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Baptist Confession of 1689: Of Lawful Oaths and Vows

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CHAPTER 23—OF LAWFUL OATHS AND VOWS

Paragraph 1. A lawful oath is a part of religious worship, wherein the person swearing in truth, righteousness, and judgment, solemnly calls God to witness what he swears, (Exd 20:7; Deu 10:20; Jer 4:2); and to judge him according to the truth or falseness thereof, (2Ch 6:22-23).

Paragraph 2. The name of God only is that by which men ought to swear; and therein it is to be used, with all holy fear and reverence; therefore to swear vainly or rashly by that glorious and dreadful name, or to swear at all by any other thing, is sinful, and to be abhorred, (Mat 5:34, 37; James 5:12); yet as in matter of weight and moment, for confirmation of truth, and ending all strife, an oath is warranted by the word of God, (Hbr 6:16; 2Co 1:23); so a lawful oath being imposed by lawful authority in such matters, ought to be taken, (Neh 13:25).

Paragraph 3. Whosoever takes an oath warranted by the word of God, ought duly to consider the weightiness of so solemn an act, and therein to avouch nothing but what he knows to be truth; for that by rash, false, and vain oaths, the Lord is provoked, and for them this land mourns, (Lev 19:12; Jer 23:10).

Paragraph 4. An oath is to be taken in the plain and common sense of the words, without equivocation or mental reservation, (Psa 24:4).

Paragraph 5. A vow, which is not to be made to any creature, but to God alone, is to be made and performed with all religious care and faithfulness, (Psa 76:11; Gen 28:20-22); but popish monastical vows of perpetual single life, (1Co 7:2, 9); professed poverty, (Eph 4:28); and regular obedience, are so far from being degrees of higher perfection, that they are superstitious and sinful snares, in which no Christian may entangle himself, (Mat 19:1).



DISCLAIMER: Creeds, catechisms, and confessions do not replace Scripture, nor the authority of Scripture. The creeds, catechisms and confessions are included herein for purposes of reference. Blue Letter Bible aims to provide resources that cover a range of traditional, orthodox, conservative Christianity, for the benefit of all of our users. The inclusion of the creeds, catechisms, and confessions does not necessarily mean that the ministry agrees with each and every point in each, since some are coming from different Christian perspectives of faith, practice and worship. The user may find them useful as tools to assist in understanding or teaching the Scriptures, since they were drafted based upon Scripture. Used in their proper context, they can continue to aid us as much today as they did for our forefathers in centuries past.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.