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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 – 11-26-19 Report Defended

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 11-26-19

Report Defended

What’s Happening: “Reuters reported from the Hague yesterday that the report issued by the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was accurate in saying there were chemical weapons used in an attack that killed 40 on April 7 in Douma, on the outskirts of Damascus (which was currently held by rebels). Although the OPCW was not tasked to determine who dropped those weapons, Syria and Russia have claimed the weapons were planted by the rebels and the resulting missile attacks by the U.S., France and Great Britain were unwarranted (https://www.yahoo.com/news/chemical-weapons-body-defends-syria-144031598.html). OPCW chief Fernandon Arias said, ‘While some of these diverging views continue to circulate in certain public discussion forums, I would like to reiterate that I stand by the independent, professional conclusions’ of the report.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Who cares whether the canisters filled with chemical weapons were placed by rebels or dropped by the Syrians and Russians by air, the innocents are still just as dead!”

Biblical Response:  “True, but who the perpetrators were does matter. Truth is often initially disputed, but it usually comes out in the end. As it says in Proverbs 12:19: ‘Truth stands the test of time; lies are soon exposed’ (LB), … or as Shakespeare said, ‘The truth will out…’ (Merchant of Venice – 1596)… The Syrians and the Russians don’t like to play by the rules (does that really surprise anyone?). It’s hard for the ‘truth’ to ‘set free’ (John 8:32), if the liars are not punished. Of course, it could be argued that it’s not our job to punish, but someone had to be held accountable … by someone.”

 “Christians? We believe ultimate accountability is God’s job. Then again, who’s to say we weren’t acting for Him when we sent the missiles? (I wonder who God is going to hold accountable for the 60 million+ who have been aborted since 1973?)” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, please help us to be mindful of our warped thinking that wants justice for everybody else, but mercy for 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 © 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 – 10-31-19 Good Fear

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 10-31-19

Good Fear

It’s Happening: “While much of the western world is Trick-or-Treating, using good-natured ‘fear’ as its calling card, the U.K. (and France, the U.S., Russia, etc.) patrols the oceans with submarines that strike real fear in their nuclear missile threat to kill billions. This threat will be updated, the U.K. announced (it’s assumed the other nuclear powers are doing similarly), with subs launching in the 2030’s and programmed to last into the 2060’s (https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/royal-navy-may-not-be-most-dangerous-it-can-kill-billions-91846)). At any one time, there are 64 nuclear warheads under the sea…and that’s just from the U.K’s threat. Imagine how that number is exponentially multiplied by others.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Should I be doing duck-and-cover drills?”

Biblical Response:  “If that makes you feel better. Of course, that was only created to give the helpless 1960’s public school kids a naive sense of safety…as they huddled under desks with arms over their heads…as if desks and arms could provide any real protection against nuclear holocaust.! And that’s just physical protection. All this alert, alarm, and drill does nothing to shield anyone from spiritual death…the real threat to be feared:”

Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matt. 10:28 NASU)

 This ‘good fear’ hopefully will have some rethinking their ‘preparations.’”

“Christians? Generally, we do not favor fear (Matt. 6:34; Phil. 4:6; 1 John 4:18). However, when you consider how holy and great and powerful God is…and how puny comparatively we are…it only makes sense to take Matt. 10:28 to heart (printed above).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, give us the wisdom to not make threats emptily, but to make real preparations spiritually, too: 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 – 10-10-19 The Only True Safety

CLARITY

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

The Only True Safety

What’s Happening: “Did the expensive Patriot Missile systems, six of which the Saudis bought from the U.S., fail in the recent attacks on Saudi oil fields? This is the question many are asking…but it has not yet been determined with 100% certainty if the attacks were missiles from Iran or smaller long-distance drones bearing smaller munitions from the Yemeni Houthis  (https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/did-american-built-patriot-missiles-fail-protect-saudi-arabia-86691). ‘Saudi Arabia has been in talks to acquire the same S-400 advanced air-defense system that Turkey recently bought from Russia,’ said Marc Champion for Bloomberg.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Why should I care? I mean, the Sept. 14 attack only raised the gas price for about a week.”

Biblical Response:  “If the attacks only temporarily inconvenienced your wallet, you may be of that unthinking uncaring crowd that is behind our nation’s moral slide. There is much at stake here: 1) The people whose lives depend on the safety these devices provide (of course, the only true safety is from the Lord –  Prov. 21:31); 2) The reputation of the manufacturer of the Patriot (Raytheon); 3) The bottom line of U.S. defense contractors vs. Russian manufacturers; etc.”

“Christians? Depending on the contemporary ‘arm of strength,’ whether it’s a sword and shield, a chariot and horse, or a defensive missile…is folly just begging to fail. Safety from God alone is reliable…of course that requires faith. That might be the whole point, anyway.” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to prepare for the inevitable day of battle, but realize Your skirts are our only true refuge; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link:subdeo.com.’ 

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CLARITY – 8-21-19 Watchful But Not Rattled

CLARITY

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

Watchful But Not Rattled

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

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

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

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

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

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link:subdeo.com.’ 

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CLARITY – 7-31-19 Bluster

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -7-31-19

Bluster

What’s Happening: “In a display of anger/warning, North Korea launched two additional missiles about 150 miles, splashing into the Sea of Japan yesterday (they launched another a week ago). Although these are only the 2nd and 3rd missiles launched since Trump’s much-ballyhooed impromptu meeting with Chairman Kim at the DMZ, many think they are to send a message of displeasure at the U.S.’s  resumed military exercises with South Korea – till recently, annual. (https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-49173514). ‘North Korea will continue to vent its anger by testing missiles… in the coming days before [the] drills begin in early August, It’s a message to Washington and Seoul: stop joint exercises or we will continue to show off our own offensive military capabilities,” said Harry Kazianis of the Washington think tank, Center for the National Interest.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “So you’re saying I shouldn’t retire to Hawaii just yet, right?”

Biblical Response:  “No, I’m not really saying anything. If ‘Chicken Little’ would quit getting his ‘knickers in a twist’ every time somebody threatened…well, maybe there would be a few less anti-anxiety pills sold! (Phil. 4:6)  Seriously, these moves are just like many of Kim’s others…just so much bluster. Maybe he thinks it gives him leverage against the sanctions or a bargaining chip at some future summit, but he has yet to understand Trump (no condemnation, as few do). Maybe Kim just wants Japan or Europe or whoever to pressure Trump into relaxing sanctions – they don’t understand Trump either. He just backs up rhetoric with actions.”

“Christians? Oh, we believe in integrity. Sure, we’d like the President to be more accurate, but you can’t fault him for lack of action…or for taking someone else’s bluster too seriously. As Christians, we are to guard ourselves against hypocrisy (Matt. 23:13-31) …and baseless fear (1 Jn. 4:18).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to be as wise as serpents, but gentle as doves (Matt. 10:16); 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 – 7-1-19 Are a Kiss and a Hug Next?

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -7-1-19

Are a Hug and a Kiss Next?

What’s Happening: “History was made over the weekend…responding to an impromptu Tweet by President Trump, Kim Jung Un, leader of North Korea, walked up to the border and shook hands. What followed was an invitation by Kim for the President to step across that border for a short stroll in the North and a 50-minute private talk. Mostly symbolic for sure, unless it’s followed by words AND actions. Denuclearization must be more than rhetoric or good intentions  (https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-heads-historic-dmz-meeting-050909054.html). ‘I was proud to step over the line, It is a great day for the world,’ said President Trump.” 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “To quote somebody, ‘Talk is cheap’”

Biblical Response:  “Many people would like to claim to have originally said that, but they were 

probably quoting Ecclesiastes 5:7, which actually says that.

‘Talk is cheap, like daydreams and other useless activities. Fear God instead.’ (Eccl. 5:7 NLT)

Agreed, talk is cheap. It can be ‘daydreams’…or it can be the start (or restart) of something more significant. Time will tell. It’s not indefinite, either. We must remember that the centrifuges continue to spin. Will the North Koreans follow up their denuclearization rhetoric? Maybe….I hope so.”

“Christians? There’s plenty here to pray about. It all comes down to another scripture.

‘Man proposes, but God disposes.’ (Prov. `19:21 LB)” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, may those negotiating realize the seriousness of the consequences of failure; 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.’ 

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CLARITY – 5-29-19 An Eye for an Eye or Vengeance?

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -5-29-19

Eye for an Eye or Vengeance?

What’s Happening: “An Israeli missile was fired at a Syrian anti-aircraft launcher that had earlier fired and missed a IDF jet, wounding three Syrian soldiers. The Syrians protested, of course, but the Israelis said it was done in retaliation. The missile was apparently fired from the Golan Heights (which was annexed by Israel) and targeted Tel al-Shaar in Quneitra (https://www.yahoo.com/news/israeli-missile-hits-quneitra-syria-reports-casualties-193239631.html). ‘An Israeli missile targeted Tel al-Shaar in Quneitra,’ said Syrian news, adding a ‘military vehicle was targeted and there are wounded.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Doesn’t Israel have a right to defend itself?”

Biblical Response:  “I’m with you…of course it does, but there are some that would argue this violates Romans 12:19 (‘Vengeance is mine. I will repay.’). Maybe if the missile strike was elsewhere, Targeting the very launcher that fired at it means it was clearly defensive, Yeah, but what about ‘love your enemies’ (from Matthew 5:44-45)? That may be above my paygrade (only God knows the heart – 1 Kings 8:39). I don’t know what the motivation was. Surely, on a lower order, the soldiers were only doing what they were told. Higher up…I don’t know. Perhaps managing collateral damages could be construed as an act of mercy.

“Christians? Trying to fight an ethical war is difficult, at best. While some wars are of God (1 Chron. 5:22), it is just one tool in his arsenal to effect change (Acts 17:26). Then there’s the scripture that says ‘the weapons of our warfare are not carnal’ (2 Cor. 10:4). The conclusion of the matter is probably that God allows some things because He will not get in the way of free will. Of course there’s Rom. 8:28, too.

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, give those who make life-and-death decisions an anointing for wisdom, not just a good ‘justifier;’ 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 – 6-13-18 What’s Next?

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 6-13-18

 

What’s Next?

 

What’s Happening:  “Everybody knows that June 12, 2018 (yesterday) was a historic day as it was the first-ever meeting between a leader of North Korea and a President of the United  States….what isn’t known is what’s next? Sure, a cessation of war games (joint exercises) with South Korea and the U.S. military – that’s to be expected – but what of human rights, Christian persecution, and the next step in verifiable irreversible denuclearization? (https://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=WA18F21&f=WU18F08). ‘At the press conference following the summit, President Trump affirmed that he initiated a conversation about these matters with the North Korean leader during their talks: “[W]e did discuss [the issue of human rights] today pretty strongly.” Even though the main purpose of the talks was “denuking,” human rights were discussed “at pretty good length.” On that topic, they will “agree to something,” as it was “one of the primary topics” that “was discussed at length outside of the nuclear situation.” In President Trump’s view, this “has to” change in order to move forward, and he will not remove sanctions “without significant improvement in the human rights situation,”’ an FRC report reads.”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “What’s the big deal? This summit is a nothing-burger.”

 

Biblical Response:  “I beg to differ. The meeting of Trump and Kim IS a big deal. Video tapes have now surfaced that Trump has been envisioning this for nearly 20 years (https://www.westernjournal.com/ct/old-video-surfaces-shows-trump-was-prepping-for-nk-nearly-20-years-ago/?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=CTBreaking&utm_campaign=breaking&utm_content=conservative-tribune), and the meeting WAS historic…or maybe you would prefer the horrible deaths of millions? Sure, Trump said complimentary things of the leader of the most repressive regime in modern history, but stating the obvious is NOT how you negotiate with a venomous snake!”

 

“Christians? Now maybe the doors to evangelism will begin to open (not that the Holy Spirit has ever been limited in what He can do). The job for evangelizing the world is clearly every Christian’s (Matt. 28:18-20). Having a denuclearized peninsula is good news for the Christian Church everywhere…and the nullifying of a madman’s threat is good news for the world.”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, now we need You to intervene as never before…ensuring true freedom, not continued repression; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”   © Alan E.Sargent

 

Share as you like; just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe to 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 – 3-31-18 One-Up-Man-Ship

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-31-18

 

One-Up-Man-Ship

 

What’s Happening:  “Some are saying this smacks of a second Cold War,; some say we all need to devise new ‘duck-and-cover’ drills; some say it’s just a measuring game or a display of testosterone…but the release of a video of ‘Russia’s new ‘Satan 2’ ICBM is no joke. Putin’s promise of a new weapon that is ‘invulnerable’ to western defenses seems to be ringing true (http://www.foxnews.com/world/2018/03/30/satan-2-nuclear-missile-again-test-launched-by-russia-as-putin-brags-invulnerable-arsenal.html). ‘No defense system will be able to withstand it,’’ Putin is reported to have said. With his congratulations for winning re-election, Trump is reported to have said, ‘If you want to have an arms race, we can do that…but I’ll win.’”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Sounds just like them…but who gets to do the drills? We do!”

 

Biblical Response:  “Probably just a bunch of bluster…but I get the sentiment. Besides, the ‘duck-and-cover’ drills may spare you the initial flying debris of a nuclear blast but there’s no drill for the fallout. I’m not sure those drills were/are for any more than to make the drillers feel better…I don’t think they really do much. The greatest deterrence is still termed appropriately  MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction). Oh well, we’re all going to die sometime.”

 

“Christians? Sure, we hate to succumb to a meaningless nuclear holocaust, but it’s the second death (Rev. 20:14) we really need to prepare for (Rev. 2:11). I’m all for preparing for whatever our enemies have developed (and spending the resources to defend), but death is inevitable…it’s not how we die that God judges us for, but how we live.”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to make decisions based on Your will for our lives, not from fear of what might happen; in  Jesus’ Name, amen.” © Alan E.Sargent

 

Share as you like; just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe to any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link: http://subdeo.com/. He also tweets on Twitter.com every day @alanesargent