Monday, September 15, 2008


To understand this fully you'll probably have to read the post entitled "Our Sovereign God", dated July 22, 2008.

"The Rest of the Story" came to light about 10 days ago and I'm just now recovered to the point where I can write about it. Sunday before last our Chaplain's Clerk (an inmate) told me that one of the other inmates had written to Donald at the halfway house but the letter had been returned as "undeliverable" Enclosed with the original letter was a note from another of the former inmates who lived in that house--one of the mature Christians I referred to in the original post.

He reported in this note that Donald was in jail. He had been stealing from the other residents in the house and when confronted about his actions, he attacked the house manager (another of the "mature Christians" who I hoped would be a good influence on Donald). Though he managed to give the man a couple black eyes, he was quickly subdued by other men and given quite a beating. So, he off to jail again, probably going to have his parole violated and be returned to prison (after he does some jail time for assault).

It seems that very quickly after he arrived in this house, he began to steal from his neighbors and to con every preacher and church group he could think of. As I said earlier, he called me wanting money. Only thing keeping me from being a "victim" here is the fact that I'm broke. At least 5 other volunteer chaplains at the prison reported being hit up for money by him and I know some of them sent him money. Of course, I recommended him to a Nashville pastor whose church put up the $200-250 to get him into this halfway house!

What the true proverb says has happened to them: "The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire."
(2Peter 2:22)

So, what are we to do? A great number of us were so impressed by Donald: his personality, his apparent interest in the things of God. He sang in our services, he testified to the great work of grace done in his life. I'm sorry to report that I am relieved to find that others "fell for it" too--that I am not alone in being fooled.

Is Donald saved or not? Formerly, I would have answered that question by saying: He gives good evidence of genuine conversion. Today, I cannot say that; but I cannot say more. The more pressing question is: Now that he has done this, how will I treat him? If he were in a jail near me here, would I go to see him? Will I pray for him? Will I care for him as much as I did before he showed himself to be a lying, deceiving sinner? Just how much better than he, am I?