Article 2, Section 1, of the U.S. Constitution prescribes the oath of office.
From Senate.gov website:(https://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/Oath_Office.htm)…”The Constitution contains an oath of office only for the president. For other officials, including members of Congress, that document specifies only that they “shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation to support this constitution.” In 1789, the First Congress reworked this requirement into a simple fourteen-word oath: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States.””
George Washington was the first President to take his oath of office by swearing on the bible. Since then, each President has done the same. It’s become a respected tradition. It has also become a tradition that all elected officials to swear (or affirm) before they take office, and for citizens to do the same before they testify in court.
There is only one problem with that…
God has VERY CLEARLY FORBIDDEN taking oaths! He FORBIDS swearing.
Matthew 5:34-37 (NKJV)
34 But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let [a]your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.
James 5:12 (NKJV)
12 But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into [a]judgment.
You can’t get more clear than that!
So, why do people who claim to believe in God feel it is okay to swear or take an oath when God said DO NOT DO IT?
Why do people feel it is okay to swear or take an oath with their hand on the same bible that forbids it?
The Constitution is an important document, and I have high respect for it, but it is by no means a perfect document. That’s why it’s a living document and needs to be changed as we learn and grow. Unfortunately, many Americans are more passionate about following the Constitution to the letter even more than they are about following the bible to the letter.
The ‘founding fathers’ were great men, but they were far from perfect. They were ordained by God (Romans 13), but they were not God. Many of them who signed the Constitution also signed bills of sale for slaves with the same hand.
I’m quite certain that someone will take the previous two paragraphs out of context because what I just said offended them. If it offends you, examine yourself and what spirit is provoking you to be offended. Yeshua the Messiah also offended the religious leaders when He came to warn them about how their traditions need to change…
Matthew 15:1-9 (NKJV)
15 Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, 2 “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.”
3 He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? 4 For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ 5 But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”— 6 then he need not honor his father [a]or mother.’ Thus you have made the [b]commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. 7 Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:
8 ‘These people [c]draw near to Me with their mouth,
And honor Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
9 And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ”
Notice what Yeshua said about oaths when He rebuked the Scribes and Pharisees in Matthew Chapter 23…
Matthew 23:16-17 (NKJV)
16 “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.’ 17 Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that [a]sanctifies the gold?
He called them fools. It makes no sense to swear on the bible. Which is greater, the cover of the bible carry more weight than the words you are speaking? Which is greater, the Bible or the words in it that make it holy? Besides, someone who doesn’t believe in God or take His word serious enough has no problem with putting their hands on the bible and telling a lie.
If we really love God, then we want to do what He said without trying to justify otherwise because we want to place our will over his…
John 14:15 (NKJV)
15 “If you love Me, [a]keep My commandments.
One of the problem with many Christians is they prove by their actions that they feel the only sins that God is concerned with are homosexuality, abortion and gambling.
However, Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) has made it clear that we are to NEVER SWEAR.
I do feel it is okay to make an ‘affirmation’. I feel it is okay to say, “I affirm to support the Constitution or I affirm to tell the truth” in court. But NEVER on a bible.
But, any elected official who proclaims an ‘oath of office’ or is ‘sworn in’ begins their term with a sin.
And, anyone who swears not to tell a lie in court promises not to commit one sin by committing another one.
As we work to make the Constitution an even better document by including amendments that secure the rights of everyone, don’t you think we should change it in a way to please the God of our salvation first? And do it ASAP.