Chat, Chai & Christ: Nothing wrong with white lies – right?


These are snippets of recent real-life discussions among good friends. They were never intended to debunk anyone; the spiritual dialogues are intended to help our friends think through their beliefs. They are published here to help gain insight into the Eastern way of thinking. They are based on recollections and might not be an accurate word for word, but the contents should be dead on.

The YS is a person from Yeshu Samaj, having a conversation with a friend.

1. White Lies
Context: Generally people believe it’s OK to lie if no one gets hurt. In some cases, our friends think it’s ok to lie if the outcome of it something positive.

YS: When is it OK to lie?

Friend: If the outcome is positive, it is OK to lie.

YS: Who makes the determination about the extent of damage as a result of lying and the outcome that results from it?

Friend: we should assess it. For example, if someone demands that I tell them where a certain person is, so that they can harm this person, then I can lie about their whereabouts to prevent them from getting in harm’s way. It also saves me from getting in trouble.

YS: While that sounds like a better choice, in the whole decision-making process we have left God out. What would God think about that? If God wants us to be truthful, but in circumstances like this God makes exceptions based on our choice, then God is not omnipotent (all-powerful) enough to change the outcome when someone obeys Him.

Friend: So are you saying that in a circumstance like that we have to give away the whereabouts of that person?

YS: No, instead we can say that we are unwilling to reveal the location, so as to prevent this person from getting in harm’s way. Of course, to do this we have to have confidence in God’s sovereignty and should understand that it is better to suffer for truth than to lie and avoid the situation.

Friend: I am not there yet in my personal belief.

YS: I can take no credit for my personal faith as Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith in Him. In fact, Jesus says, “Whoever tries to save his life shall lose it. But whoever loses it for Jesus’ sake will find it” (Mt 16:25)