WRIGHT WAY: Between truth and lies
Sep 21, 2010 | 3195 views | 0 0 comments | 68 68 recommendations | email to a friend | print
How do you resolve moral and spiritual problems in a world where there are no absolutes — where it is lawful even for the police to say almost anything to prove you are guilty of a crime?

It sounds strange, but did you know a police officer is not lawfully obligated to assist you in proving your innocence? Many courts have upheld officers who fabricated a story to get a confession. Perhaps you’ve seen this done on television?

Let’s say two suspects are arrested, brought to jail and separated in different cells. the detective speaks to suspect A, tells him suspect B confessed to him that both were involved in a crime. Suspect A, who initially stated he was never involved, now changes his story and confesses. Through this confession, suspect A implicates both of them. The detective now has evidence to charge both with the crime even though how he got the confession was deceptive.

One reason why this type of trickery into confession is not considered unconstitutional is because suspects have the right to remain silent and to have an attorney present. If they give up that right whatever they say can be used against them in a court of law.

Although courts allow police officers to use legal deception, trickery or misrepresentation to get incriminating evidence, courts do not allow officers to lie under oath. While officers understand this distinction, such deception by authority figures have caused some to wonder if there is a double standard in society. What do you think?

Is it acceptable to use trickery or deception when it comes to dealing with the enemy? Are you obligated to tell the truth to someone who is not entitled to certain information?

You may be familiar with the account of Samson and Delilah in Judges 16:6-14. Delilah wanted Samson to tell her the secret to his great strength. His answers were misleading. In verses 10 and 13 she accused Samson of lying to her. Only when he told her the truth — something to which she was not entitled — did Samson get into trouble.

Another account at 1 Kings 22:20-22, records the prophet Micaiah revealing a vision of God sitting on His throne and inviting a host of angels to weigh in on an earthly conflict. The New King James Version reads:

“And the LORD said, ‘Who will persuade Ahab to go up, that he may fall at Ramoth Gilead?’ So one spoke in this manner, and another spoke in that manner. Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD, and said, ‘I will persuade him.’ The LORD said to him, ‘In what way?’ So he said, ‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And the LORD said, ‘You shall persuade him, and also prevail. Go out and do so.”

Was anything wrong with this deceptive strategy? Do we appreciate that there is a distinct area that exist between truth and lies under certain circumstances?

Consider the case found at 2 Kings 6:18-19. In verse 13 the King of Aram ordered his men to find Elisha and capture him. When they finally surrounded the city with Elisha in it, verses 18-19 says, “Elisha prayed unto the LORD, and said, Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha. And Elisha said unto them, This is not the way, neither is this the city: follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom ye seek. But he led them to Samaria.”

Although they were looking for Elisha, was it wrong for him to tell them this was not the right city and he would bring them to the man they sought — even though he was that man? If God wanted Elisha to reveal the truth and surrender to these men, why strike them blind?

When King Jehu gathered all the Baal worshipers together, pretending to offer a great sacrifice to their false god, 2 Kings 10:18, 19, concludes by saying, “But Jehu acted deceptively, with the intent of destroying the worshipers of Baal.” — The New King James Version.

Was such cunning, sly or deceptive behavior frowned upon by God? Could we learn something about who is entitled to the truth and under what circumstances it is OK to mislead?

While Christians should never lie and always speak truth with his neighbor as Ephesians 4:25 says, would that include telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth to people out do them harm? You decide.

At Matthew 7:6 Jesus said, “Do not give what is holy to dogs and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” — New American Standard Bible.

Paul seemed to understand this concept according to Romans 3:7 and utilized it at Acts 23:6, even referring to it in Acts 24:20, 21. Pulitzer Prize winning writer Pearl Buck said, “In this unbelievable universe in which we live, there are no absolutes.”

I don’t know about that. To me, the Bible holds the most important truth we need, including a strategic maneuver existing between truth and lies. Many law officers already know this place.

*For a copy of The Little White Book of Light featuring more Wright Way columns, visit barnesandnoble.com, booksamillion.com and amazon.com.