Archive for May 29, 2009

Of Judges And Justice

supremecourt“Blessed are they who observe justice,
who do righteousness at all times!”

– Psalm 106:3

It is nice to be blessed. It is nicer still to know how to consistently obtain blessings. This passage from the Psalms makes it clear how this can be accomplished.

So if it is true that we obtain blessing by observing justice, what are our chances of obtaining blessing as a nation? Are the people we are given to uphold justice likely to do so? No president nominates a person to serve on our highest court whom he thinks will pervert justice. So the discussion then becomes a matter of definitions. What is justice and who has the right to determine what is just?

According to President Obama and his recent nominee for the highest court, Judge Sotomayor, justice equals empathy. This is a very dangerous basis for deciding impartially. Writing in a recent article, Charles Krauthammer, summarizes the flaw of Judge Sotomayor’s philosophy:

Empathy is a vital virtue to be exercised in private life — through charity, respect and loving kindness — and in the legislative life of a society where the consequences of any law matter greatly, which is why income taxes are progressive and safety nets built for the poor and disadvantaged.

But all that stops at the courthouse door. Figuratively and literally, justice wears a blindfold. It cannot be a respecter of persons. Everyone must stand equally before the law, black or white, rich or poor, advantaged or not.

Obama and Sotomayor draw on the “richness of her experiences” and concern for judicial results to favor one American story, one disadvantaged background, over another. The refutation lies in the very oath Sotomayor must take when she ascends to the Supreme Court: “I do solemnly swear that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich. … So help me God.”

So what is in store for our land? Are we in store for blessing based on the President’s choice of Ms. Sotomayor. I’m not so confident at this point. What brings me comfort, however, is remembering this prophecy concerning Jesus, the ultimate judge:

He will not quarrel or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets; a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory; and in his name the Gentiles will hope.”

– Matthew 12:19-21

What Do You Have Faith In?

faith

It is amazing how history repeats itself. The acts we see in our government and culture are re-runs of struggles faced by ancient cultures. Most people dont think along such lines. They will look at our governments decision to engorge itself and think that this is a novel and even necessary move. They lack faith in the God of the universe so they place their faith in the “little g” god of government. Brothers, this has all been done before and the result was not what was intended.

I have been thinking about this for some time. I am a student of history. It is in my nature not to ask only what, but why. My studies have led me to a book entitled, The Politically Incorrect Guide To Western Civilization. The author, Dr. Anthony Esolen, summarizes this worship of government redux thusly:

Pharoah’s Egypt also shows us a lesson for our times that the Soviet Union understood, but many well-meaning secular liberals in Europe and the U.S. today ignore: there is no such thing as a vacuum of faith. Let Christians and other believers in human freedom take note. If a man is by nature a creature who gives praise, and if he does not know the true God, he will give his heart and perhaps his sweat and blood, to something big within his vision. The two biggest candidates for false gods are nature and the state. He will drown his imagination in the swamp of natural processes, birth and growth and sex and death, or he will enslave himself to power, most clearly manifest in an emporer-god, a deified city, or an all-competent State. Often, as in Mesopotamia and Egypt, and in today’s American Left, he’ll do both at once.

In essence, what we are dealing with is a crisis of faith. The only answer is to wean people off of the “little g” god of government by replacing it with the Almighty God of the universe through the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no middle ground. If you are an authentic Christian, then you should worship God and not depend on the government. If you are not an authentic Christian, then you are a candidate for this insidious, cheap, plastic “little g” god called government. What do you have your faith in?

Setting The Financial Example

cash“Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.”

– Romans 13:8 (ESV)

It would appear that debt is in vogue. Our culture is saturated with messages that encourage families and individuals to owe lots of money. To make matters worse, our federal government has bought into the debt as fashion mentality by mortgaging our future to fund its spending binges. There seems to be no negative social consequences for living way above your means. If the President says its okay for the country it must be okay for my family, right?

Wrong! Consider the following consumer debt statistics:*

  • According to a recent USA Today article about debt, 78% of Baby Boomers have mortgage debt, 59% have credit card debt, and 56% have car payments.
  • If you use credit cards instead of cash you will spend 12-18% more.
  • The average family today carries $8,000 in credit card debt according to the American Bankers’ Association.
  • 78% of the time, after someone consolidates his credit card debt, the debt grows back.

The facts don’t lie. Our nation is swimming in a wave of debt that will inevitably come ashore as a tsunami. So what can be done? Is it possible to defy convention and live within your means? A certain radio host named Dave Ramsey says yes. Watch what he suggests is our best solution:

So are you following the popular trend and pulling out the plastic? As authentic Christians it behooves us to model restraint and good stewardship in how we handle our finances. I hope that you are heeding the words of the Apostle Paul from Romans and setting a good financial example.


* statistics courtesy of Dave Ramsey’s website.

Is the Abortion Tide Turning?

prolife Recent polling data would suggest that the tide is turning in favor of life. Before you start the celebration, however, it would be wise to keep in mind that one positive poll result is not indicative that the mission has been accomplished. Polls tend to fluctuate and more time and data is needed to confirm a genuine trend is in progress. Proviso stated, there are some factors in addition to this poll that we can look to with a measure of hope.

1. Pro-choice Republicans who once held sway within the party (Whitman, Weld, Wilson) are out of favor or mysteriously silent.

2. In-fighting over the Republican party pro-life plank has greatly decreased.

3. Democrats have tried to court pro-life voters and have soft pedaled or obscured their positions on the issue.

4. Many Republican candidates for party positions (state chairs, etc.) are making the pro-life issue a badge of distinction.

The fight is far from over. Authentic Christians must continue the good fight politically and remain faithful socially and spiritually. We must continue to meet the needs of pregnant women facing the tough choice of life or death.