Thursday, July 14, 2011

Does The Bible Condone Lying?

I've recently had to write a short paper on "ethics" in my communications class. The paper's content had to do with the importance of not beguiling, lying, deceiving, or bearing false witness while delivering speeches. I had to write about each of these offensive and give biblical reasons why they were wrong.

However, after I briefly mentioned a few verses that seem to be against things such as lying and bearing false witness I was quick to add that there does seem to be a few instances in scripture where lying and being deceitful is not only over looked, but actually even rewarded.

In exodus 1, the pharaoh commands that the Hebrew midwives kill any male children immediately after they are born. The midwives, of course, let the male children live, and when pharaoh asks them why they didn't follow his orders, the midwives responded...

Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive.”

And God's response...

So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.

In Joshua 2, two men go to spy on the city of Jericho where they end up at a prostitute's (Rahab) house where they ended up staying. Which brings me to question number one... What were two godly men doing at a prostitute' house?

The king sent some guys to check out Rahab's place and this is how the story goes...

But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. She said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they had come from. At dusk, when it was time to close the city gate, they left. I don’t know which way they went. Go after them quickly. You may catch up with them.” (But she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them under the stalks of flax she had laid out on the roof.) So the men set out in pursuit of the spies on the road that leads to the fords of the Jordan, and as soon as the pursuers had gone out, the gate was shut.

So this is a bold face lie, there is really no denying that. So what happened to this lying prostitute?...

 Then they burned the whole city and everything in it, but they put the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron into the treasury of the LORD’s house. But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho—and she lives among the Israelites to this day. (Joshua 6)

How about one more.

In John 7 Jesus is having a little conversation with his brothers. His brothers about to head to Jerusalem to participate in the Feast of Tabernacles. They ask Jesus if he is coming to the feast, and Jesus responds with...

"You go to the festival. I am not going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.

And then John writes...

However, after his brothers had left for the festival, he (Jesus) went also, not publicly, but in secret.

So I ask you, Is it EVER justifiable to lie or be deceitful?

1 comment:

PaulTilly said...

Ahh my dear friend, you have opened a can of worms that I myself have opened. I have made the statement that lying for a good, is sometimes acceptable....It is always right to do what is right. If lying is that means than so be it. If a childs face is grossly disfigured from, lets say a fire, and child asks you if you think they are as pretty as an unhurt child... Do you speak honestly? Or do you grab her up, love them and tell them you think they are beautiful. Which one seems more Christlike? -