Comments and Replies ... and Who We Are

TANATA is devoted to discussing the paradoxes and the mysteries of life, among which is the paradox of the coexistence of good and evil. “God is love,” John tells us. Evil exists, we would suggest, not because God is detached or unconcerned, but because free will exists which is required for true, unforced love to exist. Still, it is painfully hard to reconcile this paradox. We believe that all evil one day will be judged and destroyed, until then we must pray.

DANIEL 7:13-14

13 “I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him.

14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed.


7 Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.

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ELIAKIM (Randall Carter Gray) is a freelance investigative journalist, former advertising executive, painter, screenwriter and Vietnam-era vet, who served as a military intelligence specialist with a Top Secret clearance in Ethiopia and Eritrea after being drafted in 1972.

Gray is a featured artist at the Hart Gallery on Main Street in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

An amateur Bible scholar, Gray believes he has solved the mystery of the identity of the unnamed “other disciple, whom Jesus loved” — revealing first in news releases, then in a documentary (it is hoped) that the African refugee, scribe and priest St. John Mark is the Beloved Disciple, having known the high priests Annas and Caiaphas because he worked with them.

Mary, the mother of Jesus, is at John Mark’s home in Acts 1:13-14. Compare that to John 19:26-27, which indicates that John Mark took Mary to his home “that very hour” Jesus requested it from the cross. But Wikipedia doesn’t care — they won’t list John Mark as being among those considered for the Beloved Disciple. It’s new, and correct, but they delete everything I paste in my sandbox relating to said topic.”

More about John Mark can be accessed on TANATA by using the “Search Me” space and button, searching for John Mark. An article about the “Certain Youth and Beloved Disciple” can be accessed on the website.

Gray has achieved runner-up, finalist and semi-finalist honors in three international film-festival screenwriting competitions for THE WIND WHISPERS MARY and COUNTING COUP (THE LAST INDIAN UPRISING), which has just been rewritten as a feature script.

THE WIND WHISPERS MARY is the story of a disabled American vet who engages an African-American college professor in a discussion about the origins of mankind and the African origin of Jesus and Leonardo da Vinci’s “vandalized” fresco The Last Supper.

COUNTING COUP (THE LAST INDIAN UPRISING) is a romantic western comedy featuring a neurotic young man of Navajo and Irish descent who helps the Hidatsa Indian tribe of South Dakota and Missouri recover a medicine bundle used in rainmaking ceremonies.

A former reporter and editor for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Gray attended the University of Georgia and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and holds B.A. degrees in English, psychology and mass communications. He is a student of art, film, the Bible, early Christianity, horticulture, blues guitar, Judaism, pop culture and ancient history.

The self-taught “pareidolia” painter randomly applies paint and sands, rubs and scrapes it off, looking for the images that may appear. He then develops the images and paints out the background. It is an unorthodox technique, Eliakim admits, but he enjoys finding new images in random data.

Rarely does the artist set out to paint something. When he does, he usually paints angels, using the random application and removal of paint to form the shape and create the face and hair. People have suggested that Gray should take some art classes and “get better.” Says Gray, “I’m having too much fun painting in the apophenia style to change anything. Every piece is completely unique from the others, so it’s always new to me.” Pareidolia, a form of apophenia, is the discovering of images in random data, such as when a person sees the face of Jesus in a piece of toast.

Gray has taught college composition courses as an adjunct professor and taught young people in Sunday school for 10 years. In 1985, he ghostwrote WHEN THE STORMS KEEP COMING, which was read in its entirety on the air by the Moody Radio Network in Chicago.

TANATA acknowledges the plight of Eritreans and Ethiopians struggling to achieve democracy. Our prayers especially go out to Coptic Christians in north and east Africa, who are some of the most persecuted Christians in the world.

Gray has studied Hebrew under Rabbi Joseph Davidson, formerly the rabbi for B’nai Zion, a Conservative congregation in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Gray is a former Southern Baptist, an ordained deacon and a confirmed Episcopalian.

TANATA supports Christian missions to the Coptic communities in Egypt and East Africa, including Coptic Orphans and Christian Aid Mission, as well as well-digging efforts in Ethiopia overseen by the Glimmer of Hope Foundation. TANATA is also an avid supporter of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. We are  seeking donations to fund annual mission trips to these parts of the world. 

email: rcartergray AT yahoo DOT com. Or call me at (423) 619-9034.