3MN: a powerful damnation of others.

3MN: a powerful damnation of others.

Happy 3-Minute Thursday!

You are busy, so let's make this quick. No fluff, no filler, no spamming. Just three minutes each week to help you think critically and focus on what matters most.

🌎 Minute 1 - The 6th Mass Shooting of 2023.

Over the weekend, a gunman opened fire in an outlet mall in a Dallas, Texas, suburb, leaving eight people dead and seven others injured. The suspect, identified as 33-year-old Mauricio Garcia, was killed at the scene after a shootout with police. The victims' identities have been released and range from 5 to 61 years old. Officials are investigating online posts made by the shooter promoting white supremacy as a possible motive for the attack. Garcia had arrived at the mall with a semi-automatic rifle, at least one handgun, and body armor, indicating that the attack was premeditated.

My response is not conservative or liberal, it is Christ-centered. It’s a way of life where killing machines aren’t welcome; where prayers are effective; where love of enemies is as important as loving neighbors.

💬 Minute 2 - A quote from an Allen, TX Christian.

Troy Stirman, gun-owner and member of Greenville Oaks Church of Christ in Allen, Texas says this,

“At the end of the day, people are getting killed. So maybe we need to have a conversation about safety beyond just catchphrases, beyond the knee-jerk reactions and certainly beyond the emotional pendulum swings that always seem to follow this.”

I am only 3 years younger than the shooter, and we both grew up in the Dallas suburbs. This leads me to wonder: what incidents in his life led him to make such a cruel choice? Could my story's ending have been the same given the same background, events, and setting?

Jesus, who chose to give his life in place of killing, was roughly the same age. If Jesus was the model of what it is to be truly human, then it is most evident on the cross. The opposite of humanity—as in the case of the Allen gunman—is his life ending by taking others with him.

The vast majority of Americans would never even consider committing a crime as outrageous as what the Allen shooter did, but they also wouldn't consider making a sacrifice as outrageous as what Jesus made on the cross.

🥦 Minute 3 - Who do we resemble, Jesus or the shooter?

In his Sermon on the Mount commentary, Scot McKnight, wrote, “Many of us love our neighbors in such a way that it is at the same time a powerful damnation of others, and we do this damnation in the socially acceptable form of exclusion, denunciation, and libel.”

If we take this teaching seriously, we are all in our sins. Who prays blessings for enemies? How unreasonable! Who rids guns as forms of protection? How impractical!

If the incarnation of Jesus is God’s evidence of divine humanity, we are not “buying in” to his character if we continue to make enemies. In fact, the greater desire we have for maintaining enemies, the more we are like the Allen gunman than to our Galilean Savior.

👉 Who is right?

  • Perhaps conservatives are closer to kingdom operation in their belief in the power of prayer.
  • Perhaps liberals are closer to kingdom operation in their belief in ridding the country of the sale of military-grade weapons.
  • Perhaps neither are close to the kingdom in how they love their enemy.
Do you fight harder to love your enemies or maintain them? I want to hear from you. Send your reflections or thoughts by simply replying to this email.


T L I C T T B A S T W A C I S.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

We grow primarily through word-of-mouth. If you enjoy our emails and believe in the mission, then share the 3 Minute Newsletter via text, social media, or email Just copy and paste this link: https://www.paytonminz.com/newsletter/

Until next week,

Payton Minzenmayer

p.s. Your Life In Weeks