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CLARITY – 9-18-20 The Right to Kill

 CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 9-18-20

The Right to Kill

What’s Happening: “There was a plan to kill Syrian head of state Bashir al-Assad, Jared Kushner said to interviewer James Rosen of Sinclair Broadcasting. The year was 2017 and reportedly Trump actually considered the option in spite of Executive Order #11905, signed by President Gerald Ford in 1976 (the order prohibits political assassination, but does not define it). A drone strike killed top Iranian General Qassem Suleimani. Kushner defended the right of assassination saying the President ‘keeps all options on the table’ (https://www.yahoo.com/news/jared-kushner-strongly-suggests-trump-103705351.html). ‘This is not touch football’ Kushner said.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Can he do that?”

Biblical Response:  “He almost did…maybe it depends on what your definition of political assassination is – it might be a legal technicality, but targets are just as dead – it then wouldn’t matter to al-Assad. Is it right? Does someone who used WMDs on his own citizens deserve death? Can the President of the U.S. decide? He is the Commander in Chief.”

“It is a temptation to just not judge the situation and say it’s above my pay grade, and one could ask how that was much different than dying from some bullet from a soldier’s gun in war? But the right to kill is reserved ultimately with God (read the story about Ananias and Sapphira – Acts 5:1-11). He gave life, and He can take it away. War and the criminal justice system may be delegated ways of Man depriving offenders of physical life, but the second death (Rev. 20:14) ) is truly His exclusive purview. The rest may be up to definition…but this is not.”

“Christians? We believe in the first death (physical death) and in the second death (eternal damnation). While we should endeavor to avoid the first one, avoiding the second one is vastly more important. Temporality is overruled by eternity.” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to judge rightly…and to let You determine in Your mercy when our temporality is over, and when our eternity begins; in Jesus’ Name, amen.

Share as you like -just give appropriate credit. 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 – 4-9-20 Distraction Leads to Deafness

CLARITY

Biblical Response to Current Events – 4-9-20

Distraction Leads to Deafness

What’s Happening: “The watchdog group the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in the Hague, reported Wednesday that the Assad regime in Syria had used chemical weapons on its own people in March of 2017 in three separate attacks on rebel-held Latamneh, using Sarin and chlorine (one of the bombs was dropped on a hospital). The report largely fell on deaf ears, except for a reaction from Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo…maybe the COVID-19 virus crisis is too loud for this plea to be heard? This isn’t the first time Assad has used chemical weapons against civilians (https://www.yahoo.com/news/assads-air-force-attacked-syrian-200755950.html). Quoting the NBC article: ‘Secretary of State Mike Pompeo welcomed the report, saying it represented ‘the latest in a large and growing body of evidence that the Assad regime uses chemical weapons attacks in Syria as part of a deliberate campaign of violence against the Syrian people.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Dead’s dead, isn’t it? Why does it really matter how someone dies?”

Biblical Response:  “Yes, dead is dead…it ends your opportunity to change your eternal destination (Heb. 9:27)…which, contrary to all our other expended energies. is the real pursuit of life…or it should be. But if you die of natural causes…or some pandemic…or some chemical weapon, it brings comfort to know it was timely, and it served some purpose. The apostle Paul lived a good life (which he defined as fulfilling the purpose for which he was born – 2 Tim. 4:7-8). Although he died by beheading (See Foxe’s Book of Martyrs), he was prepared to die (2 Tim. 4:6). In fact, due to the seemingly randomness of life and death in this world, we all need to live life prepared to die…but I digress.”

“The real tragedy is the deafness of distraction. We are so distracted by our current calamity (today it’s COVID-19; tomorrow…?), that we sometimes miss the point of it all. Maybe God is trying to get our attention…to break through all the distraction to the important consideration: With Whom will you spend eternity?”

“Christians? We believe that the manner of how we die is not nearly as important as the decisions we make during our life (Heb 12:1-3).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to keep the main thing, the main thing…and remind us to pray that none of our calamities are wasted; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books, or donate, 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 – 3-14-20 Payback

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-14-20

Payback

What’s Happening: “Idlib, Syria has seen much turmoil…and that’s putting it mildly…its 3,000,000+ inhabitants have been selected for the ire of the Asaad family since a city mob pelted Hafez al-Asaad (Bashir’s father) with tomatoes and a shoe back in the 1970s. Lately, in addition to infrastructure abandonment that has caused many to flee to nearby Turkey, bombings from Syrian forces and Russian jets have refugees returning to bombed-out homes hoping to retrieve some belongings, but often finding only rubble. Whether it’s ongoing revenge or just the Syrian President’s way of handling dissent, the targeting of the city is substantial (https://sg.news.yahoo.com/idlib-syrias-forgotten-city-targeted-revenge-assad-033213996.html). ‘”When the army came, it poured out all the hatred it has against us… targeting civilians and their houses,’ said Khalil, a villager from Sarmin, just east of Idlib.” 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I’d move, too!”

Biblical Response:  “I would certainly understand a desire to get away from such destruction…though I’m not sure Turkey is going to welcome them…but just think of leaving your home. It must be gut-wrenching. Here I sit in my climate controlled environment with plenty of food and not going to bed wondering if my sleep is going to be interrupted by a bomb…well it’s enough to make you cry…for grief concerning their plight, and for gratitude that you don’t similarly suffer (Rom. 12:15).”

“Bashir al-Asaad might think he’s getting revenge or quelling protests, but his payback is coming. Revenge is the sole realm of God (at least it’s supposed to be – Deut. 32:35; Rom. 12:19). I guess that’s why there’s hell (‘ Justice makes hell necessary; mercy makes heaven possible.’)”

“Christians? We believe that God’s payback makes man’s look puny by comparison (read the way he paid back Sodom and Gomorrah – Gen. 19:1-24). And if you think that’s harsh for unbelievers who refuse his instruction, how do you think He’s going to deal with us who’ve had the benefit of it, but refused to apply it? (1 Pet. 4;18).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to heed Your love so we don’t have to endure Your 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 © 2020 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 – 9-4-19 No Such Thing as Dark

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -9-4-19

No Such Thing as Dark  

What’s Happening: “Everybody is scrambling (publicly) to discover the true intentions and the true location of the Grace 1 (an Iranian oil tanker who recently changed her name to Adrian Darya 1, after being released by Gibraltar). It turned off its AIS automatic location identifier signal late Monday, but is believed to be headed for a port in Syria. Offloading oil there or even docking at any port on the Mediterranean will, no doubt, incur further sanctions from the U.S., the E.U….or both. This is getting complicated, though satellite photos are probably revealing much  (https://www.yahoo.com/news/iran-tanker-centre-diplomatic-row-114801451.html).’The fact that Adrian Darya 1 is currently skirting the Syrian coast with its AIS offline, awaiting what the US intelligence services expect to be an imminent ship-to-ship transfer, which will ultimately see its cargo end up in Syria, is politically embarrassing for almost everyone except Iran,’ said managing editor of Lloyd’s List Intelligence, Richard Meade.” 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I wonder where it is…”

Biblical Response:  “You are probably the only one…though I’m sure there are many pretending not to know. You are not responsible for acting on knowledge you don’t admit you have. The political dancing that is occurring is quite humorous. We really know…and I think they (Iran) know we know…but nobody is saying anything. Is this really consequential? Probably not in the overall scheme of things, but as an example of systemic problems, it may be telltale.

If there is nothing really hidden from the ‘all-seeing’ eyes of satellites, can you imagine what God knows? The answer is ‘no.’ He Who has access to everywhere (Ps. 139) knows everything, and His omnipresence makes Him a personal witness to all events.

“Christians? Knowing that the ‘closet’ is just a myth causes us to live our lives a little differently…or at least we should.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to make decisions that reflect we have great knowledge…and that means we should have great responsibility…kinda sounds like a superhero mantra…You’re our Superhero, Lord; 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 – 8-19-19 Destination Known

CLARITY

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

Destination Known

What’s Happening: “It’s kind of like a huge ping pong ball…and nobody really knows its destination…or even its real name. I mean, the oil tanker from Iran was the Grace 1 when it was captured by the British near Gibraltar. It was suspected of heading for Syria, which is currently under EU sanctions. Then it was renamed the Adrian Darya 1 and the U.S. issued a warrant for its further detainment, but saying it was bound to release the vessel by EU law, the Adrian Darya 1 was released by Gibraltar and is  believed to be headed to Greece. Who really knows? BTW, the British oil tanker which was seized in the Strait of Hormuz by the Iranians weeks ago is still in an Iranian port (with its British crew) and won’t be released until the Adrian Darya 1 docks (https://www.yahoo.com/news/iranian-tanker-caught-standoff-west-053520289.html). ‘Until the Iranian oil tanker arrives at its destination the British must help end the crisis, This means that the crisis with Britain is not over. Britain has the primary responsibility for ending the oil tanker crisis,’ Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, a member of parliament’s national security and foreign affairs committee said.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Sounds to me like the Iranians are holding the British crew hostage.”

Biblical Response:  “You’re probably right…and, at least until Brexit (no later than Oct. 31), the Brits are dancing to the EU’s timid tune. It’s all political…which much in our world  lately seems to be…and our time to pray…and be grateful that our destination is already sealed (2 Tim. 1:12). The world may be full of uncertainties, but a Christian’s ultimate destination is not one of them…and He promises we’ll never be alone (Matt. 28:20).” 

“Christians? Eternal security is one of our comforts. I wonder about that British crew…and the crew of the Adrian Darya 1.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to make things that are so complicated…simple. We will need Your wisdom, of course; 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 – 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 – 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 – 12-21-18 Doing What’s Unpopular

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 12-2i-18

Doing What’s Unpopular

What’s Happening: “With a government shutdown looming (tonight at midnight) and Trump so far intractable on his demands for border security, it seems an impasse is inevitable. Top all of that off with Defense Secretary Mattis’s resignation, the removal by Trump of 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria (and rumored 7,000 from Afghanistan), the stock market’s recent plunges, and you may have what some opponents describe as ‘chaos’ (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/12/21/after-chaotic-day-trump-defends-wall-plan-risks-government-shutdown/2385388002/).  ‘Properly designed and built Walls work,’ said Trump.”  

Knee-Jerk Response:  “No wall is worth shutting down the government over.”

Biblical Response:  “There are a lot of things wrong with that statement. To name a few: 1) It’s a wall system – some repairs to existing structures, drones, other technology, beefed up training, more Border Patrol agents, …and some actual wall – besides, it’s just a downpayment of all that’s got to happen. 2) Government shutdowns do not mean a cessation of all government activities – Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, the Military, etc., will all continue unabated. 3) How else do you stop illegal immigration, drugs, and human trafficking?.”

“Christians? If we let popularity be our guide, much would never get done- much of  what must be done (1 John 2:15). We are for the government doing its job, but not to people that try to circumvent the law.

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, while we want to show mercy, we must show mercy to those who have waited in line first; help us do just that; 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