I present this as evidence that the autistic interpretation of 100% perfect honesty, which admits of no edge cases or gray areas, is not biblical. Hopefully it will put you at ease about my admonition to gaslight your enemies.
This ought to be the canonical example of moral dishonesty, rather than the Anne Frank example.
Now the famine was severe in Samaria, 3 and Ahab had summoned Obadiah, his palace administrator. (Obadiah was a devout believer in the Lord. 4 While Jezebel was killing off the Lord’s prophets, Obadiah had taken a hundred prophets and hidden them in two caves, fifty in each, and had supplied them with food and water.)…
As Obadiah was walking along, Elijah met him. Obadiah recognized him, bowed down to the ground, and said, “Is it really you, my lord Elijah?”
8 “Yes,” he replied. “Go tell your master, ‘Elijah is here.’”
9 “What have I done wrong,” asked Obadiah, “that you are handing your servant over to Ahab to be put to death?…I hid a hundred of the Lord’s prophets in two caves, fifty in each, and supplied them with food and water. 14 And now you tell me to go to my master and say, ‘Elijah is here.’ He will kill me!”
15 Elijah said, “As the Lord Almighty lives, whom I serve, I will surely present myself to Ahab today.”
16 So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him, and Ahab went to meet Elijah. 17 When he saw Elijah, he said to him, “Is that you, you troubler of Israel?”…
22 Then Elijah said to them, “I am the only one of the Lord’s prophets left, but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets.”
There is no way to interpret this except as a direct lie to protect the one hundred prophets of the Lord which Obadiah had hidden. The account is very clear that these are prophets of the Lord and not prophets of Baal, and nothing has happened to them in the intervening time.
I focus on this not because I’m a compulsive liar myself, rationalizing my desires, but because Christians won’t have an ice cube’s chance in Hell to win a war, whether culture war or conventional war, if we don’t relearn the fundamental principle that you act differently toward friends and foes. This isn’t hard stuff in retrospect but I understand most of us never had to make hard choices growing up. God does not expect us to keep our noses clean in war, he only expects perfect loyalty to him and love shown toward each other, in that order. Those two commands sum up the entire Old Testament, as the man said.
All of war is based on deception. You can cast yourself as a holy warrior of justice and light and truth to feed your ego, or you can fight to win. And let’s be honest, if you think you’re a holy warrior of light you’re still lying, just to yourself. If you aren’t willing to lie to your enemies you aren’t ready to kill them yet.
“Sheep without shepherds” was too kind, if you ask me. Not that he does, which is for the best.