Koran to be used for congressional oath of office

Con­gress­man Kei­th Elli­son has decid­ed that when he is pri­vate­ly sworn in to Con­gress, he will place his hand upon the Koran rather than the Holy Bible, as is com­mon prac­tice. Don’t let this throw you into a tizzy, though.

1) A leop­ard can­not change its stripes. Ask­ing a Mus­lim to swear upon the Bible does­n’t make him a Chris­t­ian nor does it add any kind of Scrip­tur­al empha­sis to his oath. Per­haps it makes break­ing the oath a bit more seri­ous, but of course they won’t see it that way.

2) Have we for­got­ten Jesus’ words? It is bet­ter to not make any oaths at all and to just let your word stand true (as it should). If a con­gress­man can­not hon­est­ly answer “yes” to a ques­tion con­cern­ing the ful­fill­ment of the job’s duties, mak­ing it an oath sim­ply mul­ti­plies sin: adding the break­ing of oaths with lying. 

Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not for­swear thy­self, but shalt per­form unto the Lord thine oaths: 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: nei­ther by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Nei­ther shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your com­mu­ni­ca­tion be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for what­so­ev­er is more than these cometh of evil. Matthew 5:33–37, KJV

If God does­n’t want us swear­ing even by His foot­stool, what makes us think He would want us swear­ing by His very Word?!

3) I bare­ly remem­ber George Bush, Sr., but from what I can remem­ber, the Amer­i­can gov­ern­ment is spear­head­ed by men who are not giants on a moral play­ing field. Sex­u­al immoral­i­ty, war­mon­ger­ing (and fear-mon­ger­ing to bol­ster war), and so on aren’t exact­ly laud­ed char­ac­ter traits with­in the Scrip­tures; are we so fool­ish that God would want His “endorse­ment” seem­ing­ly giv­en to such a gov­ern­ment via the use of His Word in con­firm­ing newcomers?

Repeat with resound­ing for­ti­tude all you want to “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord!” and “God bless Amer­i­ca!” Such clichés do lit­tle more than waste your time and mine, hon­est­ly. Repeat­ing some­thing won’t make it true. Remem­ber Jesus’ words regard­ing vain, emp­ty, hol­low rep­e­ti­tions… God does­n’t like ’em!

Oh that we would have lead­ers raised up with­in this nation who would be will­ing to fol­low through on the “nations whose God is the Lord” bit. I have always been inspired by the actions of the young Josi­ah. Could you imag­ine if such occurred today!

Josi­ah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thir­ty-one years in Jerusalem: and his moth­er’s name was Jedi­dah the daugh­ter of Ada­iah of Bozkath. And he did right in the sight of the Lord and walked in all the way of his father David, nor did he turn aside to the right or to the left. 2 Kings 22:1,2, NASB

Josi­ah was already a moral man. He lived what could be described a good life and was mature in his ways.

He had decid­ed to give mon­ey from the tem­ple store­house to var­i­ous work­ers at the tem­ple, car­pen­ters, masons, builders, and so on. Those he went to take account of the mon­ey, how­ev­er, find a lost book, that of God’s Law (such as, per­haps, a scroll con­tain­ing Deuteron­o­my). This grieves the king, for it becomes obvi­ous that the Law of the Lord had been neglect­ed in his land for some time. The king desires con­fir­ma­tion from God con­cern­ing the words, and the Lord through a prophet­ess pro­vides such con­fir­ma­tion. Josi­ah has been converted…

And the king went up to the house of the Lord and all the men of Judah and all the inhab­i­tants of Jerusalem with him, and the priests and the prophets and all the peo­ple, both small and great; and he read in their hear­ing all the words of the book of the covenant, which was found in the house of the Lord. And the king stood by the pil­lar and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord, and to keep His com­mand­ments and His tes­ti­monies and His statutes with all his heart and all his soul, to car­ry out the words of this covenant that were writ­ten in this book. And all the peo­ple entered into the covenant. 2 Kings 23:2,3, NASB

So here we have Josi­ah the king, a man who had just ded­i­cat­ed his life to Jeho­vah God. We’ve had quite a few pub­lic offi­cials in Amer­i­ca announce that they believed in God or had made a com­mit­ment to Him, but very few, if any, of them have expressed it quite as vivid­ly as Josi­ah did. He used his influ­ence to set things right in his nation accord­ing to the Law of the Lord.

False reli­gion was wiped out. Mon­u­ments, altars, and every­thing else tied into the wor­ship of false gods were destroyed and erased from the nation. Wor­ship of God and the recog­ni­tion of Passover was rein­stat­ed. Medi­ums, spiri­tists, and oth­er assort­ed (what we would call) “New Age” types were removed. The bulk of 2 Kings 22 (up until verse 27 or so) details the ref­or­ma­tion of the nation by Josiah.

Here is Josi­ah’s lega­cy, endorsed by Jeho­vah God Himself:

And before him there was no king like him who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, accord­ing to all the law of Moses; nor did any like him arise after him. 2 Kings 22:25, NASB

Could you imag­ine what it would be like to have some lead­ers in Amer­i­ca like that?

Or has Amer­i­ca’s sys­tem of gov­ern­ment effec­tive­ly pre­clud­ed such a glo­ri­ous turn­ing to the Lord? After all, for such a change to take place, the Bible would have to sup­plant the Con­sti­tu­tion as Amer­i­ca’s holi­est doc­u­ment. The First Amend­men­t’s guar­an­tee regard­ing the prac­tice of reli­gion pre­cludes a right­eous leader ever cast­ing out all ungod­ly wor­ship and prac­tice. Estab­lish­ing laws man­dat­ing the cel­e­bra­tion of the Lord’s Day (or even the Sab­bath or Passover) would vio­late the for­bid­ding of any par­tic­u­lar reli­gion being estab­lished or endorsed by the government.

Is Amer­i­ca a Chris­t­ian nation? I say no! Chris­tians wor­ship a God who was delight­ed when a king came to pow­er who ruled in accor­dance with His Word.

But as long as the pro­fessed Chris­tians Amer­i­ca choos­es to put in pow­er are war­mon­gers who cause the death of thou­sands upon thou­sands of peo­ple, I think we’re a long way from ever hav­ing a ruler pas­sion­ate­ly in love with God’s Word and the tes­ti­mo­ny con­tained therein.

We may not see such a thing until Christ Him­self reclaims the throne of David and rules over all the nations, with Jerusalem as His capital.

I long for that day.

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Rick Beckman