Why is it that Christians have no problem fibbing for Christ while simultaneously chastising people for lying? Is there a difference between fibbing and lying? Did God say “Thou shalt not lie unless you’re speaking to a nonbeliever” in some secret teachers edition? Take the site NeedGod.com for example. It’s an interactive site that asks some questions and then tells you how you measure up to the alleged ten commandments.
The very first question is “Have you ever told a lie?”. Being an honest liar, I said yes. Which of course is against the eighth commandment, right? Wrong. The eighth commandment is not “thou shalt not lie”, it is “thou shalt not bear false witness against your neighbour“. In short, that means ‘don’t lie about people’ not “don’t lie – period”.
But, that’s not the least of the fibbing. The entire site is based on a fib. There is not and never has been one set of ten clearly identifiable commandments and there is considerable disagreement with each sect (jews, catholics & protestants) spinning the set to suit their particular theology. For example, the Catholics do away with the part about graven images while the Jews break the first statement apart & insert it into their second commandment.
All three downplay the rest of the story which has Moses throwing a tantrum, destroying the stones and having to get Yahweh to write another set. Which is understandable as the second set, which Yahweh refers to as as being the same as what was on the first set, does not match up with what was recorded as being the first set.
In the course of a few days the ten commandments went from what is alleged to be the ten commandments to a rant by Yahweh where he brays about how great he is and how he wants the Jews to deal with the native groups because his name is Jealous to a rewrite of the commandments:
- You shall not make cast idols.
- You shall keep the festival of unleavened bread. For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month of Abib; for in the month of Abib you came out from Egypt.
- All that first opens the womb is mine, all your male livestock, the firstborn of cow and sheep. The firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, or if you will not redeem it you shall break its neck. All the firstborn of your sons you shall redeem.
- No one shall appear before me empty-handed.
- For six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even in ploughing time and in harvest time you shall rest. You shall observe the festival of weeks, the first fruits of wheat harvest, and the festival of ingathering at the turn of the year. Three times in the year all your males shall appear before the Lord God, the God of Israel. For I will cast out nations before you, and enlarge your borders; no one shall covet your land when you go up to appear before the Lord your God three times in the year.
- You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven, and the sacrifice of the festival of the passover shall not be left until the morning.
- The best of the first fruits of your ground you shall bring to the house of the Lord your God.
- You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk.
NeedGod.com does not bother to ask me about my creative endeavors nor my festival keeping. It doesn’t ask if I “redeemed” my child or appeared before Yahweh with empty hands. I was not asked if I made a bloody dough(?) or put off a sacrifice because I was tired and it was late. No question about what I do with my veggies or how I cook baby lambs either.
So, in light of the above – why do Christians persist in these fibs, especially if they really believe that liars of all stripes are going to be sent to Hell (NeedGod.com refers to Revelation 21:8 in its fib about the alleged 8th Commandment)?