Tied Hands

There has been much talk against the police here of late. They have been attacked on every level and especially politically. The President of the United States believes that the attire of the police is too intimidating. Even more local politicians have basically all but blamed police officers for things that have gone wrong in communities across the country. Consider, for instance, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake who told the police to stand down during the Freddy Gray riots. She then suggested that the police were not doing their jobs when the fact is their hands were tied behind their backs by the mayor.

Since those tragic riots the murder rate in Baltimore has sky-rocketed. Officers are concerned about doing their jobs because they don’t want false charges brought upon them. Now, it has yet to be made public what actually caused the death of Mr. Gray. This, however, has not stopped the mayor and others from coming down on the officers with the full force of their offices. The police have been maligned to such an extent that if they do their jobs they are wrong and if they don’t they are just as wrong. Well, who can work under such circumstances as that? No wonder murder has gone up! And, still citizens say the police are in the way too much and when criminals take over they are called upon them to return. But, why would they with tied hands?

People being moved by false emotions are no new thing. I recall working as a substitute teacher in Fort Smith, Arkansas. There, at the time, was much talk about the use of red pens to grade papers. Even more the idea of telling a child he provided a wrong answer was gaining ground among some. This, as it were, caused the child to have his feelings hurt or was feeling intimidated upon by reason of the red pen marks or bad grades. By extension the teachers’ hands, in some cases, were tied because they were not allowed to properly assess the progress of the students which inevitably led to failure of the one whose feelings were hurt. Hence, when the hands of authority figures are tied then comes the failure of those who should heed the sage advice of those authority figures.

Tied hands not only cause problems in the public sphere but also in the church. We have come to a time when preachers are not “allowed” to preach the Gospel. To call sin sin is to be a bigot in this day and age. There is now a “feel good” gospel this is permeating the thoughts of some while others simply want their Sunday fix without being told how to live outside the church. This has resulted in the preachers’ hands being tied. Some want the full churches and want people to feel comfortable in church so there is often no cry against sin. This has created a double standard in the church which has poured into the streets where right is wrong and wrong has become right.

This is how the “hands” of Christ have been tied. All too often there is no standard of holiness presented by those who are to lead the way. Also, the way many “Christians” dress pulls away from the standards of holiness. Even so, the preaching of Christ has nearly been nullified to the extent that many see no need to have Christ as Lord and Saviour. They see no reason to bow to the One who can give them eternal life because insofar as they are concerned life is this fading time on earth. Therefore, when one sees no reason to honour the Holy One the redemptive hands of the Redeemer are tied so that He cannot pull sinners from darkness.

Romans 8:34 reads, “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” This intercession is not for those who choose not Christ rather it is for those that love Him and His appearing. When this happens our enemy makes accusations for us. However, because Christ makes intercession, much like an attorney for his clients, He can only represent those that have “hired” Him. Those who do not fall under the redemptive arm of Christ have tied the hands of Christ so that there is no defense for them. There is no salvation because deliverance has not been sought. The only end that can be had is death and destruction much like what is taking place in Baltimore. When the hands of authority are tied there can be no good end.

Do you have the hands of Christ tied? Are you willing to let Christ in so that he can plead your case or will you continue to live a destructive life wherein death is the only clear outcome? Please make a decision to untie the hands of Christ so that you can live a life of total victory.

If Black Lives Really Matter

The continuing mantra of “Black lives matter” has been raised to a deafening decibel. It seems that no matter where one goes or what happens there are those that come out of the woodwork to declare the importance of Black lives. The deafening sound has been once again raised as a young Black male died while in police custody last week in Baltimore. Many of the facts of the case have yet been made public; yet masses of people have taken to the streets of Baltimore declaring the absolute importance of Black lives.

It is doubtful that the Baltimore police set out to target Mr. Gray because of his skin tone. The fact is that Mr. Gray, the reason for this latest uprising, was in an area of West Baltimore where drug sales and usage are prevalent. He was a know drug dealer and may have been caught in the act of selling drugs. Admittedly, this is speculation; still, if Black lives matter perhaps this young Black man should not been on the notorious corner selling drugs as had been his practice. Perhaps he should not have run when the police approached him. If Black lives matter perhaps those Blacks that choose to use drugs would think more highly of themselves and not do things that are harmful to their bodies. Additionally, if Black lives truly matter perhaps respecting law enforcement officials would bring many matters to just ends rather than having a person die because of wrong choices.

If Black lives really matter then perhaps Blacks should not put themselves in harm’s way. Perhaps, just perhaps, Blacks would stop killing each other. The outcry of police targeting and killing young Blacks is not supported by actual facts and numbers. Even so, the killings are not just on the streets as a result of gang and other violence. Blacks often kill their unborn for reasons that seem unreasonable. If Black lives really matter perhaps these killings would cease to be because even unborn Black lives should matter if Black lives really matter.

Now, this article is not one of political correctness and cannot be if Black lives matter. Perhaps those Blacks who are having babies out of wedlock would consider the negative ramifications of raising children on welfare. Of course, if these Black children are being raised on welfare there is a very good chance the fathers are not in the picture. If Black lives really matter perhaps having babies simply to collect an unearned checks would become a practice of the past. If Black lives really matter then fathers would be allowed not only in their children’s lives but also back in the homes of those Blacks lives that matter. If Black lives matter perhaps those things that tear at the family would be addressed so that the family unit is once again made whole.

It is true that Black lives matter which is why those Blacks that have chosen to live contrary to the law might make better decisions. Living riotous lives does little to promote healthy living. This is why if Black lives really matter Blacks that lie to collect social security or other “benefits” would cease the lies and pursue healthy occupations. There is no guarantee of ease. There is no one that should expect employment merely because of pigmentation. As such, Blacks might do well to better themselves. Perhaps trade school or other training might be in order. College is not a bad option for those who enjoy academia. If Black lives really matter then perhaps Blacks should do everything possible for self-improvement as well as aiding others to pull themselves up from the muck and mire which serves only to destroy them.

Generational curses of Black families are often perpetuated because many Blacks have turned their backs on the One that is the epitome of reconciliation. Blacks need to reconcile with God and seek to live in accordance to the way that Jesus taught. If Black lives truly matter Blacks would turn to the giver of life rather than seek to take lives. Jesus is surely the answer for those Blacks who would take to the streets repeating false narratives that seek only to tear apart the greatest nation on Earth. If Black lives really and truly matter the Blacks would stop whatever they are doing, repent and begin living a life pleasing to the Most High God. Yes, Black lives really matter and those Blacks need to raise their hands to a Holy God in complete surrender to His Majesty.

Some of My Story

Here of late there has been much rhetoric against police departments. It has been said in various ways that the police have certain animus against a particular people group and that they seek to find ways to kill those for which they have no love. Often overlooked is the crime in certain areas and that crime is blamed on ideas such as unemployment and lack of education. Well, I dare say that the police are not the enemies of any community and that unemployment and lack of education are not synonymous with crime.

I know; I can already hear some naysayers debunking just the few words that show above. However in order to make my points clear I must discuss some of my story. You see I was born during a time in when Jim Crow was coming to an end. The part of Baltimore wherein I was raised was far from the best place in town and after a short marriage my parents divorced when I was in early elementary school. Yet somehow I did not fall to the pull of crime. I have no children save those from my wife and all of whom were conceived during marital bliss. Still somehow I have not been reduced to the level of a criminal and have never had a negative experience with law enforcement.

The fact of the matter is that if one does not do anything to draw the attention there is a very good chance they will not be stopped by the police. I can say this of a certainty not only personally but also professionally. I can count on one had the number of times I have been stopped by police and, surprisingly, none of those two times was in Baltimore. I was not disrespected and neither did I disrespect the police. After a couple minutes conversation the police learned that I was not a problem child and they went about their way. Moreover I can say that as a police dispatcher in Baltimore and Chesapeake, Virginia that the police are usually so busy handling calls for service that there is simply no time to pick on people merely because of skin colour.

Now, I have not always enjoyed the academic success I have. This lack of college education did not cause me to fall to crime and to raise a voice against law enforcement. Instead when the opportunity arose I found reason to better myself and to work diligently in order to obtain the education needed in order to be a success. Even more I never took a job so that I would not turn to crime nor did I study for years in academia to lift a voice of hate. Instead I worked and continue to work to pull me and mine from what could be dismal failure. This is not to say that I have had an easy life and that I enjoy a life of luxury now. Neither is the case. Yet my background does not lend reason for me to lash out against those who protect not me alone but also all those that have need of protection.

My point is that I am tired of the police bashing that has been going on in this nation. Scripture teaches that we should honour those that deserving of honour. Police officers deserve absolute honour in that they do a job that most do not want to do. They work in the face of sudden danger and death yet they uphold their oaths defending not only the defenseless but also upholding the Constitution. If the powers that be will not call for peace with the police then I will. I will stand with them because they stand for law and order. I will raise the banner of unity because a divided nation will only fall. I will say thank you to those police who work daily to prevent the chaos of an unlawful mob.
It is important to note that I have been on a number of police ride-a-longs. Some were by choice and others job related. I have seen people hurt by the hands of criminals and police work to bring some healing. And while it is true that the police are not social workers and most certainly not members of the clergy they are human beings with a love for fellow man. The era of Jim Crow is over so it is time we came out of the past. The Klu Klux Klan is no longer serving as the enforcement arm of the Democratic Party and if any members are in our police departments they are well hidden. So let us lay down the destructive banner of hate and raise the restorative banner of love in order to bridge a divide created by lies and false narratives.

Love, this is why so many work at an often thankless job in law enforcement. Love is what causes so many to put their lives on the line for the sake of other lives. Love is why Christ became incarnate in order to reconcile broken man with a loving Father. It is this love that can reconcile man with man in order to present a type of the relationship we should enjoy with our Father. With that I urge some to look at some of my story and see that there is truly no reason to bemoan those that work hard to protect us and stand with them that stand daily in harm’s way just to make sure we are not harmed.

This new year let us not allow the broken rhetoric of a few determine the fate of many. Let us bridge the gap and work side-by-side with those that work with us.

Happy New Year!