Monday, August 25, 2014

Why Many Police Officers Won't Enter the Doors of Your Church, Pastor

Deputy Sheriff Raul V. Gama
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, CA
EOW: Tuesday, May 1, 2007
Cause of Death: Automobile accident

Deputy Sheriff David Stan Piquette
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, CA
EOW: Friday, July 7, 2006
Cause of Death: Vehicular assault

Deputy Sheriff Maria Cecilia Rosa
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, CA
EOW: Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Cause of Death: Gunfire

Deputy Sheriff Pierre Walter Bain
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, CA
EOW: Thursday, March 23, 2006
Cause of Death: Motorcycle accident

Deputy Sheriff Jerry Ortiz
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, CA
EOW: Friday, June 24, 2005
Cause of Death: Gunfire

Deputy Sheriff James Phillip Tutino
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, CA
EOW: Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Cause of Death: Vehicular assault

Deputy Sheriff Michael Richard Arruda
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, CA
EOW: Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Cause of Death: Gunfire (Accidental)

Deputy Stephen Douglas Sorensen
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, CA
EOW: Saturday, August 2, 2003
Cause of Death: Gunfire

Deputy Sheriff David Alan Powell
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, CA
EOW: Saturday, November 30, 2002
Cause of Death: Gunfire

Deputy Sheriff David William March
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, CA
EOW: Monday, April 29, 2002
Cause of Death: Gunfire

Deputy Sheriff Hagop Jake Kuredjian
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, CA
EOW: Friday, August 31, 2001
Cause of Death: Gunfire

All fallen heroes: men and women who gave their lives in the line-of-duty. There are, of course, many others. Too many.

Why have I listed these 11 fallen deputy sheriffs? Yes, they were all members of my department. Yes, they were all killed in the line-of-duty while I served as a deputy sheriff. But during my 20 years with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department there were several others killed in the line-of-duty. The fact that I have not listed all of those who made the ultimate sacrifice during my tenure as a law enforcement professional in no way whatsoever should be seen as slight. In no way should the fact that their names are not listed above be seen as a failure on my part to love and respect them or to give proper tribute to their heroism.

What is unique about the above list, at least in my life, is that I was an on-scene chaplain for all 11 of the above line-of-duty deaths. I ministered to their families. I ministered to their brothers and sisters behind the badge, whether they wore the tan and green of the LASD, blue, or black uniforms. I attended their funerals. I wept alongside my law enforcement brethren. And I was given the honor and privilege to preach the gospel to some 5,000 uniformed officers as I officiated the memorial service of one of the above-listed heroes.

I remember all of their names, all of their faces, how they died. I remember every thought, every feeling, as I tried to serve and comfort my law enforcement family. Some of those memories still fill me with pain and sorrow.

I remember men, real men of strength and courage collapse in my arms, stricken by grief unbearable.

I remember holding one of my law enforcement brethren in my arms, the front of his uniform covered in the blood of a fallen brother with whom we had both served.

I remember having to tell the younger brother of a fallen hero that his brother was dead.

I remember taking family members of fallen heroes to the place where their loved one gave the last full measure.

I remember watching these family members ask me to show them the "exact spot" their fallen hero fell, and then have them drop to the ground as they caressed the spot with their hands, as if to touch their fallen hero one more time.

I remember every memorial park and memorial statue dedication for which I was asked to provide an invocation and the reopening of wounds they caused. I remember well-intended, respectful, honorable, and caring city, county, and state officials, as well as citizen groups doing their very best to pay proper homage to a fallen hero, while never knowing, never understanding that the uniformed personnel in attendance, while grateful, just wished the ceremonies would stop so their healing could begin.

Writing this brings me to tears.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Officer Darren Wilson, a 28-year-old, six-year veteran of the Ferguson Police Department, with a discipline-free service record, was working a one-man patrol unit, on Saturday, August 9, 2014. While assisting paramedics on a “sick call,” a call came out of a “strong-armed robbery” at a convenience store, at 11:51 AM. The handling officer puts out a description of the suspects. Officer Wilson leaves the “sick call” to assist on the “strong-arm robbery” call.

At approximately 12:01 PM, Officer Wilson encounters Michael Brown (18-years-old, 6’4”, 300 lbs) and his friend, Dorian Johnson, on the street. Officer Wilson orders the two to stop walking in the middle of the street, because they were obstructing traffic. Brown and Johnson ignore Officer Wilson’s lawful order. Officer Wilson starts to get out of his car to contact the two men.

Michael Brown allegedly attacks Officer Wilson, shoving him back into his patrol car. Brown beats Officer Wilson about the head and face, seriously injuring Officer Wilson. It has been reported that Officer Wilson sustained an orbital blowout fracture to one of his eye sockets.

[UPDATE (12-02-14): Now that the findings of the Grand Jury have been made public, we now have Officer Wilson's medical records from his treatment, after he was assaulted by Michael Brown. Officer Wilson did not sustain an orbital blowout fracture, as initially reported by media outlets.]

During the fight inside the patrol car, Officer Wilson’s weapon discharges as the two men struggle for control of Officer Wilson's gun. It is unknown at this time if Officer Wilson or Michael Brown fired the first shot from Officer Wilson’s gun.

Michael Brown stops his attack on Officer Wilson and begins to walk away. Officer Wilson, with his gun drawn, orders Brown to stop. Brown turns around, reportedly raises his hands in the air, and says words to the affect, “What? Are you going to shoot me?”

Brown then allegedly charges back toward Officer Wilson. Officer Wilson fires several rounds, striking Brown several times in the right arm and in the head. Brown falls to the ground and dies at the scene.

Everything I just shared with you—from the time Officer Wilson contacts Brown and Johnson in the middle of the street, until the first unit arrives on scene—three minutes elapsed.


The Aftermath and Perspective

USA Today provides a fairly objective timeline of not only the confrontation between Officer Wilson and Michael Brown, but of the unrest and rioting that ensued in the days following the incident.

I watched via online news outlets as the situation quickly deteriorated in Ferguson, MO. The sights and sounds took me back to three days in the Spring of 1992 when I was called to South Central Los Angeles with other deputy sheriffs to assist the Los Angeles Police Department in the protection of life and property and in the restoration of law and order, during what came to be known as the "Rodney King Riots."

I remember driving in a caravan of patrol cars from Santa Clarita Valley Station to South Central Los Angeles. I remember being struck by the fact that we were the only cars driving into the city. I remember seeing black smoke rising from what seemed like a hundred different places. I remember getting off the freeway, entering the city streets, and saying under my breath, "This is a war zone."

I remember seeing men, women, and children--mostly people of color--running in and out of vandalized businesses carrying property not their own. I will never forget, as long as I live, the sight of a little girl--maybe seven-years-old--running out of an electronics store carrying a boxed piece of equipment. I remember sardonically asking myself, "What is she angry about?"

I realized at that moment that the riots were less about what many perceived to be a miscarriage of justice in a case of alleged police brutality, and more about criminal opportunism. I realized at that moment that people of color were preying upon and victimizing other people of color. And why? They saw an opportunity to commit crime and use perceived racism on the part of the police to justify their criminal behavior.

Rodney King, now deceased, was black. The officers who detained and tried to subdue him, and subsequently used a considerable amount of force against him were white. And now black people of all ages were venting their rage against..........other black people, black business owners, their neighbors. They weren't traveling to predominantly white communities to loot and destroy white businesses. They were committing crimes of opportunity and convenience, disguised as rage against the machine--the white machine.

It is very important to note, here, that no reasonable person can deny that there have been instances of police brutality against people of color. Anyone who denies this is either woefully ignorant or blatantly dishonest. Yes, racism is real. And yes, there are police officers who are racists. I can say that because I believe I worked with a few. But the fact that an incident takes place between an officer of one race and a person of another race (regardless of what races are involved) does not, by default, make the incident racially motivated on the part of either person.

For the record: I believe there is only one race--the human race. I believe there is one race comprised of many different people groups. But we are all part of the same race.

Profiling: Racial and Otherwise

Racism is color blind. There is racism against whites, blacks, Latinos, Asians, etc. Racism in all its forms, against anyone, is wrong.

Are there officers on the streets who profile people solely on the basis of race? Yes. And that is wrong. No one should be presumed guilty for no other reason than the color of their skin, whether white or any other shade. But there are legitimate forms of profiling.

Yes, the law enforcement community engages in profiling. Based on years of training and experience, law enforcement professionals are able to distinguish, with a level of accuracy foreign to the civilian populace, the good guys from the bad guys--regardless of the race of the individual being profiled. While hesitant to bring on visions of Jack Nicholson in "A Few Good Men," you want officers to profile. You need officers to profile.

When an officer sees a man late at night, riding a bicycle with no lights or reflectors, with a pair of bolt cutters in his hand, you want the officer to assume he is coming to burglarize your home and not give him the benefit of the doubt and think the man locked himself out of his own house.

When an officer sees four teenage boys walking into your high-dollar jewelry store, you want the officer to think they may be coming into your store to rob you. You don't want the officer to think that they are all looking for engagement rings they won't need for about ten years.

When an officer sees a middle-aged man sitting alone in a car, near an elementary school, but away from where parents usually park, you want the officer to think he may be a predator who is waiting to prey upon a child. You don't want the officer to assume the man is just a dad waiting for his child to get out of school.

I could go on for hours.

The point should be obvious. You want officers to do things that make you uncomfortable, within the confines of the law; you just don't want to know about it. You want officers to profile, to err on the side of caution, protection, and service--to be proactive instead of reactive in their enforcement efforts. You want officers to profile, so long as it never touches you. You want officers to stop speeders on your street. After all, you've complained to the station enough about teenagers racing up and down the street. You want officers to pull people over. Yet you cry, "Foul!" You cry, "Profiling!" if your son or daughter gets stopped for speeding on your own street.

And lest it go unconsidered and unchallenged if it is not mentioned here: you, the reader, profile every day of your life. You walk on one side of the street or the other based on who is on the other side of the street--a person, regardless of race, who makes you feel uncomfortable. You profile certain parts of your city--areas you deem safe or unsafe to venture into after dark. You profile people you believe live on the "other side of the tracks," regardless of what side of the tracks you find yourself.

You say you don't want police to profile people, yet you humph with disgust when a 90-year-old black, Mexican, Asian, or white woman is searched by TSA--maybe your grandmother, while wishing (although too afraid to say it aloud out of fear of being labeled a "racist") the officers would search the group of Middle-Eastern-looking men boarding your plane in front of you.

And you profile people who come into your church, visitors, regardless of their race. You look at how they dress. You watch to see if they will raise or clap their hands during worship. You watch to see if they put something in the plate or let it pass by. You decide if they are "right" for your church, without every walking up to them to say, "Hello."

Please don't decry the race-free profiling officers do based on years of training and experience, as they work not only in your community, but in the parts of your community about which you would rather not think. Please don't snort a self-righteous snort, turning your nose up at officers, when you profile every day of your life.

Don't be a hypocrite.

Police Brutality Is Always Wrong

Police brutality, the use of force at a level that can be deemed, beyond a reasonable doubt, above and beyond that level of force necessary to overcome the resistance of an assailant, is never appropriate. I say this, not as an armchair quarterback, but as a retired law enforcement professional who seeks to be consistent and just in my position. Officers who use what is defined by law (not by the emotional opinions of the populace) as excessive force should be held accountable for their actions--without exception. No officer is above the law. No officer who thinks he is above the law is fit for duty. He is a disgrace to his uniform and profession.

As of yet, no evidence has been submitted to or weighed by a jury of Officer Wilson's peers that indicates the deadly force Officer Wilson used was either unreasonable or excessive. Why? The investigation is ongoing.

As of yet, there is not a shred of evidence--NONE--that the tragic incident that occurred between Officer Darren Wilson and Michael Brown was racially motivated, on the part of either man. Officer Wilson and Michael Brown have not made this tragedy about race. The armchair quarterbacks, pundits, race-baiters, media, and rioters have made this about race.

Sadly, some well-known and respected Christian pastors and theologians (men I respect and admire) have fanned the racial flames by joining (albeit in all likelihood unintentionally) the likes of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, discredited men of ill-repute, by offering inflammatory rhetoric on social media platforms. Some have drawn negative conclusions not only about Officer Darren Wilson, but of the law enforcement profession as a whole. They have drawn these conclusions with pens and keystrokes, with nothing more than hearsay, innuendo, and regurgitated incomplete and sometimes erroneous information upon which to draw their conclusions. The evidence has not yet been presented, let alone weighed, yet some pastors have tried and convicted Officer Wilson while furthering the errant characterization of Michael Brown as an innocent teen and the law enforcement community as an out-of-control mob of thugs.

And that's why police officers won't be coming to your church this Sunday, pastor.

Why Police Officers Won't Come to Your Church, Pastor

Members of the law enforcement community are on Facebook and Twitter. They have searched the same hashtags you have: #MichaelBrown, #DarrenWilson, #Ferguson, #riots, #racism, #NoJusticeNoPeace, etc. They have searched the hashtags you have used, pastor.

Members of the law enforcement community read the news, both print and online. They watch the news on TV. They see "Right Reverend So-and-So" asking for Officer Wilson's head on a platter.

Members of the law enforcement community see you, pastor, yell, "No Justice! No peace!" They were told once that Christian pastors are supposed to be ministers of reconciliation. They were told once that Christian pastors were men who, because they believe the Bible, also believe in law, order, justice, truth, forgiveness, mercy, grace, and hope. And then they read your blog, or see your tweet, or see your Facebook post, or see you in front of the camera and microphone. And they profile you.

Members of the law enforcement community determine, based on years of training and experience, that you don't really care about them or their families. You're one of "them." In their mind, you're just another "man of God" looking for your 15 minutes. In their mind, you're just another clergyman jumping on the anti-law enforcement bandwagon. In their mind, you'll shake hands with the Chief of Police; you'll join in the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new police station or the new tactical piece of equipment to help in the war on drugs and gang violence in your community; you'll claim to be a bridge-builder between the police and the community. But at the first sign of trouble, you who represent the crucified and risen Savior will crucify an officer. You'll give the strong-arm robbery suspect the benefit of the doubt, not the police officer.

Pastor, you will yell, "Peace! Peace!" where there is no peace. And there is no peace, at least not which can be attributed to you, because you choose to set aside your God-given ministry of reconciliation and pursue a ministry of vilification. Pastor, can you see through the haze of what you call "righteous indignation" long enough to see why police officers won't come to your church for help, for comfort, for solace, for healing.....for Christ?

Pastor, I implore you to seek God for more wisdom, more discernment, more discretion, more Christ-likeness before you ever again insert yourself as a voice in the aftermath of a critical incident involving law enforcement. Instead of inciting rioters to rebel against authority, preach the gospel to those who loot businesses, steal from their neighbors, hurt other people with murder in their heart, and are bound for hell unless they repent and receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Instead of fanning the flames of unrest and rebellion with your 140-character attacks against law enforcement, use those 140 characters to call all people, on both sides of the divide, to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Instead of marginalizing and jeopardizing members of the law enforcement family and their families 140 characters at a time, tell the world there can be no peace without believing the gospel of peace and submission to Christ as Lord.

And pastor, don't worry. No matter what you think of the law enforcement community, they will come when you call.

We Will Always Come When Called

One of the things I love most about my law enforcement brethren is that no matter how much they are despised by Christians and non-Christians alike, they will still come when called. They will still risk their lives to handle the situations you either can't or won't, pastor. They won't ask your political or religious persuasion before they help you. They won't ask the color of your skin before they respond to your house ablaze and pull you out, or crawl into your overturned car to render aid, or rush to your store or home while a robbery is in progress, or rush to your church when a madman enters waving a gun. They are willing to die for you, knowing you will likely stand by, watch, and do nothing while they are assaulted in the middle of your street.

Yes, they all knew the job was dangerous when they took it. My law enforcement brethren don't want your pity. They've learned not to expect your praise or thanks. Sad, isn't it?

Yes, there are "bad cops." The law enforcement community draws from the same fallible human race as every other profession--the same human race to which you belong, pastor. Officers who violate the law or department policies should be disciplined accordingly. No good officer will disagree. That being said: the vast majority of law enforcement professionals do the job because they genuinely want to protect and serve. They want to do that which most human beings lack the requisite selflessness and courage to do--protect and serve.

And pastor, with integrity of heart, I hope you can keep this in mind. If, God forbid I pray, anyone ever tries to break into your home in the middle of the night, you will not call community leaders. You will not call activists. You will not call the young men hanging out in the neighborhood. You will call the police.

Pastor, if I was still serving as a deputy sheriff, I would come if you called, in spite of how you have behaved in the aftermath of the Ferguson situation.

Deputy Sheriff Raul V. Gama, Deputy Sheriff David Stan Piquette, Deputy Sheriff Maria Cecilia Rosa, Deputy Sheriff Pierre Walter Bain, Deputy Sheriff Jerry Ortiz, Deputy Sheriff James Phillip Tutino, Deputy Sheriff Michael Richard Arruda, Deputy Stephen Douglas Sorensen, Deputy Sheriff David Alan Powell, Deputy Sheriff David William March, and Deputy Sheriff Hagop Jake Kuredjian: if they were still alive, if they had not already given the last full measure and made the ultimate sacrifice, they too would come if you called, pastor.

Please, pastor, please; try to remember this the next time you rest your hands on your keyboard and get ready to type.

To My Brothers and Sisters Behind the Badge

I would be remiss if I did not make something as clear as possible.

The pastors I have addressed in this article represent a vocal, ill-informed, and mistaken few. They do not represent the wider Body of Christ. They do not represent the many, many pastors and churches who love you for who you are and what you do. The majority of Christians, including pastors, greatly appreciate your sacrificial service on behalf of the communities you protect and serve. They pray for you because you are the front line of defense, law, and order in every government instituted by God (Romans 13:1-5). They pray for your families because in their congregations are your brothers and sisters behind the badge who have shared with their church families a glimpse of what life is like behind the badge.

Christians are taught by good pastors to respect authority and to live according to the laws of the land so long as those laws do not contradict what God commands of His people. And some of the pastors making the most noise against law enforcement, right now, as hard as it may be to believe, are actually good pastors. They simply have a sinful blind spot in some areas when it comes to law enforcement. That's not an excuse for their behavior; they are without excuse.

Yes, we in the law enforcement community profile people. We're good at it. And it is a tactic we must employ to safely and professionally work the streets. But, sometimes we're wrong. Sometimes we profile everyone in a group as acting and thinking the same way, when it is only a few in a the group that taints the reputation of the rest of the group. We know that within a gang-infested neighborhood there are law-abiding citizens--the kind of people we want to help, protect, and serve. We know that it only takes a few criminals in a neighborhood to taint the reputation of the entire community. We savor like a breath of fresh air the person in the community who says "thank you," who points us to problem areas, who advocates for us with their neighbors. And it makes us want to fight harder for that community and try a little harder to give the good folks in the neighborhood the benefit of the doubt.

I know it's easy to lump all pastors and professing Christians in with those pastors and professing Christians who are quick to play the race card, who are quick to scream for justice with no concern as to whether or not an officer involved in a shooting or other critical incident receives justice. I know because I have struggled with this at times and I am a Christian who has served as a deputy sheriff, a pastor, and a law enforcement chaplain.

I also know it's easy to lump God in with those in the Christian community who mistreat you, who don't appreciate you, who vilify you, who disdain you.

Please know, my brothers and sisters behind the badge, what I'm about to say to you I say because I love you as if you were my own flesh and blood.

You, as well as anyone, know how fragile life is. You know that tomorrow isn't promised to anyone, including you. But you must also know this. When you die and stand before God, you will not be able to use as a defense for your own sins against God the way you were mistreated by those who say, "In Jesus' name." You will not give an account for the sins committed against you by professing Christians. You will give an account before God for the sins you have committed against Him. He will judge each person according to the perfect moral standard He has written on every human heart.

You know it is a sin to lie because they know God is Truth. You know it is wrong to harbor bitterness, resentment, and hatred in their heart toward another person because they know God is love. You know it is wrong to fornicate (to engage sexually with a man or a woman outside the bonds of marriage between one man and one woman). You know it is wrong to look and think with lust. You know it is wrong to commit adultery. You know it is wrong to engage in homosexuality, lesbianism, or any other form of sexual depravity because you know God is Faithful. You know it is wrong to take the name of the Lord your God in vain, to bring his name down low and use it as an adjectival term of excitement, anger, sorrow, or fear, because you know God is Holy.

For the above reasons, and others, everyone who stands before God to give an account will do so without excuse. No one will be able to claim innocence or ignorance of violating God’s law--whether in thought, word, or deed. Because God is good, because He is holy, righteous and just, He must punish sin. The punishment God has determined for sin, all sin, is eternity in Hell. It matters not whether you believe this. What matters is that it is true. Truth is not determined by what one believes. God is truth, though every person is found to be a liar. Truth is that which comports to reality, and any attempt to live life apart from the reality of God is to live a life of chaos, absurdity, arrogant denial, and sin.

This same God--again, for there is only one God--who is angry with the wicked every day, whose wrath abides upon the ungodly, who will judge the world in righteousness, is the same God who is loving, merciful, gracious, and kind. And He showed His great love for mankind when He sent His Son to earth in the Person of Jesus Christ--fully God and fully Man, yet without sin.

Jesus of Nazareth, born of a virgin just as the prophet Isaiah declared more than 700 years before Jesus’s literal, physical birth, lived the perfect, sinless life you cannot live. For some 33 years, Jesus lived a life in perfect obedience to the law of God--in thought, word, and deed--a life you and I could not hope to live for a mere 33 seconds. And then He voluntarily went to the cross.

Yes, it was the Jewish people who hatefully and viciously demanded Jesus’s execution. Yes, it was the Roman government that carried out the despicable act. But they were all merely instruments in the hands of another. For it pleased God the Father to crush God the Son under the full weight and fury of His wrath against sin. God the Father made God the Son, who knew no sin, to become sin on behalf of those who repent and believe the gospel so that through the sacrifice of His Son many would be made righteous in the eyes of Almighty God. In other words, on that great and terrible day God the Father looked upon God the Son as if He had lived the depraved life of a sinner and in exchange--a great exchange--God the Father looks upon those whom He has caused to be born again, to repent and believe the gospel, as if they had lived His Son’s perfect, precious, and priceless life.

Jesus shed His innocent blood on the cross. He died a literal, physical death on the cross. And He was buried in a tomb not His own. Three days later, Jesus forever defeated sin and death when He physically, bodily rose from the grave. And unlike every false god created in the imaginations of men--whether the false gods of Islam, Catholicism, Mormonism, Hinduism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Oprah-ism, or Atheism (a religion like every other spiritual “ism.”)--Jesus
Christ is alive today and He will return at a time of the Father’s choosing.

What God commands of you, my brother or sister behind the badge, is the same thing He commands of me and all people everywhere, and that’s that you repent--turn from your sin and turn toward God--and by faith alone receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

You must come to God on His terms. God does not negotiate with sinners. God will not be bribed by your religious practices or what you may perceive as “good works” acceptable to God, including your profession. God will not weigh your “good” against your “bad,” for God does not see you or anyone else as good--good in keeping with His standard of moral perfection. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

If you do not read the gospel of Jesus Christ and see it for what it is, good news, it is because you love your sin more than you love God. It is because you love yourself more than you love God. It is because the love of God and the truth of His Word is not in you. But if God causes you to be born-again and extends to you the gifts of repentance and faith, which only He can give, then He will take your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. You will begin to love the things God loves and hate the things God hates. You will stop presuming upon God’s forgiveness as if it is something you have earned or deserved. Instead, you will have the confident assurance He has forgiven you--not on the basis of any deeds you have done in righteousness, but based entirely upon God’s mercy, grace, and love.

And why would God allow His one and only Son to die a sinner’s death He did not deserve in order to take upon Himself the punishment sinners rightly deserve for their sins against God, so that sinners could be forgiven and saved? “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

May all who read this who do not know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, regardless of what side of the badge they find themselves, repent and believe the gospel while God has given them time. May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward for His suffering!

And may every Christian pastor or layperson who has made it this far through the article understand that this is what my law enforcement brethren need to hear from you--gospel truth spoken in love--the gospel of real and everlasting peace.


  1. Finally - a realistic and truthful view on a difficult subject. May we see this reconciliation. And thank you officers for your service.

  2. I second that -Thank you for your service Officers.

  3. Police don't go to church because they know judgement is coming and who's work most of them do most of the time, IMO. Superficially its because they are usually scheduled to work or recovering therefrom, and many superficial ones actually do go where they are paid much lip-service. "Just following orders" is not an excuse in the Life's Book. Tools of the state does not a divine worker make. Again, just my $.02, sincerely and without intent to commence argument. Thank you and God bless.

  4. Uh, Brown can't make it about race; he can't do anything.

    And yes, anyone, of any race can be racist. The difference is who has the power. But you will never see your privilege. You'll just continue to benefit by it. Everyone like you, Tony Miano, should be forced to live as a black person for a year. Maybe then you'd understand.

  5. They don't go to church because they love their sin and not The Savior

  6. Mr. Miano,

    This is amazing, brother. Recent events in the news have tempted me to think less of officers, and I've been searching for hope to help fight against it. Thank you for taking the time to write this. It was very helpful.

  7. I am a Christian, and wife of a police officer. This is the absolute best article I have read in such a long time. You did an amazing job writing all you did, and wording it perfectly. Any chance you have written a book? I would love to read more!

    1. I'm so very glad the article was an encouragement to you. I've written a law-enforcement related book titled "Take Up the Shield." In it, I compare the uniform of a peace officer with the spiritual armor of the Christian we find in Ephesians 6.

      Print Version:

      Audio Version:


Thank you for sharing your comment. Your comment is under review.

Comments that are profane and/or blasphemous in nature will not be posted. Comments including links will not be posted. Comments deemed otherwise inappropriate will not be posted.