Alcohol: The Killer
By David Berkowitz

I have been incarcerated for thirty-eight years. However, it was approximately 27 years ago when I received Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord while alone in a prison cell. My life has not been the same since. It was the best decision I ever made.

Many others in prison today have also received Christ. They have repented of their sins and are now living for the Lord. Here are testimonies from two such men, with their answers to the question, “What would yo say to young people today?”

Age 57, doing a double life sentence for two homicides. He was “an ordinary working-class guy” with a wife and two sons, and a good job in construction. When I asked him about alcohol and what he would say if he were standing before a group of young persons, Felix said, “Alcohol, only leads to trouble, divorce, and broken homes.” Felix knows this from personal experience.

Felix, who drank liquor and often got himself into trouble because of it, told me that shortly after he came to prison, both his sons got into drinking and using drugs while still in their teens. His oldest, Felix Jr., died two years ago from an overdose of heroin at the age of 36. His second son still struggles with alcohol addiction.

Felix realizes his sinful and selfish lifestyle spilled over onto his boys; his marriage was destroyed as well. Fortunately, about 12 years ago he became a Christian.

Age 68, doing a life sentence for murder. Ronald started drinking alcohol for “fun” when he was in his mid-teens. He said, “ I started off mostly drinking wine and beer, then began using marijuana.” At the time he was on the track team in high school. He ran track for three years and won a few races as well. He was also hoping to one day become a baseball player.

Today, Ronald too is a Christian. He is enrolled in college and attends mandatory AA classes in prison. When asked what he would say to teenagers, Ronald said, “First, I would like to say, you don’t have to drink alcoholic beverages to feel good. It’s a big lie that booze and happiness go together. And you don’t want to put anything in your body that will muddle your thinking.”

Ronald knows this firsthand, for he stabbed a man to death when he was, in his own words, “very drunk and very angry.” He added, “Don’t be afraid to tell someone that your friends are offering you alcohol/drugs. Don’ stand alone. You need adult support to help resist the temptation and peer pressure to get high or experiment with this stuff. A person who insists you drink (alcohol) is not your friend.”

Thankfully Felix and Ronald (not their real names) now possess the gift of eternal life. The heard and believed the Gospel account that Christ died for their sins according to the Scriptures. Each has acknowledged his sinfulness before a holy and righteous God with the desire to repent and turn from his sins, and place his faith in Christ alone, and upon his finished work on the cross of Calvary.

Both men willingly and humble acknowledge that sin has taken a terrible toll upon them and their respective families, and upon their victims as well. having learned their lesson the hard way, they know alcohol for what it is: A Killer!

(from the Women’s Christian Temperance Union Journal - Oct-Dec. 2014 Issue)