Posts Tagged ‘laws’

Police Shootings

August 5, 2009

In our area there have been two men shot by police in the past week.  This is unusual for our normally quiet, Iowa community.  In both situations the officer was clearly threatened or attacked. 

The first incident involved a man who was wanted for questioning in an assault.  When the officer tried to take the individual into custody, the man refused to comply with the officer’s orders.  The officer used his taser, but it was ineffective.  That is not supposed to happen.  The officer was attacked, bitten, had his head smashed into the concrete and was on the ground being choked.  Only then did he pull his firearm and shoot the assailant.

The second incident involved a response to a domestic disturbance.  When the officer arrived at the scene, the man came to the door with a meat cleaver in his hand.  He refused to obey commands to drop the cleaver, and came at the officer in a threatening manner.

The officer shot him.

That is the basic information as reported in our local newspaper.  My concern is; what has happened to basic respect for authority?  Do people really think that they can attack police officers?  Do they think that they can refuse compliance with simple orders?    I sincerely hope that this is just a freak occurrence and not a growing trend.

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Problem with Authority?

March 19, 2009

As Americans we sometimes have a problem with authority.  We question authority. We challenge authority. We reject, rebel and overthrow authority, if we do not like what it is doing or saying.  It is practically part of our American heritage, but it is not necessarily a good thing

Hebrews 13:17 begins with “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive…”

The whole concept of “obey and submit” almost creates a gag reflex.  We are outraged.  We are independent thinkers, responsible for our own actions. 

This attitude towards authority can get people in trouble at home, school, work and society.  There are consequences for rebellion and disobedience at all levels of society.  The punishments vary; including grounding, detention, loss of employment, fines,  jail or even death, depending on what authority has been disobeyed, and to what extent.

A proper attitude toward authority begins in childhood at home.  The Bible tells us “To honor your father and mother, that it might be well with you, that you might live long upon the earth.”  (Exodus 20:12)

As children our parents teach us about rules.  There are rewards for good behaviour and punishment for bad behaviour.  As we grow. the attitude that we learn at home is applied to our teachers at school, our bosses at work, and the society in which we live.

Romans 13:3 says “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil.  Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.”

This does not mean that we are to follow all instructions mindlessly.  Sometimes, those who lead, are themselves led astray.  We are not to be mice following a piper to our destruction.  If the instructions from our leaders clearly goes against what is right, then it is appropriate to “obey God, rather than men”.  Yet, I think that the tendency is to far too quickly rebel. 

May God help us to find the balance, to do what is right.

 

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