Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Oh Man...Oaths

Good afternoon folks,

I hope that everyone is doing well.  I am doing pretty good myself, so I can't complain.  You know, I am not going to waste too much time because today's WFTD is serious business for me.  It is probably the toughest one I have had to write thus far, but it's life so here we go.

Today I want to talk to you all about "oaths".  Yep, oaths.  Well, you may be asking why in the world would this be so tough Antoine?  We'll I'll tell you why.  It's because I had to take one to become a member of my fraternity, Iota Phi Theta.  The one I loved so dearly and cherished.  The one I stayed up for late nights and poured years of time and energy into it.  The problem is that biblically, taking oaths are just wrong.  Wrong as wrong can be.  I had heard about this before but I chose not to know or to find out because after all, when happy why ruin it right?  However, God has a way of putting you into position so that He can be heard.  It is quite a humbling way of doing things and when you're in it, its amazing how you can look back and see how He systematically brought you to this point - all the while you thought life wasn't making sense.

What is an oath?  According to TheFreeDictionary.com an oath is "[a] solemn, formal declaration or promise to fulfill a pledge, often calling on God, a god, or a sacred object as witness". We all take oaths.  Politicians take oaths while being sworn into office.  Someone about to take the stand in a trial takes an oath to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help them God.  Even the Pledge of Allegiance is an oath.   Fine right? WRONG!  Very, very wrong.  Just because we do it and we all have been doing it, doesn't make it right.  Let's go to Leviticus 5:4:
"Or if anyone unthinkingly swears he will do something, whether to do evil or good, whatever it may be that a man shall pronounce rashly taking an oath, then, when he becomes aware of it, he shall be guilty in either of these."
For a good example, let's jump to the New Testament.  In Mark 6:22-27, it says:
"(22) When the daughter of Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests.   The king said to the girl, 'Ask me for anything you want, and I'll give it to you.'  (23) And he promised her with an oath, 'Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom.'   (24) She went out and said to her mother, 'What shall I ask for?' 'The head of John the Baptist,' she answered.  (25) At once the girl hurried in to the king with the request: 'I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptist on a platter.'  (26) The king was greatly distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her. (27) So he immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John's head. The man went, beheaded John in the prison,"
Go back and read the rest of Mark 6, but you'll find that Herod had no intentions of killing John the Baptist, but because he took an oath he had to do it.  He didn't know that the result would end in evil, but it did. 

Being the smart and intelligent guy that I am, I said to myself "Self, that was Old Testament stuff.  That can't possibly apply to me now."  I mean after all I had a point right?  Jesus came to fulfill the law so this couldn't possible apply to me any more right?  This is the point where the Holy Spirit says, oh really?  Let me show you something in Matthew 5:33-37.  It says:
"(33) Again, you have heard that it was said to the men of old, You shall not swear falsely, but you shall perform your oaths to the Lord [as a religious duty].  (34) But I tell you, Do not bind yourselves by an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is the throne of God; (35) Or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King.  (36) And do not swear by your head, for you are not able to make a single hair white or black. (37) Let your Yes be simply Yes, and your No be simply No; anything more than that comes from the evil one." (FYI, you can also find something similar to this in James 5:12)
Folks that is red text.  If know an inkling about the bible, then you know what this means.  It is Jesus speaking!  In the words of my wife, "you cannot argue with what's in red".  Jesus even says to  not take an oath at all, even to heaven!  I mean, really if you are a true believer and follower of Christ, then Jesus speaking means a lot.  To me, this means that I have to make a change, because ignorance of the law is not bliss.  Don't believe me, then go down the highway doing 100mph and pretend to the officer you didn't know you couldn't drive that fast. 

With that said, I have to renounce my former thrown as the King of Zamunda.  Do you hear me?  I renounce my thrown!  No in all seriousness though, I have asked for forgiveness and turned away from my sin.  Net-Net.  I have officially severed my ties with my former fraternity for the simple reason that my yes should have been my yes and my no my no.  Even though I have been inactive, for me to continue my connection with the organization would be a blatant act of disobedience and I've had too many whoopings growing up to know what it brings.

I say all this to say, this was the revelation that God has given to me and I felt the need to share it with others.  I know this will not be accepted by the majority of the folks out there, but I'm not here to be accepted by the majority.  I want acceptance only from Jesus.  If you are in a greek lettered organization and claim to be a Christian then I want to share this information that may not act on now, but at least you cannot say you had not been informed.

Be blessed folks and have a good one!


Antoine E. Hall

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"It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect." - 2 Samuel 22:33
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