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Killing One Another

Many of us are trying to understand why an army sergeant turned his weapon on five fellow soldiers at a stress clinic in the outskirts of Baghdad. What was going through the mind of a man who already had his gun taken away before coming up with another? (See article here)

The soldier had three tours of duty in Iraq behind him including two others to Bosnia and Kosovo.

Some losses cannot be understood…only grieved.

Some who are grieving what happened to any one of the five soldiers killed, or to the sergeant who took their lives may be lashing out at God in anger. How could he allow such a senseless loss of life?

Others won’t let their minds go there.

Yet the Bible takes us places we don’t want to go. It says:

“If you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.” (Gal 5:15)

Why would Paul say this after wishing harm on those who put their trust in law (Gal 5:12) , and who ignore liberty in Christ (Gal 5:1), using instead their freedom in Christ as an occasion to fulfill their own natural  desires  (Gal 5:13), instead of walking in the Spirit (5:16), with the result of doing things they regret (5:17),  like “outburst of anger” and “murders” (5:19-21), instead of qualities against which no one makes laws (5:22-23)?

Seems to me that Paul is suggesting that if we let our eyes move away from Christ (and all of the spiritual by-products that are found by walking in his Spirit),  and if we instead focus on moral and religious laws as the answer to our personal or national problems, we will end up “killing one another”.

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52 Responses to “Killing One Another”

  1. bretnb says:

    My heart goes out to all the families involved, including the man that killed his fellow soldiers.

    It makes me have to think about my self when I let my eyes stray off Christ, I seem to always let my anger get the best of me.

    I hope we all pray for these families.

  2. Called2Serve says:

    I had not heard of this incident, but I will be praying for the families involved in any way.

    I do not think that any of us who have not served our country by means of military service in any way can comprehend at all what these people go through. I think that our feeble attempts at figuring out what went through this man’s head when he shot the other soldiers don’t come close to the reality at all.

    We can try to come up with reasons and explainations for his actions, but that’s not really what matters, is it? We just try not to focus on what really happened, and focus more on why it happened.

    What I am trying to say, I guess, is that who really cares about why something happened? It already happened, therefore there is no way to prevent it from happening. We should put our focus more on assisting the families through this great uncomprehendable loss and move on.

    Good timing for this subject, it seems. I am an avid Ted Dekker reader, and I recently started reading his book BoneMan’s Daughters. So far it is a great book. What strikes me funny, I guess you could say, is that the place where I am in the book pertains to this subject, oddly.

    Eh, just my thoughts for today…

    -savannah =]

  3. sjd says:

    If we are not walking in the Spirit, the lusts of the flesh will rise up, and we are bound to battle one another. Isn’t our failing to walk in step with the Spirit contingent on forgetting how we have been clothed with Christ? We have been given “walking clothes”, clothes to walk with Him. If I forget how I have been forgiven(given the righteousness of Christ), been made a saint, a child of God, and given a new heart, and been indwelt by Christ, I will start depending on my old clothing, my old ways, rather than the Way.

    This takes me back to our discussion on the armor of God.

    Forgetting the belt: Doubts about what life is really about will creep in, and I will start battling others to get what I “deserve”, what is “rightfully” mine.

    Forgetting the breastplate: I may start to drift back into legalistic tendencies and think that my righteousness, my performance means something, and self effort will rise up, which is always likely to hurt someone.

    Forgetting the shield: I will rely on my own power rather than live by faith in Christ, who alone is able to love others purely, through me.

    Forgetting the proper footwear: Rather than rejoicing in the fact that I have peace with God, I will seek peace with myself and my fleshly lusts, selfishness again prevailing.

    Forgetting the helmet of salvation: When bad things happen now I will be shaken, rather than finding comfort in the Eternal Hope that I have and do not deserve. My life will be filled with worry and I will be useless in God’s hands in comforting others.

    Forgetting the Word: If my diet is not on the Word of God, I will become spiritually malnourished, and crave for whatever I think may satisfy my cravings. Other beware!

    Forgetting prayer: If I don’t pray, I will continue to lose focus on the only One that provides, the only One that can continue to deliver me, the only source of LIFE.

    No wonder devouring of others may happen, as we rely on ourselves rather than Jesus Himself, and all that He provided.

    May I fix my eyes on Christ alone, abiding in Him today and He in me. Apart from Him I can do nothing.

  4. SFDBWV says:

    Killers…There is a killer in every one of us.

    The only thing that seperates us is the Holy Spirit that holds it in check.

    Who among us would allow our child to be murdered while we stood by watching and did nothing to prevent it?

    No, there is a button in all of us if pushed could let go the killer that is in our natures.

    If you enter the dark world of murderers, you see every reason for it. Some because they feel threatened, some because they are angry, some because they like doing it. Some because they derive sexual pleasure from it. All becaus they choose to.

    In the first world war, the horrible gruesome experiance of trench warfare produced soldiers who suffered from “Shell Shock”. The mind of these men forever broken by the experiance they had endured.

    Every war produces broken men. physicaly and mentaly. Back home, life goes on like nothing is wrong. The men who return from wars are all carrying around different ways to deal with their experiances. All different because people are all different.

    Some men turn to alcohol, drugs, or some other destructive life. Some handle it well and surpress their nightmares however they can.

    What do we do to help them? When I returned from Viet Nam, nobody cared one bit about the returning vets. Or their problems. Our nation was forever divided by a “liberal” anti war attitude that is still alive and well today. Present in our daily politics.

    What have the War colleges learned in dealing with “shell shock” “combat fatigue” or whatever new term they drum up for stress?

    Frustration leads to anger, anger leads to action….

  5. laney says:

    Going all the way back to Genesis the story of Cain and Able shows us that we cannot live by moral and religious laws.
    Our jails are full of people who have no morals.Innocent women and children have been raped and murdered because of people with no morals.Students coming to school killing their classmates.
    Religious laws are just as bad.All these radical muslems following the koran.Killing men women and children.Then you have the president of Iran wanting to bring total destruction to Israel and America all for his religious laws. Then you have the Hindus with their religious laws.Just looking at all of this shows us that morals and religious laws will never work.Only Gods way will stop all the violence murder and hatred.

  6. mtman says:

    This brought back bad memories/flashbacks from the first time I heard of it. Now days it gets front page coverage. That has not always been the case. I replaced an Airman who went to the armory, checked out a .45 cal. sub machine gun, walked outside and started firing bursts. He immediately killed three other Airmen; one of which was his best friend on the base. He wounded several others. No one to this day knows why he did it. It also did not get any news coverage. It did get me a two year tour in Bermuda as his replacement.
    I also know others who in their two year tour went whacko. One I know of was placed in a mental hospital when returned to the States. Some got withdrawn and quiet, others acted pretty wierd.
    I averted a planned murder of another Sgt. who was rotten to the core but did not deserve killing. He should have been discharged but the USAF left him in place to torment other Airmen. Stress does some pretty bad things to some people and I don’t think we know to this day who will be effected by it. Killing and murder is not the answer.
    I was the Airmen’s replacement and saw the aftermath of what he did. There was still blood on the sidewalk, one of the Sgts had visible and psy. wounds. Poor man could hardly communicate and started stuttering. I doubt he will ever be the same. It was not pretty at all what he did and the aftermath was pretty ugly as well. Many of these are professed Christians and I don’t think that really enters into it. Same when that Lt. went nuts and wiped out a whole village in Viet Nam. We all suffered for that, called baby killers, spit on and abused. Didn’t matter that we were not involved or in Viet Nam, we wore the uniform. Things have changed much in the post Nam years for our military men and women.
    Why does this happen? I don’t think anyone knows. What I do know is that prayer is needed for him and the victims and their families. Also for our military men and women who see things every day that most other folks never see. They need constant prayer.

  7. phpatato says:

    New here….Hi everyone ! So enjoy reading and learning and growing.

    This sergeant has obviously seen way too much; felt way too much; lived way too much. These tours are most definitly the cause for his mental outburst. Question: How responsible is a person to God when one suffers a mental breakdown?

    I had fought for over 15 years a clinical depression. Deep, dark, debilitating. I was consumed (certainly not by choice) by a black, foggy, suicidal outlook on life. Days would go by and I would not get dressed. I was frightened to leave my front step. The curtains in my bedroom where always pulled. My thoughts were NOT clear. I struggled with, wept over, agonized with how God looked at me. I felt responsible for and blamed myself for my medical condition. I opened my eyes each day believing that I was sinning against God but was helpless to do anything to correct it. I prayed for just a glimpse of sunlight. I was Blessed to have been raised in a Christian, Bible-believing, God loving home. THAT was the only thing that stopped me from committing suicide…I knew that God loved me and it would be a great sin to take my life. I would become a murderer. It has just been three short years that I am finally drug-free and able to see the vivid colours that are actually surrounding me. Thank you my Lord. It is with His help that I take one day at a time.

    I wrote this because I can’t help but wonder if this sergeant was deeply affected by some kind of mental illness. A depression of sorts that rendered him useless in the ability to think clearly. Will God condemn him for this outburst of anger because of his mind which left him walking without the Spirit, and his eyes not being centered on Christ?

  8. Called2Serve says:

    Welcome phpatato! Thank you for sharing your story. I am so thankful that God does not give up on us and will help us through times like those.

    I agree with SFDBWV, there is a killer in all of us. This brings to mind another Ted Dekker book (sorry if I reference these a lot! =]) The one brought to mind this time was his book Thr3e. It describes a man who has mutiple personality disorder and is himself, a serial killer, and a female criminal case worker. This resembles to me all three sides that all of us have: the human torn between two extremes; the godly; and the evil.

    In the book, the man has to kill the evil within him, something that this army sergeant could not bring himself to do. Instead, he gives in to the evil side.

    Again, just my thoughts…


  9. ttl7praz says:

    I agree with the above assessment. But once that possibility is essentially ruled out (would seem kind of ludicras to have someone in the military with a mental illness and carrying a gun!) I believe it can be summed up by a statement that Luke Woodham made when my husband asked him why did he do it…Luke answered him, “When you don’t have Jesus in your life, you’re subject to do just about anything”.

    NOTE: Luke Woodham was the student at Pearl High School in Pearl, MS who killed his mother and two other students on October 1, 1997 and my husband is a Psychiatrist who worked at the maximum security prison where Luke was incarcerated.

  10. ttl7praz says:

    Sorry, let me clarify…the statement that was right before I submitted mine suggested that perhaps this sargeant had some type of undiagnosed mental illness…

  11. phpatato says:

    ttl7praz It is because I have Jesus in my life that I was not able to follow through with the planned suicide. He held me firm.

    I just didn’t wake up one morning with depression. It crept in ever so quietly. I know I suffered with that chemical unbalance in the brain long before it was diagnosed. It was suggested that it was seeded as postpartum depression.

    I wonder how many military personnel are walking around with an undiagnosed mental illness and are carrying a gun. I am scared to suggest that the numbers would be frightening.

  12. pegramsdell says:

    Our relationship with the Holy Spirit is the only way to not live by our sinful nature. And that is in every one of us. (A killer inside) …. man…

    Thank you Steve, mtman, and others who have been to war to fight for our freedom. I really appreciate it. :)

    Also, I watched a movie called “Cold Mountain”. Wow. What a movie. The trenches in the beginning, all the way through. Horrendous. What the men (and families) went through. I’m gonna make it an effort to pray for all our military personnel. Thank you all.

  13. Called2Serve says:

    I have a statement regarding the possibility of the sergeant having an undiagnosed mental illness. I personally do not believe in or agree with diagnoses. I believe that when you diagnose something, you are just giving a name to a demon. Cancer, mental illness, etc. are all just names for demons sent out against us. In my opinion, the realization that these things are demons would be far more effective than receiving a diagnosis and accepting it as a “disease” or a “disorder” that needs fixed. You cannot solve a problem if you do not acknowledge that it exists.

    just my thoughts… =]


  14. mtman says:

    In answer to military men and women walking around with loaded guns and potential mental illness, I don’t think that is very likely. When I enlisted in 1959 I had to take a series of tests which looked for that possibility. I’m sure the tests are better and more advanced now. We were extensively tested for our breaking point in case we were tortured. I recall those tests took several days. Can an undiagnosed case slip by? Maybe but not likely. Plus the same could be said of our police and others who carry loaded firearms.
    I think our military men and women see things that they can’t relate to civilians and don’t want to talk about. These things sometimes bring out the worst of human kind and are pretty ugly. I don’t think we can test for that kind of breaking point.
    In my situation we were stationed on an island and it got smaller and smaller the longer we remained there. We used to call it island sickness. That is why I say we need to pray for our men and women in uniform. I don’t think that they have latent mental illness at all. Civilians don’t realize what difficult circumstances they are put into some times.

  15. rokdude5 says:

    So true, SFDBWV. Its amazing how out of billions of people on this planet, only a very small fraction resorts to murder. Praise God!

    I, too, wonder why. God gives us the command to honor our mothers and fathers so that we can live long on the land yet so many Bible believing folks are taken away “prematurely.”

    We worship and serve an absolute God who knows the absolute truth who acts at the perfect time. We arent privy to that. We need to keep in mind that He knows whats best for us. Rom 8:28.

    Mental illness is larger that we care to admit. Theres about 30,000 suicides a year. This rivals deaths on the road and far exceeds military deaths in the trenches yet so little of our resources is used to deal with it. If you come across someone who is despondent, of course we pray but please do act upon it…even call 9-1-1.

  16. OGramps says:

    Hello Everyone! Welcome Phpatato!

    I am a vietnam veteran. I know first hand this kind of thing went on all the time in the jungle over the most sensless things. I have to agree with something that was said earlier. There is no way for the average person to comprehend what goes on in war.

    Even some who have served other areas outside of the frontlines I’m sure hear stories but cannot fully appreciate what happens to a person when they are trained to kill in a split second without even thinking about it.

    Then take that person and put them in the worst possible situation, in a location that reeks with an evil feeling. Like any sin killing does become easier the more one does it.

    I personally belive that all of the wars, conflicts, etc. have been but a rehearsal for the final battle when the armies of the earth turn to fight the returning Savior.

    I praise God everyday for His mercy and that the blood of Jesus is sufficient to cover ALL our sin.

    Church… Pray for this soldier and his salvation. Pray for his family.

    God bless.

  17. poohpity says:

    We kill with indifference. We kill because we do not want to get our hands dirty with social injustice. We kill because we are to busy to care.

    We put young men/women into the military who are not yet fully grown and expect them to reason and think like adults. Then when they react to what they see and do we call them sick. Some folks are just not meant to be warriors and some are but choose not to go into the military because they want to live the freedom without giving anything.

    It seems the same with our Christian walk we enjoy the freedoms we have in Christ but are unwilling to get out of the pews to serve as we are called to do. We take for granted our freedom because we might get our sunday best dirty. We wonder why things are the way they are. The answer is we have made them this way.

  18. phpatato says:


    I agree that what I had was a demon. I accepted that and fought a hard and long battle with “it/him”. In my opinion, I don’t care if you call it a demon, a diagonsis or a disease…whatever the name, it has to be “fixed”. Depression/mental illness is a real demon of the mind and unfortunately I know first hand that it exists and what it does. No one can know unless they suffer it. The problem to solve it is not easy but with continuing prayer and with my Lord’s help, I beat it….so far. Can I lapse into it again? Absolutely. Can anyone out there fall prey to it? Absolutely.

    According to one statistic from a center dealing with depression (Canadian): In any given year, about seven percent – between 13 million and 14 million people – will experience a depressive disorder. Of those who develop depression/anxiety, only about 20 percent will receive adequate treatment. According to Health Canada and Statistics Canada, approximately 8% of adult Canadians will experience a major depression/anxiety at some point in their lives, and around 5% will in a given year. Depression/anxiety continues to be Canada’s fastest-rising diagnosis. From 1994 to 2004, visits for depression/anxiety made to office-based doctors almost doubled. In 2003, that meant 11.6 million visits to doctors across Canada about depression/anixety.

    As these are Canadian stats (I am Canadian) we always at least double the stats to have it fall in line with a larger population in the States. Scary eh? Mtman..here is a link you might want to read. As an army brat, I have personally seen the horror in dad’s eyes the few times he talked about the wars he served in…World War II and the Korean Conflict.


    Rokdude5…Thank you for your statement of not only praying for someone who is despondent but acting as well.

    God Bless you All…these are just my opinions on a very sensitive subject.

  19. mtman says:

    I lived the first half of my life as a pagan. It was that first half I spent 8 years in the military. I can only say that to whom much has been forgiven, how much greater the thanks. Our Lord has forgiven our sins and he does not weigh them, he counts them all as sin. Young men/women who go to war may not be warriors initially, but if they live long enough they become that way quickly. They are taught to kill and defend themselves but most of all to follow orders. They are changed in the process. They need our prayers and support. Sometimes you may do your duty and never know if you have killed or not. It is not all face to face with the enemy.

  20. pegramsdell says:

    Yes Pooh, we kill everyday, in different ways. Forgive us Lord…..protect our soldiers, heal their hearts, and calm their minds.

  21. laney says:

    Your comment about the men being taught to kill and defend them selves reminded me of a program I watched a couple of years ago.They filmed a bunch of men that joined the military.They showed what they went through during boot camp.At the end of the program I noticed that all these men had what I would call a crazed look in there eyes.I thought to myself it is like they have all been brain washed.Then I thought yea they have been they have been taught to kill.I just can’t get that picture out of my mind of the look in all of there eyes.It was creepy.

    It must really be hard for the military who are christians.We are told to read our bibles so we can renew our minds to Gods way of thinking.Jesus says for us to love our enemies.They have two different forces pulling at there minds.They really need and deserve our prayers

  22. daisymarygoldr says:

    Very helpful post on “killing/devouring one another”… The enemy seeks whom he may devour and sometimes in my foolishness I end up fighting for the enemy instead of fighting against him.

    I agree with sjd that this is also spiritual warfare. This battle though… is fought on another front… to fight the enemy on the inside

    Personally, I find it much easier to defeat the enemy on the outside but… really struggle to tackle and conquer the enemy on the inside — my carnal “self”. It is a shame, that in my zeal to fight evil, I fall an easy prey to the enemy’s subtle tactics to use my “self” to hinder God’s divine purpose.

    However, every time I use my carnal “self” as a weapon to fight the spiritual warfare, I’m thankful for the rebuke of the Holy Spirit’s “get thee behind me satan”… today’s post is doing just that…

    Please pray for me that I will refocus my eyes back on Christ…to be reminded that even though I walk in the flesh I do not war after the flesh… to end up killing others …instead I should walk in the spirit to produce fruits of the spirit against which there is no law…

  23. mtman says:

    phpatato: Welcome to the blog. You make good points. I don’t disagree that there is depression within the ranks. That is why when I was in there was so much drinking and such. Anyone is subject to depression but there are other things that effect our military men and women too.
    The stress of always looking for that shot that will be aimed at you and thousands of other things that can happen in a conflict that will make this day your last. You try not to think about it but it is always in the back of your mind. Day in and day out it wears on you.
    Your dad probably knows the horrors of the Korean war, where the enemy would sneak into the mens tents at night and knife our troops while they slept. You couldn’t even sleep safe. My brother-in-law was victim to that.
    I am just saying it is not all attributed to depression and other factors play a large role too. You have to be on guard 24/7, for yourself plus watch your buddies back. In the meantime you have keep your equipment in workable order.
    My son who was in Iraq initially told me the anti missile defense was down for repair and just as they booted it back up it fired automatically. A scud was headed directly for their camp. It was destroyed within 100 yards of where they were congregated. But for providence they would have been toast. The stress is constant and grinds on day after day. Guys get depressed for sure but the stress is something you can taste. It lasts the entire tour of duty and most handle it well. Some don’t. That is why I plead for people to pray for our soldiers, both men and women.

  24. sjd says:

    I am amazed at the enemy inside of me as well. It is frustrating to see how through the years as a believer, and I believe one growing in grace, there are times when my flesh is just as alive and well as ever.

    Seems to me that even though this enemy the flesh is on the inside, it is fed by the enemy and his world on the outside. So we must keep alert in this warfare at all time.

    Have a brother in Christ that relates a story about how it would be impossible for many of us to fight a Sumo wrestler, unless we starved him down to our size. The point is that our enemy the devil wants so much to feed our flesh, we must flee from him and his propaganda, to starve our flesh and feed on the Word.

    Through the years, rules and regulations have not been helpful for me to win the battle. The best strategy has always been to draw close to my Lord through the Word, prayer, and obedience to His leading.

    Trying to change others by moral and religious laws also isn’t the way. This battle in our lives and others will only be won by the Spirit and the Word of God.

  25. Rick123 says:

    Pro 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.(NIV)

    Pro 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do.(NLT)
    (If the heart is not guarded and evil knowledge enters through it’s door, it will become desperately wicked and deceitful above all things. And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers.(Rom 1:28,29)….Hsa 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

    Jam 4:1 From whence [come] wars and fightings among you? [come they] not hence, [even] of your lusts that war in your members?

    Jam 4:2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.

    Jam 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume [it] upon your lusts.

  26. kaliko88 says:

    Will probably misspell some as a cat is sleeping on one arm and I am typing with the other.

    I’m not sure I would want to try to answer why that soldier lashed out, or even to seek it out. I am heavily biased since my brother is a major in the army, has had as many tours as that soldier, has recently gone through the death of his 9 month old daughter, and is looking at the possibility of another overseas tour. Then again, my brother has a strong faith, and a huge supprtive family. Maybe that soldier didn’t.

    I think you are right Mart, when we stop looking towards Jesus, we think only of ourselves. It’s a very skewed and dishonest view. Makes us even easier targets for evil.

  27. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks for this blog.
    I have read it a long tome now, but was never able to post a comment, it always failed. Will try it now.
    In the Netherlands on our national holiday, the Queens day, a man rode with a black car with high speed into the watching crowd to get to the queen. He killed a lot of people doing that, up to 20, and died himself too.
    Was he so fogged in his mind, he didn’t know what he was doing? He was lonely, and just lost his job.
    My mother says: You do not know what you are cabale of. And then she would tell how she felt when a truck driver rode into our family car years ago, when I was young.The driver just wasn’t looking on the road. My dad, my sister and myself were badly injured (we are OK now), she and my youger sister were OK. But when the truck driver got out of his car, she wanted to get at him and do to him …….
    Well she never did. For the grace of God we have not done things we could have done.

  28. foreverblessed says:

    Sorry, I meant to say: you do not know what you are capable of doing.

  29. pegramsdell says:

    I remember after my brother came back from Vietnam. He was messed up. He was a Green Beret Sergeant. Soon after he got back he got married and I remember hearing stories about his wife waking him up and he almost shot her, and his father-in-law coming in the house while he was sleeping and he came at him with a gun.
    He never hurt anyone, but could have.

    He seemed to be mad at everyone, especially all of us. He said that while he was away fighting for this country, we were just playing around. We were just kids at the time.

    I feel bad for this guy and his family, and the families of the other soldiers. I pray for peace and comfort for them.

  30. mtman says:

    foreverblessed: Glad you were able to post and contribute. Welcome!
    It seems on the news we hear about someone trying to harm people each day. People struggle for a reason to understand their actions but if they come up with one we don’t normally hear about it.
    Perhaps when people don’t have the Lord and they rely upon themselves they ultimately fail and then get depressed or dispondent over their weakness and do bad things. I don’t know but it is sure a sorry state of affairs.
    Perhaps Steve is right, that we all have a murderer within us. I remember a sermon a long time ago where the priest said that when you deny a person and ignore them that is the same as pointing an invisible gun at them and pulling the trigger. They don’t exist for you and that is equal to murder. Maybe so, but it makes sense to me. I don’t think we evaluate our actions in comparison to what the bible tells us sometimes.
    Welcome to the blog.

  31. SFDBWV says:

    mtman, you are quite correct in speaking of character assasination. I believe when gossip reaches the point of destroying another individuals good name, murder has occured.

    Wagging tongues, bearing false witness against someone is a very ugly and often the person who is the recipient of the gossip knows nothing of the back stabbing that is causing them the troubles they suffer.

    Murder in the heart, murder with the weapon, Jesus said they are the same. To the murderer.

    The internet now provides us with instant news all around the world. We can see killing and murders anew every day. I think it has went on as long as man has been alive. We just are able to see more of it now.

    I also want to say that the “Ten Commandments” say “thou shalt not kill” But I have read that another interpetation states “Thou shalt not murder”

    Looked upon with these two different meanings, killing in battle or in self defense has an intire different complection than the murder of another person for other reasons.

    I have always thought that the “Thou shalt not murder” statement made sense, since just after giving the Israeli people the Ten Commandments God sent them into the promised land and told them to “Kill” every man woman and child…

  32. daisymarygoldr says:

    Steve/SFDBWV, I do see the difference you pointed out between “to kill” and “murder”. I, personally struggle with “outburst of anger” when people downplay the truth to make it suit their needs. If unbelievers slander Gods’ Word, I simply ignore it.

    However, when believers knowingly try to trim/tweak or wink at God’s absolute truths it makes my blood boil…I am not even sure if it is my flesh or my spirit… and my anger when expressed in words are like sharp weapons. I do not ever want to intentionally hurt those that I have been called to love and moreover, it is not fun when fellow believers accuse me of being ungracious, self-righteous/superior.

    Steve, my Q to you is: is that justified as “killing” in defense of truth or is that considered plain “murder”?

  33. daisymarygoldr says:

    Also, here is something for the group:

    Since we have been discussing about armor, spiritual warfare, overcoming and producing fruits/works of the Spirit… I have been thinking about the Gospel account in Mark 11… where Jesus was hungry and went looking for fruits on the Fig tree and it was not the season. Jesus was disappointed to see it was full of leaves but had no fruits… so He cursed and the Fig tree withered and died.

    The bible says that a tree is judged by its “fruits” and believers are known by their “works”.

    Rev 3:5 says “He that “overcomes” … I will not blot out his name out of the book of life…”

    In Ps 69:28 the Psalmist prays: “…may they be blotted out of the book of life…”

    In Rev 20 “…the book of life is opened and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their “works”…”

    Q: Do the above scriptures apply to believers? If believers failed to produce fruits out of season will their names be blotted out of the book of life? Of course I know, that my soul is securely saved in Christ forever…and that I am an overcomer in Christ…

    More pointedly what I am trying to seek is: If Jesus suddenly decides to seek fruits in my life while I am in the middle of an “outburst of anger” moment (i.e. out of season)… what will be the consequence? Will it be something that happened in Mark 11?

  34. daisymarygoldr says:

    Oh, I’m aware of the interpretation that the Fig tree represents Israel…

  35. poohpity says:


    I have outbursts of anger too. That is an area that is in process as well. Jesus did say that if you even look at someone with anger in your heart you have committed murder. We could water that down and determine the difference in righteous and self motivated anger. Knowing that God does not need us to defend Him it would seem then that a lot of anger may be self motivated. God has not given us the job of keeping track of any one’s walk with Him but only our own, that in it’s self is a full time job.

    Sometimes the subtle things we do can end up harming someone else in some form or another. As James points out the tongue is very deadly even though it is a small thing it can cause so much destruction. I remember that song from a long time ago “killing me softly with his words” really hits the nail on the head. It takes a lot of self control to think about what we are saying before it comes gushing out of mouths. I was taught a long time ago to be kind and watch what I say because you never know what struggle someone is going through and a word can cause destruction or healing.

  36. daisymarygoldr says:

    poohpity, thanks for the reply and I totally agree with you about the Bible equating anger to murder. By asking these Qs, I’m not trying to justify my anger rather I do accept and acknowledge it as wrong… hence my request for prayers in my comment yesterday.

    Yes, as you said sometimes there is the danger of self-motivated anger… which will be marked with hatred. Righteous anger will not bear hateful feelings for brothers and sisters in Christ. Besides, the anger is not at the person… it is against wrong thinking. I agree with Steve/SFDBWV’s justification to “kill”. So, I’m thinking… angry words will certainly kill and destroy… not the person but falsehood in the church.

    You are right about kind words… it is not difficult for me to show kindness and speak kindly and watch my words in person. In fact I might be boiling mad over something with my friend at church… yet I always manage to paste the sweetest hypocritical smile on my face to say how much I really missed her. On the other hand, the impersonal environment of the blog provides the freedom and a safe place for me to be honest and express my angry thoughts… not to show disrespect… but to seek honest answers. Having said this, I want to assure that I really do love you and all the others here…

    I also agree with you that God does not need us to defend Him… or His truth. However, we are called to stand for the truth…. Jesus stood for the truth and was killed, the apostles stood firm to defend the truth and lost their lives and the early believers were persecuted because they refused to conform to falsehood but gladly embraced martyrdom while defending God’s truth. Just my thoughts…

  37. SFDBWV says:

    Daisy, I am not sure I understand your question. But let me try.

    Jesus says, if we get angry we are close to the hell fires. He didn’t say we were lost or that we had committed murder in our hearts. But warned us of how close we are to sin by being angry.

    I too get upset when people knowingly pervert the truth of God’s word in order to lay down false doctrine. My spirit is offended, but the judgement upon them belongs to God. Not me. So I am relieved of condeming them.

    Of course it is easy to get our feelings hurt when we join in conversations with any one. We may be misunderstood or what we may say may be misinterpeted. It is a very difficult procedure to converse here on the blog, as we are only able to communicate with written words maybe hours apart. Not with expression, eye contact or tone of voice. We also can’t reach out with a reassuring touch and ease the moment. If nessessary.

    You are correct it is not fun to be falsely accused. When I first commented here about wether or not non Christians trusted Christians, you bit my head off. I was confused as to what I had said to desreve such a lecture. Or how what I had said could have been so badly misinterpeted. But I did not get angry. Only confused.

    After a couple other misunderstandings, you and I made peace. Because we both want to serve Christ and be good witnesses for him. We both learned to walk a little softer. I am glad we did. I don’t think there was any “killings or murders” that transpired between our misunderstandings. At least not from me. Murder cannot be justified. Killing in self defense certainly can be argued.


  38. poohpity says:


    I was not in any way directing my post towards you it was just my thoughts about how one can constitute justification for anger. I feel Jesus was justified in His anger towards the total missed interpretation of what was being done in the temple because He is God. Jesus saw how the teachers of the law in those days completely misunderstood the principles of what was intended to be learned. They missed the point as I do many times. Jesus taught but in a life application sort of way. The pharisees did not walk the talk, so Jesus who was the Word had every right to be angry over their teaching. We on the other hand are not Jesus.

    To me those who have been martyred lived out their faith to the point of death and sometimes one thinks they are being persecuted only to find out it was their behavior that turned people away not the faith portrayed.

  39. daisymarygoldr says:

    Steve, thank you! you have answered my Q and I am completely with you on “Murder cannot be justified. Killing in self defense certainly can be argued”.

    Regarding the “non Christians trusted Christians” conversation, it was the mention of Gandhi that ticked me off. That man read and knew more about the Bible than you and I do… but never accepted Christ as God. Personally I bear a special dislike for him…because in his old age he slept with young girls to test if he was still a man and… he called Hitler his “friend”.

    Sorry, Steve:( for the confusion… I didn’t mean to bite your head off. I’m glad you brought it up…

    poohpity, will talk to you later…

  40. poohpity says:

    I have learned sometimes it is better to be kind than to be right.

  41. pegramsdell says:

    We really should encourage each other, not kill each other. Especially just to be right or have the last word. I have regretted so many words I’ve said that I can’t take back. People everyday say whatever they want and never think about encouraging someone. They only think about themselves. That stinks.
    I need to build my brother and sister up in the Lord.

  42. diamonds says:

    Such a little piece of the anatomy, isn’t it? The tongue, I mean. With it we bless God and curse men. Brothers(and sisters:-), this ought not to be so. Yes, God does have absolutes, and we have absolutely broken every one of his absolutes, haven’t we? God has given every one of us choice. From the very beginning He has not wanted a relationship with robots. Murderers, adulterers, liars, gossipers…and such were some of us. BUT we were washed. And after being washed, we have the absolute right to kill with the tongue those who have not yet been so fortunate? Or kill with the tongue those who have been washed but have a different perspective on to go about getting people to change? God forbid. After being washed, we don’t throw stones toward those who have not yet “arrived.” With gratitude we remember who we were and on our knees we labor, we plant, we water, but God gives the increase. Is there such a thing as righteous anger? You betcha. But not against people. Not against flesh and blood. We are called to be salt and light to a dark world. We are called to fulfill the law through love, not by looking over our shoulders and saying to hell with all of you people who haven’t accepted Him yet. If “life” is one of those absolutes mentioned earlier, then do we look at it through a telescope and narrow it down to one aspect? Or do we do as Jesus did and embrace a wider spectrum of that definition when He called us up higher? So…if life is an absolute, why do we kill with the tongue? Doesn’t the life issue embrace that too? Too many of us have made our GOD too small. We swallow a camel and strain at a gnat. You who call your brother a killer, do you do the same? Do you kill with your tongue?
    It is okay to be angry. But in our anger, we are admonished to not sin. Our enemy is not one another. Why do we bite and devour one another? Whatever gets your blood boiling, sister, give it to Jesus. His shoulders are big enough and wide enough. Wasn’t he patient with each and every one of us? Grant the same kindness to your neighbor, your brother. Mercy will be shown to those who extend mercy. By the same token, the same judgment you use to judge your brother will be meted out to you. I don’t know about you, but if I err, I want to err on the side of mercy. I’m not saying that we should not stand up for righteousness. I’m saying we stand up by kneeling down. Too many of us want to wave banners and rant and rave about issues we cannot control, law or no law. Let’s get down to the business of that new command Jesus left us. We don’t have to remember ten. All ten are summed up in one. Love your neighbor.

  43. mtman says:

    Diamonds: That is the most I have seen you post. Not only that but your post is excellent. I loved it.

  44. daisymarygoldr says:

    poohpity, though we differ in our views I think that’s okay… thanks for the response!

    pegramsdell, I did thank you and the others for your prayers for my daughter but it got deleted. So, once again thank you so much for all your prayers… you are truly a prayer warrior!

    diamonds, I enjoy reading your thoughts… keep posting!

  45. bubbles says:

    poohpity, Thank you for your wisdom at 3;47. I’ll write that down to be remembered.

  46. wretch-like-me says:

    Marti posed the question:
    “If you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.” (Gal 5:15)

    Why would Paul say this after wishing harm on those who put their trust in law (Gal 5:12) , and who ignore liberty in Christ (Gal 5:1), using instead their freedom in Christ as an occasion to fulfill their own natural desires (Gal 5:13), instead of walking in the Spirit (5:16), with the result of doing things they regret (5:17), like “outburst of anger” and “murders” (5:19-21), instead of qualities against which no one makes laws (5:22-23)?

    Answer: PRIDE

    It is the sin that brought Satan down. It is (in my opinion) the root of most of our ‘fleshly’ sinfulness.

    Street corner ‘bible-thumpers’ get pumped up with a fleshly high and get in peoples’ faces…believing they are ‘soldiers for Christ’.
    Self-righteous ‘christians’ share the same ‘lust’…
    We ‘take offense’ when in fact we have no right to do so; are we not ‘bond-slaves’? Slaves have no rights!

    Check out your own motives for feeling anger, insult, injury, threats or fear!

    Each of the above is the flesh talking. I am not saying that I have conquered these; only that I have had conversations with God after experiencing each and ‘was found lacking’.

    A friend of mine once told me the trouble with being a ‘living sacrifice’ is that it keeps crawling off the altar. (LOL)

    There is truth in the saying “We Christians may be the only group that shoots our own wounded!” (mainly with our tongue)

    Ultimately, we must realize that the War is Over! Christ said it on the Cross… “It is finished!” Satan would have us believe it all depends on us…

    Relax, take a breath, and let Christ work thru you!
    Love is patient, love is kind, love endures all things

  47. mtman says:

    Wretch like me: My bible says bond servants. There is a difference between slave and servant. Also in John 8:36 it says: Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
    I agree with the pride part. I have a good friend who is what you would refer to as a bible thumper, street corned preacher. I can only say in response that some people over his 85 years clearly relate and respond to him. I would say that he has enriched the Kingdom and been a faithful servant all those years.
    Perhaps some of the anger comes from doubt. I think we all have doubts at times, certainly Thomas had doubts. That is good and healthy and when people challenge our doubts we get defensive and angry. When we see the waste of people and souls we should get angry. I agree in part with you and respectfully disagree in part.

  48. foreverblessed says:

    WLM, thank you for your response:
    It really made me laugh: a living sacrifice wants to crawls off the altar.
    Everytime again through the day the thought came back and it made me laugh.
    But how true that is.
    The Meditations of Oswald Chambers were the reason I ran into this website a few years ago.
    One of the things I was intrigued by was his statement that we have to become broken bread and poured out wine for the world. (February 9).
    But I want to crawl of the altar.
    What does that have to do with: us killing one another?
    We do not want to be on that altar, we want to set things right.

    Liked that part: relax, let Christ live in you, through you.
    And that is also the part when Christ is being poured out wine through us.

  49. pegramsdell says:

    Also….we are sons. We (do) need to ask ourselves why we are mad or angry at what others say…..but, who’s your Daddy?

    I am free, and I am a child of God. I can defend Him. (even though He doesn’t need me to) Sometimes I can’t help it. I love Him.

    And I love His creation too. But I marvel at the hardness of hearts in people who think they know it all.

  50. MK Gates says:

    This is how you know whether to do something openly in PUBLIC or privately in SECRET:
    Two or more people: “Ye are a city set on a hill” is CORPORATE, A GROUP OF PEOPLE, not one individual.

    Individuals: keep faith-based secrets with God.
    Charitable gifts: Don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. (Matt 6:1-4).
    Prayer: Do all your personal praying to your Father in secret, privately and alone. Just you and your Father know. Your Father who SEES in secret, will REWARD you OPENLY.
    Fasting: Do it in such a way that others cannot know you are on a fast. (6:16-18)

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