20 Sep 2010 Leave a Comment
Above all, my brothers, do not swearâ€”not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your â€œYesâ€ be yes, and your â€œNo,â€ no, or you will be condemned.
~ James 5:12 NIV
There are three types of people who would swear on the Bible:
- Ignorant Christians: Those who take the Bible as Truth, but are unaware the Bible instructs them not to swear by anything.
- Hypocrites: Christians who know the Bible instructs them not to swear by anything, or non-Christians who wish to give the impression of piety and/or they are Christians.
- The coerced: Anyone, including those listed above, who fears they will be seen as untrustworthy or contemptuous if they do not swear on the Bible.
Which do you wish to be? A Christian who believes the Bible is True, but does not read it? A hypocritical Christian who profanes the word of God? A hypocritical non-Christian who is willing to lie to persuade others? A person who is afraid to tell the truth just because they were given the option to lie?
There is no option for an honest, informed person but to refuse to swear on the Bible.
Those who are not Christians would have every right to be put off by being offered a Bible to swear on, if at least because it forces one to reveal something about their beliefs, which have no bearing in court nor in politics. But Christians should take the greatest offense because it tempts people to profane the Holy Bible.
And, yet, it is Christians who support Bible-swearing in court because of some misplaced sense that doing so promotes and affirms Christianity at the government level. What it does is cause resentment and gives people the feeling Christianity is being shoved down their throats. Christians can easily imagine the resentment others feel by imagining being asked by the court to swear on the Torah or Quran.
Is it the place of Christians to tempt others, including Christians, to profane the Holy Bible?
We may as well ask every person who will stand as witness in court, “Would you like to spit on the Bible before we get started?”