The Essence of Integrity – Lesson from the Centurion

The essence of integrity is “being who you represent yourself to be.” In the conclusion of the presentation on Character-based Law Enforcement from the 2005 International Association of Character Cities Conference, I use the lesson of the Centurion from Capernaum (Matthew chapter 8) to illustrate the power of being a man (or woman) of integrity who is not only in authority, but is under authority. Many of you have heard it before, but the lesson is so central to understanding the message of Police Dynamics that it bears repeating again.

Police officers are the centurions of today. Those who enforce the law must also obey the law. Those who are in authority must also be under authority.

Tracing the Path of Destruction

Here is a video clip from a presentation entitled Character-based Law Enforcement that I presented at the 2005 International Association of Character Cities Conference. In it, I trace part of the Path of Destruction that Renegade Police Officers often find themselves on. Starting with the power of the tongue and the impact of our words, we explore other predictable patterns of behavior such as immorality, divorce, domestic violence, and death by suicide as it relates to the profession of law enforcement..

We, the People – a Delegation of Authority

The Constitution of the United States is a delegation of authority from “We, the People.” Those of you who have attended Police Dynamics training might remember the Authority Maxim – “all human authority is delegated authority.”

Viewing our founding documents in this context helps us discern what our Founders were up to. The Constitution established the structure of American government built upon its moral foundation, which can be found in the Declaration of Independence.

If you try to interpret the Constitution separate from the its moral foundation – the Declaration – you can turn and twist those words to say just about anything…


What Were the Founders Thinking?

Researchers at the University of Houston attempted to determine what sources influenced the thinking of our Founders. The premise of the study was to isolate any time the Founders quoted an outside source and attempt to identify it. By doing so, they thought they could determine the major influences on the thoughts and ideas that led to the founding of our Constitutional Republic. Here’s what they found…

Separation of Church and State?

What did the Founders mean by separation of church and state?

In which founding document do we find that phrase: the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, or the Federalist Papers?

Did the Founding Fathers – like George Washington, John Adams, Sam Adams, and Noah Webster – really believe that there should be such a separation?

If you are relying on modern history books for these answers, the truth might surprise you. Take a quick journey with me through some of America’s amazing history, listen to what our Founders actually said about this, and then draw your own conclusions…

An accurate view of American history is pivotal to a proper understanding of governmental authority. Stop relying on what other people say the Founders said (including me) and read what the Founders actually said for yourself. It’s not hard to find this information. They wrote most of it down…!

In the next installment is this series, we will look at the source for the Founders ideas – what influenced them most…

Theists, Deists, Atheists,… or Evangelical Christians?

Were the Founding Fathers, by and large, Deists or Atheists like we have been taught? Or were they something else? Explore with me the historical record as we seek to answer this question. You might be surprised to find that the majority of our Founders were evangelical Christians. Even those non-religious Founders like Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin had a decidedly biblical worldview

In the next segment in this series, we will see what our Founders meant by “separation of church and state.” So stay tuned…

The Two Foundational Principles of American Government

When our Founding Fathers envisioned a new republic for the United States (not a democracy, incidentally), they built it upon two foundational principles:

  1. that government must have a moral foundation
  2. that government must be constitutionally limited

In this short segment, I use the 1892 Supreme Court ruling in The Church of the Holy Trinity v. US to illustrate that our country has a rich religious heritage and that the sense of Christian morality formed the underpinnings of our government at that time.

The Holy Trinity ruling sets the stage for the next segment in this series where I answer the question:

Were our Founders theists, diests, atheistics, … or Christians with a decidedly Biblical worldview?

So stay tuned…

The Ministry of Law Enforcement

In the second installment of the Biblical Foundation of American Government that I presented at Chuck Baldwin‘s church, I use Romans Chapter 13 as the basis for explaining the Ministry of Law Enforcement. In fact, whenever I gave the oath of office to a new deputy sheriff, we used a bible opened to Romans 13. In that text, it gives us the two-fold mission of the police: to punish the evildoer and commend those who do good.

Romans 13:1-4

Submit to Government
1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.

Twice in that chapter, the Apostle Paul refers to government authorities as ministers of God. So, just like a preacher is called into the ministry of the Word, a police officer can be called into the ministry of law enforcement, the ministry of the Sword…

And for those of you who would like to see my feeble attempt at humor, watch The Pastor and the Cop…

The Oath of Office

This next series of posts will be a bit different for the Police Dynamics site. I was invited by Pastor Chuck Baldwin to speak at Crossroad Baptist Church during their God and Country Service just prior to the 2006 elections. My topic was the Biblical Foundations of American Government. The whole message went about 56 minutes, but I am going to break it down into shorter clips to be posted on the blog.

During the first portion of the presentation, I spoke about the importance and true meaning of the oath of office taken by an elected official. George Washington said: “…where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths…?” I believe he was right…

Click here to view the entire message on the Foundations of American Government.

Here is Pastor Baldwin’s rather lengthy introduction of me as the speaker for anyone who is interested…

Integritas – The Power of Integrity

The Latin root for the word integrity is integritas – which means wholeness and completeness. Here, I use the opportunity of visiting the ancient Roman city of Jerash in Amman, Jordan to tell another story about the centurion.  In the Roman military tradition, the soldiers would line up for inspection and as the centurion approached each man, the soldier would bang his breastplate with his fist and shout, “Integritas!” which meant, “I am whole. I am complete. And I am prepared for battle…!”

I was first exposed to this history in a speech by General Charles Krulak, then commandant of the US Marine Corps.