Have you ever lied about your faith/religion/religious beliefs?

The title pretty much says it all.

Curious how common this is and in which circumstances people feel compelled to lie.

I still need to contemplate this some more, but I think most of the time I’ve been false about my faith/beliefs it’s been a case of me being evasive or leaving out information.

NO! I have never lied about my faith

I may have had a reconversion years ago so before that I never really gave it any credence nor did a topic ever come up where I would feel compelled to do so. I don’t think I would have then either.

There should be no point in time where a Catholic should EVER lie about being Catholic even to death.

Of course this is a catholic perspective maybe those without a deep understanding of sin and what that does to our relationship with God (and in turn our salvation) wouldn’t care or those who think the false once saved always saved stuff.

Again from the Catholic perspective the only ones I can see who would lie about it (maybe) are those who are cultural Catholics and know very little about the faith. Which unfortunately is a large amount of people these days…

I’ll stay silent (especially at work) but I won’t lie.

…though I might have lied to MYSELF about my faith in the past.

Not that I can recall. There may be times in the future when I feel tempted to (university and all), but this verse will encourage me and keep me standing tall for Truth!

“For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” ~Luke 9:26

DONT DO IT! University, even in my day, was a cesspool of ill-conceived notion, driven by popularity and not logic or morality.

Stay true no matter what the cost because the prize outweighs it.

Yup, I have. Sometimes it is just embarrassment. Sometimes to get a rise out of someone and sometimes it is just cuz I am weak…

There are times when I might “tone down” ways in which I outwardly might practice my faith, but I would not, now, lie about having it.

It was something that, to my shame, I used to, largely because having any kind of “serious” faith as a teenager in 21st century Britain is so unusual as to be considered strange by most of the population, or at least in my experience (apart maybe from a growing population of evangelical protestants or Anglicans who are much more vocal which is both admirable and slightly embarrassing in secular company).

Then I learned that while there are times when we might play down outward faith just to get along with others (eg at work maybe), people actually respect you more for being honest about what you believe, if asked (and I think none of us should turn away a potentially interested party!). But then there is that custom of small-talk (at least in the UK) - that you don’t discuss personal religious beliefs.

I would be horrified with myself if I thought I actually lied about my faith, but as I say that’s not he same as toning things down sometimes in public.

PS. I wonder how many have lied about having a faith after they have lost it?


It’s one thing I’ve never felt the need to do; why would anyone?

I’m pretty much the only unabashed Catholic (with a conservative political philosophy to boot!) in my place of work. Every one of my co-workers are all either not religious or flat out anti-Catholic. So you can imaging I’ve gotten into literally countless, we’ll call them “heated debates” with my co-workers. At times I may have withheld certain details of the faith from them, but only because I was afraid they would either not understand or worse, use it to further inflate whatever ridiculous idea they had about the faith. I don’t think I’ve ever lied about my faith. At the end of the day, there’s really no need to. Every part of the Catholic is beautiful and makes total sense. There’s nothing offensive about it. If you let yourself buy into the various hateful characterizations of the faith (we’re self hating gay child abusers who hate women blah blah blah) then of course I’d want to hide that too. But the fact of the matter is there is no need to lie about it.

That said, though. We’re all sinners who are weak and have our own failings. We just need to pray hard for the strength to overcome our weaknesses. After all, even St. Peter denied Christ three times. So you are not alone if you’ve ever lied about your faith.

Never have, never will.

Right, I don’t think many people do.

I think what does happen is that someone says what they think, and then someone else runs with it. The example I like to use is that I have many time heard (or read) someone say words to the effect of “I read X on CAF, so that proves that X is the Catholic position.” :o

I’ve never lied about my religion or my religious affiliation, but when I was a teenager and a very young Christian, I went to a retreat one time in which almost everyone else was a charismatic Christian believer who spoke in tongues. Some were my age, while others were older.

Speaking in tongues wasn’t the topic of the retreat. I think it was ‘Growing into a deeper relationship with Christ’ or something like that, so I was all in. They taught about other things besides tongues, but tongues seemed to be one of the main topics.

When they found out I didn’t speak in tongues, I was kind of surrounded and coached for an hour or more by a number of people and told how I needed to open up to the gift of tongues from the Holy Spirit. They kept at it until I finally started speaking in tongues, too. The only problem was that I was faking it out of peer pressure. :o I probably sounded like Fred Flintstone with all the “Yabba dabbas” I could mutter.

I didn’t want to be the only one who wasn’t open to the movement of the Holy Ghost when everyone else was doing it. I was confused and thought you had to do that in order to enter into a deeper relationship with Christ.

I’m sure the people there who surrounded me meant well, but when I went to bed that night I felt like a horrible hypocrite and a fraud.

I learned a valuable lesson from that experience. From that point on, I decided to always be honest and never do anything out of peer pressure, even if it disappointed another Christian. It’s better to be an authentic “me” than be a fake version of what someone else wants me to be. I’ve lived by that motto ever since.

Note: I am not bashing Christians who speak in tongues, by the way. I respect it, I’ve just never done it.

^^ Ever read Jeff Cavins’ life story? :slight_smile:

Yes. For several years after I realized that I no longer believed in Jesus’s divinity or that the bible was a true representation of our creator, I continued to allow people to believe I was a christian.

I’m not sure why. For a while I may have been embarassed, or maybe I just didn’t want to have to explain myself and create a debate. I even remember checking the “christian” box on a census form when it wasn’t true anymore. :shrug:

I’m not ashamed anymore though.

No. Never did lie about it. Hypothetically, if I need to lie at some point, it means I have to start finding a new religion. But that is not going to be, the thought never comes to mind. In any case, why lie? What does it hope to achieve? Salvation of the souls is not like politic, where sometimes one has to win by all means, it is not forced and by lying our way through.

I’ve never lied about my Faith… I know in some countries however where my Faith is illegal or punishable as in Iran I might be hard pressed to say I was Baha’i… but we are forbidden to lie about our religion.

Taqiyya… was a practise developed in Shiah Islam because so many of the early followers were persecuted and executed during the Umayyid Caliphate. Baha’u’llah has abrogated that practise for His followers.

Not sure who that was meant for, Peter J.

In case it was me, no I didn’t know who Jeff Cavins was, but I just looked him up and am listening to a Journey Home with him now. Very interesting.Thanks for mentioning him.


It must have been from years ago because they mentioned Pope John Paul II was still pope.

Sorry, yes. (I use the “^^” to mean “what’s immediately above”.)

I can’t cut-and-paste it, but the relevant part is here if you scroll down several pages to “I finally find Jesus”. (Probably a bit anti-climatic at this point. :blush: :))

I’ve never lied about my faith. Actually, as soon as they see my cross, medal, and bronze Mary and Jesus Child hanging on my neck, they will know it.

My situation is similar to this. There were times when I wasn’t sure what I believed, or I was in a process of change/conversion and I didn’t exactly know what to say.

If you are technically in a particular church/denomination but going through internal turmoil sometimes it’s easier (given a particular conversation) to just say X or Y rather than “it’s complicated” and get into the whole stew of it.

I was never ashamed of my faith, or lied to try to cover it up, but there have definitely been times I wasn’t sure what to say, how to explain it, etc. Those were when I was younger and things were still in flux inside me.

When I was a child, I was in a Catholic family, in a Catholic school, in a Catholic community, but believed all these other things inside. There was no words or context for them.

But even then there were times I felt “wrong” about saying I was Catholic…but there was a sense of “what else could I possibly be?” Catholicism was all I knew. But I felt disingenuous.

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