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  • Pastor John Smith

Olympia's "Reforms"


On July 25th, Washington State enacted unprecedented legislation aimed at police reform. These laws were in direct response to the prevailing narrative surrounding police brutality that has been pushed by the likes of MSM and far-Leftist ideologues. Don’t get me wrong, do I think there is room for improvement in how we police in this country? Absolutely. We can always do better. Yet, from reading the 13 bills concerning police reform that has come out of Olympia, our state legislature clearly demonstrates an alarming amount of ignorance of how to police effectively and a refusal to listen to expert advice and sound reason.


For example, according to HB1310 concerning the use of force, an officer, in essence, is restricted from detaining an individual. In the case of a domestic violence situation--when there is a clear sign of assault or battery--an officer cannot cuff the suspect nor engage in pursuit if they try to leave the scene. Or if a man, suffering from drug-related delirium and poses a danger to himself and others, all law enforcement can do is to maintain a safe space, and wait for the individual to pass out or worse--die, before they are allowed to intervene. How is that protecting victims or the community when Washington State ties the hands of officers and prevents them from doing their job?


Take SB5476 as another example, which in essence decriminalizes drug use and possession. Officers cannot arrest or even charge an individual of violation of federal drug laws but instead must offer them recovery resources at least twice before any arrest can be made. Moreover, if an arrest is made and a person is hauled off to jail, Washington State law now encourages prosecutors to drop all charges and encourages the offender to attend substance abuse treatment and other services. With no accountability or consequence, to put it simply, Washington State now says, “Do all the drugs you want, because we aren’t going to do anything about it.” It is common sense that with the increase of drug use within a community, there will be other crimes associated with it (theft, assault, burglary, etc.), which will have a devastating effect on families and neighborhoods. However, as the adage says, “Common sense is not so common anymore.”


And neither is justice.


The Bible speaks about the responsibility of the State in Romans 13:4 where it says, “for he [State] is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid for he does not bear the sword in vain.” The “sword” in this context is the State’s authority to punish evil according to God’s Law. When the State refuses to do that, or when it punishes good and condones evil, they are unfaithful “servants”, and therefore must be called to repentance and do so immediately, otherwise, the sword of God’s judgment will be brought upon them.


Where we find ourselves in Washington State is that you have two civil magistrates working against the other-- one from Olympia playing the tyrant while the other (local sheriffs and police departments) doing their best to interpose by educating their communities and encouraging involvement.


So, what should the average citizen like you or I do in a situation like this?


First, the command of Christ is not a call unto lawlessness or revolt. It is, however, a call toward justice and love (Isa. 1:17, Amos 5:15, Matt. 22:36-40). What the Washington State legislature has done is clearly unjust and so, therefore, as citizenry, we must condemn unfaithful magistrates, resist them and support those magistrates who are faithfully executing their office. Again, we are not scofflaws but rather our Biblical mandate, and the examples from men like Moses, Daniel, Apostles, and the Reformers such as John Knox, is “Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God.”


Pray for your leaders, law enforcement professionals, and yourself, that God will give wisdom, strength, and courage to do what is right. It is not time to sit idly by but stand in the power that God gives through the Holy Spirit.

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