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Jack Wellman August 8, 2012 at 7:36 pm

I for one, Derek, am glad that the same standards about lying are not the same as they are today or the churches would be empty…AND the pulpits would be barren (including myself). Outstanding as always brother…and that is the truth! LOL <><

Derek Hill August 8, 2012 at 7:46 pm

Amen Jack! I would not be here either! LOL! Praise be to God that He has given the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus’ blood on the cross to cover us completely.

Robert Driskell August 9, 2012 at 9:13 am

An excellent analysis of this issue. And you are so right when you said that lying is probably the easiest sin to commit. Let us all seek to be so close to God that lying becomes a thing of the past in our lives. God bless you, Derek.
Yours in Christ,

Derek Hill August 9, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Thank you Robert. The half-truth is so easy to commit that we as humans don’t even realize it sometimes. To make lying a thing of the past would be amazing! I hope and pray that we all can learn to really look at what we say to others to see if it is full-truth. God bless you too sir!

In His Name Always,

Scott January 27, 2013 at 6:38 am

I would be careful not to conclude so quickly that not all lying is wrong. Personally, I am uncertain about this issue, and you may well be right. But those passages you cited do not prove it. Just because the Bible did not explicitly say that what they did was sinful, that does not make it okay. The people in the Old Testament did a lot of things that God would clearly not approve of, but often it doesn’t explain that what they did was wrong. Again, I am not saying that you are incorrect in arguing that, because I’m not sure what the answer is. Nonetheless, the biblical examples you used do not prove or disprove the argument.

Derek January 27, 2013 at 11:47 am

Thank you for your comment Scott. This article was a challenge for me and I thought and prayed about it concerning the issue you have brought up. With much thought and study, I felt led to write it. The words I wrote definitely were God inspired. The passage about the midwives from Exodus, especially reaffirms what I had written. Exodus 1:17 says, “but the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live.” You see, the midwives were put into a position of either murdering infants or protecting them. They chose to protect them “and because the midwives feared God, he gave them families.” (Exodus 1:21) God rewarded the midwives for protecting the male infants, so I honestly believe that God was okay with the lie that kept his children alive. God would never reward someone for sinning, that is why I feel confident in what I wrote. I hope this helps you understand where I was coming from and I thank you again for your thoughts. God bless you.

Scott January 28, 2013 at 7:26 am

Derek, I understand your point about the midwives, and I appreciate you replying to my comment. I am not here to be a critic or incite conflict, but I am interested in this subject and enjoy discussing it. It is true that the midwives protected the infants out of their fear of God. They courageously defied Pharaoh in order to obey God, and God rewarded them for it. But at no point does the text say that the lying is what God rewarded them for. They did the right thing by not killing the infants, but they didn’t have to lie to Pharaoh about it. They could have boldly confessed to him that they did not (and would not) murder those children (certainly, he might have had them killed or otherwise punished, but since when should the people of God fear death?). I cannot say that I would have done anything different in their situation; I would have lied through my teeth if it would save those children. But that does not make deceit okay. As I stated in my reply to Jack’s comment below, I believe that one should always opt for the lesser of two evils, but the lesser of two evils is still an evil. Now, let me reiterate that I understand where you’re coming from, and I am not entirely certain of where I stand in this matter. But as firmly as I believe that lying may be the most moral choice in some circumstances, the fact remains that that does not make that lie moral. Moreover, even if you are 100% correct and lying is okay if the motives are pure, the passage from Exodus 1 does not state whether it was right of the midwives to lie; it states only that fearing God and not killing the infants was the right thing to do. There is no statement either way about lying in that text.

Derek January 28, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Hey again Scott. I appreciate your thoughts here. I think that Robert said it best when he posed the idea of the definition of lying. “Bearing false witness” is different than protecting your children from a murderer by lying to the murderer. I understand what you are saying though. Actions come from the heart. Either you lie to fulfill your selfish desires or you lie to stop another person’s sinful desires. The motives are different for sure. The midwives were motivated from the heart for their fear of God. I thank you for your honesty in your comments and i always enjoy discussion on anything that I write. God bless you.

Rhianna February 6, 2020 at 2:13 pm

There is such thing as moral lying.

Bonnie July 3, 2016 at 3:52 pm

Hi. It is an interesting perspective. I don’t believe God condones lying; however, He is good and true and has purposes we cannot know. Abraham was rewarded after lying about Sarah being his sister–twice, I believe. His motives were not fear of God, but fear of man, like these women that lied. However, God had a plan for his chosen and still worked it all out for good and for the preservation and prosperity of His chosen people. While people do things wrong and are messy with sin and may evaluate motives for lying and pretending as justified due to the good we see with human eyes (common welfare, self-preservation, helping God, etc.), God is almighty and good and proves it by still honoring His plans and promises not based on performance. I think without the lies greater miracles would have been seen to recognize God’s authority over rulers and over truth; however, we are seeing miracles of grace and promise keeping. We have to be careful to not be eager to justify lying and pretending. In today’s day and age the line gets moved pretty easily where truth may be sacrificed in one place and assuming no fallout will occur or it will get worked out with lesser negatives another time, all for seemingly good reasons. I don’t think sin only affects those directly involved. I think it affects things in the world that we may not see as related. That is why Christ died for all sin. It is why there will be a new heaven and a new earth. My opinion is lying lessens God’s ability or at least willingness to perform greater miracles and brings death into the world in other ways. God blesses and honors people because He is a God that blesses. His purposes are always higher. Evil people also are also blessed for a time and benefit from what God-honoring people living honestly bring into the world. What is preserved in the Bible is a very limited accounting that deals in God’s faithfulness to His people and the hope for anyone to become one of His people for eternity. I think in terms of spiritual warfare-perhaps a faith battle was lost in the lie due to fearing what man can do in killing the maidens for disobedience; however, their ultimate fear was of God so that was pointed out by the author as a reason for the blessing. It didn’t condone the lie but honored what they had right–at the heart level. Thank you for the article.

Jack Wellman January 27, 2013 at 9:31 pm

There were people who lied during the Nazi Regime where they hid Jews. The higher moral principle of the sanctity of life made lies a lesser of the evils because which is the greater sin? Lying or telling the truth so that innocent Jews would die? Derek hit the intent perfectly. They lied, not for selfish intent or gain but to protect life.

Scott January 28, 2013 at 7:03 am

Jack, I understand what you’re saying. Like I said in my original comment, this is an issue I have been wrestling with for some time. And if I were in that situation, I would most certainly lie to save the lives of those Jews. I agree wholeheartedly that lying in that situation would be the lesser of two evils. What we have to keep in mind, however, is that the lesser of two evils is still an evil. Just because lying would not be as bad as handing them over to be slaughtered, that doesn’t mean lying is okay. Perhaps God does not mind, since the motive is pure; I would certainly like to think so! And whatever the case, His grace covers a multitude of sins. But we cannot view sin as circumstantial. We cannot view sin as something that is only wrong some of the time. We have to remember that just because something is the lesser of two evils, that does not mean it is no longer evil. To reiterate, my point is this: 1) that lying would be the best thing to do in that situation, and 2) that that lie would still be a sin.

Michael August 13, 2013 at 1:09 am

Lying is a sin. There is no differentiation between lying. With all due respect, in my opinion, “lying” was not the motive that drove the midwives to protect the newborn male babies. It was their fear of GOD. Instead, the midwives “lied” to Pharaoh to save their own lives.

I may be wrong, but this is how I understood it. Thank you.

Derek Hill August 13, 2013 at 4:17 pm

Hello Michael. I think maybe you missed part of my article. I actually said “The fear of God is why the midwives lied” in my article. I agree with you on that, but the fact remains that they indeed lied. If you read the whole story in context, the midwives were protecting the babies. The midwives’ lives weren’t in danger. Had they allowed the babies to die, the midwives still would have remained alive. Does that make sense? The only one in harms way was the babies, so the lies were told to protect the babies from being murdered. If you get a chance read through it and seek wisdom from God. He will always reveal the truth when you seek it. Blessings on you, sir!

Robert January 28, 2013 at 8:53 am

I think much of the confusion about this stems from the lack of a proper definition of lying. What does the phrase “bearing false witness” mean? The sin of lying lies in the motives behind the one telling the lie. Can we really believe that God would call it a sin for us to lie to a murderer intent on killing our children, whom we have hidden in the closet? Scott, I too took a long time forming my thoughts on this subject. I pray God will guide you to the truth, and the peace that comes with it. This is a delicate subject, but one that every Christian needs to come to grips with.
God bless you.
Yours in Christ,

Priscy February 3, 2013 at 7:58 pm

I really understand what Scott is heading to and I neither agree nor disagree with him. The bible says in Jeremiah 32:27 “I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?”, nothing is absolute difficult for for Him to deliver the midwives from the punishment of the King if they had spoken the “truth” and same thing applies to Rehab. There is one thing for sure that we human can’t understand fully that is the ways of God, it might be that it was the holy spirit which made the midwives and Rehab save the innocent souls through their lies, has anyone thought of this by any chance? One thing we have to understand is that every sin is a sin therefore before we act we need to ask the holy spirit to take control so that our actions might seem like sins in the face of human but they would be perfect in the eyes of GOD the creator. Lets remember He said His ways are not our ways.
Peace be with you all,

Derek Hill February 3, 2013 at 10:02 pm

Hello Priscilla. Thank you for your comment. I will say the same thing as I said above. In both stories, the lies that were told were not for the individual’s selfish motives at all, but because they feared God. If the fear of God is your foundation for lying to save someone from a tyrant or murderer than it isn’t for your own pleasure or benefit, but it is to honor God because of the fear that you have for Him. I hope this makes sense. God bless.

anonymous May 28, 2013 at 7:59 pm

If you lied to someone about something and you regret should you go back and tell them the truth after asking God for forgivness?

Derek Hill May 28, 2013 at 9:17 pm

I would say yes because as Christians we are supposed to make things right with others. If this is a fellow believer, they may be mad at first, but the Holy Spirit will convict them to forgive you. If this isn’t a fellow believer, it will show how genuine your faith is. You could have said nothing at all. It may plant a seed in their heart that God can grow. Seek God in prayer and see if He thinks the same way as I have suggested. If not, then definitely go with what God is saying. I hope this helps. God bless you!

marie mallory June 24, 2013 at 10:47 pm

Are you still checking this feed? Let me know please … I’d like to get your thoughts on some issues about lying.

Derek Hill June 25, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Hi Marie! Yes I am here for any questions you have. Blessings!

hurt December 6, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Can you help me with something.
My husband came home from work on his birthday and told me his co worker had bought him a latte. I said oh that was nice.
Later i see a conversation on his cell phone between him and a woman I had never heard about and in this conversation (Karen)he thanked her for the coffee. I learned from this conversation she was a co worker and also a girlfriend years ago but now lived in another state. The next evening I asked my husband, who did you say gave you a latte yesterday? He said Dianna, my co worker. I told him had read the message and knew he was lying to me. He said I wasn’t lying Dianna actually handed it to me. He refuses to admit this was a lie or deceitful. My feelings are hurt. I now wonder what else I don’t know about.
Also in this conversation she said I always think of you on your birthday you know women don’t forget anything, he replies, yes, I’m reminded of it daily. I feel double betrayed. Isn’t this half truth a lie?

Derek Hill December 6, 2013 at 9:53 pm

Hello Hurt. I am sorry to hear about what is going on. The fact is that if any part of a statement is untrue, than it is a lie. The “half-truth” is the greatest weapon that Satan uses. They sound so true and innocent, but they are full of poison. I encourage you to forgive your husband and maybe seek some marriage counseling. You seem concerned about other things that may have happened and counseling can help you work through these things, but your husband must be willing to go and he must be willing to be 100% truthful with you and the counselor. I hope this helps. Most importantly, stay connected with God. He will sustain you through the biggest storms in life.

Greg Tegman December 10, 2013 at 9:11 pm

I am now 56 and have had major fear problems and am very frightened in general. I doubt I am a Christian. How can I stop this once and for all? Greg Tegman, Everett WA

Derek Hill January 9, 2014 at 8:38 pm

Hey Greg. You only need to know if you truly believe in Jesus Christ and that He died on the cross for you. If you believe this and have given your life to Him to try and live your best for Him you can be assured that you are a Christian and that you are saved. So sorry for such a late response. Fear is a tool of the devil and he wants you right where you are right now. He wants you to be afraid, but Jesus has already won the war! No need for fear! God bless!

anonymous January 8, 2014 at 9:49 pm

Interesting topic. I regularly go teach Bible in a country where Christians are imprisoned and tortured for their faith. Whenever I go there, I frequently have to lie, because as an invited guest of the local underground church, it is my responsibility to protect the local believers. Also, the local believers sometimes lie in order to protect me and my work there. The question of when does God allow people to lie takes on another dimension in restricted countries.

Jack Wellman January 9, 2014 at 6:44 pm

I think the author would agree with you on this. To save human lives is the higher moral purpose so God would allow a person to lie if a human life were at stake and I believe the author, whom I know well and love dearly, would agree.

Derek Hill January 9, 2014 at 8:41 pm

Hey Anonymous,

Yes, Jack is right. If you are protecting the lives of others by lying, that is ok. The point of when lying is bad is when it is brought on by selfish human desires. You are doing this to keep fathers and mothers with their children. I praise God for your bravery in the mission field as it has to be very strenuous at times. Thank you! God bless!

Ken September 9, 2015 at 7:12 pm

I think you make a fatal mistake in this argument. Although pointing toward the midwives and Rahab highlights a situation where God used a liar for good, neither situation says God blessed them for their lies. Sure, they feared the Lord more than their Earthly kings, but they failed to trust the Lord to protect them if they admitted the truth.

All that aside, a more important point is that God cannot lie (see Titus 1:2 for an example). God is solely righteous. All things God can do are righteous. If lying were ever righteous, then that means there is a righteous act God cannot do, which is impossible because God is the standard of righteousness.

God’s revelation in the Bible makes it very clear that he wants us to abstain from all unrighteousness in every situation. Even though God may use a situation we create out of unrighteous (e.g. lying), that does not at all excuse the sin.

Justus June 22, 2019 at 6:44 am

hi if you believe they shouldn’t have lied to save lives and God would have protected them then Jesus family did not have to flee to Africa as refugees coz God would have protected them from herod

loke July 6, 2016 at 6:46 am

I would like to know what Jesus would have done (or what God would have us do) in the same situation: lie to protect lives or tell the truth and risk having lives murdered.

Nadia Sarfo October 27, 2016 at 2:25 am

Good morning Sir,pls i red your article just this morning which am really bless so i would thank you and God anoint you more.Pls i have question.sometimes i pray with my friends but since my husband is not happy i have to tell him a lie before i can join them.pls is it good to continue this way or i stop tell him the truth?hoping to hear from you by Nadia

Found October 6, 2019 at 8:24 pm

I am so very interested in finding, earning and living for my own salvation. I have led a painful life, I believe we all have, do, or will at some point or another. For the first 20 years of my life, I am currently 31, I lived as an atheist and sin led my every move. However I have been trying to live faithful and change my life because I do believe I will be sent to hell. I have not been baptized yet as i, regretfully, smoke a tobacco pipe. However, I ask, how can I make a proper confession to the people, friends, whom I have lied to? I have lived for over 10 years as if the lies I told were and are true. They deserve to know the truth but I fear of losing their trust…

Jack Wellman October 6, 2019 at 8:41 pm

I believe you can go to them and confess this to them, but even so, God will forgive you of your sins, for whoever believes in the Lord and confesses it with their mouth, will be saved (ROm 10:9-13) so trust God to forgive you, but go and make it right. I do agree they deserve the truth. Tobacco will not keep anyone from heaven though…Please talk to your pastor about this and get baptized, as we are commanded to do so.

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