I’m cutting the monster a lot of slack with the headline.
P. Z. Myers publicized the e-mail exchange involving Bodie Hodge, a minor deity at the anti-science, creationist organization Answers in Genesis (AiG). Myers was nice to the guy, contrary to the usual creationist cartoon of Myers as somehow immoral for being a non-worshipper of gods. Well, he was nicer than I would have been. But Myers expects Christians to exhibit no sense of shame, no common sense, and twisted morality. I expect bettter of them.
A reader posed that age-old question to Hodge: Is the Christian rule against lying so strong that a Christian should tell Nazi troops where Jewish families are hiding? Hodge weasels later by saying he hopes he never has to make such a choice, and that he really doesn’t know how he’d act in that situation. But this comes only after he says that telling a lie to Nazis to save Jews will get one burned in hell. And then he goes on to note it’s better to be in good with God than to act morally.
In other words, better to become an accomplice in the murder of Jews than to stand up against murderers.
I don’t get how these charlatans of religion, reason to such a point.
What would Jesus do? We know. When the crowd was threatening to stone to death a woman guilty of adultery and she sought refuge with Jesus, Jesus stood up to the mob and saved her life. Just execution of Biblical law or shelter the accused, Jesus stood against the murder, even murder sanctioned by the religious rules of the community.
We also know that scripture endorses deception from time to time. You know these AiG clowns are charlatans when they say stupid stuff like this. Hodge tries to explain away another case of deception by inventing a scenario not found in scripture in which the lie doesn’t get told.
He’s forgotten the story of Jacob and Esau, and how Jacob and his mother conpsired to deceive Isaac in order to steal away Esau’s birthright (Esau and Jacob were twins, by the way). Jacob got away with the deed, was then blessed by God. He took a new name: Israel. He lived on to be the seed of Judaism, the religion Jesus followed and the foundation of Christianity.
To AiG, it appears that scripture is just a dusty old book, except when they can twist it to support their bigotry. Here’s irony for you: The story of Jacob is in Genesis. You know, as in “Answers in Genesis.” They don’t even know their own namesake book!
Here in America, as a nation we overcame that morality-or-religion problem with Huck Finn. The ill-educated young teen, an absentee to grammar, faces the moral decision as he floats down the Mississippi with Jim, an escaped slave who has saved Huck’s life and is in other ways a very good friend. Huck notes that the preachers are all agreed that Huck’s moral duty is to turn Jim in as an escaped slave, to condemn Jim to a continued life of slavery, should Jim survive the lashing. Huck Finn puts the dilemma squarely: Whether to obey God and turn in Jim to the authorities, or to burn in hell and let Jim live the life of a free man. Huck agonizes, but decides: He’ll burn in hell rather than give away his friend.
As a non-Bible believing amoral godless atheist, my first thought was that this is trivial: you lie your pants off. The ‘crime’ of telling a lie pales into insignificance against the crime of enabling the death of fellow human beings.
According to Bodie Hodge of AiG, though, I’m wrong. The good Christian should reject lies, Satan’s tools, in all circumstances, and should immediately ‘fess up the location of the Jews. He backs it up with Bible quotes, too.
If we love God, we should obey Him (John 14:15). To love God first means to obey Him first–before looking at our neighbor. So, is the greater good trusting God when He says not to lie or trusting in our fallible, sinful minds about the uncertain future?
Consider this carefully. In the situation of a Nazi beating on the door, we have assumed a lie would save a life, but really we don’t know. So, one would be opting to lie and disobey God without the certainty of saving a life–keeping in mind that all are ultimately condemned to die physically. Besides, whether one lied or not may not have stopped the Nazi solders from searching the house anyway.
As Christians, we need to keep in mind that Jesus Christ reigns. All authority has been given to Him (Matthew 28:18), and He sits on the throne of God at the right hand of the Father (Acts 2:33; Hebrews 8:1). Nothing can happen without His say. Even Satan could not touch Peter without Christ’s approval (Luke 22:31). Regardless, if one were to lie or not, Jesus Christ is in control of timing every person’s life and able to discern our motives. It is not for us to worry over what might become, but rather to place our faith and obedience in Christ and to let Him do the reigning. For we do not know the future, whereas God has been telling the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10).
Gosh. I never thought of it that way. So…all those Christians who sheltered Jews during WWII are actually burning in hell right now for their sinful wickedness? That is so counterintuitive, it must be true!
One more time we should side with morality, and against creationist distortions of Christianity and morality.
With all the learning they get at that reeking cesspool the creationism museum, you’d think they could demonstrate the moral fiber of a tobacco-chewing, food-stealing, school-cutting runaway teen, Huckleberry Finn.
Full AiG post below the fold (I expect them to strike it down when they rethink; let all Christians pray to God they do rethink).