I watched a documentary called “ The Miracle of Hope – The Brooklyn Tabernacle Singers “
It is about a prison ministry in Angola, Louisiana. There are many great testimonies such as :
“Bishop” Eugene Tanniehill – convicted and imprisoned in1956 at the age of 21. He gave his life to God and was freed after 51 years.
I have had a strong desire to start a prison ministry for some time now. I was looking into it with two Indonesian pastors when I made a comical error. We were speaking Indonesian and I told them that I had wanted to ‘go into prison’ for a long time. They laughed and said they hoped it was to minister.
A man in Australia was charged with having child porn on his laptop. The interesting part was that computer experts could prove that he had not accessed the files in over three years. A man was recently released after spending 27 years in jail for a crime they can now prove he didn’t commit.
An 11 year old boy shot the pregnant fiancé of his father and is expected to be tried as an adult. He could face life in prison.
What sort of response is that ???? 11 year old boys in broken homes have emotional, hormonal and psychological problems. When their fathers buy them ‘youth-model shotguns’ who is to blame when they do something erratic? Why should a 20,30,40,50 year old man sit in jail for something he did when he was 11 years old ?
A more appropriate response in my opinion would be to outlaw firearms or charge the father with irresponsible handling of a fire arm or something more constructive.
Statistics prove beyond a doubt that prisons fail to rehabilitate people. In fact, in some parts of America, the reoffending rate is as high as 80%. Well over the majority of prisoners in American prisons will be released in the next 10 years. What sort of people will they be? Experience tells us they will be angrier, more violent, more alienated and more prone to commit crime than before they went in.
Thousands of children grow up in environments and circumstances that leave them with a huge statistical probability to be dead or in prison before they hit their mid 20s. Greed and consumerism leads to sections of the community being alienated. Those people have very little hope or chance of overcoming the roles society has prepared for them and who is to blame?
So many people end up I prison before they know what they are even doing with their life. By the time they work out it is too late.
The versus read to a person before they are executed in America are :
“Whoever sheds the blood of man,
by man shall his blood be shed;
for in the image of God
has God made man.
1Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.
We are all sinners. In God’s eyes sin is sin. These are complex issues but one fact is beyond argument…our society is crumbling. Its not working. Consumerism is horrible. Communism doesn’t work…Oh, blessed be the day when we shed these earthly vessels and put on the robes He has prepared for us…but until then, what can you do to create a bit of change ? To bring a bit of love into someone’s life ? To be a mentor to someone ? To build a bit of His kingdom on earth ?
Whatever it is I pray it will be successful beyond your wildest expectations and His name will be glorified to the ends of the earth. Amen