Wednesday, September 4, 2013

White Lies and Holy Lies

Years ago, when I was on the verge of losing my faith, in a desperate bid to salvage my faith, I looked out for debates where Christians could defeat atheists but alas there was none.  In my search for some plausible argument for faith, I discovered a professional debater called William Lane Craig.  From the reviews I read, he seemed like the best bet to set right my flagging faith and so I studied every single debate transcript and watched every video this professional debater was engaged in and there were a lot of them.  Instead of being comforted, I was horrified.  I discovered that Craig was a deceiver and a liar.  Every point he makes is nothing more than sophistry and deceit which can be debunked.  All lies and falsehoods can be discredited but Craig's lies are so sophisticated and cunningly crafted that they require more time to counter and with the time limit imposed in any debate, Craig's opponents have no way of exposing the fallacy of his arguments.

I remember being so angry with Craig that I could not go to sleep.  As I tossed and turned in my bed, I kept rebuking God (let's assume he exists).  "Why is God so false and his religion so fake that he needs a defender who resorts to lies and deceit?" I mused.  Why am I saddled with a religion that is so laughably irrational and a God whose existence is no more plausible than that of fairies, pixies and elves?   But I realized I was wrong to blame a whole religion because of the lies and deceit of one man.  My religion is a total failure in logic but then so are all other religions.  Besides, I soon discovered that most Christians have not even heard of Craig and those who admire Craig are genuinely too feeble-minded to see his deception so they can't be tainted with Craig's dishonesty.  In other words, most of my fellow Christians are either uninterested in the faith and have not heard of Craig or if they do take an interest in the faith and are impressed by Craig's arguments, they are too stupid to see how fallacious his arguments are.  But it's not a crime to be stupid.  It took me a long time to return to the faith after discovering Craig's dishonesty.  Sometimes, I ask myself if the standard of honesty I adopt is too high for my religion.  For me all lies are bad and I can't live with lies but sadly, Christianity does not view untruth in the same way.

Yes, the Bible tells us that "God is truth" and in the Gospel of St John, we are told that Jesus declares that those who tell lies have Satan for their father.  But from a close reading of the passages, it's clear that the lies that the Bible disapproves of are lies that work against God and the faith.  If lies are used to defend God, they are looked upon as wholesome and to be encouraged.

One good example is Rahab, the prostitute of Jericho.  The Bible tells us that Rahab told a lie to conceal two Jewish spies and the lie she told enabled the people of God to kill every man, woman, child and infant in Jericho as ordered by our most merciful God.  It is very clear from the story told that if she hadn't told the lie, the people of God would not have had the opportunity of slaughtering the entire city of Jericho as desired and commanded by God.  Instead of being labelled a liar, a traitor to her own people and an ethnic cleanser, the Bible speaks of her as a great woman of faith.  The Holy Gospel lists Rahab in Christ's genealogy.  The Epistle to the Hebrews (in the New Testament) speaks glowingly of Rahab as the exemplary figure of a woman of faith.

 A painting by James Tissot of Rahab and the Two Spies.

If this is how the Bible treats those who lie and kill for the faith (or in Rahab's case, to facilitate a God-ordained ethnic cleansing), perhaps the deceitful lies Craig tells in a debate are not all that bad.  On the contrary, he may be richly rewarded as a good and faithful servant of our Lord.

NOTE:  I just did a search and I found a blog post that I wrote more than a year ago giving some examples of Craig's deceptive arguments.  Click here

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