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Posted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 4:18 am
by Marc
Some may view this as splitting hairs but something has been bothering me and it has to do with telling the truth and lying.
When I was in South Korea and Japan some of the people there would speak to me in their native tongue. In Korea I would reply something like "hanguk mal motayo" (I don't speak Korean) while in Japan "nihongo wa wakarimasen" (I don't speak Japanese) but isn't that a contradiction since I just spoke it? I was thinking of saying something like I speak very little Korean/Japanese but the problem is that some people would probably then think that if they repeated something to me often enough (and I might add loud enough) that somehow I would understand what they were saying when it simply just didn't work that way.
On my second day at a new school in Korea I went for a run. Problem is I got lost. It was hot and I was getting thirsty. Asked (in Korean) this one older man who was a farmer how to get to the school. He answered but I couldn't grasp everything he said. So I kept running hoping I would see something recognizable or some people. Finally I spotted and flagged down a Korean cop car. I asked them in Korean how to get to Cheju National University. They simply pointed to the door so I took it as that meant to get in. I hopped in and they could barely speak any English but they did ask me where I was from. I thought to myself if I said "Connecticut" because of their low conversational English ability (plus my guess is they never heard of it before) they would think I was saying Canada (for this had happened plenty of times with others) which would confuse them for I previously told them I was from the United Sates. Thought of maybe saying New England but figured they would be even less aware of that term plus the fact as in the case just mentioned they would probably think I was saying England. So I simply responded by saying New York. That they understood. Was this a sin?

What about Christians who work for the government as spies. What if while performing their job a person from said country asks them if they are a spy? Related to this I understand that Rahab lied about the whereabouts of the spies in Joshua 2. Furthermore, what if Christians are trying to sneak Bibles into a country that doesn't really allow it (like North Korea) and the officials ask the person or people if they are carrying any Bibles. What should they say?

Finally, what about when a person changes their mind about something? Like they said they would or wouldn't do something but then they do the opposite. I'm sure all of us have done this to some extent or another. We say that we want to go somewhere then simply decide we don't want to anymore. See for example Matthew 21:28-31. Who would argue that the son who said he wasn't going to obey what his father asked but then later changed his mind committed a sin in doing so? Or what if two people who are atheists told each other since the time they first became friends that they would never believe the Bible but then one of them becomes a Christian and now says the Bible is true even though he previously said that he would never believe the Bible is true. Who would condemn him (besides the other atheist) for his present viewpoint?

Any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated.

- Marc