by Charles C Robey
(Trussville, AL, 35173)
Remember when court room witnesses were required to place their hand on the Bible and swear “I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God"? What’s happened to that solemn oath?
I’ll tell you what’s happened. We here in America apparently are no longer expected to display or show our true allegiance to God, with respect to our real life witness where it counts. We are apparently no longer telling the truth in a court of law, in a business, at home, in school and even at church.
Have you read your newspaper lately, tuned into the television, surfed the Internet, or talked with your neighbor? And sad to say, add your religious settings as well. And what do you run into? What do you read, see or hear? What’s happened to us, to our country and even our world? (Ezekiel 31:32) (Ezekiel 33:11)
Folks, America is in deep, deep trouble. Not necessarily socially or otherwise, but simply by sliding into an evil mindset. Look at this last election, our country’s most important presidential election of all time. I’m certainly not referencing any one faction of our populace, just making a general assumption based on what I hear, read and see.
What’s going to happen to America The Beautiful? What’s going to happen to the universe for that matter? If America’s recent presidential election is any example, we as a free republic are surely in profound trouble, wouldn't you say?
Have we, as a people, as a nation, as a diverse world forgotten that we, both good and bad, are under total control of a living Creator God Who is still on the throne? Nothing sneaks by Him, good or bad, without His undivided attention or control.
Our problem is we can’t seem to see beyond our noses, our purses, and our super egos. Try reading God's word, especially the book of Proverbs. Try talking to Him sometime. Try interacting with fellow believers.
In this, America’s recent presidential national election of historical proportions, was the truth made known? Did the truth even matter? Did anyone really care? Did anyone even consider the long-term effect this election would have on America, the Land of the free, The Home of the Brave? I can’t help wonder, what about you my friend?
I’m older than dirt and twice as gritty and as the old cliché goes, this isn’t my first rodeo. If my Social Security and sparse pension holds out, I’ll probably make it okay, but what about my grandchild, my great grand baby? What about yours as well?
Now, considering this brief intro, I trust you will enjoy this bit of down-to-earth. forthright dream world musing entitled “NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH."
Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly My disciples if you remain faithful to My teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So, if the Son sets you free, you are truly free." (John 8:34-36)
I had no more settled down in the public library's research section to complete my investigative study of modern courtroom etiquette, when it happened. Was it real or was I dreaming?
I found myself sitting in what appeared to be a large, crowded courtroom witness chamber awaiting to be called to the witness stand. The conversation of the room was surprising, to say the least. Gathering from bits and pieces of the chit-chat, it was all about the witnesses having to be sworn using the Bible. Some were in favor of this tried and true procedure; while others were not. The conversation seemed to center around the conceptof having to place hands on the courtroom Bible.
From there, the discussion centered around which version or publication of the Bible should be used. “Go out there and see if they use the King James version!" one witness yelled.”
“Oh no, not that outdated Old English dialogue!" another countered.
And this conversation continued to go from bad to worse. Then came the idea that the Bible was in error no matter what version was used. Wow, did that cause a stir among the fundamentalists!
Not to mention that “one in every crowd” gentleman, who seemed to want to control the entire conversation. His persuasion was simple and to the point.
“Why all the chit-chat?" he demanded. “God is dead anyway, didn't you read the Time Magazine article awhile back? The Bible was only written by a bunch of primitive men to boot.”
This comment stirred up the fundamentalists to no end. So, as the day progressed, this subject fostered a rather heated argument. Both sides progressed into yells and screams, even to the point of having the court bailiff quickly come in and restore order.
At that point, in the conversation, being a professor of Theological Study, I seemed to be divinely directed to step in.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, please allow me to introduce myself," I said. "I am a certified accredited Bible professor on staff at the big Bible College down the street, Maybe I can help somewhat with just a bit of history.”
“According to the Internet, the earliest English settlers in America brought over the tradition of the witness oath; Noah Webster, for example, refers to the “whole truth” oath in a 1787 essay. The 1856 edition of Bouvier’s Law Dictionary notes that, after swearing the oath, witnesses were expected to kiss the Bible,” I went on.
Continuing according to the Internet, I quoted “Nowadays, courts are no longer so strict about ensuring that oaths contain a religious element. Early Quakers were the first Americans to object to the witness oath, citing a prohibition in (James 5:12) against any form of swearing. (“But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath.”) More recently, some atheists have voiced discomfort at the prospect of having to swear on a Bible or mention God. As a result, a witness can now request to affirm, rather than swear.”
“Each of you were correct, in some respect, regarding the Bible interpretations," I went on. "In (II Timothy 3:16) we see that all scripture was inspired by God. And In (II Peter 1:20-21) we see that the Bible writers were moved by the Holy Spirit."
"As Dr. Charles Ryrie puts it, 'God superintended the writers so that, using their individual personalities, they composed and recorded without error. However, this inspiration doesn’t extend beyond the original manuscripts, though the texts we use today have been transmitted with high accuracy,'" I pointed out.
"Sad to say, however, evil has certainly progressed within America," I continued. "The main culprit is the peril of apostasy. (II Timothy 3:1-9,13) People are no longer content to hear sound teaching and now are turning to so many different teachers of novelty and untruths. Promises and pledges, including all forms of oaths, no longer are accredited to one’s honesty. The entire world, including America, is now at war, an unseen spiritual war, of many battles. (Ephesians 6:12) Again, to quote Dr. Charles Ryrie, 'The believer’s enemies are the demonic host of Satan, always assembled for mortal combat.'"
"How do we fight such spiritual warfare, you all may ask. We find our spiritual warfare armor listed in (Ephesians 6:13-17) along with a spiritual plan of action in (II Chronicles 7:14)" I concluded.
With that, I was mysteriously awakened, still sitting there in the library, not knowing if my brief lecture was taken in good faith. Oh well, I need to continue with my research project, the deadline is creeping up fast. My college administrator oftentimes seems to have no patience. I must work quickly before tomorrow’s dawn. All is not in vain, however, for I now have a great real-life show-and-tell going for me. Amen!
I trust you related to the gist of this brief fictional musing. Having had a very nice long- term, diverse career within the criminal justice systems, I can surely relate to the setting of the blog. Yes, I could surely bore you with many related war stories.
Once while on the witness stand, the prosecutor asked me a certain question. Before I could answer, the defense attorney immediately objected, prompting the judge to send the jury out of the room and instructing both attorneys to approach the bench. After a lengthy back and forth discussion, the judge allowed me to answer the question.
Then came the kicker. The judge said, “OK Sir, you may answer the question, which the prosecutor restated."
My answer was simple “I do not know.”
With this, the entire courtroom instantly erupted into hysterical uncontrollable laughter, causing the judge to declare a mistrial. How many times, within your conversations, are you not allowed to finish a thought? How many times are your prayers interrupted?
So, I give an fervent plea to our all-powerful, all-knowing Creator God, the Maker and Sustainer of this His universe, to intervene on behalf of His people for His sovereign will to be done in our country and especially in our lives. (Ezekiel 34:15-16,31)
Please pray for religious freedom and human understanding within this great country of America.
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