By RODERICK MCKENZIE
THE word “fear” as defined in the Cambridge dictionary online is: “A strong emotion caused by great worry about something dangerous, painful or unknown that is happening or might happen.”
When the word “fear” comes to mind, it usually gives an uneasy feeling which gives cause for concern. This depends on the circumstances, whether you are causing the fear or a victim in the case.
The purpose of this article is to elaborate on the need for fear from a Biblical perspective as we endure the trials and tribulations of life, along with obeying the Ten Commandments of God and abiding by the laws of the land.
The element of fear was created by God from the beginning of time and will continue to remain with us until the end of time. The purpose of fear can be described as a reinforcement to add to discipline in our daily lives and to shape our culture as a nation as we think about the consequences of our wrong doing – ie breaking the laws of the land or breaking the Ten Commandments of God.
There are a number of factors from birth where if a child does wrong, he or she fears being spanked or suffer some other form of punishment which normally deters their mind from wanting to do wrong. In the case of an adult we tend to fear anything that threatens our livelihood, such as loss of a job, being victim of a crime, etc.
As the years have gone by it appears as if the ways of the world have taken the teeth out of fear and the true affect it should have on one has lost its effect. Much of this has been replaced with diplomatic talks, rehabilitation, second chance methods and forgiveness.
There is nothing wrong with this but, without the fear factor, it will bring about a level of degradation in any civil society. Do we not see in the world when diplomatic talks fail the more superior country uses force to instil fear through war and many lives are lost? The same fear element should be seen in the case of the criminal element and the mindset of those set to do evil in any community. Society must have something to fear.
From a Christian viewpoint, as we read the book of Deuteronomy chapter 17 vs12-13 God said: “And the man that will do presumptuously, and will not hearken unto the priest that standeth to minister there before the Lord thy God, or unto the judge, even that man shall die: and thou shalt put away the evil from Israel. And all the people shall hear, and fear, and do no more presumptuously”. Another key factor in the Word of God that complements this scripture that needs to be followed is found in Ecclesiastes Chapter 8 verse 11: “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set on them to do evil.” As long as the people of any land have nothing to fear or refuse to fear the laws of the land and sentencing is not quick, there will be lawlessness and anarchy. There is a cliché in the legal arena that says, “Justice delayed is justice denied”.
God our creator in his Word states that we are to fear Him and keep his commandments. This is the whole duty of man. We as Christians know all too well that one of the key factors in the life of a Christian is to fear God and keep His Commandments, knowing the consequences that will follow in the day of judgment and even as we live, if we fail too. The same guidelines should be upheld for persons in general who fail to obey the laws of the land: the same fear should be in place.
As the debate continues on whether a punishment should be a deterrent for a crime or not, the fact is that we, as a people, must have something to fear or we will not have a civilised society as we see the lawlessness progressing daily in every country. Many are of the view that this is the 21st century and we should move away from capital punishment, corporal punishment and even imprisonment. They are advocating for rehabilitation through various means.
This is all well and good. However from a Christian standpoint there are no scriptures in the Holy Bible that shows where God ever tried to get Satan to repent his wicked and evil ways. This clearly shows that there are some who will never change from their criminal and evil mindset and should be taken out of society, the same way God had to remove Satan from Heaven.
The law of the land is designed to keep order and to govern civil society and the criminal elements alike. However, over the years, there has been a human rights debate which has caused some laws to change, be upgraded and amended.
There seemed to be a psychological reverse role of fear from the criminal element to civilised society. This means now that the criminals in society and the evil doers know the purpose of fear in life and are now using this fear factor to their advantage to maintain their personal criminal intent to put law-abiding citizens in fear. The question we must now ask is: Why would anyone obey the laws of the land or the Commandments of God if there are no consequences to fear or the consequence is not in line with the offence?
The punishment must be in line with the offence to invoke fear to avoid a repeat of the offence.
As the debate and legal ramifications of punishment, the dispensing of justice, the barbaric and inhumane treatment of persons in the world through diplomatic policies, human rights worldwide and Constitutional rights, we must continue to bear in mind that the criminal element, when committing the various offences, do not take the time to determine what is inhumane or what is barbaric. Their focus is to promote fear in their victims to get their way, even if it is to take the victim’s life in the process. The question we as a civil society and law abiding citizens should ask ourselves is: should we be in fear of the criminal element or should they be in fear for failing to abide by the rule of law in civil society?
Life as we know it is full of obstacles and distractions to prevent the principles of God’s Laws and Commandments along with the law of the land to prevail in this global village. This is reducing one of the key factors which govern humanity - the need for fear. These obstacles are brought on through the signing of various treaties, human rights agreements and various cultural differences, etc, whereby the more powerful nation will reign supreme.
We as a people must ask ourselves: how much longer are we prepared to endure that which is not good for us and that which can eventually bring us to destruction?
Though the contents of this article may appear to some to be harsh, we are unquestionably living in serious times. The evil forces of this land must have something to fear or they will keep us law-abiding citizens in fear. Is this what we want for ourselves and our children?
God forbid. I pray that readers will take heed, understand and accept this for what it means to us as a people.
Assistant Superintendent of Police Roderick R Mckenzie Sr is the officer in charge of Englerston East Urban Renewal