The Apple Of God's Eye

August 7, 2009

Should Christians Partake In Jury Duty?

The Bible teaches that Christians are not to involve themselves in judging according to man’s laws: “Judge not, that ye be not judged” (Matt. 7:1). On one occasion, Jesus Christ also refused to judge a matter when asked to settle a dispute over an inheritance (Luke 12:13-14).

Those who are converted to God’s way of life are called ambassadors for Christ (II Cor. 5:20). As ambassadors and citizens of the Kingdom of God, true Christians must not participate in the judgmental affairs of this world (Rev. 18:4). Notice: “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20, New International Version).

It is the responsibility, however, of God’s Church to decide matters within its jurisdiction (I Cor. 6:1-5), not matters among outsiders (I Cor. 5:12-13).

Man’s judgments are concerned with the letter of the law. In contrast, God looks on one’s heart and is concerned with the spirit and intent of the law. Man’s laws usually do not take into account repentance and other spiritual factors, as God does. Jesus taught the Christians must be willing to forgive others (Matt. 6:14-15).

In the United States, the law upholds one’s rights to his religious beliefs. Therefore, persons whose deeply-held religious convictions preclude service on jury duty will often be excused from this responsibility once they make their belief known to the proper officials. Usually it suffices to simply write on the jury notice: “My religious convictions prevent me from serving and therefore I request to be excused.”  Attach a short statement stating the biblical basis of your convictions and return it within the specified time to the proper official.

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