Jesus lied?

After listening to Rev. Paul Murphy's latest sermon: The Truth about Lying, I definitely have a bone to pick, because it is unexpectedly serious. It's quite an err. WHY?!?!? I'll get to it at the end of this.

I would have never thought Murphy would go this shallow. First, he watered down the definition of lying, to the point where withholding the truth is also considered lying, as well as telling a different truth, trickery in battle fields, concealment of facts, etc. in order to justify his message: lying for the greater good, viz. to preserve lives. Thus "lying" in some situations is not only permitted but required at times.

Then he compared the commandment against lying to the 6th: Thou shalt not murder. If killing is permitted and can be justified, then the 6th commandment has an exception, he said. Has he not heard of some exposition on the differences between murder and killing? I think the theory behind murder vs. killing could use more work, but it's far better than diluting the differences all together.

Then he raised about 9 biblical passages to support his claim. I'd just touch a couple of them because Murphy's basically just justifying himself with these verses by 1. muttering the definition of lying (i.e. anything more than telling or doing something you know is contrary to the truth), and, 2. committing a logical fallacy: Propositional fallacy - affirming the consequence (i.e. If I don't get burned, then my lying is justified).

Murphy's definition of lying includes tricking your opponent in games, etc. This is not lying as they are called tactical maneuvers or stratagems in games or battles. As both sides should expected their opponents to play in the rule of games. It is different than witnessing in the manner of a contractual relationship.

1 Samuel 16:2: Where God told Samuel to say he has come to sacrifice to the Lord, instead of anointing a new king. While Murphy justifying this as a lie, God's "lie", one can easily find multiple reformed answers against such online: i.e. here. My personal lesson from this passage is that God is rebuking Samuel indirectly. The type of rebuke only a true man of God would recognize. That the sacrifice is more important. The line of David will come to The Paschal Lamb! So, to conclude God lies or tricks from this, one would definitely fail to see this.

Luke 24:28: ...He "acted" as if he were going farther (ESV) The Greek word being προσποιέομαι (G4364), which is similar but not the same as ὑποκρίνομαι (G5271) = hypocrite/feign, see Luke 20:20. Just because someone called his wife's ex-career (actress) a liar, doesn't mean Murphy should fall for it. There really is no issue despite the omniscient of his divine nature, Jesus would have gone farther otherwise. There's no purpose nor ignorance to be a lie, if one were to insist it being a lie.

I don't know why Rev. Paul Murphy would preach such message, for it is very very contrary to the reformed image that he has been exhibiting. I have a guess...that he probably got caught telling a lie recently, probably even a white lie, and got offended. Hence, this sermon. As for misdirection in the code of sports and battles, that's just a test of agility, wits, etc. Nobody will complain about that before the judgment seat. I guess Murphy's not much of a sports person all his life.

Trust God. Murphy was essentially saying that God is powerless at times without the help of lies and deceptions. There's a serious theology failure the West is committing today, among the reformed, which is why they cannot evangelize properly. That is why God does not bless them with numbers. Because they trust their own calculators more. They lack faith in God to do the impossible.

I shall pray for him. This is a weakest point of his character I believe. I should praise God, should it be a time, an opportune time, God wants to use me to do to the West what he's done in Dr. Tong's ministry.

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3 Responses to Jesus lied?

  1. timlyg says:

    There is one type that would call a trick a lie in sports, and that is the losers. When tricked and lost, they called the play deceptive. But if they won, they call it tricky.


  2. timlyg says:

    I came across FB post in the private apologetics group, on using lies to save the Jews from the Nazis and survive Muslim persecution. Looks like someone removed the FB post. Interesting that whenever the topic of White Lies come up, there's a force to block it within the church. I've seen Rev. Lin & Pastor Murphy justified it. I've seen Andrew Melton Redeemer's Mens forbidden it. So I've added some to my comment below since then. Particularly on Lot's case.

    My response in the comment:
    "Therefore lying in defense of innocent lives is justified."
    WRONG! - it's not justified.

    Why? Because God said so.
    What then is the answer?

    Yes and No. But you asked more than one questions.
    Yes, if you are being a witness to the life Giver.
    No, if you are being self-righteous/centered/justified, author of the law of God.

    Is there a kind of lie that's right? (i.e. white lies, revenge, playing games, etc.) Never.
    -"But God asked Samuel to lied to Saul." No He didn't.

    -"Rahab lied" Yes she did.
    "So she was justified" No, she wasn't.
    "Where did the Bible punish/discipline her" None of your business.

    -"But trickery is done in games." If rules are followed, it's not a lie, don't blame others for your own lack of due diligence.

    Solution? Wisdom I don't have. If you fear the Lord and walk with Him, He will provide.
    "But I want to be perfect." You try your best and ask God for forgiveness even of your hidden faults. Leave your self-justification out.
    In fact, I believe that Lot was better than those who lied by offering his own daughters in order to protect angels. And he was counted righteous in Hebrews.
    However, this is not to say that it was right of Lot to prostitute his own daughters. John Calvin puts it best when he recognized that holy men often have their great virtue (a form of self sacrifice in this case even though its his own daughters) sprinkled with imperfection (Genesis 19:8):
    But he should rather have endured a thousand deaths, than have resorted to such a measure
    ...When Lot says, Therefore came they under the shadow of my roof; his meaning is, that they had been committed to him by the Lord, and that he should be guilty of perfidy, unless he endeavored to protect them.

    This is also noteworthy of Calvin's on Lot. How should we behave when pushed into such complicated situation:
    But we are warned by this example, that when the Lord has furnished us with the spirit of invincible fortitude, we must also pray that he may govern us by the spirit of prudence; and that he will never suffer us to be deprived of a sound judgment, and a well-regulated reason. For then only shall we rightly proceed in our course of duty, when, in complicated affairs, we perceive, with a composed mind, what is necessary, what is lawful, and what is expedient to be done; then shall we be prepared promptly to meet any danger whatever. For, that our minds should be carried hither and thither by hastily catching at wicked counsels, is not less perilous than that they should be agitated by fear. But when reduced to the last straits, let us learn to pray, that the Lord would open to us some way of escape.

    That said, now that we get the general principle out of the way. To answer your last question, which has nothing to do with helping others but your own life: Is the worship of God (1) less valuable, (2) equal value, (3) more valuable, than your own life? (hint: look at the martyrs from OT to NT and onwards)

    On Rahab's case, to borrow from David Tong's FB comment:
    Great sinners do not become reprobates; Only those who never received God's mercy do.

  3. timlyg says:

    In my other entry, I praised John MacArthur's remark on this: That white lies are never necessary. However, MacArthur on Rahab, could only go as far as concerning the lives of God's children who visited Rahab and not the lives of Rahab and hers instead.

    There's no question that she recognized and revered God's people, so there's no need to even attempt to question this. This is something the fundamentalists cannot understand should they engage in the following:
    Therefore, one must ask, if Rahab's lies was partly for her own preservation? and not just the spies'.
    Had she answered the enemies: "Why should I tell you?", she would certainly risk her own life. So, in this sense, she could be trying to save herself.

    I have alluded before, that in a game, there's no such thing as lies as all tricks are allowed and expected within the framework of the rule of the game. Creativity, not lies, is the game. So would this apply to Rahab's case? That it is a game, to both Rahab and the guards. Such as that between David and Goliath. David did not cheat, he simply used the loophole in the game of battle, using a gun rather than going WWE with a giant. He was creative. What about Rahab? I must say that it is not quite the same because though Rahab could play this game, the guards certainly did not. Strictly speaking, she would be committing treason, same as midwives who let the boys lived against Pharaoh's command by lying: "for they are lively and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them" Exodus 1:20.

    This can actually be looked deeper, because now we get to relationship. The relationship between the king and his subjects. In order for something like treason to work, there is an unspoken trust between the king and his subjects. However, if that trust is broken, the you maybe allowing someone to treat this sort of thing as a "game". As a leader, it is crucial to forge good relationship with his subjects. This can only be done before God. If the king has given his subjects a voice to speak up where there should be no threat of fear in doing so, then it is the subject's burden to come clean before the king. If however, it is shown that the king cannot be trusted for a safe platform of voicing oneself, then the relationship has already broken, in which case, the king has initiated the unintentional game from his subjects out of their own preservation since they can no longer challenge the king in anyway without risking their own lives.

    So for the king to unintentionally initiated the game that the king did not want, it is the king's fault.
    For the subjects to treat treason as a game out of their own preservation, it is the subjects' fault.

    However, what if the subject played this forbidden (by the king, not by God) game NOT out of his own preservation, what then? Out of despise against the king, out of fun, etc. It could be that the king was too easy going enough or just the opposite, it doesn't matter. This could only mean that neither party are in the right relationship with each other and the only rectification of this is to go to God, which if either party fails in doing so, they are guilty, as righteous as they think themselves to be. That is the sin of Job, that he failed in having a personal relationship with God.

    Therefore, all this is to say, that there's no justification for Rahab's lie. However one attempt to justify it, something else is always going to go off the scale: in interpersonal relationship as the king's subject, as in I-Thou relationship with God, as with anyone else.

    What then could Rahab have done? Only one who truly feared God and no one else, could have Wisdom on his/her side. This Wisdom is not of this world nor is it bound by the natural order and understanding of this world. By this Wisdom is how the natural order of the cosmos comes to be. This Wisdom was seen occasionally sitting next to the likes of Joseph before Pharaoh, then Solomon before the two mothers, then Daniel before the lions and this Wisdom walked with Daniel's friends in the furnace. This Wisdom was He who eventually came as flesh to bore our sins.

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