From the desk of Dr. Jude Leary, Criminal Justice Program Coordinator:
In this day of heightened college loan debt, even pastors supportive of Maranatha may find themselves wondering, “Why would I encourage a student to pursue criminal justice at Maranatha, when a degree at a secular institution might be just as effective?” That’s a thoughtful and legitimate question deserving of a robust answer.
Several distinctives undergird Maranatha’s criminal justice program that are critical to grasp for believers who plan to work in the field post-graduation. Students may have been exposed to some of these ideas prior to college, but at MBU we are burdened to help support that initial instruction and address these concepts comprehensively in order to biblically challenge the critical thinking of students who have not deeply considered these important truths and their ramifications for their future careers.
A few examples include:
- Criminality reflects the depravity of man we all share, thus exposing our sin problem and our need for a Savior (Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:23).
- Restorative justice has no power to restore sinful man to God; only an individual’s acceptance of the gospel message of the blood of Christ shed for our sins can redeem a soul, appease God’s wrath for sin and make us righteous in His sight (Romans 6:23).
- The Bible provides all that is needed for life and godliness, including a proper response to the ethical decision-making tensions that daily face our law enforcement personnel (Proverbs 28:4-5; 2 Peter 1:3).
- A dispensational view of Scripture is essential to appropriately understanding the parameters and execution of biblical justice in the church age (Romans 13:1-7).
- Justice will never be perfectly meted out on this earth until King Jesus returns. In the interim, we seek to be supportive members of our local churches, embracing the gospel mandate and building relationships within our communities for the eventual purpose of leveraging them for evangelism and discipleship in God’s good timing (Isaiah 11:1-5; Revelation 20:1-10).
We appreciate the opportunity to have additional dialogue around these concepts, especially with local pastors and law enforcement personnel. Please join us for a FREE Criminal Justice Seminar this Saturday, April 16th, at 10:30am CST. Both live and web seats are still available! Be sure to RSVP if you plan to attend.