The Death of Outrage And The Sickness In Our Soul: Duane W.H. Arnold

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82 Responses

  1. Michael says:

    Duane, thank you for this.
    I agree wholeheartedly.

    I think the excerpt from letter to Diognetus is as close to a mission statement as I’ll ever see…

  2. Duane Arnold says:


    I think that excerpt is the Gospel, pure and simple…

  3. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    How do you come to the conclusion that “the church” is not outraged? You sound outraged. If my wife and I had a conversation this morning expressing our joint outrage about the shootings, while we were out fishing, would that count as the church being outraged?

    What does church outrage look like? (anti Trumpism doesn’t count)

  4. Michael says:

    I think Duane explained our position well.

    The school shootings are a symptom of a deeper societal issue and yes, a church issue.

    We live in time of acceptance of many sorts of violence…sometimes mourned,but increasingly acceptable as collateral damage in support of “greater” virtues.

    We need to deal with the root while mourning the symptoms…

  5. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael – “We live in time of acceptance of many sorts of violence…”

    Can you name someone you know who accepts this kind of violence? or was that just rhetoric?

    I have personal experience. I had a good friend and co worker, slaughtered in Las Vegas. We shared vacations together, we both had 2nd homes and boats here in Lake Havasu, – I am morally outraged and disgusted by the Las Vegas shooter (note I said shooter to personalize it and not leave it as a generic shooting) – there is nothing the church could have done.

    So what does outrage look like – do we all call our pastor and tell him to can the sermon for tomorrow and speak on gun violence and lobbying the NRA?

  6. Duane Arnold says:

    Social concerns, including the sorts of violence outlined above, should be our concern as the Church. MLD, I mourn your loss… we should all mourn your loss. Yet, too often, we don’t mourn. We just move on to the next news story with some vague hope that “it doesn’t happen again”. We should show our outrage by prayer and by action. If nothing else, holding people, including the President and many church leaders, accountable for their words and actions that promote this atmosphere of violence…

  7. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane – I will leave it at this – “accountable for their words and actions that promote this atmosphere of violence…”

    Do you really think that public figures are giving permission, a wink of the eye to promote this type of violence – shooting up schools?

    I should reconsider as this week the Democrats were suggesting that MS-13 ain’t such bad chaps after all. 🙂

  8. Duane Arnold says:


    The shootings are only the worst symptom of an atmosphere that has been building and from which none of us are exempt. Shall we consider comments after Charlottesville? Or commentators demeaning the Parkland kids? The list could go on and on…

  9. Babylon's Dread says:

    This article reads like one more attempt to say, “we” while really meaning, those guys who support Donald Trump and their kin. All too often I read here about the deficiencies of the free church movement and the vulgarities of the ‘church’ masquerading as christian. I can count on finding the latest take on why the church is declining and it sounds like the idea is that it should.

    The article does arrive at a seminal point; the culture is without moral and spiritual moorings and the banks of the river are overflowed. The church is indeed to be the moral compass of society and my wing of the church is definitely flawed. When discussions about guns and more guns supplant discussions about lack of moral restraint, we miss the point.

    I remain as always pessimistic about man without God and optimistic about man in Christ and what God is doing in the world. I join those here who grieve and rage against the moral collapse of conscience. I think school shootings are a symptom of a culture that has told Jesus to go to hell and take his mongrel family along.

    I give strong words but I as always, love and support the community on this blog and believe we have more in common than not.

  10. Duane Arnold says:

    #9 BD

    When I say “we”, I mean all of us. We all have a part to play. As I said in another comment, we are all too willing to move on to the next news clip.

    I do think that in too many areas we’ve forgotten our role, and sold our inheritance for a full parking lot, a piece of political power, or whatever happens to be going at the moment. BTW, I think you are right in your third paragraph…

  11. Babylon's Dread says:

    #10 Thank you for your cogent response …

    We often agree even when I don’t like it.

  12. Babylon's Dread says:

    The list of things that no longer shock us is very long…

    It took a lot of blood, perversion and lawlessness for us to get to this one.

    Our shock expressed in disgust was and is condemned by a culture that calls evil good and good evil.

  13. Duane Arnold says:

    #11 BD

    I’m glad to hear it…

  14. The New Victor says:

    There is an underlying sickness. I remember after Columbine that a lot of people were on the verge of saying that the victims deserved it due to those two kids being bullied. I saw a little of this after Parkland, but not as much as it was after Columbine.

    A mother recently murdered her child by throwing him out a window. There were multiple reports of CPS allegations against the father and a lot of indicators that the mother was far from right in the head. Yet I saw some women online commenting today, “well, the father was abusive,” as if to justify it! All the judge said was to surrender the kid’s passport because she was deemed a flight risk by the court. So murder-suicide was the answer?

    A few years ago, an acquaintance of mine, who is a bit of a SJW, was encouraging the Occupy Wall Street movement, “Burn it all down!” I really wonder how fragile the civilized society really is.

  15. Jim says:

    The violence of leftist drivel…

  16. The New Victor says:

    I just read an article on Yahoo news where they interviewed a kid at the school who said that the shooter was bullied by classmates, teachers and coaches. The the comments section… same as after Columbine. A lot of people coming out of the woodwork talking about bullying. I saw one mention that this was found to be an issue at Parkland as well, but haven’t seen any stories on it.

  17. John 20:29 says:

    Bullying is nothing new – amen to comments 12 & 14

  18. The New Victor says:

    Suicides in young kids have skyrocketed in the recent decade, far above what they used to be, shockingly of children younger than teens. What is going on that’s different?

  19. Jim says:

    The New Victor,


  20. Duane Arnold says:

    I agree with Jim about parenting, but I also agree with New Victor – “There is an underlying sickness.” Until we begin to deal with the issues in our own house, the Church, we will have little to offer…

  21. The New Victor says:

    Just heard the kid’s reason on a radio update on the way home: “I purposely didn’t shoot students I liked so that my story could be told.”

  22. Outside T. Fold says:

    A common denominator to so many mass killings: Domestic violence. Look. It’s here, too.

    One of Pagourtzis’ classmates who died in the attack, Shana Fisher, “had 4 months of problems from this boy,” her mother, Sadie Rodriguez, wrote in a private message to the Los Angeles Times on Facebook. “He kept making advances on her and she repeatedly told him no.”

    Pagourtzis continued to get more aggressive, and she finally stood up to him and embarrassed him in class, Rodriguez said. “A week later he opens fire on everyone he didn’t like,” she wrote. “Shana being the first one.” Rodriguez didn’t say how she knew her daughter was the first victim. LINK to SOURCE

  23. John 20:29 says:

    #18 – that is the key question… I was 11, i think, when we got our first TV… about 4 channels to start… Hopalong Cassidy westerns, 6 pm news casts, Queen for a Day, Spade Cooley’s western swing band, and Betty White was the sidekick to the guy who hosted the afternoon movies (think Errol Flynn or Rudolph Valentino)… Oh, and Chef Milani and pro wrestling (Gorgeous George)… every station left the air by midnight
    All fairly corny and benign…
    It was a big disappointment to me when i realized that i would be a tall blond adult. i wanted to grow up to look just like Elizabeth Taylor… but there was still a wide world to explore. I didn’t get a daily message from every corner that i couldn’t measure up. Plus the miracle of the New Birth. Back then one didn’t have to be a huge material success to be valuable to God
    As the various media have invaded every nook and cranny of life, it does seem reasonable to suspect that our children now are not developing with a very good sense of reality, worth and possibility.
    As Pastor Dread noted, evil is good and good is evil
    IMO gossip and bullying are as evil as murder – if they go unchallenged, they, too, can kill

  24. John 20:29 says:

    #19 – parenting today must be frightening…. Turn back the clock to the day when it was acceptable to apply discipline to the seat of a child’s understanding without the risk of child protective services knocking on your door… Not talking child abuse… My grammar school principal had a long switch leaning against her office wall. Not used often, but the kid who got a seat warming knew he’d earned it
    In my view the extremes of psychological manipulating practiced on children today may get results, but long term, it kills the soul
    Speaking as one who got her share of spankings as a child – not all deserved, but most were

  25. Jim says:

    Em, I don’t think most parents today are frightened, just clueless.

    This kid in TX was a walking red flag, but his parents apparently are blind.

  26. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I think some of you are dreaming thinking there was a time when kids were good and well disciplined.
    Where do you think gangs come from? How about the gangsters of Eliot Ness’ day? Ever wonder what the wild in wild west stood for?

    The people who shoot up schools are thugs just like those who run the streets of Chicago and LA. The reason for the confusion and stress is that they are white.

  27. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    BYW, at church this evening our flag outside was flying at half staff and the Texas shooting dead, survivors and families were held up in prayer – so by action I guess we were properly outraged.

    Good Pentecost & communion service tonight. Pentecost preached from Ezekiel 37.

  28. John 20:29 says:

    #26…. First sentence. agree
    Last sentence … I dont believe it is that simple, thugs are smarter about when and where they act… and they are not suicidal as so many of these demented school shooters seem to be

  29. The New Victor says:

    I live in a heavy gang area, North and south Mexicans and also Vietnamese. Other than property crimes, they kill each other. Ditto for the Russian mob, which had a presence in nor Cal. The last thing they want is more heat from the cops.

  30. Duane Arnold says:

    My wife’s office adjoins a public space. Four times a year there are surprise “active shooter” drills. The assumption is that an active shooter will be heavily armed with the intent to kill as many as possible in the shortest space of time. The drills are now simply a “normal” part of the work environment.

    While I am thankful for the public safety aspect of the drills, I find it very disturbing that this is the new “normal” in many places…

  31. Duane Arnold says:

    From Art Acevedo, Houston Chief of Police
    “This isn’t a time for prayers, and study and inaction, it’s a time for prayers, action and the asking of God’s forgiveness for our inaction (especially the elected officials that ran to the cameras today, acted in a solemn manner, called for prayers, and will once again do absolutely nothing)…”

  32. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    As long as abortion is the “norm” of the land, why are we surprised by the “new norms” which grow out of this “no value human life”?

    What did it take, one generation? Perhaps we need to look at the 1973 root.

  33. Michael says:

    I wish this was as simple as it’s often posited to be.
    There are a staggering number of factors at play that are destroying kids and creating these situations.
    Look at teen suicide rates…when they kill each other it makes news, but they’re also killing themselves at a higher rate than ever.
    It starts with a society that has few moral fences or structures.
    Listen to the top five rap songs and hear what these kids are pouring into their spirits via their ears.
    Yes, I do believe that human life has been devalued greatly, though I’ve never heard one of these kids bring up the abortion issue.
    The media they absorb through music, games, and video, is decidedly negative.
    It’s hard here to warn kids about marijuana or drug usage when there’s now a head shop every couple blocks.
    These teens are also the generation that has had all the technology and social media from the start of their development and we barely grasp the implications of that.
    They have been intentionally confused about gender and sexuality…something my generation never had to deal with,
    The family structure for many has collapsed…and collapsed at a time when all these other factors are at play…kids need structure and we’ve torn most of those structures down.
    Adults no longer model maturity, but incivility toward anyone who disagrees with them.
    I’ve touched on what the current political climate has done to race relations here…

    Finally, the schools do not demand performance, but attendance…thus nothing is earned.
    Through that and the media this group has a sense of entitlement on top of all the other issues.

    When those entitlement desires are unmet they get violent…the local police say they’ve never seen anything like it.

    Frankly, I’m not sure i’d make it through all this insanity myself if I were in that age group.

    If you know how to fix any of this, you’re way ahead of me…

  34. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael, all of the things you mentioned stem from the devaluation of life that legalized murder has brought. A person does not need to know the origin of that devaluation to have it affect them.
    The lyrics of the rap song are not the issue – they are just artists / poets expressing the hopelessness that our generation delivered to them by our overt approval of the 60 million abortion murders since 1973 (10 times the Hitler number – 6 times the Stalin number).

    So let’s start there – let us say “enough is enough” and put on a full court press and end this tragedy that says human life is not important.

  35. Michael says:

    Lord knows there’s nothing I hate more than sounding like a conservative…but without an understanding of God as the giver of life and the value of both life and persons as a foundation, there will be no societal change from outlawing abortion.

    That is not to in any way minimize the value of saving human life if we did.

    It doesn’t help that many who would support such legislation don’t support life outside the womb…especially if it’s from a foreign country…

    There…I don’t sound conservative anymore.. 🙂

  36. Jim says:

    Michael, at the top of the pyramid are the parents. None of the societal ills you listed existed in my kid’s world, because the fences I built were impenetrable. I had no interest in help from Babylon.

    Parents are literally accomplices in the criminal actions of their children. This should be codified in law.

  37. Michael says:


    In a perfect world, you’re right.

    The world I live in is full of single parent families where that single parent is working two jobs to pay rent and feed the kids..

    Those parents are finding themselves no match for a culture that has gone straight to hell and thinks it heaven…

  38. Jim says:

    Jailing parents not needed in a perfect world.

    We live in the same world, let’s not make a distinction. We live in a far less violent society than the one my kids grew up in, so either John Lott is right and more guns equal less crime, people are becoming better, or hard core law and order works. perhaps there’s another hypothesis, but I don’t know if I’ve heard it.

    I’m sorry, but single parenting is a choice, as are all the reasons/excuses given for why adults cant parent. It’s time to tie some consequences to choices that effect us all.

  39. Duane Arnold says:

    #37 Michael

    It might also help to see what the culture values and honors – money, swagger, power, the insult, etc.

    What the culture honors is 180 degrees from what the Church is supposed to honor… but that is being forgotten. Get a Christian celebrity for your event… people will come. Get a missionary for your event… it’ll be empty. We’ve bought into the culture way more than we are willing to admit, at least in my opinion…

  40. Michael says:


    I concur…but you knew that already. 🙂

    Prayer meetings are a thing of the past as well…

  41. Jim says:

    I had this thought when I was writing #38. Michael, Duane, and all…

    Why do you think violent crime has decreased dramatically since the 90’s?

  42. Michael says:


    I haven’t read anything that explains it…lots of theories,but no definitive answers.

  43. Jim says:

    Have you read any theories other than the ones I mentioned?

  44. Michael says:

    Locally, we’re bucking the trend…our crime rate is way up.

    Meth and the lack of living wage jobs being the biggest factors…

  45. Michael says:


    There are all sorts of studies noted online…

  46. Duane Arnold says:


    I’m looking at the statistics and there seems few correlations – we had more police when violent crime was highest. It began falling during the economic boom of the 90s, but the 2007/2008 recession had little effect. The increase, however, in large scale shootings since Columbine is striking…

  47. Jim says:

    ok…the “google is your friend” answer… 🙂

    Your state follows national trends.

  48. Jim says:


    I’m surprised that LEO numbers have decreased, as my theory, which doesn’t make me happy, is the police state. Increased population is a correlation, which makes no sense. Increase gun ownership is a correlation, but I consider that to be more of a fun fact than a reason to see causation. I’ll have to dig in to LEO numbers.

  49. Michael says:


    My county has been bucking the trend since 2012….

  50. Michael says:

    Google can be your friend if you use it to find real scholarship on issues…

  51. Jim says:

    Perhaps it’s lead in paint. That was #17 on vox’s list.

  52. Michael says:

    I was thinking more of articles like this…

    My guess is that in this partisan environment that this is another area where we will bring in dueling experts that cite what we want to think…I have no clue, myself.

  53. Duane Arnold says:


    I was going by the DOJ graphs, but your libertarian source seems to indicate there’s no agreement on the number!?

    That is strange in and of itself… especially the correlations in 2012/13

  54. Jim says:

    “My guess is that in this partisan environment that this is another area where we will bring in dueling experts that cite what we want to think”

    Well said.

  55. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I thought I had heard some years ago that the DOJ had changed the classification of some crimes off the “violent” list to lower numbers.
    But hey, perhaps I am doing violence to the stats 🙂

  56. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Curses – foiled again – wrong thread – meant for Weekend Word

    Michael – remove from here if you can.

  57. John 20:29 says:

    Many, many things have gone into the creation of what’s under discussion here.
    BTW, MLD is flat wrong that rap and lyrics don’t imprint on young brains… IMV, of course. ?
    In the 1950s & 60s it was rare to find a neighborhood where the majority of homes didn’t have mom home during the day – today, for most, the economy won’t accommodate that necessary ingredient for family life. And a popular opinion surfaced making it easier to adjust: you parents were the cause of all your troubles in life
    As we slid thru the 60s the tide turned and i seem to recall that nurture took on a very twisted meaning…. MLD was correct in his observation somewhere here that children are not innocent little darlings that only need guidance, not – gasp! – boundaries and correction… IMV again, of course ?

  58. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em, you misread again. I did not say that the violent rap music did not do harm. I said it didn’t just come out of nowhere and the rappers are just poets speaking of a valueless life that follows a generation (us) that said the murder of one million innocent unborn children annually is inconsequential.
    Life has no value, rap lyrics have no value, playing video games that practice and default mass killing become acceptable.
    To a few, they go over that threshold, leave reality and carry it out in real time.

  59. filbertz says:

    outrage has lost its way. Too much horsepower, too little traction. Since ‘nothing ever gets done’ due to ineptitude at the congressional level, the leverage of special interests, the spin of the apologists, the apathy and preoccupation of the masses, the disagreement and out-of-touch theories of the intelligencia, and the lack of accountability across the board in law enforcement…outrage doesn’t have a chance. All the above will wait it out or play off it, but nothing will get done. Outrage is too short-lived. “Lasting change is never forced; it is inspired.”

  60. John 20:29 says:

    My apologies, MLD
    #60 – in a nutshell, we are overwhelmed with evils on every side? Seems so…

    I was just told that the American Episcopal priest chosen to deliver a sermon at yesterday’s Royal wedding outraged the Brits … He was down to earth, comparing love and fire – not respecting the dignity of his office or of the occasion… Ceremony should not enter into reality-so-called?
    Guess we have our pprinciples, our traditions, but they should never enter in to how we live life…. sigh

  61. filbertz says:

    If ever the Church was needed to be the Church–to offer light, hope, solace, perspective, comfort, direction…this would be it. Instead, our collective addiction to ourselves, our tastes, our rights, our cultural superiority, our political clout and influence, our influence, our reputations, our media limelight, our post-modern independence, our Jesus-as-I-want-him-ness, our splintered lack of unity, and our doubt-ridden lack of assurance has rendered us impotent and unsure of where to turn or what to say besides ‘thoughts and prayers.’

  62. Duane Arnold says:


    Well said…

  63. Dan from Georgia says:

    Amen filbertz.

  64. The New Victor says:

    It all starts on the home. Given my own upbringing… good and horrible (70s/80s). Given my kids: molestation, and exposed to domestic violence in the other home. Children are at the most risk in their own homes by their own families. That hasn’t changed. It will never change.

  65. John 20:29 says:

    i wish i could convey what my preacher grandfather and his wife were… i didn’t appreciate them until i was older… there was nothing 2 faced or phony about them – no compromise period – they stood as Christians and, yet, somehow, they did it quietly and relentlessly –
    people of all walks of life, particularly young people, were drawn to them in spite of their uncompromising stand… i think you could feel that they were on speaking terms with God, somehow… but there was no pretense, no holy poses or platitudes. They were real people in every sense, but you knew that they feared and were comfortable with God.

    Sometimes, i wonder just how close i do walk to God… Is standing my natural position or do i do the “Christian dance?” we need to get our minds around true grace, i think… there is nothing benign about it… it has a strange strength, it draws the honest and repels the rebels

  66. Mud Man says:

    Should we be outraged? I think all seem to agree the answer is yes, but where the divergence comes is what to do about it.

    Some feel we live in the worst times ever and the Messiah must be close to save us, but history shows a different story.

    Why is it in “a post-Christian” culture, we say, “do no-violence” but yet almost our entire culture screams “do violence.” We love being stimulated by the simulated violence and death in all our past-times (just watch an episode of “Game of Thrones”). We even tattoo symbols of death and violence on our bodies and then wonder why these things happen in real life, where people act out what others love to observe.

    Yes, I’m cynical and quite frankly believe there will never be an end to evil men actively doing evil things to others.

    Duane, thank you for post, it is a worthy read.

  67. Duane Arnold says:

    Mud man

    Many thanks. Well said.

  68. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Mud Man – you are my kind of guy. “Yes, I’m cynical and quite frankly believe there will never be an end to evil men actively doing evil things to others. ”

    Someone who is willing to call individuals evil and call their acts evil. I am surprised that the community has not lit you up over this. Bravo!

    My view is that the only way to handle such people is to cage them or exterminate them as there is no changing them – these are present day people who have taken the mark of the beast and have sworn allegiance to him. (Rev 13) – perhaps we can do “social change” for the next generation.

  69. filbertz says:

    “I am surprised that the community has not lit you up over this. Bravo!”

    thanks for the back-handed compliment.

  70. John 20:29 says:

    Mud man (and others) always remind me of 2 Peter’s words in chapter 3 ….
    “They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”

    They have a point because evil and calamity has always lurked in our world. FWIW, i think it cycles and one of these cycles will be the last one… God is very thorough

  71. victorious says:

    Michael your # 33 is spot on. So spot on I am going to turn into a personal and persevering prayer list.

  72. Michael says:

    Thanks, vic…it’s worthy of prayer…

  73. Michael says:

    I can acknowledge evil people doing evil things…but this… “these are present day people who have taken the mark of the beast and have sworn allegiance to him. (Rev 13)” is one of the strangest things I’ve seen here in years…

  74. John 20:29 says:

    people do evil things, period – even in the family of God… i suppose, if one follows the thinking that the last days prophesies are all fulfilled from the time of the 1st incarnation of Christ forward one could come to some sweeping statements such as expressed in #69, but…
    no one from the day of their birth until the day of their physical death can be ruled out of the offer of eternal life, if they repent and worship Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord…
    that said, there seems to be a world-wide manifestation of intense evil today… not just an occasional event here and there
    i think that no one yet has been offered the MARK of the beast…. does MLD think we are born with it? ….?….

  75. Michael says:

    I’ve spent a lot of my life reading history…and I see no evidence that these times are any more evil than the past.

    We just are able to communicate about it better…

  76. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Hmmm, I find the comments by Michael and Em surprising. Are you denying that Christians today are not sealed by Jesus as is said in Revelation – or only those who will be around at the very end are sealed? If the Christian is sealed today, why isn’t the beast of Rev 13 marking his own?

    Now I am scared – being an unsealed christian is scary. This I find strange.

  77. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I used a double negative – “Are you denying that Christians today are not sealed by Jesus as is said in Revelation.”
    Should read;
    “Are you saying that Christians today are not sealed by Jesus as is said in Revelation?”

  78. Michael says:

    Christians are sealed by the Holy Spirit when they are regenerated.

    You’re the first person I’ve ever seen making a direct parallel between the Mark of the Beast and regeneration…and hopefully, the last. 🙂

  79. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    the devil does everything as a mockery and imitation of what Jesus does.
    I said nothing about regeneration by the beast.

  80. John 20:29 says:

    Don’t be scared, MLD… You have been sealed…. Im pretty sure. ?

    I do have to disagree with all of you who think that today’s world-wide manifestations of evil are no more intense than what we’ve seen down thru history… Does modern communication make us more aware? Yes, of course, but the other side of that fact is that it also nurtures evil more intrusively throughout a population
    From where i sit, we had the warning example of how depravity seems to breed dictators who promise, falsely, peace and reform… I fear the cry for peace as at some point we, the human racd, will accept THE false Christ, the one who hides pure hatred behind a smile

  81. Duane Arnold says:

    I wrote this column six days ago…
    Today, the latest school shooting took place here in Indiana, in the community in which I had my office for over twenty years. The Middle School where it took place is less than a mile from where I worked. I know the principal of the school and some of the teachers. The students, terrorized this morning, are the children of some of my friends, acquaintances and clients. The police chief is a friend. The names of the injured have not been released…

    How do we let this go on and on? I don’t know…

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