NEW ENGLAND CABLE NEWS reports that, in an application dated 11/26/2014, movie star Mark Wahlberg (famous for his roles in Planet of the Apes, The Perfect Storm, The Italian Job, and Transformers, to name a few) is seeking a pardon for a 1988 conviction of crimes committed as a young man.
Mark Wahlberg is asking Massachusetts to wipe out his decades-old assault conviction, saying that ever since he served time for a 1988 attack that left another man blind in one eye, he has tried to become a "better person and citizen." …
"I am deeply sorry for the actions that I took on the night of April 8, 1988, as well as for any lasting damage that I may have caused the victims," Wahlberg wrote in his pardon application. "Since that time, I have dedicated myself to becoming a better person and citizen so that I can be a role model to my children and others." ...
In his petition, he outlines the incidents that led to his arrest, saying that he attempted to steal two cases of alcohol from a man who was standing outside of a convenience store … he hit the man on the head with a wooden stick, and … punched another man in the face.
Wahlberg was under the influence of drugs and alcohol and was in possession of drugs at the time of his arrest. Though charged with attempted murder, as well as other crimes, he was convicted of the lesser assault charges and served time in jail.
Since serving his time, Wahlberg has tried to use his fame and fortune to help others. In an effort to explain his motives in turning his life around and seeking the pardon, Wahlberg stated:
"I have not engaged in philanthropic efforts in order to make people forget about my past," added Wahlberg. "To the contrary, I want people to remember my past so that I can serve as an example of how lives can be turned around and how people can be redeemed." …
"The more complex answer is that receiving a pardon would be a formal recognition that I am not the same person that I was on the night of April 8, 1988," Wahlberg concluded. "It would be a formal recognition that someone like me can receive official public redemption if he devotes himself to personal improvement and a life of good works."
It's a wonderful thing that Mr. Wahlberg has repented of his past crimes and has since devoted his life to making a difference in this world. And while this is a beautiful story of worldly redemption, it would be more wonderful still if Mr. Wahlberg were to discover that "public redemption" falls woefully short of the ultimate pardon and redemption that can only come through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on his behalf.
Through the Person of Christ, it is not our good works, but His good works which bring us ultimate pardon and redemption. And while we applaud Mr. Wahlberg's philanthropic efforts and the man he has become today (truly a role model in society!), It is only through the washing and regeneration of the Holy Spirit that we can become truly new.
"This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!" (2 Corinthians 5:17, NLT).