Faith musings from the seat of a forklift.
Growing up, I can remember saying things like “Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire”, and other such types of phrases. Honestly, as a fairly popular meme on Facebook says, “Wouldn’t it be nice if a liar’s pants really did catch fire?”.
Lies are not restricted to any one particular time, place, or culture. However, there are cultures that believe it is alright to lie to those who do not subscribe to that culture if it advances the cause of that culture. Christianity doesn’t believe this. Any culture that does worships a false god as far as I, and most other Christians I know, are concerned.
Lies can be the cause of terrible things. Say the wrong thing, particularly if it is untrue, and you could cause all sorts of problems. In my line of work, write the wrong weight for a final tally on a loaded trailer, and there is a good chance that trailer will be coming back. Fail to document damages, or not accurately record those same damages, maybe minimizing what they are, and you could find yourself facing a seriously claim, and the loss of a customer.
In the Small Catechism, we read:
The Eighth Commandment.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
What does this mean?–Answer.
We should fear and love God that we may not deceitfully belie, betray, slander, or defame our neighbor, but defend him, [think and] speak well of him, and put the best construction on everything.
Seriously, lying is a bad thing, I don’t care what your culture says. There is no such thing as a “harmless” lie. However, in our modern society, we have come to embrace lies, and deny truth, especially when the truth doesn’t serve our greedy, self-centered, purposes.
At the time of this writing, we are in the middle of an election cycle for a new president. It should come as no surprise that most Americans consider politicians as professional liars. Worst still, non-politician businessmen (also known as lobbyists), are often worse than the politicians. I don’t understand it personally, but it is often the case. However, that is all the more reason to think about truth.
I like to believe that Pontius Pilate said it best. When he was talking to Christ Jesus, he asked Jesus about who he was. Jesus made that statement that he was a witness to the truth. Pilate then asked, what is possibly the most human question possible, “What is truth?”.
I suppose that one question is necessary today. Too often we find ourselves living in a world that defines itself by one type of sin or another. What then, is truth? I would like to think it what is plain and obvious. It is not what we want things to be, it is what is there regardless of what we think. Of course, this undermines what many political groups want to say, in an attempt to redefine society according to what they want, much like lying to those who don’t believe in your culture to advance the cause of your culture. Christianity flatly rejects this.
Lying is a bad thing. That is all there is to it. I don’t care what purpose the lie serves, it is still a lie, and that is a sin. It doesn’t matter if you are simply trying to protect yourself, or you are trying to advance your culture (and a culture that does this should be rightly be shunned), it is still lying. There is no good construction for a lie. All it does is cause harm.
Christ Jesus was a witness to the truth. What truth? That we humans are sinners who need a sinless savior. He is that savior. His word, the Holy Bible, is God revealed truth for humanity. It has never been disproved, nor will it ever be disproved. Human wisdom and truth will fail, God’s truth never will. We need only to repent and trust in our Lord and Savior, who can not lie.