I know this makes skeptics really angry when they hear news like this, but the Son of Sam killer has come to know Christ in prison. According to Foxnews, David Berkowitz does not plan on seeking parole at his next hearing because he is already free through the forgiveness found in Christ.
“I have no interest in parole and no plans to seek release,” Berkowitz wrote FoxNews.com in an Aug. 6 letter. “If you could understand this, I am already a ‘free man.’ I am not saying this jokingly. I really am. Jesus Christ has already forgiven and pardoned me, and I believe this.”
Berkowitz, who killed six people and wounded seven others in 1976-77, was dubbed the “Son of Sam” after a note left at a crime scene read: “I am a monster. I am the Son of Sam.” After intense manhunts and widespread public panic throughout New York, he was arrested in 1977.
I only point this out because we need the reminder that there is no sin too heinous for Christ to forgive, no sinner too lost for Him to save. The gospel is the power unto salvation and that salvation can redeem even the most wicked of sinners. As John Newton, former slave trader, was in the habit of saying, “I am a great sinner, but Jesus is a great savior.“
How true this is. I know that this truth makes skeptics angry because they claim that somehow, it’s unfair that God would forgive such a heinous man. What skeptics and many Christians do not realize is that the degree of sin between someone like Mother Teresa and Berkowitz, is negligible, for as Jesus points out, that even if we hate someone, it’s the same as murder (Matthew 5:21-26). Not that we should go ahead an act out on our sinful impulses. What this should do is remind us that we are all in need of a savior, even if we have not acted out on our sinful impulses.
God is not unjust in redeeming serial killers. He is not being “unfair” as they claim. In fact, if we want fairness, we need to realize that because all sin and fall short of God’s glory, we all deserve eternal damnation. That would be fair. God is showing grace to men like Berkowitz and men like myself. The skeptic can scoff all he or she wants to. But come judgment day, those in Christ will stand in His righteousness, not our own, while the unbeliever gets to relish is his or her unrighteousness for eternity.
May I paraphrase Newton: We are great sinners, but we have a great Savior.