Monday Musings for May 22, 2017

Good morning, Musers,

Today, I’m giving you permission to lie. Well… not exactly. It’s more like, I know you lie… but I can explain and justify why it might be okay under certain circumstances.

Our questioner is asking one of those puritanically-flavored questions — accusing God’s people of breaking God’s law under God’s direction — and he toys with the idea that lying might even be worse than killing. But his musings are flawed on many levels, so my job is to reveal that kindly (or maybe just palatably) … although I do accuse this questioner of picking a fight with God. The thing is, I cannot really see into anyone’s heart — so I don’t know what’s going on — but when I take his points collectively, it sounds like he is picking a fight.

Such potpourris of reasoning can be instructive, though — and today’s are no exception. You see, God set things up so this issue will be in tension. First, he made us to be reasonable people… and by that, I mean that we are people who reason — we can figure things out. Second, he established behavioral standards — like against lying. Scripture tells us directly that God hates a lying tongue (Proverbs 6:17).

But the New Testament develops that theme further: Jesus is identified as the truth itself (John 14:16). His very person is the opposite of a lie. So, we who name his name should distance ourselves from untruth for that reason alone. But did God hate Corrie ten Boom’s lying tongue when she told the Nazi’s that she knew nothing about where some Jews might be hiding? I think not. And I noticed that God didn’t thump Rahab for lying about the Hebrew spies (Josh. 2:5). In fact, God saw that she was listed as a hero of faith (Hebrews 11:31).

The problem is, we live in a world of sin. And although we are positionally redeemed as people, the redemption process (as a whole) is ongoing. As such, we are “stuck” with some holy standards that we cannot possibly keep. Now, this won’t always be the case — a new age is coming! But it is the case now… and now is the time at issue. So, is the answer not to lie… no matter what the cost?

That’s still the target… but perfect success is not a reasonable expectation. We are “stuck” in a dark place — and we are “stuck” here during a dark time. Now, it is always our job to let our lights so shine that we uphold the truth. But that does not mean that we insult God by failing to preserve the very lives he gave us. So, if we find ourselves in imminent peril, we must protect life and safety by any means first… and we can sort out the theology later.

To read the article referenced above, visit the link below.

(For comments, or to join the Monday Musings mailing list, contact us at To submit a question about God, the Bible or the Christian culture, click here.)