Beyond Reasonable Doubt

Today was my second full time day on the county grand jury. We spent the bulk of our time in orientation learning about our job as jurists.

The essence of our role is to determine which cases will go to indictment or in other words, to trial. The key question we are supposed to ask is if there is “probable cause.”

Probable cause is a reasonable belief that a crime has been committed and that the person under investigation committed that crime. That is totally different than what many trials require. They require something called “beyond reasonable doubt.”

The burden of our responsibility is not to believe that the person for sure committed the crime. We are only supposed to determine if it seems reasonable it could have happened. We don’t have to believe with a whole lot of certainty.

I started thinking about those two differentiations when it comes to our relationship with God. I think many people take the position that there is reasonable belief in someone who made this world, someone called God.

Even many Christ followers seem to fit into this camp. They believe but it really doesn’t affect their lives that much. It just seems “normal”to be a Christian in this country.

That is a world of difference from “beyond reasonable doubt.” That means you have a ton of certainty that Christ is the reason for life itself. You bet your life on it! You still have to have faith. But, your faith is built on rock solid conviction!

I think its time for Christ followers to quit living like Christ is a “reasonable belief” and start acting like their faith is “beyond reasonable doubt.” That would change everything!


  1. Gina

    Great Lesson Jim, It prompted the thought that God has made straight paths, it’s my own feet I am stumbling over. As God wills so I will do – how much easier is the Doing when it’s done with a grateful heart. Thanks Jim for sharing so much with us.

  2. Katie

    I agree when it seems “normal” to be Christian in this country. It doesn’t seem to mean as much as it used to. It’s more of an indifferent statement made by most people. It’s like they say “Blue is my favorite color, I am Christian, and I like dogs.” We need to realize how much it truly means to be Christian… Or acting like our faith is “beyond a reasonable doubt”. :)

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