Of Lawful Oaths and Vows.
Chapter 23, Paragraph 4.
“An oath is to be taken in the plain and common sense of the words, without equivocation or mental reservation.”
Texting and social media has taxed my grammar and spelling skills. Too often I read messages that are hastily written and sent without review, evidenced by obvious auto-correct goofs. Deciphering, rather than reading, becomes the task set before me. Sometimes I might know the writer and ask about his writing gaffe. “Well, you know what I meant!” is a response I’ve received.
An oath is an act of religious worship. As such, it ought to be taken in spirit and in truth. If we as Christians swear an oath with the intent to deceive, we are dishonoring the Lord by whom we are swearing. God is not merely concerned with the words we speak, but our meaning behind the words. Our oaths should be made with clarity and simplicity.
But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil. -Matthew 5:37
When we take an oath, we are to be truthful. Our words are to be forthright, without a hint of deception. Such pure honesty is seen as foolish in a world that is willing to twist the meaning of words to fit an agenda, but our agenda as Christians is to glorify God. To that end, our oaths should actually reflect our true intentions, not a muddy statement that could be construed to be true.
Questions to Consider
- How does being forthright in taking an oath bear witness to God’s character?