I was quite surprised to hear this week that a Birmingham, Alamaba mega church is close to getting their own police force!
But this makes perfect sense - the pastor of this church and his deacons/board members should be congratulated for coming up with the best idea in modern evangelicalism in recent years: hire your OWN police force!
Albert Mohler and Ronnie Floyd and Steve Gaines - you need to put this on your agenda for the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting this June!
Of course the argument is that churches need protection from events like Sandy Hook - as the Birmingham church states in its recent press release.
But pastors, take note: there are some other wonderful benefits of hiring your own police officers that are paid by the people of the church, and who ultimately report to the pastor:
1. If an anonymous blogger begins to criticize your pastor and his decisions and calls him a pompous ass, you have officers who can open an investigation, and when someone on the church staff expresses fear that the blogger is a kook, they can send a subpoena request to the local state attorney's office to force the blogger's ISP to hand over his name. Your own cops can then leak the name to Pastor, then shut down the case and destroy the documents, and then Pastor and the churchmen can kick the crazy blogger out of the church. Problem solved!
2. If someone on staff is accused of sexual misconduct, you have a police force to which the initial report can be made. The church cops can then investigate the charges and report directly to the pastor the results of their investigation so the Man of God can determine what should be done. Why should a Man of God have to rely on those "godless" pagan city cops to investigate - they certainly don't understand how sexual molestation charges can damage the Lord's work! Churches need to keep it all in the family.
And don't forget: all evangelical churches worth a darn will exercise "church discipline" on their wayward members. If a church has their own God Squad police force, they can include the force of law on the discipline committee, putting the fear of God in the church members to keep them in line!
Non tithing church member? Have Officer Smith write a "warning" that they are breaking God's law. The church police can enforce both man's laws, AND God's laws! Gossiping church member? Chief Jones can open an investigation and make an arrest based on Malachi 3 and bring the offender to the discipline committee.
I predict this is a trend that will sweep evangelicalism. As mega churches continue to gobble up dying churches and their properties as satellite locations, they will hire their own police forces.
I just wish I had come up with the idea for one of my April Fool's posts.