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Monday, November 20, 2006

My Favorite Conversion Story

With so many to choose from one might think that it would be hard to choose a favorite conversion story, but this one was remarkably easy.

My favorite conversion story is that of David Berkowitz, AKA: The Son of Sam.

For those of you who do not who the Son of Sam is, he is a serial killer from New York whose reign of terror had women dying their hair black to avoid being targeted for murder because he preferred to murder light haired women. Once he was caught he was easily convicted and sentenced to life in prison without possibility of payroll. So, true to liberal ideals, we have a man in prison for life whose proper punishment was death.

Still, this is a case where it worked out in a weird sort of way.

Initially David Berkowitz was a vile terror in prison. After a copious amount of extreme violence and terrorizing of both prisoners and guards he was given a new nickname “David Bezerkowitz”, and transferred to a supermax prison where he now spends most of his time in solitary confinement.

Eventually, a Christian missionary began to minister to David Berkowitz through a prison ministry program. This man, with love and patience, eventually got through to Sam and he eventually came to Christ.

The change couldn’t have been more dramatic.

Remember, David Berkowitz was never in any danger of being executed, and he has no possibility of payroll. There is no manipulative reason for him to pretend to have been converted.

I think the prison guards who have known him a long time put it best when they say that he is not even close to the same David Berzerkowitz from Tsing Tsing. They state plainly that everything about him right down the look in his eyes has changed. He is no longer violent. He no longer bears the familiar crazed look. He no longer spews hatred, especially the hatred toward women that he used to rant on about steadily. His conversation has changed. And, most importantly, he is genuinely repentant of his past.

I remind you that he has nothing at all in this world to gain from this.

I first learned of this when I listened in on a special on Christian Radio where David was being interviewed about his transformation in Christ. It was the first I had heard though t had been several years. The mainstream media did not consider this transformation to be news even though David started taking every opportunity to give interviews t share the good news. He even allowed himself to speak freely and remorsefully about his violent past, which, through the magic of editing, was distilled down to omit everything of consequence and simply present the details of the murders by his words along with the usual condemning voice-overs. After a few years of this he quit giving any interviews where he talked about his famous serial killings because he was tired of the sensationalist focus of the reporters omitting everything that he considered vitally important, specifically, his change and remorse, and his apologies to the families of his victims. He now only speaks of his conversion and life since in interviews, and the mainstream media has lost all interest in him, much to detriment of everyone. Now only a few people go to perform interviews with him, mostly Christian ministers who want everyone to see that even the worst monsters can be transformed into the likeness of Christ. That the worst humanity has to offer is not beyond the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This is also why David Berkowitz’s conversion is my favorite. It proves what I have been saying most of my life that no one is beyond salvation, and that even Hitler, had he come to Christ before he died (which he did not) would be in Heaven right now.

This is too much for many people to stomach. Many people will never forgive such evils by such beasts of men and refuse to believe that God could forgive them either. Some Christians even believe that some sins cannot be washed away by the Blood of Jesus. Many non-Christians see the fact of forgiveness of even the worst among us as sheer nonsense. Some people are even hostile toward Christianity specifically because we believe that even such beasts can be saved up to just before death, but that people who are far better than they are doomed simply because they refused to acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus Christ in their lives and in this world. “Where is the fairness?” they ask, “Where is the Justice?”

The fairness and the justice are found in John 3:16

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”

I think that David Berkowitz is a beautiful picture of the absolute truth of this Biblical passage.

9 Comments:

  • I would think that, for examples like this alone, most christians would oppose the death penalty. What kind of loving Christian would knowingly send someone to hell?

    By Blogger Dan Trabue, at 2:17 AM  

  • His name is "David Berkowitz" not "Sam"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:01 AM  

  • Anonymous,

    Thanks, I didn't realize I called him Sam the whole article. It is fixed.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 7:39 AM  

  • Dan T,

    "What kind of loving Christian would knowingly send someone to hell?"

    WHich why I argue for giving the condemned maximum access to priests, pastors, and missionaries up until the moment the sentence is carried out. Give the condemned maximum opportunity to repent and be saved before administering the neccessary justice. Remember, most murderers never repent even if they live to die of old age. David Berkowitz is a remarkable exception.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 12:37 AM  

  • ? no possibility of payroll ?

    By Anonymous mike m, at 4:00 PM  

  • Yes, payroll can be denied as a possibilty at sentencing. Declaring no possibility of payroll at sentencing is very common in the case of the worst criminals.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 8:37 AM  

  • This is a bit late, but I suspect that Mike was gently pointing out your spelling error - as prisoners are not on anyone's payroll, but sometimes they are up for parole.

    By Blogger Dan Trabue, at 2:26 PM  

  • lol, my bad. Damn similes!

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 5:56 PM  

  • He didn't target blondes, he targeted dark,long-haired women mostly. The trend was for women to bleach and cut their hair short.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:56 AM  

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