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And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just. [Romans 3:8 KJV]

Some slandered the early Christians and some affirmed it was so, that Christians in general, and Gospel Ministers in particular, taught that it was right to do an evil thing that good may come out of it.

Paul makes it very clear that this is not the case and he says that people who do, actually, teach such things are 'damned' (or 'condemned') and their condemnation is just.

Thus he is saying that to suggest people should do evil (in order that some 'good' may come out of it) is an act which deserves (justifiably) to be condemned. That is to say, the act of making the suggestion is blameworthy.

What is the response of Trinitarian Protestantism to the suggestion that people should make a false claim publicly in order that good may come out of it ?


EDIT The suggested relevant (or 'dupliate') question asks 'When is it acceptable ... etc'. That question is looking for occasions when the OP would want to be able to tell a lie. That is not the point of my own question. I am asking for the response of Trinitarian Protestantism to false claims made publicly which claim to have an outcome of 'good'. –

I do not see that question (or its answers) as relevant to this question.

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  • @MikeBorden Paul does not distinguish what you are asking. He says 'do evil' that 'good may come'. I do not see that 'greater good' is a legitimate interpretation. I do not understand what you mean by 'personal' good. Goodness is an attribute. It does not change by being multiplied or diminished and it does not change by who possesses it, or whom it affects. Behaviour - conduct - is either good or evil, intrinsically.
    – Nigel J
    Sep 3, 2021 at 0:34
  • Why Trinitarian Protestants specifically? What about the T.P.'s position interests you as opposed to any others' position? Why not Christians generally, since the Bible is a Christian book? Or why not include sectarians who may use the Bible but subordinate it to other books? In other words, can you expand your post a little more so we can see where you're going with it?
    – rje
    Sep 3, 2021 at 0:39
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    @rje On this site questions are usually scoped to a particular denomination or group since there are so many different views and opinions. The Tour and the Help (below, bottom left) make this clear. I am specifcially interested in a particular part of the Christian spectrum.
    – Nigel J
    Sep 3, 2021 at 0:41
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    Does this answer your question? When is it morally acceptable to lie? Sep 3, 2021 at 1:24
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    @DJClayworth That question asks 'When is it acceptable ... etc'. The question is looking for occasions when the OP would want to be able to tell a lie. That is not the point of my own question. I am asking for the response of Trinitarian Protestantism to false claims made publicly which claim to have an outcome of 'good'.
    – Nigel J
    Sep 3, 2021 at 1:58

1 Answer 1

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When false claims are made publicly by self-proclaimed Christians, who claim the false claim has a good outcome and hence is justifiable, it's often seen that the outcome is only viewed as being 'good' for themselves.

I take it as understood that this question is limited to those who know their claim is false, and is not about those who sincerely think their claim is true. It is extremely difficult to identify those who know their public claim is false, because they always have the wits to couch their language in such a way as to appear to sincerely believe they are being truthful.

An example of the difference I speak of could be between sincere believers saying to avoid certain things that they think would give them "the mark of the beast" - 666, and Christian leaders of organisations under examination of sexual abuse of children in their congregations, who deny certain things that huge numbers of others know to be true. But I cannot give examples of the latter because, if I do, those ones will make sure this question is closed down. Not so with those who sincerely believe certain '666' beliefs.

But this demonstrates an important point. Any public claim that the Christian claimant knows to be false, is done to protect the interests of the claimant, or of the religious organisation he belongs to. As a Trinitarian Protestant, I know this has happened in some Protestant groups that uphold the Trinity doctrine. It has also happened in some non-Protestant groups that uphold the Trinity doctrine. It has also happened in some non-Christian groups that don't uphold the Trinity doctrine. It also happens in some football clubs, and sports clubs, and political clubs, and entertainment circles, and so on. Knowingly making false claims publicly goes on all over the world in every realm of human activity. And it's always done because the person has a vested interest in promoting falsehood in the public arena. Whether personally, or for the group he or she represents, deception is utilised. And no Protestant Christian should ever think, or suggest that that is right. It is utterly wrong. Always. When the deception is publicly uncovered, it brings nothing but slander on the good name of Jesus Christ, and exposes the individual or the group represented as being utterly disgraceful.

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  • "The minister is always pleased to be contacted." Probably a lie, but if so is it utterly disgraceful?
    – davidlol
    Sep 5, 2021 at 18:20
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    @davidlol If it is a lie then God will judge him. But instead of weighing up the probability of others lying, why not stick to your own intentions and sincerity, and leave God to pronounce disgrace on actual liars? The Bible lists things we do that are abominations to God, including 'sharp' business practices, proud and deceitful hearts, lying lips, all the thoughts of the wicked, and all their ways. Also, those who justify themselves before men are known to God, "for that which is highly esteemed among God is abomination in God's sight." Luke 16:15. Judge not that ye be not judged [likewise]
    – Anne
    Sep 6, 2021 at 7:58
  • I was not thinking of any particular minister, just giving an example of a possibly untrue statement that would nevertheless be seen by almost all Trinitarian Protestants (and others) as not wrong at all.. I would estimate a very high proportion of Trinitarian Protestants would not regard such a statement as morally wrong in the slightest. Certainly not utterly disgraceful.
    – davidlol
    Sep 8, 2021 at 18:01

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