Of Lawful Oaths and Vows.
Chapter 23, Paragraph 3.
“Whosoever taketh an Oath warranted by the word of God, ought duly to consider the weightiness of so solemn an act; and therein to avouch nothing, but what he knows to be the truth; for that by rash, false, and vain Oaths the Lord is provoked, and for them this Land mourns.”
How important is telling the truth? Is it okay to swear to something, even if everyone knows you don’t really mean it? It is assumed in our culture that everybody lies. Those in authority cannot be trusted to look out for the interests of those they have sworn to protect. Those not in authority cannot be trusted to keep their word as they try to get ahead. Promises are made are broken as soon as they become inconvenient. Oaths are viewed as meaningless, and the cynical effect it has upon our land is lamentable.
Christians above all ought to strive to speak truthfully and carefully. Without the truth, there can be no trust. Scripture warns over and over about guarding the tongue:
Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. -Psalm 34:13
There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of the sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. -Proverbs 12:18
But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. -James 3:8
Our words and our actions ought to be the same. Too many times we rush heedlessly into agreeing to things that are vain and false. When we swear an oath, it should be after much thought, and should be carried out to the best of our abilities.
Questions to Consider
- Do you often agree to things only to backtrack later?