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The Tyisha Miller shooting: a former RPD cop's perspective

by bill rhetts Wednesday, Mar. 14, 2001 at 10:32 PM

Former Riverside Police Department officer, Bill Rhetts offers his perspective on the Tyisha Miller shooting, and why he made the racist comment: "in L.A. they treat you like a King, In Riverside, it's Miller time."

errorCowardly Christians & Courageous Churches
By: Officer Bill Rhetts
Copyright 2000
June 2000

As you read this Biblical study on "Cowardly Christians & Courageous Churches" it is imperative that you understand my objective. The purpose is not to offend any particular person, church, or ministry, nor is it to give praise to any individual. I only give praise to Jesus Christ my Lord, because I am not worthy. I am a sinner, saved by HIS Grace.

Within law enforcement, police officers often "debrief" after critical incidents. We discuss our strengths and our weaknesses. Sadly when an officer is killed as a result of his own tactical error, it must be discussed. Why, so that we learn from those mistakes, and so that we would not repeat them. As an ambassador or soldier for the Lord Jesus Christ, it is important to remain as keen, sharp "Spiritual Tacticians." We must never be complacent, sloppy, fearful, lukewarm or cowardly. We must constantly train to improve our walk with Jesus Christ. And when we do fall in this area, we need to confess it to Jesus, and repent from those sins.

This is a non-fiction/Commentary/Bible/testimony study speaking of true events that I and others have personally experienced. I pray for the exhortation of His Holy Sprit in your lives as you read this.

I pray that your hearts and minds will be a sponge for the Word of God and allow the Holy Spirit of God to encourage and minister to you. It's been said by others, "We as Christians should not be so heavenly minded, that we are no earthly good."

This Bible study is also a testimony of the persecution of a modern day policeman, as well as a commentary for you. Give all the Glory to the Lord Jesus Christ.


Back in December of 1998 in the city of Riverside (South. Calif), an unfortunate and tragic officer involved shooting (OIS) occurred one ill-fated night. This nationally broadcast shooting incident was opposed by numerous racial and political propagandists, who themselves caused a racially charged atmosphere. The local newspaper (the Devil's advocate) promoted their agenda by making a racial issue out of something that never existed. The newspaper failed to mention that this motorist was under the influence of two drugs, including alcohol. Moreover, let's not forget the stolen gun that was sitting on her lap which she chose to make a furtive movement with. Why did she lose her life? Because, by her actions, she made that deadly decision for those four police officers.

The officers were doing nothing but what they were sworn to do. Just as they raised their right hand and made this oath:

"I do solemnly swear or affirm that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States, and defend the Constitution of the State of California, against all enemies foreign and domestic; That I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California; That I take this obligation freely, without reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will and faithfully discharge the duties upon which I am about to enter."

Unfortunately, these four fine police officers were wrongfully terminated, as well as an outstanding Police Sergeant who is far above average. I then became professionally involved, because I was their elected Police union official, and contended that these five guys are 100% innocent!

The Race issue:

Because of that tragic police shooting, an awful cloud has hovered over the City of Riverside. Needless to say, most Officers were literally in a standstill until the outcome was known. Recently myself and another representative from the Police Union met with a key leader of that coalition which has protested the police department ever sense.

This was the first time the two sides personally met. The "Reverend" thought I was coming as a police union representative, but I advised him that I came as a representative of Jesus Christ. The meeting which included four of us (two from each side,) lasted over three hours. I prayed within these two men, and the other police officer, but they were convinced that a racial problem existed within our police department.

I was particularly shocked when this religious leader bent over in his chair and pointed his finger into my chest and shouted, "You white people, and your all white churches are the problem!" This was evidence to me that this man had an evil heart towards me. I simply advised him that I have never seen an all white God fearing Born-again church. Although I have seen it the other way around.

I have no doubt that Satan was and is in the forefront of this civil confrontation. You see the Lord sees us as one color, but Satan desires that we would be divided. I am convinced that this cloud is a Demonic force led by Satan, and his adversaries. Paul said in Eph 6:12 "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." The battle is against strong forces of evil, but Satan desires that we would battle against each others own flesh and blood.

As we know, our Nationalities represent the Nations our ancestors are from. In Matt 24:7 Jesus warned that in the end times "For nation will rise against nation." We see this first hand in Metropolitan Riverside "Nationalities against Nationalities." I encourage you to use this terrible time, to take the opportunity to share Jesus with someone that may not know Him personally.

While were in this spiritual warfare, remember what John said in 1st John 4:4-7 "You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

Because of the Lord, I am still able to love these men whom dislike me. I pray for the day, that we can all hug and hold each other, not matter what color we are. Let Christ be our influence and example, not Satan.

Click here for an outstanding commentary on this subject matter, called "[Racism Hate Groups and the RPD."]

The Tongue:

Sadly, back in February of 1999, while on duty as a police officer, I made a comment at the briefing/roll call room of my police station. Little did I know that another fellow police officer, who later we found had a racial agenda, was in the roll call room and overheard it. Yes, he willfully took my comment out of context and ran with it. [Sept 25th newspaper article reveals more truth referring to those allegations]

The Bible tells us to "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 1st Pet 5:8" But the good news my friends, is that the lions teeth were pulled at the cross of Jesus Christ. Praise Jesus.

Because of this, I have found the following verse very inspiring: "I will guard my ways, lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle, while the wicked are before me." Psalms 39:1

Soon thereafter, my name was controversially portrayed in the Press Enterprise newspaper as well as other Southern California newspapers and throughout the air waves of public radio stations.

What I have learned from this trial, is to "Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips." Ps 141:3

Experiencing that even a fellow police officer would maliciously take my speech out of context, I now realize that this was a Satanically initiated, demonic, spiritual attack. The Bible tells me that Satan is my primary accuser. But praise God, Jesus Christ is my Defense. "My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world." I Jn 2:1-2

Trials from the Bible:

In 1st Sam. 17, we saw that David was only armed with a slingshot, and the Philistine (a giant) was heavily armed with weapons. David did not cower, he trusted in his Lord. "Moreover David said, "The LORD, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine." And Saul said to David, "Go, and the LORD be with you!" 1 Sam 17:37

"Then David said to the Philistine, "You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied." 1 Sam 17:45. Because David was in the Lord's will, he defeated the Philistine. The safest place to always be, is in the Lord's will.

Joseph in Genesis 39: 11-15 was accused by a woman of raping her (a false rape claim). She actually asked him to have sexual intercourse with her, but he knew she was married, nor where they, so he resisted and fled. As he ran, she tore his garment from him and then later, she wrongfully accused him of rape and he was incarcerated because of his stand for the Lord.

When Nehemiah built the walls around Jerusalem, he did not cower under opposition, he built the wall while under attack, with a cement trowel in one hand and a sword for battle in the other. (Neh 4: 13-16)

From the Apostle Paul being imprisoned and tortured, to Peter being crucified upside down, to John the Baptist being beheaded, his head placed on a platter, then brought to his enemies, these stories are only a few of many stories of courageous Godly men and women of the Bible who had suffered for their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. And so it is, that we Christians in the twenty first century, must stand firm without compromise.

Trials of the modern man

I want to testify to you that the below trials are not something that I just "heard about" or just read in an e-mail. These are trials that I have personally witnessed, and have documented evidence.

Trials and courage of a modern day Pastor

In April of 1999 a So. Calif. Pastor named Don Wallace was persecuted for his pro-active Christian beliefs. Pastor Wallace is Senior Pastor of "The Redlands Christian Center." He would place themes on his church's outside lawn sign. The sign was very informational, such as what times his services were. In addition, Pastor Wallace would change his signs themes or quotes on a weekly basis, including but not limited to "Evolution is monkey business," to "Thou shall not steal." He then displayed "Same sex marriages No No No." Soon thereafter Pastor Wallace's church was feloniously spray painted and vandalized by the militant homosexual community.

We must keep in mind that Jesus commanded us to be salt of the earth and light of the world, not the church. This pastor, appropriately in submission to his Lord Jesus Christ, placed these words for the world to see, not just the inside of his cozy church congregation. The church is to exhort, edify, teach, and train their congregations to go out into the world, and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As it has been said, "We are to edify the saints, and evangelize those whom ain't."

The homosexual activists, coalitions, and gay organizations then took their own heterophobic hate to the city hall. They attempted to cause and create a new city ordinance that would prevent any Redlands church from doing the same in the future. They also convinced the "Human Relations Commission" to add the words "sexual orientation" to their mission statement. The commission voted in favor of the "gays agenda." [Link to gay agenda]

Then came numerous hostile protests against Pastor Wallace and his church at the next month's "Human Relations Commissions" meeting. Praise God, at the following meeting, another courageous Christian "Pastor Rob Zinn," of the "Emanuel Baptist Church" of East Highland, came to assist Pastor Wallace.

Pastor Zinn being a good shepherd, brought hundreds of his brothers and sisters from his church to assist and show support of Pastor Wallace. Within a couple of months the council chambers were occupied by a majority of Christians. "Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up." Eccl 4:9-10. Many Christians were present either praying or speaking to the commission.

As Pastor Rob Zinn spoke to the microphone, "We are not homo-phobic. We are God-a-phobic!" Praise GOD for his courage. The Bible says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge." Prov 1:7

Later Pastor Wallace and I met individually (behind the scenes) with four of the city council members, and then the Mayor of that city. Pastor Wallace and I gave professional oral and video presentations to each one inside the City Hall. Council woman (now Mayor) Pat Gilbreth even warned Pastor Wallace to "watch out" because he may lose his tax exempt status. Pastor Wallace stood still on the Rock of our Salvation, and did not cower.

Subsequently, at a later City Council meeting and vote, because of the Grace of God and the assistance of hundreds of faithful courageous Christians, the City code was not implemented nor were the words "sexual orientation" added to their mission statement.

You see, I believe that God Shed His grace over this city because He knew that there were hundreds of faithful courageous Christians who were willing to commit their time, efforts, and prayers, to this spiritual battle.

Praise God for these courageous men and women who did not succumb to the world.

Trials and courage of a corporate businessman

Joseph A. Travers, CPI ~ CIP, who is an executive Director of "US Schools and Colleges," is another Godly example. He is half owner of this corporation and owns five campuses and offices throughout two different states.

Joseph knew that his success was the Lord's, so he made sure that all employees and students would hear and see the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He also gave God the glory by posting Christian signs at the front door of every campus. His business associate stated "I think business would be better if we did not have these Jesus signs out there!" Joseph gently replied, "If we lose business because of them, then the Lord didn't want us to be here to begin with!"

Joseph did not remove the signs, and subsequently, their enterprise later became a very lucrative and successful endeavor. I myself witnessed this courageous stand for our Lord Jesus.

Was it easy for Joseph to take a courageous stand for Jesus? Absolutely not. Joseph has had false work related civil charges brought against him. Joseph has been accused of misdemeanor and felony crimes and subsequently arrested. Did Joseph become a coward, as most of the American businessman would have done? No, that word is not part of his vocabulary. Because Joseph knows that cowardliness of Jesus is a sin. Give all the Glory to the Lord Jesus.

Trials and courage of an LAPD Assistant Chief of Police

Retired LAPD Assistant Chief of Police (Bob Vernon) is another example of true "courage under fire." I had the pleasure of working for Bob Vernon as a chief; he walked the talk.

Chief Vernon was publicly accused of advocating child abuse because he spoke Biblical truths about disciplining a child with love (not abuse). Then later he was criticized by the press and the media because he shared his Christian beliefs on the homosexual agenda.

There are too many Christians in police leadership today that will not take this Biblical stand. Why? Because they are cowards. They are afraid of the Biblical consequences of standing up for our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen? Give all the Glory to the Lord Jesus.

Trials and courage of a modern day police officer

As I mentioned at the beginning, I was maliciously accused of a so called racial /racist statement by another police officer. That one comment, taken out of context, has caused a barrage of fiery darts and hostile events, protests, and trials, by the enemy.

I soon became publicly attacked, mostly because they later learned of my Christian beliefs. Below are just a 'few' of the organizations that publicly rose up against me.

The "Press Enterprise" newspaper, who maliciously attacked my Christian faith in the newspaper.

The "Black Voice" newspaper, who called me a racist.

The "Tyisha Miller Steering Committee," who protested my employment as a police officer at city council meetings. On Sept 26th 1999 Council agenda items #6 and #27, there was a line of protesters and speakers to protest my employment and to mock my Christian beliefs. One "Reverend" Mr. Bernel Butler, quoted: "Officer Bill Rhetts doesn't need a gun or a badge, he needs therapy, he needs a another form of employment!"

The "Riverside Coalition for Police Accountability" discovered that I was a board member with an International Christian organization. They obtained knowledge of their web page and found my Christian testimony and two other articles. They then maliciously took my literature out of context, and then wrote a letter to city management which was handed to me by the Chief of Police. One quote from the letter stated: "This kind of far-right Christian extremism, has no place in or our government or it's institutions!" Strange though, I discovered that the RCPA's mission statement says, "We are committed to establishing public accountability for the Riverside Police Department. The RPD should be dedicated to serve all people of Riverside regardless of race, ethnicity, age, economic status, gender, sexual orientation, handicap or religious belief!" The RCPA displayed their own hypocrisy in the first degree.

Later, the ministry in which I was a board member of at that time, became more concerned and worried that they may also be scrutinized because of my persecution and conservative views, rather than assisting a fellow brother. Out of respect for them and their worries and concerns, I resigned from that ministry.

At this time I had two choices,

1 ) to fight or
2 ) to flee.

Commonly known to law enforcement as the "Fight or Flight Syndrome."

I chose to "fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses." 1 Tim 6:12

At this time, the Lord told me through His Scripture that I am not to be a coward. So I prayed, stepped forward, and founded a "pro-police" organization called the "Inland Police Officers Coalition." We then inaugurated it's own web site, which has become extremely informative, politically incorrect, yet Biblically correct.

Then later I was further publicly attacked in the realm of city government and the public because of my Christian web page. Including but not limited to:

Members of the "African American Clergy Counsel" [Jackson link]
The "National Urban League"
The "Rainbow Coalition" (a homosexual group) Steve McGrew stated in the "Redlands Facts" newspaper "Won't somebody please put Bill Rhetts' tired of old arguments out of their misery."

The "Rainbow Council" (a homosexual group) Adnan Hasan, a member of the San Bernardino based gay-rights group, and a member of the Redlands "Human Relations Commission," was quoted in the newspaper, "I would be very surprised if he leaves that kind of homophobia and hate at home. This man can not possibly remain unbiased in his job!"

The "Anti-Defamation League" (ADL) Tamara Galatzan, associate director of the Anti-Defamation League's Western States division also took only sound bites from my literature. She sated "The site could cause those who don't share Rhetts' beliefs, to lose their trust in law enforcement. "If you were gay, and the victim of a crime, would you feel comfortable with this officer arriving at your door?" "Whatever the answer is, the fact that the question is being asked means there's a problem."

I find it hypocritical that the "Anti" defamation League would defame me by taking me out of context.

Anonymous hate letters and posters publicly handed out with my police ID photograph on them.

And many more, which I have saved for future use if needed. It is not wise to reveal all of a soldiers ammunition for a later, worse spiritual battle. (I ended up with an 8,000 word documentation of all the hostile events that occurred in the work place.)

Needless to say, I was put through the fire and the test. I praise God for this learning and growing experience in Him.

Being under a microscope

What I found most bizarre and profound was that many Christians, churches, and ministries would flinch in the face of adversary, by running away from a Christian who is under fire from the devils fiery darts.

Later, my police department sent me to several police psychologists and psychotherapists. Two of them were advised that the city management was mainly concerned about my Christian beliefs and web page.

A doctor O'Hara asked me, "If you were to work with a black, female lesbian, would you force Jesus Christ down her throat?"

I could have not sounded "weird," and just said "No, of coarse not!" But the Lord wants us to share Himself in every opportunity that He gives us. Wow, what an opportunity this was. I simply stated, "No, of course not, I would introduce Jesus Christ to her, because He lives inside of me in the form of His Holy Spirit!" He asked, "how would you do that?" I simply told him, "through my work style and ethics!" You see, I believe in "erring on the side of caution" when Jesus said, "But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven" Matt 10:33. No, I would not have lost my salvation, but I would have been in sin.

Then, another psychiatrist (Dr Cohen), evaluated me. I obviously will not tell you the details of the interview because it is very confidential and is my personal medical record information. Something I will not say on the WWW. But he subsequently deemed me "not fit for duty as a police officer." Oh yes the 19 years of law enforcement finally took it's toll on me. Unfortunately, the work related stresses had caused me severe problems and permanent disabilities, mostly from the last shooting, so therefore I was no longer able to function as a police officer.

Although, with this last shrinks interview, it was another great opportunity to share my Lord Jesus Christ with him as well. You should of saw his eye brows twitch when I spoke of being "born-again." It reminded me of the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus in John chapter 3.

I've been investigated by

The Department of Justice
The County Grand Jury (who concluded my web page was not racist)
The Federal Grand Jury (whom asked twice about my web page during testimony)
The Riverside PD IAD
and more.

How are we to handle a trial?

We must remember that we are to always trust and have faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Even in the most difficult of circumstances. A great Pastor once told me that there were two ways I could handle this trial, 1) to pout or 2) to pray. I at first, was in sin for pouting. I repented, prayed and later picked up the Sword.

Look at this trial recorded by Mark. "On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, "Let us cross over to the other side." Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?" Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace, be still!" And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, "Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?" And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, "Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!" Mark 4:35-41.

We see above that "other little boats" were with the first boat. You can believe that the other boats were watching how the boat "under fire" was handling that storm/trial. We must also show courage under fire, because others are watching us. Some saved, and some not.

The Cowardly:

Ministries who cowed under pressure

After experiencing so many fearful Christians, I learned to have more respect for an atheist who stands for what he believes in, rather than a person whom claims the name of Christ, or one who becomes a coward when challenged for their faith. [See "666" file] A commentary "666" for the courage of a Satan worshipper.

1 Pet 4:12-19 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people's matters. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter. For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? Now "If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?" Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator

Another example was a well known Christian website and e-mail service who filtered out my IPOC web site because the website was persecuted in the media as an "extremist group." Later courageous Christians wrote this company letters opposing them for filtering out the doctrinally sound IPOC web page. They later apologized, restored the site, and consequently, nearly lost many customers because they temporarily succumbed to the presses political hatred towards the site.

A ministry that I served the Lord years for removed my Christian testimony from their web site because the testimony was opposed in a mainstream newspaper, forgetting that it had encouraged many other Christians and non-Christians over the years in the past. My desire is to be just a 'spoon for Jesus' being available to be used by Him. The testimony later brought this ministry positive promotion and exposure through: radio interviews ~ "Focus on the Family" Family News and Focus" radio broadcasts, magazine articles, as well as TV broadcasts. We want to give GOD all the glory for these accomplishments, and these are just a few examples. But, how and why would a Christian ministry cower under pressure?

A local Riverside Christian newspaper, who I've worked with over the past several years, blocked my email because of my opposition and especially when I supported a pro-heterosexual web site.

I linked many local Law Enforcement Bible studies on my web page so that police officers may be led to them geographically, and get fed the Word of God. One leader of a Rialto based law enforcement Bible study stated that he was 'worried' that he and the home where their study was held may "have problems" because my web page is under Federal investigation. This is the 'kick the Christian while hes down syndrome.' Never mind, that that Bible study link actually was fruitful, in leading others to that study. My friends I for you, will run into the 'line of fire'" (Satan's darts) to back you up when you need it.

It reminds me of a time in Los Angeles when I was in a foot pursuit of a residential burglar. My partner "disappeared." After an exhaustive chase, I found myself fighting for my life on the ground because the suspect had my gun and was attempting to kill me with it. Other officers responded to my cry for help via the radio. The suspect eventually was taken into custody. We were covered with mud head to toe in this stormy alley. The disgusting part was my partner was spotless, no mud on her at all. Back to the spiritual realm, many Christians are afraid to get mud on them. Yet worse, they kick their fellow Christians while their down. (Eccl 4:9-10)

The above is only a NUTSHELL version of the cowardliness that I have observed through all of this.

The Overcautious:

A Christian whom I admire, who is in church leadership asked me: "Why do you have to be so zealous in your faith?"

zealous (zles) adjective

Filled with or motivated by zeal; fervent.
zealously adverb zealousness noun
Filled with or motivated by zeal; fervent.

zealously adverb zealousness noun
ready and willing, prompt, quick, ACTIVE, forward, anticipating, alacritous, zealous, eager, enthusiastic, dedicated, dead keen, dead set, keen, overeager, impatient, spoiling for, raring to go, hot to trot, dependable, reliable, OBSERVANT, earnest, trying, doing one's best, ATTEMPTING, helpful, COOPERATIVE.

As Paul told the Christians in 2 Cor 7:10-11 "For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. 11 For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter."

Zeal is a good thing, when we channel those efforts and energies to serve and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. As long as it is the Lord, and not our flesh.

Remember the Apostle Paul, in his analogy of a runner "running in the race?" He said that we need to move in our faith in Jesus Christ. Paul said "Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. 1 Cor 9:24-27

Three questions I ask ourselves when we compare ourselves to the standards of this verse;

Are you running to as if to obtain it?
Or are you just "beating the air?"
Will you be disqualified as a bonafide God fearing born-again Christian?

An ancient grave stone inscription in England once said, "Pause stranger, when you pass by; as you are now, so once was I. As I am now, so you will be; so prepare for death and follow me." A passerby walked by and saw it, and wrote a small inscription below it that said: "To follow you I am not content, until I know which way you went."

I would hope that we would all earn and have this inscription on ours, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith" 2 Tim 4:7.

I remember a few years back, I asked a ministry leader, "why do you always seem to avoid the issue of homosexuality?" He replied, "because we don't have the resources!" I can not accept that excuse. We are doing the LORD's work. The only resources we need are His Holy Spirit, the Word of God, and Himself. I believe they feared persecution by the gay community. We must also reach them with love.

Different personalities within the body of Christ

I believe it is important that we don't question a Christian's personality. Unless of course, they are in sin and you have scripture (not taken out of context) to support it. The Lord created us all differently. Some are quiet, some are bold. Although never so quiet that we never share Christ and or become a coward.

One Christian police officer I worked with 'complained' to a Pastor, saying that "he didn't think that I as a Christian police officer should post my Biblical Christian views on a public web site." It sounds more like that this Christian was convicted himself, because of his lack of courage.

Another Christian police officer that I worked with feared his name being included and or revealed on my email address list. He asked me to change his full name to "just his initials" so others would not know that he was affiliated with a group of other Christians.

Then another Christian police officer told me that my boldness and my web page was "prideful" because of my picture, and my name on the front page. Pride is in fact a sin, so I seriously prayed about it and sought the counsel of the Lord and other well known Godly Pastors. Here's what one Pastor said to me:

"Brother Bill, you're going to hear those self-righteous "you're full of pride" accusations continually. Just remember that the LORD judges you by your heart, and that men have no authority to judge you at all unless you violate God's crystal-clear Biblical standards. People who judge your intent rather than your actions attempt to set themselves up as judges of your spirit. They usurp Christ's authority. They arrogate to themselves the power to know your heart, and they claim the authority to determine your intent based solely upon what they approve or disapprove. They do not weight you with the only trustworthy standard: crystal-clear, God-breathed Scripture.

Sometimes it's important to avoid using your freedom if it might cause a weaker brother to stumble, and sometimes weaker brothers misuse their freedom because they are weak. Then there are those "brothers" who seek to "lord it over you" to make themselves feel strong when they are only the "leaven" of 1Corinthians:5:6 and Galatians:5:9. They are self-idolaters and blind guides. The churches are full of 'em.

I find no pridefulness in your using your own name in your posts and on your site. In fact, I find it both admirable and courageous. Just as the Apostle Paul did, you've taken a lot of flak because you kept your name before the public in a very politically incorrect way. Pridefulness is intended to draw human praise, not politically correct "sniper" fire.

Look to your own heart and determine your motive, bro. Carefully study the Bible's passages on pride and idolatry. Weigh yourself against God's standard. Don't be quick to give value to any other source, including me, without the Bible's being the ONLY standard you use to measure the value of that source. My opinions, and those of any other Christian, are nothing compared to the perfect guidance of Almighty God through His Scripture. His Scripture alone is the only trustworthy standard and guide." (end quote)

Subsequently, I removed "billrhetts" from my email and website address, and replaced it with "IPOC." As well as decreasing the size of my photo.

In 1st Corinthians 12: 1-11 Paul mentions that although we all belong to the same 'body of Christ,' we have different callings while still serving the same Lord Jesus.

Examine these differences in 1 Cor 12:4-7, "There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all"

I love the analogy Paul uses between our physical bodies, and the body of Christ (the church.) "For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free--and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many. If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now indeed there are many members, yet one body." 1 Cor 12:13-20

As long as our issues are not "essential doctrinal differences," then we should agree to disagree, not argue. Praise the Lord for the balance within the body of Christ.

Courage and Cowardliness:

The Bible definition of COURAGE is, "the strength of purpose that enables one to withstand fear or difficulty. Physical courage is based on moral couragea reliance on the presence and power of God and a commitment to His commandments Josh. 23:6; 2 Chr. 19:11. (from Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary) (Copyright 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

The Random House College Dictionary definition is,

1. The quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc.., with firmness and without fear;

2. To have the courage of one's convictions, to act in accordance with one's beliefs, esp. in spite of criticism. It also states, "Courage permits a person to face extreme dangers and difficulties without fear, to take (or lose) courage."

The word courage is mentioned over twenty two times in the Bible. Courageous is mentioned five times.

Cowardliness is a sin:

Notice that in Rev 21:8 the Lord mentions several sins, and those who do not repent from them will perish in hell. "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."

Notice that the word cowardly is first mentioned in the above list of sins.

Here is a quote/commentary on this passage from the great Matthew Henry, "The sins of those who perish, among which are first mentioned, their cowardliness and unbelief. The cowardly and fearful lead the van in this black list. They durst not encounter the difficulties of religion, and their slavish fear proceeded from their unbelief; but those who were so dastardly as not to dare to take up the cross of Christ, and discharge their duty to him, were yet so desperate as to run into all manner of abominable wickednessmurder, adultery, sorcery, idolatry."

Matthew Henry mentioned ". . .but those who were so dastardly as not to dare to take up the cross of Christ, and discharge their duty to him!"

In Matt 16:24 Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me."

To take up the cross means literally to lift up the cross, not fearing that many will see it. To not hide our faith underneath the cross, or to be a closet Christian, nor a 'pew potato.'

Commitment is Courageous:

There have been many times where my 1st amendment and religious Christian rights have been violated in the work place. In a nut shell, I will give you just a few brief examples.

Once as a Los Angeles police officer I was ordered by my supervisor to "remove my Christian shirt," while working undercover. While others were allowed to continue wearing their own shirts, which were depicted with words and graphics, even profanity.

Another more blatant violation was when an LAPD supervisor who was an outspoken atheist, frequently mocked my Christian cross which I wore on a necklace. He would state some of the most abominable and vile things concerning the cross on the necklace. It is unfortunate I cannot repeat the wicked words used against my Lord Jesus, although I truly want you to see the hate he had.

Another case was when an atheist police officer in Riverside stated that he hated the Christian T-shirts that I wore to work. Later he falsely accused me of planting evidence on suspects, and then arresting them. He was later terminated.

Then his girlfriend (an officer) spread slanderous gossip that I had raped a female officer in Los Angeles just prior to my transfer to the Riverside police Dept. All because I was a Christian.

In a most recent case of Christian bias that I experience, I can not talk about because or possible pending litigation against this man.( a Lieutenant)

As a Christian in the work place, I have many options that I can act out on. One is that I could file a complaint with LAPD staff, and with the EEOC, and sue the pants off of this atheist sergeant and the city of Los Angeles, as well as Riverside.

The other is I could just remain quiet, and continued to love them, as my Lord would want me to, although it would be Biblically appropriate for me to exercise both options.

In the LA incident, I chose the second option. But what is the most important is that, "We do not deny, conceal, cower or be ashamed of our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ." We must take a stand for that cross Jesus died for us on.

Within the Riverside incidents, I made a formal complaint against the female officer, and brought the male atheist before supervision. Neither are no longer with the police department. With the Lieutenant, I filed a formal complaint against him.

I praise the Lord though, only through Him can I actually say, that I forgive and love my foes.

Jay Sekulow, the President of the "American Center for Law and Justice" stated, "While we as Christians are warned that those who desire to live Godly, will suffer persecution; but we should also understand that it is against the law in this country to be persecuted in the work place, because of our faith."

Remember our Christian faith and testimony is not to be just shared with other believers. Jesus commanded us in Matt 5:13-16 that "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. "Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."

As I earlier mentioned Pastor Wallace. He turned his sign "outwards" for the "world to see," not just the inside of his congregation.

Are you exposing and reflecting the love and Light of Jesus Christ, whom lives inside of you, in the form of His Holy Spirit? Are you being used by Jesus, or used by the world?

The great Rev Lou Sheldon quoted, "Too long we have let others who do not share our values make our laws and govern usprimarily because we just did not get involved. While it is true that our primary job is to be "light of the world" we are also commanded to be "salt of the earth." Which includes encouraging Biblical moral principles in our laws and communities. The moral decline of the past 70 years indicates that we have not been the "salt" to our society that our forefathers were."

Dr Francis Schaeffer states "He that will not use his freedom to preserve his freedom, will loose his freedom."

Growth is a Commandment:

My wife, Lori, and I recently went to a conference in Northern California. During a seminar, the Former Pro-Baseball Player and Pastor Frank Pastore' stated, "Just as a new police officer who joins the force is not a qualified experienced officer until he grows through many many years of training and experience, the Christian needs to grow as well."

Are you growing in your faith and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ? "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen." 2nd Peter 3:18

My dear friends, I say to you with very much love, "we must live for Jesus Christ, and if necessary, we must even die for the cause of Jesus Christ!"

To worry whether or not you will loose your job, promotions, friends, or popularity, is only an excuse and sin. [Our oath of office link]

I encourage you to be courageous.

A special thanks to those who have shown their support, personally:

I wholeheartedly would like to thank several very faithful friends in Jesus and ministries for their personal "one on one" servant-hood and fellowship in Jesus Christ, with my wife, Lori, and I. You, my dear brothers and sisters, have committed your valuable personal time, serving the Lord with us, through breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Most importantly, the needed prayer and personal fellowship, sharpening each other's iron. I want to thank you so much for your courage to take a stand for a Christian who has been in the line of fire. You did not run away or fear to face your adversary or controversy. You did not fear "what would others think of me or my ministry?" Instead, you had the courage, Biblical integrity, and moral fortitude to stand. So indeed, the Lord will bless you. The below list does not include all the invisible prayer warriorsI thank them as well.


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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 11 posted about this article.
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Let us be gay, for he is a dickweed Howard Tracy Thursday, Mar. 15, 2001 at 12:56 AM
FUCK THE POLICE ! FUCK THE POLICE ! Friday, Mar. 16, 2001 at 2:07 AM
I will not use your name as you have mine. Bill Rhetts Monday, Mar. 19, 2001 at 4:37 PM
your sad sad story Mike Monday, Mar. 19, 2001 at 8:43 PM
gee, Bill thanks for sharing! don't police my streets! Monday, Mar. 19, 2001 at 9:54 PM
Anyone can post ~ using anyones name John Doe Tuesday, Mar. 20, 2001 at 4:01 PM
Trust me, all these folks are real jane doe Wednesday, Mar. 21, 2001 at 1:10 AM
Speaking Truth walt harrison Wednesday, Mar. 21, 2001 at 1:36 AM
Riverside didn't listen when warned of rhetts face in the crowd Wednesday, Mar. 21, 2001 at 10:08 PM
Racist Jokes annon Thursday, Mar. 22, 2001 at 4:41 AM
A racist joke is not a joke, if its education blue streak Saturday, Mar. 24, 2001 at 1:52 AM
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