The Oathe At The Witness Stand

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Enow, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. Enow

    Enow
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    I am sure that you all know of the oathe where they come up to you if you are a witness in a judicial trial to "swear on the Bible" to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help ye God" before you can take the stand as a witness?

    I wish to point out a conundrum in what I see as an offense other than the obvious ignoring of Jesus's own words about not swearing an oathe to do so. Matthew 5:33-37

    We have all seen this being done: The prosecuters will direct the witness to answer only in a yes or no answer, but not all questions can be answered truthfully in a yes or no answer. The situation is compounded because as the witness have sworn to tell the whole truth, but cannot honestly answer the question in a yes or no answer, the judge will hold the witness in contempt for not answering in a yes or no format.

    The law is forcing you by an oathe to tell the whole truth, but the law process in the court room prevents you from doing so, and yet all eyes are on you to be a honest witness on the stand, not only before mankind, but before God as well.

    What is really irritating is that as much as everyone will say that no one is above the law, former President Clinton committed perjury, and he did not get punished for it. I am surprised that society allowed this to occur. If our leaders do not follow the examples, then what is the point of the oathe if the higher judicial courts do not uphold them?

    Getting to the root of the matter, what good is making that oathe to tell the truth? It doesn't make one tell the truth.

    One can go to the stand and be informed to tell the truth to the best of their ability as directed and warned that there will be a penalty for lying or purposefully giving a false witness. One can stress the matter of telling the truth by stating what that penalty is. One does not need to make an oathe or swear to tell that "whole" truth on the Bible, especially when the parameters of the court process prevents them from doing so.

    Seems that if anything should be dropped in this country, the oathe at the witness stand should have been dropped a long time ago by God fearing believers.
     
  2. Johnv

    Johnv
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    In order to properly apply this verse, it's necessary to apply contextual criticism here. The general taking of oaths is not what's being referred to in the verse. Taking an oath, whether it's in court, or elsewhere, is not scripturally forbidden.

    In the hellenistic-influenced society of Jesus' day, Jews had an elaborate system of oaths (gentiles did too). Swearing upon heaven, to heaven, upon earth, towards earth, in earth, upon God, to God, with God, upon one's ancestors, etc etc etc, all had different legalistic meanings. Some were legally binding, some were not. And so people would swear in a certain manner so as not to be held accountable for their oath. For example, swearing “by Jerusalem” was not legally binding, but swearing “toward Jerusalem” was legally binding.

    Jesus was calling this system of two-faced oathtaking for what it was: digingenuous. He says to forget all that. If you say yes to something, then you're morally bound to do it, regardless whether there's an oath that makes it binding or not. Jesus is callign upon Christians to simply be true to their word. If you say yes to something, then do it.

    Again, this is not an admonition for oathtaking as we know it today. Oaths today are simply affirmations that what you say will be truthful.
     
  3. FlyForFun

    FlyForFun
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    I swear this is really trite.
     
  4. Enow

    Enow
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    Feel free to explain the reason why Jesus said not to do it in verse 36 below:

    Matthew 5:33Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: 34But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: 35Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. 36Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. 37But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

    As it stands, Jesus was referring to the old days in how people performed their oathes to the Lord, but now believers are not to swear at all... not even making an oathe because we are to live by faith in the Son of God.

    If we died to self, and it is not we who live but Christ that liveth in us, how then can we build that again what was destroyed by bringing ourselves into a yoke of bondage?

    James 5:12But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.

    Galatians 2: 20I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 21I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

    A vow or a promise made by men speaks of the man. It is his righteousness if he finished it.

    Numbers 30: 2If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.

    Isaiah 64:6But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

    John 7: 18He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him. 19Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me?

    Matthew 15: 7Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, 8This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 10And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: 11Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man..... 18But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. 19For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: 20These are the things which defile a man:

    Matthew 12:35A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. 36But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

    So if other are to see our faith in the Son of God and His workmanship in our lives, we cannot lay claim to that workmanship by adding promises to His Covenant as if we are going to do it by the deeds of the law and not by the faith in the Son of God.

    For without faith... without ceasing from our works by the deeds of the law.. we cannot please God at all. We cannot be witnesses of ourselves by the deeds of the law and still be witnesses of Him. We have to decrease for Him to increase if the world will no longer see the religious man, but the just living by faith in the Son of God.

    So we cannot make one hair white or black.. as pertaining to God's work... so neither should we make promises to help us live as His that are covered in His Covenant to us that are His to keep. That is the only way we are identified as the children of God and that is by faith in Jesus Christ: apart from the law.

    Galatians 3:14That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. ....26For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
     
  5. billwald

    billwald
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    Been years since I heard God officially mentioned in court. The oath is "Do you swear or affirm that you will tell the truth?"
     

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