I just got back from a fellowship I am trying to put together with convicted felons. Over the last few years God has brought several guys into my life and my church who have served prison time ranging from a few months to 20 years; everything from drugs, robbery, and assault and battery. These are all great guys who just need someone to believe in them and encourage them.
Here is what I learned today:
Most of the guys grew up in gangs. Some of the gangs more serious than others. One of the guys was on the rise in the gang known as Gangster Disciples. At the age of 20, while in jail, this guy, now 24, decided to get out of the gang life. Urban legend says that the only way to get out of a gang is to be “beaten” out or killed.
Well, according to this guy, there is another way to get out of a gang that in his words, “every gang everywhere recognizes.” If you proclaim to your gang that you have given your life to Christ, and have proven it through how you live your life, the gang will let you out, no problem, no violence. However, the gang will watch you, and if at sometime in the future it is obvious to them that you are not “living the Christian life,” then you could get beat up or killed. But, if you have given your life to Christ, and live that life, they will let you out and respect your decision.
I found that interesting.
1. Would how I live my life convince a gang member that I am really a Christian?
2. Does the average gang member have more respect for Christ than the average Christian?
What do you think?