by John Stonestreet -
John Chrysostom, the archbishop of Constantinople in the fourth century, was an eloquent and fierce critic of the opulent life of the court. Unable to be muzzled, this dynamic advocate for social justice was finally brought before Emperor Arcadius, who demanded that he stop his bold preaching.
The exchange between these representatives of worldly and heavenly power is classic, recalling the dialogue between Pontius Pilate and Christ, who told the Roman procurator, “You would have no authority over me if it were not given to you from above.”
In the showdown between Chrysostom and the emperor, worldly power was put in its place once again. It’s an outstanding demonstration of the power of faith, one of the seven virtues which we’ve been celebrating here on BreakPoint. We’ve already looked at the four cardinal virtues—prudence, temperance, courage, and justice—critical for the people of God to possess at this key moment of history. [Read more...]