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Don Locke: Lookin Thru Bifocals

I suppose it would take a book the size of the New York Telephone Directory to list all the reasons why people lie. I guess the bottom line is for personal gain or to acquit themselves of wrongdoing; we could throw “fear” in if allowed.

I’ve known Christians to lie for fear of retribution regarding their family, maybe you have too. I have also known Christians to lie for monetary gain.

In Acts 5:1 and following, we see when a man and his wife Ananias and Sapphira, took a possession and held back part of the proceeds, they have promised to give all to the apostles to be distributed to people in need. The apostle Peter said to Ananias and his wife Sapphira, “Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not died to men (only), but to God.”

Is it ever O.K to lie? During World War ll many gentiles who were not in sympathy with Hitler Nazis, hid Jewish families in their homes to keep the Germans from arresting them and taking them off to death camps. When the German Gestapo came to the Gentiles homes, they lied and said they weren’t hiding Jews. This may beg the question, “Is it ever O.K to lie to prevent innocent people (the Jews) from being tortured and murdered?”

Only God can answer this. I cannot. Exodus 20:16 (one of the ten commandments) tells us, “You shall not fear false witness against your neighbor.” Stated briefly, “Do not lie about others.”

We know telling lies on other people can hurt them.

My Air Force friend in California was lied on. It cost him one reduction in rank.

As a senior pilot and aircraft commander, he received written orders to fly his C-54 cargo plane over the polar ice cap and drop supplies to a downed plane and its crew. The orders specified the drop to be made at 500 feet.

Just before he took off his CO, a colonel told him instead of dropping at 500 feet, “you will drop at 100 feet.”

When he went in at 100 feet, he had difficulty discerning the white snow from the white horizon. He too crash landed on the cap with no injuries to his crew. At his Courts Marshall, his C.O. lied and said he did not order my friend to drop his cargo at 100 feet. “I ordered 500 feet,” his C.O. said.

 The court took the word of the C.O., who was a colonel over the word of my friend who was a major. My friend was reduced in rank back to captain. Fortunately, at that time, a person in the Air Force retired at his highest rank ever held. My friend retired as a major.

To me, when I read Exodus 10:16 (“Do not lie about others”) this seems to be the worst kind of lie. It hurts others rather than keeping harm away from others as it did in World War 11. But I’ll leave that to God, he doesn’t make mistakes.

Kindest Regards…

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