False Witness

I am taking a Biblical Ethics class at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary this semester.  We are in the middle of a discussion on the 10 Commandments.  I was a part of a group that dealt with what is commonly known as the 9th Commandment: "Do not give false testimony against your neighbor" (Deuteronomy 5:20 HCSB).

This has commonly been brought across as the commandment that says: "Don't lie."  While the thought is definitely there, the original context was dealing with how one speaks about another person especially in the context of legal matters.  The issue of telling the truth can be found at the heart of this commandment.  For Christians, truth-telling is important because we are those that are followers of the Truth.

In preparing for class discussion on this commandment, I read Doing Right: Practicing Ethical Principles by David Gill.  When Gill addressed this commandment, he grouped some modern-day areas together that seem to break this commandment. These areas are advertising, politics and evangelism. While advertising and politics are easy to see where people "stretch the truth" if not outright lie about things, the area of evangelism took me by surprise.

How do we as Christians do evangelism?  Do we "stretch the truth"?  Do we share the whole story?  Are we as willing to tell people about the cost of coming to Christ (Luke 14:25-27) or just the "good parts" (forgiveness of sin, heaven, etc)?

Something to think about... What's your thoughts?


Acts 20:24 said...

Great question. For me I think we have really watered down salvation to a prayer. I actually just wrote a blog about this myself. What repentance actually means. We have told people, if you repeat this prayer after me you will be saved. To a person who believes there is a God, and hears that if they will pray this prayer then they won't go to Hell they are all for it. Where is the follow up though? I know people who have literally been "saved" 5 times.

A life for Christ will involve rejection, persecution, and hardships but it is a life of fulfillment. I believe that's why churches like Osteen's are packed on Sunday's. This message isn't presented, but he preaches what people want to hear.

Salvation is something you don't want to water down. It's dangerous and in James it tells us we as teachers are going to be held to a higher standard.

Loved the blog, Anthony. I am graduation from The University of Alabama this May and will be at NOBTS in the fall. Roll Tide!

Anthony said...

Thanks for the comments, Jared. Congrats on the upcoming graduation (Roll Tide!). You will love NOBTS. I have enjoyed my time there.

I had a chance to read your blog (good stuff btw) and agree with you that we must be careful not to make salvation out to be a prayer. It is a complete lifestyle.