Why Don’t We Serve on Jury Duty?

Our Citizenship

As a Christian our citizenship is first and foremost in heaven (Philippians 3:20; Colossians 1:13). In that respect we are to be acting as an Ambassador (2 Corinthians 5:20) from that foreign country serving as an appointed (John 6:44) representative (Romans 8:29; Galatians 3:27) of God who is the Head of State for His Kingdom.

We are not to be involved in the matters of the this world which is ruled by Satan (Ephesians 2:2; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 2:13), but rather we are to come out it and not be a part of it (John 15:19; 17:16,18; 18:36-37) in much the same way that diplomatic visitors cannot participate in this and similar activities.

During our temporary stay here on Earth we are to act commensurate to our commission (1 Peter 2:11-12; Hebrews11:13) and demonstrate conduct becoming of God (Matthew 5:16-18; 1 Peter 1:17).

Letter vs Spirit of the Law

In the court of this land it is mandated that only the letter of the law be considered when adjudicating a case. As a keeper of God’s law, we are to judge righteously (John 7:24) as outlined in the Bible (Matthew 4:4). A significant part of His Way also allows for repentance (Acts 2:38; 3:19), forgiveness (Luke 17:3; Matthew 6:14), mercy (Matthew 23:23) and conscience (Romans 14:23) which the modern judicial system rarely allows for or takes into account.

Judicial Processes

There is often a conflict in how the Bible states that we are to go about judging a matter versus how we would be expected to assess it in court. For instance, God says that two or more witnesses are needed to convict someone and if they perjure themselves they are subject to the penalty of the crime at hand (Deuteronomy 19:15-20; Matthew 18:16). In the court system one witness may be acceptable and the consequences of perjury may be tantamount to a slap on the wrist, if anything at all.

There are still a broad spectrum of other issues such as: the omitting of evidence, acceptance of laws that are against the clear Word of God, working on a Sabbath, sentencing that does not fit the crime, instructions contrary to the Bible, acting against one’s conscience, etc. that would put the Christian in an ungodly predicament in the court room.

Christ’s Example

We are to pattern our behavior after Christ (1 Peter 2:21) and when asked to judge a civil matter (Luke 12:13-14) He opted out. Also Paul who admonished us to follow him as he follows Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1) stated he had no business judging those outside of the church (1 Corinthians 5:12).

God’s Law Before Man’s

Although we are to pray for the leaders of the nation (Titus 3:1–2; 1 Timothy 2:1–2) and “give to Caesar the things of Caesar” we can not be remiss in giving “to God the things of God” (Matthew 22:21; Romans 13:1-7).

So the summation of the matter is that we can not participate in jury duty as we must put God’s ways before man’s (Acts 5:29) even if there are consequences to go with it (Acts 5:41; 1 Peter 4:12-13).

In accordance with all the above, the Greater Church of God, has stated on its web site from its inception that we “do not participate…in jury duty” as a matter of our faith. It should be noted that this belief has been held sincerely through previous organizations dating back more than 40 years.