Red flags for me on this one...big time. I recently heard a popular pastor/teacher on the radio argue for this using the examples of Rahab "lying" to "save lives" and David and his men "eating" the sacred temple bread to "preserve life." Sin is Sin, and I believe God always gives us an escape and never ever would He want us to choose the "lesser of two evils" or as this pastor put it "choosing the higher moral position." Looking forward to your feedback...Thanks!
Originally Posted by Dmarie
I think if you ask any christian, including me if it is ever ok to lie most would say no but I also say that it may be right on occasion to speak falsehoods to those who do not have the right to know the truth. In wartime enemies do not expect the truth from one another. The Nazi seeking to kill innocent Jews should not expect truth.
Does everyone have the right to truth? Evildoers sacrifice many of their rights. For instance, we deprive prisoners of their freedom of movement. And, of course, the person poised to murder forfeits his right to life, which is why a policeman can fire his weapon with the intent to kill. Why, therefore, should we imagine that everyone enjoys an inviolable right to truth in all communications? Isn’t giving the truth to a Nazi like returning a loaded weapon to a madman? Does he have any right to the truth?
Is it your hearts intent to deceive and cause harm when you try to comfort a child telling them that everything will be fine when perhaps it won't. Is this really bearing false witness? The midwives lie to Pharaoh about why they failed to kill the Hebrew babies, Rehab lied to protect the spies and so on. Is all of this ok with God? I really don't know, but I know He sees the heart and the intent.
I really appreciate your feed-back on this. I still really question as to whether it is ever right to "lie" or "deceive" in any situation or circumstance. God tells us in His word that He always gives us a way out of sin (!Cor.10:13). Is it always easy?...no, and "God is not the author of confusion but of peace"(!Cor14:33).
I appreciate your examples, but they assume an obligated response to an evil-doer. Jesus did not respond to Pilate or Herod when he was questioned, but remained silent (Mat 27:11-14, Luke23:8,9). Also, it is assumed that there is nothing else we can do to aid, help or prevent an innocent from an evil-doer or assailant. We can fight back, or we can answer nothing that would help or aid the offender in anyway...or,whatever "way of escape" the Lord may provide without causing us to compromise Truth in any way.
Rahab was commended for her "faith" not her lying and the "means" by which she hid the spies. She came from a pagan background not to mention her "occupation." which was sinful. The decision to lie was her own and was not prompted by God in any way or design. She was blessed not because of her sin, but in spite of it. I think of Romans 8:28 where God says that He causes "...all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." Lying is never right and should not be justified under any circumstances or situation, and our only moral obligation should be to not do it. Leaning on our own understanding can get mixed up and end up wrong, but leaning on God understanding and His ways which are above ours, is the right thing to do.
Let's keep in touch on this disciple. I appreciate your response and would love to speak further on this. Blessings...Dmarie
every once in a while you can be put into a position where if you tell the truth you are not just causing harm, you are doing something that is EVIL.....
We cant just dismiss this by saying, "Oh God will provide a way out"
The truth is that there are times in your life, that you may be called upon to act in a very deceptive manner in order to do what is right.
I have a distant cousin that works for the police . I know he works undercover at times when doing drug crime investigations.
At such times I have actually spotted him with people I knew were from out of town and were likely drug dealers.
At such times there is no way in the world i would ever tell anyone that I knew him!
I would clearly lie my head off if asked about , "Do you know that guy?"
There is not way around that.
And people that try to find an 'excuse for Rahab", by blaming her lie on her being a non-believer are only fooling themselves.
Rehab did EXACTLY what God wanted her to do!
She was Blessed because of what she did!
God did not have to put an asterisk (*) by her name in the Bible, or by his blessing of her!
Really? "Rahab did exactly what God wanted her to do"?
I appreciate your response, but you miss the biblical point. from your perspective, and own words that "Rahab did exactly what God wanted her to do", you are in fact stating that God "wanted" her to sin in order for Him to save the spies, because that is "exactly" what he "...wanted her to do." You then have to ask yourself, when David committed adultery and murder, and when Noah got drunk, and when Moses struck the rock, and when Peter denied the Lord 3 times,..., did they all do "exactly what God 'wanted' " them to do? No! God obviously took their disobedience, lies, and deceptions and turned them and used them for His glory and purpose(s). We have to ask ourselves, do we not undermine God and His power when we try to manipulate, or lie in order to achieve what we think is God's will and purpose? His Word is clear "Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth" (Ephesians 6:14).
Again, thank you alanmolstad for responding to me. I look forward to further discussions with you on this. Blessings...Dmarie
The "sin" would have been if she would have told the truth and turned over the Jews , who would have been killed.
Originally Posted by Dmarie
So it was her faith that kept her from sin in this case....
It's like the one question that Jesus asked, about a animal that falls down in the well on the Sabbath.
Now according to the Law, you would never work to rescue that poor animal, But Jesus knew that Man was not made for the law, but the Law was made for man...and that it is always better to do things that save life.
So while there are some who would say that running down the street Sabbath, carrying a rope to pull out an animal is work on the Sabbath, and therefore is "Against the Law, and is therefore is a "sin" would condemn anyone for working on the Sabbath to free an animal.
Jesus clearly sees the hypocrisy in such a view.
So, the " 'sin' would have been if she told the 'truth' ."
And, if she had told the 'truth' her 'sin' would have been telling the 'truth', and "possibly" causing death. Is not God able to deliver 2 spies especially if Truth is spoken? Again, you assume that she has to give an answer. Whether she gave an answer or not, or whether she chose to "fight" back or not, or whether she lied (which she did), was not God able to deliver the spies from any of these situations? You are assuming that she "had" to lie so that lives may be saved. If God can deliver in spite of our choices to lie or decieve, can He not also deliver us when we speak the Truth?
"Woe to him who says evil is good and good is evil"
"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." (Romans 12:21)
I do understand where you are coming from, but I have to say that your 'position' in response to sin, and "how" we respond to it depending on the situation, is very troubling to me. Please let's continue this discussion. Thank you again for responding to me. Blessings...Dmarie
The problem with your whole line of reasoning is that you make God weak...
You are making God so weak that you have to race to his rescue, and provide a "Get out of jail free" card for the whole Rehab story....
There is no need to be so concerned for God's good name.
The story is what it is...
Rehab lied, and was blessed because it was a good lie.....
The Law states that you cant work on the sabbath, yet Jesus did lots of work on that day.....
Jesus knew that doing good is far more important than patting yourself on the back for not breaking the letter of the law, and yet allow innocent to die.
rehab was faced with a choice....tell a lie, or tell the truth.
thats the story the way it reads....
We have no right to think that God had a different 'plan' and only had to ad lib over the part where Rehab lied...
So my only advice for you in the same situation , where telling a lie will save life?
Make it a good lie.
"Make it a good lie"???
Thank you again for your response and dialogue with me on this. How is telling the truth, (which God is), vs. telling a lie making God weak? I am sorry my friend, but when we "lie" or "deceive" in order to save life (which I firmly agree is precious), or whatever it may be, begs me to ask...is it not us who underestimate God and His power to save, and is it not GOD alone who ultimately saves? Is HE not the giver and taker of life? So, who are we that we have to say that we must tell, as you put it---"a good lie"---(which in itself is an oxymoron) in order to save a life? Are we God? Of course not, and it is by your reasoning alanmolstad, ....telling a "good lie"...that you "make God weak," and it is you that "race to His rescue" because you fail to trust in HIS soverign power to save and deliver. Please read again my previous responses to you. Please do not fall into the trap of thinking that we "have to" respond to an evil-doer. Jesus didn't.
If someone was seeking to kill my son, and threatened to harm me and the rest of my family if I didn't tell him where he was, how do I respond to him:
***I can "lie" to him and tell him my son is gone and/or I don't know. This at a possible cost of life. (LIE)
***I can choose not to respond to him at all. This also at a possible cost of life. (TRUTH)
***I can fight him. At a possible cost of life. (TRUTH)
***I can tell him where my son is- possibly costing him his life, but in turn saving my life and the lives of my family (possibly). (TRUTH)
*And, how am I to really know that this evil person doesn't already have the intent to kill me and the rest of my family whether I tell him the truth or not?
...but God knows.
So, do I tell the truth, or do I tell a "good lie" alanmolstad?
Once again, I have already answered this question in depth.....
Originally Posted by Dmarie
"The truth is that there are times in your life, that you may be called upon to act in a very deceptive manner in order to do what is right."
Im in the sport of Kumdo. (Korean Kendo)
It is the art of the sword.
I put on armor and we fight to score points.
In almost every movement I make while in a match I color everything with deception.
I tell lies with my sword to gain advantage.
If I were in a real sword fight to the death, I would tell good lies.
As you have clearly stated in your last response to me my dear brother...you walk a path of "deception". You and I are obviously on 2 different paths on this.
I do wish you well always alanmolstad.
Please keep me in your prayers as I will keep you in mine. I do look forward to future dialogue with you on other discussions.
I walk with Rahab I guess then,
Originally Posted by Dmarie
man was never made for the law.
The law was made for man.
But if keeping the letter of the law ends with the death of innocents, then we dare not think for one moment that God will bless us for keeping the letter of the law.
an ox falls into a deep well on the sabbath.
we need rope, and other animals, and lots and lots of friends to dig the ox out of the well or it will die.
you either work on the sabbath or you don't.
I will not sit by and pat myself on the back for keeping to the letter of the law, while I listen to my ox drown .
Jesus once told a man to "pick up your mat and go home"
However this actually was totally against the law....after all, moses had people put to death for carrying less weight on the sabbath.
But Jesus knew that it keeping the letter of the law is pointless if you dont understand that the law is for us, not us for the law.
The law, is OUR servant,,,not we it's.
This is why there was NO SIN in the lies that Rehab told to protect the Lord's messengers.
and had she told the truth, she would have sinned...
I did a little search on the web on this question, and this caught my eye as something that is far better writen that what i have attempted to do.
Perhaps the points I was weak on are more clear here ...
Originally Posted by Dmarie
I agree that God is able to do anything He wishes despite our reaction to a given situation. But even though we trust God and wish to obey Him we still respond as humans, for example when the nazi asks are there Jews in the attic, we cannot respond, "let me get back to you on that". So the question would be is it a good thing to protect the innocent Jew or to in fact give aid to the nazi? James 4:17 says,"Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin". So is loving our neighbor, (in this case the Jew in the attic), protecting them from torture and death or shall we show love to the nazi so he can have his desire to kill the Jew? 1 Peter 4:8 says," And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a mul***ude of sins”. Perhaps these verses are out of context but perhaps not.
Even though we wish to live by the letter of the law we are never really prepared to do so. When aunt Betty says "do I look nice in my blue and orange dress", are we really going to say, no aunt Betty you really look like a silly clown? No, we say you look very nice. God looks at the heart and its intent. You see?
A very well stated argument that I fully agree with.
Originally Posted by disciple
I sometimes wonder how the people that believe that it always a sin to lie, always a sin to deceive people, ....how do they manage to play football?
The whole game must fill their hearts with guilt.
They could not go in the huddle, after all, they tell secrets there....secrets that are aimed at deceiving the other term.
How could they run up to the line knowing that they are going to fake getting the ball?
How could you be a quarterback and not try to fake the other time into jumping across the line early.
The whole game of football is based on deception and falsehoods that you have to tell in a very convincing manner or your team will get beaten.
How could you do a fake punt?
a fake punt is a lie you tell with your body!
I swear, the people that think you always have to tell the truth in order to not sin , they dont live in the real world.....
I really appreciate your responses. There is obviously things we need to pray about. I did go to the link alanmolstad had directed me to. It only concerned me and troubled me more. The names listed on the "Board" on this site were distinguised, and some were very familiar to me, which again made it all the more troubling. I will list some of the statements:
---"It was faith that caused Rahab to lie."
---"It was faith that caused the midwives to lie to pharoh."
---"...there are times when it is our duty not to speak the truth."
---"James 2:25 'specifically' praises her for deceiving the soldiers who came in
pursuit of the spies."
Here is the verse as it reads in the NKJV:
---"Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she
received the messengers and sent them out another way?"
Please tell me, where in this verse does it "specifically" praise her for "deceiving the soldiers??? Does it not "specifically" say that she was "justified by her works" and what were her "works"? Rahab's "works"
were when she "received the messengers" and when she "sent them out another way."
Rahab is commended for her "faith" in God and not her lies.
Faith is "...the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." What was Rahab's hope? She hoped for her life as well as the lives of her family. So, she placed this hope (faith) by professing all the deeds she had heard about...how the God of the children of Israel was able to deliver and give them the land. She spoke of how "terror" had overcome them upon hearing such things. Thus, her profession of faith..."He is God in heaven above earth and on earth beneath." (Joshua 2:8-11)
Rahab is commended for her "faith" in God and is NOT commended for her lies. * Please read my #9 response again in regards to "my son."*
Jesus tells us to be "shrewd" not as the world is shrewd, and He models this perfectly for us in Mark 12:13-17.
---"shrewd" in our english language carries a negative, shady, deceptive meaning, but in the greek it is equiv. to being prudent, judicious, intelligent wisdom, clever. "With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful; With a blameless man You will show Yourself blameless; With the pure You will show Yourself pure; And with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd." (Psalm 18:25,26)
---"deceive" used in the Bible means to "beguile," "seduce" or "delude."
This is the word used to describe how the serpent "deceived" Eve. All deception is traceable to satan and it stands in stark contrast to the pure standards of God.
So, lying/deception is Never acceptable. God tells us to be "shrewd" not as the world is but how He exemplifies for us in many examples on how He answered the scribes and the pharisees (His enemies).
Also, to note, we are also commanded not to just love our neighbors, but our enemies as well. Do we always have to give a response to our enemies? No. Jesus didn't always give a response, but was silent, and again look at His responses to those who were against Him. He was outright and cutting straight-forward with His responses, He was silent, He was "shrewd."
S. Lloyd writes: "Simply because something works out in the end does not imply that the means are justifiable."
God is certainly able to turn and use our weaknesses, in whatever situation, and use them for His purposes and glory!
*By the way alanmolstad...no swearing...and...I do live in the "real world," but I am not of this world... Blessings.
*Thanks Disciple for your response as well. I do respect your comments as well as I do alanmolstad's. You can also tell your "Aunt Betty"..."Aunt Betty, those are nice colors." You are my brothers. Iron does sharpen iron.
Last edited by Dmarie; 01-24-2012 at 03:38 AM.
Aunt Betty's dress
These are all possible responses to Aunt Betty's dress...
"Aunt Betty, blue and orange are very nice colors."
"Aunt Betty, you outshine that dress as you do everything else."
You can be straight-forward and tell her ..."Aunt Betty, you look like a clown in that dress." She just might thank you, or...you may get bonked on the head.
You see, these are all truthful and shrewd remarks.
Last edited by Dmarie; 01-24-2012 at 03:42 AM.
.....so you are saying..."context" counts...
Originally Posted by Dmarie
not that fact that you deceive another,
but the context that lie is told in can make it totally acceptable onto the Lord?
take a parable for an example.
Is a parable necessary totally 100% true as to all the events listed in the parable?...no
But we don't call a parable a 'lie" because we don't hold it to the same standard as other things we might say.
This is why I can tell a parable to my Bible students, about a looking at footprints on a beach and a conversation with God over the footprints, and none of my students will only be asking about "Where was this beach?"
On the one hand, we all know that there is no such beach, yet we don't just dismiss the account of talking to god about the footprints as a worthless lie because we understand that the context is such that we simply don't hold it to the standard of "if its not totally true than it has to be a lie, and so is evil to speak always"
We dont do that because we know we have to understand the context of everything we hear in order to understand it.
The context that something is spoken within decides if it is seen in God's eyes as a lie and a sin.
The basic "facts" that you speak are not to be judged without the context they are spoken in.
This is why to defend life, you can makeup all kids of stuff that is simply totally untrue as to the outward 'facts"...(Rehab lying to save the Jewish spy, or the midwives saying the Jewish children were already born when they got there....Or protecting Jews from the SS Troops) and this is not seen as a sin in God's eyes.
In fact, had Rehab been totally honest and spoke the truth, then she would have been found to have sinned in God's eyes and would have been condemned....
Just as you would be condemned by God for telling the SS Troops where you knows some Jews are in hiding.
The full context is what matters.
This is why we say that we are not to worry at all about keeping the "letter of the Law' if we ignore the Spirit of the law, and the Spirit of the law is to save life.....
The law is there to save LIFE!
Thus, we have no need to worry that we have to work around the telling of an untruth so as to not break the law, if in doing so we cause the death of innocents.
Thus....if telling a lie will save life, make it a good lie.
Last edited by alanmolstad; 01-24-2012 at 07:19 AM.
It's nice to hear from you, and an "Amen" to your response. Yes, staying away from sin is a daily and difficult struggle. Stumbling, and fumbling is something I do often, and I've been told I have 2 left feet, and am as stiff as an ironing board, but like you said...Thank God we have an Advocate with the Father!
*In the meantime, I'll prayerfully continue to work on my dancing feet and flexibility, and at the same time, continue to stand firm on those things I know to be right. "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." (Psalm 119:105)