Microsoft word - juryduty.doc

United Church of God, an International Association Jury Duty
Approved by the Council of Elders All scriptures are quoted from The Holy Bible, New King James Version ( 1988 Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, Tennessee) unless otherwise noted.
Jury Duty
Statement of Belief
United Church of God, an International Association
n our modern society judgments are primarily concerned with the letter of the law. Incontrast, God looks on one's heart and is concerned with the spirit and intent of the law.
IMan's laws usualy do not take into account matters of conscience and other spiritual factors, as God does. Jesus taught that Christians must be willing to forgive others(M atthew 6:14-15) and the Apostle Paul wrote that we should even be willing to sufferwrong or be defrauded rather than take a brother to court (I Corinthians 6:7).
The Bible teaches that Christians must be cautious when judgement is required. They are admonished to exercise righteous judgment (John 7:24). On one occasion Jesus refusedto judge a matter when asked to settle a dispute over an inheritance (Luke 12:13-14).
The United Church of God, an International Association, believes and teaches that, asdisciples of Jesus Christ, members are ambassadors for Christ here on earth (2 Corinthians5:20) and sojourners awaiting the establishment of the Kingdom of God on Christ’s return(I Peter 1:17, 2:11). We believe that members should seek to limit their involvement in thegovernmental machinery or affairs of this world as much as possible (2 Corinthians 6:17).
If a member becomes a juror they are, even if for a short time, part of the governmentalmachinery of the state for the judicial determination of a lawsuit. We teach our members tostrive to avoid entangling themselves in judging those outside the Church as cautioned byJesus’ apostles in the New Testament (e.g. 1 Corinthians 5:12,13; 6:1-5).
A clear question also exists of not being able to judge righteous judgment (John 7:24) if serving as a juror. This could occur should the secular law or jury instructions conflict withBiblical mandates or where because of technical rules of evidence many relevant andBiblically allowed facts are withheld from the jury (even though the judge sees them). TheBible also prohibits work or similar secular activities on a Sabbath or Holy Day of theChurch and jury service on those days would conflict with that command.
The Church believes that if a member’s objection to jury duty based on the Bible issincerely held, their service on a jury would also violate another tenet of the Church foundin Romans 14:23 that “whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” Conclusion
The United Church of God, an International Association supports its members in theexercise of their faith based on sincerely held religious convictions which the Churchbelieves are consistent with scripture. When a member seeks exemption from jury dutypursuant to their personal beliefs and convictions based on the Bible, it is the Church’sposition that such action is in keeping with the scriptures. The United Church of God doesnot condemn any member who may, in good conscience, believe that he or she can, as aChristian, serve as a juror in a particular case. What one does must be governed by his orher own convictions based on the Bible, not by the beliefs or conduct of others. In anyevent, it is appropriate to ask that a member’s convictions in this regard be respected.


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