On the Eighth Commandment.

Our parish website is up and running.  You can find it at wwwfirststpaul.net  We live in a marvelous time when it comes to communication.  We have news 24 hours a day through TV, radio, and the internet.  One can find out information on any subject with a simple web search.  We are better informed than any previous age and that is a good thing.

However, the same speed and widespread nature of information that is a blessing to us can also be a source of terrible misinformation.  Not everything you see is alway 100% accurate, is incomplete or just flat out wrong.  Last week there was a news story about a woman who sued her 12 year old nephew for injuries she received at his birthday party when he hugged her.  The initial news story made her out to be the worst aunt ever and everyone was upset about how she could do such a thing.  A day later it came out that her injury required surgeries and her insurance company insisted that the homeowners insurance of her nephew’s parents pay for it.  Apparently under the laws of the state in which they lived, the insurance company couldn’t be listed as the defendant, so the 12 year old nephew had to be named.  Nobody wanted to do it, but to get her medical bills paid that is what had to be done.

The lesson we learn is what we learn from our Catechism in Luther’s explanation of the Eighth Commandment, ‘You Shall Not Bear False Witness Against Your Neighbor.’  Luther reminds us: ‘We are to fear and love God so that we do not betray, slander, or lie about our neighbor, but defend him, speak well of him, and explain his actions in the kindest way.’  

As Christians we always seek the truth about others so that we may speak of them in the kindest way.  As St. Paul reminds us, we are to speak the truth in love, regarding those about whom we speak as someone worthy of the death and resurrection of our Lord.