By Adam Houk
Edited by John Houk
Sent: 8/16/2011 12:38 PM
Posted to October 9, 2011
Up until recently I always had the impression that lying/deception was always wrong 100% of the time. I was forced to reexamine this by a few events. Recently I was arguing with another physics grad student about the apparent contradiction of thou shalt not kill. I had explained to him immediately that properly translated it is explicitly saying not to murder. I thought about it further just in case I was wrong because I’m not a translator and it came to an argument that satisfied me whether it was translated that way or not.
Commands on actions can have exception clauses. Exceptions are clear to this as written in the same books of Exodus and Deuteronomy that God commands the Israelites to go to battle and make a punishment system that includes the Death Penalty. After thinking about this argument it reminded me of a debate I was having with myself once about an event I was both rejoicing about and was unsure of whether it was ok because it involved deception. This was Lila Rose and the Planned Parenthood undercover operations [SlantRight Editor: Lila Rose ran an exposé on Planned Parenthood. Leftists make an effort to discount the exposé.]. I again wanted to resolve this.
This is the conclusion I came up with: Only under a righteous motive, but not as a way to find a hole in the system. here is a list of 4 cases I found it appeared to be ok biblically:
1) Hiding an innocent from the tyrannical intention to slaughter. — 2 cites: Moses as a baby hidden from the intention to kill all male children; Samuel was told to say a half truth in his fear of being killed by Saul.
2) War measures. — 2 cites: In the book of judges God commands the Israelites to commit an action of 300 men breaking jars having while these men were running around at night with torches and this deceived the enemy into thinking they were being attacked and they killed each other; Rahab in the book of Joshua when she hides the spies.
3) Testing of genuineness of the heart. — 1 cite: Abraham in the sacrifice of his son Isaac. (It was never God’s intention to sacrifice Isaac but to test Abraham).
4) Uncover the truth. — 1 cite: Jesus in John chapter 7 tells his brothers he is not ready to go to the feast that they should go ahead, then sneaks in behind them to hear what they were saying about him in secret.
I ran into a webpage in which I was contemplating this
Once upon a time four brothers decided to go on a trip. They told their big brother about their plan and asked if he would like to join them. He said no, he didn’t feel like going yet and told his brothers to go without him. However, as soon as they left, their brother packed his bags and followed them in secret.
Why did this man deceive and lie to his brothers? What type of man would do such a thing? Do you know who this man was? It was Jesus, and this story can be found in John 7:2-10.
My purpose in this article is to prove that lying is not automatically a sin by showing examples where God commended lying in certain circumstances and even lied Himself.
There are differing opinions about the sinfulness of lying. One example can be found in the case of Exodus 1, where the midwives refused to kill the Hebrew babies as Pharaoh commanded. When confronted by Pharaoh they lied, saying that the babies were born before they could get there. Exodus 1:20, 21 says, “Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty. And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses.”
On the one hand, John Calvin writes … Go to the Link above to read the rest.
I would appreciate your thoughts on this, as I am still unsure to a conclusion, but these seem to be the cases. Maybe this is also why the bible says that God would write his law into their hearts.
Before contemplating on this if I had ever become President I would have felt obligated to remove spies and undercover work.
SlantRight Editor: I haven’t had time to address Adam with my thoughts. If Adam provoked you to think about if there is a right time to lie then feel free to add your thoughts so I can post them.