Up until two weeks ago, few of us knew the name Amy Coney Barrett. Now she’s the news du jour when the media gets tired of talking about COVID-19. If she is confirmed to be a Supreme Court justice, it will be an historic moment. It will be the first time in 70 years that the court has been so conservative. During any confirmation hearing, both the Senate and the news-hungry media search for any and every skeleton in a judge’s closet, but with Barrett’s confirmation hearing so significant, you know they’re going to dig especially hard—and they already have.
So far, the biggest bone of contention is her faith. Yep, she’s one of those Christians. She’s not just a Catholic; apparently she is a charismatic Catholic. Critics are concerned she is going to let her faith unduly influence her decisions. (This is nothing new—and not for her. Republicans had the same concern when John F. Kennedy ran for president in 1960; and Amy Coney Barret was questioned on her faith when she was appointed to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017.)
It’s an election year and the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg has added another layer of complication and fighting between Republicans and Democrats. However, I’d like to address the question of Barret’s faith without delving into the political foray.
Should the faith of Amy Coney Barrett influence her Supreme Court decisions?
I hope so. I’m not saying that from a political bias; I’m saying that on biblical grounds.
Christians—followers of Jesus Christ—are called to live lives of love and obedience to God’s Word. We are called to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matt. 5:13-16). Whether you’re thinking of flavor or its preserving qualities, salt changes food. And we are to be salt, influencing and changing the world around us. So, yes, if Judge Barrett’s faith is real and not just a label she wears, then her faith should speak into her decisions.
The practice of faith is not reserved for Sundays at a church building. It’s to be lived every moment of the day. Our love for Christ and His truth is to be the air we breathe. Any attempt to silo our faith from what we do on Saturday nights, in business deals, in dating relationships, and in our ethics makes it a dead faith. It may be a label you wear, but you’re not being salt. To call yourself a believer but not live as salt—influencing the world and people around you for Christ—is nothing but a dead faith. There’s nothing “salty” about such a person. To that, Jesus said, “But if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty? It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet” (Matt. 5:13).
Trampled under people’s feet. Wow. They may criticize or ridicule the Christian who stands for biblical truth and standards, but they deem as worthless those who fail to live out the faith they profess to have.
You probably noticed I stopped talking abut Amy Coney Barrett several paragraphs ago, and I turned the light on you. But please know that I’ve turned that light on myself too. It’s time our faith became more than a bumper sticker. With people steaming over politics, fighting over COVID-19, and screaming for justice in the streets, it’s critical that we stand and be an influence in the name of Christ. Live the life of Christ before others. Live a life of unwavering love and truth, and be the influence—the salt—God calls you to be.
Amy Coney Barrett, if you are confirmed, I ask that you let biblical principles guide your words and decisions. And to the rest of us, I say: let’s be people of faith. Let biblical faith influence our decisions. Faith matters—in everything.
For an interesting way to see our role as salt, read The Best Way to Influence People.
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