Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Seriousness of the 9th Commandment

... and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone ... Revelation 21:8

Back in April I posted about the "Straight Gaters," an anti-war, anti-Semitic conspiratorial "Christian" group, protesting outside of Grace Church. Under that post, a commenter left this proclamation in the meta:
John Macarthur told a very great and deliberate lie once as a guest on Larry King. Proving the hypocrite that he is, he stated on national television that our president is a Christian.

First, I am baffled as to why the commenter believes it is lying to say Bush is a Christian. How exactly is a person made a liar and hypocrite by commenting upon a president's faith commitments?

However, laying aside the debate of whether or not our president is a Christian, what truly amazes me is how the commenter genuinely believes John MacArthur determined to go on Larry King Live to tell a lie. Here we have a person who, as far as I know, doesn't even know John personally, and yet he is prepared to call him a liar because of an opinion he made on a TV show a few years ago.

Additionally, it was more than just a lie John uttered in passing, but a deliberate lie. To call a statement a deliberate lie means the person intentionally, with premeditation and forethought, desired to mislead people about the truth. That is a rather bold accusation to level against an individual the accuser does not know over something so trivial as giving the opinion the president is a Christian.

Being on the internet for nearly 12 years, involved with a variety of forums and discussion groups, I think folks accuse others of lying too readily and easily with out seriously considering the gravity of the accusation they are making against a person's character.

The Bible counts liars as partaking in the lake of fire (see citation above) and John the apostle writes throughout his first epistle that lying marks a person's character as indication of an individual lacking salvation.

To accuse another person of lying, especially a Christian bringing this charge against another Christian, places the accuser in a precarious position of incurring God's judgment. If you call a person a liar, you are saying something about his or her spiritual condition. More than anything else, you are calling that person an unbeliever.

I think we need to think twice before we bring the accusation of lying against a person, particularly a fellow believer.

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Blogger Pickle Boy said...

Speaking of lying, I've always been amazed at KJVO's who like to point out the "lying footnotes" that are to be found in modern Bible versions. I'll bet the ESV translators had no idea that the real motives behind their footnotes was to deceive and mislead people with false information.

It seems there's also a bit of confusion over that which constitutes a "lie" vs. unwittingly making an incorrect statement.

10:33 AM, May 17, 2007  
Blogger thomas4881 said...

I don't think John was lying or spreading false report.

6:27 PM, May 20, 2007  
Blogger markshriv said...

It's not believable that Macarthur thinks our president is a Christian. He can't be that naive or stupid. Why did he say it then? Because he didn't have the guts to tell the truth on national TV.

12:25 AM, May 23, 2007  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

And why isn't it believable, Mark? Like one commenter mentioned above, John may be mistaken, but to suggest he intentionally got on the TV to spread a lie is placing yourself in a precarious position. Are you prepared to incur God's judgment by slandering one of God's servants because he happens to disagree with your warped understanding of what constitutes "truthfulness" regarding the president's spirituality?

By the way, Mark, what church do you attend? You don't have to give me an exact name. Just a denomination or affiliation. Do you even attend church or are you one of these Harold Camping "house/radio" church people?


6:53 AM, May 23, 2007  
Blogger markshriv said...

Why isn't it believable? Because Mcarthur isn't that stupid. John may be mistaken? John is mistaken! Did I say he intentionally got on TV to spread a lie? I simply stated that he lied on TV. You think I'm going to be judged? I just spoke the truth. It's Macarthur that should fear judgment because he's the one who lied.

10:46 PM, May 23, 2007  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Did I say he intentionally got on TV to spread a lie?

Yes, you did. You originally wrote that John told a deliberate lie. Do you know what the word "deliberate" means? The synonym is "intentional." When you accused John of a "deliberate lie", you are saying he has calculated his thoughts to willfully deceive those listening to him. That implies a slander against his character as not being truthful, and as I pointed out in the post, you are basically, according to biblical standards, saying John is not a Christian.

Are you retracting your original comment?


5:58 AM, May 24, 2007  
Blogger markshriv said...

You accused me of saying he intentionally got on TV to spread a lie. I didn't say that. I didn't say his intention in going on TV was to lie. I said that once on TV he did lie. He knows full well that he lied. And he lied deliberately. Why don't you ask Macarthur to elaborate on his statement that our president is a Christian? Maybe he can put out a tape stating the reasons for his statement on TV.

6:54 PM, May 24, 2007  
Blogger markshriv said...

Speaking of lies--What does Macarthur say, if anything, about Falwell's death. Does Macarthur say that he was a Christian? I went recently to this blog that many frequent called Fide-O and the host there has two blogs stating that Falwell was a great Christian who is now with the Lord. When I blogged in to state facts about Falwell, my blog was deleted. Why? Because the facts on Falwell don't jibe with a Christian profession. Is the Fide-O host lying or just "mistaken?" If he is mistaken, then he wouldn't have a problem with hearing facts about Falwell.

7:39 PM, May 24, 2007  
Blogger Pickle Boy said...

Let's be clear here for a moment.

markshriv, when you accuse someone of lying, does it include both deliberate, premeditated falsehood as well as unintentional and mistakenly made falsehood?

I'm quite sure I've mistakenly said things that were patently false. Does that mean that I lied at the time I made them?

6:19 AM, May 25, 2007  
Blogger markshriv said...

An unintentional mistakenly made falsehood when spoken doesn't make one a liar. A liar is someone who knows he is not speaking truth.

11:54 PM, May 25, 2007  

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