What people experience during those three days

When Nancy and I go into a prison we are supported by our many faithful prayer partners and we see and feel the impact of their prayers. Our supporters allow us to supply each prison (at no profit) with at least 20 books for their dorm libraries and a workbook for each person who takes the course.   Those who finish the course receive a certificate of completion that is respected by court judges and the probation system.

The premise of this course is that God’s love is the answer to human anger. In the Bible, God compares His anger with His love.  He is slow to anger and abounds in love.  Experiencing the love of God is the key. During those three days. Nancy and I pray and commit ourselves to demonstrate and model God’s love and forgiveness the best we can.  We treat each person with dignity and respect. We care for them and look at each one in the eye.  We relax and have fun and take long breaks to mingle and get to know them. We hear their story and pray for many of them and build a positive relationship within the boundaries of TDCJ requirements.

God’s love makes His wisdom exclusive and elite. Understanding the love of God is essential to reasoning with God’s wisdom.  All eyes are on Him. His infinite knowledge, strong character, patience, and compassion are the centerpiece of the study. We lead them to personally receive God’s love and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. This provides the foundation for change. Only when they experience the love of God, can they love God in return. For “we love Him because He first loved us.”  1 John 4:19.

Early on, we seek to answer some common misconceptions about God’s temperament because so many use those misconceptions to support their anger.  For example, many justify their anger because they view God as an angry and wrathful God. If God lashes back, then we can, too. But this is not what the Bible teaches and we clear this and many other false assumptions about God by looking at the intentional small print in the Biblical text. Many are surprised to discover there are clearly defined truths about God’s wrath and judgment. We learn the wisdom of God’s judgments and why God’s wrath is rarely demonstrated throughout history.  The Bible is explicit that God withholds His wrath until the great day of wrath and the Great White Throne Judgment. Until then, God is committed to reaching men with His goodness, longsuffering, and unconditional love.

This study seeks to convince men of God’s goodness and that He overcomes evil with good. He intervenes in judgment only when men’s iniquities are full and God declares them to be ripe for judgment, not when we think they are ripe. In most instances, God allows great evils in each generation so men can see the fruit of those beliefs and ideologies that support such iniquities. If He destroyed evil men then who could stand before God. When we understand God’s love and respect for us, then we are willing to trust him and show Him respect.   We believe that love and respect for God is the beginning of life-change.

We argue that human anger, when carried out, is never righteous. Only God’s anger can be righteous because only He can perfectly carry it out. This truth is clearly supported throughout scripture. Though God respects our anger and it can begin for righteous reasons, human anger leads to “unrighteous” behavior. God calls us to understand the destructive path of our anger and how the expression of anger allows our human condition to worsen. It is God’s love that inspires men to relent from doing harm to their perpetrators. Yes, the law is God’s avenger of wrath and its punishments are vital to safeguard humanity and fetter the inherent evils of society. Yes, honest self-defense is never condemned in the Bible; and yes, people do reap what they sow; and yes, God does intervene particularly in the agendas of violent and threatening men.  But, He is careful to instruct His people to be humble and patient in the face of their perpetrators, to relent of their vengeful attitude, and to overcome evil with good.  God does use sarcasm but is never hateful, rude, or disrespectful to the perpetrator. It is for God and our laws, not individuals to punish the guilty. In His own words, God declares:  “The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love, forgiving sin and rebellion… Numbers 14:18

‘As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’  Ezekiel 33:11

This compelling theological approach clarifies God’s goodness and concern for all men. God pleads with men to accept His mercy and TURN, redirecting them onto His wise path with a promise of a better future. This renewed faith produces personal initiative that carries them forward. At this point, the study moves from theory to practice, from doctrine to doing. God’s Word is robust with scripture that dictates trustworthy steps of practical application.  God has much to counsel regarding the management of our emotions and we have much to obey.  His wise counsel throughout the scriptures is powerfully convincing.

Below is the content of this extensive study:

Chapter 1 – God’s Anger

~The Sacred Emotion

Chapter 2 – Righteous Anger

~Delivered to the Torturers

Chapter 3 – Self-Righteous Anger

~Men’s Malicious Millstones

Chapter 5 – Replicated Anger

~Stubborn Anger

~Beware Your Iniquities

Chapter 6 – Violent Anger

~Anger and Alcohol

~Submission to Governing Authorities

Chapter 7 – Ruling Anger

~Overlooking Transgressions

Chapter 8 – Countering Anger

~Calming the Spousal Storm

~Reconciling Transgressions

Chapter 9 – Silencing Anger

~Soothing Angry Feelings

Chapter 10 – Forsaking Anger

~Growing Better, Not Bitter

Chapter 11 – Replacing Anger

~Living a God-Governed Life

I chose to do this study in three days for good reason.  Habitual anger is strong and deeply rooted. It requires every fetter and we allot time to carefully attend to the many indispensable truths in God’s Word. We feed them royally, allowing God to shine a light on their faulty belief systems.  God’s Word is good and convincing seed. The goal is to answer any of their theological questions, to establish them with a strong foundation in Jesus Christ. Prisons are filled with false ideologies, but God’s Word reduces them to rubble. There are challenges in every unit, but we savor every minute and rejoice as God’s winning, loving wisdom invades their hearts and minds.

This course is aimed to help those who have suffered reproach by allowing their emotions to grow extreme, producing violent behavior. They come to learn; the memory of their reproach will fade only when they demonstrate a consistent new temperament and prove themselves as strong and enduring godly leaders. Because of their new knowledge, men take heart to change their path, to become examples in their homes, peacemakers in the streets, and ambassadors of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They learn to diagnose their triggers and deny their habitually destructive emotions. They come to learn the necessity of practical obedience to God’s Word. The message is to be a DOER, not a deceived “hearer only.” I find the teaching on DISCRETION to be a pivotal lesson in the course. It provides a clear, practical, and realistic means of changing the habitual, emotional responses that led to their ruin. It allows them to put into practice all they have learned. Disciple means “learner.” We set the goal of always getting better through ongoing personal growth.  This course explains their new path thoroughly and gives them a plan to execute for the day they will leave their cells and return home to their wives and children in submission to God.

At the end of the course, we proudly distribute their diplomas. These have always been times of great elation and celebration. When we return home we follow up by sending free books to those who need it. We often send books and workbooks to their wives, parents, and children and witness many of them go through the course together by means of written correspondence.  I am confident of the impact of this course because the teaching is God’s counsel. It points men to a faithful God who has the answer to all our evils. He can produce life change and can turn the tide of violent and threatening behavior.

A Testimony from Jordan, in the Wheeler Unit in Plainview Texas

I am in prison for a violent charge against my ex-girlfriend and before that, I had been dealing with extreme anger. I never began to think to turn to the Word of God to see what He said about anger. Satan had blinded me to believe that “hey you’re just angry because that’s how HE made you.” However, thanks to Taking Anger Seriously. I have a new outlook. Thank you, Mr. Quin, and thank you, Nancy, for your prayers and for sharing the Word with us.