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False Witness

May 13, 2013

Pastor Doug has been wading with his congregation in the 10 commandments, “Not suggestions,” he reminds us. Last week he skipped number seven to address number nine.

“We decided to skip around,” he claimed, “because our third graders are here with their parents for their first communion.” About 30 third graders waited expectantly. They were about to hear about lying, and that theme would be a feature of the news in the  following weeks, but they would not be aware of the Pastor’s exceptional timing.

What is a lie, and why did God tell his people not to lie. Pastor Doug used big words to tell what a lie is, but I think our third graders understood. A lie is a distortion of truth, an exaggeration, a suppression, an omission of fact. A lie eludes truth. God wants his people to honor him and  live in harmony and peace with each other. They need to be honest with Him and each other.

God knows why people lie, and so do parents. They lie to protect themselves, to avoid embarrassment, to impress people, and because we are human. Relationships depend on reliability and trust. Pastor Doug explained that when you lie, you damage your credibility and people can’t trust your word. Eventually truth becomes clear, and liars cannot be trusted. “Remember the ninth commandment,” he admonished, “and always tell the truth.” 

When we lie, something dies. If a third grader can understand this, why can’t those entrusted with governing our country? An ambassador and three servicemen were killed on 9/11/12. Americans were drowned by talking points that had been divested of truth. It does make a difference.


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