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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 – 11-11-19 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 – 10-2-19 The First Color of Peace

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 10-2-19

The First Color of Peace

What’s Happening: “An 18-year-old protester in Hong Kong was shot yesterday at close range by police and he’s in critical condition at an ICU at Queen Elizabeth hospital there. The police call it self defense, the protesters say it was an unnecessary escalation, and Hong Kong lawmakers favoring democracy are just trying to keep the peace. The protests began 17 weeks ago when lawmakers were trying to pass a bill which would have extradited criminals to mainland China for prosecution…the bill has since been promised to be withdrawn (https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/10/01/hong-kong-police-say-shooting-schoolboy-close-range-self-defense/). ‘This incident underlines the need for constructive dialogue to address the legitimate concerns of the people of Hong Kong. We need to see restraint and a deescalation from both protesters and the Hong Kong authorities,’ said UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.”  

Knee-Jerk Response:  “What’s a little bloodshed? Besides, what did he expect, he assaulted the guy!”

Biblical Response:  “I wasn’t there. I don’t know whether the police were justified in using lethal force or not. I’ll leave that up to local investigators…which, admittedly, may be biased. But if the protesters thought that freedom or peace could be bought without blood…well, I’d say they underestimated. My guess is that the protesters have hoped it would not come to this…but are prepared to lay down their lives anyway.”

“There are two biblical events that come to mind., Both bought peace…both involved the color red (which means sacrifice). I’m thinking of God’s promise of peace with man symbolized by a rainbow (Gen. 9:13-15) and the sacrifice (in blood) of Christ on the cross (Col. 1:20) The old and easy way to remember the colors of the rainbow is to remember the acronym ROY G. BIV (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet – for sacrifice, fruitfulness, value, life, honor, mystery, and royalty – all attributes of God, Who is light).”

“Christians? We believe our freedom in Christ and our peace with God were bought with Christ’s blood on the cross. It seems the Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters might not have freedom or peace without bloodshed, too. 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help the protesters not to have unreasonable expectations and be prepared to pay the necessary price; 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 – 9-13-19 Solidarity and Tea

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -9-13-19

Solidarity and Tea  

What’s Happening: “The Hong Kong protesters suspended actions on 9/11 in solidarity to the terrorist attacks in America being commemorated on that day. The protests originally were in response to the introduction of a bill authorizing the extradition of individuals by Beijing for prosecution on the mainland, but have gone way past that…now calling for a return to sovereignty and independence. The Hong Kong press had said that the protesters were planning terrorist acts of their own, even saying they had plans to blow up gas pipelines…I guess those were suspended (https://www.yahoo.com/news/hong-kong-protesters-paused-demonstration-121333587.html). Reuters reported the protesters issued a statement, ‘In solidarity against terrorism, all forms of protest in Hong Kong will be suspended on Sept. 11, apart from potential singing and chanting,’” 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “That’s over there. I mean, I feel for all the businesses that are disrupted, but why should I care?”

Biblical Response:  “Few in Europe cared when the Boston Tea Party occurred, either. Yet, Europeans have to compete with America today because of events sparked by that ‘protest.’ These protests may not go that far…but they might. There is a little-known biblical principle involved here. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin (Heb. 9:22). This, applied to the situation in Hong Kong, means that the goals of the protesters – if it’s really autonomy and democracy – is probably gonna cost them some blood. It seems far-fetched that Chinese communism would be toppled from such humble beginnings, but no one thought a ‘few rabble-rousers’ in the colonies could defeat the mightiest nation on earth, either. Talk about a miscalculation!”

“Christians? This principle of the shedding of blood is what bought our freedom: 

‘And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.’ (Heb. 9:22 NASU)

‘For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 

and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.’ (Col. 1:19-20 NASU)”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to find that balance between supporting their efforts and standing for law and order; 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 – 8-15-19 Why “One Country, Two Systems” Won’t Work

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -8-15-19

Why “One Country, Two Systems” Won’t Work

What’s Happening: “Another protest by the Civil Human Rights Front is planned for Sunday in Hong Kong, the scene of massive crowds (2,000,000 strong) objecting to Beijing’s attempt to change the extradition laws. The protests have clogged the airport, causing nearly 1,000 flight cancellations, and local police have had to deal with the clashes, which have sometimes turned violent, but not with anything other than clubs, water cannons, tear gas, and rubber bullets. What will come of this? Nobody really knows, but Chinese military exercises nearby are intimidating (https://www.yahoo.com/news/normal-operations-resume-hong-kong-000449706.html).  The demands of the protesters? They want authorities to stop referring to their actions as “rioting”, charges against detainees dropped, a resumption of political reforms and an independent inquiry into police actions during the unrest.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Is this the reason the Stock Market fell 800 points yesterday?”

Biblical Response:  “Not directly, and not totally, though I’m sure it had something to do with it…the market doesn’t respond well to chaos. I’m sure the trade tariffs, the U.S.’s ‘war’ with Chinese tech-giant, Huawei, the fed’s recent rate changes, etc., all had their downward influence. (A ‘perfect storm?’) In any case, there has been little but unrest since Hong Kong reverted from British rule to Chinese in 1997. The announced (by Beijing) ‘one country, two systems’ may have sounded conciliatory to begin with, but was unworkable long-term. A house divided against itself, cannot stand (Matt. 12:25).” 

“Christians? We believe in unity, not disunity (Eph. 4:3). What will win out? Freedom is catchy…it is also costly. My prayer is minimal bloodshed. As the old Up With People song quipped: ‘Freedom isn’t free, freedom isn’t free; you’ve got to pay the price, you’ve got to sacrifice…for your liberty.’”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to foster unity…but not ‘peace at any price’…freedom isn’t free; 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 – 6-11-19 Unreliable

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -6-11-19

Unreliable

What’s Happening: “Extradition to China from New Zealand is in question…A) It’s never been done before (China has no formal extradition rights for New Zealand); B) There is some evidence that though China rigorously challenges any accusation of torture it nevertheless occurs; C) The attempt to extradite someone from Honk Kong has resulted in a million-man protest there… Kyung Yup Kim is accused of killing a woman in Shanghai a decade ago. And the courts in New Zealand put a temporary halt to his extradition to China earlier today (https://www.yahoo.com/news/zealand-court-stops-man-being-082024042.html). ‘Nevertheless, torture remains widespread and confessions obtained through torture are regularly admitted in evidence,’ said the court’s report.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Maybe Kim really did kill that woman!”

Biblical Response:  “Maybe…but we’ll really never know…and neither will the Chinese…not if they rely on a confession obtained through torture. People being tortured will tell you anything just to get the pain to stop. It might be the truth, but it might not. Extradition has traditionally been used as a way for the long arm of justice to get even longer…if there’s no place to run, maybe criminals will just give up and face the music. The Apostle Paul, of course, used it to get justice. His appeal to Caesar led to his extradition to Rome (Acts 25:21), and a fair trial…at least fairer than the Jewish leaders would have given him.”

“Christians? Do we believe in extradition? Absolutely! That is what the translation of the saints at the end of the age is all about (1Thess. 4:13-18). Don we believe in torture? In what way can we construe torture to mean that it is a demonstration of loving our enemies (Matt. 5:44)?”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, while we want to be set free by truth (John 8:32), we don’t want to assume what we get from torture is truth; help us to discern; 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 – 10-24-18 Bridge to Somewhere

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 10-24-18

Bridge to Somewhere

 

What’s Happening: “China opened the world’s longest sea-bridge…from mainland China to Hong Kong…a 34-mile-long marvel that took a decade to build, cost several lives, is opposed by some environmentalists, features many electronic monitoring technologies, and was partially paid for by Hong Kong taxpayer dollars (https://www.yahoo.com/news/world-apos-longest-sea-bridge-101352761.html). It turns out that few mainland China vehicles may be allowed on the bridge as a customs queue and shuttle busses may be required,”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for the Chinese and the citizens of Hong Kong, but what does this have to do with me?”

 

Biblical Response:  “Maybe little…especially if you aren’t traveling to either China or Hong Kong, but it is another feat of engineering that proves that there are few things impossible to man…at least so he thinks. We may send people to Mars this year…or discover the cure to cancer…or do some other heretofore unimaginable feat, but building a huge bridge is no more laudable than building an unsinkable vessel (so the Titanic was heralded). What am I saying? I’m saying man is really puny in his attempts at being the self-sufficient master of the universe. His attempts at playing God are ultimately futile.”

 

“Christians? There is only one bridge that IS laudable (1 Tim. 2:5), the Bridge that spans the gap between  a holy God and an unholy Man. That gap is immeasurable, not a mere 34 miles long. Man’s engineering and technical feats need to be taken in the context of all that is never going to be possible for him (Matt. 19:26).”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, while we should praise those who accomplish great things, let us never forget the tremendous things You have done – things we could never do; 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