Posts belonging to Category Sin

John Piper on “Is It Ever Right to Lie?”

John Piper explores the question, “Is it ever right to lie?” After affirming that the Scriptures clearly present lying and falsehood as sin, Piper reviews the lies that the Hebrew midwives told to Pharoah in Exodus 1 and that Rahab told to the king’s men in Joshua 2. He notes that both the midwives and Rahab were faced with extreme, life-threatening situations. He also notes that, although the midwives were commended for not obeying the king, and Rahab was commended for her faith, Scripture nowhere condones their actual instances of lying. And yet neither does Scripture come right out and condemn their lying in these specific instances either.

Rather than give a direct “yes” or “no” answer to the question, Piper concludes:

“What I’ve simply decided to say is this: There are worthy and godly saints who have in their struggle with evil felt constrained to lie in order to oppose life-threatening wickedness. And they were not condemned for it. That much I can say on the authority of Scripture.”

I remember first being exposed to this difficult question when seeing the film, “The Hiding Place.” The specific situation faced there was, “Should Corrie Ten Boom (or was it Betsy?) have told the Nazi soldiers that they were hiding Jews in the home?” What are your thoughts on this? Scripturally, is it ever right to lie?