including things like undercover work, for example, I recently found about the organization called live action and I’m a bit confused on the morality of pretending to be seeking abortions to expose planned parenthood members.
also, are lies always mortal sin? or does it depend on the content you’re lying about?
Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.
Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.
I don’t think I ever read anything about Christ teaching and leading others by deception. Nor do I agree with deceiving anyone for any reason. God will be the judge and deal with those that defile his word and his teachings.
Further, the balance of determining a “little lie” from a “big lie” is too difficult for me to keep up with. I just try not to lie at all. It’s easier.
I can’t accept that, for example, infiltrating a terrorist organization by deception, for the purposes of saving lives and preventing bombings, would be wrong. I’m also a big fan of Santa Claus, which for some is also an issue tied up with “deception.”
I don’t believe that in the case of an undercover operative using deception, pretext and guise in order to infiltrate and gain evidence of an ongoing criminal activity would be wrong as the intent is to uncover the truth and stop the crime from continuing. If it’s used to entrap otherwise innocent people through appealing to their greed then I agree that would be sinful.
A very good definition of a lie that I heard was that a lie is denying the truth to someone who has a legitimate right to it. Not telling the Nazis at your door who are seeking to do very bad things with information you provide about the Jews hiding in your basement would not have been Lying. Not telling Mom that it was you that dented the car yeah lying…
Deception is commonly used by the military, intelligence assets and law enforcement. In the last case, the goal should not be entrapment but spreading incomplete or false information, for example, that may motivate the person of interest to do something that keeps a crime from happening or provides evidence that one did. Surveillance is part of this as well. A stakeout means the person in question may believe he is not being watched when he in fact is.
Deception in everyday life is a different matter. Deceiving people at work, or family members or friends results in complications down the road. Some things can remain private but honesty, using the right words at the right time, is best.