Art thou a king?

Thou sayest that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, that I should give testimony to the truth. Every one that is of truth, heareth My voice.

Whatever one thinks about Jesus Christ, it is impossible to ignore the tremendous reaction that His life caused throughout all nations and people of the world.

His apostles, a mediocre bunch of Jewish fisherman that would never have darkened the pages of any history book, were able to conquer the world with His message. And it was not with armies, or weapons, or great deeds on a battlefield.

It was with something much more powerful. The truth. No borders or defences could ever stop it from entering and conquering the hearts of those who opened their ears to listen.

Jesus Christ proclaimed a wonderful creed that explained the details of man’s fall from his ‘natural’ state. All of us know inherently that we are capable of much greater things than we do each day. It is a truth that men are not only able to be more noble, more gracious, more selfless, more perfect in every way, but that we also aspire to achieve this. Our life is a struggle to attain the state of perfection that is really our natural state.

Jesus Christ proclaimed a wonderful creed that reunited fallen man with God. All of us know within ourselves that our struggle for perfection and our ‘natural’ state is futile if left to our own devices. The spirit indeed is willing, but our flesh is weak. Without God’s help, the best we can hope for is to briefly conquer some part of this world and then vainly defend it from death.

Jesus Christ proclaimed a wonderful creed that gave purpose to life and suffering. He showed how the greatest goodness arises from the darkest evils. It makes sense when you ponder this mystery. Love is really sacrifice. And the greatest love is shown when the sacrifice is strongest.

And Jesus Christ’s teachings did not just stand alone. They were accompanied by many miracles. The hungry were fed, the sick were healed, the lame could walk and the blind were able to see again. But these were not the greatest manifestations of His power. Because the greatest miracles that Christ wrought were over death.

It is no accident that Christ showed His power over death in four separate miracles. He showed His power to raise the newly deceased, restoring life to the daughter of Jairus. And the only son of the widow of Naim was being carried to his grave when Christ returned him to life. Then there was Lazarus, dead so long that his sister is recorded as stating that he ‘stinketh’. Christ commanded him to walk out of his dark tomb and he did, covered in his burial shroud.

Finally, Jesus Christ foretold His own death and resurrected Himself on Easter Sunday. This greatest miracle of all proved His divinity and kingship over men. For men can never hope to conquer death. Only God has that power. And God is the king of kings, by definition, from which all other power and authority is derived. Christ’s death was the sacrifice of love that restored man’s relationship with God, and His resurrection was the seal of His divinity and kingship.

And why did Christ die? Because of His claim to be a divine king. On the day of His death it was the accusation that the Jews put to Pilate. It was this divine claim that Pilate, the representative of the world, interrogated. And this claim was rejected emphatically, by Jew and Gentile alike. But in doing so, it only allowed Christ to show forth His divinity and kingship in greater glory.

Some might think that this is all a bunch of bogus hogwash. They reject the bible. They reject the Christian tradition. But they cannot reject reality without embracing error, the enemy of truth. It was the power of the resurrection that impelled the apostles and disciples to preach truth to the world, regardless of their own well-being. It is the greatest and most absurd hoax of all time if you believe that these men gave their own lives to defend the One who failed to deliver on Easter Sunday.

And if it is the greatest hoax of all time, then we are left with nothing. The other religions of the world offer an unsatisfying mix of error welded onto partial truths that are found only perfectly in Catholicism. And if there is no God, then not only is there no explanation for evil, which is nothing more than an absence or defect in a good, but there is no good at all.

Yet the world, with all its problems, gives testimony to goodness every day. It is as plain as the sun shining from the sky because it is the sun shining from the sky.

It is impossible to deny this natural reality that offers a glimpse of a greater power. Just as a car, or watch, or child does not appear spontaneously, neither did the entire universe. Science might lift the veil from how the laws of nature operate, but it cannot explain how these laws came about, nor the universal power that enforces them.

Only God could have caused the universe, and only God has power over death. Christ proved that He is this God. And, in doing so, that He is also the King.

Men have the freedom to accept this divine kingship. They are not slaves to it. That is why they are able to reject the blinding and thrilling light that accompanies His resurrection from the dead. But that freedom is not without responsibility. The mystery of our life finds purpose only when we accept the responsibility to kneel before this risen King and give ourselves to His service.

But men are not just single persons. We are also individuals, each a small part of a greater society. It is simply schizophrenic to think that each of us has a personal responsibility to accept this King, but that collectively we are able to reject Him. And it is also impossible to freely serve this King when we live in a society that does not.

That is why each nation has a responsibility to accept the divine kingship of Christ too. That is why politics cannot be divorced from His truth. Politicians have ears; Christ has commanded that they hear His voice. When they fail to do so, they reject truth on behalf of the nations they serve. That is a serious consequence that all politicians should ponder.

*****

The Catholic Church has traditionally celebrated the Feast of Christ the King on the last Sunday of October. It is with great joy that I dedicate this post in honour of that day.

Comments are welcome – even those that debate the facts of Christ’s life, or that discuss the role of religion in politics and society – for they provide an opportunity to discover the truth. However, comments that do not lead to a deeper discussion about the truth of Christ’s kingship will not be published. That means no off-topic posts or anti-religious rants.

Those who wish to read further should examine the great encyclical of Pope Pius XI, Quas Primas. It was published on 11 December, 1925.

Author: Bernard Gaynor

Bernard Gaynor is a married father of eight children. He has a background in military intelligence, Arabic language and culture and is an outspoken advocate of conservative and family values.

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5 Comments

  1. “Christ has commanded that they hear His voice. When they fail to do so, they reject truth on behalf of the nations they serve. That is a serious consequence that all politicians should ponder.”

    Ponder why as with the Quran the Bible enables ‘serious consequences’ for those who do not quite measure up? Jesus did not confine himself according to Gods poets to notions of peace and security to all Humankind in fact Jesus said he had not brought these desirable things but the ‘sword’. Jesus also laid out a clear genocidal construct for those towns, cities, communities who rejected his ‘word’. By Jesus premeditated actions of violence in the temple he laid out justified violence against Other – the crusaders subsequently used to justify their brutal retaking of Jerusalem.

    You had better be careful not to awaken the terrible side of Christianity which secular philosophy has managed so far via the rational to subjugate and refocus Christians mindset on the Jesus ethical blockers to violence against Other Gods, poets also ascribed to Jesus(How is it possible to be a person of love to Other and determine their violent destruction at the same time?). How many hundreds of thousands of broken bodies and lives to break the chains of Christian barbarity against Other? You cannot claim they do not exist – how can such a document of peace and love enable such terror – would an all-powerful God be so inept in choosing Gods poets as to enable such latitude for ‘misinterpretation’ – applies to both the Quran and the Bible.

    In blinding yourself to the darkside of the Jesus construction you are in essence unleashing evil.

    Do not become what you claim to be against. Blinded to the reality of your own dogma, claiming peace to all defined by a bloody sword – and you can see no difference between the two.

    Ponder how the following came to be and how it is any different from what the ethical constructs of Other informed by the Quran and the outcomes when given space to flourish unrestricted in the Public Square. Both Christianity and Islam create exactly the same terror? Ponder.

    No God as defined by Man would make such an error but Man for his own gain, justification, authorisation clearly has proven he will do so in creating secular or religious political ethical constructs.

    “Thousands and ten thousands of virtuous well-disposed men and women, who had as little sympathy with the anabaptistical as with Roman depravity, were butchered in cold blood, under the sanguinary rule of Charles, in the Netherlands. In 1533, Queen Dowager Mary of Hungry, sister of the Emperor, Regent of the provinces, the “Christian widow” admired by Erasmus, wrote to her brother that “in her opinion all heretics, whether repentant or not, should be persecuted with such severity as that error might be at once extinguished, care being only taken that the provinces were not entirely depopulated.” With this humane limitation the “Christian widow” cheerfully set herself to superintend as foul and wholesale a system of murder as was ever organized. In 1535 an imperial edict was issued at Brussels, condemning all heretics to death; repentant males to be executed with the sword, repentant females to be buried alive, the obstinate of both sexes to be burned. This and similar edicts were law of the land for 20 years, and rigidly enforced. Imperial and papal persecution continued its daily deadly work with such diligence, as to make it doubtful whether the limits set by the Regent Mary might not be overstepped. … Contemporaneously a new edict was published at Brussels (29th April, 1549), confirming and re-enacting all previous decrees in their most severe provisions” THE RISE OF THE DUTCH REPUBLIC, A HISTORY, By John Lothrop Motley

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  2. Great post! A specific application for Christian politicians that flows from this is found in Casti Connubii:

    “67. Those who hold the reins of government should not forget that it is the duty of public authority by appropriate laws and sanctions to defend the lives of the innocent, and this all the more so since those whose lives are endangered and assailed cannot defend themselves. Among whom we must mention in the first place infants hidden in the mother’s womb. And if the public magistrates not only do not defend them, but by their laws and ordinances betray them to death at the hands of doctors or of others, let them remember that God is the Judge and Avenger of innocent blood which cries from earth to Heaven.”

    Imagine if Christian politicians recognised that God is their Judge, and not men!

    P.S. Have you ever come across Jean Hani’s work “Sacred Royalty”? It’s about the divine origins of the temporal authority, and the relationship between the temporal authority and the spiritual authority. I really liked it but I’m unsure how theologically sound it is, because the author is a perennialist.

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    • Thanks Christopher and for your comment. I have not heard of Jean Hani, but authority, like everything else in this creation, has a source. It is God Himself, who has allowed us to share partially in His divine powers. That means that any authority that does not ultimately refer back to God is being abused. Those granted authority will be required to account for how they used it.

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