‘It is high time that law abiding citizens stand up and demand that our leaders condemn violence and attempts at intimidation of all kinds’
August 1, 2022
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Portland’s chief of police recently made an impassioned plea to the community to stop the “shocking and reprehensible” behavior towards police officers in the last several weeks. Portland police reported that “officers have been shot at, had suspects fight with them, [and] run over by a vehicle” in four days alone. Portland has become an epicenter of aggression towards police in the last two years since the tragic death of George Floyd. Portland was among the cities that pulled back police budget funding as a result of the “Defund the Police” movement, though the continued violence forced officials to change course and seek more police funding just a year later.
In light of the negativity towards police both in Portland and across America, Judge Phil Ginn, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES, www.ses.edu), spoke out in defense of the men and women who protect civilians as officers of the law.
Ginn stated, “The most fundamental right that we have as American citizens is to live in peace, free from any violent threat that would diminish our pursuit of ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of justice.’ In order to insure these most basic provisions for our citizenry, our nation’s forefathers created what we have come to call ‘a nation of laws’ that are to be applied in the same way for all people. For this promise to work, there must be gatekeepers to enforce those laws in a manner consistent with the statutes created by legislative bodies for our protection and serenity. In our nation, those who have stood between us and anarchy have traditionally been the sworn men and women of our law enforcement communities. Because of the tasks that we give them to preserve order in our society, they deserve not only decent wages but our respect and support as well.
“Particularly in some of our larger cities, we have lost sight of the preeminence in this relationship between those who are protected and those who are called for that purpose. By the actions of some of our leadership in this country, lawlessness is being not only condoned but also encouraged. When the laws of this nation are not enforced, even if the enforcement is painful, we run the risk of losing the basic freedoms upon which our country is built. Word is now coming out of Portland — a constant scene of violent unrest for almost two years — that their police force is continually being singled out for violent attacks. Unfortunately, this scenario is being repeated over and over in our country.”
Ginn continued, “Many Christians and other people of good will are now asking what they can do about this travesty. The answers are simple. Certainly, we are called upon to pray for our nation and its leaders, as well as those who are our enemies or who would seek to do us harm. Nevertheless, it is high time that law abiding citizens stand up and demand that our leaders condemn violence and attempts at intimidation of all kinds, whether it be at the home of a Supreme Court Justice or in the streets of Anywhere, America. Our law enforcement officers deserve our prayers and the support of not only the governed, but the government. While we must be vigilant to uncover corruption and improper actions amongst those who wear the shield, from my personal experience of dealing with officers of all stripes over my 22-year career as a judge, I can count the ‘bad apples’ that I have encountered on both of my hands. We simply cannot afford to disrupt the great work of the many because of the misdeeds of the few.
“The apostle Paul in Romans 12:18 admonishes us as Christians, ‘As much as within us to live at peace with all men,’ and so we should. We at Southern Evangelical Seminary agree with that sentiment. But when lawlessness is allowed to run rampant in our streets, the void of police action will be replaced by those who are not restrained by their oath as a peace officer. When that occurs, anarchy like we have never experienced will reign, and America as we know it will be perilously close to extinction. Now is the time to say enough is enough, for if we remain silent in the face of intimidation, we can only expect the worst.”
Judge Phil Ginn was appointed president of SES in April 2021 after a distinguished career as both a lawyer and a judge. He holds a B.A. from Appalachian State University, a J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Doctor of Ministry from Southern Evangelical Seminary. Prior to his appointment as SES president, Judge Ginn served as SES Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
The mission of SES is to train men and women, based on the inerrant and infallible written Word of God, for the evangelization of the world and the defense of the historic Christian faith. SES offers a range of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees (along with several for-credit certificates) that uniquely integrate theology, philosophy, and apologetics to build a complete and systematic Christian worldview.