Is it ever morally right to tell someone something that is not the truth? Is it ever right to give misinformation? These questions arise when considering the biblical commandments against lying and deception (Ps. 34:13; 119:163; Prov 12:22; Mk 7:22, Eph 4:22; Col 3:9; 1 Pet 3:10), juxtaposed with certain instances where deceptive strategies were employed (Josh 8:2, 6; Ex 3:8, 18; 1 Sam 16:2). To arrive at a conclusion that aligns with the entirety of Scripture, we must delve into the complexities of lying, deception, and dishonesty. In this brief article, we will explore various scenarios, biblical principles, and ethical considerations to shed light on the moral obligations we have in matters of communication.
The purpose of ethics is godward—to obey, honor, and glorify God. Indeed, even in a secular world, that which is ethical must point to what is good, beautiful, and true. The problem facing the secularist, however, is an unclear starting point: Where do ethics begin? What defines truth? How do we know if something is good or if something is wicked?
Though I’ll be addressing the question of Canaanite warfare at the next Shepherds 360 Conference in October and in my book Is God a Vindictive Bully (Baker Academic, Oct. 2022)—which also addresses this and many other Old Testament difficulties—I thought I would give a foretaste of things to come in this blog post.
Mark Driscoll, James MacDonald, Bill Hybels, Ravi Zacharias, Catholic priests, numerous well-known Southern Baptist pastors. Never has more attention been given to the lack of integrity and virtue in those who are supposed to be spiritual protectors and nurturers. And the disqualifying sins run the gamut of sexual immorality to abuse of power to financial indiscretions.