This is very sad information about some dishonest Christians, but it is true, which is why it is sad.
RationalWiki, an atheist cum agnostic website says:
Lying for Jesus is a form of pious fraud which happens when some Christians believe that falsifying information is acceptable if that brings people to Jesus or somehow supports his historicity, saintliness or supposed godliness. The practice has a long and venerable history in the Christian religions.
Early Christian author Lactantius (circa 240 – circa 320) -- along with his anti-Christian contemporary, Porphyry of Tyre (circa 234–circa 305) -- wildly exaggerated the stories of orgies and other forms of debauchery that 1st century Romans allegedly practiced. Oddly enough, many of these stories were based upon anti-religious critiques written by Romans in the 1st century. Christian historians have used these stories ever since to emphasize what early Christians allegedly struggled against in their society. – Gillian Clark, “Christians and Roman Society”
Eusebius of Caesarea (c. AD 260 or 265 – 339 or 340), Emperor Constantine's bishop, was one of the earliest active advocates of the process:
“How it may be lawful and fitting to use falsehood as a medicine, and for the benefit of those who want to be deceived.”
“What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church ... a lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie? Such lies would not be against God, he would accept them.” Martin Luther.
Still as common now as it has been down the Christian centuries are the cynical lies told by various 'Christian' ministries that distort the position of other Christians whom they consider heretical and even dangerous.
A recent example of a Christian minister's lie:
Veteran's admission to napalm victim a lie Minister says he never meant to deceive with 'story of forgiveness' December 14, 1997|By Tom Bowman, SUN NATIONAL STAFF – WASHINGTON
She is a grim icon of the Vietnam War: A 9-year-old girl running down a village road, napalm scorching all but her scream, her agony portrayed on the front pages of the world's newspapers.
At a Veteran's Day ceremony last year  in front of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Kim Phuc said in halting English that if she ever meets the pilot who dropped the bomb she would urge him to join her in working for world peace.
"I am that man," Reverend John Plummer hastily wrote on a scrap of paper that was passed up to her. Minutes later the former Army captain was embracing Phuc, sobbing that he was sorry.
Responded Phuc, "I forgive you."
Meanwhile, Down Here On Earth in Real Life:
Reverend John Plummer made a ton of money and was able to bring many, many people 'to Christ' by publicly claiming to have been involved in the attack shown in the famous picture, although his story tended to change depending on who he was talking to about it:
- Sometimes he was the pilot who dropped the napalm,
- Sometimes he was the officer at headquarters who ordered the attack, and ,
- Sometimes he was the communications officer who coordinated the attack, and so on.
The full truth is that he had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the incident that took place after most American forces had left Vietnam.
The attack was ordered and prosecuted entirely by the South Vietnamese military.
A Further Example:
Cassie Bernall was one of the thirteen people killed in the Columbine High School massacre, and her death in particular was latched onto by conservative Christians who spun a story claiming that the killers asked her if she believed in God, and then murdered her after she replied in the affirmative.
The truth was that the Columbine killers did ask another student, Valeen Schnurr, if she believed in God... but unfortunately for those looking for a Christian martyr, Schnurr survived the massacre.
The book about Cassie Bernall "She Said Yes" is still being sold as non-fiction and generating money more than a decade after the claim was discovered to be false.
Initially, the claim could have been perceived as an honest mistake, but repeating it after the truth behind the incident became known to the public is dishonest.
The lie is so deeply entrenched in some peoples' minds that believers will sometimes go as far as threatening violence towards those who try to tell them what really happened.
Another Ugly Head is raised by Christian Liars:
Many, many claims were rushed into print by "ex-Satanists" at the height of the Satanic Panic of the '80s and early '90s. Mike Warnke, Michelle Smith, Lauren Stratford, John Todd, Rebecca Brown, abnd many others were among those claiming to have left Satanism and become Christians, selling millions of books with their lurid stories about the "Satanic underground" and the Illuminati. All their claims turned out to be direct lies, because the details of their lives were known to friends, family, co-workers, and schools and in every case what was known by these witnesses was directly at odds with what they were preaching.
Bill Wiese'sbook '23 Minutes in Hell' is scare-tactic sensationalism at it's best, and attempts to use Bill's experience (read: bold faced lie) of visiting Hell to scare people into converting (and to make Bill filthy rich).
Quote mining. AKA Contextomy or Decontextualisation:
This sneering evil practice is the deceptive and demonic, according to the Holy Bible, tactic of ripping quotes out of context in order to make them seemingly agree with the attacker’s viewpoint or to make the statements of their ‘enemies’ seem wildly extreme or portray them as holding positions, doctrines, and practices that they do not in order to make their positions easier to refute and demonise. It is simply and plainly another way of lying and making the lies acceptable to those sympathetic to the liar or liars.
This is a common and widely used tactic of Anti-Mormons and their ministries to discredit Mormons and Mormonism. It is also used against other faiths, sects, and denominations with which myopic Satanical miners disagree. If you are not in lock-step with their exclusivist views then you could be their next victim!
Quote mining is nothing more than lying of the first order to make an informal fallacy that produced by the contemptuous removal of any context necessary to properly comprehend the original intention and purpose of the mined quote.
It is one thing to disagree with an adversary on grounds of Biblical interpretation, theology, Christology or history, but it is quite another to invoke bias by selectively trimming descriptions and quotes to make them appear to mean something quite different from what the original writer or speaker’s intentions in order to use the lies thus produced against an opponent, generally for profit, but often for more destructive reasons.
"Thou shalt not bear false witness against the neighbour!" If you do not know who your neighbour is, then go and read the parable of the Good Samaritan very carefully. If you do not know where it is, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will lead you to it in your own Bible.
Back to Mormonism
Many of the world’s greatest liars have been opponents of Mormonism, and their productions, whether literary, film sound tapes, or video, can be found stacked floor to ceiling in their warehouses and on the shelves of Christian bookshops around the world.
The truth is that Anti-Mormon publishing is a multi-billion dollar enterprise from which many of its most ardent practitioners have become fabulously wealthy. If their productions were truthful, then no one, including me, would have cause to complain.
Yet, it is my contention that their use of falsehoods is endemic and necessary, for without their shock value their sales would plummet and they would have to find honest work in keeping with their professed Christian principles.
Their outputs contain combinations of distortions that do not portray the normative experience of the more than fifteen million Latter-day Saints, but deliberately diverge from the essential nature of Latter-day Saint beliefs in order to represent it as a system alien and hostile to Christianity.
These images are deliberately fashioned to play on the anxieties of the uncertain and ignorant in to generate fears that deter the merely curious and the serious enquirer into the claims of Mormonism.
For specific examples, see Images of Hate-Ministers of Fear [live link] on this website.
Most critics of the Book of Mormon appear not to have read the book carefully if they have read it at all. Christie-Murray, for example, makes significant errors of fact.
The Book of Mormon revealed that America was originally inhabited by Jaredites, divided between Lamanites, from which the Red Indians (ten tribes of Israel) are descended, and Nephites to whom Christ revealed himself after his resurrection.
Christie-Murray is a scholar from whom we are entitled to expect a substantial contribution . However, he condemns Joseph Smith as "burdened by a pathological constitution" without a soupçon of evidence. If I were his tutor he would get an F-minus for this book.
Christie-Murray trots out another plagiarised and unacknowleged statement, redolent of Rumble's, that Joseph Smith was "subject to epileptic fits".
In connection with polygamy he asserts "three wives [were] the necessary qualification for the higher ecclesiastical offices". You cannot imagine how disappointed we are now that polygamy is no longer practiced and has not been since 1890, a little before my time.
Not content with this nonsense he raises the spectre of Mormon blood atonement without support, claiming that President Brigham Young exercised despotic power through this means. Had he pursued the subject with his the diligence commensurate with his academic capabilities he would have been influenced by the lack of support for a libel which equals in content and spirit the anti-Judaic blood-libel promoted by ministers of hate in former years.
These points illustrate the lack of primary research by those eager to condemn Mormonism as heretical, but Christie-Murray goes even further, when he asserts that Mormonism is
An actively evangelistic creed, Mormonism spread to Europe, missionaries being particularly active after the Second World War, where they tried to fill the void in Germany left by the disappearance of the Nazi creed.
Achtung, mein Fuhrer. You have ein prodigious talent for myth-making.
Now, where have I heard that before? Ah, yes. It was another myth-maker, the widely discredited Fawn Brodie, a much criticised historiographer, cited in "Man of Holiness: The Mormon Search for a Personal God," by John L Bracht.
The major problem with these examples, and others that will follow, is that it is practiced as part of these Christian's religion. Who shall not bear false witness? Is anhyone excused this mitvah?
To be continued ....