“Thou Shalt Not Lie” is a Lie!

Adults who struggle to believe scripture “dumb down” the text only to be out-smarted by children.

Last Sunday, my wife was teaching Sunday School. The local church we attend provided the curriculum. Assuming children are incapable of handling “technical” words of scripture, they altered the ninth commandment.

The argument children are somehow unable to comprehend bible words has always amazed me. The argument is given by persons incapable of matching a toddler’s skill with I-Pads and small children’s understanding of Digital TV remote controls.

children ipads

As a child growing up in church, I capitalized on this mindset, playing dumb to many things I was more than aware. Adults seemed scared of telling children the truth.

The curriculum on Sunday taught the ninth commandment as: “Do not lie”. The children began to explain how that cannot be.

“If a girl comes to me and asks if she is beautiful, I’m not going to lie and say she is ugly even if I think she is because that would hurt her.”

You got to love child logic!

10 Commandments

The truth of the matter: the commandment is, “Thou shalt not bear false witness” (Exodus 20:19). The key word is “witness”.

The 10 Commandments are legal precepts given to the founding of a nation. They are to undergird the legal system of a newly created country. The context is a court of law. Today, we call that perjury: not telling the truth when you are under oath. You swore to tell the truth yet you are providing a false witness.

I truly believe a child can understand that explanation when couched with illustrations from Hollywood.

  • Look at the complexity of children’s TV shows!
  • Consider the moral lessons ingrained within Disney movies.

Children are able to articulate the technical words learned from Harry Potter books and movies. They are able to explain them with passion and enthusiasm. No one seems to argue learning new terms are harmful for children.

If Hollywood can believe in children’s ability to absorb technical words, why cannot the Church?

Author: A Sojourner's Diary

Dr Timothy Rose is a long-term student of ancient writings seeking practical wisdom for the life journey under the sun.

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