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CLARITY – 12-26-19 Unduplicatable

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 12-26-19

Unduplicatable

What’s Happening: “With the announcement recently (and with the article by Mark Episkopos in The National Interest today) that China is buying a number of SU-57Es it appears that we may be heading for a new era in Sino-Russian relations….of course, the Chinese may just be interested in reverse engineering technology to improve its own 5th-generation fighter, the J-20. The upcoming Dubai Airshow may reveal the difference between the SU-57 and the SU-57E (https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/why-china-could-soon-be-flying-russias-su-57-stealth-fighter-108456). Russian official, Viktor Kladov said, ‘China has recently taken delivery of 24 Su-35 aircraft, and in the next two years [China] will make a decision to either procure additional Su-35s, build the Su-35 within China, or to buy a fifth-generation fighter aircraft. This could be another opportunity for the Su-57E.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “The real question is how our top stealth fighter is compared to this SU-57E.”

Biblical Response:  “It might be…of course, it also might be that the Chinese got most of their technology from us in the first place. It’s a good thing that this is for air superiority…we (assuming we are still a Christian nation…which may be an assumption too far) already have spiritual superiority…and it is unduplicatable! (2 Cor. 10:4). Winning a temporal battle may be important, but having the victory assured in an eternal one is even more important.”

“Christians? We believe we are in a war already (though it is a spiritual one…with temporal and eternal consequences!). The ‘strongholds’ we ‘pull down’ (refer to the scripture above) are ideological (Communism) and spiritual (the devil’s evil plan).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to win on both fronts with superiority in both arenas; 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.’  Copyright © 2019 Alan E. Sargent

Reader:

May I indulge in a little self-promotion? Many of you read CLARITY every day…and you hopefully forward it on to still others. Some even subscribe from the website. Thanks! (One mother wrote that she wanted to subscribe to read it to her children everyday – read away!) However you get CLARITY, would you consider donating on the website? I’m happy to find useful purpose in helping folks stay informed and supplying what I think God has to say on the subjects of the day…still, I want to get this word out to others…which is what I’ll do with your gifts. Thanks in advance.

Blessings,

Alan

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CLARITY – 12-2-19 Citizenship Matters

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 12-2-19

Citizenship Matters

What’s Happening: “The Prime Minister of Australia, Marise Payne, called the incarceration treatment of Yang Hengjun, an Australian citizen, ‘unacceptable,’ citing reports of daily shackling-while-interrogating, isolation from the outside world, and torture. Of course the Chinese Foreign Minister has denied these allegations. Yang suffered high blood pressure and serious kidney problems before his jailing last January. He used to write a popular Chinese blog, and has written several spy novels. The Chinese accuse him of spying himself and they may be using him as a guinea pig for experimental drugs while he awaits his fate (https://www.yahoo.com/news/australia-slams-chinas-unacceptable-treatment-jailed-writer-002119506.html). ‘It seems like he’s being treated particularly harshly in order to effectively try and break him and push him to confess,’ said Human Rights Watch.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “With that kind of name, the Chinese probably want him to abide by Chinese law.”

Biblical Response:  “Maybe…it’s hard to know what the Chinese are thinking…other than trying to silence a dissenting voice. Besides, they don’t believe in dual citizenship. He is critical of what the Chinese are attempting in Hong Kong, etc. Living in a country by another country’s laws has never been easy. Kind of reminds me of Christians’ struggle of being in this world, but not of it (John 15:19). The opposition comes from our dual citizenship; being born in some country means we have to abide by their laws. However, being born again in the kingdom of God creates a dynamic tension sometimes (Matt. 20: 25-28). Of course, like Peter and John, we must always default to the law of God (Acts 5:29). Citizenship matters.”

“Christians? Do we believe that we must obey God, no matter what? Yes…and sometimes it means flogging and threats…and sometimes worse. The Good News is: His grace is sufficient (2 Cor. 12:9).” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to default to our heavenly  citizenship…no matter the cost; 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.’  Copyright © 2019 Alan E. Sargent

Reader:

May I indulge in a little self-promotion? Many of you read CLARITY every day…and you hopefully forward it on to still others. Some even subscribe from the website. Thanks! (One mother wrote that she wanted to subscribe to read it to her children everyday – read away!) However you get CLARITY, would you consider donating on the website? I’m happy to find useful purpose in helping folks stay informed and supplying what I think God has to say on the subjects of the day…still, I want to get this word out to others…which is what I’ll do with your gifts. Thanks in advance.

Blessings,

Alan

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CLARITY – 11-22-19 Thumbing Our Nose

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 11-22-19

Thumbing Our Nose

What’s Happening: “Whether it’s wisdom or folly remains to be seen…. The U.S. Navy Wednesday and again yesterday, sailed in waters in the South China Sea that are claimed by Communist China…and simultaneously by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Viet Nam, and Taiwan (which China also claims as its own wayward province), although China says its claims are ‘indisputable’ (https://www.yahoo.com/news/1-u-warships-sail-disputed-234158904.html). The Southern Theatre Command for the Chinese government said, ‘We urge (the United States) to stop these provocative actions to avoid any unforeseeable accidents. China has indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea islands and its surrounding area.’” 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “We surely don’t want a physical war with them, do we?”

Biblical Response:  “No, of course not. At the same time, we need to stand up for the little guys. Building these islands by bringing sand onto the reefs is bad enough…but then militarizing these islands by making them airstrips for military planes is not good. Of course, angering the Chinese may not be good, either. The Scripture tells fathers not to provoke their children to wrath (Eph. 6:4; Col. 3:21)…when it’s your main economic competitor…well, they may not take it too kindly. It seems to me…with differences over North Korea, Hong Kong human rights, tariffs, etc., eventual conflict is inevitable. And it will be costly. But, as in most things, time is a multiplier.”

 “Christians? We believe that conflict should be avoided…but not at any cost. There was once a conflict between God and Man…and look what it cost to achieve peace…the death of the Savior,” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, may Your will be done in this dispute, and may it glorify You…peacefully; 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.’  Copyright © 2019 Alan E. Sargent

Reader:

May I indulge in a little self-promotion? Many of you read CLARITY every day…and you hopefully forward it on to still others. Some even subscribe from the website. Thanks! (one mother wrote that she wanted to subscribe to read it to her children everyday – read away!) However you get CLARITY, would you consider donating on the website? I’m happy to find useful purpose in helping folks stay informed and supplying what I think God has to say on the subjects of the day…still, I want to get this word out to others…which is what I’ll do with your gifts. Thanks in advance.

Blessings,

Alan

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CLARITY – 11-21-19 Free or Mandatory

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 11-21-19

Free or Mandatory

What’s Happening: “In an article published Tuesday by The Telegraph, Roman Catholic Bishop, Guo Xijin, 61, is fleeing the government-ordered joining of the government-run religious association in Communist China. In officially atheist Communist China, there are two Roman Catholic churches: the state-run church, loyal to the government, and the underground church, loyal to the Vatican…though a compromise was recently reached that was supposed to rectify that (https://www.yahoo.com/news/chinese-bishop-run-refusing-join-115240747.html). CLARITY’s prayer? Run! And may God hide him.” 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Doesn’t China claim to have freedom of religion?”

Biblical Response:  “They do…apparently, the claims have been ‘greatly exaggerated.’ If you don’t believe me, ask the million or so in ‘re-education’ camps. Am I not for facing the music? Yes, even if it means martyrdom. But I’m also for following the Holy Spirit. Paul fled sometimes, too (Acts 9:23-25), and later in the scripture we read of other disciples fleeing (Acts. 14:1-7). As far as following government mandates is concerned, I’m generally for obeying those put in authority over you (1 Pet. 2:12-17). However, Peter and John make plain the distinction when they say in Acts 5:29, ‘We must obey God rather than men.’ (NASU).”

 “Christians? We believe that true freedom of religion must be uncoerced. You cannot legitimize force by applying it under government sanction…not where a person’s belief system is concerned.” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to remember to pray for the persecuted Church of various ilks…some fleeing…some in prison…some under orders to be executed; and may Your will be done; 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.’  Copyright © 2019 Alan E. Sargent

Reader:

May I indulge in a little self-promotion? Many of you read CLARITY every day…and you hopefully forward it on to still others. Some even subscribe from the website. Thanks! (one mother wrote that she wanted to subscribe to read it to her children everyday – read away!) However you get CLARITY, would you consider donating on the website? I’m happy to find useful purpose in helping folks stay informed and supplying what I think God has to say on the subjects of the day…still, I want to get this word out to others…which is what I’ll do with your gifts. Thanks in advance.

Blessings,

Alan

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CLARITY – 11-11-19 Freedom Isn’t Free

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 11-19-19

Freedom Isn’t Free

What’s Happening: “Time is a multiplier. No one is learning this better than the protesters in Hong Kong. What began as a peaceful protest by thousands to Communist China’s attempt to pass an extradition-to-the-mainland bill, has morphed into millions of disgruntled Hong Kong-ites objecting violently to the loss of the rights of people who enjoyed the ‘one country, two systems’ policy…now seen as in danger. Now, after three days of captivity, thousands are escaping from Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), and being whisked away by waiting motorcycles…Chief Superintendent Kwok Ka-chuen estimates 1,000 have been arrested in the last 24 hours (https://www.yahoo.com/news/hong-kong-siege-third-day-china-sounds-warnings-031850303.html). Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive said, ‘They have to stop violence, give up the weapons and come out peacefully and take the instructions from the police.’ Apparently contradicting her, Kwok Ka-chuen said, ‘”No excuse, no political demand or motive can spare anyone from legal liability. Regardless of their age and causes, they are to face the consequences of their own actions.’” 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Should I tremble?”

Biblical Response:  “Not unless you’re one of the protesters…oh, you spoke that in sarcasm. Well, seeing as you live might live safely in America, let me say: ‘it’s easy for you to say.’ Seriously, it’s beginning to look like what happened to the freedom seekers in Tiananmen Square (June 4 and 5, 1989 – Communist China squelched by force pro-Democracy protests) look like a stroll in the park. What patriots learned at Lexington and Concord a few centuries ago…that freedom isn’t free…protesters in Hong Kong may learn in the coming days, weeks, or months. Nobody wants bloodshed, but it may come to that.”

“Christians? We’ve hopefully already learned that concept (Heb. 9:22). Of course, the previous scripture first applied to animal sacrifices…then the blood of the Savior. Now, it appears that it might also apply to the protesters…pity, all it will achieve is physical freedom. At least, maybe that’s how it will start.” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to remember to pray that all who seek freedom find it; 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.’  Copyright © 2019 Alan E. Sargent

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CLARITY – 11-11-19 What Did They Think Was Going to Happen?

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 11-11-19

What Did They Think Was Going to Happen?

What’s Happening: “Another protester was shot by police in Hong Kong over the weekend. The victim could be seen on a Facebook post attacking an officer as he was collaring another protester. The protesters, who have been at it for five months protesting a proposed bill that would allow extradition to mainland China, were particularly agitated over the death of a protester who fell some time ago, but finally succumbed to his injuries Friday (https://www.yahoo.com/news/hong-kong-protester-appears-shot-020411886.html).  ‘I do not want to go into details, but I just want to make it very clear that we will spare no effort in finding ways and means that could end the violence in Hong Kong as soon as possible,’ leader of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam told reporters.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Any protests are useless and just a waste of time and lives.”

Biblical Response:  “You may be right…time alone will tell. However, I do remember a protest that began nearly 250 years ago against the greatest power of the day. That, too, ended in bloodshed and a ‘shot that was heard around the world’…and a new country that has become the envy of the world (I mean, I don’t see droves of people risking their lives to get into any other countries). What will be the outcome here? I don’t know. It’s a cinch more blood will be shed before it’s over. You give folks a taste of freedom and they usually want more. All that’s missing is a religious element (or the MSM is not reporting about it). One thing is for sure: ‘Freedom isn’t free…you’ve got to pay the price, you’ve got to sacrifice…for your liberty’ (a line from a song sung by ‘Up With People’). ”

“Christians? Do we believe in freedom? Absolutely…but we know it only comes with bloodshed (Rom. 5:9). Of course, I’m talking about spiritual freedom…but freedom in this world is akin to it (John 8:33-36).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help those who seek freedom to realize there is none without sacrifice; 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 – 10-26-19 Friendship?

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 10-26-19

Friendship?

It’s Happening: “Filipino President Duterte, making his second trip to Moscow in less than a year, may be seeking a strategic relationship with Russia, in particular Vladimir Putin. He has bought Russian military hardware (specifically helicopters and kilo-class submarines), which has been a poke-in-the-eye to the U.S., ostensibly to protect its interests in the South China Sea, a bone of contention with China. To make a confusing alliance even more chaotic, let’s not forget the ideological relationship between the Russians and the Chinese…both ‘Communist’ countries  (https://nationalinterest.org/feature/new-realignment-between-russia-and-philippines-90901). The recently appointed by Moscow, Manilla Defense Attache was quoted as saying, ‘What we can assure you, if you are going to procure military equipment for us, we are going to give you brand new ones and not second hand’. This was a thinly-veiled poke at recent Philippine purchases from the U.S., which had purportedly used their allies as a dumping ground for old military hardware.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Why should I care who the Filipinos have as friends?”

Biblical Response:  “Because friendship implies certain strategic alliances…and they might not have America’s best interests at heart. Putin has a history of offering friendship with an angle. Talk about ‘quid pro quo’, it’s hard to say ‘no’ when the supplier of your military hardware makes certain demands on you. I have no idea what those demands might be, but you don’t load the gun of the guy who’s got it in your back. (Sure, the Filipinos might have elected the wrong guy, but they stuck with him for now…the Dems probably feel the same way aboutTrump.) The moral of the story is that friendship has consequences…not all of them positive (James 4:4).”  

“Christians? We know that friendship with a poisonous snake requires that certain precautions be taken…and that it rarely turns out harmless. That’s why choosing the short-term over the long-term seldom works out well (Matt. 6:19-21).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to choose our friends carefully…that way, we don’t always have to watch our backs; 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 – 10-21-19 The Plans of Mice and Men

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 10-21-19

The Plans of Mice and Men

It’s Happening: “The next conflict will look a little different- at least if the U.S. Army and Marines have anything to say about it…that statement was made loud and clear by the sinking on July 12, 2018 of the USS Racine, a 522-foot long tank landing ship, in the waters north of Hawaii. Of course, it was a planned sinking – by land forces from Japan, Australia, and helicopters and drones and a Los Angeles-class submarine from the U.S., to prove that the upgrading of forces is sufficient to counter recent military moves by China (like the creation of island bases in the South China Sea) (https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/us-army-and-marines-have-plan-take-china-and-russias-navies-88996).  I didn’t list half of the forces that were involved – all this to avoid the famously quoted ‘Never get involved in a land war in Asia.’ (Miracle Max in the Princess Bride – 1987).”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I knew they had to have a plan,,”

Biblical Response:  “Yeah, but is it the right one? It is the Pentagon…so it must be, right? Being on the right side (God’s side), helps, too. How do I know it is God’s side? Well, it certainly was in WWII (the Nazi’s killing of 6 million Jews in concentration camps kind of assured us of ultimate victory…you don’t want to go against God). Of course, we made a few mistakes there, too… mistakes we’ll be paying for for a long time (but that’s another topic). 

We have exterminated well over 60 million innocent babies via abortion (which doesn’t bode well for us in the favor department), but atheistic Russia and China…hopefully…trumps that. In any case, whatever ‘plans’ we make, the Lord may have other plans. Besides it is not good to ‘trust in chariots and horses’ (Ps. 20:7). Sometimes “the best-laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley’ (Bobbie Burns’ poem – 1785 – meaning His plan might overrule).

“Christians? As the scripture from Proverbs says: “Man proposes, but God disposes.” (Prov. 19:21 LB). Maybe it’s time to pray.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to see and understand the long-term plans You have in light of the short-term plans we’ve made; 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 10-15-19 It Works Both Ways

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 10-15-19

It Works Both Ways

What’s Happening: “Hunter Biden made some ‘poor judgments,’ he said in an interview with ABC’s Amy Robach…no news there. Did he really think his last name played no part in his being on the board of a company in Ukraine or China? His recent leaving the Chinese equity firm is probably no coincidence, either. Whether he did anything unethical or illegal, he did  surround himself with those kind of people…this he freely admits (https://www.yahoo.com/news/exclusive-hiding-plain-sight-hunter-biden-defends-foreign-095021838–abc-news-topstories.html). ‘I gave a hook to some very unethical people to act in illegal ways to try to do some harm to my father. That’s where I made the mistake. So I take full responsibility for that. Did I do anything improper? No, not in any way. Not in any way whatsoever.’ Riiiggghhhttt…and I have a bridge in Brooklyn I want to interest you in…”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “As P. T. Barnum said: ‘There’s a sucker born every minute…” No way do I believe him!”

Biblical Response:  “I don’t know whether Joe or Hunter did anything they weren’t supposed to, but it looks bad. Don’t they know it works both ways, Sure, I’m sad that they got caught with their hand in the cookie jar (it sure looks bad for American politicians and their families – not that Ukrainian officials are innocent (how’s the old saying go? ‘Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.’- Lord Acton – 1887). Also the Scripture is quite poignant on this fact: 

“‘Bad company corrupts good morals.’ (1 Cor. 15:33 NASU)

“Christians? They should be familiar with that scripture…and another one, too:

‘Abstain from all appearance of evil.’ (1 Thess. 5:22 KJV)

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, teach us to look both ways…forward into the future, and backwards into the past…and realize our actions affect more than 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:subdeo.com.’ 

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CLARITY – 8-21-19 Watchful But Not Rattled

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -8-21-19

Watchful But Not Rattled

What’s Happening: “North Korea keeps testing short-range missiles (https://www.yahoo.com/news/pompeo-says-north-korea-missile-125513626.html), China keeps threatening the Indo-Pacfific region where U.S. and allied bases are located (https://www.yahoo.com/news/china-could-render-us-military-104141882.html), and now that both Russia and the U.S. have abandoned the INF (Intermediate Nuclear Forces agreement), the testing of those intermediate missiles has been resumed by the U.S., launching its first ground-based missile from California since the early 80s (https://www.yahoo.com/news/pentagon-conducts-1st-test-previously-182317892.html). All this to challenge America’s undisputed leadership militarily: A report has described the US military as an ‘atrophying force that is not sufficiently ready, equipped or postured for great power competition…’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Another arms race…great! Next we can expect our taxes to go up or our deficit to increase!”

Biblical Response:  “Or both. Still, threat-of-force seems only to be deterred by further threat-of-force. Why is that? Because you’re dealing with natural men (Is. 53:6) and fear is the denomination of terror (1 John 4:18). As long as we (metaphorically speaking) ‘trust in horses’ (Ps. 20:7: Is. 31:1), we will be in an arms race. Maybe we should just increase our vigilance (Ezek. 33;3)…through increasing our satellites, I guess…that might be cheaper…still, as long as you’re dealing with natural men, maybe it’s just not possible to completely eliminate the possibility of armed conflict. There will never be peace on earth until the Prince of Peace rules in the hearts of all men. Sounds like heaven. Exactly!”

“Christians? Oh, we believe in dealing with men as they are, not the way you want them…but we also believe in calling those things that are not, as though they were (Rom. 4:17). Hopeful, but not naive.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, give us wisdom, but help us to look positively…You know, ‘trust, but verify’…but trust; 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.’