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The Law of God discuss Jury Duty... in the Theological Forum forums; I'm not sure if this belongs here... I've got a question about the Christian and "jury duty." My dad got papers for jury duty in ...

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    Jury Duty...

    I'm not sure if this belongs here...
    I've got a question about the Christian and "jury duty." My dad got papers for jury duty in the mail recently and he said that he wasn't going to do it. He said that Christians shouldn't "judge" unbelievers, "God will judge them." He went on to say that Christians are supposed to judge Christians not unbelievers, etc.
    Any thoughts???
    Last edited by amishrockstar; 07-02-2007 at 12:38 AM.

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    non dignus is offline. Puritanboard Sophomore
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    I would begin by saying we should assume that the stranger is a believer; not foolishly believe it, but charitably believe it. And further, that the whole human race is in covenant together by virtue of creation. And further, that there is a civil covenant containing jury service for the good of that covenant and the community it serves.

    Modern life is more complex than just having a Christian identity in a wilderness. Think of the good service a Christian could perform on a jury that might have wide influence on the legal world. And think how your father might feel if he knew there were good Christians on a jury deliberating on a question about him.

    Having a jury of our peers is a blessing from heaven.

    I used to think like your Dad so I understand. I don't think that way anymore.
    David Cronkhite, Elder
    Pasadena United Reformed Church

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    who write as they learn, and learn as they write."

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    Quote Originally Posted by amishrockstar View Post
    I'm not sure if this belongs here...
    I've got a question about the Christian and "jury duty." My dad got papers for jury duty in the mail recently and he said that he wasn't going to do it. He said that Christians shouldn't "judge" unbelievers, "God will judge them." He went on to say that Christians are supposed to judge Christians not unbelievers, etc.
    Any thoughts???
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    NON DIGNUS,
    Thanks for your reply. The main problem (and in order to put my question in a little more context) is that my dad is going to an Anabaptist church and as you probably know they are basically anti-government. So a lot of his thinking stems from the belief that believers shouldn't get involved in government at all (one reason is that believers aren't allowed to share their faith while at work), that we aren't to go to war (pacifism), among other similar ideas.
    So, the main thing that needs answering for him is how can we say 'biblically' that a believer SHOULD judge unbelievers, especially in 'light' of 1Cor.5:12,13?
    Any more thoughts???
    THANKS
    Matthew Scheffer
    Christ The Redeemer (non-denominational)
    http://www.christredeemer.com
    Spokane, WA

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    Quote Originally Posted by amishrockstar View Post
    NON DIGNUS,
    Thanks for your reply. The main problem (and in order to put my question in a little more context) is that my dad is going to an Anabaptist church and as you probably know they are basically anti-government. So a lot of his thinking stems from the belief that believers shouldn't get involved in government at all (one reason is that believers aren't allowed to share their faith while at work), that we aren't to go to war (pacifism), among other similar ideas.
    So, the main thing that needs answering for him is how can we say 'biblically' that a believer SHOULD judge unbelievers, especially in 'light' of 1Cor.5:12,13?
    Any more thoughts???
    THANKS
    Brother,

    In 1 Corinthians 5 and 6, Paul is not speaking of the propriety or impropriety of secular courts. He is talking about disputes between brothers and the need for such to be addressed by the courts of the church, rather than having brothers drag brothers before the civil magistrate over petty disputes. He says...

    1 Corinthians 5:9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: 10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. 12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? 13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
    You can see in the first part of this passage, that Paul says that if he were counseling seperatism, the Corinthians would have to go out of the world. Obviously, this is impossible, and thus Paul's admonition is not to be construed as commanding believers to shun the ungodly.

    When he writes, "For what have I to do to judge them also that are without?" Paul is speaking from his office as an Apostle - not as a private citizen. As an Apostle, he has no authority to judge those who are outside of the visible church. Again, the context does not support the interpretation that Paul means there is no valid place for a believer to sit in judgement of an unbeliever. He is merely speaking of the offices and courts of the church.

    The following passages speak directly to the question of the believer's response to and responsibility toward the civil authorities...

    Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
    1 Peter 2:13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. 15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: 16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. 17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.
    Douglas W. Comin
    Ordained Minister/Ruling Elder
    Manchester Reformed Presbyterian Church (RPCNA)
    Upper Burrell, PA
    My Blog - "Comin Sense"
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    Quote Originally Posted by amishrockstar View Post
    NON DIGNUS,
    Thanks for your reply. The main problem (and in order to put my question in a little more context) is that my dad is going to an Anabaptist church and as you probably know they are basically anti-government. So a lot of his thinking stems from the belief that believers shouldn't get involved in government at all (one reason is that believers aren't allowed to share their faith while at work), that we aren't to go to war (pacifism), among other similar ideas.
    So, the main thing that needs answering for him is how can we say 'biblically' that a believer SHOULD judge unbelievers, especially in 'light' of 1Cor.5:12,13?
    Any more thoughts???
    THANKS
    I'd add in addition to what Mr. Comin has posted, that for your father to be consistent, he should avoid being in any position of authority over a non-believer. Otherwise, he'd be in a position to "judge" that person. In fact, he probably should not buy or sell from unbelievers either, because if he were wronged, he could not assert it.

    But that is not at all what scripture tells us to do. Your father has been summonsed to provide justice. In a sense, the civil magistrate has made him to be a master over a cause at trial. God has providentially placed him in a temporary position of authority. He would do well to consider how other men of God handled such a summons: Joseph in Egypt, Daniel in Babylon, and even Crispus in Acts 18 (who had some level of authority over nonbelievers).

    Col 4:1: "Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven." Although the context is addressed to believers all, I do not think there is warrant to not provide justice to servants who do not believe.
    R. Victor Bottomly
    Port Cities Reformed Baptist Church, Lewiston ID

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    Hey THANKS for all your answers...
    It's definately important to put the text in context and I like the idea of God's providence in raising Joseph and Daniel to positions where they were --in a sense-- "judging unbelievers."
    I love my dad greatly and believe (from hearing his testimony) that he's a Christian, but it's very 'hard' and sometimes a 'struggle' to speak with someone who comes from more of an Anabaptistic 'bent' while I would maintain a more 'reformed' outlook on life.
    Thanks again
    Last edited by amishrockstar; 07-02-2007 at 03:51 PM.
    Matthew Scheffer
    Christ The Redeemer (non-denominational)
    http://www.christredeemer.com
    Spokane, WA

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    Dieter Schneider's Avatar
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    It is misleading to say that the Radicals of the 16th century (the blanket label 'Anabaptist' is unhelpful) agreed. Here is a short extract
    Independent Baptist Church (NE England, nr. Durham)

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    Who's talkin about people in the 16th century???
    Matthew Scheffer
    Christ The Redeemer (non-denominational)
    http://www.christredeemer.com
    Spokane, WA

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    Dieter Schneider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amishrockstar View Post
    Who's talkin about people in the 16th century???
    Well - I am, of course!!!
    Independent Baptist Church (NE England, nr. Durham)

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    Dieter Schneider...
    LOL,
    I guess so...
    When I use the term "anabaptistic" I'm referring to modern-day-conservative anabaptists who are (to my knowledge) ALL in agreement with the 'pacifist' ideology and non-participation in ALL government work and/or involvement (this includes jury duty).
    So, I am in no way referring to "the Radicals of the 16th century" ...the context was 'modern' and in reference to my dad who attends an Anabaptist/Mennonite Church.
    Why DID you bring up the Radicals of the 16th century??? What does that have to do with my question???
    Matthew Scheffer
    Christ The Redeemer (non-denominational)
    http://www.christredeemer.com
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    VirginiaHuguenot is offline. Puritanboard Librarian
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    For a historic Reformed Presbyterian (Covenanter) response (which is quite different in its perspective to the institution of civil government than the Anabaptistic perspective) to the jury duty issue, see here.
    Andrew

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    satz is offline. Puritanboard Senior
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    Quote Originally Posted by VirginiaHuguenot View Post
    For a historic Reformed Presbyterian (Covenanter) response (which is quite different in its perspective to the institution of civil government than the Anabaptistic perspective) to the jury duty issue, see here.
    I am not sure I understand how this response is compatible with Daniel serving the Babylonian empire faithfully over many years, or Joseph doing the same in Egypt. Joseph's job required him to give or approve of preferential governmental treatment being given to pagan priests but this did not disturb his conscience (Gen 47:22).

    In the New Testament we see Erastus serving as chamberlain of the pagan, immoral city of Corinth (Rom 16:23, 27), yet Paul commends his greetings to the Romans without any rebuke or warning.

    Jesus required paying taxes to the Roman empire despite its many sins and evils (Matt 22:15-22). Although that same empire later put to death the Son of God, the apostle Paul did not hesitate to proclaim himself a citizen of that empire and demand all the benefits he was entitled to as such (Acts 16:35-40; 22:24-30; 23:12-35; 25:9-12).

    What is the difference between serving as a juror for a pagan government and working as an employee for a pagan master? Although most christians would agree that the latter is definitely allowed (1 Tim 6:1-2).

    In the end, I do not see that rendering service to, or participating in or benefiting from a pagan government is sinful for the christian as long as he does not sin directly himself. Is there anything special about jury duty that would change that?
    Mark
    Independent baptist
    Singapore

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    VirginiaHuguenot is offline. Puritanboard Librarian
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    Quote Originally Posted by satz View Post
    I am not sure I understand how this response is compatible with Daniel serving the Babylonian empire faithfully over many years, or Joseph doing the same in Egypt. Joseph's job required him to give or approve of preferential governmental treatment being given to pagan priests but this did not disturb his conscience (Gen 47:22).

    In the New Testament we see Erastus serving as chamberlain of the pagan, immoral city of Corinth (Rom 16:23, 27), yet Paul commends his greetings to the Romans without any rebuke or warning.

    Jesus required paying taxes to the Roman empire despite its many sins and evils (Matt 22:15-22). Although that same empire later put to death the Son of God, the apostle Paul did not hesitate to proclaim himself a citizen of that empire and demand all the benefits he was entitled to as such (Acts 16:35-40; 22:24-30; 23:12-35; 25:9-12).

    What is the difference between serving as a juror for a pagan government and working as an employee for a pagan master? Although most christians would agree that the latter is definitely allowed (1 Tim 6:1-2).

    In the end, I do not see that rendering service to, or participating in or benefiting from a pagan government is sinful for the christian as long as he does not sin directly himself. Is there anything special about jury duty that would change that?
    I agree, Mark, that "rendering service to, or participating in or benefiting from a pagan government is sinful for the christian as long as he does not sin directly himself."

    An American juror, however, must swear an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution, and that in the view of Reformed Presbyterians historically would be an unlawful oath because the Constitution contains within it provisions which contradict the moral law of God and fails to acknowledge the law of God as the Supreme Law of the Land. An unlawful oath to become a juror and the expectation that a juror must act in accordance with those provisions of the Constitution which violate the law of God make the prospect of serving as a juror a matter of conscience and barrier to Reformed Presbyterians who share those convictions.

    This issue (the oath to the U.S. Constitution and the Constitution's moral defects) has been debated at length previously as you may recall. If you are interested, for further study of the Reformed Presbyterian position of political dissent from governments that oppose Christ as stated in the following sermons:

    James R. Willson, Prince Messiah's Claims to Dominion Over All Governments and the Disregard of His Authority by the United States, in the Federal Constitution

    J.H. Boggs, Why Covenanters Do Not Vote

    G.H. Milne, Political Dissent

    William Roberts, The Reformed Presbyterian Catechism
    Andrew

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    Quote Originally Posted by VirginiaHuguenot View Post
    I agree, Mark, that "rendering service to, or participating in or benefiting from a pagan government is sinful for the christian as long as he does not sin directly himself."

    An American juror, however, must swear an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution,
    That's a new one on me. Jurors in my state swear only to give a true verdict according to the law and evidence:

    RCW 4.44.260
    Oath of jurors.

    When the jury has been selected, an oath or affirmation shall be administered to the jurors, in substance that they and each of them, will well, and truly try, the matter in issue between the plaintiff and defendant, and a true verdict give, according to the law and evidence as given them on the trial.
    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=4.44.260

    I think that is an oath that can be made in good conscience, regardless of one's view of the Constitution.
    R. Victor Bottomly
    Port Cities Reformed Baptist Church, Lewiston ID

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    VirginiaHuguenot is offline. Puritanboard Librarian
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    Vic -- I can't really speak to Oregon's provisions but I'll give you an example from North Carolina:

    The North Carolina Constitution's Requirement to take the Oath of Office

    Article 6. Suffrage and Eligibility to Office

    Sec. 7. Oath.

    Before entering upon the duties of an office, a person elected or appointed to the office shall take and subscribe the following oath:

    "I, ..........................., do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and maintain the Constitution and laws of the United States, and the Constitution and laws of North Carolina not inconsistent therewith, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of my office as ............................................., so help me God."

    Source: http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/html2001.../article6.html

    The North Carolina Statute's Requirement to take the Oath of Office

    Chapter 11. Oaths.
    ARTICLE 1. General Provisions.

    § 11-7. Oath or affirmation to support Constitutions; all officers
    to take.

    Every member of the General Assembly and every person elected or
    appointed to hold any office of trust or profit in the State shall,
    before taking office or entering upon the execution of the office,
    take and subscribe to the following oath:

    "I, . . . . . . . . . . . ., do solemnly and sincerely swear that I
    will support the Constitution of the United States; that I will be
    faithful and bear true allegiance to the State of North Carolina, and
    to the constitutional powers and authorities which are or may be
    established for the government thereof; and that I will endeavor to
    support, maintain and defend the Constitution of said State, not
    inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States, to the best
    of my knowledge and ability; so help me God.”(1781, c. 342, s. 1,
    P.R.; R.C., c. 76, s. 4; Code, s. 3312; Rev., s. 2358; C.S., s. 3194;
    1985, c. 756, s. 5.)

    Source: http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/statutes...l/chp0110.html

    Also in this section of statutes:
    § 11-1. Oaths and affirmations to be administered with solemnity.
    § 11-2. Administration of oaths.
    § 11-3. Administration of oath with uplifted hand.
    § 11-4. Affirmation in lieu of oath.
    § 11-5. Oaths of corporations.
    § 11-7.1. Who may administer oaths of office.

    Source: http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/statutes...l/chp0110.html

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Actual Oath of Office Public Servants in North Carolina are Required to Take

    This One Comes First:
    § 11-7. Oath or affirmation to support Constitutions; all officers to take.
    Every member of the General Assembly and every person elected or
    appointed to hold any office of trust or profit in the State shall,
    before taking office or entering upon the execution of the office,
    take and subscribe to the following oath:

    "I, . . . . . . . . . . . ., do solemnly and sincerely swear that I
    will support the Constitution of the United States; that I will be
    faithful and bear true allegiance to the State of North Carolina, and
    to the constitutional powers and authorities which are or may be
    established for the government thereof; and that I will endeavor to
    support, maintain and defend the Constitution of said State, not
    inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States, to the best
    of my knowledge and ability; so help me God.”(1781, c. 342, s. 1,
    P.R.; R.C., c. 76, s. 4; Code, s. 3312; Rev., s. 2358; C.S., s. 3194;
    1985, c. 756, s. 5.)

    Source: http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/statutes...l/chp0110.html

    Then The Following Officers Have Another Oath to Take:
    ARTICLE 2. Forms of Official and Other Oaths.

    § 11-11. Oaths of sundry persons; forms.

    The oaths of office to be taken by the several persons hereafter named shall be in the words following the names of said persons respectively, after taking the separate oath required by Article VI, Section 7 of the Constitution of North Carolina:

    Administrator, Attorney at Law, Attorney General, State District Attorneys and County Attorneys, Auditor, Book Debt Oath, Book Debt Oath for Administrator, Clerk of the Supreme Court, Clerk of the Superior Court, Commissioners Allotting a Year's Provisions, Commissioners Dividing and Allotting Real Estate, Executor, Grand Jury--Foreman of, Grand Jurors, Grand Jury--Officer of, Jury--Officer of, Oath for Petit Juror, Justice, Judge, or Magistrate of the General Court of Justice, Register of Deeds, Secretary of State, Sheriff, Law Enforcement Officer, State Treasurer, Surveyor for a County, Treasurer for a County, Witness to Depose before the Grand Jury, Witness in a Capital Trial, Witness in a Criminal Action, Witness in Civil Cases, Witness to Prove a Will, Witness before a Legislative Committee or Commission

    Source: http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/statutes...l/chp0110.html

    NOTE: All oaths mentioned in Chapter 11 are to be taken AFTER taking the oath in Article VI, Section 7.
    And another example from California:

    Oath
    The following oath shall be taken by each member of the grand jury:

    I do solemnly swear (affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the State of California, and all laws made pursuant to and in conformity therewith, will diligently inquire into, and true presentment make, of all public offenses against the people of this state, committed or triable within this county, of which the grand jury shall have or can obtain legal evidence. Further, I will not disclose any evidence brought before the grand jury, nor anything which I or any other grand juror may say, nor the manner in which I or any other grand juror may have voted on any matter before the grand jury. I will keep the charge that may be given to me by the court. [PC§911 & §924.1]
    Andrew

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    Quote Originally Posted by VirginiaHuguenot View Post
    Vic -- I can't really speak to Oregon's provisions but I'll give you an example from North Carolina:

    And another example from California:
    Interesting. I don't know about Oregon either, haven't checked, but we Washingtonians have something of a contrary anti-fed history. Our state constitution provides more individual protections than the federal one, but nobody is required to swear to support it except political officers, judges, and lawyers.

    That California provision is interesting because it deals with grand jurors (who, of course, bring indictments). I wonder if you know whether petit jurors are also given a similar oath.
    R. Victor Bottomly
    Port Cities Reformed Baptist Church, Lewiston ID

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    satz is offline. Puritanboard Senior
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    Quote Originally Posted by VirginiaHuguenot View Post
    I agree, Mark, that "rendering service to, or participating in or benefiting from a pagan government is sinful for the christian as long as he does not sin directly himself."

    An American juror, however, must swear an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution, and that in the view of Reformed Presbyterians historically would be an unlawful oath because the Constitution contains within it provisions which contradict the moral law of God and fails to acknowledge the law of God as the Supreme Law of the Land. An unlawful oath to become a juror and the expectation that a juror must act in accordance with those provisions of the Constitution which violate the law of God make the prospect of serving as a juror a matter of conscience and barrier to Reformed Presbyterians who share those convictions.

    This issue (the oath to the U.S. Constitution and the Constitution's moral defects) has been debated at length previously as you may recall. If you are interested, for further study of the Reformed Presbyterian position of political dissent from governments that oppose Christ as stated in the following sermons:

    James R. Willson, Prince Messiah's Claims to Dominion Over All Governments and the Disregard of His Authority by the United States, in the Federal Constitution

    J.H. Boggs, Why Covenanters Do Not Vote

    G.H. Milne, Political Dissent

    William Roberts, The Reformed Presbyterian Catechism
    Andrew,

    Thank you for your answer.

    You are right, I do recall the issue of oaths and the US constitution being debated previously on this board, although the topic has not come up for a while.

    My respectful thoughts:

    I understand your reasoning (I think), however I must ask, what is the difference between swearing an oath to uphold the US constitution and working a job that effectively upholds a pagan, God denying government? I mentioned the example of Joseph, who not only took care of the pagan priests of Eygpt, but took actions to protect and promote the reign of Pharoah though the famine. Now this Pharoah might have had a little more respect for God than the Pharoah who reigned in the time of Moses, but there is nothing to indicate he was a believer or that Egypt was anything up a pagan kingdom during the time. So regardless of whether he took an oath or not, Joseph was essentially upholding a government that denied the lordship of God.

    Regarding the oath to the constituion, certainly I think christians should not vow to do anything sinful. However, does promising to protect an ungodly government really classify as such? Christians are called to honor and king and I believe from the examples I quoted before that protecting and unchristian government is not sin per se. After a night in the lion's den and being vindicated by God, the righteous Daniel answered the pagan King Darius with 'O King, live forever' (Dan 6:21)! It does not seem to me that obvious that promising to protect the US constitution and government is against christian principles.
    Mark
    Independent baptist
    Singapore

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    VirginiaHuguenot is offline. Puritanboard Librarian
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    Vic -- I'll try to research California further later. Sorry about the Oregon faux pas! I get all dem NW states mixed up.

    Mark -- I may revisit this thread at another time but I'm going to be travelling for a bit and not able to respond in depth for a while. I'm really not interested another debate on this subject. I don't find debates on the PB to be all that fruitful or edifying (this is not referring to you specifically -- I think you are perhaps the most courteous and respectful poster on the PB) when weighed against the time and energy involved and so debating is not why I am here. My point is merely that public service to a government whether pagan or Christian is lawful and good (WCF 23.2) provided one does not sin in accepting or fulfilling the office (WCF 23.2 also emphasizes the duty to maintain "piety" in one's civic office). The next question is whether entering or fulfilling the office of juror (or other office under consideration) under the provisions of the U.S. Constitution is in fact lawful. The oath involved, btw, does not say anything about "protecting" the Constitution but it does use the word "support." And neither Joseph or Daniel had to swear an unlawful oath to serve in their respective governments, thus showing that one can serve in an ungodly government provided, as you said, "as long as he does not sin directly himself." But beyond that, my participation in this thread will have to wait. God bless, my friend.
    Andrew

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    Dieter Schneider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amishrockstar View Post
    Dieter Schneider...
    LOL,
    I guess so...
    When I use the term "anabaptistic" I'm referring to modern-day-conservative anabaptists who are (to my knowledge) ALL in agreement with the 'pacifist' ideology and non-participation in ALL government work and/or involvement (this includes jury duty).
    So, I am in no way referring to "the Radicals of the 16th century" ...the context was 'modern' and in reference to my dad who attends an Anabaptist/Mennonite Church.
    Why DID you bring up the Radicals of the 16th century??? What does that have to do with my question???
    Easy now - I was simply trying to paint a broader background.
    Independent Baptist Church (NE England, nr. Durham)

  21. #21
    amishrockstar's Avatar
    amishrockstar is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    235
    Dieter,
    Sounds good.
    I just didn't know how to take your comment on being "misleading" etc.
    Matthew Scheffer
    Christ The Redeemer (non-denominational)
    http://www.christredeemer.com
    Spokane, WA

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