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CLARITY – 5-29-20 ‘Foreign’ Culture War

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 5-29-20

‘Foreign’ Culture War

What’s Happening: “Tragedies happen even in Iran. What else would you call the ‘honor killing’ of a 14-year old girl by her father for eloping with a forbidden ‘older man’ (he was 29; the legal age for women to marry in Iran is 13)? There are some in Iran’s media who decry such barbaric customs…they are trying to be more acceptable to the West…they fly in the face of President Rouhani and conservative factions who now control the government. The father apparently decapitated the girl in her sleep; there are some anti-violence bills pending in their legislature (https://www.yahoo.com/news/iran-outraged-honour-killing-14-103620523.html).  Quoting from an article yesterday in the The Telegraph: ‘On Twitter, Vice President for Women and Family Affairs, Masoumeh Ebtekar, said a bill on the protection of young people was in the ‘final phase’ of validation by Iran’s Guardian Council.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “So why should I care about a tragedy in Iran?”

Biblical Response:  “Because it’s not just a tragedy in Iran…it’s a  tragedy anywhere. Normally, we should let ‘foreign’ cultures establish their own norms…and there is a culture war going on in Iran today..and if  they want to sow what is regarded by the West as reprehensible, their reaping will eventually teach them the wrongness of this practice (though they still haven’t learned after multiple millennia – Gal. 6:7). 

“I say normally. You’ve probably noticed I’ve always put ‘foreign’ in quotes. That’s because all cultures are ‘foreign’ to Christians. We’re not of this world (John 18:36). Living by the Word of God can make us seem weird to others, non-normal. And we’re often the objects of persecution. What do I say to that? It comes with the territory (1 Pet. 4;12-14). Living in a predominantly Christian country has gained us a culture that considers ‘honor killing’ barbarism…though I don’t know how we can be repulsed by that and embrace the equally barbaric practice of abortion…but I digress.”

“Christians? We believe in a culture that is antithetical to much of what a ‘good’ Muslim believes (for that matter, much of what CHRINOs believe – Christians In Name Only). The only way our culture war (or Iran’s or anyone’s) is won, is for we Christians to get the Good News out. The Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20) has repercussions.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to seek the world’s salvation and the Christian culture that comes with a global Christian consensus; 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.’ If he’s not in Twitter/Facebook/Email jail, he also tweets/posts.

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CLARITY – 4-30-20 A Secret Weapon

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 4-30-20

A Secret Weapon

What’s Happening: “Citing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or ‘Nuclear Deal,’ Iran yesterday said the U.S. has no right to attempt to keep them from buying conventional weapons (from the Russians or the Chinese) after the expiration of the ban on such sales in October. Although the U.S. got out of the JCPOA in 2018, it has submitted its desires through the remaining members of France, Germany, and England. The U.S. has said it will prevent Iran from buying any weapons, but has not said what it will do to effect such an embargo (https://news.yahoo.com/u-not-allow-iran-buy-152355551.html). Quoting from the Reuters’ article: ‘We’re not going to let that happen,’ [Secretaryof State] Pompeo told reporters at a news briefing. ‘We will work with the U.N. Security Council to extend that prohibition on those arms sales and then in the event we can’t get anyone else to act, the United States is evaluating every possibility about how we might do that.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Wait a minute. I thought we got out of the nuclear deal. How can we dictate what Iran buys?””

Biblical Response:  “That’s what’s being attempted…through France, Germany, or England…who are still members of the JCPOA. Why does that matter? We don’t want Iran to attack us conventionally after October (they say they don’t have a nuclear option – of course, we got out of the JCPOA because we believed they were developing nuclear weapons in violation of the agreement). All that does not take into account our secret weapon. It’s not nuclear or conventional, but it is strategic (I know in worldly terms, that means nuclear). In 2 Cor. 10:4 there is an obscure reference to this weapon:

‘… for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.’ (NASU)”

“Then what is the secret weapon? I mean, you’ve told us about its nature…that it’s not fleshly or ‘carnal…but you rea;ly haven’t revealed what it is. Of course, if you revealed it, would it then be secret?”

“It’s prayer. And there’s not much chance of that secret getting out…so few resort to it today. Prayer has silenced the enemy, made him powerless, foiled his strategies…he doesn’t even have a chance…the victory is assured! Or as my wife is apt to say:

‘You can run from circumstance, hide from consequence, but you can never escape prayer.’

“Christians? We believe in the power of prayer (Matt 21:22):

‘And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.’ (NASU)

Not that we shouldn’t take whatever ‘carnal’ steps we can, just realize their limitations…it’s really going to come down to the ‘secret’ weapon. We live in an America where, sadly, we no longer have a Christian consensus…but that’s a topic for a different blog (besides, the majority is not where the real power lies). However, there are still at least 7,000 that have not bent the knee (1 Kings 19:18). The will of God will still happen.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to have our hopes in You…and help us to use the secret weapon You gave 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: http://subdeo.com.’ If he’s not in Twitter/Facebook/Email jail, he also tweets/posts.

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CLARITY – 4-2-20 Be Alert

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 4-2-20

Be Alert

What’s Happening: “Iran complained yesterday when the U.S. deployed defensive Patriot missiles in Ain al-Asad, in western Iraq and Arbil (Irbil?), capital of Iraq’s Kurdish region. This likely was in response to rockets fired on U.S. bases last week by Tehran-backed Shiites or Tehran itself. Two more Patriot batteries are located in  Kuwait. Iran is accusing the U.S. of using the COVID-19 crisis as a distraction (https://www.yahoo.com/news/iran-warns-us-patriot-deployment-iraq-100646861.html). Quoting from the AFP article: ‘US forces should ‘respect the wishes of the Iraqi people and government and leave the country,’” 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Their request sounds reasonable; it’s their country, after all.”

Biblical Response:  “In the first place, it’s a demand, not a request. Secondly, they’re influence in the region is invasive, bellicose and uninvited…it seems hypocritical of them asking us to leave. Besides, defensive warning measures only make sense and fulfill a biblical mandate (1 Pet. 5:8)

‘Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.’ (NASU)

“The Israelis of antiquity had a defensive position which they considered vital: the watchman (Ezek. 1-8). We Christians would do well to reintroduce that concept…the reason? It’s obvious. And no virus should distract us from our purpose.”  

“Christians? We believe alertness helps us get the jump on the devices of the enemy…a kind of early warning system that keeps the enemy’s secretive blows from landing…kind of like a Patriot missile.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to be vigilant and inoffensive (as far as it’s possible – Rom. 12:18); 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 © 2020 Alan E. Sargent

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CLARITY – 3-21-20 Inconvenient Distraction

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-21-20

Inconvenient Distraction

What’s Happening: “Remarks that President Trump made yesterday followed by those made by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about the missle attack that killed two U.S, service members (and one British) serving in Iraq, might indicate that the two leaders are a little distracted by the pandemic that fills the news. Although there are still sanctions on Iran (and they might increase due to the recent attacks), the U.S. has offered all kinds of medical assistance to the regime as Iran has been one of the hardest hit by the virus and reported 1,433 COVID-19 deaths Friday (https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-pompeo-walk-brink-blaming-200348239.html). ‘The Iranian people deserve leaders who listen to, respect, and invest in them, not leaders who target and persecute them while wasting money to advance their nuclear ambitions and test more missiles,’ Trump said.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Sounds like ‘love your enemies’ (Matt. 5:44) to me…kill them with kindness, I say!”

Biblical Response:  “Maybe. You might want to check the attitude of your heart. Are you really sympathetic toward their plight, while disagreeing with their political posturing? Are you making a distinction between the leadership of the dictatorial regime and what we presume to be a largely peace-loving people? I don’t know their hearts. The images of those chanting ‘death to America’ might be for media consumption or incited by the regime. But God does know their hearts (Luke 16:15), and He will see to it justice is served.”

“Are Trump and Pompeo distracted by the coronavirus pandemic? Probably…along with much of the world. But we must not lose sight of the objective. What is the objective? It’s different for different folks. For Trump and Pompeo, protection and leadership for America. For those tapped to solve the virus crisis (doctors and leaders in the CDC, W.H.O., N.I.H., etc.), seeking the best treatment-vaccine-etc., they can – and to lower general fear. Are they all being distracted? Probably. That’s why we must pray for cooler heads to prevail (our objective).”

“Christians? We believe in this is just another opportunity to show our love, compassion, and maturity to a world distracted by the fear of what could happen… We need to point to the ‘Rock that doesn’t roll.’”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to be the voices of quiet calm in a cacophony of distracting noise; 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 © 2020 Alan E. Sargent

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CLARITY – 3-3-20 Shifting Balances of Power

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-3-20

Shifting Balances of Power

What’s Happening: “In a National Interest article by David Axe that appeared earlier today, it was revealed that the British Navy may struggle to be able to escort its oil tankers in the Straits of Hormuz (an attempted attack by Iranian gunboats on July 13, 2019 highlighted the need brought about by a lessening U.S. presence – a consequence of U.S. energy independence). Brexit has had unexpected costs to the national budget…that and a lessening of money spent on defense has mandated a shrinking military. As the balance of power has shifted, changes might be necessitated. Maybe more dependence on combined allied forces? (https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/iran-wouldnt-mess-royal-navy-if-london-had-more-ships-128897). Quoting from the article: ‘As recently as late 2017, there were rumors that the United Kingdom might try to offset the cost of the country’s exit from the European Union by further cutting the military. Amphibious ships appeared to be particularly vulnerable.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “So the price of gas might be going up at U.K. pumps. What does that have to do with me?”

Biblical Response:  “Not mush…directly. Indirectly, it’s complicated, but could affect much. Let me explain. Sure, it’s good news that the U.S. is now energy independent. Our navy not having to protect tankers in the gulf, frees them to be more vigilant of others – I’m thinking of China and North Korea, etc. But it’s bad news that Iran may feel emboldened to have the strongest guys on the block absent…which might lead to more attacks…which might lead to less stability in the region…which might lead to more bellicose posturing against our allies – I’m thinking Israel and Saudi Arabia.  Which might go against recent advances diplomatically…which might affect the stock market…and your 401K!”

“And it’s never good to trust in horses and chariots (Ps. 20:7). What do I mean by a reference to such an antiquated dependence? It represents a principle.To depend on anything other than God is costly- even depending on carriers, battleships and F-35s – I mean, I’m all for investing in hardware our enemy fears, but victory is from God (Is. 31:1-4).”

“Christians? Oh we believe in military preparedness (Luke 22:36), but we also believe in spiritual preparedness (Phil. 4:6). Why is that important? Because ‘the weapons of our warfare are not carnal’ (2 Cor. 10:4). We’re fighting more than a physical battle.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to remember that You, too, have an agenda…life is not all about 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.’  Copyright © 2020 Alan E. Sargent

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CLARITY – 1-30-20 Mixed Agendas

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-30-20

Mixed Agendas

What’s Happening: “It’s nothing personal, the Iranian manufacturer, the top manufacturer of  flags in the country, may say…we make flags to burn…Israeli, British, American…we’re an equal opportunity burner, but flags are only symbolic. Of course, after Iran admitted to mistakenly shooting a passenger plane down killing all occupants, protesters avoided even walking on an American flag painted on the street…maybe they were saying by their actions, ‘but symbols are important’  (https://www.yahoo.com/news/iranian-factory-makes-u-israeli-020204211.html). Factory owner Ghasem Ghanjani, said: ‘We have no problem with the American and British people. The people of America and Israel know that we have no problem with them. If people burn the flags of these countries at different rallies, it is only to show their protest.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Maybe he doesn’t mean anything personal, but I take anyone burning my country’s flag personally!”

Biblical Response:  “And, as a red-blooded American,  you should. Still, it’s just so much posturing. There’s the agenda of the protesters, the agenda of the government who hired them, the agenda of the media who filmed them, etc.. Maybe too many agendas. Of course God had an agenda, too, when He chose a cross for a sacrifice place foe His son Jesus. It, too, is only a symbol (perhaps the most famous symbol in the world), but a well-chosen one. As the song ‘The Old Rugged Cross’ says, ‘a symbol of suffering and shame….’,”

“It was an appropriate enough symbol to be chosen to top millions of churches worldwide. And it is loved and hated worldwide, too. Some even hate what it represents enough to burn it, too… along with the structures it tops. However, persecution is unifying. And you can’t suppress a truth by lies (or as Jer. 6:14 says: ‘You can’t heal a wound by saying it’s not there! …’ [LB]). Symbols are important, but it’s the reality they represent that really makes the statement.”

 “Christians? We believe in symbols, but we are set free by the truth they represent (John 8:32). And the Holy Spirit was given to us, among other things, to help us discern between the mixed agendas everyone has (John 16:12-13).” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to ferret through everyone’s mixed agendas so the truth of symbols is not drowned out; 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 © 2020 Alan E. Sargent

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CLARITY – 1-25-20 A House Divided

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-25-20

A House Divided

What’s Happening: “Perhaps the ‘universal’ Shi’a condemnation of Soleimani’s assassination-by-drone is not so universal. In an article posted yesterday, there seems to be a rift between Shi’a regarding his killing…some are in mourning…some are actually in celebration. While pro-Iranian Shi’a  are convinced Quds Force Commander Gen. Soleimani is a martyr, euphoria in South Yemen and sporadic celebrations throughout the Arab Middle East – amongst Shi’a! – has many seeing a rift they didn’t know was there (https://www.yahoo.com/news/damaged-drone-strike-suleimanis-sainthood-155200496.html). Many Iraqi Shi’a just want all foreign troops to get out. It’s more of a sovereignty issue with them.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Who cares how Shi’as are reacting; it doesn’t make Soleimani any less dead…and I am rejoicing.”

Biblical Response:  “While I may share your feelings, rejoicing the just death of a murdering terrorist mastermind, how Shi’as may be responding – that there is a divide – is good news! Let me explain. There are basically two kinds of Muslims: Sunnis and Shiites. Those of the Sunni persuasion are mostly peace-loving. They represent approximately 80% of the Muslim world. Those of the Shiite persuasion think change must happen and favor terrorism and holy war (jihad) to accomplish it. They represent approximately 20% of Islam. Obviously, when there is a factionalization of the Shiites, it is potentially good news, as a house divided against itself cannot stand (Lk. 11:17).”

“Christians? We believe unity is a huge thing, not always to be encouraged (Gen. 11:1-7). To favor the unity of your enemy is insanity, as you don’t want the prosperity of their cause. Of course, we want them to come to the knowledge of the truth: that Jesus is the only way…not Allah (John 14:6), that there is no other name men may call upon to be saved (Acts 4:12). Actually, that is a message for all Muslims.” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to favor disunity in our enemies, unity in ourselves; 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 © 2020 Alan E. Sargent

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CLARITY – 1-21-20 ‘Soon’ Exposed

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-21-20

‘Soon’ Exposed

What’s Happening: “An apology by a TV Host (Host of  state TV’s Good Morning Iran, Gebareh Jabarri)  posted on instagram Monday (the post has since been deleted) for lying about the downing of a Ukrainian jetliner, killing all 176 on board. ‘Apologies for lying to you for 13 years. It was very hard for me to believe our people have been killed, forgive me for believing this late.’ Others have apologized for believing the lies of the regime, including Taraneh Alidoosti star of the popular 2016 movie, A Salesman (https://www.yahoo.com/news/sorry-lying-13-years-iranian-201452298.html). ‘We are not citizens, we are captives, millions of captives,’ she wrote (this post, too, has been deleted.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Didn’t the Iranian regime initially say they had nothing to do with the downing?”

Biblical Response:  “Yep…guess their lie was ‘soon exposed’ (Prov. 12:19 LB) – ‘Truth stands the test of time; lies are soon exposed.’) Of  course, it can be argued that 13 years is not soon (which is why it’s in quotes in today’s title). But then, nobody likes to believe their own government is corrupt, least of all left-leaning media types. The first part of the verse refers to the eternal nature of truth…the last part: the temporal nature of lies. That’s why the prevailing truth always wins out..,.eventually…and why we have to learn patience.”

“Christians? Oh, we believe in truth triumphing in the end…and that truth is a person (John 14:6). And He will set us free (John 8:32).” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to know the truth and be set free by 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 – 1-11-20 Just As Dead

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-11-20

Just As Dead

What’s Happening: “After denying the Iranian military had anything to do with the downing of a Ukrainian Airlines flight just after it took off from Tehran Airport (all 176 on board were killed), it was revealed earlier today – just as American inte;lligence had suspected – that it was shot down by an Iranian missile. Apparently, the missile batteries were on high alert after the ‘retaliatory’ airstrike by the Ameericans (which killed Soleimani) and ‘unintentionally’ fired on the jet (https://www.yahoo.com/news/iran-says-unintentionally-shot-down-034030154.html). Of course, a video of the missile firing didn’t help the attempt at concealment. Quoting from the Associated Press article: ‘Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, expressed his “deep sympathy” to the families of the victims and called on the armed forces to “pursue probable shortcomings and guilt in the painful incident.””

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Oops…I predict heads will roll.”

Biblical Response:  “And they should. Nothing will return the lives of those tragic  innocent travelers (read the CLARITY blog of 1/9) – unintentional or not, they are just as dead, The real crime is the attempted cover up (don’t get me wrong, we should mourn with the families of the victims – Rom. 12:15). It’s bad enough to accidentally shoot down an airliner, but then to deny any culpability and to lay the blame at the ‘bellicose actions’ of an American administration… well, that’s beyond the pale. However, the truth will set you free (John 8:32), and there are a whole lot of angry Iranian families who are no longer disillusioned into believing the lies of their own government.”

“Christians? We believe in the freeing power of the truth. We also believe that people under pressure often make mistakes. Neither of these beliefs are much comfort to the victims’ families – nobody likes being the collateral damage of other people’s learning curves.”  

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to think before we act, be quick to admit error when it occurs, and de-escalate the tensions that bought all of this on; 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 – 1-10-20 The Importance of Assessment

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-10-20

The Importance of Assessment

What’s Happening: “Antiquated, but sufficiently propagandized for resolve…that is what I would conclude about Iran’s fighting forces after reading the linked article. How much resolve plays into modern warfare remains to be seen. Although Iran may boast of the capabilities of its elite Quds Forces (formerly led by Gen, Qassem Soleimani), its small size (only 5,000) may make it more feared than reality would suggest. Does Iran have an army, a navy, an air force? Yes…even a separate Aerospace Force (whatever that is), but much of their forces use equipment dating back to the 70’s. Are they a force to be reckoned with? Yes…feared? Not hardly (https://www.yahoo.com/news/what-are-irans-military-capabilities-235040111.html). Quoting from the article: ‘It is a grade-A 1970s military,’ Taleblu (Benham Ben Taleblu, an Iranian military expert) said. ‘This means, according to Iran Military Power, that the Islamic Republic is the only country in the world still flying U.S.-made F-14 Tomcats…’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Yeah, but they shout ‘death to America!’”

Biblical Response:  “There can be a whole army of people shouting ‘Bang, bang, you’re dead!’ Which may stop some in their tracks…till they meet up with soldiers shouting, ‘Clank, clank, I’m a tank’…poking their heads out of the turrets of REAL tanks! I think the term ‘paper tiger’ might be apropos.  Should we take seriously their forces? Yes…after all they have real bullets and real missiles. Should we tread lightly or fear them? Not such that we let them continue to terrorize people throughout the world. Remember, ‘fear hath torment’ (1 John 4:18), but they’re no real match for us…at least not so much that we should allow them to have undue political sway.”

“We should not trust in our military superiority, either (Ps. 20:7). Rather, we should trust in the rightness of our cause. Still, it only makes for abundant wisdom to assay an enemy before any conflict (Luke 14:11, 28).”

“Christians? We believe in trusting in the Name of Jehovah, not in conscripted armies, or special elite forces, or missiles, etc. (Ps. 20;7, again).”  

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us not to seek out conflict, but help us not to be unduly frightened by those who revel in threats; 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