Sunday, January 13, 2019 -
This morning I had to work, and my job was to sweep and mop behind the serving lines after the meal was done being served. Not a big deal, but it meant waiting around about two hours in the dining room for everyone to finish.
I read some, and then was sitting by myself at a table going through my prayer list – which I had not completed prior to going to work when a man came up and quickly asked me if I was related to Spiros Zodhiates, who did the Hebrew-Greek Study Bible. I said, yes, that was my dad. He asked, “Well, what in the world are you doing here – what did you do?” I told him, “Well, actually I’m here because I’m a Christian.” Before I got another word out of my mouth, he started ranting and raving saying, “No Christian is locked up just because they are a Christian – that is just nonsense – and you had to have done something wrong, broken a law.” I could only get a few words out at a time, he was so angry. I said, “Actually, I broke no law.” He continued to go off on the fact that I was in prison – therefore I was guilty of a crime. Eventually, I was able to squeeze in bits and pieces, like, “There was a woman who had a child being sexually abused, and I was convicted of driving her from Virginia to Buffalo to escape the abuse.” He said there had to be more than that, that I was not telling the truth. I told him many in the Bible were imprisoned under false charges, Joseph, Daniel, Peter, Paul. He retorted that they didn’t have a jury trial, and I did and was found guilty, therefore, I am. Furthermore, he claimed, it was wrong for me to equate myself with Paul. I was in denial, I was in sin, and I was blaming others for what I did. I needed to repent. I was able to quote Proverbs 3:27-28 to him, and he said that refers only to food and clothing, and what I did was wrong, otherwise I would not be in prison. I said, “You mean to tell me, if a woman asked you to keep her child from being abused, you wouldn’t do what you could to help her?” He replied, “I’d tell her ‘I’m sorry, I don’t know you and I can’t help you.’” I did manage to say that things have changed since he’s been in prison, that I’m not the first Christian to be put in jail for faith and I’m not the last – that’s how bad it’s become. But he just ranted on, not believing the government could prosecute anyone for their beliefs, or for political reasons.
Even though this is the first time in more than four years a self-professed Christian has condemned me, I do wonder if his attitude may actually be the belief of many within the church today. It could be the reason so many well-known Christians – even those with access to President Trump, have refused to help me seek vindication.
By and large, and there are exceptions, only those who personally know me have taken up for my defense and protested to the government in one form or another. His attitude is one reason why people remain silent, refusing to believe Christians could be imprisoned for doing the right thing. Initially, this man said, “You can’t tell me you’re locked up because you did some benevolent thing!” I said, “Yes, as a matter of fact, that’s exactly what happened.” I told my wife, Kathie, later, “I guess this is what Jesus meant when he said, ‘They will say all kinds of evil against you for My name’s sake.” Indeed, and I did tell this man, that I do count it all joy. He told me God was punishing me for something I did wrong – that I was merely in denial.
I am not in denial. We live in an age that Isaiah prophesied, when “good is called evil, and evil is called good.”
Even Ayn Rand, one of the elitists who worshipped the “utopian state,” said in her book, “Atlas Shrugged,” “Did you really think we want those laws to be observed? … We want them broken…There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is to rule the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for me to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of lawbreakers – and then you cash in on guilt.”
But the fact is, I broke no law. Neither did Ken Miller. Neither did Lisa Miller. She was the only parent listed on Isabella’s birth certificate. She had full custody and passports for both her and her child and was given no travel restriction by any court. The Marriage Amendment to the Virginia Constitution and the Federal Defense of Marriage Act both protected Isabella against Janet Jenkins – the sexual predator of Isabella. There were still ongoing battles in the courts both in Vermont and Virginia. No transfer of custody had taken place. Yet the Vermont family court refused to admit evidence of sexual abuse, meaning the court itself was mandating the sexual molestation of a young girl. That’s how bad things have gotten in America!
I thought I was done with today’s journal, but I just got back from chapel. The message was meant for me, I believe, particularly the part where chaplain Hishley said that Satan will try to distract us from the work God has for us to do – both here in prison and when we get out. That is exactly what I believe Satan was attempting to do to me this morning. By refusing to be distracted, I am shaking the gates of hell, throwing Satan’s distractions and temptations right back at him. Instead of falling for the distractions, I need to be asking God, what’s next for me? What is God trying to do in my life? I need to be running at full capacity doing God’s work with His empowerment through the Holy Spirit in my life.