A vehicle for venting on philosophy, religion, and the general state of things. Proprietor: C. W. Powell

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Lying Ain't Peanuts! Especially about People or to Judicatories.

The following is from the Christian Education Report presented to Synod in 2002 and 2003. It was not adopted except the first page in 2003. The whole report may be found at
Christian Education Report

Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his
neighbor: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin
not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to
the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor,
working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to
give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out
of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it
may minister grace unto the hearers.

If we are to be a part of the heavenly conversation, we must first quit our lying.
We must not lie about God (false doctrine); we must not lie about ourselves
(hypocrisy and guile); we must not lie about each other (slander and falsehood).

Members of each other. This is true because we are members of the same body.
Christ has no disassociated body parts. To use a physical analogy, the animal
body cannot function unless the nervous system is whole and uncorrupted. Drugs
and alcohol, and certain diseases, disrupt the nervous system and the body
becomes uncontrollable.

In order for the body to work properly, it must be connected to the head and all of
the parts must be connected to each other. Words of love and truth cement our
connection to each other; lies disrupt the connection. The words of the Gospel in
Scripture connect us to Jesus Christ and the words of the Scriptures teach us to
love one another, forbear one another, and forgive one another in Jesus Christ.

Grieve Not the Holy Spirit. Because we have been baptized into Christ, it is
the Holy Spirit who works faith and love in the children of God, and seals us unto
the day of redemption. Evil communications grieve Him:

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the
day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and
clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,
even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. --Ephesians 4:30-32

Instead of grieving the Holy Spirit, we are called to confess with our mouth the
Lord Jesus and to believe in our hearts that God has raised Him from the dead.
We are called to confess Him before men, to confess our sins, and no longer
deceive ourselves by walking in the lies of self-righteousness and self-
justification. We are to trust in Christ for forgiveness of sins and so be restored to
fellowship with God through Jesus Christ.

Without the Triune God, how lonely is the life of man! The modern man has no
speaking God, no fellowship and communion with God. The only voice that
modern man hears is the Babel of his own wilderness.

God has provided all things for His church. It is through His promises that we
escape the corruption that is in the world through lust [II Pet. 1:4]. It is also
through the promises that we have fellowship with Him and with one another [I
John 1]. This fellowship begins in the church, for without the church there is no
fellowship with God and no living fellowship with one another. Without the
church we are lost in a communion of death, dancing the dance of death, speaking
the words of death, working the works of death. The stench of death is about all
we do.

Only in Christ, in the living body of Christ, do we find life, and peace, and
service. The church is a living temple made of living stones. His communion is
the communion of life because He endured death for us and rose up from the dead
to bring us life forevermore. Shall we be wiser than God? God has ordained the
means for us to have fellowship with Him: we do not seek some other way, for
our Shepherd comes by the door of the sheep and those who climb up some other
way are thieves and robbers. "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the
unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return unto the Lord" [Isaiah 55:7] As
long as a person clings in pride to his own opinions and his own stubborn ways,
there is no hope for fellowship with God, who resists the proud, but give grace to
the humble. The proud talk only to themselves, for God does not hear them.

I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon
them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did
not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I
delighted not. Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his
word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's
sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy,
and they shall be ashamed. Isaiah 66:4,5

The Lord hears those who take His word seriously and tremble.

Speaking the Truth in Love (Ephesians 4:5)
Paul expands on this idea from Ephesians 5:19 to the end of the epistle. Verses
19,20 give the outline.

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks
always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord
Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of

We are to speak to one another, and to speak to God in thanksgiving and praise,
echoing Psalm 50, cited above. The Christian life is a joyful conversation with
God and with each other. Involved in this conversation is the necessity of joyful
submission one to another in the fear of God, who has called us out of darkness
into the glorious light of His Son. (I Peter 2:9) In terms of this submission, the
apostle speaks of the relationship between husbands and wives, parents and
children, owners and labor. He ends by speaking of our conflict with the evil
conversation of the world, which can only be overcome by the armor of the Spirit:

Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able
to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand
therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the
breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the
preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of
faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the
wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit,
which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and
supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all
perseverance and supplication for all saints. --Ephesians 6:13-18

The armor of God is not for protection against bombs and guns and clubs. God
has fashioned those carnal weapons and they cannot do more than His word and
wisdom permits. As we read in Isaiah 54:

Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and
that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the
waster to destroy. No weapon that is formed against thee shall
prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment
thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD,
and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.

Jesus put it this way, "Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that
proceedeth from the mouth of God." (Matt. 4:4) It is not that man should not live
by bread alone, but that man does not live by bread alone. Apart from the decree
and wisdom of God man cannot so much as move. We have no independent
existence, for in Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:29). We
cannot even raise our fist in defiance of Him without using the strength, the mind,
the self-consciousness that He gives us. In our sin we turn His gifts against Him,
and it is only His patience and long-suffering that holds back the punishment that
we deserve.


Blog Archive