Posts Tagged ‘Ten Commandments’

Judges constantly hand down light sentences and probation to repeat offenders and place the public in danger.

When criminals are brought before judges for sentencing, judges should weigh factors including the severity of the crime, public safety, losses to the victims and their family and a defendant’s efforts to change—But all too often judges hand down light sentences to repeat offenders who often go on to commit even more violent crimes.

Consider the case of Marcus Wheeler-Cop Killer

In 2008, Marcus Wheeler was sentenced to five years in federal prison for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. Wheeler was also charged as an accessory in a June 2007 slaying and was accused of shooting at an inhabited home, attempting to cause serious bodily injury to Ashley Bordeaux. Charges in both shooting cases were dismissed and Wheeler got out of prison on supervised release in 2013, but that was later revoked (For unpublished reasons) and he was returned to prison.

Wheeler was again released in February 2014. On May 20, 2015 officer Kerrie Orozco was shot and killed by Wheeler who was being served a warrant by the Omaha police department’s Fugitive Task Force. Officer Orozco left behind a husband and his two children as well as their newborn baby. The woman who was an accomplice in Kerrie Orozco’s murder by purchasing the gun for Wheeler, was sentenced by the Alabama judge to only probation!

The case of Eswin Mejia

Police say he was drunk, his blood-alcohol content more than three times the legal limit, when he was street racing near 33rd and L streets last month. Eswin Mejia was driving with a suspended license and was in the country illegally when he crashed into an SUV and killed 21-year-old Sarah Root. Mejia was allegedly street racing and driving drunk before crashing into the back of Sara’s SUV. The loss has left the 21-year-old’s friends and family with profound grief.

To make matters worse, Mejia was scheduled for a preliminary hearing, but never made it to court after the judge set Mejia’s bond at only $50,000! The judge revoked Mejia’s $50,000 bond when he failed to appear. (A little too late for that now)

Cases like this happen all too often. And as disturbing as cases like these are, it has become even more common for judges to hand down probation to those convicted of sexual child abuse.

Research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that approximately 1 in 6 boys and 1 in 4 girls are sexually abused before the age of 18. An estimated 60% of perpetrators of child sexual abuse are known to the child. (family friends, care givers or neighbors) Out of those, at least half of the perpetrators are family members or step parents.

Sadly, only a fraction of these perpetrators who are apprehended and convicted of their crimes are sentenced to jail. Most convicted child sex offenders are only sentenced to probation and ordered to register as a sex offender.

Let me make myself clear: I don’t believe that the Sex Offender Registry Law should be applied to curious children or hormonal teens that get caught sexting to their boyfriends or girlfriends. (This can be corrected with training, discipline and therapy) This is about adults who knowingly sexually victimize under age children.

The police do their job and arrest these criminals; the prosecutors do their job and convict them, but then the judges hand down light sentences or probation that allows them to re-offend.

Why? Because crimes, whether they are against children or other adults, do not personally affect judges. It’s the same reason that people are not too concerned with the first four of the Ten Commandments.

It doesn’t personally affect me if you:

  1. worship other gods.
  2. make for yourself an idol.
  3. take the name of the Lord in vain.
  4. don’t remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.

But notice what happens with the last 5 commandments:

5. Honor your father and mother

6. You shall not murder

7. You shall not commit adultery

8. You shall not steal

9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor

10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

These are things that we don’t want happening to us, (They personally affect us) so we tend to place more importance on them and expect harsher punishment for those who disobey them.

Judges need to realize the risk that they pose to the public when they give offenders light sentences and be more concerned that the person they release back on the street will be the next one they read about in the newspaper.

We can send a strong message to the court system when we go to the polls to vote by voting “NO” to retain judges.

“Woe to those who enact evil statutes And to those who constantly record unjust decisions, So as to deprive the needy of justice And rob the poor of My people of their rights.” (Isaiah 10:1-2)

There are lyrics to an old camp meeting song that goes:

Give me that old time religion

give me that old time religion

Give me that old time religion

It’s good enough for me

Makes me love everybody

Makes me love everybody

Makes me love everybody

It’s good enough for me

It was good for Paul and Silas

It was good for Paul and Silas

It was good for Paul and Silas

And it’s good enough for me

Many of us grew up in a time where almost everyone went to church services on Sundays. We would sing hymns like the one above, quietly listen to the preacher’s sermon, and we did our best to be good Christians.

America is a wonderful place to live. Here we have religious freedom to express our beliefs and worship according to our faith. But times have changed. According to a recent survey by Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, the number of Protestants has fallen below 50 percent for the first time in American history and many U.S.-born Catholics are leaving the church. The survey also revealed another startling fact: the number of people who are not affiliated with any faith at all rose four percent in just the last five years and nearly 20 percent of the population said that they are of no specific faith at all!

Why is this? 

I believe it’s partly because we have focused too much on symbols of Christianity  rather than the underlying reality they represent. Christians have fought to place the Ten Commandments in courtrooms and Christmas Nativity scenes outside town halls. We have sued over public prayers and crosses in state parks. Schools have been dragged into court over prayer at football games and whether students should be allowed to post Bible verses on their banners.

Instead of spending time fighting the courts over our “religious rights”, I believe we need to go back to the basics of living as disciples of Christ and demonstrating the Gospel in tangible ways within our schools, workplaces and communities.

Instead of unifying believers, Christ has become a symbol of discontentment and divisiveness. Theologians publicly humiliate each other, pastors hatefully condemn those they disagree with and denominations are split over minor differences.

Professing Christians are now using Facebook and Twitter as platforms to spread hurtful comments, derogatory posts and vicious attacks and to spew degrading opinions and gossip—often without provocation. Accusations of being a “heretic” and “false prophet” are freely given to various individuals who simply have new, bold or different ideas.

While I would be happy to see the Ten Commandments back on the courthouse wall, the fight over symbolic issues is backfiring, alienating people from the truths of the Bible rather than attracting them to it. The kind of Christianity the world responds to is the authentic “love your neighbor” kind. This is something that can’t be legislated through court battles and neither can the courts stop it from spreading.

Jesus said, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” American Christians have forgotten how to dialogue and respectfully disagree. We’ve abandoned concepts like grace, humility and love and have devolved into critics instead of encouragers, instigators instead of peacemakers, debaters instead of friends, and reactionists instead of innovators.

Our fast-paced culture of celebrity worship and entertainment has trumped our ability to patiently meditate, pray and reflect. We ignore God’s meaningful truth in the Bible and instead clamor over hollywood celebrities and place Christian entertainers on pedestals as if they were gods to be worshiped!

Today Christians have made salvation as simple as parroting a simple prayer. But we neglect to do what Jesus commanded us to do and have forgotten that our salvation cost him his very life! How different would the world be if Christians understood that our ultimate reward at the Resurrection is based on our actions—what we do, how we conduct our life, and how much we ministered to others—instead of offering this exceptionally generous “Get Out of Hell Free” card?

Jesus also said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) [See also John 14:21, John 14:23, John 15:10, and 2 John 1:6]

But today Christianity credits what you believe far above what you do. This idea is the reason that the Catholic church could consider itself to be Christian during the scourges of the Inquisition and other atrocities committed by them.

Years ago Keith Green caused a great stir among Christians when he published an article titled, “What’s Wrong With The Gospel?”

In it he writes, “Now, because of our dilemma in finding ourselves to be such numskulls, and seeing the demands of Jesus, we have invented some pretty interesting and caraaazzeey doctrines. Some Christians have said, “Well, when God looks at us, He doesn’t really see us anymore, He sees Jesus instead. And when there’s ever sin in our hearts, if God should happen to look at the wrong moment, He’ll see a smiling face of Jesus there, instead of seeing our sin. So God sees me as holy – even though I’m not! But…I really am…er, well, you know what I mean!” (I don’t happen to believe that God is that easily fooled, not even by Christians.)”

The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 2:13, “For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.” You see, the Bible not only teaches us to love God and others, but that we are to obey His commandments as well!

Christianity is more than just a word that describes your culture. To be a true Christian you actually have to live a Christian life! “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1) But if you attempt to debate this truth from the Bible, most believers will try to stop you. Because they want you to believe the way THEY believe. Some may preach, argue, get angry, and even threaten you. Why? It’s all written in their own Bible, but most won’t look it up.

I didn’t write the Bible. And I’m not responsible for what the Bible documents. I only read it and pass on what I have discovered. But no matter how often I emphasize this, people still tend to blame the messenger for the Bible’s content. And blame is  a no win game.

“For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it. See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you today, by loving the LORD your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it.” (Deuteronomy 30:11-16 Emphasis mine)