Happy Independence Day! I think of that day in May 1975, when I think of independence; that day when Christ came into my heart, freeing me from a life of guilt and shame.
“For God says, ‘At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.’ Indeed, the ‘right time’ is now. Today is the day of salvation.” 1
A Heartfelt Response...
Jill wrote, “I am healed of the wounds that your crimes inflicted on my psyche.”
“Blessings to you! I found your site while searching for your reaction to Manson’s death. I’m so happy that I did, because I found a brother in Christ. In the past, I was too terrified of what you represented to even care, as long as I knew you were locked up. You and Susan Atkins represented true evil to me. I was blinded by pop-culture to the evil inside myself and us all.
“I read “Will You Die For Me?” and the “Speaks Out” interview. Your telling of the story, while horrific, brought me comfort. You are no different than I. My sinful lifestyle didn’t lead me to the severity of yours in the same way, but destruction ensued nonetheless. We all have victims. We are all capable of horrible acts. I have two sons on parole and have taken them into my home. They both attend church with me every Sunday, and my youngest son has started reading scripture. Praise God! After my sinful lifestyle marred their childhood, I’m so thankful that I have this opportunity to let Christ live through me to influence them. You are living proof that with God all things are possible.
“I want to share your website with my children, on Facebook and Twitter. The world needs to see this, since society is full of people with no compassion. My heart goes out to you in love and that fact overwhelms me with joy. God never ceases to amaze me with His love and grace. I am healed of the wounds that your crimes inflicted on my psyche. May forgiveness fill the hearts of all. I correspond with some inmates and will search your site for tools. Thank you so much Charles. God bless you and keep you! Jill, USA.”
Initially, I dropped to 106 pounds in county jail. In a bout of depression, I regressed into a catatonic state, and I was sent to Atascadero Mental Hospital for a three-month observation. Back at trial, I was found guilty and was placed on death row. After nine months, the death penalty was abolished, and I was sent to California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo, where I received Christ three years later in ’75.
At first, I was accused of receiving Christ to get out of prison. When I agreed with them, they were shocked. I responded by saying, “I’m free from the prison of sin, the prison of disobedience, and God willing, from the prison itself. “I’m reminded that Jesus came “To open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the prison, and those who sit in darkness from the prison house.” 2
There is a battle going on for our minds with the accuser the devil. As Christians, we “...overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony”, 3 when we believed and confessed Jesus Christ as Lord. I’m still haunted by the crimes, but in Christ, I know that old man “Tex” is dead and through faith in God’s grace, I have “...put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” 4
In the 60s, I had given my mind over to the enemy of my soul [psyche]. By receiving Christ’s cleansing blood, I took back my mind when I became a believer. As I renewed my mind with God’s Word of righteousness, the sense of fear, guilt, shame and inferiority began to lose control over my life. The new man has “Put on the whole armor of God [[truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation and prayer], that [I] may me able to stand against the wiles of the devil” [emphasis added]. 5
Our emotions reveal our thoughts. If our thoughts are on Christ’s blood, His Word of righteousness will reign in our lives. “For if by one man’s offense death reigned through me, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through One, Jesus Christ.” 6 By keeping our thoughts on the abundance of God’s grace [His death, burial and resurrection], our emotions will fall in line with the fruit of the Holy Spirit, “... love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” 7
My old man was an emotional wreck before Christ. I medicated my fear and anxiety with the drug “speed”, then released my pent-up anger on the loved ones of those who now suffer for my actions. Again, I deeply apologize for being so callous and selfish. It will be fifty years next month that these events took place. It feels surreal that I could have been involved in such horrific crimes. Won’t you receive Christ today? Jesus said, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” 8
A Prayer for You...
Father, I thank You that I don’t have to be overcome by sins of the past, because of the blood of Your Son, Jesus Christ, Who brought forgiveness of sins that are past, present and future. I believe that Jesus died and rose again for my judgment and new life. I thank You for my salvation and for the ability through faith to cast down every thought that comes against the knowledge of Your love, grace and righteousness. I declare peace of mind, that I might be a blessing to those in need of Your great salvation. Make me a vessel of Your peace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture References (NKJV):
1) 2 Cor. 6:2, NLT
2) Isa. 42:7
3) Rev. 12:11
4) Eph. 4:24
5) Eph. 6:11-18
6) Rom. 5:17
7) Gal. 5:22,23
8) John 8:32