Sunday, March 8, 2009

The False Witness

She spreads the rumors that are not true, sometimes willing to do so even when she knows they are false. He takes the witness stand in court, swears an oath to God that he will tell the truth, and then lies knowingly. According to the Bible in Proverbs 6:16-19, one of those things that we have been talking about the past few Sundays which the Lord hates is 'The False Witness'. These individuals use many of the characteristics of those whom we have talked about in previous weeks: lying, plotting, scheming, stabbing people in the back, and often doing so enthusiastically. There is even a term for what this person is capable of in the police lingo of my own law enforcement profession: testilying. It is a merger of the words 'testifying' and 'lying', and basically refers to those times when police officers themselves lie under oath in a court proceeding. Shocked that it happens, and that a police officer with two decades in the field such as myself would speak of it? You shouldn't be. Every Judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, and cop knows that it happens. This is not to say that every cop lies, or that cops who are willing to lie in court do so all the time. This is not the case at all. But it does happen, and it happens for one simple reason that should be obvious to anyone with half a brain. That reason is that police officers are human beings, and human beings lie. Some more frequently or in more serious situations than others, but all human beings lie, from the police to the press, from paupers to the President of the United States. Now do all police officers lie on the stand? No, of course not. There are many with enough integrity that they would never even consider it. Think of the steroid scandal in baseball. Some abused steroids flagrantly, but most ballplayers never used the substance at all, and many never would even consider it. The problem becomes that when one ballplayer, cop, lawyer, politician, doctor, or judge is caught flagrantly lying or cheating, they taint the reputations of all in their profession. What Proverbs is speaking of in this item in the list of '6 Things the Lord Hates - 7 an Abomination' is when a person lies in regards to another person in an attempt to damage that others' reputation, possibly even to take away their freedom or their life. Sometimes people will do this because they believe sincerely that the person about whom they are lying deserves some type of justice and punishment, and this will likely not happen without the lie. In fact, these types of people will sometimes feel that they are not lying at all, or that they are telling a 'small lie' or 'white lie', in that their lie is simply a slight exaggeration or a made-up example of what their target is doing in reality. To them, getting that person's actions out in the open is more important than telling the truth. It is a perfect 'the ends justifies the means' scenario. The false witness is also anyone who lies on any official document or in any proceeding where they are required to swear an oath, or where they represent by their official authority or title that some action has occurred when it has not. Have you ever filled out and affixed your signature to any contract, document, or form involving public assistance, child custody, taxes, divorce, illness, insurance, accidents, criminality and anything else official where you lied, no matter how slight and no matter what your reasoning? Have you ever gossiped about a co-worker or a neighbor or a family member when you either knew that the story was false, or when you had no personal knowledge that it was true? Are you a professional on whom the public depends to tell the truth as a part of your professional reputation? Then you acted as 'The False Witness', someone who is hated by our God. It is one thing to sin, which we all are going to do at some point as human beings. It is an entirely different matter to have God actually hate you. Consider this as you consider continuing your behavior, and this time swear instead to never take these types of actions again. NOTE: This is the continuation of the 'Sunday Sermon' series which comes every Sunday here at the blog, each entry of which you can view by clicking in to that below label.

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