The Dark Knight Rises indeed

By now most everyone has probably heard the news of another shooting spree in Colorado.  (What is it with that state and its senseless shootings??)   Last night, during an early morning screening of the new Batman movie, “A Dark Knight Rises”, a 24-year-old man walked into a packed theatre, released a tear-gas laden smoke bomb and opened fire on the crowd.  From all reports, he was heavily armed.  By contrast, his victims were not.   As of now, 12 are dead with over 70 injured.  Some are still in critical condition, clinging to life.  Those that manage to survive will never be the same.

It’s difficult to watch the news coverage of such a tragedy.   Most of us watch it from our sterile environments and remain a safe emotional distance from the pain.  But last night, someone lost their son or daughter.  Someone’s Mom or Dad was killed.  They didn’t die in Iraq or Afghanistan.  They died in Suburbia.  They didn’t die protecting our freedom.  They died enjoying one.  Dozens and dozens of families are forever changed because of a 45 second act of selfishness.

It seems like once a month, someone, somewhere is opening fire on innocents.  Because this shooting was located in Colorado, it rips the scab off the Columbine wound we are still recovering from.  Obviously, everyone with a soul is heartbroken about the loss of life.  Everyone is outraged at the shooter and looking for swift justice to occur.  And as the media pundits over analyze every aspect of this tragedy, the blame game is about to begin.

  • The anti-gun people will blame the gun for this shooting.
  • Someone will blame the store that sold the killer the weapons.  (By the way, he was a legal gun owner)
  • The pro-gun people will use this to promote our Second amendment rights and that everyone should carry a weapon.
  • Anti-gamers will talk about how video game violence is the root cause of this evil.
  • Someone will blame his parents for raising a killer.
  • I’m sure it will come out that the killer was bullied in 3rd grade and a new law will come out banning 3rd grade bullying.
  • Someone will use this tragedy to say how we need to install metal detectors in movie theatres.
  • Others will say we will need to implement security checks (similar to what occurs at our airports) before entering such public places.
  • Others will say that it is Hollywood’s fault because our movies are too violent.
  • Some will say we need more police protection in public places.

There is no shortage of people we can blame.

While some (or all) of those points may be valid, it still ignores the deeper issue of why the Dark Knight rises as often as he does.

The problem is not guns or the lack of them.  The problem is not the lack of police or the lack of metal detectors in public places.  The real problem cannot be pinned on Hollywood or Xbox or our government school system.  The real problem is a lot closer to home.  The real problem is not what lies without – but rather what lies within.

The story is told of a newspaper who posed a question to its readers.  The question was simply, “What is wrong with this world?”  One reader, a well-known English writer, submitted his succinct, honest answer:

“Dear Sirs:

I am.

Sincerely Yours, G. K. Chesterton”

It is easy to blame “the system” for such failures.   It is easier to put the focus on someone or something else for our national problems.  It’s easier to create a new law than it is to address a human heart.   And that is why the problem will never be fixed.  That is why these shootings will continue to occur.  That is why our media experts and articulate politicians will continue to suggest ineffective solutions.  A new law cannot change the heart.  It merely shows us how wrong the heart really is.  A metal detector cannot detect evil intentions.  A strip search cannot find malice in your pocket.

Almost 2,700 years ago, the Prophet Jeremiah penned the following words about the human heart.  Apparently, in almost three millenia, our condition has not changed.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

Though we are the most modern, sophisticated, technologically advanced country in the history of the world, our problem still lies in our chest. We cannot create an app to fix it.

We like to villanize those that fall and create a safe moral distance between them and us.  But is there really a great chasm between us?  How many married men read about the latest celebrities indiscretions with disgust while they flirt with the office secretary?  How many divorced women took their ex-husband to the cleaner in the divorce because of his pornography addiction but justifies her recent viewing of “Magic Mike”?   We would press charges against the thief who robbed our home but do not see a connection between the time we steal at the office.   It’s easy to throw the book at people like Jerry Sandusky or Bernie Madoff.  The truth is, the only difference between “them” and you and me are a few bars and a lot of grace.  As G.K. Chesterton once wrote, “There is but an inch of difference between the cushioned chamber and the padded cell.”

King David was a mass murderer and adulterer.  His sins are infamous and horrific.  No one knew his depravity more than he did.  And from that knowledge he penned the following Psalm,

“Be gracious to me, O God, according to your lovingkindness; according to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.  Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.  Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.  Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” (51:1-2, 7, 10)

The truth is, the Dark Knight lives within us all.  We all have the capacity for great evil, and absent the grace of God we are all capable of the unimaginable.

We should certainly pray for the victims of this latest tragedy and do whatever we can (financially, emotionally) to help their families rebuild.

We should also pray for the 24-year-old man.  He’s obviously very troubled and will very likely wake up one day in prison gripped with the reality of what he alone has done.

Pray for your own heart as well and spend some time today thinking about the hypocritical rooms in it.  Chances are, the Dark Knight is alive and well in there.  He just hasn’t risen yet.  And by the grace of God, he won’t.

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About Rod Arters

As a former youth worker, business owner, school teacher, coach and inmate, Rod has the unique ability to relate to almost anyone in whatever situation they are in. His thought-provoking blog about life, mistakes, faith, hope & grace has been read in over 175 countries. A popular writer & speaker, Rod draws from his deep well of biblical knowledge and personal pain to encourage others along the broken journey to wholeness. He hosts an invitation-only private Facebook group for men (called the Man Cave) and enjoys helping others find Hope in the midst of their painful situations. He currently resides in Columbia, SC.
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213 Responses to The Dark Knight Rises indeed

  1. Man you really hit the nail on the head. We all have a sin problem and are in need of God’s grace, both to avoid transgression and to recover from it. Thank you for this post. Prayers definitely go out to everyone involved.

  2. Jocelyn Winston says:

    I pray that this article makes a difference all around. The older I get, the more and more dangerous its getting in the world. The simple pleasures are almost extinct and its getting more and more challenging to even enjoy the simple things in life. People are being shot even in Church. If the people don’t take hold of the REAL TRUTH of the signs given by GOD then the DARK LIES will try to continue on with these costly and hurtful situations. I hope the right persons read this and it changes them….Thank You…

  3. Alexsandra says:

    i visit your website everyday and i read all of your articles.http://www.casaemail.com.br

  4. Cyn says:

    I won’t pray for him…

    • Rod Arters says:

      That is your perogative, Cyn. I just know that hurt people tend to hurt people. The reason that man did that was because he was hurting from something. I’m not saying it’s right, it’s just true. It’s why you hurt people in your life and why I hurt people in my life. Hurt people need prayer. And a lot of love and grace. That doesn’t mean he should not receive the just punishment for his decisions but those in his life who are in a position to – need to still love on him. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  5. David says:

    Very good thoughts. I’ll be interested to see which of those people on your list gets the most blame. It’s mind boggling that this can happen in a crowd of people just trying to enjoy themselves. We truly need grace and mercy.

    • Rod Arters says:

      Thank you David for reading and commenting. Yea, I’m always interested to see which of those groups is the loudest after such a tragedy. I do agree – we need both grace (getting what we don’t deserve) and mercy (not getting what we do deserve).

  6. OpenHeart,OpenMind says:

    You talk about all of the different people that will exploit this to a different degree. So then are you. This has nothing to do with God.
    You said, “We all have the capacity for great evil, and absent the grace of God we are all capable of the unimaginable.” I’m an Atheist. I don’t shoot up movie theaters or playgrounds. It isn’t always about how you were raised. Or how you believe.

    • Rod Arters says:

      Dear Open Heart, Open Mind,
      Interesting name in light of your agressive comments to me. 🙂 This blog is not exploiting anything. I merely made commentary on the horrific events of the day and tried to shed some light (perhaps a different light) on a deeper issue that I was certain CNN or Fox News would not mention – the darkness that lives in all of us. I am glad you don’t “shoot up movie theatres or playgrounds.” I have not done that either nor do I ever intend to. Having said that, I fully recognize though that I, if left to my own depravity, am capable of such a crime.

  7. Bethany says:

    Very well written, and thought-provoking. Thank you for your insight into this tragedy.

  8. Tiffany says:

    What a great article!!

  9. James says:

    You put it beautifully! But allow me to say just this:
    Why tag a poster of the movie to this? The incident has hardly anything to do with the movie, but rather the theater setting. I’m sure the victims (obviously adamant fans) wouldn’t like this connection being made.
    And the analogy that hopefully the dark knight in all of us never rises is not very appropriate.
    The movie’s idea of the dark knight rises is that a man who was ‘blameless’ took the fall for the sins of another man to give people hope, then rose up again to save the whole city.
    Sounds more like our Lord Jesus than the sinful nature in us. I recommend you see the movie before you try to incorporate the title in this.

    I appreciate your words that cut to the soul of the issue so well, but these two things I hope you would change… for the sake of both the victims & the thousands who worked so painstakingly hard to make what I believe is a beautiful analogy of Christ.

    • Rod Arters says:

      James, thank you for reading and commenting on my blog. I have not had the luxory of watching the movie prior to writing the blog. I plan on seeing the movie soon and afterward, may indeed change the title. I appreciate your challenge. In the meantime, do not lose the overall point of the blog simply because I chose a poor illustration. The message is simple – we are ALL in need of grace, especially writers like me who use “inappropriate” examples. 🙂

      • simplymerry says:

        I had the same issues with your article. But just because you haven’t seen the movie doesn’t justify a bad (and wrong) analogy. Not just an analogy buried within an article (for example, Magic Mike which you also haven’t seen), but giving the theme of the article. You’re a writer, you should know better. :/

      • Rod Arters says:

        It was not my intention to keep my blog consistent with the movie. I’m sorry if you felt that was my original goal. The picture and blog title was consistent with the theme of my blog. Thanks for stopping by!

  10. David Lindgaard says:

    This is the best thing I have read in a long time. It is true, and, I don’t even have the words to express how I felt reading that. It is perfectly written and speaks so many truths, no one can argue with it. Thank you very much.

    • Rod Arters says:

      David, Thank you for reading and responding to my blog. I’m glad it resonated with you. You’d be surprised how many people can “argue” with it. I’m glad you are not one of them. Come back again. I may need “back up”. lol

  11. Melinks says:

    Wow – first time reading your blog. A friend shared it on FB. Very glad she did. You are spot on. A very powerful article, and as a 2nd amendment supporter, I am very guilty of thinking “if only a trained concealed carrier was there – it might have saved a few lives.” (Notice I said MIGHT…). Anyway, it is hard to get past blaming others and situations, so I am really glad for the heart check you just gave me.

    On another note, I especially appreciated your comment about “How many divorced women took their ex-husband to the cleaner in the divorce because of his pornography addiction but justifies her recent viewing of “Magic Mike”?” I have several married “Christian” friends who were all nuts about going to see that movie, and I struggled heavily with the attitude because I know how I would feel if my husband had that attitude about seeing a female stripper…

    • Rod Arters says:

      Thank you for reading my blog. I’m glad your friend shared it with you. Who is your friend?

      I have thought alot about whether a legally gun carrying person could have stopped such a crime (or others like it). Though it is certainly possible, they would also run the risk of hitting civilians and actually creating a bigger problem. In a setting like that, even if I was there and armed, I don’t think I could have – in good conscience – fired one shot, simply for the fear of hitting an innocent.

      I have not seen “Magic Mike” yet (probably won’t) but I have heard that it is basically porn and that women (who would NEVER allow their husbands to watch porn) are attending in droves, even Christian women. It’s disturbing and just a reminder that we are ALL in need of grace.

      • Jimmie says:

        It does make you wonder what if…. but truthfully the theater actually has a “gun free zone” policy. Which means if you carry a concealed weapon in violation of this policy is grounds for revocation of the offender’s concealed carry permit and is subject to penalties. So most carriers would not bring a weapon with them. However, I do have to admit that Colorado doesn’t have this law.

      • Rod Arters says:

        Thanks for stopping by Jimmie and for your comments!

  12. Bruna says:

    this blog is great. keep it up, hugs.http://www.acertemail.com

  13. AndreaH says:

    Thank you for putting to words what my heart has been struggling with! I plan to share this, and hope many others do as well!

  14. Katie says:

    Thanks for your insight.

  15. Justin Cummings says:

    I loved your quote by G. K. Chesterston. It made me think of another preacher who once said we all have the capability of becoming Hitler. That is how wicked our hearts really are whether or not it manifests itself outwardly or not. This makes me ever so grateful for the Lord’s grace and the new heart that overcomes our deceitfully wicked sin nature.

    • Rod Arters says:

      Thank you for reading and commenting Justin! I totally agree. One of my favorite artist is Michael Card and in one of his songs he has the following lyrics:

      “Now Judas don’t you come to close for fear that I might see.
      The traitor’s look upon your face might look too much like me.
      For just like you, I’ve sold the Lord, and often for much less.
      And like a wretched traitor, I’ve betrayed Him with a kiss.”

      Powerful!

      • Justin Cummings says:

        Rod, Thanks for sharing those lyrics! It is easy at times to feel superior to those people in the Bible who fell in sin or betrayed Christ like Judas and yet fail to see my own betrayal of the Lord in my mind, thoughts, and daily actions.

  16. Pebbz says:

    Have you seen any movies in the Dark Knight trilogy?
    I appreciate your point. But your use of “Dark Knight” in reference to the flesh is… I can’t think of a perfect way to phrase this but “off-color” comes to mind. “Dark Knight Rises” as used in the movie by that name stands for confronting and overcoming fear. Your morphing of the phrase to mean “fleshly impulses wreaking havoc” is rather distasteful in my opinion.

  17. . says:

    Enjoyed is the wrong word to say about this article as nothing concerning these events can be enjoyed, but I did agree with everything that was stated here. Thank you for so completely stating what I couldn’t put into words. I have been trying to decide how I felt about peoples’ reactions, and I feel as though I read how I felt in this blog so thank you and God bless you

    • Rod Arters says:

      Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m glad I was able to articulate on “paper” what was in your heart. There is no enjoyment in any reading or writing about any part of that day or crime. I appreciate your sensitivity to that.

  18. Allexia says:

    your website is like an encyclopaedia for me, thanks.http://www.acertemail.com

  19. James says:

    Well said. One request for clarification: I understand murderer but “King David was a serial killer?” would appreciate your thoughts.

    • Rod Arters says:

      Thank you James. Read I Samuel 27 and II Samuel 24. Both accounts record how David is responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of people, both directly and indirectly. The true definition of a serial killer is someone who kills three or more people in a 30 day window. By that definition, David is more accurately a serial killer than simply a murderer. He is famously known for one murder (Bathsheeba’s husband). Unfortunately, he’s responsible for many more. The ultimate point is, we are all capable of such depravity, without God’s grace.

  20. Rod Russell says:

    WELL SAID.
    rod

  21. James says:

    One of the most truthful and powerful messages I have read in quite a long time. Hats off to you, sir, for posting such a thought-provoking, honest piece.

  22. sonworshiper says:

    Great article. We’ve seen plenty of blame tossed about already. My only gripe is the use of the Dark Knight as a metaphor for sin in our hearts. It doesn’t work with the point of Batman or his actions in the movie. He acts because few others can or will; he protects and gives hope to the weak while fighting injustice. A minor gripe, really, but since I so appreciate both your message and your style in conveying it, I’d hate for an obvious imperfect metaphor to distract the reader.

    • Rod Arters says:

      Thank you for reading and commenting. Your “minor gripe” point is well taken and fair. Unfortunately, I had not (and still have not) seen the movie prior to writing the article. I was merely making the point of the dark side within all of us and not trying to necessarily remain consistent with the movie’s intention of the title or even it’s theme. It is not surprising that I chose an imperfect metaphor considering the messenger. 🙂 Glad you were not too distracted by it. Please come back again!

      • sonworshiper says:

        Quibbling about a fictional character isn’t going to keep me away from thoughtful commentary on real life. I look forward to seeing more.

  23. The verse quoted from Jeremiah 17 is very true and I guess why I love Proverbs 4:23 so much – “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” When I hear of events as this it just further convinces me that this world is not my home and that a better place (heaven) has been prepared. Thank you for your insight and biblical truths. May God bless you and those personally impacted by this tragedy.

  24. Jenny says:

    Thank you for praying for the young man… first person I’ve seen publicly acknowledge that prayer. Praying God’s peace and grace for ALL who were in the theater including him.

  25. Micah Doulos says:

    Excellent read! I was hoping someone would write with an article detailing these points, and you did so better than I had imagined. Praise the Lord!

  26. Robert Daniels says:

    While I agree we all have a sin problem, King David was not a serial killer. Murderer? Yes. Serial Killer? You either don’t know what a serial killer is or don’t care about slandering King David. Sensational descriptions trivialize your important points.

    • Rod Arters says:

      Mr Daniels,
      With all due respect, a serial killer is defined as someone who kills 3 or more people within a span of 30 days. I Samuel 27 & II Samuel 24 records how David was directly and indirectly responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent people – all within that 30 day window. I’d say even by your standard of serial killer (whatever it is), he’d be considered one. I am not slandering nor trying to sensationalize. Perhaps it is you who does not know the true definition of a serial killer? Or you have not read your Bible. Or maybe you are merely proving the “important point” of my blog… just when we think we are in a position to judge someone else, we fall by the same standard we apply to them.

      • Robert Daniels says:

        The 1 Samuel 27 narrative has David doing exactly what God had called his (David’s) predecessor to do: kill everyone and everything (see 1 Samuel 15). The 2 Samuel 24 example you cite shows God killing 70,000, not David. I am amazed by your conclusion. I have read my Bible. I just read it differently than you read yours. In your world that obviously makes me wrong and you right. It must be nice to paint with such a large brush. Who is judging who? I asked a question, you made a pronouncement. Nice.

      • Rod Arters says:

        So, if God had told the Colorado shooter to kill the people in the theatre – that would somehow not make him a serial killer? Regardless of their reasons why, both David & Holmes are serial (or mass) murderers. Surely, you’d have to agree with that? I’m not sure why you are hung up on my use of that title. In regards to the II Samuel 24 reference, I made it clear that David was indirectly responsible for those deaths. God may have taken those lives but it was because of David that He did so. Granted, we may interpret the Bible differently. I’m not judging you – merely defending myself from your accusations that I incorrectly used the description “serial killer”, slandered David & tried to use sensationalism in the process. All three claims are incorrect. Forgive me if I offended you in my response. It was certainly not my intention.

      • Robert Daniels says:

        So… If you insist on David’s serial killing status, what do you have to say about God? Did God command Saul to kill? David? God is also a serial killer? Yes? No?

        If James Holmes should claim God told him to do it, are you really willing to equate that with the ancient narrative in 1 Samuel 15?

        Careful here… The more you type the more confused you are. Quit while you are behind only a bit.

      • Micah Doulos says:

        I have to agree with Robert on this one. The term serial killer denotes in the mind of its hearers/readers an image of an unjust killer. I know it only deals with the number of kills. The popular use of the word adds the implication of murder to it. Rod, you said that by David killing the Canaanites like God had commanded, he had committed mass murder. But with all due respect, murder is defined as: “The unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another.” (Dictionary.com)

        Because David was following a direct command from God, his actions were entirely lawful, because God is the law maker, and he will not command David to do something which is unjust. Murder denotes injustice, God is just, David obeyed God, therefore David’s killing was not murder.

  27. bob buschmann says:

    Well put and thanks

  28. Terri says:

    I was thinking along these lines as well. Intelligence without God leads to unintelligent decisions. Thank you for sharing. I hope many people read your blog entry.

  29. Tia Throop says:

    Thank you for this post. My husband and I were discussing exactly what you so eloquently penned.

  30. Jamie Mink says:

    An incredible and brutally honest perspective that we ALL need to face. One of the best, if not the best, bloggings I’ve read. I’d love to put an entry on my own blog pointing to this, if okay with you Rod. Your view is testament to where society truly needs to look, thanks for posting.

  31. Charlene says:

    nice article. i am a huge fan of your work and i’m always coming here to see what’s new. thanks.http://www.casaemail.com.br

  32. Frances says:

    I agree with your comment and I keep thinking there has to be something wrong with this young man’s mind to trigger an event of that source. He really needs help and that is what we should pray for him…and all involved. Somehow he got off on the wrong track after having a good education with honors and such; however we do not know what lies withing his heart and mind. I know there are many suggestions as to why he did this; however, God spared his life and it must be for some valuable reason as well. Not to say he shouldn’t be brought to justice after everything is determined!!

    • Rod Arters says:

      Frances, the heart and the mind are two very different entities. One can be extremely intelligent and morally bankrupt. Someone else can be mentally challenged and have the purest of hearts. Sadly, education alone cannot change a heart. There is obviously something wrong with this young man. He does need help and I hope he gets it as he serves out his life (or death) sentence. His life was spared for a reason. I appreciate your comments! come again!

  33. Karen says:

    Had to read this and say wonderfully written, and I also am wondering what is it with Colorado and all the senseless shootings? I live there and I am almost embarrassed to say it!

  34. Greg says:

    Excellent piece that really gets to the heart of the matter. We are all capable of anything. And I think that at my core, although I have never committed a crime, I am no better than the perpetrator. You cannot legislate morality and no amount of safeguards can make people do the right thing or love their fellow man.

    • Rod Arters says:

      Greg, thank you for reading and commenting! I read the following quote years ago and it has haunted me and been proven true too many times to count. If we all understood this and our heart a bit more, we’d be slower to judge our fellow man.

      “If any man thinks ill of you, do not be angry with him, for you are worse than he thinks you to be. If he charges you falsely on some point, yet be satisfied, for if he knew you better he might change the accusation, and you would be no gainer by the correction. If you have your moral portrait painted and it is ugly, be satisfied, for it only needs a few blacker touches, and it would be still nearer the truth.” – Charles Haddon Spurgeon

  35. Rob says:

    Rod, Good points. Thank you for draw peoples attention to the real problem. But the Dark Knight does not live within us all. The sin nature is in us. We need to be careful with our understanding and our teaching. This is exactly what the evil one wants us to believe and is simply not true.

    • Rod Arters says:

      Rob, thanks for reading and commenting. I agree, the sin nature (aka Dark Knight) does live in us all. The capacity for great evil does live within our hearts. That was my point. I was not implying that the evil one resides there. I think we are on the same page – though I may not have been as clear as I should have been.

      • Rob says:

        Thanks for the reply Rod. I do agree with your point about the sin nature being in us. I think I was thrown off when you said “…the deeper issue of why the Dark Knight rises as often as he does.” And then later “The truth is, the Dark Knight lives within us all.”

        It is very important to understand the point you are making about the sin nature and not blaming the things around us. I feel it is equally important for believers to understand rightly what Satan is and what he isn’t. Thanks for the dialogue.

  36. Robin says:

    Best article on this senseless violence yet!

  37. Excellent read. Glad I came across it this morning. The old saying comes to my mind, “But for the grace of God, there go I.” Most of us are slow to acknowledge, much less admit, the dark passions that poison our own souls. We like to believe that we would do the right thing given the circumstances. Unfortunately, the reality is that there is a brokenness inside each of us that only finds forgiveness and repair at the foot of the Cross. What so often happens is that we minimize our own “hate, anger, lust, etc.” because those thoughts and intents did not manifest in the same degree as the man in Colorado. Thank you for the important reminder this blog brings forth. Take care and God bless.

    • Rod Arters says:

      Thank you so much for your comments. I totally agree! We minimize our sins to our own detriment. We are actually WORSE than we think we are. And God’s love is unchanged. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch, like me. 🙂

  38. bree nickels says:

    One thing that stands out for me, ( within this entry AND the comments) is the comparison of ourselves with a murderer, serial killer, etc. This makes me look even further back in the bible, to Eve. We, as women tend to find ourselves cursing Eve when things are hard..I have found myself saying, ” Why did you have to take that fruit, Eve!?”. But I have realized, if it were me, I probably would have too. Being brutally honest with myself, here. I would have taken the fruit, and I don’t doubt that I would have been able to convince my husband to take it too. It’s not a very flattering picture of myself, but it’s true.

    • Rod Arters says:

      Bree, I used to think (in my pride) the same thing. That if I were in the Garden there is no way (as the man) that I would have let Eve do that (he was with her) OR take it myself. But, who am I kidding? I’d be all over that fruit tree. On my best day, I’m a traitor. At least Judas sold the Lord for 30 pieces of silver. Most days I sell Him out for free. THAT’S how weak I am. I appreciate your honesty. I’m right there with you!

  39. Michelle Rowell says:

    Thank you for the article. As a healthcare provider I wonder if this is not just a depressed,emotionally damaged person, but rather possibly a paranoid schizophrenic or even, dare I say, demonic possession…. I probably sound crazy even mentioning that…. My feeling Is we will never understand… And hopefully none of us will ever know or experience the pure evil that existed in him. Praying for those families of the deceased, injured, and also for the family of the perpetrator himself.

    • Rod Arters says:

      Michelle, thank you for reading and commenting! I would say there was definitely an aspect of demonic presence involved, even if he is diagnosed with some legitimate medical “condition.” I won’t say he was possessed but he certainly was oppressed. Obviously, he was battling some demons in his own life. You are right, we may never understand. Sadly, the shooter may never understand either what caused him to do such things.

  40. Stephanie says:

    Rod, . . . throughout scripture God kills people and God instructs people to kill people. Since God can kill without using people, why does he instruct people to kill other people? especially when he has instructed us not to ‘kill’. It is a paradox, and hard for me to wrap my mind around. . . so my conclusion is that God is just and God tests our obedience. I appreciated your article and I agree. However, you are clearly a wordsmith and I challenge you to be more careful with your choice of words. Calling David a serial killer, although accurate by definition, inflames an unintended reaction. Serial Killer is a current term we use for gross evil. I don’t find it in scripture. David, and others throughout scripture, were obeying God when they wiped out (killed) the people in the land that God instructed them to kill. ‘Murder’ is killing outside of Gods instruction and His law, which is what David did to Uriah. For you to suggest and imply . . .’what if God told the Colorado man to kill’. . . offended me. People have been using God as their instructor/excuse for killing others inappropriately far too often. Be careful with your words. . .thank you.

    • Rod Arters says:

      Stephanie, thank you for reading and commenting on my blog. I am grateful for your caution on the words I use. As a wordsmith, sometimes they (words) can come out so fast that I don’t really have time (or make time) to consider the full impact. I wrote this particular piece in less than two hours. I certainly do not try to intentionally “inflame” my readers, although I do try to use words that cause my readers to think. After all, I do claim (on the header) that my blog is “thought-provoking”. After receiving several hundred comments on my “work”, I’d say I’m reaching that goal. Having said that, I did use the term “serial killer” on purpose. Honestly, I probably should have used the phrase “mass murderer.” Regardless of the semantics, I was not addressing whether the murders were justified. That is irrelevant to the blog’s point. The truth is – David was a murderer… he took the life of others. The fact that God sanctioned it only means he’s not morally cupable or legally responsible for their deaths… it doesn’t change the fact that he still “murdered” them.

      Forgive me for offending you with my comment. I’m grateful that you are here and challenging me. I need it and open to criticism. It’s how I get better. 🙂

      • superflychica says:

        Technically, he did not murder (1. The unlawful killing of one human by another, especially with premeditated malice.) them. God’s law and no malice.
        I read your article days ago, and I woke up this morning thinking about your word usage for David. I wondered how God would interpret your description and the connotation. David is one of His most loved humans in history. I could not imagine the amount of courage and faith David had to carry out God’s will. In Jerusalem there is a sacred tomb of David’s because of his work and heart for God, and his relationship with God.
        I find it highly offensive to drag his name through the dirt in your article and throughout the comments (your replies) on this blog.
        I also think it is sad that you are too prideful to admit that you used a poor descriptive for David, and have over and over poorly argued the point.
        Your blog was thought provoking, and I enjoyed the read. I however, probably won’t return to your blogs because of your attitude in many of the responses. As you stated above, I disagree and don’t think you are truly open to criticism.

      • Rod Arters says:

        Dear Super Fly Chica,
        Thank you for reading and commenting on my blog! I am glad my blog is provoking thoughts for you. I referred to David as a murderer because he took the lives of others. While David was living among the Philistines he killed under the direction and command of Philistine leadership. This (and Uriah’s murder) was what I was referring to when I described David. The people he killed were enemies of Israel so I am sure David felt no conflict to do so, however I’m not convinced that God specifically directed David to execute these specific killings. With the Amalekites, it was Saul’s responsibility (David’s predecessor) to eliminate that group, not Davids. Again, I’m not familiar with the verse that says David was to follow up on that task. If it is in there, I’m happy to learn of it and admit I was ignorant of that fact. David was indeed loved by God but I disagree that he was more loved by God than you or me. They may have had a special relationship but the truth still stands, David was a murderer (Uriah) and adulterer and poor parent. These truths would not make God love David less, just like my sins or your sins do not make God love us less. It is not my intention to “drag” anyone’s name “through the dirt”, but rather speak honestly about the kind of man he was and show God’s grace in spite of it. I would hate that my choice of words (even if they were chosen hastily or poorly) would distract from the main point of the post.

        I do have pride, and I’m the first to admit that. However, I felt/feel that my description is still accurate. Is there a better description? Perhaps. Again, the point of the article is not what I called David – but rather that we are all capable of his sins. If my description was highly offensive to you, I ask you to forgive me for that offense. I will certainly be more careful in the future of the specific words I choose.

        I’m sorry you won’t be back as a reader. I’m sure I could use a perspective like yours to help me grow as a writer. Your absence will be my loss indeed. However, there are many millions of outstanding bloggers out there that I’m sure you will benefit greatly from and, I’m sure, provide insight to, with your thoughtful responses.

  41. Pingback: Solid Reads « In the Dailies

  42. Patricia Mead Moore says:

    This was the best written take on this tragic event I’ve read. Thank you!

  43. Mark McDonald says:

    I love this blog, GOOD JOB!

  44. Pingback: Fires Will Rise: Batman Review and Commentary | CALEB COY

  45. D'Anne England says:

    Thank you so much for writting and posting this for others to read. I wish that some how it was mandatory for people to read this and have to answer one VERY IMPORTANT question……Have we done everything as a person in our lives to set a good expample for our kids and others around us???? We as a Society have forgotten one important thing……..it is up to us to change, it is up to us to set the example and it is up to us to take responsibility for our actions and STOP blaming EVERYONE else for what we have done!!!! We need to make sure as a society that we teach our children from day one that they are the only ones to blame for their actions. Every action has a reaction….whether it is good or bad. It isn’t society it isn’t movies or games…..it is each person individually!!! Yes as parents we are (somewhat) responsible for what our kids do (to a certain time and age though)……but at the same time we can not be with our kids 24-7 and they can not live in a bubble. Society needs to stop pointing the finger at everyone else……and look at each of us and put the blame where it belongs.
    I am sorry for the rant but this just hits way to close to home. People needs to see that the person holding the gun, the knife, the weapon…..that is the person to blame….NO ONE else!

  46. Mano Paul says:

    Rod,
    Our prayers go out to the families and those who have been victimized by the shooting including the shooter himself.
    Earlier this year, I wrote an article entitled “I am” and “I AM” on my personal faith blog – http://thepauls.wordpress.com/2012/01/24/i-am-and-i-am/ that is somewhat related to your points.
    God knows what is in man (in each one of us) (John 2:24-25), and he searches to and fro the earth for a blameless heart (2 Chronicles 16:9), only to find none, for all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23) but praise be to God, for His Only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, without whose Grace, we stand no chance before the throne of God, for the dark knight in us will rise unrestrained.
    God bless you brother,
    Mano Paul
    servant of The One True God, who made himself of no reputation.

  47. Pingback: My Thoughts On The Colorado Tragedy | Heart Treasures

  48. Laura says:

    thank you …..very well written and said…will be sharing this with others

  49. Tom says:

    this is funny reading this, i posted this yesterday afternoon on facebook on a buddies page.
    TFK99 “it’s sooo sad over the years stuff like this always happens, but it’s getting to be more and more frequent. so sad now you even have to be on your guard when you go to a movie theater, in ways i think it’s a controll of the government trying their best to make the society scared to leave their house and finding ways to disarm everyone. this instint is gonna soo be thier first step in fking with the right to bare arms i bet. but we need to rely on ourselves and our neighbors around us to be sure the dumb shit like this of idiots who have no life and want to take it from others to get them off the street some how with out being on edge but pay more close attention to the actions of others”
    I so think you hit it on the nail with what you posted and it makes a whole lot of since, some of my statements go back to 911 though, and as for religion goes, i don’t care what you believe in, or what path you walk, i’m not real religious myself but i do believe there’s a god, and just over the past years there’s some crap thats going on you just can’t explain.. but thats for each on their own and what their beliefs are but just keep your eyes open and pay attention something, or someone is trying to tell everyone out here something is gonna happen, and what it is GOD only knows…..

  50. Ursula Salas says:

    I woke up at 4 a.m. on Friday morning and heard this immediately on the news. My sister called to talk about it (We are in Denver/Aurora area) and she was surprised to hear me say the same things you said as well, including showing concern and compassion for the shooter. I am not going to judge him – that’s for the courts and the families who have lost a loved one to do. But, if we cannot have compassion in all situations, then We are the villain as well. What is wrong with this world… I am…. but I’m working every day to be a more positive influence than I am negative. Thank you for writing this piece, and expressing these thoughts so eloquently.

    • Rod Arters says:

      Ursula, thank you for reading and commenting on my blog. I’m glad you were not at that theatre at that time, living so close. Grace for those who don’t deserve it is hard for some to swallow. But then again, does anyone really “deserve” grace when extended? That’s the whole point of grace. You don’t deserve it. I’m right along side of you trying to make this world a better place, by starting with me. 🙂

  51. Debra Kay says:

    King David was not a serial killer…he didn’t kill for the fun of it.

    • Rod Arters says:

      Debra, by definition – a serial killer is someone who kills 3 or more people in a 30 day window. King David did this specifically in I Samuel 27. He is infamous for the murder of Bathsheeba’s husband but he actually killed A LOT more people than that. To be more fair, he should probably be called a mass murderer. Our culture portrays serial killers as “enjoying” it – but that has nothing to do with the actual definition. A serial killer does not have to enjoy killing to still be considered a serial killer. Just some clarification. Thanks for stopping by!

  52. Terri K says:

    Rod, just something to think about, since several posts on here are able to correct you on what the point of the movie was and how the film portrays the Dark Knight Rising as being a good thing; consider not seeing the movie. I’ve made that decision for myself after the shootings happened. When the last Batman film was made, Heath Ledger had to go into very dark places within himself in order to bring out the character traits of the joker that he wanted to portray. I believe he said that he would remain in a depressive state during days at a time, during filming. Then, sadly, after the film was done with, he committed suicide. Idk how soon after, it’s my understanding that he was never the same after that film.

    Personally, I think there could be a dark spiritual element attached to this film, and I don’t want to expose myself or my family to it. It’s not worth it. Praying for the shooter, the victims, and the families of both, I will be happy to do.

    Thank you for writing such an eloquent article.

    • Rod Arters says:

      Terri, thanks for your comments. The comments from those who think I made a mistake on the theme of the movie are amusing. I never said I was trying to stay consistent with the theme of the movie! I used the picture and the title intentionally to remain consistent with the theme OF MY POST, not Hollywood. I will take your warning into account. I don’t see many movies as it is (my schedule).

      Hope to see you back in the future!

  53. Sandra Coggins says:

    Wow,
    Beautifully written. The heart is the key to unlock evil and all that is worthy.
    Leaning on our culture and our own understanding takes many into unforseen territory.
    Leaning on the Word…allowing ourselv
    es to give the Holy Spirit room to stregnthen our faith…gives all that is pure a chance to live.
    It’s first within…that changes the out….
    Awesome!!!!!

    • Rod Arters says:

      Sandra, thank you for reading and commenting on this post. You are right, heart changes on the inside, behavior change on the outside. Come back again!

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  55. saw says:

    Brilliant article except that you botched it with the use of the Batman figure as a metaphor for sin. It is disrespectful to the work of Nolan and others who wrote and created such a brilliant character and movie trilogy. They worked really hard to portray the Dark Knight (Batman) as a Messianic figure…the savior of his people. The internet buzz and trailers show that in this latest film, the redemption nature of the Christ-like Batman figure is portrayed with even greater intensity.

    The flesh entices us all to sin…but thanks be unto God, He sent His Son Christ Jesus to die for us on that dark night and then to rise again for our freedom from sin!!! Through faith in Christ and the new birth we can receive a new nature who lives in victory over sin.

    So to use the Batman metaphor properly as portrayed in the movies…it is the “Dark Knight rising from the grave” that has given us victory over sin:) I am not missing the point of your post, but simply stating that the metaphor and title are way off should be corrected to protect the sincerity of an otherwise excellent piece of writing. Keep up the great blog…really good stuff!!!

    • Rod Arters says:

      Thanks for reading and commenting. Many have pointed out my “error” in the analogy and using the Dark Knight picture. I did not “botch” anything. Honestly, I wasn’t trying to maintain any consistency with the movie or its theme. The shooter was dressed in all black – like Batman. He did his crime at night – like the picture. He was in body armor – much like a knight. His deeds were dark (to say the least) and such deeds come from a dark (black) heart. AND all of this occurred during the movie, “The Dark Knight Rises.” Therefore, the picture and title I chose is perfectly consistent with the theme OF MY BLOG. (ALL CAPS FOR EMPHASIS, not b/c I’m yelling). 🙂

      I am grateful that you did not miss the point of the post. It seems like most were hung up on the analogy that they missed the bigger theme. I appreciate your comments and I look forward to seeing the Christ figure imagery in this movie, when I go see it.

      Come back again, I love receiving thoughtful comments!

      • saw says:

        Actually, I am beginning to think the Dark Knight metaphor is better fitting for the anti-Christ – not Christ…but I won’t go into that here. Perhaps “botched” was too strong a word, sorry. I like to look at all aspects of a written piece, not just the central message…which I think everyone “got”. We are all different and some of us notice and comment on different things, sad that that is “amusing” to some??? I think it is a very good thing…diverse communication is always healthy, while rank and file conformity is stifling . If you take this stuff as an attack, it will exhaust you…so I encourage you to learn to appreciate all constructive criticism and not see it is “nit-picking”…then it will strengthen you and make you a better writer. You have great talent…blessings mate…keep up the charge!!!

  56. amyboardman says:

    Fantastic post! Thank you for sharing.

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  58. David says:

    Heartbreaking, senseless, and a mystery to folks that do not understand the concept of original sin. If I was carrying that night, I certainly would have initially paused, thinking it was a weird promotion or prank. As far as the poster and movie references go, I haven’t seen any of the recent trilogy, but the lead photo for the blog touched me. Maybe I am only transferring my feelings of sadness, but I have stood in the rain, overlooking my area of responsibility, equipped for battle, and weary, but ready for the call that I know will come. Thanks for writing, well said.

  59. Problem is, when we throw rocks at people {casting our judgment on one another} they don’t hit the sin. Rocks hit people. Hurt and already broken people. This article was spot on, Rod. Thanks for sharing. =O)

    • Rod Arters says:

      Wow, Christine – great insight! I may “steal” that line about rocks hitting people for an upcoming blog I’m working on about judging others. Come back for more posts… I may need more insight. 🙂

  60. larry martin says:

    I totally agree. I am a Christian also. Billy Crogan (spelling?) the singer from the band Smashing Pumpkins sings in one of their songs, “The killer in you is the killer in me.” He, like yourself, is absolutely right. We all have the capacity for such vile, sinful, wretched behavior.

  61. Ania says:

    I enjoyed your article very much, but I think I got a better kick out of reading other people’s comments that nit picked at the most absurd things in your article, the title, the definition of a serial killer, seeing Magic Mike, blah, blah, blah…. All those things do not matter! God gave us two very important rules, first- love God, second- love thy neighbor. thanks!

    • Rod Arters says:

      Ania, thank you so much for your comments! The nit picking comments really took me off guard. It’s exhausting feeling the need to explain myself about the title and picture I chose when that wasn’t the main thrust of the article! I’m grateful that you and so many others “get it.”

  62. Rebecca says:

    This is hands down the best response to this tragedy that I’ve read yet. Thank you.

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  64. Excellent post and I agree with you. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I plan on sharing this with my friends.

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  66. Matt says:

    Let’s quote another famous author here.
    “Religion is the opium of the masses. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.”

    I’ll leave the author’s name out – I’m sure the hard-headed neo-conservative born-again readers of this blog will be quick to take up McCarthy’s torch and smear everything I say from this point on, but the more clever one’s who exploit the miracle of science called Google will figure it out soon enough.

    The reason everyone is quick to “blame” a lack of gun control, bullying in school, drugs, parents, mental illness, etc., is because these are the real-world causes of violence today. Some may argue that human nature (or “original sin” if you take your cues about reality from a 3,000 year old book) is truly a dark thing. I don’t necessarily disagree. However, this is why the social institutions (government, courts, mental hospitals, schools, police services) exist – to save us from ourselves and each other.

    It is folly to turn to religion to explain away these events; the minute we do, we stop asking the important questions about how we can ACTUALLY prevent this from happening. Praying for the salvation of mankind hasn’t worked yet, why would it start to now? We may as well flip a coin into a well and wish for world peace. This is superstition, and it diverts our attention away from reality. Maybe it’s not gun-control, bullying, mental illness, or poverty. Maybe it’s just a fluke. And no, society can’t prevent a few bad eggs from slipping through the cracks.

    But maybe this person was mentally ill, and he slipped through the cracks not due to a lack of faith or moral uprightness in society, but because our institutions failed to identify and treat this man. Writing him off as “evil” does his victims, and society at large, a tremendous disservice.

    • Rod Arters says:

      Matt,
      I appreciate you reading and commenting on my blog post. I wholeheartedly agree that there are real-world causes of violence today. All of these, however, stem from a dark or sinful heart. The social institutions you listed do not exist to save us from ourselves. They exist to protect us from ourselves. Some of them may try to “save” us physically, but none can save us spiritually or morally. I also agree with your remark that it is folly to turn to religion. Religion is man’s attempt to reach God and it has failed since its inception in the Garden of Eden, with Cain. God introduced the concept of a “relationship” and that alone is the only hope that mankind has of ever truly changing his sinful ways. Sadly, many people confuse those who go to church with those who are truly Christian. Sometimes they are not the same. Yes, this man slipped through the cracks. And there are many that could be blamed for that. But in the end, the cause of his “slip” was not because of a gun law or the lack of a metal detector. The cause of his fall was what lied beneath his armor. It is a heart issue.

      I’d highly recommend you reading some of Ravi Zacharias’ work. He does an outstanding job of explaining the existence of evil and suffering. http://www.rzim.org

  67. Shine4Him says:

    Great article!

    And I also agree, the nit-picking comments (which got even worse on FB) just prove your point even more. When we point a finger at others, we still have the other three pointing back at us!

  68. Luke Johnson says:

    I really appreciated reading this article. Too often, it feels as if humanity deludes itself into thinking that it can fix itself, make people better, or calling human beings perfect to avoid being judgmental. It’s refreshing to see someone who can shed light onto the human condition, and its absolute need of God. The G.K. Chesterton quotes were so dead-on, and I really appreciate the author, and your use of his quotes. We will continue to pray for the victims, the affected, and the perpetrator, because you’re right– we are all the same in our brokenness, and we all need the grace of God. Again, thank you for posting this.

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  70. Jayne says:

    Very insightful and eloquently put. Thank you.

  71. Martha says:

    Great insights, Rod. I wholeheartedly agree with Ania regarding the interesting bits from the nit-pickers. The “Dark Knight” could be a metaphor for our sin nature or Satan, what difference does it make? Cal Thomas wrote an interesting editorial today in our local paper, aptly titled “In Rush to Blame, Evil Left Out.” He similarly points out, “What is always left out of this familiar scenario [discussions of the shootings] is an in-depth discussion of evil.” The problem is not talk radio, intolerance, conservatism, gun laws (or lack thereof), the tea party, or Republicans… the problem is sinful hearts, just as you described. Our gossip, lying, adultery, cheating on taxes, abortions, disrespecting parents, and stealing are no “better” sins than James Holmes’ murder. God HATES our sin, but loves us anyway! The victims and their families will have the opportunity to use this tragedy to move closer to God or move further away from God, with serious consequences if the wrong path is chosen. I continue to pray for all of them, including the shooter.

    • Rod Arters says:

      Martha, thanks for reading and commenting. I never mind being mentioned in the same breath (or line of thought) as Cal Thomas, an outstanding writer. As long as we keep our focus on the log in our own eye, we won’t have time to worry about the speck in others. And trust me, what’s in my eye is a LOG. 🙂

  72. Jamous says:

    Excellent blog sir! I have to admit, I was initially hung up on the seeming misuse of the Dark Knight characterization as a thing of evil at 1st but upon reading the many comments and your responses, I now have the clarity I need to understand that you may have been referring to a different darkness. A darkness we all have within us prior to knowing Jesus and that is capable of welling up in us when left unchecked. I am a HUGE supported of the second ammendment and I have wondered if, had there been a responsible CCW in that theatre, would things have gone differently? I’d like to think that if I had been there, I’d have done my part to stop this insanity a lot sooner. But I can’t say for sure since I wasn’t and I pray I’m never put in that situation. Reading your blog and thinking about forgiveness, I’m reminded of a radio interview I heard Monday while on the way to work. Todd Schnitt(the Schnitt show) out of Tampa Fl was able to get an interview with a you g man named Pierce O’something-or-other(can’t remember) and in that interview he asked “Pierce, what would you say to this guy if you could talk to him?” and the young man’s response was so heartbreaking. He said, “1st I’d look him in the eye and tell him I FORGIVE YOU, then I’d ask him if I could hold his hand and just pray for him.” This young man is one of the victims. He took a hit from each of the 3 guns the shooter was carrying, and has had to have multiple surgeries to remove the bullet fragments from his body. And he’s not angry? What does it say for the rest of us who are so outraged when we will never experience what these victims felt, and yet they’re the 1st to forgive? I’ll admit, I’ve made the statement and sincerely felt it in the moment, that this man should be given a few minutes to get himself right with God and then he should be put down because of these actions. I’ve had to repent for that and remember that I am neither judge, jury, nor executioner and that he will answer for his sins both in this life and the next. It’s not up to me to judge or hate him. I only hope that he finds Jesus before his time comes. Thank you for such an eloquent blog entry! Also, are you aware that Christian Bale, star of the movie, of his own volition went to see the victims of this terrible incident. Not seeking any additional fame, just wanting to be there and show his support for these people during this terrible time. That’s a person from Hollywood I can respect! Thanks again! 😉

    • Rod Arters says:

      Thank you for reading and commenting. I appreciate you looking past your initial “hang up” and researching why I chose the picture and title that I did.

      Like you, I would like to think that I could have stopped the attack (if I was there and legally armed). The male/macho/gentleman/protector side thinks I’m invincible and a hero. But the reality is, the theatre was dark. The movie was loud. The attack was unexpected. Chaos ensued. People are running and screaming everywhere. I’m not sure anyone legally armed could have stopped the attack. It’s not like it lasted for 15 minutes. It was over in two. And to pull out a gun amidst the chaos, someone might think I was the shooter. Is it realistic to think I (or you) could have shot him (and no one else!) in the midst of that dark craziness? And even if we would have hit him, it appears he was covered in full body armor – therefore my/our heroic attempts would have been ineffective. As much as I am in support of the second ammendment, I don’t think it’s wise for civilians to try to use their concealed weapon in those rare environments.

      I agree – we all need to forgive the shooter (eventually), not because he deserves it – but because anger/bitterness never hurts the person it’s intended for.

      I did hear that Christian Bale was there to offer support. That’s a class act. Good stuff!

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    • Rod Arters says:

      Christi, thank you for this endorsement and for passing my blog on to others! You are part of the reason that over 20,000 people read it in three days. Thank you!

  74. Rivka Pricer says:

    Great Write-up. A lot more power! wish to hear much more through your interesting articles.

  75. Maurice says:

    That was a brilliant philosophical article…reminding me to go watch the movie tonite with my date.
    The way you expressed your mind was brilliant. I can’t wait to see your guest post on my blog. By the way, please e-mail me at: maurekan@gmail.com, I have a huge Christ-like Bomb project in mind and I need your input…holla back.

  76. William E. Baxendale says:

    Outstanding! Very convicting! May God humble our nation to get on our knees and beg for His grace.

  77. Steve H says:

    It was a great article, but I’m even more impressed that you responded to every comment (and gracefully so to even those who thought less of your article). I actually read every comment to see how you responded. This was the first of your blog articles I’ve read thanks to a freind posting on Facebook, but sign me up for more.

    • Rod Arters says:

      Thank you! This particular post went semi-viral as over 15,000 people (from all over the world) read it in the first 48 hours. Needless to say, I have received hundreds of comments and it takes some time to respond. I feel I owe a response, even to my critics and they deserve the grace and kindness that I would desire in return. Besides, I can’t expect to win someone over to my side of thinking by being mean or rude. Thanks for reading!

  78. azzrena says:

    very powerfull and true. amazing

  79. Katrina says:

    This article was very well written! I couldn’t have said it better myself, in fact earlier today i was thinkig about many of the points you brought up and it delights me that someone else has the same line of thinking as i do. As i read though i had the same question repeat in my head- are you a Christian?

    • Rod Arters says:

      Katrina, Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I’m glad my thoughts resonated with yours. I do attempt to follow Christ, though feebly most days. 🙂 How did you come across my blog?

      • Katrina says:

        Thanks. I am a firm believer in Christ. My friend shared this specific article of yours on facebook because of the recent shooting, i was moved to read it and now im very glad that i did. I now have your blog added to my favorites list and i plan on reading all of your articles! Your writing makes me think deeper about things and i like that!

      • Rod Arters says:

        I’m glad to have you as a regular! Hopefully, we can challenge each other in our thinking and faith!

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  81. Excellent, eloquent, and great thoughts. Thank you!

  82. Jeffrey M Cridland says:

    Great article. People are quick to judge, have an agenda, or need someone or something to blame, for what they feel is wrong without looking inside themselves. I am having a hard time forgiving this selfish person for what he did. WWJD, he would probably try to understand and forgive. Thanks for the perspective.

    • Rod Arters says:

      Jeffrey, thanks for reading and commenting. I agree, his decision is hard to forgive, no doubt – particularly from those who were personally affected. I’m reminded that while Jesus was hanging on the cross He prayed for those who put Him there, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” We should pray for that man as well in the same manner.

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    I very much enjoyed reading your posting and thinking about it. I also enjoyed reading the comments and am amazed that you responded to all of them! Someone shared your posting with me and I plan to share it with others, as well as read some of your other things. I am glad there are voices like yours in this world. God bless you and your family.

    • Rod Arters says:

      Nancy, thanks so much for reading and commenting on my blog! Glad to have you! I appreciate your encouragement and for sharing the blog with others. Hope to see you back soon!

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    • Rod Arters says:

      Victorina, do I mind what? I”m not sure I understand the question. I’m happy for you to quote me in your blog or reference my link. Send me what you write… would love to read it.

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