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CLARITY – 8-7-19 Copycat Media’s Fault?

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -8-7-19

Copycat Media’s Fault?

What’s Happening: “The Florida Walmart employee’s son who was accused of threatening a copycat shooting (Wayne Padgett, 31) (https://www.yahoo.com/news/walmart-workers-son-threatened-shoot-134457322.html),  might be overwhelmed emotionally by the media’s saturation of the tragic events of the last ten days (8 of the first 10 stories in YahooNews are about the shootings). And that just scratches the surface. There has been wall-to-wall coverage on TV and radio since the latest shootings last Saturday…with political accusations flying. Meanwhile, the North Koreans are continuing to test missiles, oil tankers continue to be captured by Iran, Venezuela is still a mess, etc. ”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “The media’s right! The world is going to hell in a handbasket!”

Biblical Response:  “Not really…at least not all of it. The media is driven by readership/viewership/political agenda. Those who read and watch need to take into consideration that bad news always gets higher ratings than good news…and ad costs (read media profitability) is all about ratings. It forces the reader/viewer to think…and take what they read/watch in context. Of course, some will tune out and some, tragically, will copycat. We, however, must be informed (it’s hard to identify or pray without the facts). But we don’t need to ‘drink the kool-aid.’ Listen to the Lord when you read/watch. His Spirit is the only true dispenser of truth (John 16:12-13).”

“Christians? Oh, we believe in the guidance of the Holy Spirit. How do you think He effects Phil. 2:13?”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us read/watch with a biblical worldview, and keep our ear inclined to the Holy Spirit;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.’ 

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CLARITY – 8-5-19 Three Cities = One Truth

CLARITY

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

Three Cities = One Truth

What’s Happening: “Gilroy (CA), El Paso (TX), and Dayton (OH)…three cities…one truth: Evil exists. Shootings in all three places…within a week…has over 30 dead, many wounded, many more grieving, but no one doubts the existence of evil. Amid the numerous investigations, the endless questions of motives, the discovery that anger, unresolved conflict, left-leaning thinking, domestic terrorism, settling old scores, the use of semi-automatic weapons, etc., is all involved, comes a stark and unrelenting reality: s*** happens (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/07/28/gilroy-garlic-festival-shooting-reports-investigated-california/1854339001/ – for California; (https://www.yahoo.com/news/ohio-shooting-police-identified-24-190345713.html – for Ohio; (https://www.yahoo.com/news/el-paso-shooting-police-warn-170716143.html – for Texas. Sure, there will be political posturing: gun control initiatives, those calling for more strict background checks, or mental health initiatives…but nothing will deal with the truth that evil exists…that the only way to deal with that has already occurred nearly 2000 years ago.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “My guess is that there are three cities whose churches will be full.”

Biblical Response:  “Probably…though most folks may be too jaded to seek spiritual help. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for praying for those who are wounded, for the families of the victims, for giving comfort in tragedy (Rom. 12:15), but I’m also for knowing what the true problem is and for dealing with it. At the root of all evil is sin. And Jesus dealt with that on the cross (Rom. 6:6; 1 Pet. 2:24) After His death, He even gave His Holy Spirit to indwell us, assuring a nature change (Gal. 5:22). Our Founders recognized, however, that the battle for control of Man was not over (Rom 7:8-25) and legislated the teaching of the Bible in schools (Northwest Ordinance of 1787). Then we did the boneheaded thing of removing prayer and Bible teaching in 1962 (Engle v. Vitale). There can never be self-control if there is no God-control. And we won’t appeal for that if we’re raised to believe He doesn’t exist. We all get angry from time to time, but we ‘sin not’ (Eph. 4:26). Why? Because of self-control…which is impossible apart from the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:19; Phil. 2:13).”

“Christians? Oh, we believe in anger, in being passionate about this or that…just not in letting it evolve into sin. But we also believe in writing or calling our Legislator. Taking the long road to change involves patience (also a fruit of the Spirit). It also involves doing something different. The same actions yield the same outcomes.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, let us not let these tragedies take their usual news-cycle course, producing short-term hand-wringing instead of long-term 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:subdeo.com.’ 

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CLARITY – 8-3-19 Does It Matter?

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -8-3-19

Does It Matter?

What’s Happening: “Although the police had said that the Gilroy (California) Garlic shooter had been killed by the heroic officers who shot Santino William Legan, the coroner has now revealed that the shot that killed him came from his own AK-47. His three victims, 2 children (6-year-old Stephen Romero and 13-year-old Keyla Salazar) and a 25-year-old man (Trevor Irby) appear to have been random and authorities have yet to assign a motive (https://www.yahoo.com/news/coroner-california-garlic-festival-gunman-222907431.html). The three victims are just as dead, but the killer may have also been intending to kill himself all along. The Festival draws crowds of 100,000 and authorities indicate things could have been much worse. Another person of interest has been arrested because his post on social media referenced the killing in its threat. Jose Pinion, 40, was arrested earlier this week on suspicion of making threats online that apparently referenced the deadly shooting:.  He posted Wednesday on Facebook that ‘my goal is to kill 500, not three,’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Probably someone else who wanted their fifteen minutes of fame!”

Biblical Response:  “Maybe. It’s hard to determine any motives and there is no motive worth the lives of these three. We can probably chalk them up to another senseless act by a crazed individual. When the murderer stands before God to be judged for taking the lives of those three, taking his own life will also be added to his crimes…it wasn’t his to take, either. Some could argue because Jesus (on the cross) could have called several thousand angels to his aid, but did not, He was guilty of suicide…but they’d be wrong (John 5:26). So, does it matter what Legan’s motive was? Probably not…at least in eternity.”

“Christians? There are many inexplicable events (even after thorough investigation) that happen every day. Unfortunately, they remain a mystery. God only reveal what He wants (Eph. 1:9). Just because you don’t know why, doesn’t mean we should throw up our hands in despair. There is always a reason for ‘bad’ things. You may not like the answer…and not being omniscient, you may never know…but God does. That’s why I say: ‘Justice makes hell necessary, mercy makes heaven possible.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to trust You with motives, the things that only You know, and the outcome of everything; 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.’ 

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CLARITY – 6-4-19 It’s Never Wrong

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -6-4-19

It’s Never Wrong

What’s Happening: “What happened Sunday astounded many – in the media and in his church –  but Pastor David Platt of McLean Bible Church in Vienna, VA prayed for the President (impromptu and in person) because of the 13 killed in a Virginia Beach municipal building last week (including the gunman). Although the Bible calls for prayer for ‘all those in authority’, the Pastor felt it necessary to explain himself. He surely didn’t want the prayer to be an endorsement (https://www.yahoo.com/news/pastor-apologizes-congregation-over-trump-223517289.html). ‘Sometimes we find ourselves in situations that we didn’t see coming, and we’re faced with a decision in a moment when we don’t have the liberty of deliberation, so we do our best to glorify God. Today, I found myself in one of those situations.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Just because he prayed doesn’t mean he was in favor politically.”

Biblical Response:  “That’s what I’m saying. The left-leaning media, however, wants to make a mountain out of a molehill. The prayer and a statement to church members  titled “Prayer for the President” was quite innocuous. Even the Bible calls for such a prayer (1 Tim. 2:1-6)…no matter, the press doesn’t like anyone ‘picking sides.’ In fact, it calls believers everywhere to ‘pray about everything’ (Phil. 4:6-7). Besides, if anyone needs prayer, it certainly is the President of the United States.”

“Christians? Oh, we believe in praying for our leader and for those who are in tragedy (Rom. 12:15). The only people more in need of prayer are possibly those who are missing their loved ones in Virginia Beach. I’m sure glad that Franklin Graham called for such prayers last Sunday.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father,  help us to be more concerned with obedience than political correctness; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com.’ He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

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CLARITY – 6-3-19 Evil Control

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -6-3-19

Evil Control

What’s Happening: “Virginia Beach will never be the same again. Last Thursday, two engaged young people walked the beaches completely unaware that a day later a Virginia Beach municipal building would be the site of a mass shooting that would take the lives of 12 (excluding the gunman – apparently a disgruntled employee that police shot dead) and injure 3 others. Immediately, the Democrat contenders for the 2020 Democrat primaries talked of gun control and background checks…as if any of these measures would solve the real problem  (https://www.yahoo.com/news/cory-booker-virginia-beach-shooting-150441191.html. ‘“We must do all we can to keep our communities safe,’ Kamala Harris tweeted.  Cory Booker agreed: ‘Here,we have a nation that has untold levels of carnage, and violence and shootings every single day, of suicides, 90 to 100 people dying every single day. I believe that just because we’ve failed in the past doesn’t mean we will fail in the future.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Why wouldn’t limiting guns help?”

Biblical Response:  “Because you still haven’t dealt with the evil that gave the gunman the penchant for violence. Episodes of knife violence and vehicles being driven into crowds has proven that the UK’s complete ban of guns hasn’t helped with the underlying problem. Unless you restrain an evil heart, anger and bitterness take control. That’s what conversion does. It restrains the heart (to say nothing of the new heart it gives you – Ezek. 26:36).”

“Christians? Oh, we believe in conversion. That’s what being born again is all about (John 3:3-7). Of course, Christians aren’t perfect, but unless the Holy Spirit controls you (Gal. 5:22) restraining the heart is quite impossible (Gal. 5:19-21).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father,  help us be about the business of getting the Good News out to others (Mark 16:15), for only a relationship with God holds any hope of evil control; 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 – 5-3-19 Measured in Sacrifice

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -5-3-19

Measured in Sacrifice

What’s Happening: “It happened again…another death at the University of North Carolina Charlotte (UNCC) happened late last night. Two shooting deaths had occurred Tuesday (4 wounded) as 21-year-old Riley C. Howell and 19-year-old Ellis R. Parlier were gunned down in class, on the last day of class, by a 22-year-old suspect, whom the police have in custody (https://www.yahoo.com/news/one-dead-shooting-student-housing-015934039.html), Not much is known about the latest victim…or a suspect; and there is no information about any connection – it’s just too early to tell. Was there a hero like the President recognized yesterday in the Poway, California synagogue shooting? Again, too soon to tell.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Hero or not, those dead are just as dead. What a waste!”

Biblical Response:  “True, but to give your life to save others is just as noble, too. They (who is the ‘proverbial’ they anyway?) say: ‘love is measured in sacrifice.’ Surely, ‘greater love has no man than he lay his life down for his friend’ (John 15:13). Imagine laying your life down for your enemies! (Rom. 5:8) Some acts of love require great sacrifice (John 3:16). I don’t know the story (and the full story is only known by One), but jumping in front of a bullet has to be more of a reaction (though I’m not saying it was less heroic).”

“Christians? We laud  wrestling with the decision in the garden of Gethsemane, and remaining quiet while enduring a false accusation, but giving Your life when You could have called legions of angels…well that’s a kind of heroism (or love) none of us possess!”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to show Your love by our sacrifice and thereby prove our heritage; 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 – 1-9-19 Father Knows Best

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-9-19

Father Knows Best

What’s Happening: “Outgoing Gov. Rick Scott, (or should I say Senator Elect Scott?) has appointed the Parkland, Florida shooting victim dad Andrew Pollack, 52 (father of 18 year-old victim Meadow) to the Florida State Board of Education. Mr. Pollack is an outspoken gun advocate that believes each teacher should be trained and armed (https://steadfastandloyal.com/politics/republican-rick-scott-adds-surprise-pick-to-florida-state-board-of-education/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=subscriber_id:1583395&utm_campaign=22-Year-Old%20Son%20of%20Fire%20Captain%20Killed%20by%20%E2%80%9CUndocumented%20Person%E2%80%9D). ‘Accountability for School Boards and Superintendents, increased teacher pay, and enacting and enforcing school safety initiatives are my priority,’ Pollack said.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “What can one father do?”

Biblical Response:  “Plenty! Especially if he’s motivated…and he certainly has every right to be. Will he (or any State School Board) solve the shooting problem? Not until you remove the mentally ill or the evil of every human will that be the case…but he may be able to provide the impetus that will enact sufficient measures to decrease the collateral damage of insanity or evil…at least in the Florida public school system.”

“Christians? More guns and more training might be the short-term fix, but nothing short of universal transformation (Rom. 12:2) will ever be the long-term solution (and that may not happen this side of heaven).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to enact reasonable safety measures in our public institutions, while we seek the long-term solution only Your nature in us will provide; 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 – 11-1-18 No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 11-1-18

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

 

What’s Happening: “Franklin Pierce Adams may have said it first (in his satirical poem by the same above title), but the visit on Tuesday by the President at the memorial to the 11 gunned down in the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, was not welcomed by all. His motorcade went through a group of protesters who chanted ‘turn you back’ to POTUS. Although the President and First Lady were welcomed by the rabbi of the synagogue and met and commiserated with some of the victims, some thought the visit distracted from the funerals (https://www.yahoo.com/news/pittsburgh-comes-together-mourn-victims-protesters-turn-backs-trump-012912167.html). ‘There are many, many constituents who’ve reached out to me by phone and email concerned that the president’s visit today will add to the trauma of the community and many community members’, said City councilor Erika Strassburger. ‘I won’t say that necessarily speaks for every single person in my district, that’s just what I’ve heard.’”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “He probably came just for show.”

 

Biblical Response:  “Perhaps…of course, his daughter and son-in-law are Jewish, he has proclaimed Jerusalem as that nation’s capital, and Trump condemned Iran for its anti-semitic rhetoric…but what do I know? There are those who blame the President for everything…even for doing things that are just part of the job…like attending memorials.”

 

“Christians? We’re all for commiserating (Rom. 12:15), for sharing others’ grief. And we are not unfamiliar with the concept  that ‘No Good Deed Goes Unpunished’ (John 15:18). Still, we are called to extinguish evil with love (Luke 6:27-35).”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, it may be natural to return bad words spoken against us, but, thankfully, the Lord has given us a new heart, and He will help us react supernaturally instead; 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 – 10-29-18 Timing is Everything

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 10-29-18

Timing is Everything

 

What’s Happening: “Everyone has, sadly, heard about the mass shooting that occurred at Squirrel Hill Synagogue in Pittsburgh, the lives of 11 worshipers who died, and the injured four police officers who were also shot…even of 50-year-old suspect Robert Bowers, but have you heard about Rabbi Husbands-Hankin who was late to the service and narrowly escaped the shooting? (https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2018/10/28/squirrel-hill-sixth-presbyterian-church-synagogue-shooting-interfaith-service/).  He was late because he was still at another service, but wanted to see his friend at Squirrel Hill. Asked by a reporter if his friend, who was injured, was going to be okay, he said. “God-willing.”,

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Just at the right place at the right time.”

 

Biblical Response:  “You think?! Kind of makes you want to swallow that curse at traffic…maybe there’s a reason for your delay. We go about our days randomly frustrated at first this obstacle to our progress and that… who knows? As Amy Grant (song actually written by Richard Smallwood) once sang: “Through danger seen and unseen

There’s protection all around

Under the refuge of God’s wings

Security is found

For there are angels watchin’ you to keep you in all of your ways

Keeping you from stumbling so don’t be afraid

God’s appointed angels watching over me, angels watchin’ over me.”

 

“Christians? Oh, we believe in timing. As the Scriptures say, Jesus came ‘at just the right time’ (2 Cor. 6:2 NLT). Sometimes we just have to be patient to allow circumstances and events to take place…but we have this confidence:

‘We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.’ (Rom. 8:28 NASU).”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to patiently wait for you to move…it sure beats the stress of frustration that comes from You ‘failing’ to meet our agenda; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

 

Share as you like; just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com/. He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent

 

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CLARITY – 6-30-18 Talk About Defamation!

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 6-30-18

 

Talk About Defamation!

 

What’s Happening:  “When Jarrod Ramos, 38, killed five and wounded two at the Capital Gazette, a news outlet he had sued in 2012 for defamation, he was obviously not thinking about how his reputation might suffer by taking matters into his own hands (https://www.yahoo.com/news/capital-gazette-shooting-suspect-sued-023352130.html). ‘A lawyer would almost certainly have told him not to proceed with this case,’ the court wrote in its opinion following the appeal. ‘It reveals a fundamental failure to understand what defamation law is and, more particularly, what defamation law is not,’ quotes Nick Vasser in his HuffPost article.”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Isn’t defamation about reputation, anyway? Instead of folks wondering about Ramos’ character, this way he removed all doubt!”

 

Biblical Response:  “Anybody who loses…twice…and represents himself…is not sane anyway (which is underscored by his vengeful heinous act). I guess the left won’t be crying for more gun control on this one (he used a shotgun…not a handgun or any illegally purchased long gun). What can keep anyone safe from such murderous intents? Probably nothing…realistically.  Nothing short of massive world-wide revival will make everyone realize that vengeance is the Lord’s. (Rom. 12:19).”

 

“Christians? We believe that family is the answer for most feelings of being wronged…a good father and mother will teach their son that time and truth (and patience) sort out most of life’s inequities… Of course, he could have gotten the same input in Sunday school. Maybe one of the prison ministries will reach him. One can always pray. Even murder is forgivable…by Someone who was made on ‘no reputation’ (Phil. 2:7-8).”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us reach out to those who feel they have been wronged, teaching them to depend on Your final justice; 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