To lie or not to lie

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Briguy, Oct 10, 2002.

  1. Briguy

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    At our AWANA group last night the leader taught, based on God's word, that it is never, ever, in any situation, "right" to lie(and so we should not lie in any situation). He used the catch phrase "situational ethics" for any situation that someone can come up with that they feel lying is justified.

    I have other thoughts but would like to see where others come down on this. What does everyone think about that teaching?

    Make sure you are 100% honest with your answers :D

    In Christ,
    Brian
     
  2. HankD

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    Here is a "situation":

    I buy a bottle of olive oil. It says on the label 100% olive oil.
    I use half of it and fill it up the rest of the way with corn oil without changing the label.
    The oil in the bottle is now 50% olive oil, 50% corn oil, though the label says 100% olive oil.

    Is what I have done unethical?
    Am I lying to everyone who uses my oil?

    What if a store owner tried to sell 50% olive oil 50% corn oil in a bottle labeled 100% olive oil?

    Why is it OK for me to do but not the store owner?
    What's the difference?

    Situation: Location, site, condition, circumstances. Merriam Webster.

    The situation. The home owner versus the store owner situation.

    So, what is unethical in one situation may not be in another.

    HankD

    [ October 10, 2002, 10:11 AM: Message edited by: HankD ]
     
  3. Abiyah

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    It is my opinion that anything done in order to
    deceive is a lie and is, therefore, immoral.
     
  4. HankD

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    But Abiyah, I'm not trying to deceive anyone just stretch my olive oil with corn oil.

    Here is another situation: hair coloring.
    Am I deceiving others if I color my hair (I don't [​IMG] )?
    What if I curl my hair (I don't [​IMG] ) and it's not naturally curly?

    HankD

    [ October 10, 2002, 10:17 AM: Message edited by: HankD ]
     
  5. Abiyah

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    Hi, Hank! You don't know how often I have been
    tempted to just hop in the car and take a long
    Sunday drive, ending up in your church for
    morning service. 8o)

    My letter was not directed toward your situation,
    but I will address it here.

    If you place your oils together for yourself, with
    no intention of deceiving, there is nothing wrong
    with your action. If you did it to make another
    believe that you are a user of olive oil, rather
    than another oil, that is deception and is,
    therefore, a lie.

    I color my hair. I do not consider that a decep-
    tion. But I don't care who knows that I have it
    dyed; when anyone asks, I say it's dyed. I have
    told people that if I did not have my hair dyed, I
    would look like I was my husband's mother,
    because his hair has no gray, except in his
    beard.

    I recognize there are those who will not dye,
    curl, or cut their hair because they believe this
    is deception. I do not agree. If this were decep-
    tion, then so is mowing and caring for our lawn,
    which is also God-made and in an unnatural
    state as soon as we make improvements upon
    it. Or, to make it a more personal situation, if
    dying or curling our hair is deception, then what
    about manicuring our nails? Maybe those who
    will not do these things to their hair should let
    their nails just grow also.
     
  6. Abiyah

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    Isn't it nice to finally see what Briguy looks like?
    Ii love these photos. There really are real people
    behind these posts!

    Thank you, Briguy!
     
  7. dumbox1

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    The classic "test case" I've always heard for this issue (and y'all have probably heard it, too) is this:

    During World War II, the Nazis knock on the door of your Hamburg home and ask, "Are there any Jews hiding in your basement?"

    And, in fact, there are.

    (For the sake of the discussion, please assume that the situation is such that you can't weasel around the issue -- for example, assume that if you say "no" the SS really will go away, that if you say nothing they'll search your basement anyway, that there's no way to "truthfully" answer their question in a non-revelatory way, etc.)
     
  8. Abiyah

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    Corrie ten Boom wrote that she regretted her
    lies and that her lie was what led to their impri-
    sonment. She wrote that her sister's refusal to
    lie, rather to rely upon our God, was what kept
    them safe so long.

    Dr. Diane M. Komp wrote a book about her
    odyssy from dishonesty to honesty, titled
    (anatomy of a lie), Zondervan Publishing Com-
    pany,1998. Excellent book.

    [ October 10, 2002, 11:09 AM: Message edited by: Abiyah ]
     
  9. Eladar

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    I believe my answer would be:

    If the Nazis were in control of my country, I'd either be dead or in another country.
     
  10. Briguy

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    Abiyah, I like the pictures too, you feel like you are real communicating with a person and not a name. Thank you for your picture as well!!!!

    You guys have really hit on the real issue here. I am always honest and so will give my honest opinion. Biblically speaking if we have faith in God we will trust him to take care of any situation. we can tell the truth in any situation because we know God sees what happening and we can trust him. That is the truth of the Bible.

    However, As I know that is how i should respond to any situation, it is not what I would do in every situation. For example. A man starts to break into my house when just my son and I are home. I hear the noise and send him to hide in the basement, in a cabinet behind sleeping bags. The man gets in has a gun and tells me that my family and I are going to die. He asks me if anyone else is in the house. I should respond that, "yes, my son is in the basement, in a cabinet, behind the sleeping bags." I know myself well enough to know I would say I was alone. Yes, I am not fully trusting God in that situation but that is the reality. I may repent of the lie later but I would lie in that situation.

    Lord, forgive my lack of faith.

    In WW2 Gemany I probably would have lied to the Nazi's as well. (man, am I looking bad now :( )

    In Christ,
    Brian

    [ October 10, 2002, 11:28 AM: Message edited by: Briguy ]
     
  11. Abiyah

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    Briguy --

    Who is worse: the one who outright lies or the
    one who deceives? And who is worse: the one
    who admits he would outright lie or the one who
    considers the situation and thinks, "I would
    probably deceive." There is a difference.

    Before I go into explaining what I mean in the
    above paragraph,. taking the situation you gave,
    why would you give details? Telling the truth
    does not mean that you must give all the details.

    Reading the Bible, we know that our God does
    not give all the details, yet He embodies Truth.
    As a parent, when my child asked me, "How
    does the baby get inside the mother's tummy?"
    I did not give all the details. Ii said what was
    necessary for an answer and what was age-
    appropriate. She learned the details when
    she could handle them.

    In your situation, were I totally honest when the
    person asked if someone else was in the house,
    all I would have to answer and remain honest
    would be, "Yes," or say nothing at all. I would
    opt for the latter.

    However, back to my first paragraph, my first
    thought was that I would probably fall into the
    trap of deceiving. I was reared to deceive,
    taught this from very early in life, with it being
    reinforced throughout my formative years and
    until I left my childhood home. As a result, my
    first inclination is to deceive, but my final action
    is to tell the truth.

    The difference? A lie is usualy an outright lie; a
    deception can be telling the truth in such a way
    as to deceive, which means that in the end, the
    truth becomes a lie. So the truth, told to be a
    lie, could be saying, with a sneer, "Sure. Right.
    Someone else is in here." And with the right
    body language, that truth would be a lie.

    For example, my first inclination, in your situ-
    ation would be to say one of the following:
    "What does it look like to you, jerk?"
    "What do you think?/ You think I would stand
    here and take your garbage if someone was here
    who could help me?"
    "Sure! And my 6-foot-5, 230 pound husband is
    in the door way, his father is behind you, and
    in fact, the whole house is full of people! Can't
    you see them?"
    And all these would be deceptions. So who is
    less of a liar?

    But in your situation, I would not answer.
    Although my inclination is to say the above, I
    would say nothing, clamming up immediately,
    and praying that our God would keep us both
    safe but especially that my son would escape.

    [ October 10, 2002, 12:44 PM: Message edited by: Abiyah ]
     
  12. Briguy

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    A, Thanks for the post. I appreciate the thought that went into it. The AWANA leader last night would have said that not answering when you know the answer is lying as well. Saying nothing could be thought of as dishonest and God by character is truth so dishonesty is not an option.

    I think though you may be right in not answering as I recall Jesus not answering P. Pilot(sp?) when he, Jesus, knew the answers. Maybe a non answer would be best. Though I would still do whatever at the time seemed best to save my son.

    I guess I am still trying to figure out where I stand.

    In Christ,
    Brian
     
  13. Lorelei

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    I think the deomonstration Jesus gave is indeed a great indication of what one must do.

    I wonder how and why a child of God would not think that trusting in God and obeying His Word would never seem like the best thing to do.

    God despises lying. The question is, do we trust God enough to obey Him even in difficult times? Many apostles and great men of God are dead today for that very reason, they obeyed God, even unto thier death.

    I think it comes down to your faith, is it strong enough to get us through the tough times?

    What would I do? I hope I would always tell the truth, but I am human and in a moment of fear, I might cave in. But I do know what we are supposed to do. God fogives lying, but I dare say that he never condones it. I believe that He will always honor truth, and I hope and pray that my faith in Him will help me practice that no matter what the consequences would be.

    ~Lorelei
     
  14. CatholicConvert

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    There is absolutely nothing wrong with a properly used lie. God Himself used lies when it suited His purpose: (NOTE: I did NOT say that God is a liar. I am showing that He uses deciet upon those who deserve it in order to bring judgement upon them. But the point is, nonetheless, that God decieved them by third party means!!)

    1Ki 22:22 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.

    1Ki 22:23 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.

    2Ch 18:21 And he said, I will go out, and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And the LORD said, Thou shalt entice him, and thou shalt also prevail: go out, and do even so.

    2Ch 18:22 Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil against thee.


    So -- What about DAT!!!? :eek:

    I really wish the so called "Bible Teachers" who infest this land like so many cockroaches would actually READ THE TEXT instead of shooting off their mouths without sufficient study.

    Ex 20:16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

    De 5:20 Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbour.


    I hope you see what I see (and what should be plain to all who look at these verses). The type of "false witness" which is prohibited is

    THAT WHICH DOES HARM TO ANOTHER PERSON!!!

    So, in keeping with the express outline of the Decalogue, any form of speech which slanders another's character, decieves him into doing something not in his best interests, presents him in an unjust and unwarranted way to others, or cheats him from that which is legitimately his, is WRONG.

    Going now to our two examples -- the olive oil situation falls under this example. The customer THINKS he is buying pure and 100% olive oil and is getting his money's worth. He is not. He is being HURT by being defrauded. This is quite clear and unambiguous. Unfortunately, American business seems to run on these kinds of principles.

    As for the Nazis, lying to them is justified because a greater harm would come from telling them the truth -- the destruction of innocent lives. No man who does evil has a right to the truth to further his evil plans.

    Now let me give you a theoretical situation. (No, this is NOT something which has happened to me) Suppose you received $25,000 as a cash (and therefore untracebable) gift and know that if you declare this amount, 30% will go to support abortion on demand, homosexual deviance, or some other form of government malfeasance. :eek: :mad:

    What would YOU do?

    Cordially in Christ,

    Brother Ed

    [ October 10, 2002, 02:36 PM: Message edited by: CatholicConvert ]
     
  15. Johnv

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    I agree with Abiyah. Doing something for the purpose of inappropriate deception is a sin.

    Notice, I said "inappropriate deception".

    Keeping the fact that you're a convicted child molester is a sin. But keeping the fact that you sleep in the nude is a matter of personal privacy.

    Lying to one's parents about where you went Saturday is a sin, but Corrie Ten Boom lying about not hiding any Jews in her house during WW2 was not a sin.

    Not changing the label on your olive oil probably isn't a sin, but lying about the contents if someone asks might be.

    BTW - in US consumer law, there's a stipulation that says a label or consumption statement MUST accurately represent the contents. This is also true of restaurants. If you get a bottle of Heinz ketchup on your table, they are not allowed to refill it with Hunts or Ralph's brand ketchup. Also, it must be ketchup, not catsup. Another example. If the menu says toast with butter, a restaurant may not serve you toast with margerine.

    [ October 10, 2002, 03:07 PM: Message edited by: Johnv ]
     
  16. Lorelei

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    Catholic Convert,

    God has sent lying Spirits to those who wanted to hear lies. Just as we are told in Romans, God allowed men to do things even that He despised.

    You quote a few verses about lying to our neighbor and act like that is all the Bible has to say about lying. Well, here are a few more.

    In the future no one will speak lies, period. No word about lies that do not injure or hurt someone else.

    This is just a few that don't specify lying only to another person. These are pretty plain. To lie is to sin. Period.



    According to whom? You or God?

    We like to think that WE can make those decisions about when it is right to lie and when it is not, but God has already decided that. He tells us in His Word "Do not lie". There is no room for argument. It is man's vanity that allows him to think that he can play God and determine for himself when he will or will not obey God's word.



    Only one's greed would make this case ever seem appropriate. If you truly don't want to allow the money to support those things, then turn down the gift. However, no matter what the taxes go for, if taxes are due, Jesus said "Give to Ceasar what is Ceasar's." He never said "Unless you have an excuse that you feel is valid not to". Do you think that the taxes paid to Ceasar never went to anything that God didn't like? Only a fool would believe such a thing.

    This again, is just man's attempt to play God. God hates lying, we are to obey God. There is no question as to what one must do when it comes to lying, just whether or not you trust God enough to do what is right.

    ~Lorelei
     
  17. HankD

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    Thanks Abiyah,

    I used to try to hide my gray, but then it became an overwhelming task, so...

    Now I look like my wife's father.

    In fact, the first time we went to the Church here, at a potluck afterwards, my wife was in line and I was sitting. The pastor asked me what my daughter's name was.

    HankD

    [ October 10, 2002, 07:56 PM: Message edited by: HankD ]
     
  18. Deacon

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    I'll throw in two scriptural examples of lying:
    1)Rahab and 2)the Hebrew midwives.
    God honored them dispite their decept of an unjust authority.

    [ October 10, 2002, 08:31 PM: Message edited by: Deacon ]
     
  19. Briguy

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    Thanks everyone for your HONEST answers. It felt as if everyone was answering from their heart.
    I think the example of Rahab is good because she is mentioned in Hebrews in the "hall of Faith"(or whatever that is called) section. Certainly Rahab is known now for her faith and not as a great liar. I asked my wife about my "hidden son" example and she said she would lie in that situation as well. She commented that maybe the "hiding place" is the way God chose to keep our son safe and we wouldn't want to mess that up. I'm thinking now that keeping silent is not a sin. I know some will disagree but we do have the example of Jesus to look at.

    Ed, I see your point and I see L's point. I hope you are able to respond to her as I would like to see what other scripture you use to back your position. There is no way to deny that God used lying and even caused it by giving a lying spirit, but God is God and can reach people or punish people as he sees fit and by any method he chooses, right?

    Again, good stuff!! Anyone else to join in?

    In Christ,
    Brian

    [ October 11, 2002, 08:31 AM: Message edited by: Briguy ]
     
  20. Abiyah

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    Ed --

    Lorelei already answered you and
    answered you well, I might add. I will also
    answer.

    Ed, did you read the whole text or just pull these
    verses out of your concordance? I, while I do
    not claim to be a teacher but actually read
    the Bible, will answer you. Then you may
    decide my status as "cockroach" and whether
    or not I am "shooting off [my] mouth . . . without
    sufficient study." 8o)

    Our God has decided that all sin, lying included,
    will bring on discipline. When Pharaoh made
    his decision against Israel, our God hardened his
    heart in order to use what Pharaoh had already
    decided, in order to work His own purpose. Was
    our God a partner in Pharaoh's sin? No.

    In the same way, Saul made his decision, and
    he was tormented by an evil spirit from our God.
    This, again, was because of Saul's decision.

    We can all think of many other similar biblical
    examples of times when human beings have
    made their decisions, and our God gave them
    over to their evil desires. That does not make
    our God a partner in their sin; rather, He allows
    them their own will.

    Jehoshaphat was king of Judah; Ahab was king
    of Israel. Jehoshaphat came down to see Ahab,
    being kindred under God's promise to their
    father Abraham. Jehoshaphat wanted to
    reinforce that kinship, and he told Ahab that
    they were the same, J's people were A's people,
    J's war implements were A's war implements.
    He then told Ahab that he must ask the LORD
    before engaging battle.

    But Ahab's mind was made up: he wanted to go
    to battle. He called the "prophets"--the yes-men
    of Ahab--to get a word from them. They pro-
    phesied what they knew he wanted to hear:
    success.

    Jehoshaphat saw through them and inquired if
    there was a "prophet of the LORD besides."
    Ahab said that there was this Micaiah, but he
    hated him because he was not a yes-man like
    the others. Micaiah was brought in where the
    yes-man-prophets continued their fake
    prophecies, and was told that he had better
    say the same things.

    Initially, in answer to this request, Miciah mocks
    them by retorting, "Go, and prosper: for the
    LORD shall deliver into the hand of the king."

    But the king was in no mood for snide remarks;
    he demanded a true prophecy. So Micaiah gave
    it to him--all Israel (not Judah) would be
    scattered upon the hills as sheep without a
    shepherd, because the LORD had said that they
    have no master. Ahab got angry at the prophecy.

    It is then that it is told how, because Ahab had
    already determined to have his way, a lying
    spirit was sent to his prophets so that they
    would say what he wanted to hear.

    In a similar incident, satan went before our
    God to accuse Job. Job had just as much
    chance to give in to satan as wicked Ahab had
    to give in, but because evil was not the purpose
    of Job, Job did not give in.

    "But . . . all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." Rev 21:8

    [ October 11, 2002, 02:08 PM: Message edited by: Abiyah ]
     

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