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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

 

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CLARITY – 5-1-18 Prince of Lies

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 5-1-18

 

Prince of Lies

 

What’s Happening:  “Israeli PM, Benjamin Netanyahu said he had the goods on Iranian lies (and displayed replicas of 55, 000 documents and 183 CD’s he said his intelligence services seized) and asked the western world (in English – a video he obviously directed to Trump and American audiences) to get out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or otherwise known ,as the Nuclear Deal. Trump will have to reauthorize the deal May 12 (https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/pm-expected-to-reveal-how-iran-cheated-world-on-nuke-program-1.6045300). ‘Iran did not come clean about its nuclear program,’ said Netanyahu..”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Did anyone believe Iran? This is old news.”

 

Biblical Response:  “Yes, obviously Obama and his team believed it (or because they were operating from a position of military weakness, chose to). And it may be old news (although Netanyahu presented it as new corroborating evidence), but you can’t ‘trust, but verify’ if you are not having truly free access. I guess we’ll see on May 12 whether Trump thinks the deal is salvageable.”

 

“Christians? Are the Iranians liars? Obviously, Netanyahu thinks so. We are admonished to be ‘wise as serpents, but gentle as doves (Matt. 10:16). We need to not be naive…even if asking someone to prove their veracity might injure their pride.”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help our leaders to be wise and look beyond posturing to motive; 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 – 4-30-18 Forced Peace

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 4-30-18

 

Forced Peace

 

What’s Happening:  “Whether in response to Trump’s “Maximum Pressure” campaign or Moon’s (the President of South Korea) peaceful overtures or the collapse  of nuclear test site Mount Mantap, Kim Jong-Un’s recent turn-around seems to be uncharacteristic (http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/2143878/north-korea-close-mountain-nuclear-test-site-after-collapse). ‘“Once we start talking, the United States will know that I am not a person to launch nuclear weapons at South Korea, the Pacific or the United States,’ Kim was quoted. It’s a far cry from threatening the U.S.”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Whatever the reason, I’m glad.”

 

Biblical Response:  “More like: ‘cautiously optimistic,’ but I know what you mean. Still, maybe God gave Kim no other choice. Maybe the mountain collapsed under too much nuclear testing…maybe the Olympics and Moon’s gestures had their non-pugnacious affect…maybe Trump dealing from a position of increased military strength and uncompromising rhetoric…probably some combination…or just maybe an act of God…in any case, as Reagan said, ‘trust, but verify.’”

 

“Christians? Are we for peace? Yes! (John 14:27). But not the ‘absence of conflict’…which is, by the way, what the Armistice that North Korea and South Korea signed on July 27, 1953. And we should not be so naive as to think God has nothing to do with today’s ongoing peace initiatives.”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, although we seek peace, it is not ‘peace at any price’…help our leaders to keep both eyes open as we seek denuclearization; 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 – 4-16-18 Orban’s Orbit

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 4-16-18

 

Orban’s Orbit

 

What’s Happening:  “When Prime Minister of Hungary Victor Orban won re-election last week (in a landslide that likely yeilded him a ⅔ majority in their Parliament), it was a repudiation of ‘The United States of Europe’ concept in favor of an anti-immigration ‘Europe of sovereign nations’ ideal, an endorsing of his far-right Fidesz party (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-hungary-election-orban/hungarys-orban-to-seek-eu-of-strong-nations-after-landslide-re-election-idUSKBN1HH12A). ‘“The Hungarian people have defined the most important issues: these are the questions of immigration and national sovereignty,’ said Orban.’”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “And what happens in Hungary matters to me how?”

 

Biblical Response:  “Living in myopic America may make most contemplate personal navels, but the increasing interconnectedness of our world in the 21st century means that every butterfly wing’s flap has its consequence.  In other words, what happens in Hungary may be uninteresting to some, but it does make a difference. Likely, what has happened in Hungary’s election is a reflection of Trumpism…a sweeping away of the old guard to make room for the new. Brexit, the election of Macron (of France), an exit by the U.S. from the pact on Climate Change, and now the election of Orban should be seen as examples of this. I’m not saying it’s altogether a good thing…or a bad thing…it’s just a thing.”

 

“Christians? Baron John Dalberg-Acton (1834-1902) was the first to say it, but ‘Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.’ Whether it’s Trump, Macron or Orban, power is only checked by power.  ‘We the people’ must make our voice heard (Matt. 18:20).”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to make our voice heard but not stridently…softly, but insistently; 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 – 4-13-18 A Higher Loyalty

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 4-13-18

 

A Higher Loyalty

 

What’s Happening:  “Although former FBI Director James Comey’s book, A Higher Loyalty, is not due to be released until next week, reviews and quotes are already beginning to appear. Comey tries to explain his actions, conversations he’s had with Obama, Trump and the Hillary Campaign, etc. Who knows what the truth really is? (https://www.yahoo.com/news/whats-james-comeys-book-235458827.html). Comey writes, ‘We are experiencing a dangerous time in our country, with a political environment where basic facts are disputed, fundamental truth is questioned, lying is normalized and unethical behavior is ignored, excused or rewarded.’”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Will we ever really know the truth?”

 

Biblical Response:  “We may already know the truth…but do we know we know the truth?…probably not. Or the question might be raised, ‘Whose truth?’ If you ask Trump, it’s one thing. If you ask Hillary, it’s another. If you ask Comey, it’s still another. (and honestly, they’ve believed their own hype for so long, maybe they can’t even recognize the absolute truth). ”

 

“Christians? Sure, we know there’s ‘A Higher Loyalty.’ God is the higher loyalty and He knows the absolute truth (Jn. 8:32). What is ‘absolute truth?’”

 

“Let me illustrate it this way: There is an argument that ensues between two guys. Both are watching a roofer put on shingles a quarter of a mile away. As he strikes the nail there is a delay in the report of the sound. One guy says to the other, ‘Bet you can’t tell me when he’s striking the nail.’ The other guy argues, turning around, he can even do it without looking.

 

“‘Now’… ‘and now’…timing his ‘now’ with the blows as he hears them. The other guy smiles. ‘You have it all wrong because light travels faster than sound. You think he’s hitting the nail when you hear it, but I can see when the blows really occur.’”

 

“Another guy, who’s been standing nearby pipes up, ‘You’re both wrong. The event actually occurs even sooner than the light reveals.’”

 

“‘Yeah,’ the second guy admits, ‘But you’d have to be in the hammer and in the nail to know that.’”

 

“‘Exactly!’ He exclaims.”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us not get too bogged down or deceived by the difference in the perspectives of various witnesses to ‘truth.’ Your absolute truth is all we trust;  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