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  1. #1
    jmur5074's Avatar
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    Police Officers and "Thou Shall not kill"

    How do you interpret the commandment "Thou Shall Not Kill" when it comes to police officers who may have to kill someone in the performance of their career?
    No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13

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    I believe that Col. Dave Grossman put it best in his book "On Killing", when he said that "Thou shalt not kill" should be interpreted by soldiers and LE Officers to mean "Thou shalt not murder".

    Big difference between the two.


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    I try to not read to much into my beliefs. I work my world as much by scripture as I do faith and commonsense. If I have to kill then so be it. I will thank God for the ability and skill to have done it. I will then bow my head before God and ask for forgiveness for everything I do. Then at the moment I stand before him I will quiver in anticipation and nervousness of the answer.
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  4. #4
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    I don't want to have to wait and see if the other person feels that they shouldnt kill either so....I'm going home to my family and ask for forgiveness later.
    I'm ready for spring!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cajunguy View Post
    I believe that Col. Dave Grossman put it best in his book "On Killing", when he said that "Thou shalt not kill" should be interpreted by soldiers and LE Officers to mean "Thou shalt not murder".

    Big difference between the two.


    .
    That's how I feel on the subject as well.....
    SI VIS PACEM PARA BELLUM

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cajunguy View Post
    I believe that Col. Dave Grossman put it best in his book "On Killing", when he said that "Thou shalt not kill" should be interpreted by soldiers and LE Officers to mean "Thou shalt not murder".

    Big difference between the two.


    .
    +1

    The word "kill" may have been an inadequate translation of the original Hebrew word, which may have been closer to "murder". The God of the Biblical Old Testament (where the "Thou shall not kill" commandment originated) approved of the death penalty and war in some cases. E.g.

    "He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death." Ex. 21:12
    "He who strikes his father or his mother shall surely be put to death." Ex. 21:15
    "He who kidnaps a man... shall surely be put to death." Ex. 21:16
    "He who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death." Ex. 21:17
    "you shall give life for life." Ex. 21:23

    According to this site (run by a Christian ministry that calls itself "Christian, Protestant, conservative, evangelical, fundamental, and non-denominational"):
    Many people make the mistake of reading what the Bible says in Exodus 20:13, “You shall not kill,” and then seeking to apply this command to war. However, the Hebrew word literally means “the intentional, premeditated killing of another person with malice; murder.” God often ordered the Israelites to go to war with other nations (1 Samuel 15:3; Joshua 4:13). God ordered the death penalty for numerous crimes (Exodus 21:12, 15; 22:19; Leviticus 20:11). So, God is not against killing in all circumstances, but only murder. War is never a good thing, but sometimes it is a necessary thing. In a world filled with sinful people (Romans 3:10-18), war is inevitable. Sometimes the only way to keep sinful people from doing great harm to the innocent is by going to war.

    In the Old Testament, God ordered the Israelites to: “Take vengeance on the Midianites for the Israelites” (Numbers 31:2). Deuteronomy 20:16-17 declares, “However, in the cities of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them…as the LORD your God has commanded you.” Also, 1 Samuel 15:18 says, “Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; make war on them until you have wiped them out.” Obviously God is not against all war. Jesus is always in perfect agreement with the Father (John 10:30), so we cannot argue that war was only God’s will in the Old Testament. God does not change (Malachi 3:6; James 1:17).


    Of course the last point is debatable; some anti-war and anti-death-penalty Christians argue that Jesus's message of love and forgiveness in the New Testament nullified the Old Testament's approval of war and killing along with the rest of what the Old Testament advocated, such as prohibitions against abortion, homosexuality, eating pork and shellfish, eating a mix of meat and milk, etc.

    E.g.

    Matthew 5:39 But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.
    Matthew 26:52
    "Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword."

    But then again, Jesus did express support for Old Testament pro-death-penalty views, e.g. "Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God commanded, saying... `He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.' " Matthew 15:3-4 and "For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men..." [Jesus] said to them, "All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother; and 'He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.' But you say..." Mark 7:8-11

    So Jesus could have been interpreted as being willing to condone killing in self-defense but just encouraging people to avoid it. But that's how most LEOs feel too.

  7. #7
    CTR man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cajunguy View Post
    I believe that Col. Dave Grossman put it best in his book "On Killing", when he said that "Thou shalt not kill" should be interpreted by soldiers and LE Officers to mean "Thou shalt not murder".

    Big difference between the two.
    Many Christians (including myself) feel the same way.


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  8. #8
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    Romans 13 seems comforting when dealing with this issue.

    1Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. 6This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. 7Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

    I also think that "kill" in this commandment means murder.
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  9. #9
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    I interpret it to mean "do not kill unnecessarily", and "do not kill innocents".

    I don't believe "shall not kill" applies to self defense (or defense of another). That's the only time police officers worth their salt purposely kill someone. Some will even attempt to use non-lethal force against deadly force, which is often a mistake.

    I also do not think it applies to the Death Penalty, because it is preemptive defense of future victims, against someone who has been proven to murder intentionally, and without any just cause.

    Quite frankly, there's something to be said for a preemptive defense by potential victims themselves, too - in cases such as severe ongoing family violence, as we all know, there may be no other solution if the system fails them. In too many cases, leaving an abusive spouse is very often a fatal mistake, and the worst possible course of action if the abusive spouse is extremely jealous or possessive.

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cidp24 View Post
    Romans 13 seems comforting when dealing with this issue.

    1Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. 6This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. 7Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
    Beat me to it. Not all of God's messengers/servants are angel's. I see my spiritual beliefs in my work all the time. I don't openly express them, but I recognize them. Be it protecting the innocent or bringing justice to the wicked. Without my reliance on God I could not and would not do this job. Killing a wolf is not murder. From time to time even the sheep see that simple truth.

    Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:

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  11. #11
    Jks9199 is offline The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    Quote Originally Posted by cajunguy View Post
    I believe that Col. Dave Grossman put it best in his book "On Killing", when he said that "Thou shalt not kill" should be interpreted by soldiers and LE Officers to mean "Thou shalt not murder".

    Big difference between the two.


    .
    Says it all.
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  12. #12
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    I have Killology sitting next to my bed and need to crack it open.

  13. #13
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    What a good topic. What good responses. It's good to share a place with people within a common trade with common beliefs...
    I'm not ruining your life, you are, and I'm just going to write a short story about it.

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    Could not have said it better Five-0. I recently attended a conference where that passage was read and the chaplain that read it also hit on the points others made in reference to Dave Grossman. Great topic to discuss as many officers probably wonder about it but don't ask.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenna View Post
    +1

    The word "kill" may have been an inadequate translation of the original Hebrew word, which may have been closer to "murder". The God of the Biblical Old Testament (where the "Thou shall not kill" commandment originated) approved of the death penalty and war in some cases. E.g.

    "He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death." Ex. 21:12
    "He who strikes his father or his mother shall surely be put to death." Ex. 21:15
    "He who kidnaps a man... shall surely be put to death." Ex. 21:16
    "He who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death." Ex. 21:17
    "you shall give life for life." Ex. 21:23

    According to this site (run by a Christian ministry that calls itself "Christian, Protestant, conservative, evangelical, fundamental, and non-denominational"):


    Of course the last point is debatable; some anti-war and anti-death-penalty Christians argue that Jesus's message of love and forgiveness in the New Testament nullified the Old Testament's approval of war and killing along with the rest of what the Old Testament advocated, such as prohibitions against abortion, homosexuality, eating pork and shellfish, eating a mix of meat and milk, etc.

    E.g.

    Matthew 5:39 But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.
    Matthew 26:52
    "Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword."

    But then again, Jesus did express support for Old Testament pro-death-penalty views, e.g. "Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God commanded, saying... `He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.' " Matthew 15:3-4 and "For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men..." [Jesus] said to them, "All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother; and 'He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.' But you say..." Mark 7:8-11

    So Jesus could have been interpreted as being willing to condone killing in self-defense but just encouraging people to avoid it. But that's how most LEOs feel too.
    If you had ever questioned this in your heart or soul this is the answer. Being prior military and now LE this is the answer you need. It is also not to just make you feel good, this is the answer.

    Thou Shall not Kill is what was meant by Thou shall not murder. Nothing else, it is your responsibility as a human to live, and if you are able to assist others in doing the same. Some people take that a step further and love their fellow man/woman enough to stand between them and evil or danger how ever you want to look at it. Accepting this responsibility is not a murderous intention but a nobal one.

    Thats why soldiers that remain in the military do not have a job with their branch of service but they have a lifestyle that revolves around being the blocker between us and the danger in the world as is the same with Police Officers. The only different is until we are in wars Police deal with the danger and or ugly of it all 24/7 vs. Soldiers only training for it.

    Very good post Jenna, I am glad someone found this as well as spoke of the actual Hebrew translation of it. Her very post should be stickied in this forum for soldiers and LEOs that have always wondered that. I use to be one of them.
    STOP RESISTING!!!!

    For he is God's servant to do you good, but if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.

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  16. #16
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  17. #17
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    As one that has been in that position, I also interpret it to be murder. There are times in the job where it is down to kill or be killed, make sure you are the one going home and not to the morgue.


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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by armsmaster270 View Post
    As one that has been in that position, I also interpret it to be murder. There are times in the job where it is down to kill or be killed, make sure you are the one going home and not to the morgue.
    +1
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