Ria Ramkissoon has pled guilty to child abuse resulting in the death of her one year old son. His name was Javon Thompson. The former Baltimore cult member, along with several other participants, stopped feeding the little boy because he would not say “Amen” after finishing a meal. Unfortunately this would be just another tragic daily episode in the ongoing saga of human depravity if it were not for the remarkable provision Ria negotiated with the Baltimore prosecutors. As part of her plea agreement, the charges against Ria will be dropped and her guilty plea expunged should Javon come back to life. The mother is counting on the bodily resurrection of her little boy to prove her own innocence.
The possibilites for dialogue with this story are many. We could discuss the curious negotiated plea agreement by which prosecutors know they will never have to keep their promise. University of Maryland law professor David Gray has reported never hearing of such an agreement. We could discuss the apparent fine line between strong religious conviction and insanity. We could discuss the numerous warnings of Scripture as they pertain to cults and false teachings.
Instead, I want to focus my attention on the reality of Javon’s resurrection and the subsequent ironic implications for his mother. For believers, the resurrection clause negotiated with prosecutors should not elicit a response of assumed insanity. Granted, the context and theology of Ria’s agreement are unthinkable. But the concept of Javon coming back to life is a phenomenon which all true believers in Christ must believe. If we don’t believe in the bodily resurrection of the dead, then Christ did not rise. If Christ did not rise, then our faith is in vain. I have no doubt that this precious one year old boy will rise again! Depending on your flavor of eschatology, this miraculous event will take place during the rapture of the church or at Christ’s second coming. Regardless, it is possible that in Ria’s lifetime her son will once again be among the living.
This glorious reality, however, will not bring the sigh of relief Ria intends. If she should, in fact, witness the resurrection of her son, the freedom and innocence she desires and has placed upon that singular event will be nothing more than an ill-conceived concept. The human courts of our land will give way to the high court of God’s judgment, a court where the sentence for Ria will be unbearable. Nothing, however, is impossible with God. The grip that Satan and his forces of darkness have over this lady are strong, but not strong enough to withstand God’s Spirit. We should pray for Ria. We should pray that Godly men and women will come into contact with her and help guide her toward the truth of Jesus Christ. We should pray for the people associated with this cult. We should pray that God’s will be done so that he will be glorified, even in tragedy.
Don’t be surprised to hear Ria’s belief in the resurrection of her son. That day is coming soon. Ria is not prepared for what that will ultimately mean for her. I wonder, how prepared are we?