Sermon of the week: “No Lie is of the Truth” by Phil Johnson.

Phil Johnson carefully handles the issue of lying in the sermon No Lie is of the Truth. He even tackles the much debated lie of Rahab. This is a good sermon to digest on the whole issue of lying and deception.

2 thoughts on “Sermon of the week: “No Lie is of the Truth” by Phil Johnson.

  1. Great sermon. He tackled all of the hard ethical dilemmas, etc.

    I did come away kind of surprised at some of the proposed solutions and outcomes in the dilemmas he discussed, however. From what was laid out it is reasonable to deduct that given the ethical dilemma of hiding Jews in your basement in Nazi Germany during WWII and having Nazis at the front door asking you if you know of the location of any Jews; we walk away considering that it may be more right to tell the Nazis the truth and then kill them (the Nazis, not the Jews); reason being that sometimes its okay to kill evil doers and there being a removal of the restriction to kill in time of war, etc. I realize that this scenario is what people call situational ethics but according to Johnson the purpose of situational ethics is to try to circumnavigate the truth and I’m not trying to do that. I think we should be prepared for situations and have reasons and explanations for our actions, why we do what we do, if you will. It is interesting to note that Johnson himself, however, admitted that if his family was in danger; he probably would lie.

    Another lesson in this sermon that I found enlightening is that a “misleading maneuver” is NOT the same as a lie. Johnson does a wonderful job of illustrating this with Jesus telling his disciples to NOT tell everyone about Him yet. This is the biggest area where I find Christian teaching strikingly opposes secular ethical teaching. Everything that Johnson was quoting from Trimbal sounded just like the instruction I received from the ethical class I took as an under grad in college. Most likely, if the truth be known, the ethical instruction was probably based on Trumbal’s book (A Lie Never Justifiable) – Henry Clay Trumbal. In my ethics class, we were taught that if you withhold information and it causes the other person to believe a “non-truth”, then you have committed a lie of omission (as opposed to commission) but it is a lie nevertheless. According to Johnson’s sermon, this isn’t true based on examples he provided in scripture, etc.

    So for all of you husbands planning your wife’s surprise birthday party, its okay to mislead her about it but if she asks you if you are taking her to her surprise birthday party then don’t lie and tell the truth.

    Really good lessons in this; hard lessons; even harder to execute or put into action! I think one thing to note from this is that Johnson correctly notes that Jerico would have fallen with or without Rahab. I think sometimes we forget that God uses us but by no means are we going to thwart God’s will regardless of our will to cooperate or not. This is not, however, an excuse to do what you want to do – because God’s will will prevail. I think that when we choose to lie its because we don’t want something bad to happen; what we’re really saying is that we don’t trust God to do the right thing or we’re afraid He’s not going to do what WE want Him to do. If we act according to His commands and trust in Him then everything will be “right” regardless of how the “details” unravel.


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