My goal as reform booster and investigative journalist is to make public officials more Christian, and to encourage churchgoing Americans to pray and work specifically for godly government.
My efforts to restore the rights of the people in two major areas of official abuse are intended to make the people of Hamilton County and Chattanooga happier and more prosperous and Sheriff Jim Hammond and chief deputy Austin Garrett better Christian men.
I hold before them the words of the Lord Jesus in his lengthy discourse with the apostles about his relationship with the Father and his detailed discussion about what it means to love Jesus.
In John 15: 9, 10, the Lord denies the idea among people today that the Old Testament is of no effect and little interest, and that God’s law has been suspended because of God’s grace, as evidenced in the resurrection.
As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
In other words, Christ says his commandments are to be obeyed, just as he obeyed the Father’s commandments. Thus the Father’s commandments, delivered to Moses, are to be understood as binding, still.
Many of God’s clear statutes are deemed irrelevant today, of no effect or power, of little normative value. I’m not talking about laws that pertain to modes of worship and special rites particular to the children of Israel exclusively and not applicable today except he had principle of general equity. People think that somehow the laws of God are different from the commandments of Jesus.
Leviticus 19, for example, is an Old Testament chapter of miscellaneous laws, some of which are inapplicable today as they expired with the Israelites.Yet at least 10 of the laws clearly control what happens today here in my hometown (and in yours, I daresay). Jesus insists these laws are relevant today, and are desiderata at the very less.
I leave a discussion of particulars for another post.
The point to remember is that we want to encourage our elected and appointed officials to dread offending the constitution, and to dread even more offending the God whom many of them profess.
It is well known that Mr. Hammond is a practicing believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and has given his heart and soul to him and to service to the Kingdom. But there are elements in his administration of Tennessee law that put him at odds with the law of God — and the laws of the state.
The appraisal of Sheriff Hammond is in two forms.
Tennessee law as written in the Tennessee code pursuant to the state constitution, and as explained in the details by the courts. The other standard is in terms of God’s law and the limits on human action therein, and also God’s requirements for those in public office.
Officials should be personally involved in their departments’ activities because they are afraid of committing an injustice or injuring the weak. God’s law is notice to them how to avoid doing so. In his law, God makes claims upon the sheriff, the police and the courts to impose justice only and to halt all injustice by others, and to commit none themselves.
The biblical requirements for justice are summarized in the 10 commandments, as explained in detail in Leviticus and Exodus and other books.
The requirement that the sheriff halt the abuse of the state trucking law upon people not in involved in truckingis my chief case in point. This manmade law, written pursuant to the Tennessee constitution, applies to haulers, carriers for hire either common or private. That law cannot be made to apply to private people on the road. And yet that is what the sheriff does despite my notice March 1, 201
The second case in point is another law, TCA 40-7-103, grounds for arrest by office or without a warrant. Law enforcement people routinely ignore this law, and magistrates and judges reject it. This law has been deconstructed and the sheriff and the police Chattanooga use the law as a bill of attainder and a general warrant. All indications in the cases is that the court of appeals to not agree with what happens in the state’s cities and counties. The system has it backwards, for its own convenience.
Sheriff Hammond, to be a better Christian, must turn to my analysis of this law and respect the limits it places upon him. These limits grant protection of the people and require a considerable inconvenience for the constabulary before any of the people could be arrested on a criminal charge.
The fact that arrest is so easy and can be done by the officer making a judicial determination, often apart from probable pause, brings many ordinary Americans into the grip of court and jail. These are injuries, plain and simple.
The Word of God that Sheriff Hammond and chief deputy Garrett in their private devotional and a church prohibits abuse of the weak.
It is my desire that Christian people pray about this matter and pray that those hold the power will make its use less and less. It is my hope that by pointing these matters out we will have officials obey human law, see also to obey God’s claims upon them.