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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

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CLARITY – 10-19-18 A Sacred Trust

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 10-19-18

A Sacred Trust

 

What’s Happening: “Children are once again being manipulated into terrorism  by the IRGC (Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps) an Associated Press reporter charges. Using targets of U.S. Presidents for practice, children, some as young as 12, are being formed into units to fight along IRGC units. This seems to be in response to sanctions imposed by Trump since the U.S. pulled out of the Nuclear Deal that was joined by Obama in 2015 (https://www.foxnews.com/us/us-targets-network-backing-irans-use-of-child-soldiers). Iranian and Afghan children are then being sent to Syria to fight.”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “No youths of that age can be held responsible for their actions.”

 

Biblical Response:  “I agree…but their targets are just as dead. Talk about PTSD! Adults often can’t handle the atrocities of war…imagine these atrocities in the mind of a child! No amount of counseling or therapy will retrieve some…this is a tragedy of epic proportions! Children are supposed to be a sacred trust (Prov. 22:6). What if he’s trained to kill?”

 

“Christians? Children  are supposed to be the hope of the future (look up and read the previous scripture). The ability to train and motivate a child comes with a certain amount of responsibility. There’s bound to be a special hot place in hell for those who violate this trust.”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, let us consider the most impressionable among us as the  sacred trust they are; 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 – 7-18-18 Things Are Rough All Over

CLARITY

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

Things Are Rough All Over

 

What’s Happening:  “Nobody has an exclusive  claim on difficulty. There is a typhoon in China (https://www.yahoo.com/news/china-provinces-braced-heavy-rainfall-typhoon-heads-west-005007148.html), a hurricane is ravaging the coasts of North  and South Carolina (https://www.yahoo.com/news/rivers-rise-rescues-continue-florence-055240405.html), there’s turmoil in Idlib (in neighboring Syria – Turkey fears refugees might flood her border…and Europe’s – Iran and Russia are backing Bashir Al Assad’s offensive against the last rebel holdout) (https://news.sky.com/story/idlib-offensive-fears-of-humanitarian-crisis-mount-as-syrians-flee-homes-11495458, to say nothing of North Korea, etc. ”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Maybe Chicken Little really was right…the sky is falling!”

 

Biblical Response:  “Probably not. Chicken Little was, after all, an alarmist. Things are bad (and may get worse), but God is not asleep (Ps. 121:4). He uses these things to discipline us because He loves us (Heb. 12:6). ”

 

“Christians? I’m not saying He authors these calamities, Just that all these things work out for our good (Rom. 8:28). He’s just as upset we live in a fallen world as we are. He just doesn’t waste a crisis, either.”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to put things in perspective; to weep with those who weep (Rom. 12:15), but to realize You’re not finished with us, either; 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 – 4-10-18 Cohen Raid “Disgraceful”

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 4-10-18

 

Cohen Raid “Disgraceful”

 

What’s Happening:  “The FBI raided several (four warrants were issued) offices of Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, late yesterday  amid Trump’s cabinet-level discussions on the U.S.’s reaction to Syria’s alleged chemical attack. He termed the raid “disgraceful” and a “witch hunt” that he said may have started as soon as he got nominated for President in 2016 (https://www.axios.com/trump-blasts-fbi-raid-on-michael-cohen-as-disgraceful-situation-1523312632-f2fe7944-7b87-415a-b904-c6afd0cc9600.html). The President said, ‘They continue to just go forward and here we are talking about Syria, we’re talking about a lot of serious things … and I have this witch hunt constantly going on for over 12 months now. Actually it’s much more than that. You could say right after I won the nomination it started.’

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I sure hope he’s not too upset over the raid to make decisions as Commander in Chief.”

 

Biblical Response:  “Probably not…a President is elected because he’s capable of walking and chewing gum at the same time. Seriously, has there ever been a time when Trump has only faced ONE crisis? He regularly juggles the ambitions of: Iran, Russia, China, North Korea (to say nothing of the border wall, Turkey, ISIS, trade deals, etc.). I’m sure what he might term a witch hunt and Syria can just be taken in stride. ”

 

“Christians? We have to be careful not to conflate the challenges we face. If we come home from the office and take our frustrations with things over which we have no control (our boss, the price of our competitor’s products, etc.) on those  things over which we think we do have some control (our spouse, the kids, the dog), we may just be giving in to anger…which is by itself, not a problem. However when it leads to sin (Eph. 4:26), not so much.”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, we need You to manage the emotions of our leaders and give them the courage of their convictions;  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 – 4-9-18 Peace at What Price?

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 4-9-18

 

Peace at What Price?

 

What’s Happening:  “A successful missile attack, likely taken by Israel, resulted in Russian and Syrian accusations of first France, then the U.S. (both have drawn a red line in the event of Syrian use of chemical weapons) for the sarin  gas attack that killed at least 40 in rebel-held East Ghouta. Several countries have called for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council (https://apnews.com/d965ed6a364f46fd9888acb9001de501). The Syrian government, of course, denied the claims of using chemical weapons saying,  ‘The army, which is advancing rapidly and with determination, does not need to use any kind of chemical agents.’”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “There is no excuse, if true, for using chemical weapons!”

 

Biblical Response:  “If true?! Children coughing up blood is not enough proof?! I will agree that there is no excuse or reason…except the blatant ignoring of international conventions… for the use of chemical weapons. Assad has never let world opinion govern his actions and the Russians (as evidenced by their recent attempted murder in the U.K. by a nerve agent) are a bad influence as an ally. ”

 

“Christians? While we are not for war and all its collateral damage, as Solomon wisely said, there is ‘a time for war’ (Eccl. 3:8). Some people do not listen to reason (OR follow convention). Those people must be spoken to in a language they do understand. When any dictator deems it too expensive (powerwise) to take an action he will desist…and not until. Let us pray that God will speak to Assad and Putin before we have to…then again, maybe we’ll be His mouthpiece.”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, let peace prevail, but not peace at any price; 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 – 2-27-18 Ceasing or Increasing?

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 2-27-18

 

Ceasing or Increasing?

 

What’s Happening:  “Although the U.N. Security Council has unanimously declared a ceasefire in Syria, government troops continue to fight (shell, bomb, and even use chemicals) because it says that al-Qaida was included in the agreement. So far, 12 have been killed since the ceasefire was proclaimed, mostly in Eastern Ghouta, though Putin has set a corridor for escape from 9:00am till 3:00pm, beginning today (https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/02/26/588813002/despite-u-n-call-for-cease-fire-strikes-continue-on-damascus-suburb). ‘In this suburb there are said to be a small number of rebels who are aligned with al-Qaida. The government and its allies are basically using that as an argument to say … the cease-fire doesn’t apply here,’ says Ruth Sherlock of NPR.”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “i thought whatever the Security Council voted unanimously on was law.”

 

Biblical Response:  “That’s what you get for thinking. Seriously, they have no standing army to enforce their ‘edicts’ so, they’re only ‘desires.’ It’s mostly political posturing, not anything those on the frontline pay any attention to…unfortunately, those recently killed would say..if they could…which they can’t.”

 

“Christians? It would be great if we could have peace by just proclaiming it. It doesn’t work that way in the Kingdom of God…or on earth. As I’ve said before, there won’t be peace on earth until the Prince of Peace rules in the heart of every man. (Lk. 2:14)”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, we don’t need unrealistic expectations, but patience; 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 – 2-19-18 Out of the Old Soviet Playbook

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 2-19-18

 

Out of the Old Soviet Playbook

What’s Happening:  “It has been described as a proxy war – from Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, and Iraq – reminiscent of something the failed regime of the old Soviet Union used to practice. This time the ‘unifying” factor is Hezbollah and their enabler, Iran. Gen. H.R. McMaster, the U.S. National Security Adviser, condemned the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Saturday for arming “Hezbollah-style” armies to destabilize the Middle East (https://www.yahoo.com/news/mcmaster-warns-growing-power-irans-network-proxies-124901296.html). ‘So the time is now, we think, to act against Iran,’ he said.”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “So this means war in the Middle East?’

 

Biblical Response:  “Maybe…though there are some who would say it has already begun. I mean, Iran has sent a surveillance drone from Syria recently and shot down an Israeli F-16 that responded (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-israel/netanyahu-says-israel-undeterred-after-syria-shoots-down-f-16-idUSKBN1FV0LR). The Iranians like to have plausible deniability. Launching their attacks through surrogates and promising them a seat at the proverbial table. Does that remind you of anyone? (If you said the USSR…ding, ding, ding! You win!).”

 

“Christians? Let’s hope we don’t have to learn the lesson twice. Bad company STILL corrupts good morals (1 Cor. 15:33).”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, give those that lead the foresight of wisdom so that this world does not have to learn the lessons of history again; 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