoo.com/armed-protesters-call-removal-giant-072201487.html). Quoting from the article: ‘Although the park has historically been a gathering spot for white supremacists, the city of Stone Mountain nowadays has a majority-black population.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “How is anyone supposed to move a mountain?”

Biblical Response:  “Right…unless it is going to be ‘cast into the sea’ (Matt.13:47 – just kidding…couldn’t help myself). Seriously, some stones were meant to  help us remember (Josh. 4:8-9)…and not all memories are of pleasant things…some things we want to remember so we’ll never make that mistake again! I understand (though, I can only imagine) the need to express their anguish (or anger) at their treatment, but it’s time to put the past in the past…sure, we are to remember it sorrowfully…but expressions of anger – especially if they are armed – will only end in bloodshed and heartache…hasn’t there been enough of that already?”

“Christians? We believe in memorializing (not in wallowing in) the past. Sometimes it’s good…and we’re proud. Sometimes it’s bad…and we’re ashamed (I’m thinking about King David’s exploits and errors). But both help us make decisions about the future and which course to take. Without these poignant reminders, we’re apt to make errors chronic.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to learn what we need to about our past and reflect…and correct our errors to the degree they can be wisely ameliorated; 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.’ If he’s not in Twitter/Facebook/Email jail, he also tweets/posts.

Posted on Leave a comment

CLARITY – 7-2-20 Largest Cache Ever Seized

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 7-2-20

Largest Cache Ever Seized

What’s Happening: “In the southern Port of Salerno, Italy, the largest seizure ever (84 million pills with a value of $1 Billion) of amphetamines (Captagon). Italian authorities captured this haul from Syria on three container ships that were smuggling this likely for a destination in the Camorra crime group. The drug produces a euphoric effect for the tired and depressed and has historically been one of the primary funders of Islamic State terrorism. Although the production of this  cache seized Wednesday was negatively affected by COVID-19, all that meant was that manufacturing had to be shifted to areas of Syria. The 14 tons of drugs were found packed in machinery and large paper cylinders destined (allegedly) for industrial use. This is similar to a raid in the same port two weeks ago (https://www.yahoo.com/news/italian-police-seize-record-amount-103244895.html). Quoting from the Reuters article that was posted yesterday: ‘Italian authorities believe the coronavirus lockdown across Europe has hindered the production and distribution of synthetic drugs, forcing traffickers to organize shipments from Syria, where these activities have not slowed down.’” 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Since scarcity and demand govern prices, that should make the cost of doing drugs in the Middle East go up…makes me glad I live in America!”

Biblical Response:  “Spoken like a true international illegal drug profiteer…or an American druggie! Although many drugs have a temporary desired effect (even Captagon was prescribed in the ‘60s to deal with fear and tiredness…kind of like medical marijuana is prescribed in many states to deal with chronic pain), their danger lies in their addictive nature (which also makes them potentially very profitable – once addicted, you’ll pay hugely to get more).“

“Christians?  We don’t believe in being addicted to anything (this include alcohol, drugs, sex, money – or the things it will buy – anything except the love of God…we just can’t seem to get enough of that!). We believe it’s hard to say ‘yes’ to God and ‘no’ to addictive substances. It’s like that scripture in 1 Cor. 6:12:

‘All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.’ (NASU)

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to choose those things that master us…carefully…like ‘love, joy, peace…’ (Gal. 5:22-23)…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.’ If he’s not in Twitter/Facebook/Email jail, he also tweets/posts.