It seems to have been inevitable that a man who has been lying for years would now make the outrageous charge that ‘God lies’. I am speaking of Steve Schlissel and his new thesis that ‘God lies’. Below is his defense of his wicked proposition:
Greetings in our Messiah. I count it a genuine privilege to
have been granted the honor of meeting/being-with y'all
last week. It was a true challenge to my generally bleak
view of America's near future. You guys are so fantastic,
sincere, enthusiastic (look up the etymology) and
geared-up, that I must praise God for the work He has
already done in preparing you for places of leadership. To
think of you all multiplying-- well, those on the other
side of the Antithesis had better watch out!
Several of you have asked me to respond to the
email/"charges" from Brother E. Calvin Beisner . Let me say
just a few things that I pray will be helpful.
First, Cal Beisner is a Christian man with a great
Christian wife and wonderful Christian children. His
contributions to the cause of Christ have been significant.
He has dedicated his life to Jesus. He is NOT my enemy. It
is urgent that Christians in THIS generation recognize who
their enemies actually are-- and are not.
Second, try not to judge Cal's behavior too harshly.
Remember that, wrong as he might be, he THINKS that by
walking off the stage and by sending his letters, he thinks
that by these things he is serving and defending Christ's
honor. Surely we must include motive when we assess a
person's actions. Whether an act be right or wrong,
overall, we cannot dismiss motive from our consideration
Last, let me try to clear up some of the confusion
generated by what might be little more than incautious
verbiage. When it is said that "God lies," this is a
statement completely defensible/ defeatable on its merits
-- after Scripture and a dictionary have been consulted.
But since it is a true statement, we should not be
surprised that Scripture confirms it! You have heard my
cited examples, the most important being Micaiah's
recitation of God presiding in His heavenly court. God said
He wanted a plan that would entice Ahab into attacking
Ramoth Gilead so that he (Ahab) could go to his death in
battle there. Various proposals were submitted, but none
accepted. Then a spirit said, "I can do it!" God inquired,
"By what means?" The spirit answered, "I will go and be a
lying spirit in the mouths of all Ahab's prophets."
"Great," God said. "Good plan! You will succeed. GO AND DO
Consider the facts. God solicited the plan, God had His
choice of plans, God approved THIS specific plan, and
authorized it, and commissioned the lying spirit. According
to the Word of God, presiding judges are responsible for
their decisions and commanding generals are directly
responsible for their instructions. Note that King David
had merely given the order that Joab do a deed that would
result in the death of Uriah. He did not himself "pull the
trigger." But when God sent Nathan to confront David, the
Bible says Nathan said, "YOU struck down Uriah the Hittite
with the sword." Well, did he? As a matter of fact, it was
probably not a sword that killed Uriah, but an arrow (2
Samuel 11:24). And it certainly was not David who delivered
the blow, but the men of the city Joab was attacking.
I explained all this at the conference. It is on tape. It
is abundantly clear. God freely chose to lie to Ahab by an
appointed surrogate. He did not wince, did not squeal, did
not seek to shift responsibility. In fact, He boasted about
it to Ahab and Ahab's colleagues by the mouth of Micaiah.
There can be no misunderstanding whatsoever. "The LORD has
put a lying spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of
yours. The LORD has decreed disaster for you" (1 Kings 22:23).
Blasphemy? I think not! It is simply the TRUTH. Why then
did it grate so harshly in the ear of someone who professes
wholehearted allegiance to the Word? In an effort to
explain that, I offered what seemed-- and still seems-- to
me to be the reasonable account. It is this: It is
offensive to people who wish God were logic that He is not.
God is not logic. But those who regard Him to BE logic have
inserted a grid between Him and themselves by which they
interpret His words so as to exclude all that does not
comport with their system. How long before all of us freely
admit that God is greater than any effort at systematization?
As a Jew I have experience hearing from my people what God
can and cannot do, what He must and may not be. I am told
that God may NOT be Three and One at the same time. I am
told that He IS a unity, and is a unity in such a way as to
PRECLUDE Himself from being a diversity. I am told that He
IS Spirit and therefore cannot become incarnate. Only those
who have, a priori, precommitted to logic as God could
have a problem with any of these things, or insist that any
of these mysteries of our faith be reduceable to logical
propositions. Why must God be reduceable to human
understanding? Because man says so? What is man? A speck of
dust, here today and gone tomorrow. But GOD REIGNS.
You must be wary of those who answer this question, "Who
has known the mind of the Lord?" with a "Me!" answer.
Logic, like the "laws" of nature, are tools of God's
self-disclosure. Logic is no more to be equated with God
than Spinoza's universe is God.
We don't need to be philosophers to know that the claims
made for logic are bogus. Does a baby being cuddled by its
mommy know that it is loved by logic or by some other
means? Do people storm off in anger because logic made them
do it, or are we moved by other forces? When they return,
are they being more logical or less? Must God BE those
other forces that move us, too, if we are to know Him? No.
God need not BE anger for Him to use anger. He need not BE
logic for Him to use logic.
The reason for the violence associated with the objection
to the fact that God lies is rooted in a desperate
epistemology. Understand this, my children. The Greek
ideal, employed here, posits the great Individual as the
Hero. Reason is the great means of Knowing the Knower.
Interrupt the chain of " if-then's" at any point and the
little "knower" has his knowledge threatened. But Biblical
knowing involves a great GAP between the only REAL Knower
and all lesser knowers. Because we are made in His image,
we can understand Him. Because we are MADE-- i.e., because
we are NOT Him-- we cannot know Him as He is in Himself,
nor can we know Him exhaustively. "No one knows the
thoughts of God except the Spirit of God" (1 Corinthians
This poses NO THREAT for His people, so long as they remain
part of His people! God ALONE has infinite, eternal and
unchangeable knowledge. Give us all etermity and we will
still never know things AS God knows them, because the
difference in His knowledge and ours is not merely
quantitative (He knows more), but qualitative (He knows
If we are to believe the Bible, God works less with heroes
than with a people. We do not need to establish an
infallible logic chain in order to know God. We need only
to believe what all His people in every place and at all
times believed. We know we are saved, NOT because we can
establish an infallible ladder linking me to God in
heaven-- that is, NOT by "mental good works", not by
"if-then's," not even by searching-- but we know we are
saved because God says so in His Word entrusted to His people.
As soon as Adam fell, the world was divided by God into two
camps: His people (on one side), and the World (on the
other). God has revealed that HE (not Schlissel) makes a
distinction between His people and the World, between
Israel and Egypt. Listen: "Total darkness covered all Egypt
for three days. No one could see anyone else or leave his
place for three days. YET ALL THE ISRAELITES HAD LIGHT IN
THE PLACES WHERE THEY LIVED" (Exodus 10:22-23). Was it
RIGHT for God to send DARKNESS upon those who were not His
friends? Uh, yes, it was. Even though He "causes His sun to
rise on the evil and the good," He may choose on occasion
to withhold the light from certain people for reasons known
He may also choose to LIE. a "LIE," according to the
Oxford, is "an intentionally false statement," or a
"situation involving deception..." Sure, someone who thinks
an error in addition is not merely a result of sin, but is
in itself a sin (!), might also "reason" that a lie is
necessarily sinful. But that is not what anyone claimed. No
one said, "God sins." Someone said, "God lies." Yes, He
does. He said He does. He said He did. And He said in the
New Testament that He would do it again! "For this reason
[i.e., because they refused to love the truth] God sends
them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the
lie..." May God do this? Of course He may! He does it! Does
it mean He sins? God forbid! When God struck Uzzah down,
did God commit murder? NO! Did He kill someone for
irreverance ? YES. If God may KILL someone for irreverance,
may He not punish them in a lesser way, that is, by
deceiving them in judgment? Why not? He is GOD.
For those saved by grace, none of this is a problem.
However, if my hope is built on nothing less than Plato's
good and Aristotle's best, then I have a problem.
If you are still troubled by anything pertaining to this,
I'll have to explain in a separate letter why God hates
abstractions a whole lot more than He hates righteous lies
to Nazis. In fact, God approves of lies to Nazis. He would
do it Himself. Amen.
Love in Him,
I insist that God uses lies which He insists are traceable
to Himself in the same way that He KILLS people while being
the Author of Life, misleads those under His wrath while
being the Way. This is Calvinism 101, neither advanced nor
difficult to conceive. God has NO MORAL TAINT, no sin, no
defect, no flaw. But God does have ENEMIES. And God JUDGES
those enemies. One piece of weaponry in God's Arsenal of
Judgment is falsehood-- and HE uses it. More than that, He
makes it unmistakably clear in His Word (which IS Truth)
that He lies, just as much as He told the Corinthians
(through Paul) that some were killed by Him for provoking
Him. Why this seems difficult to grasp is truly beyond my
ability to gather. If I am to repent, what form should it
take? Shall I now DISbelieve God's Word about His deceiving
His enemies? Why should I? He is perfectly within His
rights to tell Ahab a lie leading to a splendidly
administered judgment. Amen, hallelujah, amen.
And questions, fine. I only insist that they be for
clarification of what I've already written AND that what
needs to be answered, be answered. No rabbit trails.