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Briefing: Law enforcement agencies across the United States are not all the same. Some wear dark blue uniforms, some powder blue, green, brown, tan, grey and some don’t wear a standard uniform. Aren’t they all still law enforcement?

Dispatch (Assignment): Read Romans 14:1-12.

On the Street: I think people who have never been to church have the idea that all Christians are the same. We are now the people who get stereotyped. We are either do-gooders, fakers or hypocrites. Are there sinners and hypocrites in the church? Yes, but Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” In other words, sick people go to see a doctor. Likewise, sinners need to seek out Jesus. Where else would you expect to find sinners but in a church?

All Christians are not the same, just like all peace officers are not the same. Christians are at different places in their Christian maturity. There are veteran Christians, rookie Christians and all stages in between. Christianity is a journey of maturing in our knowledge and faith similar to officers who progress in their knowledge and skills of their job. You have some officers who specialize in DUIs, some do crime scene processing, some are investigators and some are in leadership positions. Why would we expect the church to be any different?

In law enforcement, all peace officers work towards the same goal of enforcing the laws. There is a unity of purpose and thought. We all have different paths to get to justice but we are all trying to achieve the same goal. In Christianity there is also a unity. Paul calls it the unity of Spirit and he wrote about it in his letter to the Ephesians. Ephesians 4:3 says, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”

The point Paul is getting at is we should realize the overarching goal and stop arguing over trivial things that only distract us. In verse one Paul calls these things, “disputable matters”. We have seen it in the church. All of the different denominations came about because people could not agree on something and split from one church to two and became different denominations. Then those two denominations split and became four different denominations, and so on and so on. We have Presbyterian, Methodist, Episcopalian, Baptist, and many other denominational and non-denominational churches.

You can look at it much the same way in law enforcement. One group got mad because they were not getting as much law enforcement attention as another group. One group decides to go out and make their own law enforcement agency. Another group decides to follow suit and create another law enforcement group to get more protection for their area so they added a department. Soon we had sheriff departments, city police departments, state troopers, constables, hospital police, university police, transit police and so on.

No matter what kind of law enforcement agency you work for, we all work together in fighting crime. We have got to learn to be more tolerant of each other, stop criticizing and put aside the “disputable matters” that so easily entangle us. As long as the focus is on Jesus Christ, knowing He is the only way to heaven, we should put aside our petty differences and glorify God.

Investigational Resources: Philippians 2:1-5 and Ephesians 4:13.

Officer Safety Principle: “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:3.

from The Book of Romans Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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