Taking an oath, why not?

BethanySMC - Thursday, 8 March 2012 07:11

Again, 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: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. Matt 5:33-37

Swearing or taking oaths in any way, forcefully or aggressively, demonstrates assurance in something that is going to happen. Swearing or the oath, often involves calling upon God as a witness, stressing individual’s sincerity and trustworthiness. God clearly revealed in the scriptures that such practice for His children is not acceptable. Here are some reasons why: God said do not swear and that should be enough. However, I will bring some reasoning to the table that I believe explains why.

A person who takes an oath – places himself in a very peculiar position of being responsible for the future. Swearing by something, assumes ownership and control of the object the person swears by. Anyone who takes an oath subconsciously places himself above his creator because no man can do what he swears unless God allows it. No matter how smart or powerful and individual is – God is the one who give breath to all. In James 5:12 we read: But 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. I see here that swearing is really a big issue with God; unfortunately, we do not hear much about it from the pulpit. In the same epistle James chapter 4 warns us that those who boast of tomorrow, as if it is in their power to control it, are doing an evil thing, forgetting that God is the one who is in charge of all things and even life itself. I believe this is the major reason why God forbids swearing.

Another reason why we are not to swear should proceed out of the character and commitment of every child of God to tell the truth at all times. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. Matt 5:37

In our perverse generation swearing also uses the name of God in vain and in a very irreverent way. As his people we should watch our heart lest we do the same. In the country I came from, at age 18, young men were called to the mandatory army service where they were required to take an oath of loyalty. Those young Christian that would not take an oath or swear were subject to torment, beating, hard work and even death.  Is it too radical? Should they have compromised a bit? Praise God they did not. They finished their race well – many of them have received their crowns already, meanwhile leaving us an example to follow God and uphold the word of God above all this world has to offer.

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