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CLARITY – 6-17-19 Appealing to a Higher Authority

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -6-17-19

Appealing to a Higher Authority

What’s Happening: “The husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, began a hunger strike Saturday in front of the Iranian Embassy in London, in solidarity for his wife’s unjust imprisonment since April, 2016, in Tehran. Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested after a family visit and at the airport, charged, convicted, and sentenced to five years for allegedly plotting to overthrow Iran’s clerical establishment (https://news.yahoo.com/jailed-british-iranian-aid-worker-170658469.html). She has begun her own hunger strike, her second one…the first was for ignored heath issues. ‘Today I received a phone call from Nazanin in prison. She had informed the judiciary that she has begun a new hunger strike – she will drink water – to protest at her continuing unfair imprisonment,’ the husband said.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “What good will a hunger strike do?”

Biblical Response:  “Not much, especially if unaccompanied by prayer. Actually, I don’t know if the media is using the secular term ‘hunger strike’ to hide the real ‘fasting’ or not. If either of them is appealing to God for her release…and fasting, too – fasting proves fervency (James 5:16) – they may get what they’re praying for. The clerics of Iran can be overruled by God. When faced with obstacles to overcome, one should go to the One Who has the power to change things. Besides, haven’t we been told how to overcome (Rev. 12:11)?”

“Christians? The ayatollahs of Iran may not acknowledge it now, but there is a Higher Authority. He rules (and overrules) in the affairs of men (The Declaration of Independence – based on Jer. 32:17).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, may others add fervency to their prayers for Zaghari-Ratcliffe; after all, some things only come out by fasting and prayer (Matt. 17:20)…and may she be released soon; 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 – 6-14-19 Who’s Really Behind the Attack

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -6-14-19

Who’s Really Behind the Attack

What’s Happening: “Now the Pentagon has released a video which it says proves that Iran was involved in the attack on the oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz while they were en route to Japan. The video purports to have caught an Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessel removing an unexploded mine from the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous. The Iranians have used before the limpet mine, which attaches magnetically to the hull and is intended to cripple but not sink (https://www.yahoo.com/news/us-says-iran-removed-unexploded-020504854.html). ‘The U.S. and the international community stand ready to defend our interests, including the freedom of navigation,’ said Central Command spokesman Capt, Bill Urban. The United States has no interest in engaging in a new conflict in the Middle East. However, we will defend our interests.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “The video proves unmistakably who was behind the attack. I say tomahawk missiles are in order.”

Biblical Response:  “Iran was probably involved…I say ‘probably’, because it is now technically possible to simulate digitally through CG (Computer Graphics) anything you like. Still, simulated or not, Iran has a history of attacking vessels. One thing’s for sure, ‘the thief has come but for to steal, kill and destroy…’ (John 10:10). The enemy (the devil) is behind it all. He would like nothing more than to inflame two governments into a conflict that will destroy innocents on both sides. We must think carefully before we respond.”

“Christians? There is no ambivalence in the devil’s intent. And Iran is the ideal proxy. Now is the time to pray…for our leaders, for those that will be the ‘innocent’ victims, and for God’s will and justice.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, bring order out of chaos and help us to realize whom our real enemy is; 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 – 5-27-19 Laboring in Vain

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -5-27-19

Laboring in Vain

What’s Happening: “Appropriately, George Will writes a Memorial Day article for the National Review that deals with why our policy in Iran is wrongheaded. While I agree, it is not for the same reasons. He fears a unilateral action by a White House that likes to counterpunch and (rightfully) sees regime change as a good and necessary thing….conversion at the point of a sword, however, ultimately won’t work…like the Crusades, it’s medieval!  (https://www.yahoo.com/news/blame-america-disturbing-iran-policy-093036906.html).  Mr. Will’s problems with the administration are mostly Constitutional, mine are ideological. Quoting from the article: ‘Many conservatives who preen as ‘originalists’ when construing all the Constitution’s provisions other than the one pertaining to war powers are unimpressed by the Framers’ intention that Congress should be involved in initiating military force in situations other than repelling sudden attacks.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Why tie the President’s hands? He seems to be doing well with other things.”

Biblical Response:  “Doing well with the economy is one thing, and our military is obviously  superior, but being successful in the short run is not what we should be after.The Crusades had noble intentions…just not noble methods. And nothing but regime change will ever make a difference long-term. But it must be voluntary regime change, not forced regime change. That’s why victory on the battlefield in Iraq or Afghanistan has not (nor ever will) led to voluntary regime change. It’s one thing to win over the body…quite another to win over the heart. Apparently, MacArthur understood that. He called for the Christian mission organizations of the world to send immediately 30,000 missionaries to Japan (he was made President of Japan at the close of WWII). Their hearts swelled up the size of buckshot and they sent 3.”

“Christians? Why wait until some General calls. We’ve already been sent (Mark 16:15). Giving the heart makes every other godly act possible.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to have leaders who will play their roles…so that You can play Yours;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 – 5-22-19 Rumors of War

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -5-22-19

Rumors of War

What’s Happening: “A poll released yesterday revealed that most believe that war with Iran is imminent…the majority also believe that a first strike would be a mistake, but favor a military response if attacked, with 39% favoring an outright invasion (https://www.yahoo.com/news/half-american-adults-expect-war-iran-within-next-043709356.html). Quoting the author of the above-linked article, Chris Kahn: ‘Trump has said he would like to negotiate with the Islamic Republic’s leaders. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani rejected talks on Tuesday and has said “economic war” is being waged against Iran.’”   

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Iran’s just upset that the U.S. has pulled out of the Nuclear Deal. They’re not getting as much Euro-attention.”

Biblical Response:  “Maybe…especially if that Euro-attention brought petro dollars with it. Still, those crazy Iranians are the world’s largest sponsor of terrorism, and just wacky enough to think they might have something to gain by being in a war with us. This is not Armageddon, but American culture today knows nothing of world warfare. The Vietnam War was horrific (over 55, 000 Americans lost), and so was America’s longest war, Afghanistan (as of 5 August 2018, 3,458 coalition deaths). By comparison, WWII records 21-25 million soldiers and 50-55 million civilians! This culture might mature awfully quick if it experienced anything on that scale. Of course, China, Russia, and North Korea would have to get involved to produce those kinds of numbers. Like I said, that would be a quick, albeit drastic, route to maturity for a culture…but stranger things have happened…recently, as world history records time.”

“Christians? Pray (Phil. 4:6). Note that that scripture starts out by saying,”Don’t worry about anything…” Sure, we should take precautions like any responsible watchman (Ezek. 33:6), but God’s got an agenda that won’t be denied (perhaps I shouldn’t remind Him that we’ve aborted 60 million since Roe v. Wade).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father,help us to be wise and remember our frailty when You exact justice…and be merciful: 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 – 5-20-19 Don’t Mistake Forbearance For Fear

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -5-20-19

Don’t Mistake Forbearance For Fear

What’s Happening: “Iran launched a Katyusha rocket that landed dangerously close to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq late last night, escalating rhetoric via Twitter. Both governments warned the other not to threaten. Is it more mere saber-rattling or genuine? (https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-warns-iran-not-threaten-us-face-end-065953536.html).  Jeremy Hunt, British Foreign Secretary said: ‘…if American interests are attacked, they will retaliate. We want the situation to de-escalate because this is a part of the world where things can get triggered accidentally,’”  

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Nothing’s going to happen. They’re (the leaders of both nations) just building their Twitter audiences.”

Biblical Response:  “I hope you’re right, but never let the Iranians mistake forbearance for fear, reticence for lack of resolve. That’s what happened by the Japanese in WWII at Pearl Harbor…and by Osama Bin Laden at 9/11. It took ten years, but justice always has a way of arriving. Remember, Jesus is coming back…and it won’t be a pretty sight for some (as a matter of fact, the Bible depicts Him coming with a sword protruding from His mouth – Rev. 1:16, 2:16).”

“Christians? Oh, we believe in a patient God. But not in One where patience is mistaken for license. Read what the scripture has to say about it:

‘The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.’(2 Pet 3:9-10 NASU)

We should pray that our leaders have the wisdom know when to pull the trigger  and when to just speak louder.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, let not our enemies think we are kidding…You’re not; 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 – 5-11-19 They Forgot About the Wind

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -5-11-19

They Forgot About the Wind

What’s Happening: “There are mixed messages. While Iran is trying to ignore the landing of B52s in Qatar and the carrier Abraham Lincoln’s passing through the Suez Canal yesterday (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/iran-news-donald-trump-b-52-bombers-persian-gulf-revolutionary-guard-us-not-dare-attack/), there is an evangelical movement of the fastest growing church in the world with Muslims converting left and right…despite great persecution, even martyrdom  (https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/worth-a-thousand-years-of-waiting?utm_campaign=Daily%20Email&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=72492274&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-9U-V9g3wNv8XwB-9lFmmUYYlD5EU9XI58BUtp7gW5ifSc9Yj_01SntTcF07tMLH3cbTcyvVKuuSSOegf1Ir4C8eQoBhA&_hsmi=72492274).  There may have been an Islamic Revolution declared in Iran when pro-western Shah Pahlavi departed in 1979 (Tehran just celebrated its 40th anniversary), but God had another idea.”  

Knee-Jerk Response:  “So these two apparently unrelated events are related how?”

Biblical Response:  “Just that man has an agenda…but so does God. And, as the Scripture says: ‘Man proposes, but God disposes’ (Prov 19:21 LB). I’m not saying we shouldn’t as a country respond militarily to bellicose threats, I’m just saying there may be more afoot here than meets the eye. Besides, it wouldn’t be the first time God used some unsuspecting country to effect His will.”

“Christians? Like my wife likes to quip: ‘You may run from circumstance or try to hide from consequence, but you can never escape prayer.’ The Lord has a way of accomplishing His will. Maybe it’s time to figure out what He’s doing and ask how we can get on board.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help our leaders to act wisely and help our new brothers and sisters to hang tough; 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 – 5-10-19 Not At ALL Costs

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -5-10-19

Not At ALL Costs

What’s Happening: “No, I’m not talking about Iran, who expressed anger over increased U.S. military assets steaming toward the Persian Gulf yesterday (https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201812041070365051-us-aircraft-carrier-persian-gulf/). …or even North Korea. who tested an ICBM yesterday (we fired one off in response – (https://www.space.com/north-korea-us-missile-tests.html)…rather, I’m talking about the arrest (or kidnapping) of Edgar Zambrano, Vice President of the opposition National Assembly by Maduro’s henchmen, police for Venezuela’s illegitimate self-proclaimed president (https://www.yahoo.com/news/venezuelas-guaido-says-deputy-detained-intelligence-agents-000518340.html). ‘Maduro and his accomplices are those directly responsible for Zambrano’s security. If he is not immediately freed, there will be consequences,’ the U.S. Embassy said on Twitter.”  

Knee-Jerk Response:  “War is to be avoided at all costs!”

Biblical Response:  “Truly, war is not desirable…but not to be avoided at ALL costs. The ‘better red than dead’ mantra may be trying to rear its ugly head again. General Sherman (a Civil War General for the North) said:’War is hell.’ Surely, it is bad, and efforts to avoid it should be expended, but sometimes war is not only the only remaining reasonable option, it is better than the alternative (3 million have already emigrated to avoid starvation). Is there a time for war? You bet (Eccl. 3:8).”

“Christians? While we are definitely against war, we recognize its inevitability. War is the physical manifestation that sometimes develops when a resistance to evil is exercised. What we must realize is that the physical manifestation is not the controlling factor. Our resistance to evil must have a spiritual component if it is to be successful (Eph. 6:12). Someday, there might even be prayer warriors assigned to that spiritual task…and a part of the army…now wouldn’t that be something!”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help our leaders be sensitive to the voice of Your Spirit, not entangling us in something we should avoid…but not shrinking back in a fear that leaves the ground (and the people) to the enemy: 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 – 5-6-19 The Power of Knowledge

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -5-6-19

The Power of Knowledge

What’s Happening: “North Korea launched projectiles over the weekend that some fear may be a signal of the collapse of talks between Kim and Trump (Trump walked out of the last denuclearization talks). Some say they were not ICBMs and should not be taken by us or South Korea as anything but military preparedness (https://www.yahoo.com/news/skorea-says-nkorea-tested-tactical-guided-weapon-094239444.html). Kim’s talks with Putin last week add fuel to the rumor that Kim might be seeking sanction relief elsewhere, too. In any case, the distraction factor is high.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Is it time for ‘duck and cover’ drills?”

Biblical Response:  “Probably not, but ‘fear hath torment’ (1 John 4:18). Besides, those drills from the ‘50s only made school kids (and their parents) feel better about the personal survivability of a nuclear holocaust. If it isn’t North Korea and its bellicosity, it’s Venezuela and the Cuba-Russia-China threat…or the Iranian-Syrian threat against Israel…or what’s happening in the South China Sea…or the latest suicide bombing…or whatever. We just need to ‘chill out’ and realize God is not surprised by any of this. It is merely the ‘torment’ He was referring to.

Fear is like Capitalism…only in the negative. Capitalism works because it correctly assumes Man is basically bad. Greed, avarice, and envy are real (and sinful, but universal) emotions. Profiting from them is predictable. Fear is why mutually assured destruction (MAD) works today as a viable deterrent to nuclear war. This does not mean that we shouldn’t seek a world that is free from these wayward emotions, but realize utopian systems will never work without a Man that has been regenerated.”

“Christians? The reason why, though we are duly concerned, we are not ‘jacked up’ by the fear-mongering media, is that we know the liberation that comes with the knowledge of the truth (John 8:32). We can calmly comfort others while offering wisdom from on high because we know how it all turns out.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to take events in their eternal context and offer Your wisdom   and leave the hand-wringing to the enemy; 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 -4-10-19 Guilt by Association

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 4-10-19

Guilt by Association

What’s Happening: “When Secretary of State Mike Pompeo officially designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IGRC) a terrorist group, it was unprecedented…but long expected. Iran immediately saw the move as Trump supporting Israel’s Netanyahu (who was running for reelection  yesterday). Iran has long been in material support of Hamas and Hezbollah and is suspected of being behind the 1996 Khobar Towers attack and the attempt on the life of the Saudi Ambassador in 2011 in Washington, D.C. Add to that the ongoing detention of U.S. citizens (https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-takes-unprecedented-action-against-iran-165738982.html). ‘The Iranian regime’s use of terror as a tool of statecraft makes it fundamentally different from any other government. This historic step will deprive the world’s leading state sponsor of terror the financial means to spread misery and death around the world,’ said Pompeo.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Yeah, but to designate a whole country’s military!”

Biblical Response:  “Whether it’s guilt by association or they’ve been caught red-handed (no pun intended), they get what they’ve earned. You can’t do the things they’ve done with impunity forever. I hear no military leaders from the IGRC denouncing terrorism….oh, that’s right, they’d probably get shot!”

“Christians? We are told not to be friends with corruption (1 Cor. 15:33; Prov. 22:24). Their desire is to infect because misery loves company. We are recommended, rather to associate with men of good character (Prov. 13:20).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, teach us to influence others for good, not evil; 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 – 1-12-19 A Force for Good

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-12-19

A Force for Good

What’s Happening: “On a nine-nation tour of the Middle East designed to reassure its allies (and to denounce Iranian hegemony), U. S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, defined America’s regional objectives and countered a growing fear that America’s withdrawal from Syria signaled decreased interest in outcomes there (https://www.yahoo.com/news/pompeo-takes-us-anti-iran-message-gulf-arab-074102498.html). ‘A united GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) is the backbone for regional peace, prosperity, security, and stability, and is essential to countering the single greatest threat to regional stability: the Iranian regime,’ said the State Department.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Did Trump leave too soon?”

Biblical Response:  “Actually, not a single one of the 2,000 troops assigned to Syria have left…just some equipment no longer needed…and there is no schedule posted for a withdrawal, though with the decrease in ISIS it will soon occur. Trump is just wanting the other nations to assume more of the role of self-defense, as they are the ones who stand the most to benefit. Sounds reasonable to me.”

“Christians? Although we are to be concerned for others (Phil. 2:3), there is a place for concern for our families first (1 Tim. 5:8). Unity may be hard to achieve, but it has great strength (Eph. 4:11-15; Mark 3:24-25).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us all come to the unity of Your purpose, realize progress is often incremental, and seek Your wisdom is the timing and specifics of actions taken; 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