Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A lesson from jury duty

Yesterday, I was called for jury duty and spent all day at the courthouse in the jury selection process. I was never called to go up front and answer the questions before the judge, but I still found it to be an interesting experience. I realize our governmental system has many flaws, but I'm still very thankful to live in a country that upholds the rule of law, and involves the common people in the trial process.

At the beginning of the day, about 70 potential jurors squeezed into the meeting room to watch an orientation video. I found my way to a corner in the back and remained standing. The video gave an overview of our court system, and then re-assured all of us that serving as a juror will be very gratifying. They explained that after a jury is selected, there are three basic components of the trial: the opening statements, the examination stage, and the closing arguments. This is followed by the jury deliberation and final sentencing.

The video said that whereas all the witnesses and evidence are presented during the examination stage, the closing arguments give two "points of view" of the facts: one from the prosecution side, and one from the defense side.

That comment really struck me. The closing arguments give two points of view. Come to think of it, these views are contradictory (one says the defendant is guilty; the other says he is innocent). They are mutually exclusive. It would be absurd to say both the prosecution and the defense points of view are true. And if the jury, at the end of their deliberation announces, "We find the defendant both guilty and not guilty," the judge would either cry or laugh.

Yet is this not what so many postmodernists today believe? Truth is all a matter of your perception, of your experience, of your feelings. In other words, of your personal point of view. What's true for one person may not be true at all for someone else. Your god, your religion, and your code of ethics may work great for you, but I have a different god, religion, and code of ethics. And don't you dare impose your religion upon me!

Common sense teaches us (and our court system confirms) that when two or more points of view contradict each other, only one of them can be true. Our greatest purpose in life is to seek out the truth, and to embrace that which is good, and right, and beautiful.

I believe in the God of the Bible, and that salvation is through Jesus Christ alone. I believe this not because I took a blind leap of faith early in my life, but because God has revealed Himself, drawn me to Himself, and confirmed Himself to be true through all the biblical, historical, archaeological, scientific, and experiential evidence.

Salvation through Jesus Christ is not my personal "point of view." It is God's. And His is the only view that matters.

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