"Is it ever right to do wrong?"

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Larry, Oct 6, 2001.

  1. Larry

    Larry
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    "Is it ever right to do wrong?"

    In another post, ”Right or Wrong by Don”, a question was risen about whether or not it was OK to use deception as a way for getting people to read the Gospel

    I would like to expand the topic to "is it ever right to do wrong?"

    Please consider:

    In Joshua chapter two, we find a prostitute who has lied to the government authorities.

    Her deception was later mentioned in the NT

    Hebrews 11:31 By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.

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

    Also consider the Sabbath Law. I think that the following verses teach us that there are times when a lesser law is overruled by a grater law.


    Luke 14:3-5
    And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?
    And they held their peace. And he took [him], and healed him, and let him go;
    And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?

    Mark 3:1-5
    And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand.
    And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.
    And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth. And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.
    And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.


    This is an application of the principle, and I would very much like for people to tell me what they would do in the same situation and why.

    You are living in Nazi Germany. You have several Jews hidden in you house. The authorities come to the door and ask if you knew where the Jews were hiding.
    Do you break one of the Ten Commandments and lie to the SS or do you tell on them?
     
  2. Brother Adam

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    What an intriguing question! I know what I would say, but I want to see other peoples responses first.

    Until Next Post, Adam
     
  3. Joy

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    "It is never right to do wrong, in order to get a chance to do right." Dr. Bob Jones Sr.
     
  4. SaggyWoman

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    I think there is a difference in being Godly and doing right by God's standards, and doing "right" by man's standards.
     
  5. Larry

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    So would you tell the Nazis that the Jews were hiding in your basement? Would it be right in Gods eyes to tell or lie?
     
  6. SaggyWoman

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    I don't know what I would do unless I was in that situation, but I think I would probably end up lying in that situation.

    By the way, have you ever seen the movie Sleepers? What would you have done if you were the priest?

    [ October 07, 2001: Message edited by: SaggyWoman ]
     
  7. Larry

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    That’s great Saggy. I think the Lord would be pleased.

    I don’t think I have ever seen Sleepers. What was it about?
     
  8. swaimj

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    The solution being advanced to the Nazi/Jew scenario is based on some false premises.

    First, there is no such thing as a heirarchy of laws in God's revelation. There is no situation in which it is OK to break a "lesser" command in order to keep a "greater" command. Rather, James teaches that law in its totality is an indivisible unit. Whoever "offends in one point is guilty of all." Kind of like a piece of fine china. It's either whole or its broken, there is no in-between. Breaking the law at all is still breaking the law.

    The second false premise is that we could ever be in a situation in which God "forces" us to sin. Again, James says "God cannot be tempted with evil, neither does he tempt any man." Also, Paul teaches that any temptation we face is "common to man" and that "God is faithful and will with the temptation make a way of escape that you may be able to bear it." God never forces me to sin.

    So, when the Nazi's come, I do not have to sin. In that situation, there are more choices than "lie to the Nazi's or tell the Nazi's." Whatever the course of action, I can obey God and trust him for the consequences. [​IMG]
     
  9. Larry

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    It’s against the law to j-walk. You see a toddler on the other side of the street, which is about to step out in front of a speeding truck. There is no time to go to the cross walk. Do you j-walk and save the child or do you let the child die?

    I would hope that you would save the child, and I assure you that you wouldn’t be ticketed for j walking. The thing is, there is the letter of the law and the spirit of the law.
    That’s what the pharisees couldn’t understand. No one can keep the letter of the law “for the letter killed, but the spirit giveth life”.

    Luke 10:27-37, the priest and Levite were keeping the letter and the Samaritan kept the spirit.


    This is the criterion:

    …Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

    This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it,

    Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

    On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Matthew 22:37-40


    “So, when the Nazi's come, I do not have to sin. In that situation, there are more choices than "lie to the Nazi's or tell the Nazi's." “
    No offence, but go tell that to the underground church in China or Sudan.
     
  10. Aaron

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    Well, let's look more closely at the Ninth Commandment: <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>I don't see anything in there that condemns Rahab's actions or the actions of the Egyptian midwives who intentionally misled Pharoah's officers in order to save innocent life, Exodus 1:17-22.

    In fact, as was mentioned before, Rahab's "lying" was an act a faith as stated in Hebrews 11, and was therefore a fulfillment of the true nature and scope of the Ninth Commandment which is to love thy neighbor as thyself.

    We have a duty, as faithful children of God, to intentionally mislead evildoers so that the innocent whom they seek to devour may escape.

    [ October 07, 2001: Message edited by: Aaron ]
     
  11. swaimj

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    I see what you're saying but I think you are mixing apples and oranges. Walking across the street is not an immoral activity. J-Walking is merely walking across the street. But walking across the street is regulated in the interest of public order and general safety, thus j-Walking is not allowed. In the case of a child hit by a car, J-Walking becomes a regulation which hurts public safety rather than helps it, so the law is suspended in that case. Lying is not in the same class as j-walking. Lying is a moral standard that is an absolute. Lying is a direct affront to the character of God. There is never a justification for lying in any situation. As for Jesus and the sabbath. Jesus never broke the Sabbath for that would have been an affront to the pattern God set when he rested on the seventh day (and since Jesus is the creator he would have been sinning against himself; an impossibility when you think about it). What Jesus did was break the regulations the Pharisees had built around the sabbath; regulations that God never gave. In doing this, he offended the Pharisees, but he did not sin against God. [​IMG]
     
  12. swaimj

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    Aaron, here is what Heb 11 says:

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    There is nothing in this verse about her being justified for telling a lie. She was justified "by faith." She believed the revelation she had about God and because she believed she acted on their behalf. Remember she did not have the law and the knowledge of God's standard. Rahab is an example of faith. Making her an example of biblical morality is is not wise--especially given her participation in the world's oldest profession!
    :eek:
     
  13. Aaron

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    I didn't say that Rahab lied. If you will look closely you will see that the word is in quotes, which means it is not to be taken litterally. Neither does the Bible say that Rahab lied. It says she hid the messengers.

    Joshua saved Rahab because she hid the spies, Joshua 6:17, 25.

    Hebrews 11:31, By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.

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

    I don't separate Rahab's deception of God's enemies from the act of hiding the spies. Neither does God. It's one and the same.

    Anyway, you can wrestle with this ethical "dilemma" all you want.
     
  14. Larry

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    swaimj
    “In the case of a child hit by a car, J-Walking becomes a regulation which hurts public safety rather than helps it, so the law is suspended in that case.”

    That’s right! The spirit of the law over rules the letter of the law.

    Aaron made a really good point “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” If you lied to the Nazis you hadn’t bourn false witness against them. You have saved the life or some Jews and prevented the Natzi from committing another sin that he would be held accountable for.

    1 Kings 22:20-23

    And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner.

    And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him.

    And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.

    Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee.

    Your thoughts?
     
  15. SaggyWoman

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    Hear, Hear! I believe in the spirit of the law, rather than the letter of the law, almost to the point of seemingly being disobedient to many. :eek:

    Sleepers is a movie about four boys who lived in Hell's Kitchen (I guess in NYC) as young teens, I think during the 60's. As altar boys, they were good friends with the priest, who worked with many boys in that parish trying to help make sure they grew up with a good man figure in their lives.

    The boys did some things that weren't right, (stealing hot dogs from a street vendor) and through the course of trying to get away with this event that they had done many times before, they ended up killing a man. They were sentenced to juvevnile detention for 18 months. At this facility, they were sexually abused .. .

    Years later, as the story goes, two of the four boys end up involved in serious crimes. One becomes a reporter, the other a lawyer. They keep minor contact with each other.

    The two involved in serios crime happen to be in a bar one night and they run across the officer in the prison who was a leader in abusing them. They kill him.

    As the courts try these to men for this murder, it was the lawyer's (yeah, I think he became the district attourney) deal to try to get them off. His reasoning was it was payback time for this man who abused these four boys and many others.

    The priest's story comes in when he was asked to provide an alibi for the two men who killed the abuser. . . the same two men who he cared for when they were altar boys.

    What should the priest do?

    [ October 07, 2001: Message edited by: SaggyWoman ]
     
  16. Aaron

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    :eek: Don't take anything I said as justification for letting the guilty go free. God would not have rewarded Rahab or the Egyptian midwives had they lied to let the guilty off the hook.
     
  17. swaimj

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    Larry,
    Is it any surprise that God, the sovereign of the universe, uses evil to accomplish his purposes? After all, he used lying, deceit, and murder in his sovereign plan to bring about the death of Christ, and thus the offer of salvation to the world. The difference is that God is soveriegn and you and I are not. If I lie, I play God. I say, "God, I know you are sovereign and in control of all things, but I am in a situation which will not turn out right if I obey you, so I am going to take your place. I am going to lie and take control of the situation and its results myself." This is what the Nazi/Jew scenario as you have constructed it demands of us. It says that you are in a position in which you cannot obey God. So be your own god and lie. I'm sorry my friend, I just don't think that is what we should do.
     
  18. Aaron

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    I won't be running to your house for protection!
     
  19. swaimj

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    LOL
    :D :D :D

    I wouldn't tell a soul if you did!
     
  20. Lorelei

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    Where does faith play into all of this? Does anyone believe this verse?

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Will God or will God not provide a way out if we do not lie? Easier said then done I know, but if you are so certain you must lie maybe you are placing too much value on life here on this earth.

    If you are doing something so noble as to hide the Jews from the Nazi's, are you willing to give your life for that cause? You do have the option not to "tell" them anything. That is not a lie, but your silence could mean your own death, while the Jews will still live. You have kept your promise to them and obeyed God.

    The Apostles did not lie thier way out of situations and they ended up in jail or dead. How much do you believe in what you are doing? Do you truly trust God that you can do what is right always. He will provide a way to follow the honest path if you trust enough in Him to do so. If that means death here, then it means a glorious life in His prescence for evermore.

    ~Lorelei
     

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