Adam’s Blog

That’s my thing, keepin’ the faith, baby. –Joe Friday

Why the Slippage?

Posted by Adam Graham on April 29, 2007

Dennis Mansfield asks an interesting question about recidivism in prisons over at his blog:

It’s heart-warming to see men in the depths of their lives, choose to change directions.

Yet, some still crash and burn…..why?

I thought about it, as I drove home (and have since continued to think about it):

What does it mean to “follow” Christ?

Really…not the TV evangelists deal, not the “no-one-looking-around, all-eyes-closed” sort of orchestrated thing. If God is so big and so powerful…why do people make decisions for Christ…and then shipwreck their lives? Where’s God? Absent? Hmm…

He suggests the problem may be preoccupation with the world and not with God, but admits he doesn’t have the answer.

I think he has part of it, he has an answer. But perhaps, it’s more applicable to the general Christian rather than to the prisoner.

I’ll share an observation and it relates more to people who’ve been to prison, but here goes.

At a church I used to be at, there was a kind older couple who had a great prison ministry. Prisoners would even tithe to the Church on the earnings they made. When they were released, they would come and visit, but only stay for one service. Despite pastors advising us to make them feel welcome, it didn’t really happen, I’m sorry to say. Could it be that churches sometimes fail to help the prisoner get back to society make him feel forgiven and accepted in the body of Christ as a new creature in Him.

Also, what about mentoring? Is that happening? That’s a key question as well, because despite our individualistic pre-suppositions, Christ made the church to care for one its members, the older to help the younger to the end that people would become more like Christ. Are our churches doing that, or are we leaving them to fend for themselves?

The third question I think we have to ask ourselves is do we have a true passion for Christ. If our churches don’t have passion for Christ, it causes trouble.

To people in prison, they know their prisoners. There’s no “non-criminal” who looks down on them, they have a minister who comes and cares about them, they have felt the true forgiveness of God and know his real presence in their lives. What happens when our churches fail to live up to that? While, I like Dennis don’t have the full answer, I can’t help but feel that’s a piece of the puzzle.

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2 Responses to “Why the Slippage?”

  1. I have been thinking about leaving my church because i feel that all i do is give tithe, time, and energy and receive no nourishment back. It’s much like the prisoners, who give their money and when they get out the church looks at them as a burden. Even though the church burdened them for their money, even of the little bit they had.

  2. Adam Graham [Member] said

    Sorry to hear about your church situation. To clarify the church didn’t demand the tithe. They learned about tithing and wanted to send money to the church.

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