Compassion and Humanity on behalf of registered former sex offenders In Jesus Name

Revised: OCT 13 by author


An Open Letter to the Church and Ministers
A Home Missions Project
CFC Oklahoma

C/O Mary Duval

P.O. Box 1128
Stilwell, OK 74960
(918) 575-0193

We encourage you to read our entire statement. It is of utmost importance to the lives of your congregation, as well as all citizens of the state of Oklahoma.
 We come to you on the basis of Jesus sacrifice and the promises of God, to request compassion and humanity on behalf of registered former sex offenders in the state of Oklahoma. We realize this is a distasteful subject, but we request that you look into your heart and consider the facts before discarding this plea.
 
FACTS:

78% of all sex offenders on the registry listed in Oklahoma are Tier 3. 

cfcoklahoma.org/New_Site/index.php

This numeric risk level, to re-offend, was determined by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC) by criminal conviction and does not take into consideration: conviction date, criminal history, individual case assessment, psychological testing or judicial opinion.

93% of victims know their perpetrator. This proves stranger danger is a myth.

There are more then 674,000 registered sex offenders in the United States and less than 1 percent are true Pedophiles.

Registered sex offenders have the lowest recidivism rates compared to Assault, DUI, robbery, theft, drug offenses and Battery or Domestic Violence, according to the Governments Bureau of Justice.  www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/press/rsorp94pr.htm


Some high-risk, Tier 3, offenders in Oklahoma, are as follows:  

Kids who date younger kids in high school. (If more then a 3 year age difference it falls under aggravated)  

Convictions from twenty years ago with no new criminal sex offenses.

People who were falsely accused by spouses, angry children, siblings, or friends.

Most of Oklahoma’s Tier-3 are first time offenders. Indeed, some have received deferred sentences. Yet, because of the laws in Oklahoma and the United States, these former offenders must register for life.

We, as stated above, are well aware that cases of Assault, DUI, robbery, theft, drug offenders and Battery or Domestic Violence are common in this hurtful world – as noted by a Teen Challenge Official Minister - hurting people hurt people. And yet are these people given compassion and understanding by the church? One must ask: Does God have a double standard?

We know this is not the case; the flaw is with men, not God. Yet man is uneducated to the facts regarding sex offender laws and issues because of the media driven hysteria.

Next we ask you: What quality of life does a former sex offender and his family enjoy? If you do not know this answer, please allow us to answer.

Registered former sex offenders have a much different life than others:

They cannot watch their own children grow up because they cannot attend functions in a public arena (schools, parks, pools, playgrounds, daycares, and sometimes churches etc.)

Finding employment is difficult. Therefore many are dependent upon family members or welfare for Assistance.

Housing is extremely limited and in some cases impossible due to the restrictions on registered former sex offenders. Some live in tents or under bridges or in a dump, due to residency restrictions of 2,000 feet from schools, parks and licensed daycares.

In many areas they cannot go to stores or malls to shop, PUBLIC libraries or even attend church.

Some are not allowed access to computers; this limits employment further and hinders support from family and others.

Many former sex offenders and their families experience vigilantism and are stigmatized by the scarlet letter of the registry. They are pariahs, modern day lepers. They are banished from society, hated by all.

Why are we making this appeal to you?

We here at Citizens for Change Oklahoma do NOT in anyway condone the sexual abuse of anyone in any way, shape or form.

  • We support laws that have as its foundation. evidence based research., (which is supported biblically).  Not on emotion and revenge.  

  • We support education and prevention of sexual abuse.

  • We support appropriate treatment and punishment based on individual case review.

  • We support family reunification.

  • We support reform of many of the Oklahoma statutes which currently prosecute young adults and juveniles for consensual sex, sexting and internet solicitation.

  • We support community educational programs regarding sex offender facts and laws.

  • We support our Federal and State Constitutions which state no retroactive law may be passed. All sex offender laws are applied ex post facto to those who have served their sentences and paid their debt to society. "We are making these people pay for their crime over and over and over again.  Do we truly believe God is happy with this?"  

  • We support the repeal of residency restrictions based on evidence. These types of restrictions cause more harm then good to former offenders and their families.

  • We support employment opportunities for former offenders without discrimination.


How does this affect you?
We need your help.

Not only do we request your compassion, understanding and prayer on behalf of the former offenders, but we desperately need people, church groups, ministries to stand up for what is right. We cannot continue to allow the law to destroy a group of people who have been singled out to be objects of hatred and ridicule, possibly someone in your own church family. We beseech you on behalf of the families of former offenders who are the collateral damage to these laws.

Registered former sex offenders are not our enemies. They are people just like you, just like us, who desperately want to be forgiven and return to the Flock. Their prayers are to return home, to restore broken relationships, to lose the label 'sex offender', just as GOD REMOVES OUR SINS AS FAR AS THE EAST IS FROM THE WEST, TO BE BURRIED IN THE DEEPEST SEA - NEVER TO BE REMEMBERED AGAIN.

What can you do?

Pray to God on behalf of these men and women, that He, God, may have his work complete before them. They need strength, compassion, understanding and most of all forgiveness.

Write letters to your congressmen, governor and anyone you know in support of reforming the sex offender registry and related laws. Again, these laws need to be passed on evidence based research, (which is supported biblically). Not on emotion or revenge.

Seek out former sex offenders and learn their stories. Yes, it is embarrassing for anyone to admit they have made mistakes in judgment, but as Christians we know that confessing our wrongs is vital. We also know that with confession, comes humility, redemption and trust.

Allow us to speak in your church, Adult Sunday School classes, Midweek Services or any other opportunity you may allow.  In fact we would like to call you in the near future to speak to you to see if we can arrange this.  I am sure your people will find such a discussion stimulating and challenging, as has been our prior experience.

Consider the way Jesus dealt with the people He met, the way He touched their lives. Sex offenses are not new. However Jesus never once said that people who committed a sex offense were doomed. On the contrary, in Him all are forgiven, if they repent and leave behind that former course of life.

Take the lead in speaking truth to one another regarding former sex offenders. Learn the facts and speak to others about these facts.

If you have compassion in your heart for these down trodden people, please consider helping us with financial assistance. Even a small amount will allow us to buy postage stamps or bus tickets so our members can speak to legislators. Larger donations would help displaced family members of RFSO’s who are in desperate need.

Only by looking beyond the prejudice, fear, hatred and lies can we discern the true will of God. Our constant prayers are that God will open the eyes of all men so that these issues regarding former offenders can come to light by use of facts. In turn these facts can bring hope and new lives to these, the most despised of our day.

Thank you for your time and attention. May God richly bless you as you endeavor to assist us in this most important issue. We would ask for you to consider us as a home missions project of your local congregation, as a further outreach of your congregation to minister to the broken and hurting, those of whom have been imprisoned, that we may “restore such a one in the spirit of humility, lest it befall us.”

Enclosed, Please find the stories of two young men who made wrong choices and are now paying for it with their lives.
Please contact us for more information:

Mary Duval
Email: support@cfcoklahoma.org support@cfcoklahoma.org This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Psalm 86:5
For you, O Lord, are good, and ready to forgive (our trespasses, sending them away, letting them go completely and forever); and you are abundant in mercy and loving kindness to all those who fall upon you.

 Ephesians 1:7
In Him we have redemption (deliverance and salvation) through His blood the remission
(Forgiveness) of our offense (shortcomings and trespasses) in accordance with the rich and the generosity of His gracious favor,


Do we rob God of His Glory when we reject a sinner?

"Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven." (Matt. 5:16 NRSV)

Contemporary Christian Music ~ Billy Graham




          Contemporary Christian Music Can Be a Powerful Form of Praise


    Q: I really like contemporary Christian music, but I spent a couple of weeks with my aunt this summer and she really came down on me and said I shouldn't be listening to such "noise" (I'm 16). I wonder what you think. - K.M.
    • (Photo: BGEA / File)
    A: I always hesitate to answer questions like this because no matter what I say, someone is going to disagree! Musical tastes differ from one generation to the next, and I wouldn't be surprised if 20 or 30 years from now you say the same thing about your own son's musical tastes.

    This past summer, our organization sponsored a series of concerts in several major cities along the Mississippi River. A number of Christian bands and musicians participated, and my son Franklin spoke several times during each event. Tens of thousands of young people came, and thousands made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ in response to the preaching of the Gospel.

    Would your aunt have liked the music? Probably not; it was very high energy and contemporary, and geared toward young people.

     But God used its message to focus attention on Jesus Christ and His love for us - and countless lives were changed as a result. When King David was making plans for the Temple, he ordered that "Four thousand (musicians) are to praise the Lord with the musical instruments I have provided for that purpose" (1 Chronicles 23:5).

    Ask yourself this question: Does the music I listen to bring me closer to God - or is it only entertaining me?

    Make sure of your commitment to Christ.

    Then make it your goal to grow closer to Him every day, not only through your music but through prayer, the Bible, and your fellowship with other believers.

    No Jesus for Sex Offenders (The "New" unforgivable sin)




          Sex Offenders Fight for Right to Attend Church


    Convicted sex offenders in North Carolina and Georgia are challenging their respective states’ sex-offender laws, arguing that the criminalization of their religious activities is intrusive of their core rights to free exercise of religion.

    “[O]ver 16,000 [sex offenders] are subject to prosecution if they volunteer at churches, even though none of the activities in which they participate involves unsupervised contact with minors,” argues Sarah Geraghty, an attorney at the Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR), which has asked a U.S. District Court to strike down Georgia’s sex offender law as unconstitutional.

    “The prohibition against volunteering at a church is substantially overbroad, vague and intrusive of core rights to free exercise of religion. Summary judgment and a permanent injunction should be granted to Plaintiffs,” she adds in one of five briefs filed two weeks ago.

    Currently, under Georgia state law, sex offenders are prohibited from living within 1,000 feet of churches, school bus stops, and swimming pools and prohibited from working within 1,000 feet of churches, schools, and child care centers.

    Though the law, like those in 35 other states, establishes zones where sex offenders cannot live or visit to protect the public from child molesters, sex offender advocates contend that barring all offenders from houses of worship denies them support needed to become productive citizens.

    Such is the case of James Nichols in North Carolina, who has engaged in his own legal battle against his state after police arrested him earlier this year for going to a church that has a child-care center.

    Though Nichols says he was trying to better himself by going to church, the thrice convicted 31-year-old is not allowed under state law to be within 300 feet of any place intended primarily for the use, care or supervision of minors.

    "The law gives you no room to better yourself," he told The Association Press.

    While some states provide exemptions in their sex offender laws for churches, many do not.
    And those that do not often have hefty consequences for offenders.

    Under the statute in Georgia, activities such as singing in an adult choir, looking up passages for the pastor in Bible study, preparing for revivals and prayer vigils, or cooking meals in a church kitchen are considered criminal activity punishable by 10-30 years in prison.

    “The Statute’s prohibition against volunteering at a church is overbroad and interferes with protected activities,” argues SCHR's Geraghty on behalf of Wendy Whitaker, who is on the sex offender registry for engaging in consensual sex when she was a sophomore in high school.

    Furthermore, the attorney adds, the prohibition against volunteering and employment at a church could “undermine public safety in some respects.”

    Evidence from the Board of Pardons and Parole, the Georgia Department of Corrections and others suggest that “encouraging people to be involved with faith-based programs will reduce recidivism,” she notes.
    After filing five motions for summary judgment in their case, Whitaker v. Perdue, SCHR now waits for the state to respond to their briefs.

    Once the state has done so, the court will make a decision on the case.
    James Nichols in North Carolina, meanwhile, is receiving assistance from the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina.

    Nichols, who was twice convicted of indecent liberties with a teen girl and again in 2003 for attempted second-degree rape, says God has blessed him by teaching him how to live a better life.

    "I believe wholeheartedly if it wasn't for God, I don't know where I'd be today," he told The Associated Press.

    Nichols hopes that by winning his case, he can continue to better himself by going to church.

    Faith in Action Churchgoers Redefine Worship

          Churchgoers Redefine Worship with Faith in Action


    It's a risky move for many pastors but dozens of churches decided to cancel their weekend worship services and put their faith in action.
    • (Photo: Faith in Action)
    Pews were empty as Christians across the country wore their white and orange "Don't Go to Church. Be The Church" shirts in observance of Faith in Action Sunday on Oct. 11.

    "The shirts make a statement that I think most Christians want to make – that we really do care about more than just what's happening in our building," said Shelly Langley of Cloudbreak Church in San Diego, Calif.
    A collaborative effort between Outreach Inc. and World Vision, the annual campaign encourages churchgoers each year to shift their focus from themselves to others.

     Churches that have participated over the last several years testify that the campaign has helped moved their "inactive" members to become active and involved.

    "Our Faith in Action campaign is helping us transform our congregation into a church that is motivated to help our community and strive to grow in Jesus' image," the Rev. Todd Lackie of Kenwood Church of Christ in Livonia, Mich., told the Observer & Eccentric Newspapers. "

    A church that puts its faith into action focuses not on itself, but living out Christ's teaching and his divine example of compassion."

    Churches are already putting their faith in action – at least that's what many think, according to a recent poll.
    Outreach and World Vision commissioned a national study to determine Christians' attitudes toward helping the poor and found that 67 percent of the more than 2,800 churchgoing adults surveyed believe their church is already doing enough to help the poor in their community.

    But the national poverty line – currently at 12.3 percent, according to the United States Census Bureau – has remained relatively the same during the past five years.

    Steve Haas, vice president for church relations at World Vision, says the information exposes a discrepancy between "Christians who believe they are doing enough and the reality that Christians are not doing enough to help our communities."

    Faith in Action, he says, "is designed to be one step towards alleviating the complacency that is afflicting churches across the country, and an effective call to action to follow Christ’s example of compassion."
    It's a radical idea, however, for some.

    Some are against the idea of closing church doors on Sunday. Christians are called not to neglect to meet together in a formal gathering for worship, as the Rev. Kevin DeYoung of University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Mich., states in his book, Why We Love the Church.
    "Our gathering for worship is an exercise in covenant renewal, a weekly celebration of the resurrection, and a foretaste of the heavenly banquet to come," DeYoung says. "So, no, you can't stop going to church and still be the church."
    But organizers of Faith in Action maintain that campaign participants are not canceling worship. Rather, they are "redefining it."
    "Worship was never to be confined to a single time of a single day during the week but a whole body experience of faithful obedience to a risen Christ," Haas of World Vision has argued.

    Still, acknowledging that there may be some protest, organizers have offered suggestions to such churches. They are encouraged to either serve on Sunday morning and then worship in the evening, or vice versa.

     Churchgoers may also choose to execute their Faith in Action project on Saturday and worship as they normally do on Sunday. The campaign cautions, however, that Saturday events generally draw fewer participants.

    The Call (Last Calls Editor)

    Jesus said, 

    Go and Preach saying, The Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand
    Freely you have received, freely give.



    When I got saved, we were a bunch of hippies, not yet into our eventual yuppie stage so many of us did as Jesus said, and miracles followed, people got saved, we saw God move, and we took for granted what God said was true.


    As fame came, many went different routes and different ministries, but some never changed formats: 
    1. Firefighters for Christ, took poor recordings and provided the means, the tools and the abiltiy to go out and use quality teachers cassettes, to ministers to millions and provide cheap tools, but even free libraries, to allow the poor people and the rich, to recieve the bible, freely.
    2. I know, I took one of those free libraries and help start the Christian Lending Library in Klamath Falls Oregon over 20 years go. Passed on to Mary Ann who kept the Vision alive till she died, her daughter Mary Lynn does the same now with over ten thousand combined books and tapes available in downtown Klamath Falls Oregon. And like Firefighters for Christ, Free. No late charge, no lost charge, no money donations but all used books accepted.
    Both of these are done by individuals, who though they attend church's, do the ministries as seperate so God can use as he wants to free from entanglements that might strangle the Word going out.

    I have seen many ministries started like this and started some myself or helped them. Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa's Early Tape Lending Library, was once one of those. All Volunteers, tapes went out to people, places and ministries that eventually the Library was absorbed by CCCM.


    I can't let some say they couldn't afford to be a Christian, because it cost too much money to get quality materials. I can't let some say that Jesus never was available where I was at, or no one told me, or showed me where I could study, learn and discover Jesus for myself.


    I can't charge for what God gave me freely so Last Call was birthed so you could,

    Freely receive, Freely Give


    The people posted here are Men and Women of God who have been tested, tried and true to the Word of God and personal relationship with Jesus. They have paid the price of Serving Him. I know, I have watched them over the years, seen all in their success and struggles and dynamic relationship with Jesus.


    Thier Words, are recorded In Last Call as a Daily Devotion for you to Know Jesus and to Grow in your Personal Relationship with the Father. No money is asked in Last Call. No money is received.
    The Devotions with Emotion speak for themselves.


    Sharon Rosati- Rose of Sharon is taking over the Editing of Last Call.
    Like all who came before her in this type of ministry, and most who come after her discover, she can ill afford to do the work she is doing, but in simple trembling trust, she does what God has her to do
    anyways.


    She is the Editor of Last Call, by the Holy Spirit in her life, Jesus in her heart and the Father holding her hand.


     
     MJS asked if I wanted to write a brief bio, or testimony about how the Lord has impacted my life.  I thought about that for a moment.

    I remember listening to other people talk about how they came to know the Lord, and thinking I hope nobody ever asks me that question.   Well now they have, and as much as I love to talk I am speechless, almost.

    I came as a child actually.  Early on He was my constant companion.  He comforted me when I was afraid.  Said good job when I ate worms to impress the boys in the sandpile, and frowned when I beat them up for bullying my older brother.  He even smiled when He heard me sing "Onward Christian soldiers...marching as to war...with the cross of Jesus...".  Yep, He loved me good!

    Approaching my teens, I grew to love Him even more.  I decided to "commit" to Him and be his wife.  Don't laugh, I was serious. coming from a RC background at that time, I had no choice.  Late one June evening in 1967 I was staring out my window into a star filled sky and thinking about marrying Jesus when I knew that wasn't going to happen.  Something strange occured that I couldn't understand,   a thought came into my head about a man and three children.  Wait a minute I thought - I can't have children, I'm to be married to Jesus.  Silence seemed to fill my soul, and I was scared.

    Soon thereafter, the story gets all too familiar to many.  I was exposed to all the ways of the world...and failed in everyway possible it seems to get it right...yet all along, beside me there He was.  Even when I thought He had abandoned me again...sooner or later He would return and remind me that He loved me.

    I finally got to the point in my life, when I thought I was cleaned up enough to recommit myself to Him.  I did and it was a glorious time!  Had I spent more time in the word, alone with Him, I might have expected the next onslaught from the world, my flesh, and the enemy.  This time was even more devastating...because I knew that I knew that I knew.....

    The one thing He asked was that I believe Him...I do.  He has been through it all with me, and loves me still!

    Last Call

    I also believe that this age of grace is drawing to a close, and He is returning soon for His own.  With every fiber of His being He is calling to His own...and strengthening the weak to believe. 

    That is why I am here, devoted to sharing as much of His word as possible, that anyone who hears might draw near, and draw deep of His amazing Grace.

    Our stories may differ, but History remains the same. 

    He came to save you from yourself, from this world, tell you that He is near, and that He loves you!  He asks one thing...do you believe?

    I do...till He comes for me I wait...

    Sharon


    We have a choice in life—use it or lose it! Greg Laurie


    # We have begun to post Greg's Blog here at Michael James Stone rather than "Last Call" but Gregs Daily Devotional from Harvest is on Last Call.

    Can God bring good out of bad?


    Tonight I am speaking in Orange County on the topic of suffering. This will be the second part of my message on the topic.

    I am going to deal with the question, can God bring good out of bad? I believe the answer is “Yes!”
    Look, suffering is inevitable. No one gets a free pass. The fact of the matter is that you are either coming out of a storm or headed into another. It’s just a matter of time.

    In this life, the only way to avoid suffering is to die.
    What you want to do is get ready now, so you will have a proper biblical foundation and can properly process and react as these challenges come into your life.

    Prepare ahead of time

    As Randy Alcorn says in his book If God is Good, “Most of us don’t give focused thought to evil and suffering until we experience them. This forces us to formulate perspective on the fly, at a time when our thinking is muddled and we’re exhausted and consumed by pressing issues. 

    People who have ‘been there’ will attest that it’s far better to think through suffering in advance.”
    In other words, be prepared ahead of time!

    Avoiding storms

    Paul reminds us that we are to “Let the words of Christ, in all their richness, live in your hearts, and make you wise. Use his words to teach and counsel each other” (Colossians 3:16).

    But we would rather not do that, because the topic of suffering is difficult and uncomfortable.

    Suffering is one of those things we all want to avoid if at all possible. If you are flying and you see a storm, you try to fly around it, not into it.

    But here’s the reality—sometimes you simply cannot do that. Your life can be going reasonably well one moment, and then it changes in a flash.
    That certainly happened for our family.

    Good things out of suffering?

    Here is one of the “good things” that come out of crisis and suffering. You turn to God with a dependence like you have never had before, like a child running to their mom or dad and burying their face in their shoulder.

    And you know what? God is there waiting for you with the strength, peace, and love you need. Not necessarily with all the answers you may want, but He is there.

    One of the things you “treasure” in suffering is knowing God’s presence as you do. Your faith begins to grow stronger.

    Use it or lose it!

    Faith does not grow through ease and comfort. It grows through challenge, conflict, and difficulty.
    Faith is like a muscle in that it gets stronger through use, not neglect. If you do not use your muscle, it can atrophy
    .
    We have a choice in life—use it or lose it!

    The Bible reminds us, “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. 

    So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely.

    Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way” 

    (James 1:2-4 THE MESSAGE).

    Chuck Smith: The Christian Family Four: Man by himself can never be complete.


    3. Understanding the Difference

    The Bible says, "Male and female created He them" (Genesis 1:27). It doesn't take a genius mentality to realize there's a difference between male and female.

    This we all recognize.

    But there are differences we fail to recognize between the sexes that are important - differences that need to be recognized if we're to have a happy blending of the two.

    When God first created man, God recognized that man by himself was not complete. Man by himself can never be complete.

    God said, "It is not good that the man should live alone" (Genesis 2:18). God created the woman so that
    through her the man might find and have completeness, companionship, love - that which he could not get from the animal kingdom.

    For Adam dwelt among the animal kingdom and God didn't find among them any help that was suitable
    for him. God created the woman in order that she might be that completeness for man.

    In creating woman God created her different from man in physical structure - the
    man being the stronger and larger, the woman being the smaller and more frail.
    Along with the physical differences, certain emotional differences were created.
    In the emotional realm He created the woman with a higher sensitivity than the
    man.

    Emotionally, man is usually very coarse.

    His emotions move in a narrower spectrum. A woman's emotional spectrum is quite wide. She's capable of great highs; she's capable of great lows. Yes, a man can get excited and a man can get depressed. But, as a general rule, he cannot appreciate as much as a woman or enjoy as much as a woman. Men don't have the extreme highs that women can attain.

    As far as intelligence is concerned, I don't believe that there's any difference at all between male or female. I believe that women are capable of as great understanding and thinking process as men, they may even have a slight advantage over man in the area we call intuition. Spiritually, of course, men and women are one in the eyes of God (Galatians 3:28).

    But having created us with different physical characteristics and a different emotional spectrum, God then set forth the rules of the relationship between husband and wife. By obeying these rules, man and woman can find the fulfillment, joy, and happiness from life, that God desires them to have.

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