Power Struggle

“Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.



Though this clip was from a jail in Los Angeles, California, the hunger for power and control between different races occur in most of the detention or correctional facilities all over the nation. It doesn’t exclude my workplace.

Careful attention is given when arrestees come in from the streets and are booked in. Even if 2 people belong to the same race, the deputies who assign the housing for them have to make sure that they don’t miss any crucial information about these people. Being a gang member while the other may not be, is a thing to consider so that fights are avoided.

No matter how careful, fights do occur. And where there are big fights, nurses are very much involved in evaluating and treating injuries. It’s even harder when there is a great number involved. Triaging whoever is bleeding and most of them are. Sometimes, unfortunately, there are fatalities.

It’s sad when that kind of mentality of “I’m better than you” or “I’m stronger than you” exist inside these thick walls. And colors matter. The fact is: they are all inmates, no matter what color, no matter what social backgrounds. They all committed crimes outside and they are there to pay for those crimes.

It is sad when Christians also fight and hurt the cause for Christ. True Christians should not persecute each other. Unfortunately, this is still happening from many centuries ago up to this time. [From Life Application Bible; emphasis is mine]:

Paul once envisioned a church where all the Jews and Gentiles would be united in their love of God and in obedience to Christ. While respecting God’s law, this ideal church would look to Christ alone for salvation. A person’s ethnic background and social status would not be significant [Galatians 3:28 - “There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female. For you are all Christians - you are one in Christ Jesus.”]

“Accept Christians who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong.” - Romans 14:1

“Who are you to condemn God’s servants? They are responsible to the Lord, so let him tell them whether they are right or wrong. The Lord’s power will help them do as they should.” - Romans 14:4

“For we are not our own masters when we live or when we die. While we live, we live to please the Lord. And when we die, we go to be with the Lord. So in life and in death, we belong to the Lord. Christ died and rose again for this very purpose, so that he might be Lord of those who are alive and of those who have died.” - Romans 14:7-9

“So why do you condemn another Christian? Why do you look down on another Christian? Remember, each of us will stand personally before the judgment seat of God. For the Scriptures say, “ ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow to me and every tongue will confess allegiance to God.” - Romans 14:10,11

“Yes, each of us will give personal account to God. So don’t condemn each other anymore. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not put an obstacle in another Christian’s path.” - Romans 14:12,13

“For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God. And other people will approve of you, too. So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.” - Romans 14:17-19

18 comments:

  1. This is so sad to me! It breaks my heart to see grown men so desperate as this - to struggle for survival like caged animals. Sin is so hard to watch - I can't imagine how it must grieve the heart of our Lord to see His people fighting one another in this way instead of trying to love each other and get along.
    I can see why Chuck Colson of Prison Fellowship Ministries fights so hard to change the mindset within the prison systems. To try to change hope-less individuals into hope-ful in Christ. After all - prison is where HE came to know the Lord!
    I have said this before dear sister - what a huge calling the Lord has given you! Not too many people could do the work you do. I see it in my workplace - people get burned out and after awhile, fail to see the person behind the illness or fail to see the lonley person woh needs love behind the task that they must perform for that person.

    I pray continued strength for you - that God will continue to open your heart to these forgotten and shunned people. We all need love and acceptance in this world and these people may have never received love in their lives. God needs us as Christians to be the love that they never had - so that we can turn these lives around. HUGE undertaking - I know - but NOTHING is impossible with GOd.
    God's blessings on you as you do this work for HIM
    ((Hugs))
    Kymber

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  2. Thanks for the prayers for me and Madison. I really need them right now. She is feeling much better this morning. I know today has to be a better day than yesterday! We're off to a good start....the sun is already shining!

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  3. I think accepting others is the way to live...to not judge because everyone is fighting some kind of battle....great post..tons of blessings to you Rosel. Sarah

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  4. Great post Rosel! As usual - you bless me!

    It all boils down to this for me.....The last part of Romans 14:17-19...."So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build one another up"

    If our heart (aim) is purposed on pleasing Him and building one another up, we will become the Church (His Body) that He's called us to be and impact those around us for His Glory!!

    Luv, Hugs and Sweet Blessings!
    Jackie

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  5. This was all soo very good Rosel and of course so true as well. It is soo sad to me when others get soo caught up in judging something that they really know soo little about. I am praying the Lord blesses you and your ministry at work. What an opportunity you have and I thank God you are willing to be used. Have a good day. Blessings, Debbie

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  6. You have such a strong ministry Rosel. I can't even imagine being in a situation like on that video. I couldn't help but wonder how many of those inmates just got caught in the crossfire started by a handful of power grabbers.

    I think many sincere Christians have been caught in the crossfire started by the enemy of our Christ too. We need to remember we are on the same side.

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  7. You raise some critically important issues, and some fabulous scripture to go along with them.

    I think of how cunning is the enemy. From the start he's wanted to make it all about "who's king of the mountain?" --- as if his competitive bent would prove once and for all that he was like God. Who was he kidding? And yet the competition continues ...

    Don't you just love the saying: "At the foot of the cross the ground is level." ?

    Blessings,
    Kathleen

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  8. Rosel,

    I think the most difficult thing we face in life as we move forward is the ability to not judge or criticize others. We are too quick to pin a label based on appearance and language and all too often we get it wrong, way wrong. May God help us all not to be so judgemental and look at people through His eyes.

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

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  9. My mother was from Texas and my dad was from Illinois.
    I was raised to be prejudice against other races.

    It wasn't until Christ set me free in 1980 that I began to see how wrong that was. I still struggle once and a while but The Holy Spirit is quick to convict and cause me to confess it as sin.

    That prison in the video is not to far from where I live and if it wasn't for Gods Grace, that's were I would be today or dead and burning in hell.

    Thanks for a great post, Ron

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  10. This post reminds me of a sermon about unity in the body of Christ I heard recently. The preacher pointed out how different the players were from one another on the Lakers basketball team; how they came from different backgrounds, they're different races, they have different educations,etc. - but they all work hard together because they are focused on the same goal. He talked about how we need to do that in the body of Christ - focus on bringing glory to God, spreading the Good News of Jesus, and making disciples. I've thought about that pastor's point since I heard him. If we choose to make that our focus, then we won't need to get caught up in our differences, and can work together in love.

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  11. Great post Rosel. I hate racism. It is ridiculous. I think God allowed us to be different races just to see if we would truly learn how to love, overcome our fear of those who look different, love love love.

    (((hugs)))
    Beth

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  12. Wow Rosel! I think that God is moving in both of our hearts similarly. This scary video just proves to me that this problem within all of us, not just the ones in this video, is that we do not see each of us as equal before God. Jesus died on the cross to make us ONE in Him by our faith in Him. No more Jews or Gentiles, no more races or classes of people, no more righteous than any other! All of us the same, equal in righteousness before the Lord, equal because Jesus gave us His right standing. You can not get any more right than Jesus. Then He united us all together as one body by the Holy Spirit. It is only as we come to a fuller measure of this revelation that we will quit opposing one another and seek to move only at the command of our Head. I just love what you have posted here today. God bless,
    Christy

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  13. Hi My Precious Sister,

    It's so very late (2:26 A.M.). I haven't been around blog land in the past couple of days much..not feeling well but I did leave just a couple of comments here and there. I just had to stop in here to say I love you and continue to be amazed by you, where you work, how God uses you there and here.

    I feel so very blessed by you, your friendship, your heart, your love, your support...oh I could go on and on.

    Just know I had to stop in despite how late it is and now I'm off to bed.

    Love you,
    Alleluiabelle

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  14. So true Rosel about Christians judging/bashing others.

    We often feel validation and/or false comfort with remarks such as "well I may do a little bit of sinning......but know I am much "better" than so-and-so down the street"....

    we have to be SO careful not to travel that path.....sin is sin.

    I have told you many times....You are such a Light in that place of Darkness. Continue to Shine.

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  15. I'm so intrigued with prison shows and used to watch Lockdown and others every Friday. My boyfriend thought I was crazy. :O)

    It is so sad how prejudicial these inmates are taught to be. If they only knew how freeing living apart from prejudice is. We are ALL God's children and it hurts Him to see us hurt and hate each other.

    Thanks for another eye opening post.

    Hugs,
    Lisa

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  16. Oh man, does this bring back memories. I used to work at our local sheriff department. Some of the deputies were anti-black. They would pull people over on the highway if they were black, or had out of state license plates. They hated anyone who didn't have white skin. That made me so sick, I had to quit.

    But...prejudism exists, whether we like it or not. I just don't understand it. God made all of us, but some people think the white race is superior? Yeah...makes me sick.

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  17. Beautiful. As the prayer of Christ that we all be one.

    "One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
    One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. "

    XO

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"Faith is taking the first step even if you don't see the whole staircase..."
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Encouragers

The Attacker (5/15/09)

The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies. Ephesians 6:12 [37 kb]


Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.


Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.


All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.


When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.


The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.


When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himseld and ended up injuring his attacker severely.


[Source: Life Application Bible]:


We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.


“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14


Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].


Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.


Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.


Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].

Friends