Paul’s Word to Police: Protect the Weak

Romans 13:1–2 tells us that we are to obey our governing authorities, except in areas or circumstances enumerated elsewhere in Scripture, such as Daniel praying against the edict of King Darius. [Esau McCaulley] claims that because Scripture does not delve into the issue of evil rulers who do not govern justly, “we are free to fill in the gap with his reference to Egypt and the wider biblical account.” It is not our job to fill in God’s gaps: It is our job to allow Scripture to interpret itself and accept that there are some concepts in Scripture that are unclear. Nowhere in Scripture does God indicate that he is concerned with our comfort or the fairness of governments; rather, he is concerned with our sanctification along the way, and how we react to difficult circumstances.

Allow me to add a perspective that I feel best answers the question posed on your cover. Early in my career, I participated in a Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers event where a speaker posed this exact question. His answer, from Matthew 5:9, had a profound impact, which became my career foundation: “Blessed are the peacemakers.” The first responsibility for an officer is to ensure the immediate safety of those involved, as well as his or her own. Most of the time, peace is brought about through skillful personal interaction or negotiation; the best arrest is carried out without any use of force and requires cooperation from the subject. And, sadly, there are times when peace occurs only after the use of deadly force. Peacemaking is no easy task.

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