Ethics Question

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by 12strings, Apr 15, 2012.

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  1. 12strings

    12strings
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    Perhaps someone knows a Missionary who has actually done this, but if you are smuggling bibles into a closed country, and boarder guards ask you what's in your trunk, or if you are smuggling anything illegal...what do you say?

    If you lie, what is the ethical justification for lying...or do you try to sneak in without actually lying, but if it comes down to it, simply tell the truth and offer the guy a bible?
     
  2. Skandelon

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    "All things are permissible but not all things are beneficial." - Paul

    Your example appears to be both permissible and beneficial, so I'd say go for it.
     
  3. HeirofSalvation

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    I would argue that it is permissible to lie/break any law of men, that is expressly against God's Laws. To have a law which prevents the distribution of God's written word, is in direct disobedience to God's commands. Thus, I would obey God's precepts over men's. Hopefully, with much prayer and attentiveness, the Holy Spirit will help guide you in that particular instance, you may very well be led to give him one!! or a 50$ usually works too:smilewinkgrin:
     
  4. Don

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    I think the base of the question is: When is it permissible/acceptable/beneficial for Christians to lie?

    My first thought is the 10 commandments. My second thought is that we're preaching a gospel of truth.

    But then again, telling the truth may prevent the bibles from getting into the country.

    Is there a scriptural example of any apostles or disciples lying in order to spread the gospel?

    Are there other ways to get the bibles there? e.g., memorization and then printing once inside the country?
     
  5. gb93433

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    Did not the Lord say to lie in 1 Sam 16:2?
     
  6. Crabtownboy

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    It should be easy. Put a word processing file on a SD or other camera chip. Put the chip in your camera and there you go, it could be transferred to a friend's computer/chip, etc. in that country and they can print it as necessary. And you would not have to lie about your suitcase, bag, backpack, etc.

    It would be a lot less weight to carry. :laugh:
     
  7. Greektim

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    A rare occasion that I am in firm agreement w/ you!!! ;)
     
  8. Greektim

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    THere is an example of smuggling an apostle out of a city. Different but similar I guess.
     
  9. Skandelon

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    Didn't Rahab lie in order to hide the Israelite spies?
     
  10. 12strings

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    Are we saying that we are allowed to do anything that someone in the Bible did, as long as the person was not rebuked or punished by God for their actions? Do We really want to go down that road?
     
  11. preachinjesus

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    We are part of a ministry that has been taking Bibles into closed foreign countries for a couple of decaded now. We've actually never been asked what's in our cases. We also don't carry just trunk fulls of Bibles either. That would look obvious. We have other ways of bringing them in when it comes to physical copies.

    One of the great things now is that we don't actually carry physical copies into these countries much anymore. We have a lot of electronic means of distributing copies of the Scriptures, including into countries that monitor and close certain IP addresses. We have actually, because of technology, dramatically increased the number of copies of Scripture available in closed countries while decreasing our distribution of physical copies.

    We live in exciting times. A couple of months ago I was standing in a church in the middle of a closed country that had to have services at almost all hours to accomodate the number of believers in their midst. The Gospel is growing throughout the world. We have amazing days before us.
     
  12. Scarlett O.

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    Not only was she not rebuked or punished, but she was made an epitome of faith along with Abraham according to James.

    No, I would not say that we are allowed to do anything that anyone did in the Bible as long as they were not rebuked by God because that opens doors to things like giving your daughters and concubines to men for them to rape and teaching your son to lie to his father in order to inherit the double portion of a blessing. Neither Lot nor the Levite nor Rebekah were rebuked. They paid a price, but received no rebuke.

    But I would say that based on Rahab's lying to conceal and protect God's men, that we could go so far as to say that in an absolute last resort - lying to protect God's Word and get it into hands of those who need it would prove to be an act akin to Rahab's.

    I would NEVER say to PLAN on lying or to go into a part of the world unprepared - that would be wrong. But if all options were played out and plan A and plan B and plan C that did NOT include concealment of information did not work, then one would have to do the best they could even if that meant behaving as Rahab did.
     
    #12 Scarlett O., Apr 16, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012
  13. Skandelon

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    Anything? No. But things like hiding the people of God from being killed by barbarians, yes. I think using deceptive tactics is not only permissible but beneficial in such cases.
     
  14. Don

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    GreekTim, Skandelon -

    My question was regarding those preaching the gospel. Was Rahab an apostle, pastor, preacher, missionary, etc.? We could then get into hypotheticals about, if Rahab hadn't lied, what would the apostles have done? Died proclaiming the cross? Just as they were ready to do in Acts 12?

    As Scarlett pointed out, that leads to the slippery slope of other examples of what was done, such as Lot giving his daughters to be raped.

    Note that Hebrews 11 doesn't commend Rahab for lying; it states that she received the spies with peace, and didn't perish with the others that didn't believe. It speaks of her faith saving her, and doesn't mention lying.

    I struggled with this thought, and didn't place it in the previous message, but now I think it may be germane: Don't forget that muslims teach that lying is acceptable if it furthers the cause of islam. If we take the same philosophy, there is no difference between Christianity and islam. Both become philosophies built on a foundation of untruths.
     
  15. 12strings

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    But what, in scripture, tells us that certain commands may be disregarded IF we feel that it is "Benificial" or "Permissible."? What makes it "permissable"?

    Certainly not the simple phrase taken out of context: "all things are permissible."

    ...because we all know that "ALL doesn't really mean ALL." :laugh:
     
  16. John of Japan

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    Only if Samuel did not take a heifer and did not sacrifice.
     
  17. John of Japan

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    I'm for complete honesty. God is entirely able to protect, or if it is His will, to be glorified through a prison sentence or even death. I've talked to Bible smugglers who told how God simply closed the eyes of the border guards, even if they looked right at the Bibles. I also talked to one who said the Bibles were confiscated and then were distrubuted by the government!

    In the 7 things God is said to hate, there are 2 that are kinds of lying. If God hates a lying tongue, how in the world can we justify any kind of lying?

    (Proverbs 6:16-19) These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
     
  18. Skandelon

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    I guess this is why God made some more conservative than others. When I take bibles to my brother in a closed country I have no problem deceiving the Muslim questioning me. I've never felt a bit of guilt for doing so....still don't. Some consciences are weaker than others. ;)
     
  19. John of Japan

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    Yes. But we all know God can use sin to glorify Himself. And the Bible did not condemn her lie because it didn't need to because there are so many, many other passages that condemn lying.
     
  20. Skandelon

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    In what context would this phrase need to be for it not to literally mean that all things are actually permissible? Only someone who denied eternal security would take issue with such a claim.

    This is about being under Grace instead of Law. Under Grace anything and everything is permissible. You are not going to go to hell for breaking any rules, period. The reason we don't do some things is not because they are 'against the rules,' for that would be living under law. The reason we don't do some things is because it isn't wise or beneficial. I refrain out of love for God, not out of fear of being punished.
     
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