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RANT about Liars and Lying

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All sins make my blood boil; but there is one sin in particular that angers me more than other sins -- and that's the sin of lying. I was at a non-denominational, non-profit ministry for the homeless here in Oakland when someone had asked me if I would "bear false witness" to save the lives of 100 Jewish people? My reply was that the Lord would speak to my heart at that given situation as to how to respond if such a situation would to occur. He began spouting off tirades about how Christians are self-righteous (really?). I'm still VERY ANGRY as of now, and it's very noticeable by anyone who are near me. Now the Bible explicitly says that Rahab was a woman of great faith when she had lied to save the lives of the Hebrew spies, and at the same time the Word of God instructs us NOT to lie (James 2:25; cf. Heb. 11:31 Lev. 19:11; Prov. 6:16-19; Eph. 4:25; Rev. 21:8).  Most Christians would interpret this passage as teaching that there is NEVER a situation where it is OK to lie, but that trusting in God to accomplish His divine purpose was what was in the mind of Rahab; however, this is not to say that God condones lies either. There is a military exercise or strategy known as "military deception"; this strategy is used to mislead or misdirect their enemy for the purpose of a "greater good". Although "deception" is NEVER a biblical mandate in any given situation . . . we find examples of this practice being used today in government operations. A good example would be compared to undercover detectives (disguised as criminals when they're not) involved in a sting operation to catch or bring out to the open the perpetrator/s responsible for their crimes. 

The normative teaching about lying is quite basic -- it is never OK to lie regardless of the circumstances -- even if it involves saving the lives of hundreds of people. This is a pretty typical sort of simplistic answer on the conservative side (just as allowing for all sorts of situational exceptions is a pretty typical answer on the liberal side).  Getting it exactly right is the tough part.  I think such an answer from those who teach that it is NEVER a good idea to lie is good answer being given, just not a completely correct one. This is a simple way out, really, avoiding the hard sorts of questions which alludes some by saying "God will just take care of it".  Now that is a fine principle and it is the truth, but it is also true that God's foreknowledge and Omnipotence does not excuse us from using the resources He has given us or doing the right thing even when it might offend our sense of neat self-righteousness. 
 
To take the first part of this observation first, if we were to say "God will just take care of it" and then go sit on a park bench waiting for Him to provide our supper (after all, the ravens brought Elijah dinner; 1Kings 17:6), He might even do so -- once or twice.  But I think I have the Spirit of the Lord when I say that adopting this procedure as our primary approach to life would not be in God's will at all (cf. 2 Thess. 3:10 "that if any would not work, neither should he eat"), and would almost certainly lead to our starving to death, were we stubborn enough to persevere. To take the second part of the observation, those who resist the wicked are commended (Prov. 28:4), and we are told to deliver those who are being dragged to their death and not think that standing safely aloof will be pleasing to God (Prov. 24:11-12). Judge for yourself whether you think proffering our desire to stay "lie free" if it results in harm to others would be acceptable to God. Many people use the same sort of argument most Christians have used to inveigh against capital punishment and advocate complete pacifism.  After all, God says "thou shalt not kill", and what could be clearer than that?  

Therefore it is "simple" to refrain from violence always and in all cases -- just as simple as the answers from most Christians: God knows all and will provide all, so we just need to trust that and go with the "simple" commandment. We can also prefer to choose not to reveal any information or to give an answer at all. Both the pacifist and no-lie positions are guilty of failing to take into consideration ALL of the information in the Bible, however, and it is just such "simplicity" and "easy answers" that cults are based on.  I am certainly NOT accusing those who would NEVER lie in ANY given circumstance as having that intent, but I am saying that this is a possible effect.  For just as we know for a fact from many other scriptures and contexts in the Bible that capital punishment and self-defense are biblically justified, and that shedding blood in the military defense of a sovereign nation is not only justified but sometimes absolutely necessary for freedom to be preserved, so also there are times when people must give evil-doers false information in self-defense or the defense of others, when law enforcement must use deception for the greater good (otherwise we could not have under-cover police operations), and when the military and intelligence organizations must use deception to keep us safe.  

If a criminal is torturing my little children and wife to find out where my friends are hiding so as to do them harm, I would hope the neighbor hasn't just listened to some bible teacher who has told them to NEVER lie -- EVER! Likewise, I would hope an under-cover police operative would know better than to tell "the truth" to the drug king-pin whose organization he has just infiltrated if asked whether or not he is really a cop. The bible is clear that "thou shalt not lie" -- but we find examples used (Gen. 12:11-13; 20:3; 1 Sam. 16:1-5; Josh. 8:3-7; 2 Kings. 6:8-23; cf. Matt. 12;3-4) where it may have seemed appropriate against the enemy. And I would certainly hope those who are in charge of our military deployments, especially in wartime, are doing everything possible to deceive our enemies, actual and potential, as to the true whereabouts of our military assets, including giving out false information.  Simply put, the personal/national self-defense exemption applies to "the truth" just the same as it does to the use of deadly force (that is what is going on in Rahab's case as well). Failure to understand this critical principle will usually only have a horrible effect in extreme circumstances, but for those who hold fast to such nonsense fall into a terrible hypocrisy trap, one capable of dooming others.  For everything there is a season.  It takes a certain amount of Christian maturity and discernment to distinguish what God's will is in individual cases. I need to take a break . . .have a nice day! :)

God Bless!

Edited by (Omega)

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I hate liars more than anything too.  Until the Lord save me from my sins, I was a serial liar, lied about anything and everything.  Since salvation, only the truth leaves these lips or these fingers no matter the consequences.  In the short term, telling the truth has hurt me and my family; so be it.  The last thing I want to do is upset my Lord and Savior and put a gulf between us when I need him so.

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Desiring to please the LORD is a sure sign that one has TRULY passed from death unto life. Most Christians see serving God as a burden as if they feel obligated to do so; that is not the right attitude because that only reflects the condition of the person's heart.

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