Preachers who lie.

Not lie down, but tell untruths.
Reading the “Bible cards” thread a few days ago got me to thinking about this. Most preachers I’ve ever listened to tell personal anecdotes to “spice up” their sermons.
Now, I’m not saying for a fact that the story about the soldier who told the story about the playing cards is lying, but the thing is pretty suspect. So are many of the personal stories I’ve heard from preachers.
My question is, are these lies sinful? Or they merely parables?
Personally, I feel that when someone presents a story as a truth, and it’s not, he/she is lying.
For the sake of discussion, let’s assume that sometimes preachers do make up stories for their sermons.

If they are lying down when they present the Sermon, can they be considered presenting it as the truth since they are obviously lying?

Bible cards? :confused: And I used to know a few Pastors who threw in a joke or 2 in th eSermon, would you expect that to be “true”. Depends on how & why.

Well, I’d think there’s a difference between an illustrative story (parable) used to make a point, and a outright lie. I have no problem with a story, like “There was once a soldier who…” that makes a point. I would have a problem with misquoting the Bible, frinstance, or making up a statistic, or telling the story about someone in particular (like lying about a political figure).

Telling the parable isn’t meant to deceive.

“Card trick that tells the story of the Bible” in GQ. By radar ralf.
Sorry, I don’t know how to link to it.
For examples of other stories, watch “The 700 club” or “David Copeland” I think his name is. I watch too much late night tv. :slight_smile:

I think that preachers have an OBLIGATION to tell the truth. People believe what they say, a lot of times simply because they believe that a man of God wouldn’t lie. I’m shocked and appalled when I see some of the things they tell these people.

I saw a preacher on televsion a couple of months ago who was talking about AIDS. He said that AIDS was communicable through the air, and the virus could live for seven days on a dry plate. He urged people to stay away from AIDS victims. He reminded the audience that when AIDS victims had visited the White House that the guards and aids had worn white rubber gloves, and that the people in the White House would be in a better position to know how to protect themselves from catching HIV. He then said he was starting a school so that parents wouldn’t have to worry that their children were around children with AIDS. He claimed that the doctors are lying to us because they’re afraid of “the gays” and what they would do if “the truth” about HIV came out.

I have seen preachers recite “scripture” that isn’t found in the Bible.

I have seen preachers weep over poverty, and drive home in a BMW.

I once heard a sermon where the preacher claimed that “scientists” had been doing deep-earth drilling and had found hell, complete with screaming, burning sinners. He then went on to talk about the thousands of children sacrificed to Satan every year, sponsored by Proctor & Gamble. Use Tide at your soul’s peril.

My poor grandmother swallows this stuff hook, line, and sinker. She was told by a preacher that the Evil President Clinton (who is either the Anti-Christ, or is working for him) has secret army bases of Red Chineese who are training in earnest to take over America any day now. “But he’s a preacher!” she protested when I debunked. “Why would he lie? Preachers CAN’T lie!”

Danielinthewolvesden: is the thread mangeorge was talking about.
I’m kind of torn on the point; I mean, it’s easy enough for the preacher to say, “Once I heard this story about this man…” rather than “Once I…”, and that removes the white lie aspect (unless you’re a real stickler and expect the preacher to say, “Once I heard this completely untrue story about this man…” so that no one actually thinks someone woke up in a bathtub with their kidneys missing or such rot).

On the other hand, it isn’t much of a lie, and generally, when the story’s fanciful (as most of the stories/jokes I’ve heard preachers tell are), it’s pretty obvious that it’s just a story.

So I’m kind of torn, but I don’t think it a big enough issue for me to lose sleep over.

(On the other hand, preachers such as the ones Lissa refers to should be defrocked in the most humiliating way possible.)

My old (Catholic) pastor used to make stuff up in his sermons - usually incidents involving Jesus or various saints that were not found in the new testament (perhaps they were in the Apocrypha, but I doubt it - my pastor didn’t seem that intellectual).

It had a big impact on me. Even at a young age, it made me cynical about what the pastor was telling me, which led to cynicism about Catholic teachings in general, etc., until I reached my state of happy atheism.

I don’t think that preachers need stick to the “Gospel” truth when preachin’ - there are a lot of good lessons to be taught that aren’t directly covered in scripture. However, they should denominate what they are making up, and rely upon their own good standing to get the point across, not fraudulently insert a new tale into the bible. Heck, if I hadn’t had the feeling as an 8-year that my pastor thought I was a rube, mebbe I wouldn’t be sleeping in on Sundays.


Yeah right, like some preacher is going to take advice from an agnostic anyway.

I think, as Dexter say, if your intent isn’t to deceive, you haven’t really lied.

JoeBlo: How ya doin, Boris?
Boris, looking and feeling like kerosene cat in hell with gasoline drawers on: Fine! Couldn’t be better! And you, Joe?

Did I lie? Not really. Joe is just making conversation. I’m trying to create an impression - that Joe needn’t worry about me. My intent is not to deceive.

On the other hand, parables may strike an audience of fundamentalists or children the wrong way. (I know a fundamentalist is someone who takes the Bible literally, not necessarily sermons, but fundies show a marked tendency to take obvious parables literally, so I’m extrapolating.) A friend of mine once told me (true story, not a parable) that his folks told him that babies were made by “Daddy putting a seed in Mommy”. He figured they were talking about something you buy at the Garden Center. Did they lie? No, but they weren’t exactly teaching sex ed, either. A sophisticated congregation will know a parable for what it is, and nod with understanding.

So basically, if you believe the universe was created in more than seven days, it’ll be somewhat dangerous, if not actually dishonest, to repeat Genesis to certain crowds.