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CLARITY – 2-12-20 Never Right to Do Wrong

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 2-12-20

Never Right to Do Wrong

What’s Happening: “In an article by Business Insider that appeared Monday, a drill sergeant was suspended pending further investigation for an incident where he appears to react to a new recruit with obscene language and assault. The Fort Benning, Georgia, circumstance was caught on video and may prove to be an embarrassment to the U.S. Army, which  former Marine Corps instructor deemed ‘very unfortunate’ (https://www.yahoo.com/news/us-army-drill-sergeant-suspended-001747729.html). The former instructor went on to say, ‘You can’t endorse what the drill sergeant did, but that recruit obviously went way out of line. Traditionally, you can’t get away with talking to somebody like that. It’s not conducive to a professional military environment.’ However, anybody who has been to Boot Camp Basic Training, knows it goes on all the time…at least the profanity part.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I thought leadership was all about example. Some example!”

Biblical Response:  “True, but the instructors are not preparing them for a polite party, either. Preparation for modern warfare where your enemy way well behead captives…well, some hardship must be inculcated. Sure, there’s never an excuse for physical assault or excessive profanity…it’s never right to do wrong…and leadership-by-example is a principle that should be taught (so should servant-leadership – Mark 9:35). Do I know what I’m talking about? Yep…my Basic Cadet Training Boot Camp (USAFA – summer of 1970) taught me much. They even said when we went home for the holidays we might need to clean up our language. After all, when we graduated, we would be officers… an act of Congress had said so…but character is what leadership is supposed to be all about…and no act can magically call you what you are not.”

“Christians? It would be great if there were a predominantly Christian military and God could be expected to back our moves…(Don’t think God is interested in all that? Obviously, you haven’t read Matt. 10:34; Luke 22:36; Rom. 13:4, etc.). Is profanity and unrighteous violence wrong? Of course it is (Rom. 3:12-20). But to think a God who comes back with a sword protruding from his mouth is not about warfare is just plain uninformed (Rev. 1:16; 19:21). Besides, He ‘…trains my hands for war…’ (Ps 144:1 NASU) 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to good examples of Your true nature; 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 – 9-18-19 Trust Issues

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 9-18-19

Trust Issues  

What’s Happening: “Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), in an interview with CNN, said that any administration that lies about crowd sizes and weather maps can’t be trusted to give the American people accurate enough information to make a decision to go to war with Iran. The decision about how to respond to Iran is imminent as the drone attack occurring last weekend has sent oil and gas prices soaring worldwide. The only thing to be definitively determined is who is behind the attack. Iran denies any involvement. Trump’s firing of hawkish advisor Bolton may mean he favors a diplomatic solution…which should make Omar happy (https://www.yahoo.com/news/ilhan-omar-trump-admin-cant-121829265.html). ‘We are not in a position to think about another endless war and I really hope that my colleagues in Congress are going to pressure this administration to take a step back and figure out how we use diplomacy in de-escalating the situation,’ said Omar.” 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Perhaps we should at least try diplomacy…” 

Biblical Response:  “And perhaps we will…though it’s not like the administration hasn’t tried this before. Our non-military response has seemingly produced nothing except a lot of starving Iranians. Sanctions might work…eventually…but they might not. Omar (and a Democrat- controlled House) seem to have trust issues, not willing to take this administration’s word for anything. On the administration’s side, are trust issues, too…do you trust a country that is the world’s largest sponsor of terrorism? Do you trust Islam, who says there’s no god but Allah? Some of the American people seem to welcome Islam, equating Allah with Jehovah (the Jews’ and Chistians’ God). Heck, some Americans say there is no god…or you can believe in any god…as long as you’re sincere.”

“Until we settle that issue, war or diplomacy may only create more trust issues…and with America as divided as it is, there probably is no solution on the horizon.”

“Christians? We are told to worship no God but Jehovah (Ex. 20:1-6). Even a surface examination of the Quran (Koran) yields a god that is different than the highly relational God of the Bible, even justifying deception to an ‘infidel,’ which Christians are regarded by Islam  (http://muslimfact.com/bm/terror-in-the-name-of-islam/islam-permits-lying-to-deceive-unbelievers-and-bri.shtml). Contrarilly, Christians look at Islam as a huge mission field (Matt 28:18-20), and consider the truth as the only way to freedom (John 8:32) and Jesus as the only name of God ( John 14:6; Acts 4:12). 9/11 told us Islam considers anyone who doesn’t worship Allah as an infidel…and justifiable collateral damage in their effort to dominate the world. And Muslims want us to trust them?!”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father (Jehovah, not Allah), help us to see through a lie to embrace the truth…and help our leaders to know what to do in the present crisis; 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 – 7-22-19 Preventing the Inevitable

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -7-22-19

Preventing the Inevitable

What’s Happening: “Iran moved closer last week to war as they seized the British-flagged oil tanker Steno Impero. Although Britain has registered a complaint with the UN,  there is little that can be done about the seizure. The tanker and its crew of 23 lies in a heavily militarized port in Iran. Iran claims the Impero hit a fishing boat; Britain denies this allegation and says it was just sailing in international waters in the Strait of Hormuz when gunboats surrounded it and boarded.  The British frigate, HMS Montrose, was 60 minutes away…too far to intervene in the seizure (https://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-audio-shows-british-navy-ship-was-too-far-away-to-prevent-iran-from-seizing-tanker-2019-07-21?siteid=yhoof2&yptr=yahoo). Quoting British Foreign Minister Heiko Maas: ‘This is about preventing war.’

Knee-Jerk Response:  “So? I mean, I’m sorry for the Brits, but what does that have to do with me?”

Biblical Response:  “Everything. When a bully rules the schoolyard, even the spectators are eventually pulled into the conflict. Sure, they may start on the sidelines, cheering on one or the other of the combatants. But upending peace has its consequences…sometimes the playground monitor wisely intervenes and both are sent to the Principal’s Office to ascertain the truth. When the truth is revealed, someone’s going to be suspended. Of course, we’re not really talking about non-lethal bullying. Real lives will be lost… energy markets will fluctuate…and, in the case of the world’s leading state sponsor of terror with nuclear ambitions (who, by the way, think they have a mandate from Allah)…we’re looking at mass destruction. We may have a reluctance (and naturally so) to go to war, but time is a multiplier.”

“Christians? There is much more going on here than meets the eye. The real conflict is in the spiritual realm (Eph. 6:12). Meanwhile, though we may be assured of final victory (Matt. 16:18-19), there are bound to be casualties…at least temporally. We should pray for peace…and prepare for the inevitable.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, give us the courage of our convictions, protect the innocent, and help us to embrace the principle of time’s multiplication; 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 – 4-30-19 Free Will is Preferred

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 4-30-19

Free Will is Preferred

What’s Happening: “What administration officials may be saying is “It seemed like a good idea at the time.” I’m referring to publicly backing Juan Guiado instead of Maduro in Venezuela, thinking surely there would be regime change by now. And there is no doubt that hyperinflation and mass starvation, to say nothing of the mass exodus of over one million Venezuelans to neighboring countries, have taken their toll. But no one thought the support of Cuba, Russia, and China would encourage the military sufficiently for the government to last this long (https://nationalinterest.org/feature/washingtons-woeful-maduro-miscalculation-55007). Quoting from the above-linked article by Reuters’ Ted Carpenter: ‘An increasingly annoyed and uneasy U.S. government has tightened already onerous economic restrictions on Venezuela. U.S. officials appear worried that Guaido’s bid for power is faltering—a concern that is well-founded.’ It’s not that nation-building hasn’t been tried before – it’s just that it never turns out well.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Maybe we should take a hint and quit trying the impossible.”

Biblical Response:  “Or maybe realize it’s multi-generational…you see, God prefers Free Will. Sure, our Founders could have mandated capitalism and Christianity. England and much of Europe had tried that before. It just led to bloody wars. Mandated faith is not real faith at all (the Crusades, with its mass false-conversions of Muslims at the point of the sword, should have taught us that). In America, they decided that Freedom of Religion was to be preferred…that man would eventually choose Christianity from the basis of its inherent superiority. Sure, England tried to export democracy everywhere it went (and it worked in India – but not for several generations – India today is the world’s largest democracy). You have to be committed for the long haul, because God prefers Free Will (Josh. 24:15). Whether we can be committed for that long in Venezuela remains to be seen.”

“Christians? We believe in Free Will, Choosing foolishly has its negative consequences (Deut. 28:15-45) and choosing wisely its positive consequences (Deut. 28:1-14). Believe me, there’s a law at work (Gal. 6:7). Doing according to that law, however, requires patience.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to be willing to pay the costs of persistence and patience; 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 – 3-22-19 Agreement is Irrelevant

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 3-22-19

Agreement is Irrelevant

What’s Happening: “The tweets just keep on coming! Yesterday, the President tweeted the following: ‘After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!’ This recognition during Netanyahu’s election campaign in Israel was seen by his opposition as an underhanded political stunt, but only affirms the reality that has existed since Israel claimed the Golan Heights in its 1967 War victory (https://www.yahoo.com/news/gift-netanyahu-trump-tweets-u-s-support-israel-annexing-golan-221952277.htmlIn). Quoting the article written in Yahoo News by Ben Manson, ‘Israel extended Israeli law over the Golan Heights in 1981, marking the lowest point in the history of U.S.-Israeli relations. Now American recognition of Israeli control over the same territory has become a touchstone of the closest relationship ever between leaders of the two countries.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I guess that means that Israel now has the power of agreement by the greatest military might in the world!”

Biblical Response:  “So? God’s greater might makes our agreement irrelevant. Think that is a bit presumptuous? Perhaps you haven’t read about God giving the Promised Land to Israel. (Ps. 47:4, et al). Or that He has the right to do so (Ps. 95:4). Remember, He is the Creator and Owner, we are only stewards. Does He give other people land? You bet (Deut. 2:2-12). He will defend their right, too. But today, we are talking about usurping Palestinians. Oh, think that Who is God is up for debate? Check out history…it hasn’t worked out well for those who differ with Him.”.

“Christians? We should be supporters of a move that recognizes an obvious truth.. Not so obvious? And whose fault would that be?”  

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to get and stay on the right side of history; 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 – 11-12-18 Oh, When Will We Ever Learn?

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 11-12-18

Oh, When Will We Ever Learn?

 

What’s Happening: “The 100th anniversary of the armistice for WWI (also known as the Great War or ironically, ‘the war to end all wars’) was celebrated across Europe Sunday, November 11th (though the article from the link below is just about the celebrations in England). Millions of soldiers died…even 6.32 million civilians died worldwide (https://www.yahoo.com/news/100-years-remember-them-britain-180223241.html). Geoff Talbot, 74, one of those who decorated his home in England said, ‘Lots of people have put a lot of effort to do this. In those days Aldridge was only a village, but a lot of local young men left and never came back. It is an absolutely nice way to do a tribute for them.’”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “That was a hundred years ago…and we’re still having wars!”

 

Biblical Response:  “And we’ll probably have them for years into the future. As long as there is evil in the world, someone will want to force their will on those less capable….sometimes it’s just a skirmish…but all conflicts have the potential of escalating. If you read about the reasons war was declared, you understand insanity is often met with insanity. That’s not to say that war is not sometimes warranted, but we all look forward to the day when we can beat our swords into plowshares (Isaiah 2:4).”

 

Christians? To say we’re not in a war today denies reality…it’s just that our weapons are not only carnal (2 Cor. 10:4). 2 Timothy 2:1-4 commends us to be strong, committing the lessons we have learned to the faithful and having the dedication of the focused. What are we focused on? The prize (Phil. 3:14), Are we assured the victory? You bet (1 John 5:4)!”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, we fight on in a war we are destined to win…sometimes we have to fight physically, but never let us only do 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 – 2-8-18 If You Got It, Flaunt It

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 2-8-18

 

If You Got It, Flaunt It

What’s Happening:  “President Trump has asked the Pentagon to submit a plan for a military parade. Dates, hardware, and costs are being considered…maybe on the 100th anniversary of the close of the first world war this fall. Not since the end of the Gulf War in 1991 has such a parade been held in Washington…but it is not unprecedented…some are wondering if this is the time (https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/07/politics/us-military-parade-planning-underway/index.html). ‘We want to be peacemakers, not warmakers,’ said Steny Hoyer (D-MA).”

 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “If we have a parade, won’t Kim Jong-un be watching?”

 

Biblical Response:  “Hopefully…and I hope he realizes the national suicide he’s contemplating. Of course, there will be a number of reactions: all America will (read: should) applaud the bravery of our men and women who put themselves daily in harm’s way to ensure the fighting occurs ‘over there;’our enemies will watch with fear and trembling (surely Russia, China, Syria, Iran, and numerous terrorist organizations will think again); our allies should rejoice with us that the price paid to maintain freedom will not be borne by them alone;the Republicans will love it; the Democrats will hate it; etc.”

 

“Christians? Nobody wants war…the bloodshed of the Savior was meant to be the last of it…but everyone isn’t born again…there won’t be peace on earth until the Prince of Peace rules in the heart of everyone (Isaiah 2:4). Until then, there will wars, rumors of war…and parades.”

 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, teach us to pray for peace and prepare for war…that the key to peace is strength; not ours…but Yours; 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