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CLARITY – 1-22-20 The Ultimate Answer for Injustice

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-22-20

The Ultimate Answer for Injustice

What’s Happening: “Monday was not a good day for Nigeria: Islamic militants killed Christian Pastor, Rev. Lawan Andimi, then other extremists attacked his hometown, it was announced Tuesday by a human rights activist. This in the same Chibok area where 276 school girls were abducted by Islamic State break-away Boko Haram in April of 2014 (100 are still missing)..  President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, lamented the Pastor’s slaying, ‘I am greatly saddened by the fact that the terrorists went on to kill him even while giving signals of a willingness to set him free by releasing him to third parties,’ he tweeted (https://www.yahoo.com/news/islamic-extremists-kill-nigerian-pastor-122733648.html). The last few weeks have been dangerous for Christians in Nigeria:

  • Last Friday the Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP) released a video of a hooded child executing a Christian man 
  • On Christmas Day nine Christians and two other captives were executed

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I guess it’s not safe to be a Christian in Nigeria!”

Biblical Response:  “You think?! However, it’s not enough that we just wag our heads and co-miserate. Sure, we need to ‘weep with those who weep’ (Rom. 12:15), but we need to bring in the big guns, too: intercessors. Persecution and suffering may be the reasonable expectation of those who dare stand up for Christ (1 Pet. 4:12-14), but we have our own weapons with which to fight. It’s just that our fight is in the heavenlies (Eph. 6:12), where the real war is decided. Sure, we might like earthly justice, but ultimate justice is what we really seek…and we’ll get it (Mal.4:1-3).”

“Christians? Oh, we believe in ultimate justice. Like I’ve said before: justice makes hell necessary, mercy makes heaven possible.” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to act in love, not react in vengeance; 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 – 12-28-19 Necessary and Possible

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 12-28-19

Necessary and Possible

What’s Happening: “ISIS released a video the day after Christmas (Thursday)  that showed the beheading of ten Christians and the shooting of one prisoner in the back of the head. Although the video did not come with sound, the killings were reportedly in retaliation for the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a raid in October. The Islamic group has had their caliphate territory defeated, but have made recent victories in Africa, especially in Niger (https://www.foxnews.com/world/isis-beheads-christians-nigeria-baghdadi). ‘We saw a terrible ambush of U.S. forces in Niger in 2017, that played into ISIS propaganda for months and really put Africa into focus; it has only grown in strength since,’ said Raphael Gluck, Co-Founder of Jihadoscope (they monitor online activity of Islamists).”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I guess you don’t have to hold territory to exist.”

Biblical Response:  “Nope…at least not here (Jesus famously replied at His trial, ‘My kingdom is not of this world…’ – Jn. 18:36). And you are not required to have a caliphate to perpetrate evil…as the eleven executed learned. That’s why there’s a hell. As the saying goes, ‘Justice makes hell necessary; mercy makes heaven possible.’: Good News for the Christian…bad news for ISIS. Of course, they’d argue for their 72 virgins. Unfortunately for them, reality is not created by sincerity of belief. They are tragically…and sincerely…wrong.”

“Christians? We believe in a just God (Is. 45:21). We also believe His justice will not slumber forever (2 Pet. 2:3). Sometimes, there seems to be a gap between the affront and the punishment that’s been incurred as a result. This delay is not that God is slow about His promised judgement, but He’s just giving more time for us to repent (2 Pet. 3:9).” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us never to consider Your delay for slackness…it’s just mercy; 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 – 10-29-19 Discretion IS the Better Part

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 10-29-19

Discretion IS the Better Part

It’s Happening: “Trump got booed at the World Series-Game IV (there were even some who chanted ‘lock him up’), Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer were livid, but there were no leaks…and no U.S. casualties in the secret raid that resulted in Baghdadi’s death. Forget that the electorate in Washington, the site of the game, voted 90% for Trump’s opponent (and the presence of swamp-fans is undeniable), having a successful mission against ISIS Founder (and subsequently killing  his right-hand man Monday) may be worth the criticism. Besides, as Trump, Jr. tweeted: ‘I’ll take boos from the leftist DC fan base and cheers from the great men and women of the United States Armed Forces any day of the week!’(https://www.pressherald.com/2019/10/28/donald-trump-jr-criticizes-leftist-baseball-fans-for-booing-his-father-at-the-world-series/). The only one in a deeper hole than Trump is the Washington Nationals themselves, as they are three losses to two wins with the Houston Astros’ 3-game winning streak.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Maybe he should have let the Democrat leaders know.”

Biblical Response:  “And maybe you’re right…but why take the chance? Or perhaps you don’t think Washington leaks enough already. The quote from Shakespeare (King Henry IV, Part 1, Act V, Scene 4): ‘Discretion is the better part of valour’ comes to mind. It sometimes takes more courage not to speak, even if it costs you criticism after the fact. Whom you tell anything, and when is crucial (Tit. 2:5-8).

“Christians? Oh, we believe in discretion. In fact, the Bible has much to say on the subject (Prov. 1:4; 2:11; 3:21; 5:2; 8:12; 11:22; etc.). Controlling your tongue is a pretty big deal (James 3:6).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to control our tongues and take criticism in stride…You did; 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 – 10-28-19 More Like a Scorpion

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 10-28-19

More Like a Scorpion

It’s Happening: “Some have likened the killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as cutting off the head of the snake, as he was the founder and leader of ISIS (Islamic State in Syria and Iraq), also known as the caliphate. President Trump, as the Commander and Chief of U.S. forces, gave a press conference early Sunday morning announcing some of the details surrounding the raid that resulted in al-Baghadi’s death. Although the last territorial holdout of ISIS’ caliphate was defeated months ago, there are pockets of the Sunni terrorist fighters and some of their leaders in various places around the world. Baghdadi had been in hiding for nearly five years (https://q13fox.com/2019/10/27/president-trump-isis-leader-abu-bakr-al-baghdadi-is-dead/). Trump said, ‘He died like a dog. He died like a coward. The world is now a much safer place’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “At last, the end of ISIS!”

Biblical Response:  “Probably not…there are other pockets of jihadists, other terrorist leaders, al-Qaeda, other aligned terrorist organizations, etc. As long as there are ideologies that use terrorism, and particularly Islamic jihadism, as a method of forcing their will upon vulnerable groups, there will be a violent struggle to defeat them. As I’ve said before, there will never be peace on earth until the Prince of Peace rules in the heart of every man.

Eliminating a terrorist leader is, no doubt, helpful…at least psychologically, if not practically. Like today’s title hopefully communicates, the death of al-Baghdadi may be more like cutting off the head of a scorpion, as you still have to worry about the tail. Besides, his death might assuage the need for justice many feel (like the wife of journalist Foley, whose husband ISIS brutally – and publicly – murdered), but these efforts are still only playing the short game. The long game is revealed by the truth of Scripture (Eph.6:2: 2 Cor. 10:4).”  

“Christians? While we see the value that the temporary relief that winning the short game brings, we must not abandon the efforts of playing the long game and the eternal benefits that brings. It just takes more perseverance and patience.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to make progress in both arenas, the short-term and the long-term…and be careful to give You the glory for both; 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 – 10-7-19 Knowing the Enemy

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 10-7-19

Knowing the Enemy

What’s Happening: “It’s complicated. ..here are our choices: Remain in Syria (a small military force designed to keep ISIS from reconstituting) and being looked upon to aid Turkey when they invade -OR- Leave while we can, not risking U.S. lives and taxpayer dollars, and supporting a nation whose bellicose activities we cannot fully support (I mean, what do we gain by fighting against Kurds, who were indispensable in our fight against ISIS?). The Office of the President announced late Sunday they will choose the latter and leave the ‘immediate area.’ On top of all that, much of Europe has refused to repatriate ISIS fighters that came from their countries (https://www.yahoo.com/news/turkey-set-invade-syria-us-remove-forces-area-033736129–abc-news-topstories.html). ‘The United States Government has pressed France, Germany, and other European nations, from which many captured ISIS fighters came, to take them back, but they did not want them and refused,’ said the U.S. ‘The United States will not hold them for what could be many years and great cost to the United States taxpayer.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Isn’t Bashar Al Assad in charge of Syria and aren’t they supported by the Russians?”

Biblical Response:  “Sort of…the ‘red line’ (and might I add, meaningless?) Obama imposed was for gassing the Kurds; the Russians, who often create confusion and then like to ride up and offer ‘order out of chaos’, did just that; oh, and they support Erdogan, who on paper is a member of NATO;…throw in ISIS and the fact that Turkey would really be invading Kurdistan (which officially does not  exist…officially, it’s just Northern Syria)…I told you it was complicated. It would be great if, like God, we could see men’s hearts and knew the end from the beginning (Rom. 8:27; Is. 46:10). Of course, that would turn gray into black and white…and where’s the fun in that?”

“Christians? We know who the enemy is…ultimately (Eph. 6:12). Today…not so much. Maybe we should get God’s mind on the matter. Maybe we have. At least He already knew which choice we’d make.” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to think like You, pray more, and move with caution; 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 – 6-19-19 How The Mighty Are Fallen

CLARITY

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

How The Mighty Have Fallen

What’s Happening: “Dr. Mohammed Morsi, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt’s first democratically elected president, died unexpectedly at age 67 Monday, while making an an impassioned appeal to the convictions that ended his presidency after only one year. Convicted of jailbreaks during an uprising in May of 2015, and sentenced to death, his election ended the autocratic rule of Hosni Mubarak, and increased the political influence of ISIS (https://www.yahoo.com/news/morsi-egypt-election-triumph-death-inmate-165433903.html).  AFP reported on Monday: ‘Morsi himself was put on trial several times on charges ranging from killing protesters to jailbreaks to spying for Iran, Qatar, and militant groups Hamas and Hezbollah.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I can’t tell whether he was a good guy or a bad guy.”

Biblical Response:  “A lot of things in the Middle East are kind of grey…at least to me. Was he guilty of what he was accused? Probably…and a whole lot more. Still, that’s beyond my paygrade. Would his appeal have been successful? Maybe…we’ll never know. Pride may have been his underlying problem. You can’t go from being raised on a farm to graduating as an engineer to reaching the pinnacle of power in the most populous Muslim nation, and not be affected (2 Sam. 1:25). I think political pride (and his desperation to not be executed) was the motivation behind his appeal. Nonetheless, justice will prevail (and perhaps has). – Rom. 12:19”

“Christians? We know the inebriating effect of pride. It has been the downfall of many (Prov. 16:18). Giving glory to God, where it belongs, is really the only long-term cure..”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, we’re all guilty of pride from time to time. Help us to keep short accounts with You and to humble ourselves before You have to; 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

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CLARITY – 1-1-19 Let’s Hear it for Localism

CLARITY

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

Let’s Hear it for Localism

What’s Happening: “In a surprise attack, two F-16 fighters from Iraq leveled the building where 30+ gang leaders from ISIS were meeting in Syria….perhaps an indication of increased Iraqi involvement now that the US has announced its intention to pull out of Syria (https://www.yahoo.com/news/iraqi-warplanes-strike-islamic-state-leaders-syria-military-125330030.html). This is actually the second withdrawal of U.S. troops. Following the Iraq War, they were at a maximum of 170,3000 in November of 2007 (Wikipedia).. That we have made strides sufficient against ISIS to be able to withdraw those that were deployed there to fight IS is a good thing. Maybe it will devolve into a local insurgency…without our involvement…one can always hope.””  

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Nobody wants us to be the world’s policeman…so why do it?”

Biblical Response:  “It’s complicated. Initially (and ostensibly) our involvement in Iraq was to rid Saddam Hussein of WMDs (remember). Subsequent searches revealed no such caches. Were the intelligence services wrong or did the Iraqis just quickly export them? Yes. If you are confused by my answer, it’s because it’s complicated (and that’s just on a small local scale). The intelligence services AND the powers that be in Iraq all had political agendas. Expand this local chaos to the entire world and you have the answer to the wider question why we don’t want to be the world’s policeman….We don’t have enough information (or power) to be God.”

“Christians? While we may arrogantly think we know best., we don’t. That is one of the reasons He gave us the Holy Spirit (John 16:13). Some of what happens on the world stage is God’s doing; others, God effecting Romans 8:28 – wisely, we should leave God’s work to Him (Is. 55;8-9); still others, the devil effecting his failing agenda.

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, give us patience, humility, discernment and discretion…and wise leaders; 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 – 8-21-18 “Naive” is a Nice Way to Say “Stupid”

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 8-21-18

“Naive” is a Nice Way to Say “Stupid”

 

What’s Happening:  “Recently (late July), two American cyclists, both 29, were spending their life savings traveling by bicycle around the world when they were stabbed to death in Tajikistan by five ISIS terrorists. In a daily journal they had just written: ‘Badness exists, sure, but even that’s quite rare. By and large, humans are kind. ‘ Oops! (https://people.com/crime/dc-couple-killed-isis-attack-tajikistan-cyclist/). ‘Self-interested sometimes, myopic sometimes, but kind. Generous and wonderful and kind. No greater revelation has come from our journey than this,’ wrote the couple, Lauren Geoghegan and Jay Austin.””

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Oops! They just made that one little mistake.”

 

Biblical Response:  “Yeah. Except some mistakes have deadly consequences. Were they blind? Didn’t they ever read the headlines? The news is full of senseless acts that can only be chalked up to the existence of evil! What is ‘kind’ about any terrorist attack? Were the acts of Jack the Ripper ‘kind’? How about Jeffrey Dahmer or any other serial killer? GET A LIFE!! Or get a death!”

 

Christians? While we should mourn their death, we don’t want to mimic their naivete. We know that evil exists (John 10:10). Even worldly philosophy teaches us that: ‘The only thing necessary for evil to prosper is that good men do nothing.’ – Edmund Burke”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, may we not substitute naivete for knowledge. We, like You, need to know that ‘the hearts of the children of men  are filled with evil’ (Eccl. 9:3); 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 – 8-17-18 Holey (Not Holy) System

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 8-17-18

Holey (not Holy) System

 

What’s Happening:  “Omar Abdulsattar Ameen, an Iraqi, 45, was arrested in California and will be extradited to stand trial for an ISIS murder in 2014. He applied and received refugee status in the U.S. the same month as the killing. Further checks have indicated he was also involved in helping plant improvised bombs, transporting militants, kidnapping, illegally soliciting funds, and robbing supply trucks for al-Qaida. Apparently our vetting system was flawed (https://www.yahoo.com/news/us-officials-ex-isis-fighter-entered-us-refugee-180806292.html.  ‘The U.S. government identified and implemented additional security screening procedures to enable departments and agencies to more thoroughly review refugee applicants to identify potential threats to public safety and national security, with additional vetting for certain nationals of certain high-risk countries,’ a State Department statement said.”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Perhaps we need to look a little closer.”

 

Biblical Response:  “You think?! Of course, that was back when everyone just took people at their word. Duh! Of course a terrorist is going to lie! Maybe our first clue should have come when he wanted refugee status from a certain unmentionable country…didn’t the courts try to strike Trump’s ban down?”

 

Christians? The vetting process for admission to heaven is rigorous (Rev. 21:26-27)…and we all fall short (Rom. 3:23). Thankfully, our robes have been washed by the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 6 and 7).”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, protect us from those who think they are doing their god a favor by harming 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/. He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent