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Courts & Lawsuits

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8    Don't be hot-headed and rush to court! You may start something you can't finish

9         and go down before your neighbor in shameful defeat. So discuss the matter with him privately.

(Proverbs 25:8-9)

Principle:  Try to settle privately, if possible. Be sure you've thought it through.

 

25     "Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still 

       with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you

      over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison.

26     I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.

(Matthew 5:25-26)

Principle: If you are the accused settle quickly, out of court, if possible.

6:1  If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints?

2  Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases?

3  Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life!

4  Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, appoint as judges even men of little account in the church!

5  I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers?

6  But instead, one brother goes to law against another--and this in front of unbelievers!

7  The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?

8  Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers.

9         Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God?

(1 Corinthians 6:1-9)

Principles:  If it is between Christian brothers, don't go to court -- ask for help from fellow believers. If it is between brothers, be willing to absorb a wrong.

9         Go to the priests, who are Levites, and to the judge who is in office at that time. Inquire of them and they will give you the verdict.

10     You must act according to the decisions they give you at the place the LORD will choose. Be careful to do everything they direct you to do.

(Deuteronomy 17:9-10)

Principle: This is an endorsement of going to judges to settle a dispute. (It was a religiously-based court system)

9  Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, said to Paul, "Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and stand trial before me there on these charges?"

10  Paul answered: "I am now standing before Caesar's court, where I ought to be tried. I have not done any wrong to the Jews, as you yourself know very well.

11  If, however, I am guilty of doing anything deserving death, I do not refuse to die. But if the charges brought against me by these Jews are not true, no one has the right to hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar!"

12  After Festus had conferred with his council, he declared: "You have appealed to Caesar. To Caesar you will go!"

            (Acts 25:9-12)

            Principle: Don't hesitate to use the secular court system to see justice done.

22  "If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman's husband demands and the court allows.

(Exodus 21:22)

      Principle:  There is a precedent for monetary damages to someone injured.

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