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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 – 9-12-19 Pressing On

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -9-12-19

Pressing On  

What’s Happening: “A boy, whose mother, 76, was killed along with over 3,000 others (actually 2,994 were killed in the terrorist attacks and over 600 died that day and later from the effects), stood up at a memorial yesterday and excoriated Rep. Ilhan Omar for a flippant remark made at a Council on Arab/American Relations (CAIR) function. She falsely claimed that CAIR was founded after 9/11 because ‘some people did something,’ a saying that found its way onto the boy’s t-shirt…the organization was actually founded in 1994 (https://www.yahoo.com/news/9-11-victim-son-explains-184126827.html). ‘Stop. Stop. Please stop using the bones and ashes of our loved ones as props for your political theater,’ the boy said. ‘Their lives, sacrifices, and deaths are worth so much more. Let’s not trivialize them or us. It hurts.’” 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “He’s right, you know…and Muslim mosques should all be searched for others who would do us harm.”

Biblical Response:  “Yes, I agree…and no, I don’t agree. Let me explain. While I think it’s good to remember (Quotes like : ‘Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty’ – John Philpot Curran; and ‘Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it – George Santayana, etc. come to mind), we also may reap the rewards of dwelling on the past: anger and vengeance. The Apostle Paul had it right. He said:

‘Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,  I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil. 3:13-14 NASU)

Besides, doesn’t the Scripture admonish us about anger and vengeance( (Eph. 4:26 & Rom. 12:19)?

“Christians? While the Scripture is full of celebrations and  festivals to help us remember our past (Gen. 9:16; Ex. 13:3; Lev. 26:42, etc.), we are not called to wallow in it. Rather, we are to dust ourselves off and forge ahead. It is good that airports now have enhanced security, but we don’t need to live paranoid lives. Having a backward focus eliminates progress. Let us not live in fear, but in faith.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to never forget, but leave ‘getting even’ to You; 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 – 9-3-19 To Be Expected

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -9-3-19

To Be Expected  

What’s Happening: “In a visit to Moscow, Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Russian Ambassador Lavrov yesterday both blamed the U.S. for bringing instability to the region. A monitor did say a missile strike by the U.S, had killed 40 jihadist leaders over the weekend in Idlib, Syria, a move that did not include a warning to Russia or Iran, who felt that they should have been notified. As far as Iran is concerned, the U.S. has been provoking Iran since Trump unilaterally pulled out of the nuclear deal. An initiative by France is an attempt at rescue (www.yahoo.com/news/russia-iran-blame-us-regional-tensions-144433087.html). ‘Our American partners are openly seeking to provoke Iran with the support of some of their regional allies,’ Lavrov said. ‘We are hoping that this useful initiative of the French president will bear fruit.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “We get accused of so much we haven’t done yet, though I admit a missile strike probably sends the wrong message.”

Biblical Response:  “A message to whom? The missile strike, though not intended to send any other message but that ‘it’s expensive to be a jihadist leader in Iraq,’ short-circuited whatever terrorist plans those leaders had. As far as being accused of things….we should get used to it (and perhaps are). Accusation comes easy for those whose surreptitious ways have been outed (Iran is not listed as the chief governmental sponsor of terrorism for its pacifism). False accusation is just one of their weapons of obfuscation.”

“Christians? If we aren’t used to false accusation, maybe we aren’t making enough difference. We are instructed to ‘love not the world’ (1 John 2:15). If we think that exposing the true motives of the enemy is going to engender anything but persecution and counter accusation, we are not students of Scripture (Jn. 15:18-19).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to not be surprised by persecution or accusation (if we are innocent), and give us the courage and wisdom to fight battles that we’ll win with Your strength; 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 – 8-16-19 It’s the Law

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -8-16-19

It’s the Law

What’s Happening: “Though AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D., NY) disagreed vocally, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) were both barred by the government of Israel from the country, including a planned visit to Palestinian cities on the West Bank, Thursday. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was only obeying the law and both Muslim Representatives had expressed hatred for Jews and Israel (https://www.yahoo.com/news/israel-ban-omar-tlaib-reactions-200932835.html). ‘There is no country in the world that respects the U.S. and the U.S. Congress more than the State of Israel. As a vibrant and free democracy, Israel is open to any critic and criticism, with one exception: Israel’s law prohibits the entry of people who call and operate to boycott Israel,’ Netanyahu’s statement read.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “What right does an alleged democracy have to barr Muslims from entry?”

Biblical Response:  “Actually, every right…they have a prior obligation to protect their citizens. You might ask what harm two women could do? (google women terrorists sometime – your next question might be: ‘Are you calling them terrorists?!’ – a brief review of their anti-semitic comments will yield disturbing results – you be the judge – there are those who wield weapons and those who wield words). Netanyahu might be likened to a watchman on the wall (Is. 21:6). He bears a responsibility for those he warns (Ezek. 3:18).” 

“Christians? Deciding who gets into heaven is way above our paygrade, but no one will deny the momentousness (is that a word?) of the decision. Imagine someone who wants to do harm in heaven!”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to tone down the rhetoric and realizing the importance of decisions made, keep our leaders in prayer; 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 – 7-19-19 Lest We Forget

CLARITY

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

Lest We Forget

What’s Happening: “25 years have passed, but the memory is still fresh…at least for the 85 victims’ families who were killed (hundreds more were wounded) in the 1992 attack and again in the 1994 Hezbollah bombings that hit two Jewish sites in Argentina. Although there have been accusations of a cover-up and a plethora of investigations, no one has yet been incarcerated (https://www.yahoo.com/news/argentina-honors-terror-attack-victims-152226960.html). In addition to the grief experienced in today’s recollections there will be much celebration tomorrow at the 50th anniversary ceremony of Neil Armstrong’s historic walk on the moon. He became the first man on the moon, saying, ‘One small step for man, one giant leap for Mankind.’ (https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/armstrong-walks-on-moon).  These two events represent the broad spectrum of Man’s tragedies and triumphs.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “So, am I to be sad or happy?”

Biblical Response:  “Both…respectively. And there are lessons to be learned from both. That the price of liberty is eternal vigilance (pay attention Argentina – actually, Thomas Jefferson might be the original author in 1817)…and that few things of greatness are accomplished without the help of others (there were 400,000 engineers and millions of taxpayers that made Neil Armstrong’s feat possible). And we are right to cry and rejoice. In fact, we are commanded by God to do so (Rom. 1:15). And we are to remember…that anything is possible…bad or good. The real importance is that we learn what we are supposed to learn…lest we condemned to learn those lessons again.”

“Christians? We believe in learning…and in remembering. Only God has the luxury of forgetting…and we are still the beneficiaries of that (Jer. 31:34).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to remember, as painful or joyful as that may be…and LEARN; 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 – 7-2-19 The Futility of Limiting Power

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -7-2-19

The Futility of Limiting Power

What’s Happening: “Iran has announced that it has exceeded the maximum set by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA – the nuclear deal) for medium grade (3.67% purity) fissionable material (661 pounds)…not to mention the 22,046 pounds of weapons grade – 20% – fissionable material it already stockpiles. Although the U.S. (Trump) unilaterally pulled out of the deal over a year ago, E.U. nations that signed on have tried to hold the deal together. Now they have clear evidence of non-compliance (https://www.yahoo.com/news/iran-says-broken-stockpile-limit-121553069.html). ‘The Iranian regime, armed with nuclear weapons, would pose an even greater danger to the region and to the world,’ Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo said.” 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Great! Just what we need! Another war!”

Biblical Response:  “Nobody wants war, but we’re talking about a whole paradigm shift. Give the world’s greatest state sponsor of terrorism a nuclear weapon  and we’re immediateley talking nuclear ransom on an unprecedented scale (actually, I don’t know whether it would be worse to have a nuke explode or just to fear one exploding – sometimes the unknown becomes more fearsome because it’s unknown). In any case, ‘power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely’ (Lord Acton). If anyone thinks that Iran could get close to the power it hungers for…but control itself, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you. Iran deals in the torment of fear (1 John 4:18); that’s the denomination of terrorism.”

“Christians? Fear? We’d like to say we only fear God (Matt. 10:28), but we are aspiring to that…meanwhile, we pray for wisdom (Matt. 10:16).” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us fight naivete’…with knowledge (John 8:32); 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 – 5-25-19 Shedding Innocent Blood Is Wrong…Period!

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -5-25-19

Shedding Innocent Blood Is Wrong…Period!

What’s Happening: “Three were killed and at least twenty were injured at the bombing yesterday at a mosque in Kabul (Afghanistan). Among the dead was Muslim cleric Samiullah Raihan, who was leading prayers in the Sunni Al-Taqwa mosque. Although no one has claimed responsibility, it is not uncommon for warring factions of Muslims to take matters into their own hands (https://www.yahoo.com/news/bomb-kills-least-one-during-friday-prayers-mosque-094010470.html). Quoting from the Reuters article: ‘Firdaws Faramarz, a police spokesman, said explosives were apparently placed near the altar of the Al-Taqwa mosque, a place used by the mosque leader to initiate the prayers.’”   

Knee-Jerk Response:  “If Muslims want to kill Muslims, more power to ‘em!”

Biblical Response:  “That sentiment is why jihad recruiting is easy and evangelism efforts among Muslim communities is hard. The ‘Christian’ West (or should I say the post-Christian West? – many churches are not well populated…except for CHRINOs – CHRistians In Name Only). I know there’s a tendency to fear the unfamiliar and Muslim terrorism has fanned ideological bias, but if we truly believe in Christianity’s inherent superiority, we won’t be cheering on these innocent deaths (Ex. 20:13)…or taking matters into our own hands, either. God is quite capable of sorting nations and territories out (Acts 17:26).”

“Christians? They won’t know we are Christian by our hate, but by our love (Jn. 13:35). Rather, we should weep for those who weep (Rom. 12:15). A little kindness and compassion would go much further than judgmentalism and vengeance.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to love unconditionally and see every non-Christian as a potential future family member; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

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

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CLARITY – 5-23-19 Whatever Happened to Civility?

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -5-23-19

Whatever Happened to Civility?

What’s Happening: “The jury is still out (no pun intended) on 27-year-old Christopher Cleary, a Utah man that maintains he’s still a virgin and has no girlfriend, He is being charged with a third degree felony (attempted threat of terrorism) for posting on Facebook that he was going to ‘kill as many girls as he could see’ because he was rejected…a dubious claim as two girls claimed to have a sexual relationship with him and he was living with a girl when was arrested (https://www.yahoo.com/news/man-threatened-kill-many-girls-141138663.html). ‘All I wanted to be was loved,” Cleary posted. ‘Yet no one cares about me, I’m 27 years old and I’ve never had a girlfriend before and I’m still a virgin, this is why I’m planning on shooting up a public place soon and being the next mass shooter ‘cause I’m ready to die.’”   

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Sounds like a bad hombre that needs to be removed from society!”

Biblical Response:  “And he may be, though I don’t believe his consorts anymore than I do him. What I want to ask is, where are his parents? Apparently he was not taught how to handle rejection…or anger, for that matter. Life is full of hard knocks. Kids are supposed to learn how to handle that while they’re young…so that when they get older, they have learned discretion…to be angry, but sin not (Eph. 4;26). That’s what parenting is for. (You know, that old-fashioned impediment to a two-income higher standard of living.,,what we have are kids posting threats on social media, still living in their parents’ basements which were afforded by that increased standard of living!)”

“Christians? We’ll probably get accused of child abuse for visiting the ‘woodshed’ so often…maybe you’d like visiting the prison better? See the following ‘outmoded’ scriptures

“Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.” (Prov. 13:24 NLT)

“Withhold not correction from the child; (For) if thou beat him with the rod, he will not die.” (Prov. 23:13 ASV)

“And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;

For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.”

(Heb. 12:5-6 NKJV)

ETC., ETC.

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, make the parent impervious to the protests of the disciplined child, but attentive to Your merciful voice of direction: in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

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

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CLARITY – 5-22-19 Rumors of War

CLARITY

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

Rumors of War

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

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

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

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

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father,help us to be wise and remember our frailty when You exact justice…and be merciful: in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

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

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CLARITY – 4-29-19 Bloody Hands

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 4-29-19

Bloody Hands

What’s Happening: “Although the President and Prime Minister of Sri Lanka both claim to have no prior knowledge of the suicide attacks Easter that killed more than 250, the Indian intelligence service say they gave weeks of warning. Indian police intercepted a National Towheed Jamaat communication, the heretofore unknown IS-linked terror group that launched the attack, with warnings detailing the plot to the Sri Lankan government…which went obviously unheeded (https://www.yahoo.com/news/indian-police-uncovered-plot-sri-lanka-didnt-act-131730238.html). ‘That is why the kind of detailing of the incident they received was very, very specific, They knew the group, they knew the targets, they knew the time, they knew the whereabouts of the suicide bombers, and all of this was communicated to the Sri Lankan government,’ said Ajai Sahni, executive director of the Institute for Conflict Management in New Delhi.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “What’s the use of having warnings, if you won’t heed them?!”

Biblical Response:  “Indeed, what is the use? Maybe the recent civil war there was a distraction. Still, that gives the current leadership little excuse. I predict a political shake up that will trace its roots to these unheeded warnings. Is there responsibility to heed credible warnings?Yes. Read what the Word has to say about it:

‘When I tell the wicked, you shall surely die; and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at your hand.’ (Ezek. 3:18)”

“Christians? We believe that warnings are not obligatory, but a grace gift. They are to be heeded, however. Maybe the above scripture has application for all Christians concerning the wrath that is to come…thankfully, Jesus took that wrath on the cross for me…how about you?”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, give our leaders the wisdom to heed credible warnings…and us the wisdom to select leaders with ears to hear; 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