I had an interesting discussion at my friend Deb’s site that lead to the question of whether lying was permitted, even encouraged, in the Qu’ran. The principle is “Taqiyah”. I also looked up what the Christian Bible says about lying . So today I will pose a moral question:
Does God’s guidance ever allowing lying, for example if it means saving a life?
1) I found a Muslim study on Taqiyah.
He who disbelieves in Allah after his belief in Him, (is the liar) except he who is compelled while his heart remains steadfast with the faith (has nothing worry). But who opens his breast for infidelity; on these is wrath of Allah, and for them is a great torment.
“This verse of the Qur’an refers to the incident when ‘Ammar bin Yasir (May Allah be pleased with both) had to utter some words against Islam to save himself from the Quraishite infidels.
It clearly allows hiding one ‘s true faith when one is in danger of one’s life. This rule is called taqiyah.”
2) I also looked up what the Christian Bible says about lying.
a) Doing a Google search for Bible verses about lying I found Proverbs 6:16-19
16These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
17A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
18An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
19A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
b) I also found an interesting discussion on whether lying is ever permitted by the Bible, even to save a life.
“First of all, one is not under any obligation, morally or otherwise, to give an answer to the gunman. Jesus did not sin by refusing to answer some questions asked of Him (cf. Matthew 27:11-14; Luke 23:8,9), and neither do we! Secondly, as God’s Word instructs, one ought to do unto his neighbor as he would have his neighbor do unto him. In this case, this might entail preventing or subduing the potential assailant, if possible. But under no circumstances is one under any Biblical obligation to aid, answer, or assist the evildoer.
Now, let’s consider the case of Rahab. What Rahab did in assisting the spies to escape (viz., she lied) was wrong, and consequently, it is nowhere praised in the Scriptures. Those who use the case of Rahab to justify lying, simply “err not knowing the Scriptures, or the power of God” (Matthew 22:29). Neither Hebrews 11:31 nor James 2:25 commend Rahab for lying. Instead, she is commended for the faith she exercised in believing God. Likewise, when David, an adulterer and murderer, was identified as a man after God’s own heart, one can be sure that these two sins were not being recommended to those of us trying to live godly lives. And maybe—notice that I said maybe—if the aforementioned denominational preacher understood this (i.e., that adultery is condemned in God’s Word and is, therefore, always wrong), then maybe—again, I said maybe—he wouldn’t be so concerned about conditioning his flock to lie for him whenever they see some man chasing him with a shotgun.”
A long discussion follows, read it if you have the time.
“Is it ever right to lie? Absolutely not! The Christian must recognize lying for the evil it is and never try to justify it under any circumstances, no matter how difficult they may be. Nothing will destroy our influence quicker. No confidence can be placed in a liar. The Christian is instructed: “Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth” (Ephesians 6:14). But, at the same time, let us make sure we understand the difference between Webster’s definition of a lie and God’s definition. ”
Question – Does God’s guidance ever allowing lying if it means saving a life?
My perception is that a Christian is never permitted to renounce their God, even if it means they, or their family, will die. My guess is that a Christian can withhold information, tell less than the whole truth.
The Muslim prinicple of Taqiyah does allow a Muslim to renounce his faith with his mouth, to save a life, because Allah will know that in his heart he is still faithful.
I can’t think of a lie I wouldn’t tell to save another person’s life. I will guess that if someone put a gun to my head, and demanded I procliam that I believe in God, I probably would. If you don’t have a gun you will have a fight on your hands. 🙂