Source: John Pettie, George Fox Refusing to Take The Oath at Houlker Hall (wikimedia)
George Fox was the founder of the Quakers, also known as the Friends.
One of the laws in Quakerism is “the testimony of integrity”.
This means that adherents are not allowed to swear oaths but they are only allowed to respond by using the words “yea” (yes) or “nay” (no).
From a Quaker website:
“The Testimony of Integrity is a recognition that the Spirit calls us to lead lives of honesty in all our dealings. We are called to lead lives of openness and authenticity, speaking clearly and honestly, and showing consistency between our religious faith and the way that we live.”
The Anabaptists believed the same. From an Anabaptist website:
“Disciples are literally not to swear oaths – Matthew 5:33-37. This also meant that Christians could not be a part of much of the civic and economic life of the day which required oaths.”
I agree with this viewpoint, since it is affirmed in Scripture that
“But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into judgment*.”
– James 5:12 (* The masoretic text reads: hypocrisy)
Jesus Himself said:
“But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”
– Matthew 5:34-37
Read also “Mean What You Say” by Stacy J Ross.
Read also “Living What We Believe” by William Birch.
All Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.