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Is this lying?

Discussion in 'Christian Advice' started by Terene, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. Terene

    Terene Bondslave of Jesus Christ

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    Dear brethren,

    I have come across a difficult situation in school which I hope to seek your advices upon.

    I have this project for a course that involves us role playing as business consultants from a fictitious company giving oral presentations, report/letter writing to a fictitious client. Our teacher adviced us that in order to score well, one of the aspects of our project is that we must establish credibility. This will mean that we will have to convince the audience/client that we are very experienced consultants from prestigious "company". Here is where I got the conviction in my heart that doing this project would cause all of us to become dishonest.

    Firstly, acting out the role of consultants (in Mini-lectures, Report/letter writing and Formal Oral Presentation) from a fictitious company would involve us pretending to be people we are not, and also where we are not from. This in itself is a dishonest act, though everyone knows we are just "role-playing". In essence, we are not deceiving anyone on purpose, but we are still engaging in a dishonest act because we need to convince the audience of who and what we are not.

    Secondly, in order to be credible during FOPs and Mini-lectures, we would need to give out "false" information about our "company", this would no doubt cause us to speak outright lies like "our company has 10 years of experience in business consultancy" when the truth is otherwise.

    Thirdly, as we would need to do self introductions during oral presentations, we would in reality be asked to falsely represent ourselves as consultants with experiences we don't have, causing us to engage in dishonesty yet again. Therefore, the ultimate result of doing the entire project is to directly engage in active false misrepresentations and lying.

    The Lord has said clearly that we as children of God ought to say "Yea, Yea, and Nay, Nay", and ANYTHING more than this is from the evil one. Thus, by role-playing in this project, we are indeed going beyond "Yea, yea and nay, nay" in a big way.

    I tried to talk to my parents about this, but they do not agree with me and we got into a quarrel (which I shouldn't have engaged in or started). They tried to convince me with fine-sounding arguments like how different contexts are different, and that I am not lying by misrepresenting myself because everyone knows we are only role-playing, but I cannot agree with them in the least bit. In my heart, I know that living godly lives is so much more than just speaking the truth in "certain" contexts, because any dishonesty/misrepresentations (no matter in what contexts) would still be considered lying. Role-playing in any situation would involve pretending to be someone whom you are not, and you are then forced to misrepresent yourself in many different ways (be it experiences, qualifications and so on). Isn't this a stark example of going beyond "yea yea and nay nay"? Then isn't it obvious that this is lying and must be forbidden?

    Moreover, we are exhorted that "whatsoever is not of faith is sin". After considering even the possibility that such a project would cause me to engage in dishonesty, I simply cannot have faith to do it unless the "role-playing" part of it is removed. I have emailed the teacher about my concern and unless we come to a consensus not to engage in any role-playing in the project, I would have to drop the course completely.

    What do you all think in the Lord? Please advice me if my decision is right with the wisdom of God.

    May our God bless you all in Christ our Lord, Amen!
     
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  2. jehoiakim

    jehoiakim Servant

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    It's just acting, I really think you are worrying too much about it, you aren't deceiving to take advantage of anyone, and you said everyone knows it's role playing. If you have a problem with this then I would assume to be consistent you could never watch a tv show or a movie or a play because it all involves acting, and certainly not a "magician" or "illustionist" even though they come right out ans say nothing they are doing is magic, it is all tricks... for that matter you probably couldn't watch a musician either... I am close friends with many musicians and they often have to perform and put on an act that they are in certain moods to play when they are not. I understand and appreciate your concerns, but if you are not actually trying to deceive anyone and this is merely an exercise to help you know how to perform in the future.
     
  3. Johnnz

    Johnnz Senior Veteran Supporter

    +890
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    Agreed. Stop worrying about a bit of make believe and play acting.

    John
    NZ
     
  4. Terene

    Terene Bondslave of Jesus Christ

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    Dear jehoakim,

    Thank you for your reply. :) I know and understand where you are coming from, and that's what my parents tried to tell me as well.

    But I do have a question though, not all dishonest acts are aimed at deceiving people, does that make that act innocent in God's sight? For instance, a company does not disclose its full financial situation for fear of negative reactions from its investors and the public, so it gives "half truths". Clearly, the company is not trying to purposely "deceive" people with malicious intent, but it is still engaging in dishonest act because it did not speak the whole truth. Does it mean that because this company is not purposely trying to deceive people to rip them off makes their dishonest act acceptable in God's sight? I would think not so.

    Moreover, this role playing in my project is not just pretending to be someone, but we actually have to convince the audience that we are what we pretend to be. This means we are to exaggerate and misrepresent ourselves in BIG ways. If the Lord commanded us to let "yea be yea and nay nay", then how can we exaggerate and misrepresent ourselves in such ways?

    Yes, I never liked acting in general since the Lord awakened me to righteousness, and I know deep in my heart that the acting industry is a hybrid of sin and lawlessness. Neither do I condone magicians and illusionists, since they directly use tricks to fool people. God has convicted me that all these things are sinful in nature. As for musicians, I am not yet convinced about this, but I believe that a musician can be genuine in his/her performance by really expressing his/her emotions through the music piece. That has almost nothing to do with pretending to be someone else since the musician does have the skill and talent in his/her role.

    So I would have to disagree with you and Johnz about this.
     
  5. help_the_lord

    help_the_lord Everything tastes better with cheese

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    I'm sure you want to be reassured from scripture as to the answer given here. And so that's what I'll do. To put the answer plainly though, it's not about lying or not lying.. which acting is not. Acting is a job like any other and nobody expects an actor to be telling them a real story. Or to really be whatever character they potray. However since you seem to have ehtical concerns with the acting field itself I'm not going to appeal to you in regards to whether or not the acting itself is wrong.

    Romans 13 1 -2
    1. Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authoritys. (In this case it's your teachers who govern your education). Here is a definition for govern, I'm including it so you don't get confused into thinking this is talking strictly in a sense of political governing which it is not.

    Govern: to exercise a directing or restraining influence over; guide:

    2. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordiance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.

    And then to tie into this, it says everything is confirmed through 2 or 3 witnesses, so i will leave you will 1st peter chapter 2 verse 18

    18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respects not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable.


    So yeah, she's got God given authority over you as your teacher. She wouldn't ask you to do something if it wasn't for your greater benefit. However even if thats not the case and she has bad instructions that may lead her to her own demise, you following them as a faithful servant will be given favor in the sight of God. He knows you are not doing this for your own cause, but are acting under good conscience because you are acting as a faithful servant. I hope this helps ease your concerns my friend, stay in the word and God bless.
     
  6. Terene

    Terene Bondslave of Jesus Christ

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    Dear help_the_lord,

    Thank you for your reply. :)

    I understand that I must not rebel against the authority, this was not my intention and never was by trying to raise this concern.

    You are right that we must be submissive, but there is a condition to this as well. We must submit as much as we can as long as God's commandments are not broken. It is right to be submissive to authority, but if we submit ourselves to the point we start disobeying God just to be obedient to our masters (or teachers or government), we are sinning. Remember how the religious authority in Israel commanded the apostles of Christ to stop preaching the Gospel? But what did they reply? "We ought to obey God rather than men."

    The same applies to my situation. If my teacher is encouraging me to sin against God by engaging in dishonesty, then I ought to obey God rather than my teacher. This is what a servant of God does, isn't it?:thumbsup:
     
  7. jehoiakim

    jehoiakim Servant

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    Help the Lord... I don't think you can use the Romans 13 in here because we are only to obey authority so long as it doesn't violate our faith. For instance the authorities forbid Daniel to pray but he did anyway. The question here is about whether the requested action breaks his faith in which case he would be expected not to follow it.

    Terene...
    I would have a problem with a company misrepresenting itself and they do it all the time, that is one of the biggest reasons I changed my major because it involved so much marketing and it make me sick to my stomach.

    I don't think I understood the part where you said you actually needed to deceive real people, I thought those people we fictitious or it was only you classmates who were doing the same thing. To be honest, I still don't think it is that big a deal, because they are not real investors and I imagine they will be told afterwords. But you know what, if this is an opportunity for you to share the gospel with your professor or your classmates then go for it, just be prepared for ridicule. Maybe you can work out another alternative for you in this project with your professor, I just suggest that you speak to him as respectfully as possible.

    Another question... A lawyer doesn't lie, but he does take the facts and try to present in a particular manner them to successfully state a case, it is his job what is your opinion on this. If we didn't have lawyers we'd be in a pretty scary place.
     
  8. Hospes

    Hospes Well-Known Member

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    Terene,

    Do you think that Paul calls us to a type of role play when he encourages us to "put on" Jesus?
     
  9. Terene

    Terene Bondslave of Jesus Christ

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    Dear jehoiakim,

    Thank you again for your reply! :thumbsup:

    Yes, and such misrepresentations from companies do not always have the intention of deceiving people to take advantage of them. But yet, this is considered dishonest and lying. Sadly, I am majoring in Business Administration (Accountancy) and my course exposes me to such bad influences in one way or another (like in this project).

    We are actually presenting to a life audience which are our classmates and teacher. Our role is to act as business consultants from a fake company (that doesn't exist) and to be persuasive in our presentations/reports/letters. That would mean we would need to misrepresent ourselves (since we are students and not actual consultants) and maybe even exaggerate a little. That is where I have issues with this project. The project tasks are fine, but the role playing part is a big issue. Yes, thank you for your encouragement, if this is a chance God has given me, I would indeed share the Good News. Please do pray for me about this. :)

    As for your question about lawyers, that would really depend on HOW the lawyer presents the information he has. I would still think that even for lawyers, exaggeration of the facts or misrepresentations in any form would be dishonest and should be forbidden. The facts should be presented objectively at all times, and not be manipulated/twisted for the sake of winning a case. That's just my view.
     
  10. Terene

    Terene Bondslave of Jesus Christ

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    Dear Hospes,

    Thank you for the question. :) I may not be always right, but in my opinion, putting on Christ is not misrepresentation nor role playing because we are learning Christ's character, and not trying to act as "Christs".

    For instance, we are to learn Christ's humility and obedience (to God), this would be putting on Christ. But if we go on to tell people that we ARE Christ and our role is to save people from their sins (God forbid that we should say such wickedness!), that would be playing the role of Jesus and pretending to be who we are not. Acting LIKE Christ is not role-playing, but acting AS Christ is and is forbidden. I hope you see the difference here.
     
  11. help_the_lord

    help_the_lord Everything tastes better with cheese

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    You need to understand that I don't care how pure your motives are, your kicking against the pricks. Your on here trying to justify your reason to go against the directives given to you by your authority figure. This is NOT ACCEPTABLE TO GOD

    Galations 5 19
    Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleaness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkeness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

    Seditions: rebellion
    Variance: an instance of diverging; dissension: Difference of opinion; disagreement
    Strife: striving: To struggle or fight forcefully; contend: strive against injustice.

    Let me be clear so you understand, it makes no difference how pure your motives are. You are not to do this. Do you understand? I cannot spell it out any clearer than this. When you are out in the world under an employer and you dont like it, it's different just quit. This is not a case though where you can go against the grain. You are not authorized the right to rebel against your assignment by God for any reason. Whether it's unreasonable or not. Do you understand? I hope so because this is a very important point that you are not properly grasping. You come across with an arrogant tone, and you are in dire need of correction, I'm sorry to sound stern but to do so is my Job. Ezekiel 3:17 and on explains why.

    Thank you for reading this and God bless
     
  12. iambren

    iambren Newbie

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    Everybody puts their best face forward: financial institutions, dating partners, job interviews, entertaining guests. It is acceptable social behavior. Technically, doesn't that seem to be dishonest or deceitful?

    When you know the members of your class know that your presentations are not ACTUAL life it is not dishonest. You seem to be "straining at a gnat" here. I don't know why.
     
  13. Terene

    Terene Bondslave of Jesus Christ

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    Dear help_the_lord,

    It is not about my motives, it is about the commandments of God. I am not trying to go against my teacher, but I am trying to obey God's commandments that command us to be HONEST in our dealings at all times. The Lord said clearly that liars will have a part in the lake of fire and if I engage in dishonesty just to be obedient to my teachers, I am dishonoring God and I deserve to be sent to the lake of fire. How can I do such a thing then unless I am convinced that role-playing is not an act of dishonesty?
     
  14. jehoiakim

    jehoiakim Servant

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    help the Lord, does this mean Protestants never should have rebelled against Papal Authority, or Colonists never should have started the American Revolution? What about all the early Christians who were matryed fro their faith because Christianity was illegal yet they practiced anyway. If the antichrist himself were here today would you allow him to be your authority figure?... If an authority figure tells us to do something something against our faith it is invalid. This person sincerely believes what he is being asked to do is against his faith, I might not agree with his conviction that it is an offense to God, but for his own conscience sake I must advise him if he feels so strongly to make his case

    Terene... I have to ask you, if this sort of things really upsets you do you really think this is a subject you should be studying? Then you will have to do similar things on a daily basis, even if you aren't totally lying, you will be twisting, and if you can't live with that sort of practice now I don't think it will be much better then, that is unless you plan on owning your own business and being your own boss
     
  15. Terene

    Terene Bondslave of Jesus Christ

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    Dear iambren,

    Thank you for your reply. :) Yes, I really may seem to be "straining at a gnat", but I am trying my best to be obedient to God in all matters. I have learnt huge lessons from my past dishonest acts, and I know there is no justification at all even if some dishonest acts are harmless to others.

    Yes, the class do know and so does the teacher, but that does not justify the act of misrepresentation/dishonesty itself. Role-playing does involve misrepresentation/dishonesty, and no matter whether people know about the pretension or not, I would still be involved in misrepresentation/dishonesty. That is why I am concerned, and very concerned in fact.
     
  16. help_the_lord

    help_the_lord Everything tastes better with cheese

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    Dude your not lying everybody knows that your acting. Your doing this in front of an entire group of people full well expecting you to do it. It's essentially like your putting on a play. Nobody really thinks your hamlet or romeo, or really thinks your trying to marry juliet. They come to a play expecting to be entertained in a ficticious way. It would be a different story if your teacher told you to go out into the real world with this fake company and try to aquire real investors. At which point I would recommend consulting with the police prior to doing it. Your not in that boat. In fact I tell you what, I bet you after you prepare your peice and present it you'll probaly come back here and follow up by telling how much fun you had; and what a delight this assigntment has been.
     
  17. help_the_lord

    help_the_lord Everything tastes better with cheese

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    Your comparing apples to submarines. Please don't turn an assigntment a teacher gave into the false regime of the antichrist. That sort of stuff encourages this sort of behavior. Which is not only unecessary but is unprofitable to his development. The teacher obviously wants him to role play so that he can get some insight into the mind of a business owner, helping to progress his entrapenueral skills and futher devlop his creative thinking. The tree is judged by his fruits, and it's quite clear this assignment is not going to bear bad fruit. It's also pretty obvious through your own statements there your just as aware of this as I am, so instead of provoking his behavior you should be searching your bible for texts to help ease his mind, not fuel his fire.
     
  18. Terene

    Terene Bondslave of Jesus Christ

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    Dear jehoiakim,

    Thank you for your concern and advice. I actually did not want to do business (accountancy), and I did raise my concerns with my parents and even some church leaders I know. But the truth is, my parents want me to have this degree and none of the church leaders agree with my concern and keep assuring me that the major I take is not sinful. I even got into many quarrels and had to run away from my parents thrice because of what I endured from them. I thank the Lord and cannot thank Him enough for not abandoning me, though I have stumbled in sin so many times in the ungodly environment that I was brought up in and even now live in (though it is so much better than before).

    My parents are not yet born again Christians, so in fact, I am the only one in the family (of three) with this faith. It is very difficult for me because I cannot get any biblical advice and neither do I have adequate guidance from those around me (since most of my relatives and the people I should trust in are non-Christians). I had much struggle in my early years of my walk with Christ because satan used my parents to persecute me again and again, tearing down my faith with curses, accusations, threats, beatings and so on. I am even alive and standing today because of Christ, and I have purposed in my heart to walk with the Lord at all costs (but this is not to say that I am already perfect, I am FAR from perfect/mature).

    I don't know what I should do, since my parents expect me to finish this degree. I mean I am not the best of daughters, and I certainly did not honor them as much as I should, but if the Lord will, shall I not complete this course as a way of honoring them? I don't know, but I didn't expect this course to be so problematic for me. I can only hope that through God's providence, I can walk uprightly and yet honor my parents in what little ways I can.
     
  19. Terene

    Terene Bondslave of Jesus Christ

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    Dear help_the_lord,

    How is role-playing not considered lying since it involves misrepresenting yourself as someone you are not? Misrepresentation is in itself dishonest, isn't it?
     
  20. Michael Collum

    Michael Collum Everything began with a voice, use yours Supporter

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    Acting is not lying when it is obvious you are playing make believe . play the role you are given and knowing it is a fictitious scenario, acting out of character would be dishonest . besides, Jesus said we are to be child like, so playing make believe is very much like being a child and is an exercise of our faith and imagination .

    just imagine you were born as such and such in this scenario .. how would you glorify Jesus in that situation?

    that's what comes to me .
     
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