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CLARITY -5-15-19 Freedom Isn’t Free

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -5-15-19

Freedom Isn’t Free

What’s Happening: “The latest in Venezuela’s struggle for freedom (in January Juan Guaido, the National Assembly head, declared Maduro’s re-election bid to be a sham and his claim to the presidency illegitimate – last week, Guaido’s ‘coup’ attempt failed because the Russians and the Cubans stepped in to support Maduro) has the Security forces under Maduro blockading the members of the assembly from physically entering their building to meet. This intimidation follows the arrest of Guaido’s deputy, Edgar Zambrano (https://www.yahoo.com/news/venezuelan-lawmakers-accuse-security-services-intimidation-172132591.html).’SEBIN agents, using the excuse that there’s an explosive device within the facilities, took over the federal palace. We’re surrounded by intelligence agents,’ said lawmaker Manuela Bolivar.”  

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I thought Maduro would have backed down by now…is there going to be a war?”

Biblical Response:  “Me, too. I guess Russia and Cuba have more influence over Maduro than anyone thought. As far as the question about war, I don’t know. What I do know is that freedom isn’t free. Sure, spiritual freedom was purchased by Christ on the Cross, But ‘setting the prisoners free’ (ps. 146:7) was personally costly. Physical freedom in this world is not free, either. Ask Nathan Hale (Revolutionary War martyr, who famously said, ‘Give me liberty, or give me death’…just before he was hung by the British as a spy).  Was there bloodshed for America to obtain its freedom? Yes…lots. Will there be bloodshed in Venezuela? No doubt. Many have died already…freedom isn’t free?”

“Christians? The concept of physical freedom is opposed by the devil and his minions…the same forces that oppose spiritual freedom. The devil will ultimately lose both battles (Matt, 16:18), but there has already been much bloodshed, and there will be more, before we beat our ‘swords into ploughshares’ (Isaiah 2:4).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to be wise, but ready to sacrifice for freedom…You were; 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 – 5-10-19 Not At ALL Costs

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -5-10-19

Not At ALL Costs

What’s Happening: “No, I’m not talking about Iran, who expressed anger over increased U.S. military assets steaming toward the Persian Gulf yesterday (https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201812041070365051-us-aircraft-carrier-persian-gulf/). …or even North Korea. who tested an ICBM yesterday (we fired one off in response – (https://www.space.com/north-korea-us-missile-tests.html)…rather, I’m talking about the arrest (or kidnapping) of Edgar Zambrano, Vice President of the opposition National Assembly by Maduro’s henchmen, police for Venezuela’s illegitimate self-proclaimed president (https://www.yahoo.com/news/venezuelas-guaido-says-deputy-detained-intelligence-agents-000518340.html). ‘Maduro and his accomplices are those directly responsible for Zambrano’s security. If he is not immediately freed, there will be consequences,’ the U.S. Embassy said on Twitter.”  

Knee-Jerk Response:  “War is to be avoided at all costs!”

Biblical Response:  “Truly, war is not desirable…but not to be avoided at ALL costs. The ‘better red than dead’ mantra may be trying to rear its ugly head again. General Sherman (a Civil War General for the North) said:’War is hell.’ Surely, it is bad, and efforts to avoid it should be expended, but sometimes war is not only the only remaining reasonable option, it is better than the alternative (3 million have already emigrated to avoid starvation). Is there a time for war? You bet (Eccl. 3:8).”

“Christians? While we are definitely against war, we recognize its inevitability. War is the physical manifestation that sometimes develops when a resistance to evil is exercised. What we must realize is that the physical manifestation is not the controlling factor. Our resistance to evil must have a spiritual component if it is to be successful (Eph. 6:12). Someday, there might even be prayer warriors assigned to that spiritual task…and a part of the army…now wouldn’t that be something!”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help our leaders be sensitive to the voice of Your Spirit, not entangling us in something we should avoid…but not shrinking back in a fear that leaves the ground (and the people) to 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 – 5-4-19 Elections Have Consequences

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -5-4-19

Elections Have Consequences

What’s Happening: “Ilyan Omar’s comments blaming the U.S. for intervening in Venezuela were not appreciated by Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and he said so. He referred to her remarks as ‘ignorant’ and ‘disgusting,’ citing the decades of negative economic and social slide that came first under Chavez and then Maduro as context for the current crisis (https://www.yahoo.com/news/pompeo-omar-venezuela-comments-ignorant-152941658.html). ‘The nicest thing I can say is, it is unbelievable ignorance. It’s just factually wrong,’ Pompeo said. ‘The problems in Venezuela have been years in the making. It’s been a socialist regime, first with Chavez, now with Maduro. And for a member of Congress, who, frankly — one who sits on an important national-security committee — to make a statement blaming America first in this way, it’s not only ignorant, it’s disgusting.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “She’s just a newly-elected Congresswoman…big deal!”

Biblical Response:  “It is a big deal! Or did you not know she sits on the powerful Foreign Affairs Committee? She even used the Russian line of ‘coup attempt.’ If you had wanted the enemy to infiltrate the U.S. Congress, could you have done more damage than to put Omar in office? Elections do have consequences and the un-American actions of the Representative from Minnesota could not be more devastating. If we think that no way will America ever choose socialism…think again. We cannot sit idly by and let an ‘ignorant’ electorate just say ‘oops.’”

“Christians? If we had been polled a week before the crucifixion, when palm branches were being waved as Christ made His humble yet triumphant entry into Jerusalem for the Passover (John 12:13-15), no way we would we have predicted Jesus’ meteoric fall from favor ending in His crucifixion just a week later.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to take seriously the enemy’s attempts to sift 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: http://subdeo.com.’ He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

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CLARITY – 4-30-19 Free Will is Preferred

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 4-30-19

Free Will is Preferred

What’s Happening: “What administration officials may be saying is “It seemed like a good idea at the time.” I’m referring to publicly backing Juan Guiado instead of Maduro in Venezuela, thinking surely there would be regime change by now. And there is no doubt that hyperinflation and mass starvation, to say nothing of the mass exodus of over one million Venezuelans to neighboring countries, have taken their toll. But no one thought the support of Cuba, Russia, and China would encourage the military sufficiently for the government to last this long (https://nationalinterest.org/feature/washingtons-woeful-maduro-miscalculation-55007). Quoting from the above-linked article by Reuters’ Ted Carpenter: ‘An increasingly annoyed and uneasy U.S. government has tightened already onerous economic restrictions on Venezuela. U.S. officials appear worried that Guaido’s bid for power is faltering—a concern that is well-founded.’ It’s not that nation-building hasn’t been tried before – it’s just that it never turns out well.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Maybe we should take a hint and quit trying the impossible.”

Biblical Response:  “Or maybe realize it’s multi-generational…you see, God prefers Free Will. Sure, our Founders could have mandated capitalism and Christianity. England and much of Europe had tried that before. It just led to bloody wars. Mandated faith is not real faith at all (the Crusades, with its mass false-conversions of Muslims at the point of the sword, should have taught us that). In America, they decided that Freedom of Religion was to be preferred…that man would eventually choose Christianity from the basis of its inherent superiority. Sure, England tried to export democracy everywhere it went (and it worked in India – but not for several generations – India today is the world’s largest democracy). You have to be committed for the long haul, because God prefers Free Will (Josh. 24:15). Whether we can be committed for that long in Venezuela remains to be seen.”

“Christians? We believe in Free Will, Choosing foolishly has its negative consequences (Deut. 28:15-45) and choosing wisely its positive consequences (Deut. 28:1-14). Believe me, there’s a law at work (Gal. 6:7). Doing according to that law, however, requires patience.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to be willing to pay the costs of persistence and patience; 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 – 3-26-19 Red Sky at Morning

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-26-19

Red Sky at Morning

What’s Happening: “When planes and troops from Russia landed at Caracas airport (Venezuela),  the U.S. saw it as a provocation, escalating the tensions that already exist between those who support Maduro (Cuba, Russia…and to a lesser extent, China) and those who support Juan Guaido (the OAS – Organization of American States – the U.S., and the rest of the western world – over 50 countries in all). Venezuela maintains the Russians are just there to service military equipment that some previous bilateral agreement purchased (https://www.yahoo.com/news/pompeo-urges-moscow-cease-unconstructive-behavior-venezuela-145013258.html). ‘The United States condemns Russia’s deployment of military aircraft and personnel to Caracas, which is another contradiction of both Nicolas Maduro’s and Russia’s calls for non-intervention in Venezuela and is a reckless escalation of the situation,’ said the State Department.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “This is just so much ‘sabre-rattling.’”’

Biblical Response:  “Maybe. I know Trump has said he is not taking the military option off the table. The Russians surely don’t want a war fought over a little two-bit dictatorship in a country on the other side of the world. Still, it would love to have a socialist puppet in our backyard…and they already have a lot invested in Cuba. With socialism on the Democrats’ playlist. I wouldn’t dismiss anything offhand. Hopefully, someone’s advising Trump to seek the diplomatic solution as recommended in scripture first (Luke 12:56-58). If not, there might be a lot of deaths in the future. I’m not saying: ‘better red, than dead,’ but diplomacy should be tried first.”

“Christians? The companion scripture in Matthew (16:3) reveals how we shouldn’t be surprised here, but how to solve the problem is from Luke  12:56-58…if a peaceful agreement is possible. It might not be.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, let those who negotiate these things act slowly and thoughtfully, not emotionally and reactionarily; 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 – 1-24-19 Recognized

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-24-19

Recognized

What’s Happening: “You may not have heard of him, but 35-year-old Juan Guaido is the newly recognized interim leader of Venezuela…at least so says the US, Canada, and dozens of other countries…(https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/statement-president-donald-j-trump-recognizing-venezuelan-national-assembly-president-juan-guaido-interim-president-venezuela/). Quoting Guaido: ‘Violence is the usurper’s weapon; we only have one clear action: to remain united and firm for a free Venezuela.’ To say ‘he has his work cut out’ may be an understatement. It has been recently reported that inflation rates have reached two million percent! To put that in terms the average person can grasp, imagine a cup of coffee going from 50 cents to $800.00!”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I’m glad I live in the U.S.”

Biblical Response:  “True, but it’s a tragedy for the 30 Million that live there (though the recent mass exodus to neighboring Columbia may have decreased that somewhat – heck, some of them are no doubt in the next caravan). Will Gen. Maduro (‘elected’ in a highly suspicious election last May) have him arrested? It’s complicated (if it weren’t, he’d already be incarcerated). The opposition might riot worse if he is detained…though Maduro would be rid of a thorn to his socialist rule. That Maduro still has the loyalty of military leaders and their Supreme Court, only makes the tension higher.”

“Christians? In addition to the prayers that should go up (Phil. 4:6), we should be cautiously optimistic. However, unless God has transformed the heart, self-rule doesn’t go very well (2 Pet. 2:10-11). Still, the rule of law and a good Bible-based Constitution has served us well these last 232 years.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to back the right man’s play…the only thing worse than opposing God and failing, is opposing Him and succeeding…and He might just let us have our way…even when we’re wrong…Lord, help 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: http://subdeo.com/. He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

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CLARITY – 8-2-18 Learning Vicariously

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 8-2-18

 

Learning Vicariously

 

What’s Happening:  “The recent past has been rough in Venezuela…food and medicine shortages, no running water, no power…even President Nicolas Maduro realizes that Socialism has failed…yet Democratic Socialism seems to be where the whole Democratic Party is headed…at least if Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have their way (https://www.westernjournal.com/ct/venezuelan-president-finally-admits-that-socialism-is-broken-economy-is-destroyed/?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=CTBreaking&utm_campaign=breaking&utm_content=conservative-tribune). An inflation rate of 1 million percent puts most purchasing out of reach. Hear what President Maduro told his ruling congress Tuesday: ‘The production models we’ve tried so far have failed and the responsibility is ours…’”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Yeah, but Venezuela is in South America and I live in North America.”

 

Biblical Response:  “So? There’s no geographic limit to learning from others, is there? People and economic systems are the same the world over. Capitalism works in this world precisely because fallen man is out for number one. Socialism doesn’t work because that would require a benevolent dictator who never made mistakes, an endless supply of someone else’s money, and complete unselfishness. Anybody think that’s possible in this world? (Crickets) I didn’t think so.”

 

“Christians? While there was a need for sharing “all things in common” in the early church (Acts 2:44-45), that was not practised anywhere else for a reason (others apparently learned it was only for then and there). Sure, Jesus could have taken us with Him when He ascended, but He chose to leave us here because He was “not willing that any should perish” (2 Pet. 3:9). Living in and being sent to a fallen world (Mark 16:15) requires us to approach people from their own self interest. There’ll be plenty of time to share (and limitless resources) in the kingdom to come. Here, we share what we have, by God’s grace, acquired. He never calls us to share what others have acquired.”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, give us the wisdom to not have to repeat the mistakes of others; 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