Jude 1:22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:
Jude 1:23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
One of my great pleasures at being the pastor of the Black Creek Baptist Church is hosting the ministry Liberty Behind Bars. The Moreys who found faith in Christ through the preaching here are now busy preaching that same faith to the men and women behind bars and to their family members.
One of those men who has been affected by their ministry recently contacted me to see if he would be welcome here at the church when he is released. In his letter he explained the horrors of his upbringing. A person would have to have a heart of stone to be unmoved by the crimes committed against many of these inmates when they were young.
As I wrote back to him, I thought that it would be edifying to many to see my answer to him. Perhaps there are some who could reach out to LBB (Liberty Behind Bars) to see how you could help. God has been very good to us here.
I was pleased to get your letter. If and when you come here (for which you are very welcome), you will find that the testimony of your upbringing is nothing new here. We have a number of people who when I hear of their upbringing and the crimes done against them, I grieve. Some have successfully overcome, some still grapple with it.
You will never get over it. Instead, you will incorporate them into who you are. Hopefully, that is a well-rounded man who has internal scars and wounds given by those closest to him, but who has placed those things where they can no longer control him. Part of your strength will be knowing that those things could not destroy you. You will have an empathy for those you see suffering.
Most people who have suffered such upbringings become abusers. There is no doubt in my mind that your parents suffered grievously while growing up. When you were born they had every intention to be different. What they lacked was the ability. What they lacked was the wisdom to see that in the pain of their present lives they were taking all of their hatred and misery out on you.
The cruelest thing that your parents and your upbringing did to you was to hand you a remote control for your own life that you then used to destroy your life when they weren’t around. It is the single greatest thing that you have in common with so many at the Black Creek Baptist Church, you no longer need your parents to destroy yourself, you are doing a good job of it all by yourself. You are carrying the pain and suffering into another generation.
In Ezekiel 28 the Lord exposes the devil in a couple of his forms. Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee, Ezekiel 28:3. The devil knew all secrets and was wiser than the Prophet Daniel. What would make such a being rebel against God? Why does he continue even though he can read of his destruction in the Book of Revelation? It’s not like the devil doesn’t know. Think what the devils asked Jesus Christ; And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?, Matthew 8:29.
The answer to that is “corrupted wisdom”. Corrupted wisdom is when by wisdom you know something, but your momentary lusts cause you to go against what you know is wise. A 21 year old can get a credit card. He knows that if he gets behind on it it will hurt him and destroy his credit. Despite that he has a strong urge to impress a girl he met in a bar. He takes her to a few expensive places. A momentary lust caused him to forget his wisdom and the vows he made to himself when he got the card.
Then he orders that new thing he saw in a catalog. He didn’t really need it but at the moment he ordered it, his lust for that thing was greater than his wisdom. Perhaps when the first bill came in he could make the minimum payment. He hadn’t planned on allowing a balance to accumulate, but his momentary lapses of judgment carried him past his wisdom. Eventually, he defaults on his debt. He blames the girl friends. He blames the product that wasn’t as good as what he thought it would be. He blames the credit card company for jacking up the interest rate when he got behind.
Our nature as men comes from the devil. We are fallen creatures. The proof of the bible isn’t in manuscript evidence or in learning how to translate. It is not in prophecy. The proof of the King James Bible is that when you obey it you don’t hurt as bad. When you disobey it you hurt worse. It is the owner’s manual of the one who created you.
You will be most welcome when you are free to join us. Together as a group we are learning to abandon the corrupted wisdom of our youth and early adulthood. You knew full well what your actions could and probably would lead up to. You are not a stupid person. Instead, you allowed the pain and hurt of your childhood to corrupt your wisdom. Join the crowd.
Now it is time to fully own up to it all and become part of the solution. We have people in our church who still hide behind their childhood hurts to explain all of their problems. We have others like Dale (and he is not alone) who have owned up to their sin and destruction. They have taken the full blame. In doing so, Jesus Christ has stepped in and shouldered the blame. We have others who are divided between wanting freedom in Christ and wanting sympathy for the terrible things done to them in childhood.
I love them and I truly hate all that was done to them, but I know that the real problem lies in the hands of the one who now has the remote control for their lives. They are their own worst enemy. No matter how intelligent they are and no matter how much they know, they keep giving in to the lusts of the moment. That is corrupted wisdom. May the Lord deliver us all from that.