Perhaps you’re familiar with the term “situation ethics.” Situation ethics is a position which postulates that the situation determines the ethical stand needed. In other words, if the situation dictates that a lie would be the most ethical position, then you would lie. Those who hold this view believe that there are no absolute ethical values, no concrete, never-changing standards that govern the morality of humanity regardless of race, nationality, creed, or religion.
This is not a biblical or Christian view. Christians believe that the Bible informs their ethics and the standards they hold are based on biblical values. In 1987, ABC’s Ted Koppel, famous for hosting the television program “Nightline,” addressed the graduates of Duke University. Here is a portion of what he said, “Our society finds truth too strong a medicine to digest undiluted. In its purest form, truth is not a polite tap on the shoulder. It is a howling reproach. What Moses brought down from Mt. Sinai were not the Ten Suggestions. They are commandments. Are, not were. The sheer brilliance of the Ten Commandments is that they codify in a handful of words acceptable human behavior, not just for then or now, but for all time.”
The Ten Commandments are an example of what I mean when I talk about absolute values. These are values that do not change and are not subject to the changing winds of culture. One theologian said that situation ethics is like a wax nose which can be twisted and shaped to fit whatever situation is encountered. The 10 Commandments govern the ethics of all people in all nations for all time. It doesn’t matter if you believe in them or not. God will hold every person accountable for keeping them from the most sophisticated urbanite to the most primitive native. No one can claim they didn’t know they violated them for every human being has a conscience on which is written God’s moral standards (Romans 2:15).
As Christians we believe that it is NEVER wrong to do the right thing and it is NEVER right to do the wrong thing. Based on that standard, it is never right to lie. It is always right to tell the truth. It is never right to cheat on your taxes and it is always right to “render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due . . .” (Romans 13:7).
I know that there are “ya buts,” people who will pose hypothetical situations where it seems more expedient to lie than to tell the truth. My response to the “ya buts” in the crowd is, if you’re a Christian, trust God, really trust Him to protect and deliver you in the situation. Don’t take matters into your own hands and try to lie your way out of it. God cannot and will not bless sin and that’s what lying is . . . a sin (Exodus 20:16, the 9th commandment).
It’s time to do the right thing,