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700 Club CBN Shows

The 700 Club

Stealing Isn't Wrong

Randy Rudder - 700 Club Producer

“I had no regard for other people,” David says. “If I was stealing or robbing, I would say, ‘Ok, if you’re not gonna take that ring off your finger, I’m gonna cut it off. And I’m not talking about the ring; I’m talking about your finger.’”

David was taught at a young age that it was not wrong to steal—only to get caught.

“When we would go to a supermarket, it was a big time for us. It was an exciting time for us because my mother would make sandwiches and open stuff in the store,” David recalls.” We would eat the food, eat chips. We could take candy, eat it while we're there. it was acceptable behavior. It was never, you know, ‘It's not right to take people's personal property.’  It was ‘Don't get caught.’”

At home, David was also taught that people could be controlled by violence.  

“A parent disciplining a child was far more acceptable than it is today. And my dad would use his belt to straighten us out, and I learned through that process that I could control you through violence, through a beating,” he says.

As David grew, so did his anger. “It found it acceptable to, you know, use violence to get what I wanted. If you didn't want to give it to me, I would take it from you. I didn't have a problem with it.”

When he was just 12, David’s mother died. “Once she passed away, I just went into a direction of, just kind of (being) mad at the world.”

To numb his pain, David began using drugs as a teenager and stealing bigger things to support his habits. “I wasn’t just out robbing trying to pay a light bill,” he says. “I was out robbing trying to get dope. I had been a drug addict at, you know, 16, 17 years old.”

Because of his lifestyle, David did several prison stints, beginning with an armed robbery charge at age 17. “I robbed a pizzeria; I got $57 and wound up getting 5-to-15-years in the state prison,” he says.  

He later became fascinated with the motorcycle gang culture.  “We went to the drive-in one night and we're watching that movie Easy Rider with Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper and I saw these guys riding the motorcycles and that hard-partying, vagabond attitude, you know, just riding and partying, and doing drugs,’” David says. “I said, ‘Man that’s the life.’ I knew the big-league player in the Detroit area was the Outlaws motorcycle club. And I never envisioned myself as being a member of a smaller club or different club. I said, ‘Man, if I was ever going to be a biker, I'm going to be an Outlaw.”

David joined the Outlaws and became a “one percenter.”  “A one percenter represents one percent of the motorcycle subculture, so to speak, that are the worst of the worst,” he explains. “It’s a group of guys that have dedicated their lives to the motorcycle club. Being in that one percenter lifestyle, it's power in your neighborhood, it's power in your community. And it’s status.”

His life in the motorcycle gang only increased the cycle of violence and his time behind bars.

“I went in and out of prison five times in my life,” he adds. “And I've served a total of 24 ½ years in those five different trips to prison for armed robberies, breaking and entering, federal gun charges, federal prison, selling drugs.”  

David continued his association with the Outlaws, both in prison and out. When he was outside, he would transport drugs coming out of Mexico through Texas to Detroit. “Once they realized that I could sell it and the money was there, we went to moving it in RVs, semi-trucks, moving hundreds and hundreds of pounds several times a month.”

David was arrested on a felony for possession of a firearm and sentenced in 2001. While walking across the prison yard one day, he began to think about his life. “I heard this old guy, he was 77 years old, and he's asking this other guy from Chicago if he knew where he could go – a place to stay. You got nowhere to go, you got no skills, you got no money. So I realized, ‘That could actually be me one day. So that started me to think ‘I need a lifestyle change.”

Someone gave David a Bible and he met a prison ministry team. “It's the way they presented to me, the Bible, and how they lovingly walked me through the scriptures with Jesus.”

David began reading his Bible in his cell and noticed his heart changing. “The more I studied, the more I prayed and asked God to work in my life, my behavior started to change, and some of these things started coming back into my memory, things I had done to people—some horrible things. I wish I could go back to each and every individual that I’ve done wrong and apologize but I can’t.”

For several months, David met with the Bible study group and devoured the scriptures. “They brought this type of level of teaching of the Bible to me as opposed to, ‘Just say you're a Christian, profess that you're a sinner, profess that you're sorry of your sins, and ask God to forgive you of your sins, and you're saved and now you're going to heaven.’ No, they went much deeper than that. You don’t just open up the bible and start reading it like a Huckleberry Finn. No, we need to seek understanding. From the beginning to the end, from Adam and Eve in the garden, Cain and Abel, it's a story of God leading people, using other people's mistakes to teach us -- to prevent us possibly from making that same mistake.”

David accepted Christ and was baptized in prison. “That same whole in my life, from when my mother died, I tried to fill it with drugs. That didn’t work. Tried to fill it with women; that didn’t work. Tried to fill it with cars, money, all of these things; none of it worked,” he says. “It wasn’t until I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior that my life, dramatically, drastically, changed.”

After his release in 2009, he started Onesimus Freedom Ministries in Midland Texas and shares Christ with inmates in the Texas penal system. “Jesus said he will set us free. We're being set free from the bondage of sin,” he proclaims. “I'm free from the condemnation of sin. I'm free from that--and I was freed while incarcerated. Now I go into the prisons and I'm helping the guys understand that very thing: you don't have to choose to do wrong; you can choose to do right. The goal for me is to have these guys get out of prison and never, ever return to prison. You can be free from that and to live a life following Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.”

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