The Arizona Killer: A Call to a Deeper Response

Filed under Culture, News on January 11th, 2011 by M. French

One need not have special revelation or any particular spiritual belief to know that what happened in Arizona was wrong in the worst way.  We instinctively and rightly recoil from the thought of it, no matter where and how our morality is founded.  Yet whether we consciously intend to or not, we not only react with revulsion, but also a question… what does this mean?  Just as we know instinctively that it is wrong, we also know that it carries meaning.  We want and need to interpret this event and what it means in our time, as well as what our response should be.

To the New York Times’ Paul Krugman and other similarly minded thinkers, the meaning is to be found in calling out right-wing political commentators for creating a climate of “hate” towards Democrats that is so dreadful that folks like Krugman “expect[ed] something like this atrocity to happen.”  Our response to these murders, we are told, should be to call “all decent people” to “shun” the “likes of [Glenn] Beck and [Bill] O’Reilly.”

FoxNews and Drudge Report, on the other hand, seem to interpret this event as an anomaly we can safely attribute to the strange delusions of one mentally disturbed individual (while also throwing in that he was a “left-wing pothead” in order to curb the attacks coming from outlets such as the NYT).  How is one supposed to react to the “Scary Freak” shown in the screenshot below taken from the Drudge Report homepage? Obviously, the intent is to disassociate this man not only from conservatives, but seemingly from all of us! The response they are advocating seems to be a very practical one, that we should improve our governmental mental health system so that people like this are identified, hospitalized, and (perhaps) medicated before they act out in this way.

While the conservative reaction described is more to the point (and certainly better factually attested and reasoned), I believe that the liberal attempt to interpret the event as part of a larger reality is right on, even if their conclusions are not.  The NYT’s Krugman was right when he said:

It’s true that the shooter in Arizona appears to have been mentally troubled. But that doesn’t mean that his act can or should be treated as an isolated event, having nothing to do with the national climate.

Yet he was wrong in his analysis of what it is in the national climate that bred events and minds like this.  The problem goes much deeper than right-wing rhetoric aimed at the left (as an aside, it should be noted that the left is often as bad as or worse than the right in their demonizing of the opposition, as discussed on yesterday’s Line of Fire episode). In fact, it goes much deeper than the New York Times, or FoxNews, or the Drudge Report are willing (or trained) to go.  Krugman is right that there is “sickness” permeating our society, but the sickness is not only in “them” (to Krugman, the right), and it is not only in “him” (to Drudge, the shooter). No, the sickness is in us, all of us!

The nation’s sickness is an evil more real and devastating than any of us realize, and when events such as what happened in Arizona occur, we must discern that rather than some anomaly perpetuated by one angry or disturbed soul so utterly different from the rest of us (some “Scary Freak”),  this evil is a public manifestation of a larger reality. We are in a sin-sick society that has cultivated a loveless, godless, and purposeless culture that provides its youth with precious little reason to live beyond the pursuit of immediate pleasure and the numbing of one’s pain.  Is it any wonder that it is in the midst of this sort of environment we find young men that for whatever reason (be it mental instability, social rejection, or beliefs/ideologies) are neither enticed by the allure of pleasure, comfort, or societal status, nor intimidated by the punishments that can be leveled upon them by society’s social and governmental structures, turning their inward rage and hostility outward?  While we ought to be shocked by this act, we ought not be shocked that a deluded young man living a meaningless, purposeless life in a meaningless, purposeless society, committed an act of meaningless, purposeless violence.

In addition to the immediate, visceral, and pragmatic response we should have to a tragedy such as this, there is a deeper reality we need to enter into in order to extract the meaning of something of this horror.  What is the meaning of this tragedy? And what should our response be? Whatever the specifics of this particular case may end up being, and to whatever extent Jared Loughner was affected or unaffected by this age in the midst of his apparent delusions, I would submit that to look into the face of the “scary freak” pictured on Drudge above, or at the pictures of Virginia Tech shooter Seng Hui-Cho or Columbine killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold below, and look away without sensing a need to desperately change the culture we’ve nurtured is to see but not understand, to hear but not perceive. These were not individuals motivated by greed, or ideology, or so many other things that make (at some level) sense to us. There’s something desperate, something pathetic in their lives and actions.

There’s a deeper response called for, and it starts with a call for all of us to repent before the living God for cultivating the culture we abide in, asking the author of life to change us from those that sit idly by as generation after generation comes through the societal “system” we’ve set up without having any sense of meaning and purpose beyond the things of this world. There is a stream of true life available to all, and we must be ones that testify to its reality in our generation. We must be the “salt-seasoning” of our society, with a “saltiness” born from deep and real encounters with the Messiah. “The heavens are the heavens of the Lord, but the earth He has given to the sons of men.” This is our divine responsibility… let’s not miss this.

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  1. [...] Jared Loughner, The Arizona Killer: A Call to a Deeper Response | Voice of Revolution – view page – cached There’s a deeper response to the Tucson, Arizona murderer Jared Loughner than either Fox News, the New York Times, or the Drudge Report are going. [...]

  2. We cannot discern His voice because we are listening to those who are speaking over Him, as if what they are saying has more weight than the Word of God.

    If you want to talk about this tragedy, I wish you would have at least brought the prophetic statements of Ms. Gifford’s to the forefront. Apparently she saw the fruit that this would eventually bear. When you sow discord you’ll no doubt reap the same in abundance.

    Where have all the moderates gone?  The reasonable people.  Where are they?  Isn’t a Democracy a balance between two extremes?

    Is it no longer true, “That a Nation divided against itself cannot stand”?

  3. Sheila,

    Just so I can understand where you’re coming from, what discord is my article sewing? And which of the “two extremes” do you see this lining up with?

    Also, just for clarity, this is not intended to be a thorough and complete analysis based on the specific beliefs, motivations, and troubles of Mr. Loughner, but rather more of a heart reaction to something I’ve seen over a number of years with regard to the reactions of the media toward the evil actions of young men such as Loughner, Hui-Cho, Harris, and Klebold.

  4. I’m not at all saying you are sowing discord.  What I meant to express is the discord that is sow from the left and the right in our political arena.  It seems only the extremists have a voice anymore.  I think we could use a strong voice of moderation from both sides, such as Ms. Gifford expressed.  The truth, in politics, usually falls somewhere in the middle.

    I didn’t mean for it to sound like I was discussing your words, just the political climate.

  5. Sheila,

    All clear!

    What were Ms. Gifford’s “prophetic statements”?

  6. She had answered in response to Ms. Palin placing the bullseyes on the map of the States.  Hers had one on it.  She spoke of the negative, and often toxic rhetoric thrown around as bringing unintended repercussions with it.  And she mentioned the slogan, “Don’t retreat, re-load” as not the climate to be fostered in the political discussions. 

  7. The reason there is so much blood shed in America is for one reason and one reason only, Abortion.

    The Bible talks about an Eye for an Eye.  You keep murdering my babies that I keep sending to Earth, there will be blood shed in your American streets.

    The Lord is sick and tired of sending babies into the Earth realm and we keep sending them back because of Abortion.  You stop the Abortions, and the devil will have no recourse but to stop these types of random shootings.  But just not this type of killing or murdering spree, but every murder that has taken place in America.  Innocent people are loosing their lives because of it, but innocent babies are loosing their lives too at the hands of their mothers.

    When we Repent, God will stop the devil, it’s as simple as that ….. period.

  8. After looking that video up, it seems they just threw that title in, apparently Ms. Gifford was only answering to the crosshair map.  So, I feel I needed to correct that statement.

  9. D. Flowers,

    You would see murder in our nation as a judgment based on abortion?

  10. I will post a contemplative Faith countermeasure to such demonic actions in the D. Popovici Kingdom of God video responses in a few days.  This is the year for God’s people already persuaded as such to begin this spiritual warfare leading to national renewal starting the following year.

  11. Hello Marcus:

    Yes sir, it is very true.  God is tired of sending these babies to Earth and their being sent right back to Him. Leviticus 24:20 says:  Fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth.  As he has injured the other, so he is to be injured.

    The devil has sold our Society a Bill of Goods.  It took one demon to take Prayer out of our Schools, and it took one demon that told our Society that the seed that’s planted in a woman’s womb is not human, it’s just a seed.  Yes, it is just a Seed, but a human seed.  The Lord actually weeps over every baby that is murdered/killed in the womb.

    Marcus, everything reproduces after its own kind.  When the animal kingdom have their babies, oh, it really doesn’t matter what animal it is, they get the babies that look just like them ….. right.

    How much more the Human Race.  In the book of Genesis Chapter 1:26 the Bible reads:

    “God said, Let Us [Father, Son and Holy Spirit] make mankind in Our image, after Our likeness, and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the [tame] beasts, and over all of the earth, and over everything that creeps upon the earth.  We don’t come from NO Monkeys okay.

    Every time a baby is aborted, we on the earth have just missed another opportunity to get from that fallen child a breakthrough of any kind, it really doesn’t matter.  Every human being has a Purpose for being here on this planet, it was God’s design for us to be here.  If our mother’s would have aborted us, you and I wouldn’t being having this conversation right now, would we.

    Isaiah 29:20  The ruthless will vanish, the mockers will disappear, and all who have an evil eye for evil will be cut down.  And this verse of scripture is being fulfilled right now as we speak.

    Marcus, in God’s sight, abortion is evil.  Why do you think so many innocent people die almost everyday in our Society, in our Country, will because somewhere in these United States, there are innocent babies being killed by abortion everyday.

    God Bless U !!!

  12.  Marcus French,

    On the 12th and 13th Sheila answered your question.  It seems strange that my and now her experience here is largely nonconversational.  In other words, acknowledging her answer would be appropriate to being an editor of an on-line magazine, or a seeker of truth,  an editorial writer, or whatever it is your follow-up role is to be here (it is unclear).  I agree with her observation, but am not a part of the conversation. 

    I feel perplexed and in doubt of commitment to leadership and truth with grace here, for, in the past I have responded to the emphatic articles appearing here and received no response or ongoing dialogue whatsoever.  Just the silence of agreement???  It seems that you apparently want to post articles really without respondents, or, perhaps with respondents who only assert the original material’s perspective???  So, why don’t you remove the respondent comment section altogether and simply put it after Michael Brown’s articles, as he usually is faithful in his commitments and responses???  Generally writers here seem trained to proclaim rather than affirm.

  13. My Brother, Jabez,
    I’m ok with no response. I probably should have better qualified the direction of my comment in my first post. I don’t see where moderators generally comment unless they are confused about the content and assertions of the posts. Dr. Brown usually doesn’t jump in unless something blatently offensive is spoken.
    In considering the higher truths in light of a tragedy that is too often viewed as 20/20 in hindsight, we are always only reacting rather than endeavoring to seek out and displant the root of the problem. I don’t believe we will ever completely root out the tares. They will be with us until the Lord roots them out. We can continue to be salt and light when leaving our own footprints in our walk with the Lord. However, we shouldn’t throw fertilizer on the weeds either. The political arena and the media has fostered the perfect environment for young men like this one to thrive and multiply.
    I see this young man as a product of our failure to adequately address the mental health issues that many people suffer from. Those with mental illness, such as this individual suffered, have been swept under the rug until something heinous rears it’s head. Mental health social programs suffer first from government budget cuts. The first question man asked God was, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” When Christians no longer answer in the affirmative, we are in serious trouble. Now adays, just label something “Socialism” and it’s dead in the water! But, these same people will say, “Don’t you dare touch my Social”ism” Security Benefits!” So, now that the Health Bill is on the table in Congress to be axed by the Republicans, perhaps they will rethink their throwing the baby out with the dishwater. Do we really “not” want reform of our health care system? I think Christians need to make desisions based on “Kingdom Standards” as opposed to being swayed by sound bite political slogans and inflamatory campaign adds. I think we’ve gotten entirely too lazy and I hear Christians repeat the same words that are scribbled on a chalk board and are just as biased as the rhetoric coming from the extreme left. It’s a sad day when rhetoric is not checked against the Word of God. It’s more than a book that sits on a shelf–it’s a blueprint for discerning the truth.

    So, yes, I agree, let’s step up and educate ourselves in comparing our own personal biases with the Word.  Maybe then we can effect real change in this heated environment of squaring off into two unrelated camps of political posturing.

    Kingdom Standards, Kingdom Standards…

  14. Sorry, the paragraph divisions did not carry over.

    Speak higher brother.

  15. “perhaps they will rethink their throwing the baby out with the dishwater”…of course, I meant “bathwater”!

  16. Jabez,

    I would submit that Marcus’s previous response to Sheila’s comment about his motivations in writing the piece, as well as the article itself, shows his intent that to address a situation that is not simply an issue of the current political environment, or limited to the specifics of this particular event, and that continuing the discussion in that vein is irrelevant to the purpose with which he wrote the article.

    “Also, just for clarity, this is not intended to be a thorough and complete analysis based on the specific beliefs, motivations, and troubles of Mr. Loughner, but rather more of a heart reaction to something I’ve seen over a number of years with regard to the reactions of the media toward the evil actions of young men such as Loughner, Hui-Cho, Harris, and Klebold.”

    In my perspective, the media reactions as well of the reactions of the American people at large to horrific events such as these are looking to disassociate themselves from them by placing all the meaning for these events on certain issues, such as mental illness,  political environment, “extreme” ideologies,  rejection by their peers, etc.  While those issues may certainly be real, I believe what Marcus’s article is trying to get across is that to simplify it to this level is to ignore the deeper heart attitudes that permeate the culture, and have some responsibility for the DEVELOPMENT of these issues! I believe that to some extent the desperation in these young men (though the ways in which it manifests itself may take specific forms that the majority of Americans blame) is a desperation that is often generated by encountering on some level a reality that the majority of humanity does not; that without meaning and purpose beyond what they see offered to them in the cultural milieu, what DO they have to live for?  And once they have encountered and recognized this inherent lack of meaning and purpose, without receiving something that IS real and goes beyond the answers society generally offers them, they try to make their own lives MEAN something.  The things that in these specific situations that have defined their own meaning are, of course, inadequate and absolutely wrong!  But does that absolve us as a society, and especially as believers in Messiah,  of confronting the deep issues that ARE real, and acknowledging our need to not only encounter the depths of God ourselves, but seek to bring those encounters to those who have encountered these realities in despair, because they see no hope, no alternative?  If the church at large DID confront the reality of the question, “what AM I living for by my actions, not just my professions of faith,” what would we find?  Would it be much different that that of the larger culture?  Would we have a substantive hope, meaning, and purpose, that would not simply be an ethereal “I’m going to live a nice life and go to heaven,” but gives a deep, real purpose that brings transformation to their own lives and that of those they encounter in society around them, with the living hope of resurrection that is more than the cliche phrase “going to heaven”?  To the extent that we are NOT in the place where we have this reality manifested in our lives, where we have NOT seen the purposelessness, meaninglessness, of what is being exalted in the midst of our culture, how can we then point fingers at these young men who have, and have not been shown anything real?  We must repent and be changed ourselves, so that we have hope we can bring to people!  We can’t stop at the politics, the mental illness, the social issues, those are manifestations of the larger reality that has to do with US!

  17. I think Christians have so placed themselves above what we define as sinners that we look down on those persons who are already feeling unworthy of anyone’s attention. We hide our greatest gifts from them rather than freely offering them. We self righteously proclaim the message behind closed doors while lamenting the degradation of all the ills we see surfacing in hopelessness and despair. “If you’re not gathering with me, you are scattering abroad.” The Lord would have gone after those same people to bring them in. We are called to be “fishers of men” not to be constantly tooting our own horns. So, how do we respond? Let’s have this conversation because I’ve seen it in the works for a decade now, but, it doesn’t seem to ever get any real wind in it’s sails. Preachers have become television personalities and the word of grace and salvation is being preached to only the choir! We can’t disassociate ourselves from a society that we are inherently a part of.

    How do we flavor a toxic environment without first purging our own biases? Are we, in fact, living and walking and speaking Kingdom truths? As I said, we listen more to politicians who are “speaking over” the voice of the Lord. We have to hear from the vantage point of our hearts melded with His. What standard are we using when we “hear”? “Take heed to what you hear and how you hear it.” We know we are sheep in the midst of wolves, but, we are to be wise as serpents and as cunning as a fox. Are we only wise in our own conceits? Are we only cunning when it comes to avoiding the wolves? We are in a battle for the souls of men. We are told explicitly what armour we need, but, we dare not put it on and actually enter the foray.
    Please raise your voice louder and bring out the truths you would have us foster. Cry out in that “voice of revolution” we need to hear.  This is not the time to speak smooth words, but, to galvanize the consciences of the sleepers!

  18. B.F.,
    Your opinions seem founded of a partial point of view indeed about faith only mentioned of  the article, not really taking on the issue of the question made, as responded.   Such loners dark abnormal isolated psychology remains the case of souls who indeed move to Nihilism by ideations of absolute thoughts, hellish temptations, and false empowerments acted on to assert that  authority itself can be done away with.   I don’t quite follow how this leaps to questioning all Churchgoers lifestyles and how those of religious faith may be living.  I did follow the mention of sin being the core problem. I also did understand what Sheila had brought up on the matter of superiority polarization in the sphere of public communication feeding this problem.  It was a toxic element indeed worthy of a response.   Her later allusion to a “toxic environment” seemed well targeted as to what exists in public disrespect of being, or sin if you will, whereas the association with religion, per se, seemed off target.  If such murder is a symptom of a culture in denial of condition and need it is one thing, if it is the work of Satan to isolated, and deceive about what is an authoritative empowerment by negation it is another altogether.  It is the work of the liar and deceiver of souls to entertain ongoing political polarization rhetoric, as to a way and means of posturing, rather than taking stands on actual underlying issues.

    The other issue I raised about VOR and practicing a listening/response communication model with professional detachment–as to creating an empathetic dialogue with commenters– also came into focus due to experience with the total disengagement of follow through in many instances of forum commentary on VOR to date; this once again is not really addressed by your response as to revisiting what was being framed by the article as to religion and lifestyle being seen primarily as negative (without presenting real scientifically derived evidence for this, rather with an all-inclusive assumption).  Simply writing opinion by emphatic styles of address seems to lack a wider data base for remarks, and a compassionate component to the means of healthy communication PROCESS facilitation seldom exemplified here by article contributors, and that remains of the concern raised. 

    In one real sense, as to being born from above, and coming to “SEE the Kingdom of heaven”, the involvement of hearts in motion toward that vision connecting with others so disposed or hoped to be so disposed seems replaced by other more distancing approaches of analytical allegation in many of the VOR  approaches to subjects rather than to hearts still waiting to gear up for connection after reading and responding.  This is my point.  Authenticity of faith and living will respond authentically to the challenges of a respect for life in commentary here, not simply by argumentation and thematic insight or belief alone (no matter how well supporting the points of view developed). 

    Another way of putting it is where is the wholeness speak spoken for the broken world mentioned, or sin condition cited, or those whose response to society and culture–religious or not–may come to act for Nilhism?  Where are the reports of the faithful living in peace with God, the virtues and values, and as to those getting it right by connection with life and the Word on VOR???

    All the sociopaths cited, as to moving one notch beyond dysfunctional toward constructing their constucts of death, waited in isolation while they formed step by step plans for mass murder.  What was considered to get there seems to be the counterfeit empowerment’s outcome believed which led to these souls to their own associated inner turmoil permitting outward chaos.  How about VOR sharing what is real empowerment from a truth and grace heavenly reality come to earth? 

    I have read too often here that the notion of seeing the Kingdom has something to do with working miracles, signs and wonders, being a powerful minister, and the individual application of such.  I have not discovered here often the open invitation to affirmation of an assoicated identity formed in Christ, promoting insight into the prayer closet environment which Jesus said effective believers will cultivate, and for a communicative counterculture of confirmation. 

    As Dallas Willard says, the challenge is not to ID the chaos, but to return Jesus Christ to the central place of regard to actually disciple us.  This would be the countermeasure work of the ministry.  Any crisis of religious identity, or purpose (remarked or not)–as related to Christ (you know, the countermeasure Model to self absorbed culture)–can be stated terms of the Apostles’ own affirmations of the Message.  How is faith then to be so as Jesus defined it to be? 

    Writing on a “call to deeper response” as to being bearers of the light, love, and grace offered of Christ regarding sin must involve His compassion exended to any and all.

    We were not equipped by the Spirit to hold the position of judge of all that is in the marketplace of ideas, or to disregard attitudes which feed polarization by confusing these with stands for Godly values, or in the same effort standing these up as standing next to the sin question.  Our yoke is light and easy, and so is the burden to be involved.

  19. Jabez,

    You’ve said a lot there, and although I lack the time to respond thoroughly, I will address a few of the key points… My point is not that all churchgoers or “religious” people, if you will, are part of the problem, the problem is the culture, much of which permeates the larger American church as well, and we would be naive to think that it has not.  (See articles reviewing “Almost Christian” on VOR, which is a book analyzing the study on the cultural morphing of mainstream Christianity.  Though I think the solutions provided by the book’s author are not complete, her presentation of the problems are quite real.)  Therefore, to truly be salt and light in the culture (including the political climate) the key is to stand before God and be transformed on the inside so that we can carry a real hope and solution to people in despair, not to participate in the same reactionary measures the world uses.  A toxic political environment is simply a product of the deeper issues, and although I acknowledge the problem, I believe the solution is beyond politics to solve. 

    The psychosis of the specific young men mentioned in the article would be a very long discussion I have no time to get into… I definitely acknowledge the problem of isolation and the darkness of the things that brought them to act out in such a way, but these did not develop in a vacuum, either.  When you get into psychological issues, there is no end of the rabbit trails you can go down (I know, I majored in psychology!), so to keep to the focus on the article, I am not going to go down any of them. 

    “Where are the reports of the faithful living in peace with God, the virtues and values, and as to those getting it right by connection with life and the Word on VOR???… I have read too often here that the notion of seeing the Kingdom has something to do with working miracles, signs and wonders, being a powerful minister, and the individual application of such.  I have not discovered here often the open invitation to affirmation of an assoicated identity formed in Christ, promoting insight into the prayer closet environment which Jesus said effective believers will cultivate, and for a communicative counterculture of confirmation.”

    Have you read all of Bryan Purtle’s amazing articles? 

    As far as your feelings on how you think authors should be responding on VOR, that is a personal preference on your part, not an obligation of theirs, in my opinion.  These discussions could certainly go on and on, after departing from the main points addressed by the authors’ articles, and where there is a misunderstanding or issue with specifics regarding the point of the article, my observation is that they do usually address those things.  Their styles are their own!  If they didn’t all have full time or more than full time jobs and commitments, not even including community involvements and families, etc, then perhaps there would be more time available for more online interaction. 

    As far as speaking into the marketplace of ideas is concerned, what if there was no William Wilberforce?  Martin Luther King Jr? Or so many other men of God who have stood up and declared something in society to be wrong, harmful, evil, and contrary to God’s word and heart? 

    As I’m about to have a baby, this will be my last comment for a long time, most likely, fyi…

  20. Bethany,

    I will respond from the ending backward of your comment to my own.  Wonderful to read of your pending birth, good heath, and joy indeed!  It was good too to read your thoughtful engagement to my comments.  I respond as to the matters of concern I first raised, and as to permitting Jesus to be our teacher in priority of pursuits, outlook, and commitments–as are charged to those being His Kingdom’s witnesses in the Nations.

    My reference to the marketplace of ideas was in regard to not giving it precedence over the charge of carrying the Gospel to the Nations: the Gospel being the countermeasure to the notions, vanity, and pursuits of the world, and, yes, as will be effective in the arena of justice, if carried into this world like Wilberforce and MLK Jr. (or Sr).  But we must not hold even for a moment that these saints were about ideations, intellectual academic argumentation, or editorializing–their legacy now is the realized Kingdom of God.  They revealed that the Gospel in all its fullness is empowered to carry the “weighter matters of the law” into a present spiritual economy of Kingdoms in conflict, and, over time, with prayer, alliances, and effort may reap fresh righteousness, peace, and grace (as of your examples given).  There will also be a toll on the bearer of such changes, by such being directly oppositional of this world’s values.  Such a toll will engage a personal altar of living sacrifice, not simply a discussion of ideas; so, it is imperative for those adopted of Christ, as moving in Christ, to be of Christ when carrying such personal cross Kingdom change to this world. 

    My earlier mention of a notion about the maketplace ideas was about not being judges about all (that is in the arena) of the marketplace of ideas, as to making toxic political polarization statements, not about the godly pursuits of sacrifically engaging change in this world for Kingdom wrought justice.  I do not see this mention of concern then about Kingdom priorities as conflictual with being such examples as you made of two ambassadors of Christ. 

    Jesus spoke of his generation as being “like children calling out to one another in the Marketplace”, giving all kinds of advice and examples of how to be, yet lacking the guidance and substance of the King’s guidance and heart in doing so.  It was my point that it is not our charge in going to the marketplace that we become like these children.  Our charge is the model of Acts 17:17 and Paul at Mars Hill;  our charge then is not to talk of “something deeper” without its fuller disclosure, and engaging commitments to render such changes as the two you mentioned by self sacrifice–not as such being necessarily achieved by editorializing without such accompanying action.  And, I may be wrong, but I feel this was Sheila’s point as well.  If we taste of our own hearts and they have any roots of bitterness, they will not gather for the Kingdom. 

    These saints you mention did not simply declare something, they endeavored for alternative change to earth as in heaven.  In my opinion then (as to your third paragraph from the end of your comment), being apologists alone, regarding this or that issue or matter, without employing a commitment to follow through with a listening and responding warm heart engagement to others is counterproductive.  This seems especially so after posting such articles as simply old school engagements.  Publish or perish, get the publication posted, and then go on to the next such opportunity being old school.  There is little sweating of placement and blood in the process.  Whereas responding to the woman who touches the tassel of the prayer shawl of One proclaiming religious truth (with grace) among a given culture reveals indeed a directly related authenticity of carrying out ministry.  My concern then still holds.  If one will be a writer or editor, then a relational Kingdom within and among us responsibility goes with the territory.  I accept your response as being so of one flesh, but questioning remains.

    “An obligation of theirs” as you so qualify it then is not arbitrary and capricious by the model of our Lord, not by opinioning as more of the same.  The “main points”, if detached from the heart engagement of our Christ, lacks the accompanying Way of our Christ.  When He declared perspective it was completed by caring enough to touch and respond to those engaging His own itinerary.  The woman at the well, the family at Bethany (your name’s sake?), the Centurion’s faith comprehended as genuine–all–sparked requests of regard for addressing identity matters, raising a beloved one, the healing of a distant child, on and on.  Bearing the Kingdom as its spokesperson is not simply a matter of opinion and discussion, these carry a responsibility of caring engagement, as appears so in outlook after the first part of Romans 12 (as to calling), and that was my point.  Don’t publish at all if “jobs and commitments” do not cover relationships created because of publication.  Stop publishing, stop opinioning, and stop the problem of the disengaged heart, or overextended heart and life of its own sphere of responsibility accordingly.  This may be the cultural difficulty you have hinted at in your response, apparently with similar marketplace assumptions as to the manner of this world as such hit and miss approaches maintain being more of the same???  Readers do not engage “styles”, if seeking truth and grace, they engage the living, if permitted.

    I have alike read and responded to Bryan Purtle.   If you trace considered responses to him you will find similar challenges as were just made.  I recall one such challenge involving communication he past made in posting on VOR which implied that the Gospel, which Paul and Mark clarified as such being about Jesus, was not fully proclaimed without employing personally commanding Pentecostal assertions.  This was questioned, by the challenge of requesting a further clarification of what Bryan was then calling the Gospel, which went unanswered.  Paul’s Gospel, revealed directly by our Lord, did not mention such an agenda. In the manner of bearing the Message, Paul mentioned how it was carried (II Cor. 4:5). Peter mentioned its only additions being about making one’s election more certain (2 Peter 1).  You might also read my responses to Bryan’s postings when you have more time if the coming child sleeps while you are sleepless (if so).  His latest posting is engaged for the Kingdom reality it suggests and interprets by what seems to be his manner of pursuing a regard for conviction in most cases of posted VOR communication.  Bryan seems to be honing in more on the requirements of faith on souls these days than in some earlier postings sensibilities.  “Amazing”, perhaps.  What are the words of Jesus on what he grants his listening disciples???

    We then must be solution focused to be agents of change.  This realization is unique to the signs of the times.



  21. Jay,

    There is a conversation that’s started up on Dr. Brown’s site.  It aired Monday, the 24th.  It’s titled, “When our moral outrage exposes our moral stupor.”  I thought you would be very interested in joining the conversation there!

    I see where you are very busy lately, but, we could use your voice.

  22. Shel,

    With the exception of looking in on the Premillennial vs Amillennial comparisons and contrasts I am currently taking extra prayer closet time in this fortnight.  Please read my responses to the David Popovici declarations and get back to me about discernment (

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