I read an article about whether or not Christians should participate in jury duty. The position of the writer was that Christians should not participate in jury duty. The author based it on several scriptures (among others):
He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the LORD. Proverbs 17:15
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Matthew 7:1-2
Are these scriptures really commanding us not to judge the deeds of another in a criminal proceeding? I think not. For instance in Matthew 7:1-2 (cited by the author of the article), scripture clarifies the meaning in the next few verses. God is commanding us not to have a hypocritical or a self-righteous type of judgment. Verse 3 clarifies the meaning:
Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Matthew 7:3 (ESV)
I am reminded of a public incident that happened many years ago. A well-known married televangelist had fallen into a adulterous relationship. Another well-well known married televangelist publically denounced and condemned the relationship. The problem was that he also was in the midst of his own adulterous relationship at the time he publically judged the first televangelist’s adulterous relationship. In other words, he saw the speck in someone else’s eye but paid no heed to the log in his own eye. This is a hypocritical and self-righteous type of judgment.
The Bible is full of God’s commands to judge a person’s fruits. Matthew 18 is a good place to start.
The Lord Jesus knows trees by their roots, but we comprehend the character of trees only by their fruit. Man, therefore, looks on the outward appearance; but God sees and knows the heart. ( W.E. Best in Regeneration and Conversion.)
We can judge matters of fruit or deeds but we better make sure our hands are clean (Matthew 7:3) before we do so.
Imagine our world if we refused to judge. Do we not judge when we interview a babysitter or an employee? Do we not make judgments throughout our daily lives? Do we not judge the deeds of even our fellow Christians when they fall into sin so that we can exhort them to repent (Matthew 18)? Do we not judge the acts our fellow citizens and condemn acts of wickedness?
I see nothing in scripture to support the prohibition of sitting on a jury and judging the criminal deeds/act of another.