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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 – 8-16-18 True Transparency

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 8-16-18

 

True Transparency

 

What’s Happening:  “It came as a surprise to the former head of the CIA when Sarah Sanders-Huckabee announced at the beginning of her White House Press Briefing yesterday that President Trump had revoked his security clearance. Quoting the Yahoo News article by Hunter Walker, included in the list of those whose clearances the President had revoked were: ‘former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper; ex-FBI Director James Comey; Michael Hayden, who led both the NSA and CIA; erstwhile deputy Attorney General Sally Yates; President Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice; ex-deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe; recently fired FBI agent Peter Strzok; Lisa Page, an FBI attorney; and Bruce Ohr, a member of the Justice Department’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces.’ (https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-revokes-security-clearance-former-cia-director-criticized-white-house-213823096.html). ‘It should gravely worry all Americans, including intelligence professionals, about the cost of speaking out. My principles are worth far more than clearances. I will not relent,’ Brennan was quoted as saying.”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Isn’t it professional courtesy to continue the clearances of those who had them even though they are no longer in their respective positions?”

 

Biblical Response:  “‘Yes, but maybe that shouldn’t be. If the intelligence these folks are privy to is really sensitive maybe they should all have their security clearances revoked when they leave, as a matter of course. They can always re-apply in the future for specific things they ‘need to know.’ Or perhaps this just makes too much sense.”

 

Christians? True transparency really only belongs to God (the walls of the ‘closet’ we thought we retreated to for the really ‘private’ things are transparent). And, I dare say, only He can handle that level of knowledge (1 John 3:20). Knowledge is indeed power and a security clearance could be a dangerous thing in the wrong hands…after all, what is a security clearance but a way to determine who gets to see what.”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, give our leaders the requisite wisdom to accompany the knowledge with which they are entrusted; 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 – 8-3-18 Reputation Is Not Everything

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 8-3-18

 

Reputation Is Not Everything

 

What’s Happening:  “Steve Bannon, Trump’s trumpeter, gave a two-hour interview to The Hill recently and cast reprobation on everyone: from the ‘con artists’ Koch Brothers (David and Charles), ‘lame duck’ Speaker Paul Ryan, and ‘diminished’ Chief of Staff Gen John Kelly to former Judge Roy Moore (whom Bannon doggedly supported), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Paul Manafort…and that’s just the Republicans. Democrats fared no better (http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/400188-exclusive-bannon-blasts-con-artist-kochs-lame-duck-ryan-diminished). ‘You’re not going to be able to hide Trump. The opposition is going to force this anyway…You have to go all-in. If you try to go in half-baked, it’s not going to work,’ Bannon said.”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Who made Steve Bannon the exclusive arbiter of reputation?”

 

Biblical Response:  “Nobody. Still, his position as former editor of Breitbart News (and his pro-Trump stance) has made him newsworthy. The real problem with reputation is that it is chased by so many. In fact, this lust can often be the reason for much compromise and hypocrisy. The solution is not to care? Not really. Just not to care too much. Reputation is fickle anyway.”

 

“Christians? In His sacrifice for us, Jesus was made of ‘no reputation’ (Phil. 2:7). Imagine…the King of the Universe…the Creator of all (John 1:3)…took on the form of human flesh! It’s hard to fight for the truth when how you are perceived by others matters so much.”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to find the balance between the pursuit of truth and the pursuit of an accurate reputation…hopefully, they’re the same; 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 – 7-27-18 Honor and Respect

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 7-27-18

 

Honor and Respect

 

What’s Happening:  “The flight that left North Korea with 55 sets of U.S. servicemen remains  (5,300 are thought to exist) from the Korean War marked several things: a promise made and kept (both Trump’s and Kim’s), the 65th anniversary of the armistice signed which ended the conflict, the renewal of hope that denuclearization of the peninsula will continue,  etc. (https://www.yahoo.com/news/north-korea-returns-remains-55-034657808.html). ‘It is a solemn obligation of the United States Government to ensure that the remains are handled with dignity and properly accounted for so their families receive them in an honorable manner,’ White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee-Sanders said.”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “55 of 5,300! Big deal!”

 

Biblical Response:  “It is a big deal to the families belonging to those remains…and although there are still a lot to go, it’s a start. Also, if this is any sign that NoKo is still interested in denuclearization, I’m all for it. We’ve got a long way to go for sure, but the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.”

 

“Christians? While we are for all due honor and respect shown those who gave their ‘last full measure of devotion’ (quoting the Gettysburg Address), the remains are only what’s left of the servicemen’s physical bodies. Their souls and spirits are already where they should go (Heb. 9:27). It’s too late for many of them, but we should redouble our efforts to those who survive these men. Is anyone ministering to them?”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, let us give honor where honor is due, and effort where effort is due; 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 – 7-13-18 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 – 6-13-18 What’s Next?

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 6-13-18

 

What’s Next?

 

What’s Happening:  “Everybody knows that June 12, 2018 (yesterday) was a historic day as it was the first-ever meeting between a leader of North Korea and a President of the United  States….what isn’t known is what’s next? Sure, a cessation of war games (joint exercises) with South Korea and the U.S. military – that’s to be expected – but what of human rights, Christian persecution, and the next step in verifiable irreversible denuclearization? (https://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=WA18F21&f=WU18F08). ‘At the press conference following the summit, President Trump affirmed that he initiated a conversation about these matters with the North Korean leader during their talks: “[W]e did discuss [the issue of human rights] today pretty strongly.” Even though the main purpose of the talks was “denuking,” human rights were discussed “at pretty good length.” On that topic, they will “agree to something,” as it was “one of the primary topics” that “was discussed at length outside of the nuclear situation.” In President Trump’s view, this “has to” change in order to move forward, and he will not remove sanctions “without significant improvement in the human rights situation,”’ an FRC report reads.”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “What’s the big deal? This summit is a nothing-burger.”

 

Biblical Response:  “I beg to differ. The meeting of Trump and Kim IS a big deal. Video tapes have now surfaced that Trump has been envisioning this for nearly 20 years (https://www.westernjournal.com/ct/old-video-surfaces-shows-trump-was-prepping-for-nk-nearly-20-years-ago/?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=CTBreaking&utm_campaign=breaking&utm_content=conservative-tribune), and the meeting WAS historic…or maybe you would prefer the horrible deaths of millions? Sure, Trump said complimentary things of the leader of the most repressive regime in modern history, but stating the obvious is NOT how you negotiate with a venomous snake!”

 

“Christians? Now maybe the doors to evangelism will begin to open (not that the Holy Spirit has ever been limited in what He can do). The job for evangelizing the world is clearly every Christian’s (Matt. 28:18-20). Having a denuclearized peninsula is good news for the Christian Church everywhere…and the nullifying of a madman’s threat is good news for the world.”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, now we need You to intervene as never before…ensuring true freedom, not continued repression; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”   © Alan E.Sargent

 

Share as you like; just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe to 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 – 5-25-18 Continuance

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 5-25-18

 

Continuance

 

What’s Happening:  “Trump cancelled the historic summit in Singapore scheduled for June 12 with DPRK leader Kim Jong-un because of a threat from Kim of nuclear war. Still, he said the meeting could be held later if tensions subsided (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/05/24/trump-says-north-korea-summit-still-possible-after-pullout-but-warns-us-military-ready-if-necessary.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+foxnews%2Fpolitics+%28Internal+-+Politics+-+Text%29). ‘Nobody should be anxious. We have to get it right,’ Trump is reported to have said.”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Why don’t we just nuke ‘em? We’ll win any conflict, right?”

 

Biblical Response:  “It’s not that simple. In the first place, thousands of innocent Koreans would die…in the North…and in the South. Secondly, so might a lot of innocent American soldiers’ families (there are 28,500 soldiers stationed in South Korea). Thirdly, how about the Japanese? Then there’s the possibility of China taking North Korea’s part. Need I go on? I’m as ready as the next guy for denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. Let’s just get it right. Give the ‘maximum pressure’ campaign a chance. A few months of sanctions will convince them of our solidarity…IF everyone (including China) will get on board.”

 

“Christians? I think patience is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). Surely, we can demonstrate a little of that can’t we?”

 

”Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, our leadership needs Your wisdom…not their own bravado…help us; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”   © Alan E.Sargent

 

Share as you like; just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe to 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 – 5-15-18 The Bane of Our Culture

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 5-15-18

 

The Bane of Our Culture

 

What’s Happening:  “Pastor Robert Jeffress of the First Baptist Church in Dallas gave the prayer of dedication at the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem yesterday…much to the chagrin of a pluralistic media…who wanted to highlight the 55 Palestinians killed in protests – for youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDj1yNeF_nk) Jeffress is controversially known to think Jews and Muslims need conversion for peace with God.”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Not so popular a pick for the prayer of dedication, huh?”

 

Biblical Response:  “No, if popularity with those in attendance was Jeffress’ goal, maybe not. Of course, he may have been trying to please God…praying and all. It’s kind of hard to please everyone…Jews, Muslims, AND Christians…but that is just what our pluralistic, syncretic culture demands. In an effort to please everyone and offend none, we offend everyone and please none. And many of our contemporary policies reflect that (I’m thinking of the LGBTQ community, and our thinking on the First Amendment).”

 

“Christians? There is nothing more dogmatic than orthodox Christianity. We believe there is only One Name to be called upon to be saved (Acts 4:12). Clue: it’s not Mohammad or Allah… or Hari Krishna  Joseph Smith, Buddha, et al, ad nauseum! Dare I actually speak His Name? JESUS!”

 

”Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, save us from our culture! Give us the courage to call upon the Name that is above every other Name (Phil. 2:9-11); in Jesus’ Name, amen.”   © Alan E.Sargent

 

Share as you like; just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe to 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 – 5-3-18 Classy Response

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 5-3-18

 

Classy Response

 

What’s Happening:  “Mom responded to her middle-school’s daughter’s gesture of disrespect to a visit from Rep. Gaetz (R-FL) by chastising her Tuesday. The ‘flipping of the bird’ was taken in stride by Rep. Gaetz, who’s received more than a little persecution for his support of Trump (https://www.westernjournal.com/ct/moms-response-6th-grader-gop-rep/?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=newsletter-CT&utm_campaign=dailypm&utm_content=conservative-tribune). ‘Her Congressman also had an occasional lapse of judgment as a middle-schooler. Teaching moments like this are a good thing. I had a lovely time with the students,’ Gaetz said.”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “It was only a middle schooler, for crying out loud!”

 

Biblical Response:  “Yeah, but lessons learned young often are going to stick around in later life. It is possible to disagree without being disagreeable. Perhaps there are members of Congress who need to learn this lesson. Self-control does not come naturally, but it is listed in the fruit of the Spirit in Gal. 5:22-23. Giving the middle finger to anyone is not just a vulgar sign of disrespect, it is an immature classless way of showing displeasure….like the Congressman said, a ‘teaching moment.’”

 

“Christians? There is no excuse for a Christian to act un-Christianly. Vulgarity is never just laughed at (Rom. 12:14). Often, more is negatively said about the person gesturing (or speaking) than the one to whom the gesture was intended. As ambassadors for Christ, we are called to be better than that (Eph. 6:19-20).”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, show us the repercussions of our acts BEFORE we make huge faux pass. Help us to see it is more honorable (and less messy) to clean ourselves up ahead of our disagreement, not afterwards; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”   © Alan E.Sargent

 

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