Once again, the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin incident has sparked protests. According to a story on KHOU channel 11 news in Houston, protesters were unhappy with the verdict in the recent George Zimmerman trial. As a result, they took to the streets of Houston and throughout the nation in protest.
The first article on Christian activism also had a basis on the protests that this same incident generated when it first occurred. Each occurrence has come about from a conclusion that George Zimmerman is guilty of murdering Trayvon Martin, even before he had gone to trial. Now that the trial is over and the verdict is in, the man is still seen as guilty by many.
Certainly, everybody has the freedom to have an opinion on this matter. Yet, when it comes to born-again believers in Jesus Christ, isn’t our opinion on any issue supposed to have a Biblical basis? The answer to this question is given in 1 Corinthians 2:16, where we are given the instructions to have “the mind of Christ.” Therefore, our thinking should have the Word of God as its foundation, since the “mind of Christ” is God’s Word (1 Cor. 2:16).
For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. (KJV 1 Cor. 2:16)
Our instructions are to have the same attitude that controlled the Lord while he was here on earth. The Lord’s virtues are to be our virtues on any concerns. This is the sole purpose that a believer in Jesus Christ is still alive on earth, to “grow up into him in all things,” (Eph. 4:13-15).
Til we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ. (KJV Eph. 4:13-15)
With this command in mind, we see that the opinion of the born-again believer is to have a biblical basis on “all things,” not just some things.
Thus, from our first article we found that the responsibility for determining guilt or innocence on a legal case in our system of jurisprudence falls on the judge and jury. Their conclusion on guilt or innocence must have a basis on the laws of evidence. Therefore, unless we are the judge or part of the jury that presided over the Zimmerman trial, we do not have the benefit of the laws of evidence to determine guilt or innocence. Nor do we have the responsibility.
Before coming to a conclusion that our system of jurisprudence has flaws, let us consider the precedence for our system of jurisprudence of today. Our system of jurisprudence is the same system that Israel had in the Old Testament. Therefore, our system has a Biblical basis, since it was the same system that God moved Moses to develop in the Old Testament. The flaws are not in the system since it has its origin in God. The flaw is in the imperfect limited sinful human beings that are part of it.
Remember that the design of this system is to operate under the laws of evidence. The system becomes flawed when it has a basis on hearsay, a public lie, social activism, racial prejudice, crusader arrogance, power lust or any other form of human arrogance (Ex. 23:1-3).
Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness. Thou shalt not follow a multitude to [do] evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest [judgment]: Neither shalt thou countenance a poor man in his cause. (KJV Ex. 23:1-3)
Therefore, let us look at what the Bible teaches about jurisprudence in Exodus 23:1-3 one more time to determine if our opinion, as a believer, is Biblical or not.
The first rule is that we have to have the benefit of a true witness that can honestly tell the facts of the case. Otherwise, they are a false or “unrighteous witness.” In addition, we have seen that Deuteronomy 19:15 teaches that evidence comes through 2 or 3 true witnesses. Does our opinion about this case have a basis on the testimony of 2 or 3 true witnesses?
The second rule of proper justice is not to follow the “multitude to do evil.” Thus, the wrong influence of the multitude or crowd perverts the testimony of a witness. Is our opinion influenced by the inaccurate conclusion of the multitude?
The third rule of justice in Exodus 23:3 teaches not to show favoritism to a poor man. The financial condition of a person, whether rich or poor, should not influence justice. The only influence is to come from the laws of evidence. Is our opinion influenced by whether someone is from the rich or poor side of town?
In conclusion, if our opinion on the Zimmerman case has no basis on any of these laws of evidence, as found in the Bible, then it is nothing more than hearsay. As we may remember, hearsay is testimony that is given by a witness that has a basis on what he has heard from someone else. Hearsay is not biblical nor is it evidence in a court of law. For the born-again believer in Jesus Christ, rejecting hearsay is part of having the “mind of Christ.” To accept hearsay is to be “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine…” (Eph. 4:14).
Thus, to reform our system of jurisprudence, we must first reform our thinking with the proper concepts on the laws of evidence. Otherwise, we may one day be that juror who is the flaw in this system that everybody is so desperately trying to reform.