Obeying the Book–Whether the Constitution or the Bible!

Obeying the Book

Obeying the Book–Whether the Constitution or the Bible!

Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and “the plain text of the statute”

Richard Hollerman

I noticed an interesting piece in World Magazine (May 13, 2017) entitled, “Going by the Book.” Let me tell you about it and how we can apply it.

The article by Jamie Dean begins:

When new Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch heard oral arguments on the high court for the first term in mid-April, he quickly asked a Justice Department attorney, “Wouldn’t it be a lot easier if we just followed the pain text of the statute?” It was a good question from a justice known as an originalist—a judge aiming to follow the plain text of the law and of the Constitution, as its framers originally wrote it.

Gorsuch was interested in what the originators of the Constitution really meant and wrote over 200 years ago. He was not interested in changing the text. He was not interested in “reinterpreting” the text. He was interested alone in what the text said and what it meant. Only then could it be applied properly. When we learn that, it leads us to know how we should follow it today.

Shouldn’t Gorsuch be willing to do the same with the Bible? He claims to be a Christian, thus he should be interested very much in what it says and means. He should be concerned about what Paul, Peter, James, and John meant when they wrote Scripture for their readers and for us today!

Instead, we find a very interesting connection. Neil attends “St John’s Episcopal Church” in Boulder, Colorado! This is not the part of the Episcopal denomination that left to form the Anglican Church; rather, it is part of the very liberal denomination that the Episcopal Church has become! His congregation is known for political activism and liberalism. The rector is a woman! Susan Springer believes in and defends homosexual relationships (“gay marriage”)! Is this a matter of consulting the Bible to determine what the original writers believed and taught? No one in the eighteenth century would agree to having a practicing sodomite in public and no one in that early century would agree to having a woman religious leader!

We know that no practicing homosexual can enter heaven! Rather, homosexuals will be forbidden to enter the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10) since it clearly offends our holy God and is an outrageous sin (Romans 1:24-28). We know that a woman is not permitted to become a shepherd (pastor), overseer (bishop), or elder (presbyter) (1 Timothy 3:1-3). Further, a woman is not permitted to exercise authority over a man but must remain quiet or silent in the assembly (1 Timothy 2:11-12; 1 Corinthians 14:33-37). In fact, the whole liberal agenda falls short of Scriptural authority on many counts!

As Jamie Dean says, “Wouldn’t it be a lot easier if we just followed the plain text of the Bible?” According to this writer, the Episcopal Church not only consecrated is first sodomite bishop in 2003, but it earlier rejected many plain and prominent teachings of the Bible—such as the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, the resurrection of Christ, and the exclusivity of the gospel of Christ! While some local congregations have left the denomination, most have chosen to remain in this outspokenly liberal and unscriptural organization.

Dean points out that Gorsuch was formerly a Catholic. He was an active Catholic, went to Catholic schools, and studied under a renowned Catholic legal professor. When he listed his religion on an Episcopal form in Virginia, Gorsuch claimed to be a Catholic.  His friend, Michael Trent, said that the Justice “would consider himself ‘a Catholic who happens to worship at an Episcopal Church.’”

Obeying the Book

It would seem that conservative people are elated that President Trump was able to nominate Gorsuch as a Supreme Court Justice since he seeks to be known as an originalist—one who “follows the plain text of the law and of the Constitution, as its framers originally wrote it.” But do these politically conservative people who profess to be Christian, really understand what they are dealing with? Do they really look on Gorsuch as a fellow Christian?

Would a true Christian support a liberal denomination known for their wildly liberal and unscriptural beliefs and practices? Would a Christian profess to be an Episcopalian or a Catholic? Would a Christian support and defend a woman as a pastor or priest? Would a Christian give his loyalty to a group that supports sodomy or homosexuality? Would a Christian do that which clearly keeps one from being saved and going to heaven?

We hope that these kinds of questions will not only cause us to be aware of what a constitutional originalist is, but will also urge us to be faithful to the inspired and authoritative word of God, the Scriptures. What about you?

 

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