My analysis of the video ‘Repentance is not, I repeat, NOT a work,’ by Todd Friel (and do Cops ever reward citizens?)
I agree with Todd’s view on repentance in the below video. As I’ve said before “For there is no salvation without repentance. Repentance is not the ’cause’ of salvation, repentance is ‘because’ of salvation.” But the carnal, sensual, sinful, or worldly man will wrongfully call repentance a “works salvation.”
Nonetheless, where Todd missed the mark was the following.
Todd said that it is “frankly ridiculous” to believe that a cop would pull you over to “reward” you for driving safely. Truth is, there was a time when law enforcement did just that. I once participated in those ‘good driver campaigns,’ where we would stop motorists that were driving safely. We’d then congratulate them for driving safely, and we’d reward them with gifts i.e. a gift certificate. During Christmas time we gave the drivers a gift certificate for a frozen turkey (yes the grocery stores were part of this conspiracy.)
However, there was an incident where an officer pulled a citizen over to reward him for safe driving. But instead, the officer observed illegal contraband in plain view, and arrested the driver for a felony. That driver fought his criminal charges. Rightfully so a higher court ruled that the traffic stop was “unconstitutional” (no probable cause). Henceforth the case was thrown out of court (pun intended). Needless to say police officers no longer pull people over solely for good driving habits.
I do not expect Todd to know the history of law enforcement, but he also failed to mention this important Biblical application.
Let’s first read Romans 13:1-5.
“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. 5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake.”
This passage should be dear to every Christian, but this passage is particularly dear and close to my heart. I have been investigated by the FBI (as an alleged “Christian extremist”) for admitting in an article (and other venues), that I have knowingly and willingly applied Romans 13:1-5 in particular ‘use of force’ situations (including shootings). An FBI Agent (very much an anti-Christ) drilled me during Federal Grand Jury proceedings.
Later my Biblical opinions and application of this passage became scrutinized in ‘pretrial hearings’ during a United States Federal trial, which I was a defendant in. So you might say I’ve been ‘tested’ in this area.
With good conscience a police officer can often choose to exercise the letter of mans law, or the spirit of mans law. But the Lord’s Word never changes, and shall always be obeyed.
In summary the police officer falls under this “governing authority.” If you are practicing evil (including crime), and/or if you “resist the authority,” you are waging war against God. Consequently you will bring judgement and/or wrath upon yourself, so the police officer may use his “sword” against you. Applying this passage to modern time, that sword might be an ink pen ascribing the allegations against you (a citation, or even an arrest report). Or the “sword” could be physical force, including deadly force (if necessary).
Additionally where Todd was wrong, is failing to recognize (or apply) verse 3, “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.”
Verse 3d says “Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.” Yes there was a time when police officers would proactively “praise” the citizen for doing “good.” But since the aforementioned higher court ruling, they no longer can do that via a traffic stop. But some police officers will still “praise” (or reward) them in a reactive way, i.e. pull you over for speeding (probable cause for a legitimate violation), and then give you a break; which is what I did most of the time. Never once did a motorist call and complain, “Hey that officer gave me a Gospel tract, but he did not give me a ticket.” A side note. I am not a fan of today’s traffic enforcement, as it’s rarely about the ‘Three E’s’ (Enforcement, Engineering & Education), and is almost everything about ‘taxation by traffic citation.’
But even in incidents where citizens did do wrong, and there was no threat to the police officer (or citizens), officers can choose to treat the suspect very well. You might remember the above 1958 Norman Rockwell painting entitled “The Runaway.” That child broke God’s law “Thou shalt honor they mother and father” (the fifth commandment), as well as mans law. The officer still rewarded him with kindness.