On and off yesterday I watched some of the Senate Judiciary hearings regarding the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
In her opening statement Judge Barrett shared one principle of her judicial philosophy when she said the following:
“Courts are not designed to solve every problem or right every wrong in our public life. The policy decisions and value judgments of government must be made by the political branches elected by and accountable to the people. The public should not expect the courts to do so and the courts should not try.”
Barrett’s approach to the law is exactly the opposite of our liberal thinkers today. They belong to a school of thought known as “living constitutionalism.” The left believes the Constitution is evolving, fluid, and the language and principles must be interpreted in view of societal and cultural changes.
“Originalism,” on the other hand, attempts to understand, interpret, and apply words of the Constitution just as they were indented by our founding Fathers.
Two thoughts come to mind with a spiritual application while reflecting on these opposite approaches.
Some folks look at the Bible as a “living letter” that also must change with the times. Since it was written in an ancient time and a different culture, we must interpret it to fit modern society and progressive 21st-century ideas.
Conservative theologians and Bible students believe we should interpret the Bible in view of what the writers had in their minds. Unlike the Constitution, however, we believe the original author is God Himself. Furthermore, the Scriptures provide answers to our most fundamental needs and give direction for our families, churches, and daily Christian living.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence” (2 Pet. 1:3).
Biblical “originalists” affirm the Scripture is all-sufficient to define and direct the work, worship, and organization of the church. We believe it provides a blueprint for the arrangement of the home. And it is the moral standard on which we can form our values and live our lives.
Interestingly and ironically those who reject such a notion have often bought into modernistic morality that has redefined the family, approved of homosexuality, given sanction to same-sex marriage, and legislated the right of a mother to abort the life of her unborn child.
There’s also another point to be taken from Judge Barrett’s statement. Courts cannot solve every societal problem. Or right every individual wrong. In fact, not even the legislative branch can accomplish that monumental feat.
Life presents problems that everyone endures. Not even godly people can escape problems. Just a cursory look at the Bible affirms that fact. From Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden to the apostle John exiled on the isle of Patmos, God’s people have suffered heartache. Hurt. Separation. And sorrow.
Jesus told the apostles, “in the world, you will have tribulation” (Jn 16:33). Paul admitted that Christians will experience “sufferings of this present time” (Rom. 8:18). Peter wrote that Believers would “endure grief” and sometimes “suffer wrongfully” (1 Pet. 2:19). James writes that Christians will experience trial, tribulation, and temptation. And sometimes our problems come from the rich and powerful who control us.
Furthermore, some things just happen There’s no blame to be assigned. Either to the sufferer. Or someone else. The wise man observed, “time and chance happen to them all” (Eccl. 9:11).
While God commands and expects that we comfort the hurting, help the needy, and minister to “the least of these” among us, it’s impossible for us to right every wrong. Alleviate every social ill. Eradicate poverty. And solve every problem under the sun. We cannot even do that for ourselves, let alone others.
The only perfect place with no problems or wrongdoing is heaven. The Bible ends with the book of Revelation reminding us that God’s cause will be vindicated. The devil will be defeated. The wicked will be punished. And every wrong will be made right.
The Almighty will accomplish something that neither the US Supreme Court, nor Congress, nor the President can legislate or execute. God will wipe away every tear from the eyes of the righteous. There will be no more sorrow. No suffering. No heartache. No hurt. No death. No decay. No pain. No problems.
“Come, Lord Jesus.”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman