Anne Bisek sent me this article and said she wasn’t sure if I could use it or not. I have lectured around the world in police psychology and always added spirituality as part of the psychology needed to be healthy as police officers. I decided we needed more than one article and approached Anne with the concept of a series on Spirituality in Law Enforcement. I hope you enjoy a little of Anne’s research in this article. — Gary
Is There More Than Just “Thou Shalt Not Kill”?
The Bible has many passages which are related to police work. The sixth commandment gets a lot of press, but here are five additional verses you may not hear very often.
Did you know Jesus ordered someone to drop his weapon? What does the Bible say about a suspect who does not listen to the authorities and resists arrest? From foot pursuits to officer safety, the Bible has much to say to law enforcement officers.
Please consider the following scripture passages.
On neutralizing the threat.
“Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him. “All who can take the sword will die by the sword.
On resisting arrest
Romans 13:1-4, 6
Everyone must obey state authorities, because no authority exists without God’s permission, and the existing authorities have been put there by God. Whoever opposes the existing authority opposes what God has ordered; and anyone who does so will bring judgment on himself. For rulers are not to be feared by those who do good, but by those who do evil… That is also why you pay taxes, because the authorities are working for God when they fulfill their duties.
On foot pursuits or car chases
The wicked flee when no man pursueth, but the righteous are bold as a lion.
On officer safety: wear your vest and your belt!
Finally, build up your strength in union with the Lord and by means of his mighty power. Put on all the armor that God gives you, so that you will be able to stand up against the Devil’s evil tricks. For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age. So put on God’s armor now! Then when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist the enemy’s attacks; and after fighting to the end, you will still hold your ground.
So stand ready, with truth as a belt tight around your waist, with righteousness as your breastplate, and as your shoes the readiness to announce the Good News of peace. At all times carry faith as a shield; for with it you will be able to put out all the burning arrows shot by the Evil One. And accept salvation as a helmet, and the word of God as the sword which the Spirit gives you. Do all this in prayer, asking for God’s help. Pray on every occasion, as the Spirit leads. For this reason keep alert and never give up; pray always for all God’s people.
God the ultimate back up partner!
Whoever goes to the Lord for safety,
whoever remains under the protection of the Almighty, can say to him,
“ You are my defender and protector.
You are my God; in you I trust.”
He will keep you safe from all hidden dangers
and from all deadly diseases. He will cover you with his wings;
you will be safe in his care;
his faithfulness will protect and defend you. You need not fear any dangers at night
or sudden attacks during the day or the plagues that strike in the dark
or the evils that kill in daylight. A thousand may fall dead beside you,
ten thousand all around you,
but you will not be harmed.
You will look and see
how the wicked are punished.
You have made the Lord your defender,
the Most High your protector,
and so no disaster will strike you,
no violence will come near your home.
God will put his angels in charge of you
to protect you wherever you go.
They will hold you up with their hands
to keep you from hurting your feet on the stones. You will trample down lions and snakes,
fierce lions and poisonous snakes.
God says, “I will save those who love me and will protect those who acknowledge me as Lord. When they call to me, I will answer them; when they are in trouble, I will be with them. I will rescue them and honor them. I will reward them with long life; I will save them.”
Some officers involved in a shooting have good reasons to struggle with the scripture passage, “thou shalt not kill.” Indeed, that is an important passage, but it is not the first or final word in the topic. The Bible differentiates murder, manslaughter, premeditation and accidents.
Please consider the following scripture passages.
Jesus answered, “Do not commit murder; do not commit adultery; do not steal; do not accuse anyone falsely”
EXODUS 20:1, 20:13
God spoke, and these were his words…” “Do not commit murder.”
There are seven things that the Lord hates and cannot tolerate: A proud look, lying tongue, hands that kill innocent people, a mind that thinks up wicked plans, feet that hurry off to do evil, a witness who tells one lie after another, and a man who stirs up trouble among friends.
On murder versus manslaughter
“If you hate someone and kill him by pushing him down or by throwing something at him or by striking him with your fist, you are guilty of murder and are to be put to death.”
“But suppose you accidentally kill someone you do not hate, whether by pushing him down or by throwing something at him. Or suppose that, without looking, you throw a stone that kills someone whom you did not intend to hurt and who was not your enemy. In such cases the community shall judge in your favor and not in favor of the dead person’s relative who is seeking revenge. You are guilty only of manslaughter, and the community is to rescue you from the dead person’s relative, and they are to return you to the city of refuge to which you had escaped.
On accidental discharges
If you accidentally kill someone who is not your enemy, you may escape to any of these cities and be safe. For example, if two of you go into the forest together to cut wood and if, as one of you is chopping down a tree, the ax head comes off the handle and kills the other, you can run to one of those three cities and be safe….After all, it was by accident that you killed someone who was not your enemy.
On use of force
ROMANS 13: 4-5
Would you like to be unafraid of the man in authority? Then do what is good, and he will praise you, because he is God’s servant working for your own good. But if you do evil, then be afraid of him, because his power to punish is real. He is God’s servant and carries our God’s punishment on those who do evil. For this reason, you must obey the authorities – not just because God’s punishment, but also as a matter of conscious.
On line of duty death
The greatest love a person can have for his friends is to give his life for them.
Compiled by Dr. Anne Bisek, www.Doc911.net
Blog Administrator: Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D.
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