“For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” – Romans 13:4
The last couple of years have been rough on the use of the word “Warrior” in relation to police officers and even rougher on the officers themselves. It is very difficult to understand the different roles police officers have to shift between from call to call. The term “Guardian” has been thrown out as a good replacement as we try to make kinder, gentler police officers. I will be the first to agree that there are things that need to change in this profession but I have become convinced that the use of “Warrior” is not it. We do need to define what “war” is being fought. There is no doubt a war is going on and it will not be fought by a guardian.
Romans 13 lays out the commission of the civil government to stand against evil. Law enforcement is the hand of the civil government and our role is to bear the sword against evil. Evil is the war we are fighting against. I have tried many ways to explain evil to people but the Bible is the only true definer of evil because it is not subjective. We have allowed others to redefine evil by their feelings or opinions and have thus muddied the waters so that evil is difficult for people to now see. The mere mention of the Bible will cause many to rant against this article but this place called America was founded on biblical principles. The Magna Carta and the Mayflower Compact are cited by founders leading up to our Constitution. The Declaration of Independence was a covenantal lawsuit brought against the king for his failure to honor his duties and promises to his subjects. The inalienable rights themselves are not from government but God! For those that want to deny the Christian roots of this country, they must deny the writings and speeches by founders who specifically mention that the Constitution was drafted for a religious people. John Adams, second President of the United States, in a military speech stated, “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . . Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
Jack Hoban in his book, “The Ethical Warrior”, Lt. Col. Grossman in any of his classes or publications nor any others who speak of “warriors” in the police context, that I have read or heard, have never neglected to speak to the servanthood of the warrior. It is the servanthood of the Romans 13 Warrior that is the basis of this article and an upcoming class at ILEETA in March, 2016. Romans 13 may be the commission and the Bible the ethics but Micah 6:8 (Seek justice, love mercy and walk in humility) are the duties that are required.
This is justice: It is your moral and legal obligation to serve your community every day.
God has called servants to be warriors to battle the evil that exists in the world and given them the authority to act on His behalf. You must be prepared to understand evil and recognize how it will act and what it has the capability to do. To fight for those who cannot.
This is mercy: It is your moral and legal obligation to remember those in need – the fatherless, widows and orphans. Your service is to take care of them. Sometimes they look like prostitutes, punks, assholes and suspects. This is not a choice it is your duty. You cannot be a warrior for God and treat some people as if they do not deserve mercy.
This is humility: It is your moral and legal obligation to be humble. Humility does not mean you are weak but a strong person who loves others. Humility allows you to be a peacemaker. The servant warrior is one who recognizes that he is not better than others just because he has this position. This position is one of servanthood, service to the point of being willing to lay down one’s life for another.
To fulfill those duties one must be prepared and preparation is also addressed in the Bible. The selection, duties, behaviors and rights of servant warriors come from a higher calling than man. Clarity and guidance are needed to accomplish such a high honor and calling for a Romans 13 Warrior. It is my hope that you choose, along with me, to follow the ethics and guidance of the one who has called us to serve them by serving Him.
Editor’s Note: Tim Barfield’s Class is a must see at the 2016 ILEETA Conference from March 13-18, 2016.
Tim Barfield is in his 35th year as a police officer. He started as a police officer in a rural village before transferring to an inner ring suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. He spent 32 years in that department gaining experience in many areas of police work. In 2014, he accepted a position as police chief for another department. He is a husband, father and grandfather who has a love for police work and police officers with a goal of helping them succeed in a great profession. His responsibilities and desires have included patrol, traffic, DARE, SWAT, training and supervision. He is a member of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association. He continues to learn and instruct on subjects with an emphasis on awareness, police survival mindset and ethics.