Being its Passion week- I do at least want to recommend everyone try and read Isaiah 50.
This chapter speaks about the willingness of Christ to bear the reproach of the Cross ‘he gave his back to be whipped- his beard to be pulled out’.
In Christian theology we call this the Kenosis [Philippians] it’s the willing act of Jesus to empty himself of all the Divine privileges- his glory- while at the same time retaining his deity.
Many of the early church councils struggled with this division- that is how to understand that Jesus always was God- and yet he ‘gave up’ the unique privileges of that deity when he hung on the Cross.
The bible says he ‘emptied himself and became obedient unto death- even the death of the Cross- therefore God has highly exalted him and given him a name above every name- that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord- to the glory of God the father’.
Yes- this is what distinguishes the Christian faith from all the other religions of the world.
That’s not to say that the other world religions have no value- they do.
Many teach good virtues- loving your fellow man.
Others hold to the traditional belief in God and hold to the same apologetic arguments that the Christian church uses.
But the distinguishing factor is we believe that Jesus died for our sins- the founder of ‘our religion’ didn’t just give us good precepts- or examples.
No- we believe he actually died for us- and redeemed us back to God the father by his death and resurrection.
The epistle to the Romans says ‘we therefore have peace with God thru our Lord Jesus Christ’.
Amen- and amen.
Okay- now a few notes.
2 or 3 posts back I mentioned how we should get ready to see a new narrative- how the media will begin telling us a particular kind of story about the Supreme Court and the political wrangling going on over health care.
Sure enough- to my surprise- the next day the President cane out and took on the court in an unprecedented way.
Many legal experts- on both sides of the aisle- were shocked.
The president used language like ‘a bunch of unelected judges overturning the will of the people’.
He said how there were many judges and legal experts who believe that the law [health care] is constitutional and should not be overturned.
He used language that was kind of deceptive- making it sound like the possible overturning of the law would almost be an illegal act.
I mentioned this in the other post- that if you carefully followed this law getting challenged in the courts- it split about 50-50.
And as I listened to the various arguments- to me it is not a stretch to think the law will be overturned.
But the president made it sound like the overturning of it would be political judicial activism.
I don’t think he actually knows what that means- when the term political activism is used it’s referring to judges who ‘legislate from the bench’.
That is they make new law- law that has not been in existence until their ruling.
A good example would be the Roe v Wade case [abortion].
The court found a ‘new’ constitutional ‘right to privacy’ in their ruling.
Now- however you believe about the ruling- the point is that’s what ‘judicial activism’ refers to- not the possibility of the court finding a new law unconstitutional.
The president also said if the court overturned his law- that it would be unprecedented.
The court has declared around 150 laws to be unconstitutional since the late 1700’s.
This would not be unprecedented in any way.
The day after he made these charges- he got so much criticism for overstepping his boundaries- there are 3 branches of govt.- Judiciary, Executive and Congress- and for any president to try and influence a decision like this is usually considered way out of bounds.
It is true that FDR had battles with the court- as well as other presidents- but for a president to use the language Obama did- well it was way over the line.
So yesterday he back peddled some.
I mean it was so bad that one of the other challenges to the law- taking place right now in the 5th circuit court of appeals- the judge interrupted the lawyer for the govt. and asked her if the president believes the courts have the right to rule against the law.
He told the lawyer for the justice dept to bring back a 3 page- single spaced- explanation form Eric Holder to explain their position.
This judge basically let the administration know that the courts are not going to put up with such a public attack on their independence.
So anyway that’s where it stands as of now- hopefully some things will settle down and we will see what happens when the ruling comes out in a couple of months.
Okay- try and read the chapter I mentioned today- maybe read Philippians chapter 2 as well- that’s the chapter I quoted from- and mediate on the death and resurrection of Jesus- he died for the whole world.
When Jesus was born the angels said ‘peace on earth and good will towards men’.
Christ came into the world to bring peace- to offer to all mankind a new and living way.
As Christians- it’s not our job to condemn all the other religions of the world- but to show them the difference between the Christian faith and the other well meaning faiths- and to let them know that Jesus died for all- all are welcome.
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John