April 17, 2011


by Edwin A. Tindall (author's profile)



I don't know what it is like at other prisons in this state, but at this one, I have found few that calls themselves Christians who could be considered trustworthy. This is very depressing to me. Things that I learned early in life such as "say please" and "say thank you", "put things back like you found them", "work first and play later", and others should be common to us all. I do understand that I am in prison and that I am surrounded by criminals, but if we who are Christians indeed have a new nature, why do so many of us revert back to our old natures?

I do not think that I have experienced a season within these walls without it someone stealing from me or even defacing something I am working on and then passing it off as humor. The lesson that seems to be repeated is that I am to trust no one. I don't truly know if I am willing to succumb to this type of paranoia. Has the "Golden Rule" disappeared from our understanding or do we just cast it aside in the pursuit of our own endeavors?

I know that as a Christian I am to expect persecution, but I never expected it to come from those I call brothers in Christ. On occasions such as these, I find myself contemplating why I end up reacting badly before I concentrate upon our Lord and savior searching for the pace that only He can provide. In John's first letter, he writes, "love not the world, neither the things that in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." So what should I conclude then? That those who treat me in the manner I find them acting in are not truly saved? I would hope not.

I can only pray for them that God would reveal their condition to them, that they might repent before him and no longer walk in the way of the world. So many of them love to proclaim that they are of the elect, that they are predestined for glory, and that those of us that do not believe as they do are predestined to hell. If this is true, what hope is there for any of us?

John 3:16 everyone knows: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whom so ever believes upon Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." That "whom so ever" is just that: all inclusive to whoever places their trust in God through Christ. Indeed, God is sovereign and has foreknowledge of all who will believe, but does that necessitate a causative action on His part to every single thing? I think not. Nowhere in Scripture do we find any prophet, apostle, or other man of God, acting like a robot. They all had individual personalities that were in full effect, made mistakes in judgment at times, and most died a human death.

Yes, God has a causative will but more often than not His permissive will is in play.


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