On a semi regular basis the leaders of our society are faced with the dilemma of whether to increase or decrease police numbers. Sometimes it is argued that increasing police would decrease the amount of crime… and their argument seems to make sense. The argument is that more crime solved will take criminals off the streets and that more visible police will deter crime.
However it is hardly a real solution to the problem. In many ways it is an admission of our corporate failure, rather than stopping crime we are simply locking up those who commit crime…. this is a bit like putting band aids on cuts but not removing the knife that is causing the cuts.
Deep down most of us know that the answer to the problem of crime is to be found at another level – deep down in each human heart.
Communities, such as our own, can only be built on the personal commitment of each member to community. An important aspect of this is a commitment to law and order which begins in our minds and hearts.
At the end of the day there are only two options – the one we don’t want, a police state or the one we do want, a self-controlled, other person focused community.
We regularly make the mistake of thinking that a well ordered community is simply an Aussie construct, built upon our inherent goodwill and desire for a fair go. But this is proving to be a fatal misunderstanding. We have only enjoyed such a community (in part) because of an enormous debt to the Judeo-Christian wired view. As this is ignored and purposefully rejected we can only expect to have to increase laws and law enforcers.
The genius of the Christian understanding of us people is that we are not considered to be inherently good. We are made in God’s image, deeply loved by God and wired by Him to find happiness in obeying His laws. When an individual understands this they can apply to God for forgiveness and strength to gladly live His way.
A love for God and His ways means we are self-regulated and glad to honour the other person and his/her property even if tempted to do otherwise.
God wants our communities to flourish, with a minimal amount of law enforcement but to do so we have to be humble and realistic enough to live in community with Him.
Perhaps our problem is that we have abrogated human responsibility to the state. God would want us to honour the state, especially where there is justice to be administered but He wants us to take personal responsibility for how we act (and re-act) to both Him and each other.