Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. Verse Tool: show

Christians and lying

Discuss topics raised by callers on the radio program

Re: Christians and lying

Postby dwight92070 » Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:10 pm

Here is a broader way of looking at the question; when someone does something nice for you like cook you dinner, and they ask you how it is, the purpose of the question is to see whether or not their hospitality was acceptable.

Dwight: So let me see if I got this straight. When someone asks me if I liked the dinner they prepared for me, their real question is whether I appreciated their hospitality. So they were being dishonest or lying in asking the first question? But of course I am supposed to know what they are really asking, so I go ahead and tell them the food was good, but actually what I am really telling them is that I appreciate their hospitality, so I am also being dishonest and lying to them too.

I've got an idea. Maybe someone already brought this up. How about if we "speak the truth in love" as the Bible tells us?

If someone prepares a meal for me - let's say it's tomato soup and crackers and juice - and then asks me how I liked it, I will simply, gently or lovingly tell them the truth, which they might be able to deduce anyway, since I wouldn't touch the soup. I would tell them "Thank you for making this, but I really do not care for tomato soup." Is that being uncouth? If so, then I am guilty. Maybe what you would want me to do, would be to go ahead and eat the soup and then throwup on their floor? Would that be more couth?
dwight92070
 
Posts: 550
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 12:09 am

Re: Christians and lying

Postby TK » Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:24 pm

Tomato soup and crackers- good stuff.
User avatar
TK
 
Posts: 1381
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:42 pm
Location: North Carolina

Re: Christians and lying

Postby Si » Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:29 pm

The host who asks about the food is not being dishonest; at worst maybe a little insecure. Their cooking skills are on display for all their guests, and maybe they're afraid about this minor detail or that. If someone asks, "How is your food?", I don't see any way around such a direct question other than a direct answer. "Very good, thanks." with a smile is a fine answer, and nothing more need be said. If I can reassure them that their hospitality is well appreciated, I'll do it, and not get caught up on an irrelevant detail as to whether I personally liked the meal or not. Their hospitality is good enough of a meal for me.

The question is, how do we define lying as a sin? Legalistically, in pulling out our proof texts and dictionary and saying "we must never"? Or is it in the context of what the new testament teaches, that the purpose of the law is love of God and love of neighbor? If we let our pursuit of legalistic perfection guide us away from love, I think we are making the same mistake the Pharisees often made. Some of my earliest memories from childhood are being told by my parents that "It's the thought that counts" when it comes to things freely given out of generosity. It was one of the earliest moral lessons, and I think a wise one, and I think comes directly from the Gospel and the Christian spirit of loving your neighbor.
Si
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2016 1:03 am
Location: Wisconsin

Re: Christians and lying

Postby TK » Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:30 pm

Luke 8:52-56 Now all wept and mourned for her; but He said, “Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeping.” And they ridiculed Him, knowing that she was dead. But He put them all outside, took her by the hand and called, saying, “Little girl, arise.” Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately. And He commanded that she be given something to eat. And her parents were astonished, but He charged them to tell no one what had happened.
User avatar
TK
 
Posts: 1381
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:42 pm
Location: North Carolina

Re: Christians and lying

Postby dwight92070 » Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:54 pm

I'm sure we all know that Jesus spoke spiritual truths very often maybe more than physical truths. "Whoever drinks of the water that I give Him shall never thirst." "You must be born again." He told His disciples that Lazarus was asleep, knowing that He would awaken Him. We know Lazarus and the little girl were both alive, yet not in their body.
dwight92070
 
Posts: 550
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 12:09 am

Re: Christians and lying

Postby dwight92070 » Sat Mar 25, 2017 11:28 am

"A righteous man hates falsehood, but a wicked man (literal Hebrew) causes a bad odor and causes shame." Proverbs 13:5

We know that Jesus never lied, even though it may appear that way because He spoke using spiritual truths vs. physical truths. For example, He said that John the Baptist was Elijah.
dwight92070
 
Posts: 550
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 12:09 am

Re: Christians and lying

Postby TK » Sat Mar 25, 2017 1:18 pm

Dwight- of course Jesus never lied because he never sinned. No one here, at least not me, is saying that Jesus lied.

But this just goes to show that not all untruths are lies (i.e. sins), which is what I have been trying to say all along.

One must look to the motive for the untruth to determine if it is a sin.

Telling an untruth to a murderer in order to protect or hide his intended victim is not a sin. Telling an untruth to spare someone's feelings is also not a sin. Some people may feel differently about this but that is okay.
User avatar
TK
 
Posts: 1381
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:42 pm
Location: North Carolina

Re: Christians and lying

Postby Timios » Sat Mar 25, 2017 6:03 pm

TK wrote:Telling an untruth to a murderer in order to protect or hide his intended victim is not a sin.


True, but only because there is a moral conflict. Saving a life where possible is higher on the scale or morality than refraining from lying.

Telling an untruth to spare someone's feelings is also not a sin. Some people may feel differently about this but that is okay.


In this case there is no moral conflict. Sparing someone's feelings does not belong in the realm of morality. A person should not lie to save someone's feelings.
And in the example given, I think I showed that it is not necessary to lie to spare anyone's feelings. You can give a respectful answer and spare the person's feelings without lying.
Timios
 
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2014 1:57 pm

Re: Christians and lying

Postby Homer » Sat Mar 25, 2017 11:16 pm

Timios,

You wrote:

True, but only because there is a moral conflict. Saving a life where possible is higher on the scale or morality than refraining from lying.


This is spoken well.

In this case there is no moral conflict. Sparing someone's feelings does not belong in the realm of morality.


But it does belong in the realm of love. Sometimes we must be blunt with the truth but sometimes it can crush a person.

Once it is acknowledged that it is not sinful to tell an untruth in order to save a life the "game is over" for the absolutist position. Rahab is listed among the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11 and James said:

James 2:25 (NASB)

25. In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?

Please explain to us your understanding of Rahab's action. was it sin?
User avatar
Homer
 
Posts: 2406
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:08 pm

Re: Christians and lying

Postby Candlepower » Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:14 am

Homer wrote:Please explain to us your understanding of Rahab's action. was it sin?


Rahab came to my mind also, Homer, so pardon me but I just can't wait to jump in here ahead of Timios.

Joshua 2:4-6
Then the woman (Rahab)...said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from (not true). And it happened as the gate was being shut, when it was dark, that the men went out (not true). Where the men went I do not know (not true); pursue them quickly, for you may overtake them.


Hebrews 11:31
By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.


James 2:25
Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?


What were Rahab's "works" to which James refers? Were they not exactly the things she did to protect the spies? She hid them. She told them where to run for safety. But most importantly, and at the center of her "works" (in my opinion), was her deception. She lied to the King's men, sending them chasing hopelessly in the wrong direction, and thereby rescuing God's spies.

It seems to me that Rahab's lying was precisely the work whereby she proved her faith. Saying that, of course, does not mean that lying in general is a good work. It's kind of like indignation. Sometimes it can be righteous.

Rahab lied but she did not sin. "Be angry and sin not" seems to be a parallel principle.
User avatar
Candlepower
 
Posts: 226
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 3:26 pm
Location: Missouri

PreviousNext

Return to Radio Program Topics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests