The title phrase has been in the headlines recently as the high court listened to arguments relative to the ‘Affordable Health Care Act’. The title words are also the epitome of oxymora. It is accepted that 4 of the 9 Supreme Court justices lean to the left while 4 lean to the right leaving 1 to represent the ‘middle of the road’ or the ‘swing’ vote.
The Supreme Court is the final word whether an issue is in line with or at odds with the constitution of the United States. One of the Supreme Court justices, i.e. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has recently voiced her opinion that the constitution is not presently adequate for modern progressivism. In addition, there are issues brought before the highest court that are totally anti-scriptural. That brings to the foreground the question, does the Bible trump the constitution of the United States and the opinions of Supreme Court justices, or is the Bible irrelevant and outdated for today. Once again, each individual is free to have and express their opinion.
For those who believe the Bible is relevant, there are numerous Scripture references to reinforce their position. The Bible presents the argument that the ultimate benchmark for justice is the righteousness of God and the role of ultimate judge has been given to Christ.
“…because He (God) has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” Acts 17:31
The Apostle John revealed that the future judgment of Christ will not be compromised, argued, or negotiated.
“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges…” Revelation 19:11
Note that in both of the preceding passages Christ will judge the world and all its citizens in righteousness. Righteousness in the Greek means that which is just and right according to God and it covers much more than that contained in our constitution. For example, while coveting and adultery are forbidden according to God’s righteous laws, such activities are not forbidden by the constitution.
Further consider that even though an issue such as abortion is absolute according to God, Supreme Court justices will consider such an issue based on their individual ideological framework.
Another major tenet in the Bible is the impartiality of God in judgment. There is no such thing as leaning to the left or to the right. Consider in our legal system, an issue may be litigated on several levels. The decision may vary at each level until it reaches the Supreme Court. According to the Bible an issue is either right or wrong; it is either just or unjust. It either meets God’s standard or it doesn’t. There are no external circumstances that affect the issue, i.e. there is no partiality with God.
The precept of partiality is found numerous times in the Scriptures both in the Old and New Testaments.
“You shall appoint judges…and they shall judge the people with just judgment. You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show partiality…You shall follow what is altogether just…” Deuteronomy 16:18-20
King Solomon confirmed the above instructions in his Proverbs.
“It is not good to show partiality to the wicked, or to overthrow the righteous in judgment.” Proverbs 18:5
Then Jesus reinforced the same teaching.
“Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” John 7:24
The argument is summarized succinctly by Paul.
“…For there is no partiality with God.” Romans 2:11
Through the ages up to and including the present, the issue of partiality in judging has been recognized.
“How long will you judge unjustly, and show partiality to the wicked? Arise, O God, judge the earth; for You shall inherit all nations.” Psalms 82:2, 8
In summary, the Bible states that partiality in our court system will continue until the righteous Judge arrives and all wrongs will be made right.
And the benchmark for judgment will be the righteousness of God which no man on his own can attain.
Houston, we have a problem.