Darryl's thoughts on the Christian Faith, Facts, and World Events
Observing Police Officers Can Teach Us Not To Allow Atheists to Steal Our God-Given Moral Authority ("Guns") and Use It to Destroy Minds and Hearts
I have had the privilege of knowing several Christian police officers. One beloved brother in Christ is Pastor/Deputy Rafer Owens. Pastor Owens is the Pastor of Faith Inspirational Missionary Church in Compton, CA. God is doing some exciting things through Pastor Owens and this church. Pastor Owens is also a Deputy with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. You can see him in action as both a police officer and a pastor in the videos below. Keeping him in mind will help us to better understand the rest of this article.
In 2018, in the USA 144 police officers were killed in the line of duty. Also, according to USA today, "four officers were fatally shot by their own weapons after being disarmed."www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/12/27/police-deaths-144-killed-line-duty-2018/2423797002/
For this sad reason, police officers around the world must have situational awareness, training, techniques, and the proper equipment to keep themselves and others safe. However, none of these things would keep them safe if they just stood there and allowed criminals to steal their handguns without any resistance. Police officers would never allow a criminal to steal their handcuffs and then bind them with their own handcuffs and so on. However, we Christians (myself included) have allowed atheists to steal a lot of powerful "weapons" (spiritual, moral, and intellectual) and then use them attack and attempt to destroy the faith of ourselves and others.
The Bible, Police Officers, and Weapons
Rather than allowing our feelings, statistics, cultures or anything else to be the foundation and ultimate authority, we must submit all of these things to the Bible. The Bible is the ultimate law-book. Laws are merely suggestions unless there are police etc. to enforce them. The Bible has authority because it is backed up by the true and living God who will enforce it. The atheists that I have dealt with, as an Apologist, usually have some vague and false notion of God as some "man in the sky." They reject this false "god." I reject this false God too. However, there is a true and living God that we can only comprehend as far as He has chosen to reveal Himself to humanity.
For more on this read: https://www.internationalfishers.com/blog/why-i-do-not-believe-in-the-mischaracterized-version-of-god-which-most-atheists-rejectbut-i-do-believe-in-the-god-of-the-bible
The Bible says, "For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil." (Romans 13:3-4 NASB).
Notice that it says "sword". It does not say pillow, feather duster, or even whip. It says sword. A sword is a weapon of death that can be carried on the belt. The modern equivalent of a sword is a firearm, especially a handgun. which can be carried on the belt. Sometimes people think that weapons (swords or guns etc.) themselves are inherently evil. But, weapons themselves have no will or capacity to make decisions according to what is right or wrong. Therefore they are just a neutral as any other tool. A hammer can be used to build a house or murder someone. The evil is the heart of the murderer, not in metal of the hammer or the weapon.
I am also reminded that weapons were not on the earth until after sin. Genesis 3:24 says, "So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life." Without sin, weapons like swords would have been completely unnecessary but humans may have eventually developed knives for cutting open fruit and vegetables for food. This verse shows me that Adam and Eve may have learned about the very concept of a weapon, especially a sword by observing the flaming sword of the angel. It is possible, that they passed this knowledge down to their descendants and eventually someone figured out how to make a sword and now we have Glocks etc.
Christians Are Not Just Called To Be Spiritual Soldiers But Also Spiritual Police Officers
Christians usually think about "the whole armor of God" and the "sword of the spirit" Ephesians 6:10-17, and they think only of soldiers. However, in the Roman Empire and even in the Old Testament, police duties carried out by soldiers. In modern times we think of police and military as separate things. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Police#Ancient_policing
In order for someone to become a police officer, they must be commissioned by a higher authority. Sadly some Christians are not even aware that the Great Commission is a command for all Christians to take part in obeying.
Here is part of the ,"Police Commission," of believers. 2 Corinthians 10: 4-6 says, " for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete."
An atheist reading this article might say, "You are claiming that Christians are the "Morality Police!" Who are you to impose your morality on others?" I would answer, "If there is no God etc., why would imposing my morality on others be wrong? Ultimately, as I will demonstrate later, your atheist "morality" is strictly based on your personal feelings, so if there is no God etc., why would your feelings be superior to mine? Furthermore, why are you trying to impose your morality on me that it is wrong for me to impose my morality on others?"
Obviously, as Christians, we must first police ourselves by "taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ in our own lives, so that we don't disqualify ourselves and bring shame to the Body of Christ giving a foothold who constantly seek and invent reasons to call Christians, "Hypocrites." If atheists call us hypocrites because we have not yet understood the Bible fully enough to be in 100% compliance with the Bible, we should not deny or try to justify or defend our personal reputations, feelings, or pride. If we do that, we are allowing them to steal morality, which belongs to God but that He has given to His followers and use it to attack God? Instead, we should simply, humbly, and calmly ask and challenge them to justify their own authority to make such accusations in the first place. We just need to ask, "If God etc. does not exist, why would hypocrisy be wrong?" If we keep challenging their authority they will eventually be silenced.
The main goal here is not to humiliate them as people that Jesus loves but to deflate their arrogance and confidence in the deceptions of their atheistic world view. People will not call the fire fighters until they know that their house is on fire. They will not take medicine until the know that they are sick. By challenging their worldview, they may begin to notice that they on shaky ground and start looking for the Rock. The second goal is so that bystanders who see/read confrontation will respect Christianity more and atheism less instead of the reverse.
You see, the authority of police officers does not come from some magical power of the badge, the uniform, or even the gun. If an actor or security guard may put on all of the outward appearance of a police officer and people will treat them with respect on the street. However, if they encounter genuine police officers and try to exercise the authority of police officers in front of them, they will quickly be unmasked and arrested for the crime of impersonating a police officer. Likewise, we Christians, must stop allowing atheists to pretend to be "spiritual/moral" police officers.
Police Officers Do Not Persuade Criminals, They Exercise Authority Over Them
I wanted to be a lawyer so I studied political science. I really enjoy and am blessed by studying evidence for the truth of Christianity. For me, the evidence of design and irreducible complexity etc. lead me to worship God, first starting with my mind and spreading to my heart and soul. This even overflows to encourage me to love my neighbor as myself and so on. Because of this, I earned an MA in Christian Apologetics and became an apologist/missionary in Cambodia. Here, when I share the evidence with Christians at the Bible schools and churches, they are blessed and encouraged in their faith. When I share the evidence with open minded non-Christians, "seekers or something", they are also attracted to the Gospel and their doubts about God's existence and goodness are diminished. However, when I attempted to use evidence to defend Christianity from the attacks and mockery of atheists on social media they would reject them without any consideration at all and then blaspheme God even more. I realized that I was "casting" the precious "pearls" of truth, logic, morality, and evidence before "swine" and that they were not only attacking me but that because I was trying to feed pearls to pigs, that I was actually causing them to sin against God even more and pile up greater condemnation on themselves (Matthew 7:6).
Recently, I have realized that the reason I was getting "trampled" was because by giving the atheists evidence, I was giving them an authority over me, and even to judge God, that they had no right to have. By giving them evidence, I was putting the criminals in the place of the prosecutor, giving them the robes of the judge and place of the jury. I was putting God in the place of the criminal. Meanwhile I was trying to be a good defense attorney. However, you cannot get a fair trial in a corrupt court. Now, I have realized that God is the judge and the jury and the prosecutor. The criminals are in the place where criminals should be, and they have no defense attorney because who can defend anyone against the justice of an all knowing, all powerful, etc. etc. God?
You see, the police officers do not provide evidence to the criminals because they already know whether they are guilty or not. In the case of the atheists who mock God, they already know that they are guilty, that is why they are so angry at and hate God etc. www.internationalfishers.com/blog/why-do-atheists-hate-god
Once the criminals are in custody, police officers may share some of the evidence with the criminals in order to persuade them to confess. The government may release some of the evidence from the trial to the general public, not because the public's opinion of the evidence has any bearing on the outcome of the trial but so that the public will maintain good-will, trust, and respect toward the government. The evidence and conviction of the criminal may also serve as a deterrent to others who may be tempted to commit the same crimes.
Jesus provided evidence of miracles to the open-hearted those who had doubts, Mark 9:23-24 says, "And Jesus said to him, “‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.” Jesus also gave concrete evidence to Thomas by allowing him to touch his wounds (John 20:24-29).
Jesus did not perform a miracle for Herod. "Now Herod was very glad when he saw Jesus; for he had wanted to see Him for a long time, because he had been hearing about Him and was hoping to see some sign performed by Him. And he questioned Him at some length; but He answered him nothing (Luke 23:8-9)."
Police Officers Avoid Losing Their Authority By Asking Questions Of Criminals
In the USA, when police officers pull you over for speeding, they usually ask you, "Do you know how fast you were going?" If you answer yes, then you are admitting guilt for speeding. If you answer no, then you have given up any foundation from which to argue against the number given by their radar gun and you are either lying or your speedometer is broken.
This is why Jesus often asked questions of those who challenged him. I could give multiple examples of this but this article is getting long.
There is one final passage I want to share. John 19:8-11 says, "Therefore when Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid; and he entered into the Praetorium again and said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. So Pilate said to Him, “You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?” Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.”
The reason why I completely reject any moral authority of atheists to make any moral judgments whatsoever about anything is that the source of all authority ultimately comes from ABOVE. Atheists, by definition deny the very existence of ABOVE. Therefore, they have no authority to judge or condemn others according to the authority and standards of their own worldview. Therefore, I will not allow them to steal the authority and standards of other worldviews, especially Christianity, so that they can use the power of those authorities to destroy the worldviews which they reject in the first place.
Real World Example:
Here is a streamlined summary of a recent interaction on social media in which I took the role of the police officer toward an atheist who attempted to use morality to attack and publicly mock Christianity, instead of the role of a defense attorney. You can probably find the whole exchange at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJx0bvu9OdI&lc=z235sjj5hujwxv1e2acdp430dxi2gud0q4u5f1g0rghw03c010c.1568424863249318.
You will need to look for the comment from International Fishers and see the replies.
Darryl: Short statement supporting religious freedom of Jews to circumcise and Christians to pray.
Atheist: Opposes religious freedom and mocks prayer as, "mumbling to yourself."
Darryl: Religious freedom connects to freedom of speech.
Atheist: Religion harms people.
Darryl: If God etc., does not exist, why would harming people be wrong?
Atheist: Emotional appeals and harming the bodily integrity of defenseless people is wrong.
Darryl: If humans are only stardust, why would one cluster of stardust harming the bodily integrity of defenseless people be wrong?
Atheist: Because the Golden Rule* is found in many religions.
Darryl: If there is no God etc. to enforce Golden Rule, why should I obey it?\
Atheist: Attempts to insult Darryl by calling him a "savage."
Darryl: Long statement sharing truth.
*Notice here that the atheist was trying to use the Sword of the Spirit the Bible against me. The Golden Rule has power because it is Jesus' words. However, the atheist has no authority to use this weapon against me because they deny the source of the authority and power of the Golden Rule.
What Is The Biblical Basis For The Existence Of Morality In People Who Accept And Reject God's Authority?
I will explain more of my discoveries on this topic later. The short answer is that all humans have been pre-programed with morality from the Creator God. Because of sin, their moral compasses have been corrupted so they can't be trusted as a reliable authority. However, once people accept the authority of God and his Word, their consciences can be realigned.
Romans 2:14-16 says, "For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.
A Christian Apologist, Author, Missionary, Husband, and Father. Darryl has an MA in Christian Apologetics from Biola University (CA), an MA in TESOL from Azusa Pacific University (CA), and a BA in Political Science from Truman State University (MO).