Q What are the Biblical principles enjoining us not to serve on a jury?


A There are different Biblical principles involved. We believe that the following will best express our religious convictions against participating in jury duty:

A true Christian is a stranger, alien and exile (1 Peter 2:11; Hebrews 11:13) while here on earth; an ambassador for Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20); and a representative of God’s Kingdom. As such, and in being a light to the world by proper conduct (Matthew 5:14-16), a true Christian does not take part in this world’s governmental or political affairs, as presently, it is not God who rules this earth, but Satan the devil (Revelation 2:13; Luke 4:5-6). Christians are challenged to come out of the governmental and political systems of this world. Christ, knowing that God’s Kingdom was not of this world (John 18:36), refused to judge a civil matter when He was asked to do so (Luke 12:14). Paul, likewise, prohibited judging those “who are outside” the church (1 Corinthians 5:12).

Further, 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, forgiveness of sins, and other spiritual factors in the way that God does (Acts 2:38). Jesus, in looking at the heart of the accused, refused to condemn a woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11). Jesus taught that true Christians must be willing to forgive others (Matthew 6:14-15).

Another principle against participation in jury duty is that true Christians are to learn to judge according to the law of God as seasoned by judgment, mercy and faith (Matthew 23:23). They are also to render “righteous” judgment (John 7:24). Presenting selective evidence, where facts may be suppressed for technical legal reasons as permitted in the courts, may not necessarily lead to Godly justice, mercy and truth, and to the rendering of a righteous judgment.

In following Biblical injunctions, one could not convict a person, in any event, unless the accusation is supported by the testimony of at least two witnesses (Matthew 18:16; Numbers 35:30; Deuteronomy 17:6-7; 19:15). Since the witnesses would have to “cast the first stones,” circumstantial evidence [which is many times based on human interpretation and theory] would not be sufficient under God’s law for the requirement of two witnesses.

Since we may be compelled, as a juror, to apply man’s laws in conflict with the law of God, we could not take the oath as a juror, as we would, in principle, agree to obeying man rather than God (Acts 5:29; Acts 4:19). Therefore, jury duty will invariably create a conflict of conscience in a Christian between the requirements of God and the requirements of jury service. A Christian who violates his conscience would be guilty of committing sin (Romans


; 1 John 3:4).

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