Dick Hunt's Blog

August 9, 2013

March 4, 2013 Have You Heard of the Great Prison Break?

Filed under: Current — Dick Hunt's Blog @ 7:47 pm

Have You Heard of the Great Prison Break?
by Dick Hunt, March 4th, 2013.
When I was a part time Prison Chaplain on Vancouver Island in the late 70’s, I used that question to get the attention of the Inmates.  Then I based my talk on what happened in Philippi in Macedonia during a mission to that area by St. Paul and his companion Silas.  They were arrested, severely flogged and thrown into prison by the authorities for driving a spirit out of a slave girl. They were placed in the stocks to prevent their escape. About midnight, they were Praying aloud and singing hymns of praise to God, when an earthquake occurred which caused all the prisoners to escape their chains, although they did not escape the prison.

Then I talked with them about the different kinds of slavery.  Slavery to sin and addiction. Slavery to bad behaviour which leads them to prison.  Slavery to selfishness which compels them to hurt other people. Slavery to broken relationships which need to be mended. Slavery to bad habits which cause them to continue to destroy families and friendships and prevent them from living happy and fulfilling lives. Many people, who may never have been in prison are nevertheless imprisoned within themselves because they do not allow themselves to escape from that which holds them in bondage.  Many cling to old habits and relationships because they are afraid to let go of where they are and move to a new life of freedom in a new lifestyle, with new friends and new beliefs  to which they have never responded before.There is so much bad propaganda out there, so much hype, so much negativity, so many lies being told without foundation about breaking out of the rut and moving into a life with God as the Director, Saviour and Lord of our lives. That is so very sad. Many people get their ideas of God and His Church from the media and the twisted statements that are flung into the heads of people who have never made it their practice to read for themselves the Book so readily available for them to search out the Truth for themselves. They are so used to hearing that the Bible is old fashioned, outdated, not for ‘intelligent people’. ‘Not for people that think for themselves.’  In fact, the Bible has direct answers to all man’s excuses for not reading it for themselves.

Years ago in my first Parish in the 50’s, I used to buy New Testaments in modern English in packs of 25 and share them with anyone who would read them, at my cost, $2.00.  One afternoon I delivered one to a man called Archie Fleming, who regularly read the King James translation.  I went to bed about 11 o’clock that evening and was awakened by the phone at two in the morning. I answered it, thinking it was an Alcoholic, as they used to call in the night.  But it was Archie. He said, “Dick, listen to what St. Paul said” as he read something and then “listen to what he did in Phiippi” and so on.  Finally I broke in and said, “Archie, it is two in the morning, you should be in bed”; and then he was off again on a new, “listen to St. Paul. It was all coming to this 75 year old in a new light and he wanted so much to share. Once the Bible get’s our attention it becomes a very exciting Book and we have little trouble believing God loves us and wants our response to His invitation to be his people, his sons and daughters, his forgiven ones, in the fellowship of the Church. New and positive friends to help us to know and understand and value supremely the God and Father of all mercies and comfort and the love that will not let us wander away from the  Saviour Christ who has given His very life blood to Save us.

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