Number of black youth in the penal system : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

What can we do about the numbers of black youth in the penal system? In Texas, more than half the violent crime (assault, murder, etc.) is committed by black me between the age of 15 and 25. Most of this crime is absolutely senseless as if any crime makes sense. An example of this was a young man (in his forties) killed his mother because she refused to give him more money/ What must we do? Pastor Paris

-- Anonymous, January 09, 2001


Sir, At the risk of sounding simplistic, disciples of Jesus don't do things like that. I know of a wildly successful drug treatment program who's one method is to first, determine if a candidate is serious about deliverance. Second, make them a disciple in a rather intense program of evangelism and discipleship. I've met their graduates, and they are truly changed. As a serious Christian they learn they have standards. One standard is, don't do drugs. Simple. That's why I asked the question, what's the purpose of the church? Evangelism, discipleship, and worship. We can engage in all sorts of programs, but unless it relates directly or indirectly to one of those areas we won't change hearts. Evil hearts are capable of anything.

What else do Christians standards demand? Virginity, a day's work for a day's pay, Golden Rule, husbands love your wives, wives submit to your husbands, children obey your parents, corporal punishment for the foolish child, restitution, reconciliation, forgivenenss, submit to authority, maintain responsible finances, render unto Caesar...sounds like a healthy community.

-- Anonymous, January 10, 2001

Very Good! That has to be the approach to solving the immediate problem. I guess I did really phrase my question regarding the immediate problem. However, the problem has a genesis or a root cause. What is that cause and where do we place our resources? I have suggested that we place the bulk of our resources (Time, Money, Etc.) on the root problem, preventing the creation of others in the same situation. To do that would mean literally writing off perhaps as much as two generations. Is that what God would have us do? Pastor Paris

-- Anonymous, January 10, 2001

Rev. Price your response to this very human problem sounds very legalistic. You stated that " disciples of Jesus don't do things like that". There is a reason that these kids are in the penal system. They could have been victimized in their homes as children. They could have been denied love as a child. This is a multifactorial problem. Even the most mature christian can fall for the traps or tricks of the devil when they walk in the flesh. I recall that Jimmy Swaggert fell for the devil's trap at least twice a few years ago. It reminds of the scripture " But I say walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh, for the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. For these are in opposition to one another so that you may not do the things that you please". Galatians 5:16-17. Therefore, Rev. Price I want to caution you to humble yourself and pray all the day long to God that the Holy Spirit will empower you to walk with him all the day long. I also encourage you to pray for these troubled kids.



-- Anonymous, January 10, 2001

I echo JazzMan's response. Instead of us "Christians" looking down our heady, high minded and lofty noses at anyone, not just our troubled youth, whose life does not form fit our preconceived notions of what is right, let us pray always that we do not fall into temptation. Just because we or our family are not in the same unfortunate condition as others don't for one minute think we are better human beings then they. The Lord just might allow contrary winds to blow our way and we may find ourselves in a publicly humilating situation with no way out but to look to the hills from whence comes our help. Sometimes it takes those humiliating hard places in life to birth in us a true understanding of what "compassion" and "grace" really mean.

-- Anonymous, January 10, 2001

I believe that we must reexamine the way we teach Christianity and Spirituality. Increase the substance by teaching truths and lessening the emphasis on doctrines, schisms and dogmas. We must also teach our people how to develop and become God Conscious. Jazzman was correct in his analyses of the conflict between the lower (flesh) and Higher (Spiritual) selves. The lower self controls the five senses, which seek gratification. It (lower self) has an insatiable appetite and is NEVER satisfied. I agree that we must pray for the lost souls that pollute our communities. The devil is not an abstract being who lives in hell, but a reality called IGNORANCE.

What is the church--you and me. It is not a physical building, with a preacher and a congregation. It is the physical body, the temple of G-d. Therefore the problem belongs to us. “See and serve G-d in others, then you will soon see that there is no other. There is only G-d".

In love and light, Brenda

-- Anonymous, January 10, 2001

Brother Paris, Writing off whole generations sounds a little extreme, though I see your logic. I don't advocate that because we need to continue to give people the chance to be saved until their last breath. This includes after they've wound up in jail. Prison ministries are wonderful things. Some of the greatest services around are held in jail. Sometimes we must hit bottom before we'll finally follow God, and these men and women have truly hit bottom. Whatever it takes.

If I might make a suggestion though, many in America seem to have lost the fine art of Biblical parenting. Here's one way the church can make a large difference. It may be as easy as obtaining videos on the subject from Focus on the Family. James Dobson put a series together in the 70's which I saw while in high school. His principles have stuck with me to this day, and my wife and I felt more than ready to take on the jobs of marriage parenting because his words were bullseye Bible.

Example: My son didn't say the word "no" until he was 4. The reason was because the first time he did (age 2) he said it in defiance and my wife "ensured he understood that was unacceptable" a ton of bricks! Vintage Dobson. He got it in his mind that "no" was trouble, and he used "uh uh" as a substitute until age 4. At 13 he still doesn't cross Mom.

-- Anonymous, January 15, 2001

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