Is there a “good lie”?

In today’s world, lying has become an integral part of life. Typically, people lie to impress, maintain relationships, protect themselves and so on. Sometimes people start to think that a “little lie” won’t hurt anyone.

There is not a single place in the Bible where God approves of any lie. In the first epistle of John it is written: “All lie is sin!”

We all know that telling the truth is good and lying is bad. If a person lies for his own benefit, it is certainly a sin. But, if a person tells a lie to protect his neighbor, can such a lie be considered a good intention?

This is one of the difficult questions that is a dilemma for many Christians. Theologians have answered this question in different ways.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Lutheran pastor and theologian, held a point of view where not words, but facts were called truth. A person should do what is right.

In the stories of Rahab the harlot and the midwives in Egypt, we do not see the approval of their untruth, but we also do not see their condemnation. And this is due to the fact that there are situations that cannot be answered unequivocally for good or bad.

For example, many believers sheltered Jews in their homes during the war and said that they did not have them. Thus, they fulfilled the commandment to love their neighbor, that is, they did not think about their own lives, but about the lives of others.

Augustine Aurelius, an ancient Roman theologian, in turn said that: “A Christian may not tell the truth, but he cannot tell a lie.”

If we return to the situation when believers hid the Jews from the Nazis, then they could have followed as follows: “Your position towards the Jews is against Scripture, it opposes God, so I will never answer such questions” – saying this a human being puts his life at risk, but he remains truthful.

We need to learn not to lie “correctly,” but to worship God faithfully in truth and in righteousness. God blessed the midwives in Egypt not because they were clever in answering to the pharaoh, but because they did not kill children and were more afraid of God than of the king’s decree. They were ready to give up their lives and serve their fellow men rather than disobey God.

All these reflections should lead us to prayer and trust in the Lord, the realization of our limitations and the need for God’s grace and guidance, fear and reverence for Him. And only then will we be able to do the right thing with wisdom, even in the most difficult situations.


Narine Ghukasyan, especially for GOD.NEWS

Source: Существует ли «ложь во благо»? | БОГ НЬЮЗ – Христианские Новости – BOG NEWS