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Featured When is lying not sinful?

Discussion in 'Christian Advice' started by ByTheSpirit, Jul 13, 2017.

  1. RDKirk

    RDKirk Alien, Pilgrim, and Sojourner Supporter

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    The only relationship that would have been important was that Sarai was his wife. Abraham deliberately hid the only relationship that was important.

    Now, some here appear to believe that if one is questioned for specific truth but deliberately leads others away from that specific truth and imparts the idea something other than that specific truth, he has been "deceptive" but has not "lied."

    In fact, "deception" falls into the same basket as homicide: It's wrong in the context God says it's wrong, and it's right in the context God says it's right.

    I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean. -- Romans 14.

    However, with regard to "...if anyone regards something as unclean," remember that Romans 14 follows Romans 12:

    Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
     
  2. RDKirk

    RDKirk Alien, Pilgrim, and Sojourner Supporter

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    That might be better understood as "love covers a multitude of offenses."

    From both Matthew 18 and 1 Corinthians 5, we can hypothesize many circumstances in which a Christian might be offended by another Christian and never receive "justice." But as Jesus and Paul both point out, the goal is not "justice," but a return to fellowship. In many cases, the return to fellowship involves letting go of an offense without "justice." It's through love that one lets go of offenses without "justice."
     
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  3. RDKirk

    RDKirk Alien, Pilgrim, and Sojourner Supporter

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    What? No. Learning an ancient language does not first require learning its modern equivalent. If that were the case, nobody could learn Latin...and I guarantee you that knowing modern Italian would not give you any advantages in understanding ancient Roman culture.

    Much of a culture is defined by its language. As you learn the language, you learn much about how those people actually perceived their world. That is missed if all you study is a translation, because the translation will involve a shift from their perception to your perception...otherwise much of it would be indecipherable.

    There was one episode of Star Trek:TNG that delved into that problem. The crew of the Enterprise came upon a race that spoke only in metaphors relating to their own literature. So in describing "suicidal depression," they might say, "Romeo upon discovering the corpse of Juliet." The humans could translate the words into English--"Romeo upon discovering the corpse of Juliet"--but they could not determine it meant "suicidal depression" because they didn't know the reference. The mere translation did not help.

    But someone who did know the language, doing the translation, would translate "Romeo upon discovering the corpse of Juliet" into "suicidal depression," which would convey an accurate meaning for his readers, but his readers would never understand how the original text conveyed the original writer's unique perspective of his world.
     
  4. YHWH_will_uplift

    YHWH_will_uplift Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Lying is always sinful as it is against the Ten Commandments. Deceitfulness on the other hand is not always lying: deceit through appearances is a common tactic in games and war. Abraham was punished through his son in that his son followed his example; Isaac was deceived by Rebekah and Jacob; Jacob was deceived by Laban: these deceits involved lying. The latter acts of Jacob such as breeding the goats so that the stronger were his was an act of strategm and cunning. Jacob did not escape punishment for his lies as he was deceived by his own sons. Joseph deciding to not reveal himself is not lying as he wanted to test the characters of his brothers to see if they were the same people they were in the past. And Joseph never said that He didnt put their silver back into their bags: it was his brothers who explained to Joseph's steward that they did not steal silver from Joseph. The setup with the silver cup had nothing to do with deceit or lying: it was a pretense to test his brothers to see if they would give up Benjamin for food and money like they sold him into slavery. And David's act was deceitful yet, he did not lie about being mentally ill: he only acted as if he was.
    Appearances are deceitful: judge righteously like Christ told us.
     
  5. RDKirk

    RDKirk Alien, Pilgrim, and Sojourner Supporter

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    They attempted to deceive their own Commander, rather than deceiving the enemy in service to their Commander.

    When I was active duty military, it was standard procedure to do everything possible to conceal our activities from the enemy and to deceive them at ever turn--and our commander deemed that to be correct. But it would have been wrong to conceal our activities or deceive our own Commander.
     
  6. RDKirk

    RDKirk Alien, Pilgrim, and Sojourner Supporter

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    If you get captured in combat, you lie your okole off at every reasonable opportunity. And you'll get a medal for it from your commander.
     
  7. Jennifer Rothnie

    Jennifer Rothnie Well-Known Member

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    The Biblical idea (and jewish idea) of lying were somewhat different from the broader modern definition. And even our modern definition of lying tends to exclude jokes, games that require bluffing, or other forms of socially consensual deception for the sake of fun.

    For a jew, it was actually impolite and cruel to tell a friend "you made a bad purchase", even if they had. The duty of love towards a friend trumped cold 'truthfulness', and one was to compliment the purchase. [Advice before the purchase was perfectly acceptable].

    Or, for another example, God omits part of the story when repeating what Sarah said in her heart to Abraham, only giving Abraham the part where Sarah thinks herself old, and not passing on the part where Sarah thinks Abraham is old. (Gen 18:12-13)

    Due to this omission, Jewish tradition holds that omitting part of the truth for purposes of tact are more in line with God's heart of compassion and kindness then telling the whole/frank truth if it will hurt someone to no purpose.

    Scripture condemns as lies such things as:

    False witness in court (Deut 19:15-21):
    This is a severe form of lie, as a person's life, future, or reputation could hang in the balance. Any mistruth in a court of law is never acceptable. (Although, as Jesus showed, one could remain silent (Mark 14:57-64), and as Paul showed, one could tailor one's argument to the court rather than directly answer questions (Acts 23:26). Jesus is perhaps the best example of being indirect and avoiding direct answers, preferring to get to the heart of issues, as he often answered questions with yet another question).

    False rumors, slander, gossip:
    (Ex 23:1, Lev 19:16, Prov 26:22, Jer 9:4-6): This includes any lies or exaggerations done under the cover of 'prayer requests' or 'concern'. It is better not to bring something up at all the facts of the case could be misconstrued, or of telling the matter is going to lead to the tale spreading rather than reconciliation. (Prov 11:13)

    Malicious lies: Lies deliberately done to harm another person - whether to hurt their reputation, or just to hurt them, such as belittling sarcasm. (I Cor 13:6, Eph 4:32, Isaiah 59:3, Prov 26:26)

    Distorted perception and action:
    (Ex 32:7-10, Isaiah 5:20-23, Rom 1:21-32)
    When our hearts harden to God's truth and light, then our vision becomes distorted, and our actions eventually become more and more depraved.

    Lies to deceive into error:
    (Gen 3:1-7, Isaiah 5:18-19, Jer 9:8, Titus 1:10-11, Matt 24:24)

    Lies of false image/hypocrisy:
    (Matt 6:5, Matt 6:16, Matt 23:28)

    Yet there are many times in scripture where people (or spirits) acting on behalf of God, used other forms of deception as a means to an end. It was not automatically considered wrong, and is even commended at times:

    (Ex 1:15-22, II Kings 10:18-31, Exodus 8:20-28, 1 Sam 16:1-13, II Chron 18:18-22, James 2:25, Judges 4:18-22, etc)

    Ex 1:15-22: The midwives feared God, and therefore let the boys live and lied to Pharoah about the circumstances. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Ps 11:10, Prov 1:7). God blessed the midwives and gave them families because they feared Him.

    II Kings 10:18-31: Jehu deceives the prophets of Ball by pretending to be a Ball worshiper and summoning all the prophets. He then has his men kill all of them, tear down the temple, and demolish the statue of Baal. God commended him in this instance and did not admonish him for his deception.

    Ex 5:1, Ex 8:20-28: God and Moses both know that the plan is for Pharoah to drive the Israelites from the country - but God has Moses only give Pharaoh the repeated command to allow the people to go worship at a temporary festival.

    1 Sam 16:1-13: God tells Samuel how to mislead Saul and say he's going to make a sacrifice and omit his going to anoint a new king.

    II Chron 18:18-22: God asks for someone to entice Ahab to war, then gives permission to a deceiving spirit to deceive Ahab's prophets

    Josh 2:1-15, Josh 6:25, James 2:25: Rahab is considered righteous for hiding the spies and sending them off a different way than their pursuers

    Judges 4:18-22: Jael promises safety and rest to Sisera, then murders him, thus receiving the glory for the victory.

    John 7:6-10: Jesus tells his brothers he isn't going to the festival, then goes later in secret.



    This is why it is not only important to understand the culture and context of scripture as written [ie the difference between false witness and a lie in general, or how a lie was defined in Bible times], but it is of even more importance to subject everything to the moral law.

    "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself". (Mark 12:29-31)

    On this hangs all the law and the prophets. (Matt 22:34-37)

    So, is a lie intending to harm your neighbor? Then it is a malicious lie. Is it intended for the benefit and love of your neighbor (such as the surprise party) or to protect the innocent? Then it is not a "lie" of the type the Bible condemns.

    If someone lies to protect someone else's life from an unjust genocide or uses tact, they are still following the Royal Law. Their heart is towards God and towards each other. As wisdom and prayer is needed in these situations, it helps to remember that we walk by the spirit not by a list of rules (Rom 8:3-5), and that we discern the will of God by abiding in Christ (Rom 12:1-2).

    It comes down to a matter of the heart and subjection to God. Truth remains truth, but as Jesus points out to Satan, it is the higher truth, the eternal truth that matters. Temporal truths only stem from the eternal - not the other way around. In none of the numerous biblical examples was temporal truth changed (The spies really were under Rahab's straw, the midwives were lying through their teeth to pharoah, Jehu's plan to slaughter the prophets of Baal was quite opposite from his stated plan to worship Baal, etc]. Yet, the temporal took a back seat in view of God, the eternal plan, and what was morally right.


    What does the Bible say about lying? Is lying a sin?
    http://ebible.com/answers/22389?ori=167400
     
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  8. RDKirk

    RDKirk Alien, Pilgrim, and Sojourner Supporter

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    Do you think we are?
     
  9. AlexDTX

    AlexDTX Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I like your answer. I am going to start on new thread on the topic to see what else people say.
     
  10. Apex

    Apex Radical Centrist & Ethicist

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    No. I don't think Christians are under the jurisdiction of the Mosaic Law. I talked about it briefly in an early post. I just wanted to know your position on it.
     
  11. Apex

    Apex Radical Centrist & Ethicist

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    I wonder how others will respond to this. This is basically what I've been arguing. Thanks for being thorough. What you call the "moral" law and the royal law is how I understand the Law of Christ.
     
  12. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

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    Yes, I am aware of the TNG episode. I had thrown out all five series of Star Trek on DVD and other secular films, though. But I think your point with TNG is not helpful but only makes things worse. Yes, in some cultures, the language gap is far. But this is not always the case with the Greek.

    A Google search says this:

    Modern Greek (demotic) has a simplified grammar and accents and the vocabulary has naturally changed over time, but the basic core of the language is the same, so a speaker of modern Greek can usually get the gist of an ancient text, although trying to translate may often lead to tragic misinterpretations.

    https://www.quora.com/How-different...hey-understand-classical-Greek-of-Homer-et-al
    This is why simply reading your Bible in the English is the best and most simplest way. Yes, I am not saying you cannot find a correlation of certain words in the Greek, but this would be with also using the English as your main guide. The KJV was translated unlike any other Bible today. It had tons of scholars working on it and they all would check each other's work in groups. To say we know more than a large handful of scholars back in the 1600's who knew these languages is slightly conceited on our part.

    To act like we are like a large group of scholars back in the 1600's is asking a lot of ourselves.
    We would have to do a lot more than play around with BlueLetterBible or go to some Bible school here in the States.


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  13. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

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    I get where you are coming from, but I currently believe now that deceptive battle tactics is not the same as lying (which involves actual words of untruth). It appears I believe the same as poster named: "YHWH_will_uplift" on this one (See his post #244).

    Also, I do not believe physical battle tactics apply for the church today, either.
    We are told to be as innocent as doves and as wise as serpents, though.
    This would obviously be in our spiritual warfare of spreading the gospel and not by any kind of physical warfare.


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    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
  14. razzelflabben

    razzelflabben Contributor

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    let me know when you do with the link if you don't mind me posting.
     
  15. 4x4toy

    4x4toy Newbie Supporter

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    Agree , then the flip side maybe those who listen to and believe lies contrary to in-your-face scriptural applied evidence and I don't deny the possibility with myself , so knowing this helps keep us more humble and on watch .. Paul asks the Galatians 3:1 ''who has bewitched you'' .. God will allow deceiving spirits if we insist on being stubborn after a while . In fact will allow or send a great delusion in the End Times that if possible even the very elect would be deceived . We are all shaken but we are all not stirred .. ^_^ .. Best I could do ..
     
  16. razzelflabben

    razzelflabben Contributor

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    One form of deception I haven't heard anyone talk about so far is acting. This would include but not be limited to plays in church. For those that are trying to make the issue of lying into a legalistic matter not a love matter I am wondering where you come down on this...are plays and other such performances both in and out of the church sinful because they are "lies" in that we are portraying something that is not true? Again this question is only for those that take the legalistic approach of all non truth is wrong.

    If plays etc. are wrong, what about those that come to Christ through a well done play or skit that portrays Christ in a way they understand? What about performances that depict the crucifixion? Do you refrain from watching all movies and reading all works of fiction?

    Again only for those legalistic about the word "lie" being anything that is not truth.
     
  17. 4x4toy

    4x4toy Newbie Supporter

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    Legalism without discernment will get you hurt
     
  18. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

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    Well, not to derail the topic of this thread here, but if I were to answer the question, "Are we currently bound to the Law of Moses?"

    I would say the following:

    While we as believers today are not under the Old Covenant and it's many laws, especially the ceremonial laws, and judicial laws (Because we are New Covenant believers), we have to understand that there are "Eternal Moral Laws" that God has given to man since the beginning. Granted, not all moral law is eternal. For example: One issue of morality that appears to have changed partially (with the arrival of the written law of Moses) is the sleeping with close of kin. But I believe this has to do with the fact that sin has effected man's genetics whereby man's body could no longer handle inbreeding - which can be seen by the fact that men no longer lived hundreds of years like he used to.

    "But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully." (1 Timothy 1:8).

    While I believe a believer today should primarily look to the commands in the New Testament to obey God, there are certain "Eternal Moral Laws or Commands" that are not as clearly described for us in the New Testament as they are in the Old Testament. For example: It is still immoral to contact the dead, engage in bestiality, make a graven image and bow down to it, etc. (As the Old Testament says).

    Side Note:

    I believe some Next of Kin Commands are eternal. Like sleeping with one's mother or father has always been forbidden since the beginning. I will explain this in a future post.


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    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
  19. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

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    Yes, a person first needs Jesus and they need Him to be the foundation of their salvation.
    For we do not get clean by doing a good work, but we get clean by going to Jesus.
    For if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9) (cf. 1 John 2:1).

    But a faith without works is dead (James 2:17).
    And without holiness, no man shall see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).


    ...
     
  20. Kenny'sID

    Kenny'sID Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm aware of what the scripture said, so there is no higher understanding here, because I'm also aware of his purpose for telling them she is is sister...it was to deceive them into believing it was not his wife.

    I show my disagreement here because I'm concerned about people taking from this, as long as we just deceive it's ok, it's not a lie, and even though I think in some cases God can handle some of both, not a good idea to take from this incident or this thread, that deception is ok willy nilly.
     
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