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Do Pastors have to Report Crimes?
Pastors may witness crimes that happen in society, and they do have an obligation to report any crime they see. Do Pastors have to Report Crimes? As a law-abiding citizen of their country, a pastor should adhere to the laws of the land because God respects them.
He is the one who appoints leaders and expects that we will obey them. Those who resist them are resisting the ordinance of God, and they bring judgment upon themselves. This means that when pastors report crimes, they are obeying the laws enacted by governing authorities and have nothing to fear.
1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For 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 you will be commended
There are a number of reasons why pastors should report crimes, and we will look at five of them below.
1. Ensure Justice Prevails
If a pastor witnesses a crime that is punishable by law, he should report the incident to the police so that justice can prevail. This will make sure that the criminals are locked up in jail where they will not harm anybody. Maybe those the pastor has witnessed committing a crime have done it for a long, wrecking havoc in the lives of many people. By reporting the crime, the pastor will bring an end to their criminal acts and ensure those affected get justice.
2. To Avoid Repetition of the Crime
When a pastor reports a crime, the criminals will not have a chance to repeat the crime because they will be locked up for a long time. If the pastor fails to report the crime, the criminals will repeat the offense and cause more harm to others. A criminal has every intention of repeating their evil acts and the only way to stop them is to report the crime to the police.
3. It’s the Godly Thing to Do
By reporting a crime, the pastor is acting in line with the righteousness that God desires from us. God hates evil and will never be associated with it and expects us to report it. A pastor should therefore not feel guilty because of reporting a crime because he is doing the right thing. Those who committed crimes in the Bible were sent to prison or stoned to death because they not only offended their governing authorities but God too.
4. To Avoid Being an Accomplice in the Crime
A pastor may be the only one who has witnessed a crime and if he keeps quiet and is later found not to have reported, he will be considered an accomplice. It is also an offense not to report a crime, and the last thing the pastor needs is to be considered part of a crime that he had nothing to do with. It will be difficult for him to explain to the police that he was not part of a crime but only witnessed it when he said nothing from the beginning.
5. To Set a Good Example for the Church
When a pastor reports a crime, he is setting a good example to his congregation and the church at large. Other Christians will see that it is the right thing to do by reporting a crime they have witnessed. After reporting the crime, he can let his congregation know that reporting a crime is the godly thing to do. He will show others that they no longer have to wonder if reporting a crime is right, they will know that it is.
What Can a Pastor do as He Reports a Crime?
A pastor should pray for God to give him the wisdom and words he needs to report the crime. His life could be in danger if the criminals know that he is the one who reported them and they may retaliate. By praying over the situation, he is inviting God to intervene in the situation and protect his life and that of his family. We are to pray whenever we are in trouble so that God can protect us from any danger that lies ahead of us.
I have known of several men, Evangelist that were once completely engulfed in sin, that are now powerful preachers. They themselves have understood the result of delving into sin, and have accepted Christ and made a complete change of direction.
Tell the truth.
The pastor should tell the police the truth so that those who are guilty are put behind bars and no innocent party will be sent to jail. God requires us to be truthful always and when reporting a crime, the same applies. The pastor may be threatened by the criminal he wants to report but this should not stop him from telling the truth. He can trust that God will be with him every step of the way, and he has nothing to fear.
Recount all the details.
When a pastor goes to report a crime, he should take his time and recall all the details of what he witnessed. This ensures that he captures all the information that will be important for law enforcement officers to act upon. The pastor should give an account of the smallest details even though he doesn’t think they are important. The police need all the clues they can in order to charge a crime.
Follow the instructions of the authorities.
The pastor should follow the instructions he is given by the police to avoid bringing any harm to himself or his family. The police will always advise those who go to report crimes so that they will be aware of the consequences. In some instances, a pastor and his family may need to be relocated so that the criminals or their partners will not find them. It’s always important for one to know what they are getting themselves into when they report a crime to the police.
A pastor should not fear reporting a crime because he could be saving a person’s life by doing so. He should always keep in mind that God will look after him in case of any eventuality. God is a Father who always takes care of His children and protects them from those who have evil intentions toward them. Reporting a crime is something that a pastor should do without hesitation.