We all know that lying is a sin in the Catholic's perspective.

But sometimes we lie to protect someone.
For example, a mother lies about sex to protect their children.

Is every lie sinful in Gods eyes?
What does the Bible say about this?


The Bible provides no exemption for lying. It is always wrong to lie. However, one option is to not give any reply at all.

I think Corrie Ten Boom writes about this in perhaps The Hiding Place. She herself, I believe, had decided to not disclose the whereabouts of her brothers when the Nazi's were coming to draft them into the war. However, Corrie's sister, I believe, had the conviction to tell the truth. There was actually a hiding place under the table beneath the floor. The officers asked where their brothers were at one point. Corrie and others, I think, said nothing, but Corrie's sister did reply and say, "They're under the table". When the officers looked, someone started to laugh. The officers thought they were being made fun of, got mad, and left--without the brothers.

So, is lying wrong? Yes. Do you have to answer? No.

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  • However, think about it this way. If I don't give my children the answers, they will look for it elsewhere, and they will most certainly find them. – user4136 May 2 '13 at 20:26
  • Peculiarly, Corrie's sister did not have a problem falsifying documents! (This was also in The Hiding Place.) Somehow (if I recall correctly) a distinction was made between oral and written falsehood? One can also imagine situations in which not speaking has the same effect as speaking the truth. The silence concerning Rahab's lying (Joshua 2:4-6) is not conclusive, but it is also something which is not explicitly condemned. – Paul A. Clayton May 2 '13 at 22:25
  • Not answering would clearly violate "let your yes be yes and your no be no." Your answer seems to imply it's okay to deceive by inaction as long as you don't actively tell a mistruth. I think there's a wrong premise here: any choice that may seem the most beneficial to most people cannot be a sin. I OTOH believe our choices are more likely to be between choices that involve committing two sins vs. four or five sins. – pterandon May 3 '13 at 15:49