Oaths

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Wiedertaufen, Feb 6, 2004.

  1. Wiedertaufen

    Wiedertaufen
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    Swearing oaths and vows are forbidden in scripture:

    1. Christ and James condemned swearing oaths. (Matthew 5:33-37, James 5:12)
    2. Our witness and testimony should be with a yea or nay.
    3. An oath is not needed by an honest man, and does not make a dishonest man truthful.
    4. The law allows us to affirm rather then swear when giving testimony or filling legal papers.
     
  2. Precepts

    Precepts
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    Wish everyone I do business with was a Christian.

    A simple agreement for them to pay me would be good enough by just a simple "sincere" handshake.
     
  3. Johnv

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    The Bible forbids us from swearing "upon" or "by" anything (the examples in the Bible are swearing by heaven, by earth, by a city, or part of the body). However, when called to be under oath, we're called to "solemnly swear", but we're not swearing upon anything. We're simply placing ourselves under an oath of our honor. This is not expressly forbidden in the Bible. However, in legal terms, one may use the words "swear" and "affirm" interchangeably, but in either case, it's an oath of one's honor, not an oath upon any object. (to many then and many now, the word "swear" has a secondary implication of "cursing", where "affirm" does not). The reason for the Biblical example to be given was because it was common for OT believers to swear "to God". Jesus was saying not to swear to anything, even God.

    For those who claim that this country was founded as a Christian nation by and for Christians, it should be noted that the Constitution requires that the President to take an "oath of office", which reads: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." Note that the oath does not call "upon" anything, thus it does not vioate biblical standards. Note also that the constitution allows the word "affirm" to be used in lieu of "swear", although no President has ever used "affirm" in the taking of the oath.

    [ February 06, 2004, 04:15 PM: Message edited by: Johnv ]
     
  4. Wiedertaufen

    Wiedertaufen
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    If I'm not mistaken, George Washington affirmed, rather than swear.
     
  5. Johnv

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    I'm not sure about that (if anyone else knows, please let us know). I do know, however, that Washington added the phrase "so help me God" to the end of his oath, and almost every president has added it since. He also followed his swearing-in with the first inaugural address, another tradition most, but not all, presidents have also adopted. Washington was also a trend-setter by placing his left hand on a Bible while raising his right. With the exception of Theodore Roosevelt (who was hastily sworn in after the assasination of William McKinley), every president since James Buchanan in 1857 has taken the oath with his hand on the Bible.
     
  6. David Mark

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    Do courts still make people place their hand on a bible and swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth?

    If so, how would you handle that?

    Dave.
     
  7. Johnv

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    It's not a requirement, but in the few places it's practiced, it's out of custom. In my judicial area (Orange County, CA), it's not practiced. A person being sworn in is asked to face the bailiff, raise his right hand and asked "So you solemny swear or affirm that you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? If so, answer, 'I do'", to which the person answers, "I do". That person is from then on considered to be under oath.
     
  8. rsr

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    It's doubtful that Washington affirmed instead of swore; he had his hand on the Bible while taking the oath, added "So help me God" to the end and then kissed the Bible.
     
  9. Johnv

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    Alas, we live in the real world. I've been cheated by Christian-run companies, and given the best service by companies run by atheists. What does it say when an atheist treats me in a more Christian manner than a Christian?
    Forgive me for stirring the pot, but the origin of the handshake came from an era of carrying weapons, like small daggers. A person offering his hand in a handshake was showing that he was unarmed. One could make the arguement that this is unnecessary between Christians. Of course, the "custom" of a handshake has evolved into one of courtesy and manners, so I'm often skeptical of people who don't engage in this practice.
     
  10. Wiedertaufen

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    I wouldn't expect them to in California. I bet there is a whole lot of Scientologist to preach to.
     
  11. Wiedertaufen

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    Yet swearing to God is forbidden in scripture.
     
  12. Wiedertaufen

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    Galatians 2:9 "And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision."
     
  13. Johnv

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    Saying "so help me God" is not swearing to God. It's asking God to help you keep your the commitment you just made in the oath you just took.
     
  14. Johnv

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    Wiedertaufen, the "right hand of fellowship" is not a handshake as we know today. It was an invitation that was given by extending one's right hand to the invitee. They would take your hand, and you would pull them towards you and greet them. It's more a precursor to a hug or kiss-greeting, common among men in those days.
     
  15. Wiedertaufen

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    While we are on this subject, why have Baptist forsaken the holy kiss?
     

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