God’s Word Is To Be Used As Cover, Not Concealment

by J Warner Wallace

In the three years I worked on a SWAT team, I came to learn the important distinction between “cover” and “concealment”. On a number of occasions, our team was required to enter a location to engage or extract an armed suspect. In times like these, SWAT officers try to use their tools and environment to protect themselves from the suspect they are about to encounter. Sometimes officers will hide behind cars parked in the driveway, behind large pieces of furniture in the residence or behind walls along a hallway. These objects and architectural features provide officers with a way to hide and protect themselves from the suspect.

That’s the difference between “concealment” and “cover”; concealment gives you a place to hide, but cover will prevent a bullet from killing you. A closed, hollow-core door will conceal you but it won’t stop a bullet. A car will conceal you and will probably stop a bullet as well. The door is concealment; the car is cover. SWAT officers try to get as close to the suspect as reasonable while utilizing as much cover as possible. Eventually, however, officers are going to have to step away from cover to engage the suspect in a potentially life threatening situation. In the end, the officers are going to have to take a risk.

But even without the concealment or cover of a wall, piece of furniture (or even a ballistic shield), the officer is not completely without cover. The officer still has his or her weapon. There are times when the only cover an officer has is the gun in his or her hand. The more confidence the officer has in his or her ability with the weapon, the more he or she will trust the weapon as a source of cover. As the officer steps into the open and comes face to face with the armed suspect, the officer is not able to conceal him or herself behind the weapon, but the officer can certainly use the weapon as cover. It will protect the officer and, if used properly, will keep the suspect from harming the officer.

As Christians, we sometimes have a view of the Bible that treats it more like concealment than cover…

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God’s Word Is To Be Used As Cover, Not Concealment | Cold Case Christianity