Can a Christian swear an oath?

tonychanyt

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Matthew 5:

33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all:
Jesus warned against careless, frivolous, or vain swearing. People in his time routinely abused swearing.

either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black.
Note that Jesus did not say that do not swear by God.

37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.
For routine matters, no need to swear. Just be honest.

Mat 26:

63 But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.”
On this occasion, Jesus did not tell the high priest not to swear. He responded to the high priest swearing.

64 Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
To convince the hearers of the speaker's seriousness, there are special occasions for true swearing. 2 Corinthians 1:

23 But I call on God as witness against me: it was to spare you that I did not come again to Corinth.
2 Corinthians 11:

31The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised forever, knows that I am not lying.
Galatians 1:

20 In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie!
Can a Christian swear an oath?

Yes, swearing before a judge is okay. A marriage vow is okay.
 

AlexB23

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Matthew 5:


Jesus warned against careless, frivolous, or vain swearing. People in his time routinely abused swearing.


Note that Jesus did not say that do not swear by God.


For routine matters, no need to swear. Just be honest.

Mat 26:


On this occasion, Jesus did not tell the high priest not to swear. He responded to the high priest swearing.


To convince the hearers of the speaker's seriousness, there are special occasions for true swearing. 2 Corinthians 1:


2 Corinthians 11:


Galatians 1:


Can a Christian swear an oath?

Yes, swearing before a judge is okay. A marriage vow is okay.
I do not swear oaths for routine matters, hence the reason why I do not say any pledges, including the Pledge of Allegiance. In other words, I am scrupulous about this. My only pledge is the Nicene Creed, professing my faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior.

In Matthew 5:34, Jesus says "But I say unto you, swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne. Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool." This verse emphasizes the importance of avoiding making oaths, even if it means losing an opportunity to boast about oneself or one's nation.

Exodus 20:4 states "You shall not make for yourself any carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters under the sea."

Fervent patriotism can also become an idol, leading us astray from the truth. Let us strive to approach all things with humility and gratitude for what God has given us, rather than becoming overly attached to worldly values and beliefs. These words from above are the reasons why I do not celebrate the 4th or sing any anthems or say any pledges.
 
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Richard T

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Another good topic Tony. I always wondered if it is OK to swear in court? I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I want to question a judge about it. First, it is redundant. The second is more disturbing though. To tell the whole truth, you have to have freedom. With evidence excluded and many other kinds of constraints by law and the presiding judge, one might be forbidden to comply with the oath they swear too. I am scared to try this truth out on a judge so I just don't take the oath literally but rather as a legal approximation.
 
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eleos1954

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Matthew 5:


Jesus warned against careless, frivolous, or vain swearing. People in his time routinely abused swearing.


Note that Jesus did not say that do not swear by God.


For routine matters, no need to swear. Just be honest.

Mat 26:


On this occasion, Jesus did not tell the high priest not to swear. He responded to the high priest swearing.


To convince the hearers of the speaker's seriousness, there are special occasions for true swearing. 2 Corinthians 1:


2 Corinthians 11:


Galatians 1:


Can a Christian swear an oath?

Yes, swearing before a judge is okay. A marriage vow is okay.
Oaths and Vows
(Numbers 30:1–16)

Matthew 5

33Again, you have heard that it was said to the ancients, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill your vows to the Lord.’ 34But I tell you not to swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35or by the earth, for it is His footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36Nor should you swear by your head, for you cannot make a single hair white or black. 37Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ Anything more comes from the evil one.

The proper application of Jesus’ principle of “let your yes be yes” is that the Christian must be truthful in all circumstances ... whether to man or to God.

We don't need to make vows or oaths ... simply yes or no.

But like all sins, breaking a vow or oath can be forgiven when the sinner changes his mind about the acceptability of sinning, changes his behavior, and asks God for forgiveness. Forgiveness doesn't make the dishonesty acceptable. What was done was still wrong but it won't be held against the people of God at Judgment because they were forgiven.

Breaking a vow or oath is the same as any other sin. In essence, breaking a vow/oath is a form of lying. You claimed something and did not keep the claim.

As with any sin, consequences may follow from breaking your vow/oath. If this occurs, pray to God, and ask Him for forgiveness and to help you through.

While the Bible includes verses on love, marriage, and weddings, there aren't any specific marriage vows mentioned.
 
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eleos1954

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Are you suggesting that Christians should not make any marriage vows?
No ... it's up to them ... just saying biblically a vow is not required ... many people write their own vows. Some people get married by a justice of the peace without any vows ... does God not recognize that a marriage if they live in accordance as the union between a man and a woman is described in His Word? Why wouldn't he? Any vows, oaths ... if made ... should be taken very seriously

We know what a marriage is supposed to look like according to the written word .... a vow is not required to perform them.

Deuteronomy 23:21-23 New Living Translation (NLT)

“When you make a vow to the LORD your God, be prompt in fulfilling whatever you promised him. For the LORD your God demands that you promptly fulfill all your vows, or you will be guilty of sin. However, it is not a sin to refrain from making a vow.

Lots of people were married in the Bible, and there are no descriptions of any ceremonies. There were in some cases celebrations afterwards described.

Marriage in the Bible simply consists of a man and woman, with the consent of the woman’s father or guardian, living together and attempting procreation. No vows, no priest, no ritual, no prayer, no pronouncement, no license, no registration. This is quite different from how we define and enact marriage today. Today, for a marriage to be “real” it must be legal; in other words, it must be recognized by the laws of the state and registered with the state. Also, for many Christians, a marriage is not a “Christian marriage” unless it is officiated by a credentialed minister who makes a verbal pronouncement, preferably in the presence of the congregation.

The reason why there are no marriage ceremonies in the Bible is because marriage did not involve a ceremony. Marriage in the Bible simply consists of a man and woman, with the consent of the woman's father or guardian, living together and attempting procreation. Indeed we do see some celebrations of marriage in the bible but not actual "marriage ceremonies" themselves.
 
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tonychanyt

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do you say any pledges or sing any anthems to Canadian flag or your country of Canada?
Yes, I do as a Canadian citizen. When I worked in the Philippines, on many different occasions, they sang the national anthem in Tagalog. I couldn't sing in Tagalog, but I placed my right hand on my heart as others did as a sign of respect to my host country.
 
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AlexB23

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Yes, I do as a Canadian citizen. When I worked in the Philippines, on many different occasions, they sang the national anthem in Tagalog. I couldn't sing in Tagalog, but I placed my right hand on my heart as others did as a sign of respect to my host country.
That is understandable. Do you feel that pledging to Canada is similar to making an oath, as my man Jesus says in Matt 5:34?
 
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tonychanyt

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Do you feel that pledging to Canada is similar to making an oath, as my man Jesus says in Matt 5:34?
Jesus liked to use Eastern hyperboles to emphasize a point. This had a greater impact on the listeners' ears than if he had just said, "Do not swear an oath frivolously."
 
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AlexB23

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Jesus liked to use Eastern hyperboles to emphasize a point. This had a greater impact on the listeners' ears than if he had just said, "Do not swear an oath frivolously."
Thank you for the clarification. For myself, I will stick to Matthew 5:34 literally, but as God gave us free will, it is perfectly okay for you or anyone else to pledge to Canada, the US or any other nation, as long as the Lord Jesus Christ comes first, and family and friends come second and third.
 
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Semper-Fi

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Fervent patriotism can also become an idol, leading us astray from the truth.
There is no law against loving one’s own nation and supporting it.

It is common for people to love themselves. This naturally extends
to one’s family, friends, team or club—and even one’s own nation.
To love these things isn’t sinful; this is implied in the statement
“love your neighbor as yourself.”

But if a person is patriotic toward his or her own country in a way
that creates feelings of antagonism or hostility against other
countries, then that is a form of hatred forbidden by God’s law.

To take just one example, North Korea does great harm to its people.
We should hate the oppressive governmental system of North Korea,
but love the people of North Korea and want the best for them.

Revelation 13:4 gives an example of patriotism that is idolatry.
Let us strive to approach all things with humility and gratitude for what God has given us, rather than becoming overly attached to worldly values and beliefs.
Amen
These words from above are the reasons why I do not celebrate the 4th or sing any anthems or say any pledges.
I don't see any reason not to celebrate the 4th of July.
 
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AlexB23

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There is no law against loving one’s own nation and supporting it.

It is common for people to love themselves. This naturally extends
to one’s family, friends, team or club—and even one’s own nation.
To love these things isn’t sinful; this is implied in the statement
“love your neighbor as yourself.”

But if a person is patriotic toward his or her own country in a way
that creates feelings of antagonism or hostility against other
countries, then that is a form of hatred forbidden by God’s law.

To take just one example, North Korea does great harm to its people.
We should hate the oppressive governmental system of North Korea,
but love the people of North Korea and want the best for them.

Revelation 13:4 gives an example of patriotism that is idolatry.

Amen

I don't see any reason not to celebrate the 4th of July.
I understand your point as well. For myself, I take Jesus' words literally, but hey, God gave us free will (Catechism: CCC 1731). Maybe I am wrong about interpreting that scripture, but for now, I am playing it extra safe. In other words, Christian holidays are my favorite holidays, and are the main ones I celebrate, though I do get gifts for my parents on Mother's Day and Father's Day.

Could the dragon in Rev 13:4 be China, as China's symbol is a dragon?
 
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