Believing a Lie

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Sgt. Fury, Dec 28, 2007.

  1. Sgt. Fury

    Sgt. Fury
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    A recent thread asked if one could tell if they were mistaken in their beliefs. I thought it might be good to discuss the dangers, if any, in believing a lie. I believe that many have believed lies concerning spiritual things, and that it will result in their eternal condemnation, for only one's knowledge of the truth can make one free (John 8:32).
     
  2. Gerhard Ebersoehn

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    I have found experientially most if not all Christian have one or other lie they believe - like I used to have many! But that most are honest, and they righteously please the Lord their believed lies despite!
     
  3. Gerhard Ebersoehn

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    I have also found that where lies are least expected - with the leaders and learned - one should be wary most about their confession.
     
  4. Tom Butler

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    I have believed things that I later came to believe were incorrect--but I didn't think they were lies. That's because the godly pastor who taught those things believed they were true and biblical. He did not intentionally teach something he knew was a lie.

    My pastor's motivation was not to deceive me--quite the contrary. He believed firmly that God's word was true, and sought to teach what he believed to be the truth of God's word. This was mainly in the areas of ecclesiology and eschatology, not in soteriology.

    So I want to be careful with the term, "believe a lie" because that suggests that I was intentionally lied to--and that has never been the case with any of my pastors or teachers.

    That is why I would not call any of you on the BB a liar, even though I believe you may be wrong. Because you believe you speak the truth.
     
  5. Gold Dragon

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    Excellent point. Although I do find it is common for Christians to knowingly misrepresent the beliefs of groups they are opposed to, particularly folks opposed to Catholics.
     
    #5 Gold Dragon, Dec 28, 2007
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  6. Sgt. Fury

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    Yes, that's an appropriate clarification. Thanks for making it. I don't think there are many who would intentionally mislead another in spiritual matters. I certainly don't think that's what anyone here is involved in, either.

    However, a false doctrine taught by one who sincerely believes it is still false. I am personally of the opinion that most of the false doctrines in existence originated with men who were honestly seeking truth, but missed it somewhere. Perhaps too much importance was placed on a verse or two to the point of disregarding other passages on the ame subject, who knows.

    Bottom line here, folks, is that two opposing view points cannot both be right on a given topic.

    As stated earlier, there are some things about which we can disagree that pose no threat to our souls. But there are others about which if we depart this life unprepared will result in eternal damnation. I'd like to avoid that for myself, and help as many others as I can to do the same.
     
  7. Sgt. Fury

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    In 1 Kings 13 there's the account of a young prophet who speaks against the false worship of Jeroboam. God had commanded him to go and speak, and then leave another way, neither eating nor drinking in Bethel.

    This young man refused the invitation of the king, but was lured by the invitation of an old prophet in Bethel, who had apparently lacked the courage of conviction to speak against Jeroboam himself. The old prophet said that "...I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him. "

    The end result was that the young prophet was killed by a lion on his way home, and was buried in the tomb of the old prophet.

    With as many other passages that warn against telling a lie, I wonder if it might be possible that the reason this account is in Scripture is to warn us of the seriousness of believing a lie, however sincerely it might be believed by the teller of it.
     
  8. Joe

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    I believe that is one of the reasons it is in scripture. A few scriptures state- some do not want to believe the truth. For this reason, God sends powwerful delusions so that they might believe in a lie and be condemned. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.

    Another interesting fact in the Bible is it states God cannot lie. He doesn't posess this ability, yet we often say he can do anything.

    Bizarre that God himself cannot lie, yet he can throw powerful delusions at some to help aide them in believing in a lie thus assisting in their willful destruction.
     
    #8 Joe, Dec 28, 2007
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  9. Sgt. Fury

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    That would be exemplified in the hardening of Pharaoh's heart. Pharaoh started it.
     
  10. Nazaroo

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    Where does it say that God cannot lie?

    It seems you are believing a delusion, which might lead you to believe in a lie.

    What the Bible does say, is that God does not lie under OATH, not that He never lies.

    Lying is obviously knowingly deceiving someone. God openly declares that He does such things, to those who deserve it, and are beyond salvation, or at least beyond physical rescue because of their sins; or perhaps even more to the point, because God doesn't WANT to rescue them.

    We should not forget that BOTH thieves beside Jesus were crucified.
    Neither was 'rescued' from the consequences of his crime.

    One was given a promise of later salvation, but Jesus did not heal him or rescue him from the cross he had probably more than earned.

    God can most assuredly lie, and it would be dangerous to rely upon anyone's statements or suggestions, even God's if one is not right with God.

    Because if one is not right with God, one is open to deception of all kinds, from all sources, including God.

    There is no point in saying "God does not lie", if God in fact by His power and choice He in fact deceives the wicked.

    Someone might say, "Well, God does deceive people, but He doesn't technically 'lie' while doing it." But that is a nonsensical statement.

    A person can 'lie' by comission or by omission, and so can God.

    If I stand by and watch a blind man walking toward a cliff,
    and I just say 'hi how are you.' but I don't warn him he is about to die,
    then I have committed a lie just as surely as if I openly said,
    "Smooth sailing ahead! No danger within 100 miles! Walk straight through!"

    In both cases I have killed a man, either by omission or comission.

    In both cases I have deceived him, either actively or by allowing him to remain deceived.

    In both cases I have lied to him, by withholding truth. The technicalities are a trivial absurdity.

    In both cases, a jury would find me guilty of murder, deception, and for all practical purposes, lying.
     
    #10 Nazaroo, Dec 29, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2007
  11. Tom Butler

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    Titus 1:2 "...in hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.."
     
  12. Joe

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    Hebrew 6:18 - “That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie . . .” and Titus 1:2— “In hope of eternal life, which God that cannot lie, promised before the world began.”[
    Let's stay grounded here. No one is believing a delusion, just trying to understand the truth.

    God has made an oath to himself (since there is no one greater) and part of that is he will not lie. His purpose will not change. The Bible tells us this truth.

    The Certainty of God's Promise


    Hebrews 6:13-18 When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, 14saying, "I will surely bless you and give you many descendants."[c] 15And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. 16Men swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. 17Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. 18God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged.

    No God never declares he lies in the process to deceive someone. He can throw dilusions to assist someone into believing a lie, but God does not lie.

    Yes, this is a partial reiteration of my post

    Again, God cannot lie.

    You’re saying not only that God can lie, but it would be dangerous to rely upon God’s statements if you are not right with God? The Bible is our truth, God’s unchanging words to us. We must rely upon his words at all times.
    Due to the thread topic, there is a point in saying it. So God deceives the wicked, this does not include God lying to them or anyone else.
    I don't know abotu the technically part, but again, God does not lie.
    The Bible says it is impossible for God to lie.
    You would not be convicted of “lying" According to your story, you didn't kill that man, you just didn't intervene to prevent his death. There is a difference.
     
    #12 Joe, Dec 29, 2007
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  13. Nazaroo

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    Your own quotation shows that God can indeed deceive people in certain circumstances.

    If it were known and accepted that God never lied or deceived anyone, then it would not be necessary for God to confirm the unchanging nature of His purpose in this case by a special OATH.

    The author of Hebrews is plainly arguing, NOT that God never lies, but that God cannot lie under His own sworn OATH. The OATH CONFIRMS that God is not lying in regard to this special matter.

    In this case, it is not the deservedness of the recipients of the SWORN OATH that guarantee God's truthfulness, but the OATH ITSELF.

    The author of Hebrews wants us to rely upon the special circumstance that the LORD has SWORN AN OATH, a special occasion by any measure. It is in the OATH sworn by the LORD that the confidence resides.

    This coincides with and harmonizes with the fact that OATHS are sacred and unviolable, at least if you believe that GOD will certainly hold men to them and enforce them if they are important and serious.

    This harmonizes with the fact that GOD warns people He will hold them to their oaths, and He would be expected to allow Himself to be held to His own oaths.

    This harmonizes with the idea that anyone who prays to God must believe that He is (exists), and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him (not a rewarder of everyone!).

    This harmonizes with the nature of God as revealed by Jesus:
    On the one hand, like a Father, God is merciful and kind, even to the undeserving and ungrateful, and even the evil.

    On the other hand, the LORD through Jesus also gives a terrible warning:

    "YOU KNEW that I was an AUSTERE person, taking up that I laid not down! and reaping what I DID NOT SOW!..."

    "But those, my enemies which would not have Me rule over them,
    bring them here and slay them before Me!"

    (Luke 19:22,27)


    Again, the idea the LORD sometimes plainly deceives men, for example the Emperor of Babylon, and the many that He prophesied about in the prophets, is also in harmony with the fact that the LORD sometimes DECEIVES people.

    Again, the 'difference' is merely one of semantics, except to a trickster lawyer.

    I WOULD be convicted of MURDER.
    I WOULD be convicted of knowingly deceiving a man causing his death.
    No judge or jury would care, nor should they, whether my LIE was a LIE of OMISSION or a lie of COMISSION.

    I WOULD hopefully face the exact same sentence and punishment, whether I said to the blind man, "Walk forward: You are safe!" or whether I stood watching as he plainly walked to his death without a word.

    I would have DECEIVED him by WITHHOLDING the TRUTH.

    MORALLY, ETHICALLY, there is no difference between
    Witholding the truth by telling an untruth, or
    witholding the truth by not telling it.
    Its still very plainly a DECEPTION, a LIE.

    Any man thinking that he would have any excuse with God or Man regarding this technicality is a complete fool, and deceives himself. God will hold the man guilty of deception and murder, in either case:
    - It is also still a wilful premeditated act of murder.

    Even earthly juries are not concerned with 'loopholes', but real questions of guilty knowledge, malice aforethought, premeditation. These are what determine guilt, not surface appearances or technicalities.


    And so likewise should we find God Himself guilty of deception, lying, IN EITHER CASE.

    Now if you want to be God's defence lawyer, and defend Him against the charge of DECEPTION by the 'technicality' of the outer appearance of the DECEPTION, by saying God did not TECHNICALLY LIE, because He did not 'actually speak' to the victim of the deception, then my friend, you are a lawyer, but not an ethical person.

    And your defence of God would be worthless, since you didn't defend God as to His ETHICAL character, but rather as to a 'technicality' of appearances which all good men know to be a sham.

    God quite honestly, and truthfully WARNS men that He will deceive them if they don't receive and heed His honest warnings! If they reject truth, what is left for God to give them except falsehood? In fact, in rejecting truth one AUTOMATICALLY receives its absence: Falsehood.

    God quite honestly and truthfully CLAIMS responsibility and CREDIT when the wicked are entrapped by their own traps, enticed by their own greed and lust.

    It is TRUE that God says He does not TEMPT a man, but rather a man is tempted by his own desires, when they are evil.

    But this only describes HOW God deceives a man, it does not promise that God will NOT in fact deceive him, and allow him to fall prey to his own evil.

    God does not say, "I will never deceive men. I will never lie to them. They will never be tempted, or enticed into calamity and harm."

    God DOES say, "I will never tempt the man myself. I will deceive him by letting him tempt and entrap himself in his own evil and his own desires."

    This is not a promise that God will never deceive, but a promise that He WILL deceive,
    and a step-by-step guide as to exactly HOW God will do it! Be warned!

    Peace,
    Nazaroo
     
    #13 Nazaroo, Dec 29, 2007
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  14. Frogman

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    The presence or absence of an oath on God's part would not alter his character.

    bro. Dallas:wavey:
     
  15. Nazaroo

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    I agree with you.

    And if in the word of God, God Himself testifies that He deceives the wicked, then we must accept the fact that OUTSIDE the word of God, He does.

    If the word of God testifies to the complexity and mystery of parts of God's character, we must accept that parts of God's character are mysterious and complex.

    "Who can know the mind of the LORD?"

    "My thoughts are not your thoughts! says the LORD."

    "The Spirit goes (and does!) where it wishes,
    And NO ONE knows whither it comes and goes."

    "Let he who thinks he stands be careful,
    lest he falls."

    God even allows 'Satan' to speak in the New Testament,
    as well as Jesus' enemies.

    The formula "The Bible says..." is not a reliable indicator of truth.

    One must not only understand the speaker and context, but also have a good grasp of the whole of Holy Scripture.

    No essential or key doctrine stands on one verse, clause, or phrase alone.

    There may be many small truths that stand alone, but no Christian fundamental has been placed so precariously.

    At the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every matter (regarding salvation) be established.


    Peace,
    Nazaroo
     
    #15 Nazaroo, Dec 29, 2007
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  16. Ed Edwards

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    Nazaroo:

    By your definition of 'lie' I see two lies
    in your header.

    1. You say you are from
    'North America' but you withold the zip code
    of your location (or a word description thereof).
    (I say I'm from Central Oklahoma, which narrows
    me down to one of half a million people ;) )
    By your definition, this deception (which I understand
    the reason of is probably a false security) is a lie.

    2. I doubt if you are the fictional character depicted
    in your picture. By your definition, that is a lie.

    In my books two such lies before you even start typing your post
    makes you a hypocrite.

    I mention it in case perchance, I might be wrong.
     
  17. jilphn1022

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    I am sure that

    you would forgive him on both acoounts too !:laugh:
     
  18. Joe

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    Thanks for the reply. Over half of this post debating what we agree upon. Maybe we can decide a few things here.

    God deceives people, yes. No need to debate or reiterate what we agree upon. Let's debate where we disagree, and make replies to one anothers comments. You have replied to one of my comments, then continued in some other direction.
    This will shorten posts and avoid excess words.

    Regarding the lying and technicality of a lie, I understand what you are saying. I really do. But when human reasoning concludes the opposite of what the Bible says, we must still believe the Bible. The bible says God doesn't lie.

    Please refrain from linking my name to being an unethical person or any other negative label which hinges upon imaginary scinereo's. Again, let's stay grounded and remain ethical in our replies to one another.
    I may go back again tomorrow and read your posts.

    We may need to agree to overall disagree on this matter. Btw, are you Baptist?

    God doesn't lie, it is impossible.
     
    #18 Joe, Dec 29, 2007
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  19. Nazaroo

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    In the question of either lying by 'commision' (actively telling a falsehood), or by any other form of lying or deception (deceiving by omission), the key points to establish guilt are these:


    (1) First of all, was a deception in fact successfully perpetrated?

    In other words, was anyone fooled? This is a similar question to the question in a homicide case of "Was anyone actually killed?" Otherwise, there was no murder, only an 'attempted murder'. The INTENT may have been there, but no crime and no victim. This is not enough to establish criminal guilt: only ethical sin, similar to that of a man who secretly 'lusts after a woman', committing adultery in his heart.

    In such cases, no actual adultery has been committed by the other party, and therefore the accomplice (for instance the unknowing woman) cannot be found guilty and punished. The intent may have been there on one person's part, but no actual crime was committed and so the ALLEGED accomplice is innocent.


    (2) Second, was there an intent to deceive?

    In a similar manner, ordinary courts of law settle questions like this by the hypothetical legal fiction of the "Reasonable Man" theorem.

    That is, having established that the defendant was CAPABLE of ethical responsibility in the situation, would he be expected to know and understand the consequences of his action?

    For example, a man in plastic 'president Lincoln' mask cannot be convincingly accused of impersonating president Lincoln, because,
    a) No intelligent person believes Lincoln is alive, and
    b) No intelligent person would be deceived by the 'disguise'.

    On the other hand, he could be accused of 'criminal deception' in the right context, such as a bank robbery. Not however, at a birthday party.


    As well as these basic issues, there are more complex ones, such as:

    (3) Just as telling an 'untruth' unconvincingly is not a true lie or act of deception, neither is withholding a truth necessarily an act of deception.

    For instance, it is not an act of deception to withhold my PIN number of my bank card from you, because I am not attempting to convince you that you actually HAVE my PIN number and I have really given it to you.

    Similarly, I can withhold my Postal code from you without misleading you or deceiving you about the amount of information I have given you concerning myself.

    In the opposite direction, I can tell you I'm really Monica Lewinsky, but you would not likely (or should not) believe me, and so you would recognize it was not a serious attempt at real deception.

    Again, in a chess game, one can argue that I am withholding my plan of attack from you, but could it not equally be that I simply don't have one, or don't have an effective one?

    Deception is not something that can be assumed, but something (like all sins) which must be proved beyond reasonable doubt according to sensible and consistent scientific procedures.

    Nonetheless, in law and even more accurately in heaven, real plausibility and real guilt will be based upon facts (circumstantial and evidential) not fantasies.

    In the examples you gave above, if my omission of a postal code actually led you to believe a falsehood somehow (although this is obviously not so in this case) and that falsehood was intended by me to deceive you (presumably for evil or selfish purpose), then we could assume it was a real deception involving a real sin.

    If my 'avatar' was actually a convincing misportrayal of my real identity, and again this was done knowingly and with sinful purpose, then I would be of course guilty of deception and sin.

    In both cases however, the "Reasonable Man" Theorem in law and also common sense tells us that you were not likely misled in any way by my lack of postal code, and certainly not with intent by me. No reasonable man would believe this.

    Secondly, my avatar, being a poor reproduction of an old movie poster again would not convince any reasonable person that I was either the actor (I forget his name) or the fictional character (James Bond). In fact by its very nature and by convention, any judge would rule that no deception as to identity was intended because avatars are by nature and convention not intended to be interpreted as realistic or useful I.D.s.

    You would have no case, on earth or in heaven for a claim of lying or deception with these examples.

    Peace,
    Nazaroo
     
  20. Nazaroo

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    I think we do agree on this. We both recognise that in many places, in the prophets and in the history of Israel, there are clear indications that the LORD, or at least those speaking for Him, claim that He does indeed deceive people.

    Secondly, I think you acknowledge that by its very nature, the rejection of truth necessitates the acceptance of falsehood, and self-deception. If one rejects a truth, offered by God or anyone else, then one has naturally embraced its negation.




    Herein I think is where we may have a fundamental difference of opinion, but one which can be ironed out.

    You believe that "the bible says God doesn't lie." I am not convinced at all that "the bible says" that.

    The quotation from Hebrews is a sophisticated argument based upon the absolute value of oaths. It definitely does NOT however, clearly support your thesis.


    The only convincing 'Scripture' anyone has presented so far was I think Titus, but I haven't checked either the context or the original Greek, so I will refrain from comment until I do.


    Here I apologize. I began this long sentence with an 'IF...' clause, but failed to place an Optative verb form (in English this is done by a verb modifier) in the "THEN..." clause:

    The text should have read: "then...you WOULD have been a Lawyer, but not an ethical person"...

    My apologies for grammatical and unintentional implications. I did NOT mean to imply you were in fact unethical. Only that the argument in form and substance lacked an ethical foundation.


    There are different kinds of Baptists. Obviously Baptists themselves differ on some doctrines, including nuances about baptism.

    You need to define Baptist before I can answer that.

    I don't think Baptism is signiricant except as an act of voluntary obediance, and so it is irrelevant. That probably makes me a Baptist.

    My Anglican church baptises infants (or rather sprinkles them). I don't believe this has any inherent significance, other than people are getting together to pray over a child's future. On this I am in agreement with Baptists.

    On the other hand, I see no harm in the practice, since I do not believe in magic. Perhaps in this I am not in full agreement with Baptists, who might object to 'ritualism'.

    I have for many years said, partly in humour, "if you want good doctrine, go to the Baptists." I studied in a Baptist seminary for several years, and learned alot. My remark is meant to praise Baptists for their technical accuracy and careful thoroughness in studying God's word. However, I don't necessarily agree with every Baptist doctrine or theory I have seen or heard.

    Like most Christians, I accept most other Christians, at least in their sincerity as far as that can be trusted. I don't hold much faith in doctrines or denominations, but prefer to discern Spiritual states and motivation based upon practical matters like BEHAVIOUR (by their fruits ye shall know them etc.).

    I don't want to judge 'superficially' or by appearances only, but make 'righteous' or accurate judgements. I don't believe Jesus meant we should not discern at all, but rather that we should be humble and generous in our judgments, allowing for human frailty and our own 'motes' and blind spots.

    But I do want to put Jesus' advice (and Paul's) about fruits to good use, both fruits of the Spirit and fruits of other spirits. Not to condemn others, but to protect myself and others from being led astray.

    I hope that is a fair account of matters so far.

    Peace,
    Nazaroo
     
    #20 Nazaroo, Dec 29, 2007
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