ABC News reports,
A Denver man who called 911 to report a threatening road-rage encounter reluctantly followed a 911 dispatcher's order to return to the scene of the crime, where he was fatally shot while waiting for police. Jimma Reat, a 26-year-old immigrant from Sudan, was traveling with his brother, cousin, and other passengers early Sunday morning, when a road-rage incident occurred at around 4 a.m., according to ABC affiliate KMGH. Reat's cousin, Ran Pal, called 911 and reported that the occupants of a red Jeep had thrown bottles at their car, breaking the windows and threatening the people in the car, according to the report.
The group was already on their way home when, according to witness accounts, the dispatcher insisted they return to the scene if they wanted an officer to respond and take a report. Reat argued the point, but in the end agreed to return when told they’d receive no assistance otherwise.
Sadly, the perpetrators were still in the vicinity. They saw the vehicle return and continued their assault, shooting Jimma Reat dead in the process.
Carl Simpson, executive director of Denver 911, told ABC affiliate KMGH that he was “deeply saddened” by the events and admitted that the dispatcher did not follow “upper level” events protocol, instead treating the incident like a “lower level” event such as a simple fender bender.
Clearly, the dispatcher in this case was not malicious in his intent. His desire was to help, but his protocol playbook led the victims right back into danger.
Have you ever turned to an expert for help only to be given the wrong counsel? It's an annoyance when the issue is of minor importance, a "lower level" concern. But to be misguided when it comes to the "upper level" concerns of life can be deadly.
Every day scared, confused, desperate people turn to religion and "spiritual advisors" for guidance, for protection, for assurance. To often, the help they're given does nothing more than send them back into harms way, back to a life of failed striving, compounding guilt and mounting shame. When our sins are treated as "lower lever" concerns, like a fender bender, we are sent right back into danger.
Sadly, the worlds protocol playbook knows nothing of God's mercy and saving grace. It’s not that these religious institutions and “spiritual advisors have conscious, malicious intent. They simply lack the knowledge of God's playbook, so they are not equipped to counsel according to the “higher level” protocol which offers forgiveness and new life in Christ.
“For it’s not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He has saved us” (Titus 3:5, cf. Ephesians 2:8-9).