I Was Just Following Orders - Garris Elkins

Will the excuse "I was following orders". or "I was just doing my job", work in the end?


Garris Elkins

3/14/20221 min read

Garris is an amazing man of God and a prophet from southern Oregon. He posts quite frequently on social media and allowed me to post his insights here in my blog.

The topic today is whether or not it is alright to simply do as we are expected to do and resolve it by saying, "I'm just doing my job." Or, "I was just following orders". It's a topic that's been in my heart for a few years since I watched an elderly minister get arrested because he was bringing sandwiches to homeless people in a park. The whole scene bothered me tremendously. Not just because the rules made no sense, but because the police had no problem doing it.

You can connect with Garris on his website here.

I Was Just Following Orders
Some of the most dangerous and compromising words we can utter in a time of crisis are “I was just following orders.” Those words have been used in war crime trials as a justification for immoral actions that would later be condemned by reasonable people after a conflict had ended and the evidence of the inflicted horror of those choices finally came to the light of day.

The outcomes of our compromised choices are not always visible at the beginning of a decline into immorality. They appear over time as individual compromise gains traction and the cumulative effect of our compromise begins to coalesce with others of a similar disposition.

It begins at a grassroots level where lesser, seemingly disconnected choices begin to create an ungodly union and momentum. It can happen in a local church where staff members follow pastoral directions that violate Scripture or in a city council meeting where members blindly obey the orders of a small special interest group or in a political setting where a politician wants to remain in lockstep with party leadership and begins to violate principles of personal integrity. It can also happen individually when we are so blinded by our need for safety and security that we refuse to believe evil is transpiring and we choose to look away and not investigate the veracity of an accepted social narrative that is supporting evil.

In times of moral decline, courageous individuals will cast aside the spirit of fear that attempts to silence their voice of dissent. Those who remained anchored to the truth and were willing to speak the truth in love no matter what the cost will become the heroes of faith future generations will read about and desire to emulate.

For those who are willing to demonstrate that kind of courage, a psalm of David reveals their only sure place of security as they move forward into uncharted waters defying the emergence of evil, “Keep me safe, O mighty God. I run for dear life to you, my Safe Place” (Psalm 16:1).

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