This commandment [You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor] is given so that everyone shall help his neighbor to secure his rights and not allow them to be hindered or twisted. But everyone shall promote and strictly maintain these rights, no matter whether he is a judge or a witness, and let it apply to whatsoever it will. A particular goal is set up here for our jurists that they be careful to deal truly and uprightly with every case, allowing right to remain right. On the other hand, they must not pervert anything by their tricks and technical points, turning black into white and making wrong out to be right. They must not gloss over a matter or keep silent about it, regardless of a person's money, possession, honor, or power. This is the plainest sense of this commandment about what takes place in court.
Next, this commandment extends much further, if we are to apply it to spiritual jurisdiction or administration. Here it is a common occurrence that everyone bears false witness against his neighbor. Wherever there are godly preachers and Christians, they must bear the sentence before the world that calls them heretics, apostates, and indeed, instigators and desperately wicked unbelievers. God's Word must suffer in the most hateful manner, being blasphemed, persecuted, contradicted and falsely interpreted. This is the way of the blind world, which persecutes the truth and God's children, and considers it no sin. (paragraphs 260-262)
Condensed from CONCORDIA: THE LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS, copyright 2005,2006 by Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission. All rights reserved. To purchase a copy of CONCORDIA, call 800-325-3040.