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    11 Aug '14 15:37
    I thought this quote from Martin Luther was interesting:

    "What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church … a lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie, such lies would not be against God, he would accept them."

    I think most of us would lie if we thought that the good outcome of the lie would heavily outweigh the wrongness of telling the lie (for example, lying to save a school bus full of children).

    If I believed like Christians do that the stakes of conversion are extraordinarily high (an eternity of extreme happiness vs. an eternity of either extreme suffering or non-existence), I think I would agree with Luther. Not only would I think it was acceptable to be deceptive to win converts, I would probably even feel obligated to be deceptive if necessary.

    When Luther says that a "lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church" can be "a lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie," and that “such lies would not be against God, he would accept them,” do Christians here agree with him? If you thought that lying would increase your chances of saving someone for eternity, would you do so? If not, why not?
  2. SubscriberSuzianne
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    11 Aug '14 15:452 edits
    Originally posted by PatNovak
    I thought this quote from Martin Luther was interesting:

    "What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church … a lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie, such lies would not be against God, he would accept them."

    I think most of us would lie if we thought that the good outcome ...[text shortened]... ng would increase your chances of saving someone for eternity, would you do so? If not, why not?
    Who says he was speaking of lying only in connection with conversion?

    I don't see any necessity of lying to win converts.

    It is a non sequitur, "it does not follow".
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    11 Aug '14 15:462 edits
    Originally posted by PatNovak
    I thought this quote from Martin Luther was interesting:

    "What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church … a lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie, such lies would not be against God, he would accept them."

    I think most of us would lie if we thought that the good outcome ...[text shortened]... ng would increase your chances of saving someone for eternity, would you do so? If not, why not?
    No he is talking pants. When on trial for their lives when it was a capital offense to be a Christian, knowing what kind of death awaited them in the Roman amphitheaters, Christians did not lie to save themselves. In fact one of the methods of the Romans was to ask a Christian to offer up incense to an effigy of the emperor. If we are to apply Luthers reasoning they may well ask, what harm could it do? but many were unwilling at the cost of their lives to enter into what they consider an act of idolatry. Further to this, Satan is described in the Bible as the, 'father of the lie', and truth to a Christian should be of paramount concern, for Christ is the way, the truth and the life.
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    11 Aug '14 15:58
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    Who says he was speaking of lying only in connection with conversion?

    I don't see any necessity of lying to win converts.

    It is a non sequitur, "it does not follow".
    I never said Luther was only speaking of winning converts. Here, lying to win converts is a subset of lying for the general good of Christianity. So this is not a non sequitur.
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    11 Aug '14 16:10
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    No he is talking pants. When on trial for their lives when it was a capital offense to be a Christian, knowing what kind of death awaited them in the Roman amphitheaters, Christians did not lie to save themselves. In fact one of the methods of the Romans was to ask a Christian to offer up incense to an effigy of the emperor. If we are to apply Lut ...[text shortened]... th to a Christian should be of paramount concern, for Christ is the way, the truth and the life.
    I realize that there have been many Christians that have not lied to save themselves from death. But the stakes are different in this case than in my example. The Christians in the Roman arena who refused to lie were merely presented with a life or death scenario, which is much lower stakes than the eternity of happiness/suffering scenario.

    Is your position that lying is always unacceptable, or are there certain situations where it is acceptable (like my school bus full of children example)? It seems to me that, if lying is at least sometimes acceptable, saving someone for eternity should top the list of acceptable lying.
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    11 Aug '14 16:14
    Originally posted by PatNovak
    I thought this quote from Martin Luther was interesting:

    "What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church … a lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie, such lies would not be against God, he would accept them."

    I think most of us would lie if we thought that the good outcome ...[text shortened]... ng would increase your chances of saving someone for eternity, would you do so? If not, why not?
    Rahab lied to save the spies and it was accounted to her as righteousness.
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    11 Aug '14 16:30
    Originally posted by checkbaiter
    Rahab lied to save the spies and it was accounted to her as righteousness.
    This is an interesting example. The Rahab story seems to indicate that lying is acceptable for Christians, at least in some circumstances.
  8. SubscriberSuzianne
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    11 Aug '14 16:36
    Originally posted by PatNovak
    I never said Luther was only speaking of winning converts. Here, lying to win converts is a subset of lying for the general good of Christianity. So this is not a non sequitur.
    No, it IS a non sequitur, just as the Pascal's Wager is a non sequitur.

    You cannot win converts by lying, that's ridiculous. The only one who sees it as "lying" is the non-believer. And what kind of lying are we talking about here, anyways? "Convert to my religion and God will make you rich beyond your wildest dreams of avarice"? And the guy quits a month later when he sees nothing coming his way? How is that conversion? Any conversion based on lying is not a conversion at all. So this kind of lying, to win converts, is definitely not "good for Christianity", in fact the opposite.

    In fact, I cannot see how lying of any kind would benefit Christianity, or be "for the good of Christianity". Can you give examples?
  9. SubscriberSuzianne
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    11 Aug '14 16:38
    Originally posted by checkbaiter
    Rahab lied to save the spies and it was accounted to her as righteousness.
    Rahab was not a Christian, either.
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    11 Aug '14 16:58
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    No, it IS a non sequitur, just as the Pascal's Wager is a non sequitur.

    You cannot win converts by lying, that's ridiculous. The only one who sees it as "lying" is the non-believer. And what kind of lying are we talking about here, anyways? "Convert to my religion and God will make you rich beyond your wildest dreams of avarice"? And the guy q ...[text shortened]... y kind would benefit Christianity, or be "for the good of Christianity". Can you give examples?
    The question of whether or not lying is effective in winning converts is a separate question from whether or not it is acceptable. I am focusing on the acceptability. Whether or not it is effective is not really important to the discussion.

    As for an example, an influential person (say a preacher) could lie about certain supernatural experiences they have had with God in an attempt to save souls. Surely it isn't hard to imagine that out of all the Christian preachers/priests/evangelists/etc. that have ever given a sermon, that some have told what they thought was "a helpful lie" in an attempt to save people.
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    11 Aug '14 18:23
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    Rahab was not a Christian, either.
    No Rahab withheld information from people to whom it was not owing to give, that is different from lying.
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    11 Aug '14 18:25
    Originally posted by PatNovak
    I realize that there have been many Christians that have not lied to save themselves from death. But the stakes are different in this case than in my example. The Christians in the Roman arena who refused to lie were merely presented with a life or death scenario, which is much lower stakes than the eternity of happiness/suffering scenario.

    Is your posit ...[text shortened]... least sometimes acceptable, saving someone for eternity should top the list of acceptable lying.
    a Christian cannot offer salvation to anyone, only God can do that so it doesn't really make any sense to base your proposition on salvation. Protection might be a better example fir example if the Russians came to take your family to the Gulag, would you lie to protect them.
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    11 Aug '14 18:381 edit
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    a Christian cannot offer salvation to anyone, only God can do that so it doesn't really make any sense to base your proposition on salvation. Protection might be a better example fir example if the Russians came to take your family to the Gulag, would you lie to protect them.
    Again, I am not trying to discuss the effectiveness of lying, but whether it is acceptable to lie. There is a long history of Christians trying to influence non-Christians to become Christians (e.g. missionaries). I am asking whether it is acceptable to lie when doing this. And if it isn't acceptable to lie when trying to save people's souls for eternity, then is there ever an acceptable time to lie (including to save the school bus of children)?
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    11 Aug '14 20:37
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    Rahab was not a Christian, either.
    There were no Christians then, but she feared God.
  15. Standard memberAgerg
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    11 Aug '14 20:421 edit
    Originally posted by PatNovak
    I realize that there have been many Christians that have not lied to save themselves from death. But the stakes are different in this case than in my example. The Christians in the Roman arena who refused to lie were merely presented with a life or death scenario, which is much lower stakes than the eternity of happiness/suffering scenario.

    Is your posit ...[text shortened]... least sometimes acceptable, saving someone for eternity should top the list of acceptable lying.
    http://www.redhotpawn.com/board/showthread.php?threadid=137334&page=1

    Robbie cannot be swayed on this one... Better a million Jews die than deception that will save them
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