Friday, October 20, 2006

The need for devotion and grace

The following is in response to a post by Gabi, whom I met in Poland at SLOT Festiwal:

I don't lie either. It someone makes things difficult, especially when you're in retail (I'm not in retail anymore, thank God). I sucked on the salesfloor, I'd tell people they didn't need stuff they were wanting to purchase.

There are lots of times where lying would make things easier, but I simply can't do it.

And it brings up a thought about when we're allowed to lie. Some people say it's OK to lie to protect things (in war lying is necessary to the outcome), and the biblical example given is Rahab who lied to hide the Hebrew spies. But Rahab was never justified in her lie, only in her belief that it was through the God of the Jews that she would be rescued.

There is the example from the last World War with Corrie Ten Boom. I found a website that says this:

"[Two] Dutch sisters, whose experiences during World War II are told in the book 'The Hiding Place' by Corrie ten Boom.

"Corrie and Nollie ten Boom, who were devout Christians, both risked their own lives to hide Jews from the Nazis by sheltering them in their homes. When asked by the Gestapo if they were hiding Jews, Nollie chose to tell the truth, while Corrie lied in an effort to save the people hiding in the basement clock shop in her home. Both sisters were arrested. Nollie, who never wavered in her belief in the scriptural saying 'The truth shall set you free,' was freed from prison within days of her capture. The young Jewish girl that Nollie had been hiding was also quickly freed when Dutch Resistance soldiers stormed the site where she was being held captive. Corrie, along with another sister, Betsie, were sent to Ravensbruck concentration camp, where Betsie eventually died. Corrie survived and went on to write about her experience.

"The remarkable thing about Corrie ten Boom is that she never attempted to excuse her lie, says Komp. 'Here is a woman who never told a lie until she was 45 years old, and the lie she told was to save others' lives. But she never tried to justify it. Most of us want justifcation for our lies. But perhaps what we should seek is mercy, not justifcation."

This is a good point because if we are legalistic in our view towards this issue we're looking for justification through our actions not through God's mercy, which is the only justification we should partake in.

But the question keep driving on... If lying is OK to protect someone else, or something else, when does some other sin become OK, Like adultry, murder, etc? It seems some take it so far that their laissez faire about the whole matter and everything goes. But we have the three Hebrew heroes in Babylon who refused to bow to the king at the threat of death, and many other examples like this.

And then Paul says all things are allowable, but not all things are profitable. He says in 1 Corinthians 4 that his conscience is clear and he does not even judge himself. He says in Romans that anything not done in faith is sin.

So I think we may find ourselves resting in the wonderful grace afforded us in the death of the Christ, and the freedom we've been given through His resurrection. We fall flat on our faces in surrender to the Father's glory and live a life of simple faith, great mystery and due justice.

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