Are Police Out of Control?
Baltimore, Denver, Cleveland, Ferguson, South Carolina, and our own Hummelstown. Each of these has been in the news because of police shootings. Some have sparked massive riots and criticism of police being out-of-control, and bringing into questions the use of deadly force among police. Just the other day a video went viral, where it showed a police officer throwing down a young African American teen and forcefully holding her down. So… Just what is going on? Have our police gone rogue? Are they out-of-control? Should we take their guns away from them?
We need to be very frank and honest here; there are some police, who shouldn’t be. We have some police who are… well… metaphorically, bad apples; and there are some that after just and legal investigations are completed, should themselves be arrested. The fact is, there are bad, incompetent, even “rogue” people in any occupation, and in any field. The issue, if you will, is that police carry guns. But I also see a media that is irresponsibly rushing to judgement, framing these shootings or incidents without digging into the background, or what these very human officers were facing in the midst of trying and threatening circumstances. I see politicians with agendas, and people who are all too ready to attack the police. I see and hear all too often the presumption of guilt. I believe those that hold such opinions are currently a minority, but I wonder how long this will last.
The Apostle Paul gave Timothy a stark warning: You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. (2 Timothy 3:1-4 NLT) Jude spoke of those that “reject authority”. I can think of no clearer picture of these words than what we are seeing taking place around us today.
In my humble opinion, the issue is not out-of-control police; but a society that is increasingly rejecting authority, increasingly losing self-control, cruel, and hating what is good. Many in the media and in government are simply reflections of our society, but are also helping to frame and shape our nation such that the end times that Paul warned about will in fact become a present reality.
What shall we do? Paul warns Timothy that “… all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” (3:12), and that things will continue to get worse (3:13). But then Paul says this: But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. (3:14). He continues by telling Timothy to stand strong, to be faithful, for our God is faithful. See the times for what they are, but don’t take a passive, head-in-the-sand role. Now, more than ever, our world needs the Gospel, and it needs prayer. It needs men and women of character and faith to stand up for Christ. As Jude wrote, Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives. (Jude 23 NLT)
May I also suggest, pray for our police; and police around the country. These men and women make very little money; most have families; and often find themselves in threatening situations that do not lend themselves to “arm-chair-quarterbacking”. It is easy to second-guess someone’s actions when you are not there in their shoes. And when you see one, go up and thank them; let them know you appreciate them.
What’s Going On at Church? It is now officially summer (forget the calendar, school is out! LOL!). Be safe in your travels don’t forget the sunscreen, and enjoy this wonderful time of the year. Also remember that there will be times when the church office will be understaffed as we take vacation and conference time. Pastor John and I will be in Columbus, OH next week for the Southern Baptist Convention. 6/21 is Father’s Day. And 6/22 @ 6:30pm we will have a special informational seminar with Q&A regarding the KeepKidsSafe PA law and its affect on our church ministries. I just saw some good news coming out of Harrisburg that the PA background checks for volunteers should be free. Yeah! Love you all!