takes one to know one -- Preaching Jesus to the celebrities
Ed Thomas, OneNewsNow.com, July 28, 2007
A prison minister in California says statistics and his personal experience prove neither jail nor rehabilitation clinics usually work to change anyone, unless they're faith-based and involve a message focused toward Jesus Christ. That's one of the main reasons that Marty Angelo says is behind his motivation for reaching out to offer help to entertainment celebrities, including Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan.
Angelo, who heads a substance abuse, jail, and prison outreach called Marty Angelo Ministries, wrote to Lohan on July 18, just days before her most recent arrest for DUI and cocaine possession, and offered to help her find a faith-based Christian rehab program. He also asked Hilton's sentencing judge at a hearing last month to let him serve out Hilton's jail time if the judge would send her to a residential treatment program instead. The reasons? Well, one of them is not because he's star-struck.
"I honestly believe that prison and jail doesn't change anyone -- and the statistics in California prove that. Over 81 percent of the inmates released from California prisons wind up going back to prison within a year," says Angelo.
Beyond that, Angelo has lived the crash-and-burn entertainment industry lifestyle first-hand, as a music executive and producer before he was imprisoned in 1981 for cocaine possession and then turned to Christ as he went behind bars.
He tells his story in Once Life Matters: A New Beginning, a memoir that he has sent copies of to celebrities like Hilton, Lohan, Tom Sizemore and Mel Gibson, all of whom have had their legal troubles in recent months and years.
Angelo says having previously been in the entertainment industry for 15 years has given him a special burden for people who "are out there doing the same things that [he] did" while living in the fast lane. "No one stood in the middle of the road waving a red flag telling me that I shouldn't go in that direction," he says. "And I feel as a Christian, that I've found the truth -- therefore, I'm able to share the truth from experience."
In addition, he knows that rehabs California-style will not likely change an addicted star or starlet like Hilton or Lohan -- and he tells media reporters exactly that, when interviewed about his reasons for his celebrity outreach and offers to serve their time.
Angelo says his calling is to sacrifice himself as Christ did toward the cause of providing salvation opportunity -- and then it is up to the troubled celebrity to consider seriously taking advantage of God's provision of time to consider where their lives stand.
"God is not going to miraculously jump out in front of us and say, 'Boo! Guess what, it's time for you to change.' No, he allows certain circumstances to happen in your life, and those are the nudges that he gives us to try to put us on the path that we should be on," says Angelo.
According to a report on Christiannewswire.com, Paris Hilton quoted directly from Angelo's book during an interview when she spoke of Angelo's prison motto advice that states "Don't serve the time, let the time serve you." That news service also reports that Angelo received a thank you note from Hilton after she served her jail time.
Angelo says in his ministry to them, he will continuing to honor God's Word and hold it up, in the belief that it will not come back void.
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Dear Mr Angelo,
I am so excited to hear about your ministry to the "stars". What a great oppty. to share God's
awesome word. It does not come back void!
Posted by Les Mitchell | July 28, 2007 7:29 AM
Sir Angelo is absolutely 100% correct in this article. I worked Hollywood in the financial services field and can attest to his statements. In addition, I was a Reserve Deputy Sheriff in CA. and again can attest to his statements on the 81% factor for previous offenders. Given these two areas in my personal background, I can well assure the good readers that Pastor Angelo has taken the ONLY route that will prove effective in the permanent change of a person that is addicted to substance abuse, or is/has served time. Serving time conditions a person to a lifestyle of compliance and dependence. Upon release the "prisoner" simply cannot adjust to "civilian" life and must, at all costs, return to the structured, sheltered format of jail/prison. Christians, like Ruth Graham who helped inmates make THE transition to "civilian" and Eternal life, are desperately needed today. Great article.
Posted by Dr. Tom | July 28, 2007 9:21 AM
God bless men and women like Angelo who care enough about troubled people to reach out to them with the truth of God's Word. Of course secular jails and rehabs don't work in and of themselves. The change that matters is the change within the soul of the individual. And I even further praise God that people are reaching out to our celebrities in Hollywood. I'm guilty of, and I'm certain I'm not alone in this, thinking that celebrities are beyond God's help at times and have even taken pleasure in ridiculing the immaturity of people such as Paris. But that's not the answer to her problem. She needs Jesus just as much as the next person.
Posted by Hillary Hobbs | July 28, 2007 1:28 PM
I hope and pray that the Marty Angelo Ministries becomes a huge success on a global basis. Celebrities, at the end of the day, are just people with their own set of trials & tribulations to bear. Because they are held in such high regards and so influential to our societies youth, I think it's even more vital for them to hear and
receive the truth of God's word & provision, and get the kind of help that will last a life time.
Your calling to this issue is very much needed and appreciated.
Posted by Craig | July 28, 2007 3:08 PM
I'm so sick and tired of hearing about them, and all their antics, but this article reminded me to pray for those girls. They're just as lost and deceived as anybody who doesn't know the Lord, and so trapped by their fame. May God grant them knowledge, and may they approach Him in humility, and trust in His grace.
Posted by Georgia Barbin | July 28, 2007 4:08 PM
It would be wonderful if Mr. Angelo could reach these celebrities for the Lord. It's so sad to see them throwing their lives away. Let's be praying that the Lord will prepare their hearts to receive His Word.
Posted by trish | July 29, 2007 1:17 AM
God bless Marty Angelo and his special ministry.
Although i have very little respect for Hollywood and the people who make money from Hollywood ruining
America, (not all-there are some good Christians working in Hollywood trying to create Christian films), those involved are still God's creation and deserve a chance to correct their lifestyle and priorities.
Posted by t miller | July 29, 2007 7:57 AM
Him serving the time for celebrities going into faith-based rehab isn't going to accomplish anything unless the person really wants to change their behavior. Otherwise, they will get out, go through detox, then go right back and
retox, and go right back to jail, just like folks who go through any other rehab program just to cut their sentences short. If someone like Paris Hilton really wants to change, she has the money to put herself in rehab and do it. Why doesn't he offer to serve the sentences of poor people that no one ever heard of while they go through rehab?
Posted by Chris | July 30, 2007 7:14 AM
Patty J. Deane:
Praise the Lord for Angelo. I am so thankful that he is burdened for these people. And, he has the TRUE answer to their problems - Jesus Christ. Only He can truly change a person - and when He changes us, it is forever!! I will be praying for this ministry. Someone emailed and asked why he didn't help the poor people. I am sure he presents the gospel to all he can, but God has placed on burden on him to reach this particular group of people. May God richly bless him and give him many souls for his labor.
Posted by Patty J. Deane | July 30, 2007 2:37 PM
Katrina D. Douglas:
I pray God will truly bless his ministry. I agree that behind every celebrity's public profile is a soul that God cares about. I was really glad to hear of someone trying to reach them! I will continue to pray for Mr. Angelo.
Posted by Katrina D. Douglas | July 30, 2007 3:08 PM
This offer he made is between him and God, who are you to tell him who he should minister to? And how he is to minister. I have worked for Gospel missions before and I know that most of them are just there for the free meal, yes some come to the Lord, but most are just there looking to get their physical needs met, which is fine, it is the act of reaching out that God wants us to do, whether to rich or poor, He Himself will take care of the rest, it is for Him and the individual involved to decide if there will be lasting change or not, you, and I, cannot make anyone change their ways, only God's love can.
Posted by Anna | July 30, 2007 3:12 PM
Gary E. Penton:
As an 18 year Prison Chaplain, now retired, I know that Marty Angelo is correct; People who
get out of prison without Christ rarely stay out.
In addition, if there is not an "open arms" receptive Bible Believing Church who will just
wrap them up in loving acceptance, they are less likely to succeed.
A person may surrender to Christ Jesus, and learn to function well in the inmate Church, but he/she still has to learn how to live in the "free world."
Posted by Gary E. Penton | July 30, 2007 4:08 PM
The whole idea of reaching out to people in jails comes from the Lord's teaching in Matt. 25:34-40.
But the very idea of prison is obnoxious to God -- that being an invention of man ( likely devised by the Egyptians ( Joseph was cast into prison by Potiphar ). The prescription for law-breakers according to the Mosaic Code was according to a threefold approach : 1. capital punishment 2. banishment 3. restitution.
Murderers, rapists, kidnappers, repeat violent offenders, traitors and all others committing heinous crimes against mankind should be put to death - plain and simple.
The robbers, thieves and all those who have unlawfully taken, destroyed or ruined the property of others should be made to pay back double the amount in restitution whereby they who have suffered loss may be
adequately compensated for replacement, pain and suffering. And they can't pay it back in a jail cell. They must be put to work ( yes, even hard labor )or have their securities and bank accounts garnisheed.
They who foment violence, sedition and clearly stand against the establishment and maintenance of peace should be banished from their place of residence to some isolated location ( Aleutian Islands ? ) If they are not American citizens, then they should be immediately deported.
The idea of prisons is sickening, unbiblical and a waste of taxpayers' money. It is God's way that works -- all outlined in the Word of God; not the inventions of sinful men.
Posted by Rick Crompton | July 30, 2007 6:40 PM
another story that liberals don't want you to know
Posted by Kinman | July 30, 2007 9:22 PM
"This offer he made is between him and God, who are you to tell him who he should minister to? And how he is to minister. I have worked for Gospel missions before and I know that most of them are just there for the free meal..."
First of all, I was not referring to missions. I asked why he didn't offer to SERVE THE SENTENCE of someone nobody had ever heard of
who didn't have the money for rehab. Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan, et al have enough money that if they really want to change their behavior, they can pay for any rehab program, they want, faith-based or secular. Of course, they also have something that the impoverished addict doesn't - the funds to write a large check to Angelo's
Posted by Chris | July 31, 2007 8:38 AM
"Of course, they (Lohan, Hilton, et al) also have something that the impoverished addict doesn't - the funds to write a check to Angelo's ministry (not
Wow - someone sure is cynical! I'm not privy to Pastor Angelo's private correspondence, but at least in the above article, I see no attempt to solicit funds for his ministry. (When God is leading the ministry, you let Him do the providing - and He does, time and time again).
As far as Ms. Lohan, Hilton, Spears paying for a secular rehab program to get sober - hasn't worked so far; to go back again would be throwing good money after bad in their cases. Why not then try a faith-based program like Pastor Angelo's? Assuming, of course, they want help (which they do, deep down; they're just not ready to admit it yet).
FYI, as far as serving someone else's sentence goes (celeb or otherwise) - that just doesn't wash. You do the crime, YOU do the time. But while the time's being served, there's ample opportunity to reach out to that inmate - support them during incarceration and provide help for afterward so they can face the real world. Then they'll see the love of Christ in action.
Posted by MS | July 31, 2007 12:24 PM
"Wow - someone sure is cynical! I'm not privy to Pastor Angelo's private correspondence, but at least in the above article, I see no attempt to solicit funds for his ministry." (When God is leading the ministry, you let Him do the providing - and He does, time and time again)."
I AM cynical. Perhaps it has something to do with having received countless bulk mailings from this or that "ministry" telling me that God will bless me if I send them a "love offering" in an amount that reflects the sincerity my faith, and that the more faith I have
(ie the more money I send them), the more God will bless me.
"(When God is leading the ministry, you let Him do the providing - and He does, time and time again)."
Right. Not long ago, I heard Jimmy Swaggart preaching on the radio about God's provenance. He talked about how he had Italian suits that cost thousands of dollars and alligator shoes that cost hundreds of dollars, and wore a gold Rolex, and he and his wife both drive late-model Mercedes because GOD GAVE THEM THOSE THINGS.
The next day, he was back on with a pledge drive, talking about how every day his wife sits at her desk in the JSM office, and tries to make $100 cover $200 worth of bills, and how they need to raise $10,000 to cover the note and expenses for their most recent radio station purchase. How about getting your suits and shoes off the rack, trading the Rolex for a Timex, and trading the Mercedes for a bicycle, and using the difference to fund the radio station?
Posted by Chris | July 31, 2007 2:25 PM
God blesses those who do his work. However, bragging about your material wealth in order to manipulate people out of their money, is not the right way to do things. You know, "Give me all your money, so you, too will be blessed".
God doesn't send out beggars. The disciples were told to "leave their purses at home".
If someone wasn't interested to go on to the next.
Ill-gotten gain, ie tricks, and manipulation to part people from their money, is frowned upon by God. Many TV Evangelists use this tactic. If they are truly God's servants and doing God's work and teaching God's truth, they will be blessed, they don't have to beg.
Posted by Judy | July 31, 2007 4:54 PM