LTRP Note: Over the years, Lighthouse Trails has heard from numerous men (and some women) who are incarcerated in U.S. prisons. Those who have written to us have expressed their love and commitment to the Lord because of their gratitude for what He has done in their lives.
Most of these inmates do not have much money, and Lighthouse Trails does what it can to send materials. Since the majority of prisons do not allow books to be sent to inmates unless they come directly from the publisher, if you know someone who is in a U.S. prison who would like to receive our yearly research journal (which is mailed 4x a year) or other resources, you may send us his or her name, prison number, facility name, and mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will keep the information completely confidential and will not include your name or address in the mailing (unless you ask for just your name and/or a short note to be included).
The following letter we recently received expresses some of the challenges Bible-believing prisoners experience.
Dear Lighthouse Trails:
God bless and thank you for the booklets and one book, Who Wrote Our Hymns (I had planned buying it someday). They are making their rounds in my section and will go further when Covid clears to allow room for movement. With the many books and booklets you’ve sent, and I’ve bought, they help when someone brings something “new” (or another author) to the table. Such is the case lately when the Bible study teacher brought a poem about the “Demoniac of Gardara” from John Piper and asked me what I thought of it. I read it and did not like (approve) it.
Years back, the _______ Department of Criminal Justice believed it to be the best thing for rehabilitation needs to offer theology degrees on one of the units. Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary was their answer. It is a four-year degree. Problem is, not a single one I’ve met holds to the King James. This is important to me. . . . The list goes on and ecumenical, emergent, apostate words describe well the seminary students that come through the program.
I add this to say, the person who introduced our teacher to Piper is himself a deluded seminary student. I ask God to help them, but I guess with any other _____-approved curriculum, it cannot be singular, it must be plural. Its almost laughable if it didn’t hurt so bad the persecution and disdain for Bible-believing Christians. I’ll not give up; I just don’t want to make any brother stumble. I think it’s pride, but not proud in a self-confident way, because a lot of time I feel so humble I’d just get out of the way. No not that pride. I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, but I cringe at the words and the schemes I hear toward the guards and other inmates. After twenty years here, I still don’t belong. I don’t want to fit the mold.
I am odd and different. It makes for a very solitary walk. When I was a people person, I was well liked. But I was a walking buffoon, a clown. An atheist. God continues to change me, and every once in a while, I find someone whose life is where I am, and we enjoy each other’s company. But that is not here in my section.
After eight years in this same section, I’ve asked to be moved. Lord willing I’ll find again those brothers I once connected with in my/our travels to and from wherever on the unit.
Years ago, the Lord allowed me to teach a Bible study. Only thing I asked was we all use the King James Bible. I read mostly but allowed the Holy Spirit to guide me. We had 16 men in the study at one time. I’m still here, and they are all gone. The Lord has not called me back to do a study, but I’m ready.
The John Piper poem didn’t make the rounds, thankfully. But Calvinism is making in roads because of the books and undiscerning souls. Like John Piper and his selling of “Future Grace,” these men are nurtured by the seeker friendly, honey dripping, “non-judgmental” books and people; and eventually you’ve got to join this or that organization. Thank God, the first organization I joined was Dave Hunt’s Berean Call!
Meeting people’s physical needs is great if they’re starving but honestly, they starve spiritually if we do not feed them the Word of God—goodness!
Prayer. Only God can change these who love and are loved by the world. We don’t need any more Billy Grahams, but instead Billy Sundays! Too Late? Pray.
I love you all. I thank God for his ministry in the Lighthouse. You all keep fighting the good fight, your crowns are waiting on you. We can all throw them at the feet of the One who is our everything!
Thank you for listening,
Richard (not real name)
Harry Ironside gave a sermon (that can be watched – see below) about the servant, Onesimus, who worked for Philemon and who after stealing from his master, fled and eventually ended up in prison with the apostle Paul who led the man to the Lord. It’s a beautiful account of the Gospel wherein Paul writes to Philemon and asks him to forgive his servant, receive him back into his household as now a brother, and charge the offense to Paul’s account.
Let us remember those believers who are imprisoned, having once walked in darkness but now, by His grace and mercy, walk in the light of our Savior.
And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:11)
(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)