Let’s face it, people make their own choices to commit crimes, to use drugs, to join gangs, to end up in jail, prison and or rehabilitation facilities. There are many excuses provided, lots of blame to go around, and it seems like nothing ever effectively changes “those people."
In California we are inundated with so many news reports about crime, violent crimes, murders, rapes, drug use, drunk driving, and so much more. This state spends billions of dollars annually to operate prisons, not to mention the cost of crime on local police, county sheriff departments, state police, courts, probation, parole and insurance companies as well as victims. Taxpayers are constantly funding some type of anti-crime bill. And still “those people never change…”
But is this a true view? Or is this just an emotional response to the feeling of helplessness as an individual who is overwhelmed by so much disparity?
As a Christian I am challenged every day to stand on faith and actually believe that Jesus Christ can, and does, change lives. Even in church I have to remind myself of that truth. And, if I am honest, I must grasp the fact that I am no different than any other person who is struggling. Each of us struggle with sin, and all of us give in to some sin. “There is none righteous, no, not one.”
The Truth is a powerful force that we are called by God to accept and utilize in our every day lives. God tells us that if a man (or woman) has accepted Christ as Savior, he “is a new creation, old things are passed away; behold, and all things are become new.”
Any of us could bring to mind many Scriptures that can be applied stating that we are new creations as Christians, forgiven of our sins, and under the grace of God Himself. But do we REALLY believe that when we are talking about “those people?"
I would like to contend that if we, as a society, are going to address the issues of crime, drugs, alcohol, gambling, sexual immorality, etc., we must stand upon our faith in Jesus Christ and be ministers of The Word of God to institute moral rehabilitation in our families, communities, country, courts, jails and prisons. Moral rehabilitation is the absolute key to effectively addressing crime and behavior that negatively affects each of us as a community.
Serving California has made a commitment to do just that. Serving California was created to bring together people, just like you, to deliver the Gospel and to disciple men and women in prisons and jails, as well as to reach out to our veterans struggling with PTSD, and victims of violent crimes. We do this as a team with you when you pray with us, work alongside of us, and financially support our work.
Everyday I witness hundreds of men’s changed lives. Leonard was a lifer who is now a pastor at his own church in Texas. Robert is an elder at his church in Los Angeles and recently received his PhD. Albert is a Drug and Alcohol counselor and house manager at a reentry home in Riverside. Raymond is a TUMI facilitator and manages a transitional home in San Diego. Cary has opened his own transitional home and provides food for the hungry, and goes into the Riverside juvenile hall to teach youth offenders. Lester is working at a pool service warehouse and ministering the hungry on his off days. Lamont has his own ministry in a local hotel, and many many more doing the same, giving back to society, restoring families, and breaking the cycle of crime by serving God with all of their heart!
The TRUTH is a powerful weapon in our fight against crime and criminal behavior. Serving California has jumped into this spiritual battle by funding 37, 3 ½ year seminary programs in 20 California state prisons, and also by funding 17 transitional homes in 9 different counties to ensure our students have every opportunity to mature as Christians, serve their communities, restore their families, and break that cycle of crime and incarceration.
Moral rehabilitation is the key to many of our woes, family, friends, community, drug use, prescription abuse, domestic violence and much more. Moral rehabilitation is the changing of a person’s heart, the very core of who that person is. Once the heart is changed, we are called to disciple that person, and be a living example for that person to mirror.
Are you a Christian of faith? Do you believe the Word of God changes people? Are you willing to join us in this battle for the very souls of thousands and thousands of lives? How many more can be saved if only you respond?