POLICE STATE

This is from my archives. It is several years old and had been unpublished for awhile. But after seeing the news article and footage of the sixteen year old from West Virginia that was subjected to absolute brutality after evading police, I decided to add this back to my site. Can’t be said enough.

  As John preached repentance and many of certain professions came to inquire what would be required of them to perform the duties of their livelihood and still enter the kingdom of heaven, and this was his reply to the “peacekeepers” of the day:

  LUKE 3:14: “And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, (intimidate, shake down) neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.”

Now, I really did not particularly relish the task of trying to tackle this subject. As it is in that mysterious list of topics that are really hard to deal with in a church environment and can bring about emotions in either direction to the extreme but it needed addressed because it is rising up out of our culture at an alarming rate more and more every day.

 Police brutality, harassment, and intimidation in our nation is quickly becoming a boiling pot and is in danger of boiling completely over and burning us all as a nation.

I am neutral. I can see BOTH sides with completely equal clarity. This has always been a problem, always, just as John in the Bible was pointing out the same issues that we still wrestle today because there is corruption in all walks of life and in ALL professions but recently in light of news story after news story showing brutality upon brutality is becoming a breaking point for our society.

And it is not just a black problem or a white problem, it has no cultural root, it is a broken people problem. My first encounter with law enforcement was being around four years old awoken by a flashlight shining on my face, policemen were at our house looking for my oldest brother. Now fast forward just a tad, December 3, 1973 he and two more boys happened upon a vehicle that had been left unattended and someone thought hopping in it and taking it for a ride would be the thing to do.

The Police chase that followed would bring a bloody end to an eighteen year old life. The real issue my family had problems understanding is how could he jump behind a wheel and drive speeds in excess of one hundred miles per hour in a straight shift, when he did not know how to drive one, or how his head injuries were so traumatic that his scalp ended up on a guard rail.

Guess he was a fast learner and uninjured passengers must have just got lucky. By the time he had been painted as a speeding maniac that endangered the lives of all travelers, the grieving family really didn’t ask the questions until years later.

But THEY said he was driving so….. we could go on with a list of 1970’s “justice” in the South but I think you can suffice it to say that my family never hung out a welcome sign for them. and they were only to be viewed with fear, and mistrust.

BUT I did say I was neutral didn’t I?  Okay, when I was eighteen while babysitting my nieces we were broken in on by their father who was pretty determined to take them and after having the phone taken, being pinned to a counter and threatened and “cussed” till hades wouldn’t have me, I can honestly tell you my opinion changed and the only hope that I and those children had was the knowledge that THEY were on their way and THEY would save us and by the point that I had been let go and was sitting on the couch near the window he had come through, I could see four policemen slowly moving toward the door and I can with everything in me tell you that I have never been so relieved to see anyone in all my life. 

And I realized whatever THEY are, not all of them are bad. As with what my family experienced, so many others have had these awful encounters and they have questions without answers and justice seems only a dream for some but if we continue the culture of hatred and indifference toward law enforcement we will only breed more hatred and violence. I still have friends that are in law enforcement and there are some that are great people, who truly have a heart to help, serve, and protect others and they are who we as the church need to focus on.

Bad apples are ruining the entire bushel.  Environment can be a powerful, powerful force and you may have a person who started out with the best of intentions and enough time and enough pressure can turn that person into whom they never intended to be.

As a profession, law enforcement has some extremely disturbing statistics, suicide rates of around seventeen percent usually before ten years service and the highest rates between forty to forty-four years of age with the highest rate being in officers with over twenty years service, high rates of alcoholism, drug abuse and with domestic violence rates double that of the national average.

For the record those are actually older statistics, so now to ask how does this happen? Well, think of this, if you went to your job every day knowing that you may not make it home, that every shift may be your last. If the average person viewed you with hatred and suspicion often being fought, cursed, and spit on and weave into that seeing victims of violence and car accidents leaving bodies bloody, mangled and often dismembered, working suicides complete with brains splattered against walls, delivering news to families that loved ones have been killed. Often working double shifts with very little rest and often with an extra job to just to make ends meet. Now internalize all those things you have just seen because you are required to be “strong” and conceal your emotions. Do this day after day, you would soon  find that there is nothing normal about it. No human can handle that kind of stress without God and no human can handle that type of job stress and not be affected in some way.

“Be ye not overcome by evil BUT overcome evil with good” that verse tells us that all humans at one point or another can be overcame by the evils around them. I will NEVER by any means whatsoever say that those who are just evil do not exist. I think I have shown proof that I do understand families who are angry and protest and want justice, I do understand because whether my brother had issues or not, eighteen is too young for a life to end because of a stupid joy ride. But I also understand the risk we take as a society, if we do not remember that those in this profession are not merely “they” or “them” but are actually individuals just as we as Christians are individuals and that they do hurt and that they are souls that can break and help the cause of good to overcome the evil and that those who are of honor will have courage to stand against those who do not.

 The truth is there will be no peace on this earth until the return of Jesus Christ and without men and women who are willing to stand between those who wish to harm and those who would be harmed we would be truly in anarchy. And as time draws closer, the world gets crazier we will need good ones more than ever. 

I know people pray for their safety but we also need to pray that God will watch over those who do walk in integrity and keep them in integrity and that they will always treat others with the same respect that they desire and pray He will send them help with those burdens and that they will not be overcame by the evil they see and face. That they will look at others also as human and not become jaded and view everyone as rampant criminals. And that the mere notion of keeping peace requires excessive violence will no longer be held and for the termination of the ideology that the ends can justify the means and as concerning those who are brutal and miscarry justice, well you know the prayer, the same one you pray over it all “Deliver us from evil.” 

Jesus Christ is the one true law giver, and judge. He will render to all as they have sown and Vengeance is His.

I wrote this on behalf of victims,and their families, and true justice. His story, like the stories of so many others deserved to be told and in his case justice was NOT served, it was miscarried.   May he rest in peace.

Roger

Roger McKinley Brown 08/13/1955-12/03/1973

 

 

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Post note: I did lose one FB friend with this… which is not too bad, but that does prove a point that if people are so unwilling to believe that law enforcement or ANY other professional group are above reproach, that explains the problem with this issue. There are bad people in ALL walks of life a “one bad apple can ruin the whole bushel” and if we can’t even discuss an issue, we will never have healing and peace in our society.

Daniel saw….

“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” Matthew 24:12 

As all know, on November 5, the state of Texas suffered the worst mass shooting in the state’s history. When a gunman who had a history of violence, having been charged with assaulting his wife and stepson, and discharged from the military for “bad conduct”,according to news reports, actually having fractured the stepson skull, had ESCAPED from a mental health facility in 2012, been cited for animal abuse in 2014, managing to not only to avoid jail time, but allowed to harass his mother in law through text messages and show up unwanted at church gatherings.

You really have to wonder WHO was supposed to be “watching” this guy?

According to news stories from CNN, NBC, and FOX, the story played out like this, the gunman whose prime target was his former in-laws, stormed the First Baptist Church, in Sutherland Springs, Texas on that fateful morning, and left in is wake twenty-six people dead ranging in age from eighteen months to seventy-seven years, and also taking the life of an unborn baby by shooting the mother.

Three generations of one family died, a couple who for the first time were visiting the church, and the pastor’s own adopted daughter. Reports also that a five year old child had been shot five times.

Twenty-six dead and twenty more injured. How could anyone ever recover from the horror of that? The arguments have resurfaced again about gun control and YET it was another man with a gun that led to putting  a final stop to this nightmare.

There are always going to be weapons, criminals and the dangerously insane will ALWAYS find something that can be used as a weapon, and that is virtually anything, because it is not the object it is the intent to destroy and no one can stop that intent.

I have yet to understand that if the politicians who keep screaming “gun-control” REALLY believe their own rhetoric, shouldn’t they be the FIRST to dismiss their OWN ARMED SECURITY? Seriously, if you want to preach it to everyone else, maybe try living it yourself!

But evidently only “special” people should be allowed weapons and protection and the rest of us… well.. I probably am beginning to advocate “armed” deacons, and I really questioned if weapons in church would be appropriate by any standard.. BUT Nehemiah was forced to work with one hand while rebuilding because he had to stay armed with a sword in the other, so I don’t know and I am not a pastor so it is not my job to know.

That is another very scary aspect to all of this, the gunman had been to church and made others feel uncomfortable, the article did not go into specific, but the question was posed as to how exactly do you ask someone to leave or not attend a church? And better yet how would you determine who and when this would apply? So many questions but one absolute.. we are starting to see attacks on our churches just as our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world are persecuted for their beliefs.

Different way of doing but still the same demonic agenda, make people too afraid to worship and too worried about who might come through the door to be fully involved in the work of God.

Just as Jesus said, and you have to think about when he said this, almost two thousand years ago. There have always been evil people, God destroyed the earth with the flood BECAUSE of violence.

Violence breeds and sin breeds and when you have a society that allows ANYTHING and has a whatever rocks your world mentality about every morale issue in the book.

There is no more restraint, no one needs me to tell them just how bad the world is and all the tortures, rapes, murders, and human trafficking, not to mention cruelty to the animals that God gave us dominion over and that dominion does require caring for them. There is group after group dedicated to issue upon issue TRYING to save just a few because the level of iniquity, lawlessness, and sin has reached proportions that would make Noah’s day and Sodom cringe.

Being exposed to this, living in this and being constantly bombarded with the news of this DESTROYS that love, it destroys the “faith” in our fellow humans and just as rescue workers and military personnel run risks of “gallow’s humor” and PTSD BECAUSE of the horrors of WHAT they see, we too can become NUMB.

It is NOT that we want to be but just as Jesus said, IT IS THE SIN that deadens the love. I have often pondered Daniel, and as a young Christian, I was completely overwhelmed by a feeling of sorrow when reading certain of his words, words such as:

Daniel 8:26,27: “And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up  (seal) the vision, for it shall be for many days (the future). And I Daniel fainted, and WAS SICK CERTAIN DAY…..” and as he often fasted, prayed, and sat in sack cloth (mourning and repentance) and after another vision of the future:

Daniel 10:2,3: “In those days, I Daniel WAS mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh (meat) nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till the three weeks were fulfilled.”

This is the vision in which Daniel had sought the answer to and when the answer came, he had been told that the devil had withstood that answer for three weeks and the forces of hell had to be fought through before that answer could even arrive.  Think now how sedate we have become in our battles?

But back to my point, this is the verse that cut through to my soul, this was when Daniel SAW the Lord who had brought his answer. 

Daniel 10:7,8: “And I Daniel ALONE saw the vision; for the men that were with me saw NOT the vision, but a great quaking (fear) fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.

Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained NO strength in me: for my comeliness(vigor) was turned in me into corruption (frailty), and I RETAINED NO STRENGTH.

The presence of the Lord overwhelmed him but Daniel also SAW the future. He SAW what would come, he SAW the horrors, the abuse, the nudity, the depravity, he SAW the paganism, he SAW the outright worship of satan.

He SAW even worse.. he SAW mass media, not fathomed in his time, promoting the hatred of God, he SAW God’s name and the Name of His son blasphemed and ridiculed.

He SAW those paraded in mocking crucifixions and laughing and spewing hate into their own damnation. He SAW babies murdered inside the womb of their mother’s because they were not convenient.

He SAW these tiny bodies dismembered and sold to the highest bidder. He SAW children bloody, beaten, starved, abandoned, and sold to the highest bidder.

He SAW those so enslaved to drugs, and alcohol that they barely function much less worry about their souls.

Daniel SAW and it was not seeing the final destruction sin would bring upon man that brought him to a state of overwhelming sorrow…Daniel SAW what we would become.

We are beginning to see it to, there are things now I would have never dreamt WOULD ever come to pass as I began my walk with the Lord, and I know many of you feel the same way.

But the secret is that love, love has to go on. But God help us for what we have already saw and what yet remains to be seen.

And there IS no understanding of the things and how our brothers and sisters will ever go on and recover from these horrors, but LOVE untimely wins and LOVE truly conquers all.

Please don’t let the hate and anger of this world ever take that, remember the words of Jesus as we all await the final vindication and justice and redemption, the day we WILL be delivered from the evils of this world, wait and wait patiently for Him. 

Luke 21:19: “In your patience possess ye your souls.” 

Just keep holding on and holding on to each other! God Bless you, until next time…

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Ever blooming….

“Brethren, if a man be overtaken (caught) in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering THYSELF, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. If a man thinketh himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.

But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden. Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto (share with) him that teacheth in all good things.

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of his flesh reap corruption; and he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.  And let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:1-9

I love these verses but to start us off thinking about the beginning… if we see our brother or sister struggling, hurting, and sinking in the waters of their battle IT IS OUR JOB to help them up. IT IS OUR JOB to do whatever we can to help with those burdens, that behavior, or whatever trail or temptation they have come under.

And this verse is not to the world.. this verse is to THOSE WHO ARE SPIRITUAL, He is telling us that THIS is our job, not just pray for them but to actually HELP them. 

Our next instruction in this is, for US to go to them in the SPIRIT of meekness, meaning gently and humbly and in no way pulling a “holier than thou” or “stronger than thou” attitude on them because we are to CONSIDER OURSELVES, our own well-being because even if we aren’t in a battle at the time, how we treat others during their battles can ACTUALLY BRING ABOUT A HORRIFIC BATTLE IN OUR OWN LIFE.

Bearing each others burdens instead of turning a blind eye and questioning their salvation and Christianity, their relationship to God, such as Jobs “friends” reacted the attack the devil waged against him. They BLAMED Job, belittling, accusing, and chastising him unmercifully, while arrogantly proclaiming their own self-righteousness.

Which completely explains the next verse, FALSELY believing that we have it all together and pride fully accusing others that their struggles are solely caused by their SHORTCOMINGS in spiritual things.

We must prove our own work, again knowing that God knows our hearts and our intentions whether others wish to misconstrue those intentions or not. It should be none of our concern because people are going to think what is in THEIR hearts to think anyway, and they are going to make those judgments against us based on again, what looks right and sounds right to THEM, not always what is the truth.

We just have to learn to let that go because we can’t change people only God has that power and they have to want that change. That is why we are also told in scripture: 

He that reproveth (tries to convince of truth) a scorner (SCOFFER) getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh (admonish, scold) a wicked man getteth himself a blot (ONLY HARMS HIMSELF). Reprove NOT a scorner, LEST HE HATH THEE: rebuke a wise man and he will LOVE thee.” Proverbs 9:7,8

Pretty self-explanatory, when we try to talk to them about something for the good, they will only get mad and hate us and we in turn can become angry at them, thereby only hurting ourselves!  We are only to try reason with a WISE man because he will accept that reason and appreciate us for it.

I recently found myself in a situation because I had decided to not attend a funeral for a person who had really come against my family concerning our faith (or rather their perceived lack thereof ) during the terminal illness of my late brother. I could feel the vibes of hurt and “How can you be so cold” coming straight my way from someone after the fact.

And I truly thought about giving my reasoning but it was pointless to do so. The person who died had apologized, apologies had been accepted and even with that, for me to have went would have been tasteless and I think even more nerve wrecking for the loved ones and for me because the enemy would be very convincing to all that my intentions of being there were not for condolence purposes, because he died from the same disease that killed my brother. What could I have said if I had went? What could I have possibly done, when in my self I knew going to it would have only brought back the same old pain of holding my brother’s dead body asking myself questions that had been put in my head by the enemy. I had prayed and prayed and prayed and had faith and I know he died because it was his time, but it is hard to remember all that once something gets in your head deep enough. I also know that we can pray and pray and have faith and yet it does not always go the way we would want but it does not mean that God does not love us or that we have “caused” their death rather than their healing, because we are “faithless”. Bringing all that back up would help no one and even dealing with the thought only causes grief.

I have no joy in his death, my heart breaks for his family for what they have endured and the mourning that follows and I just thought the best thing to do was to do nothing, not even acknowledge it and not give any one a reason for my absence, and pray and hope that it was the right decision. Sometimes things are just better left alone.

And as much as I don’t want people hurt and mad at me, I am planting my own garden.. every day with what I say, what I do.. and how I treat others. We all are and we have to really think about what we would want to grow.

The garden of life holds many varieties of beautiful plants, our hopes, dreams, and goals that grow and take root. The beautiful flowers that are our family, friends, loved ones and pets, all different, all bringing different experiences, memories, and treasures to our life. The spices of joy, peace, happiness, even when mingled with the bitter still create our existence that will always be unique to us and our life. 

But of all that we plant and the one thing that should be ever blooming in the garden of our life is kindness. Kindness is free, it costs us nothing to share a smile and share a hug and in showing kindness we can bear one another’s burdens.

Kindness can break through even the most concrete walls that surround the most wounded soul, and kindness is the sunshine that melts away the frost covering even the most frozen heart.

And when we sow in kindness and understanding to another, even when we ourselves can become stretched thin, we are sowing  into a garden that we will reap bountifully from, because when we need it the most, it will bloom, it will prosper, and we will reap abundantly of those good things, but only, only IF we have planted them into another’s life.

Romans 12:10: ” Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another.” as the saying goes, we never know what another is going through and we can use that opportunity to judge and harm or we can use that opportunity to encourage and lift up.

The choice is ours but the garden we plant is also ours and we are the ones that will be left with whatever takes root and grows there, so let’s plant with love, and mercy, understanding, and patience and only send out what we want to have returned to us.

Thanks for reading! Have a blessed weekend!

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