Tennessee GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Bill Lee and Biblical Standard for Witnesses
One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.
But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’
2 Corinthians 13:1
This is the third time I am coming to you. “Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.”
1 Timothy 5:19
Do not entertain an accusation against an elder, except on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
If anyone kills a person, the murderer is to be put to death on the testimony of multiple witnesses. But no one is to be put to death based on the testimony of a lone witness.
In an apparent attempt to cut off an attack on Tennessee GOP gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee in regard to an adviser of his citing the Biblical requirement of having two or three witnesses to receive an accusation against a person, Lee’s campaign said the Biblical requirement wouldn’t be the standard of Tennessee under a Lee administration.
The issue arose when Pastor Steve Berger said in a sermon concerning the baseless accusations by Christine Blasey Ford toward Judge Brett Kavanaugh at the time, that the Bible demands for there to be at least two or three witnesses.
Berger is one of the advisers Lee brought on board in order to address state issues from a Biblical perspective.
The first thing to note about this is how the media knew what Berger talked about in a sermon he gave to his congregation on September 30? Obviously, someone reported it to those that were going to use it against Lee, or people were infiltrating the congregation.
This does bring up a couple of interesting things. The first is this: why would anyone say the standard for a witness needs to be more than one witness, isn’t going to be the standard of the state? If it isn’t, the legal system would be in anarchy, as anyone can make an unproven assertion that could destroy someone’s life.
The bizarre idea that an individual witness will be the standard Lee uses because the Bible reveals a superior standard, doesn’t make sense.
Even under existing standards in the U.S. there usually needs to be more than one witness or piece of evidence to justify or allow someone to be charged with a crime. So just because a pastor says the Bible teaches any accusation requires more than one witness, doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s true, or that it violates the fictitious idea of separation of church and state.
What’s good about this in my view is it puts God’s laws out there for people to hear. It’s going to take some time before the laws of God permeate the church and by extension, the government, but the fact it’s being talked about, even if it’s not defended, is a good thing.
As for the Bible, as the scriptures above testify to, in many areas of life there is the need to embrace the principle of two or three witnesses. Why? Because the Scriptures teach us that for any matter to be established – legal or otherwise – it must include more than one witness.
And in the interesting case of Paul in 2 Corinthians 13:1, he talks about the number of visits he made to them as falling under this guideline.
It’s unfortunate that Lee’s campaign didn’t back up the requirement for witnesses because it’s not only Biblical, but is backed by common sense. Again, even in real-world circumstances today most justice in the West operates under this principle.
For the long-term, the best thing we can do is to continue to teach the nations that they are to obey all things Jesus has taught us in the Bible, including from Genesis to Revelation.
This will in turn bring it consistently and incrementally bring the laws and commands of God into the mind of people, which as it grows in understanding and acceptibility, will gradually become part of the law code of the nations around the world. More importantly, God’s people will learn the ways of God and build a new creation civilization based upon His laws, starting with individual obedience, and expanding to families, churches, and the rest of the world.