What Should Be The Christian’s Attitude Toward Police Officers?

In the ensuing weeks since the tragic murder of a black man in Minneapolis by a rogue police officer, we’ve witnessed a great deal of societal upheaval.

There have been peaceful protests against racism and unfair treatment by law enforcement officers. This is an American right and tradition. And it’s lawful.

However, some of these protests or at least the occasion of them have given license for trouble makers to take advantage of this situation and engage in rioting and looting. This has resulted in buildings being burned. Businesses destroyed. Public and private property vandalized. And historical monuments being defaced and demolished

During all of this, law enforcement officers have been vilified. Cursed. Spat upon. Had rocks, bricks and other projectiles thrown at them. Lasers shone in their eyes. Physically attacked. Called racists. Shot at. Wounded. And killed. Recently, cops in Texas were called to investigate a crime but were ambushed and murdered.

I have watched police officers stoically stand as a line of defense against an angry mob, not saying a word, and wondered, “How do they take this?”

On top of all this, many politicians have been reluctant to stand with the police. But rather have caved into demands to defund their departments. Detractors have stereotyped police officers as power-hungry people, abusing their authority, and out to shoot black men.

Sensible thinking people, and certainly Christians, regardless of color, ought to be able to see this is an overreach. While there are rogue cops who abuse their authority against all races, and racists cops who are prejudiced against black people, the overwhelming majority are hard-working, decent, and honorable men and women who are doing their best to serve and protect. Everyone.

In recent posts, ThePreachersWord, has written about the sin of racism. We’re all created by God. Share the same blood. And possess an eternal soul that needs to be saved. Christians ought to deplore and abhor racism.

However, what about our attitude toward law enforcement officers? Does the Bible address that issue?

In principle, yes.

Consider these four responsibilities toward law enforcement officers.

1. To Recognize their authority.

Police officers are included in Paul’s command in Romans 13:1. “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.”

Law enforcement is authorized by the government. Sanctioned by God. And ought to be acknowledged by all citizens.

2. To submit to their commands.

Peter instructed “Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good” (1 Peter 2:13).

Lawful orders by police officers must be obeyed. While we may argue that in some cases, law enforcement may have been given too much latitude, or even abuse this prerogative, as Christians we are instructed to “submit” and to “obey.” If you resist, run or otherwise refuse to follow a police officer’s instructions, bad things may result. In our current climate, it might be well to remember this quote by an unknown author: “Real heroes die serving the law, not resisting it.”

3. To Respect law enforcement officers.

The previous two commands involve and imply respect to those in authority.  This includes the police. In the context of our relationship to governing authorities, Peter exhorted “to honor everyone” (1 Pet. 2:17).

Let’s not teach our children to fear law enforcement officers. Or be resentful. Or to abuse them. But to accord them the esteem and honor that their position demands.

4. Pray for the police.

The Bible commands us to “(Pray) for all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence” (1Tim. 2:1).

Our men and women in blue need our prayers more than ever. They’re facing a difficult situation from all sides. I know several Christians in law enforcement. They’re dedicated to their profession. Devoted to God. And desirous of serving their fellow man. Pray for them.

A Hammond, Indiana, Police officer, Andrew Laurinec, offered this description of police work: “What most people do not understand is that you could be the biggest thug that ever existed but if you needed help, I would be there. I will show up when your friends won’t – or if they run away. I work with brave men and women who do the same. We go. We help. It is what we do.”

The next time you see a law enforcement officer, thank them for the work they’re doing. And let them know you support them. I promise you it will mean a lot to them.

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

11 Comments

Filed under America

11 responses to “What Should Be The Christian’s Attitude Toward Police Officers?

  1. ranger

    First time I have been disappointed

    You are dangerously close to losing focus and readers

    Better to ponder ‘passages’ than police

  2. Johnny

    The problem is that people keep saying it’s only a few rogue Cops, people of Color better teach their children to fear Police Officers, because you do not which one you are going to face on any given day. The Police has created this atmosphere of distrust because of their history of abuse of people of color or ethnic groups other than their own.I am sadden by this state that our relationship between Authority has plummeted to. The Police have a difficult and dangerous job, I agree, that is why I pray for them.Their problem with the people is they do not treat all people Equally with Respect!!

  3. Ken Craig

    If you were a pedophile, where would you seek employment? Perhaps you would become a Catholic priest. Or maybe a Boy Scout leader. Or perhaps a school teacher (even though this may be the largest area of abuse as the school unions protect this information). All of these occupations attract people that are predisposed to pedophilia.
    If you are a white supremicist that really wants to “persecute or kill blacks or minorities” where would you seek employment? Very likely you would want to become a cop. I think that what we are seeing with the George Floyd and other racial abuse is a reflection of this. It does not matter how many whites versus blacks are killed statistically. The initial protest of the BLM message was just a simple plea to recognize this fact and do something about it. Could the police do more to ferret out the active racist among them? Most assuredly. However, the BLM movement has now coopted this to include all manner of Marxist/socialist/anarchist agendas that aim to destroy this country and religious faith.
    I believe it is an egregious mistake to paint all police with the broad brush of “systemic racism”.
    However, my responsibility before the Lord is to respond as Ken has pointed out so well in his article.

  4. HT Sisco

    Good spiritual advice Preacher Man.
    HT

  5. Trish Felicien

    No one is saying all police are corrupt or racist. The DOJ seems to think otherwise based on all the complaints filed against police which are very hard to prove and prosecute. What I keep asking you and everyone else is, since there are far more good cops, why do they not speak up and stop or turn in the corrupt ones in? To witness stuff or be in possession of such knowledge and do nothing is just as bad.. Since many good cops don’t do anthing maybe because of retaliation, demotion, etc. that means they are not good.

    Yes God said we have to repect authority. Yet when the last administration made claims to tighten gun laws many Christians were ready to go agaibst the government. You did not preach to obey the government.

  6. Trish Felicien

    No one is saying all police are corrupt or racist. The DOJ seems to think there are more corrupt cops than reported based on all the complaints filed against police which are very hard to prove and prosecute. What I keep asking you and everyone else is, since there are far more good cops, why do they not speak up and stop or turn in the corrupt ones in? To witness stuff or be in possession of such knowledge and do nothing is just as bad.. Since many good cops don’t do anthing maybe because of retaliation, demotion, etc. that means they are not good.

    Yes God said we have to repect authority. Yet when the last administration made claims to tighten gun laws many Christians were ready to go agaibst the government. You did not preach to obey the government.

    • Ken Craig

      Trish,
      I can assure you that Ken has always taught that Christians should obey their government as long as they are not asked to violate God’s law. In fact, EVERY gospel preacher that I know teaches exactly this and always has. Just to be clear. if the government requires me to turn in my guns, I must do so. The Bible tells me so.

      • Trish

        Ken Craig, I never said he has not taught to obey the government. I made an observation about a topic based on a certain time frame when I worshipped where he preached.

      • Trish, Thanks for reading my blog and taking the time to comment. Without going back to check the records of everything I preached or wrote during my two years at West Main, I don’t remember if I touched on said topics. I’m sure there are a lot of things I didn’t have time to address in such a short time. But I can assure you that I always believed in obeying the lands of the land, regardless of who enacted them–Republican or Democrat or the Romand Empire.

        Also, I never charged that everyone is condemning all police as corrupt. But the police are under a vicious attack now due to the actions of a few. You’re right, good cops need to identify the bad ones and get them out. Sometimes, (the unions make it hard to do, but that’s another story.) I don’t have any disagreement about that. BTW, while I’m a believer in all of the constitutions and its amendments, I’ve never been a 2nd amendment fanatic. But, for the record, if it was unlawful to possess a firearm, I would have have to give up my only two guns–a rifle and a shotgun, which I have shot in years.

        This post was simply an encouragement for us not to get caught up in the hateful rhetoric against law enforcement. And remember that as Christians we have a responsibility to behave honorably and respectfully toward police, regardless of race. Hope that clarifies any misgivings you may have surmised.

  7. Philip North

    When it comes to lawless men, is it not something how the hunter often becomes the hunted?

  8. Pingback: Weekly Recap: July 12-17 | ThePreachersWord

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