In his book “Living by Faith” Oswald Bayer talks about the world of justifications. We are constantly being called upon to justify ourselves for one thing or another. This puts us into the interesting situation as one professor explained it, of having to become an “excuse making animal, or finding my identity in my achievements”. Being justified by faith frees me from the situation especially in my relationship with God. Yet the world in which we live is constantly about justifying ourselves or asking other people to do so. As Bayer says, “The world of the court is not a special world all of its own, but just a particular instance – a very striking one – of what is being done always and everywhere”.
Entering into that world can be difficult. It is my privilege to know Hon.David Bruns who is on the Kansas Court of Appeals and serves with me on the Board of International Missions. He has just written an interesting opinion about what courts can and cannot do when it comes to issues involving churches and other religious organizations. The opinion is about a property dispute case and our friends in Minnesota might be interested in the outcome seeing that there are some interesting court cases in Minnesota involving just this issue. There is one involving a church in downtown Minneapoils that has garnered alot of attention. You can find it Bruns opinion on the Kansas Judicial Branch website by clicking on Recent and Published Opinions and then clicking on the Church of God in Christ opinion.
Bayer says that “all reality is involved in the justification debate”. Here is a text book case of how the reality of our life together can be effected by property and personality. Christ has spoken to this dispute of justifications by justifying us through his blood. Hopefully someday the “church” will hear the promise and figure it out. In the meantime some of our great first article gifts are men and women like Hon. David Bruns.