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Lies People Tell in Church Including the Pastor

Updated on February 23, 2020
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Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.


Some people are so accustomed to lying that they do it without giving it a second thought even in the church. Yes, people lie in church, including the pastor. There are some typical lies that Pastor Carey Nieuwhof listed in an article about lies people tell in church.

Nieuwhof is a former lawyer who is accustomed to spotting lies. He is also the founding pastor of Connexus Church in Canada. He became a pastor in 1995, and he is also accustomed to hearing lies in his church. In fact, the pastor admits that he has told some of the lies that he writes about. The pastor confessed that everything he says is not always 100 percent true.

He shared some of the most common lies that other pastors, ministers, church leaders, and laypeople tell when they are in a church setting. The pastor concluded that many churchgoers don't deliberately intend to lie, but that doesn't mean they don't lie in church.

I have used Nieuwhof's list as a springboard to comment on my own list. See how many of them you have heard in your church or other religious settings.


The "Doing Great" Lie

It is a popular greeting to ask people, "How are you?" or "How are you doing?" The usual answer is "I am doing great!" or "Fantastic!" or a similar response.

People say they are doing great even when they are not doing great. Some people don't tell the truth about how they are doing because they do not want to burden others with their problems. Even though they don't want to report the details of their medical condition or talk about some other personal struggle, the real description of their status is not always "great."

The "Good to See You" Lie

There is a designated time during some church services when the congregation is told to get up from their seats and go around the room to greet others. People do so even though sometimes they would rather sit in the pew and meditate.

They don't want to be a liar and tell people, "It is good to see you" when it is not good to see some people who might have a negative impact on their spirit. A parishioner might not be glad to see the people who were talking about her in the bathroom when they didn't know she was in the stall and heard every word.

People might not want to tell someone "Good to see you" after the person voted against their proposal during the last leadership meeting just because it wasn't his own idea. It is a bald-faced lie to tell people you are glad to see them when you aren't glad to see them.

The "Awesome" and "Awful" Lies

People need to stop lying in and out of the church about their pastor's preaching. No pastor hits the nail on the head every single Sunday. To describe a bad sermon as "awesome" is a lie. It the sermon was lacking in some biblical teaching, there is no need to say things such as, "My pastor raised the roof." Some pastors don't preach powerful sermons after many years because they believe the lie the congregation has told them that their sermons are always "awesome." Perhaps, if people would stop lying about a bad sermon, the pastor would go back to the drawing board and seek to do better. After all, honesty is the best policy.

Just as some people lie and say the sermon was "awesome," some people lie and say the sermon was "awful." It doesn't mean that the sermon was awful if the pastor stepped on your toes when he said something you didn't like.


The "Yes" and "No Lies"

When people ask you for a favor, you don't have to say, "Yes," just because you are in church. If you can't accommodate the person, say so instead of lying. Often "No" would be a better answer than "Yes" even if it is the pastor who is requesting you to do something you know you cannot do. Sometimes people in church say, "Yes" to stay in good graces with their pastor and others.

Often people give a "Yes" answer when they accept assignments they would rather not do. It is better to be honest and obey the command that says, "All you need to say is simply 'Yes' or 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one" (Matthew 5:37).

The "I'll Pray for You" Lie

Most people have good intentions to pray for others when they are asked to do so. However, they might get busy and forget to honor the request. They remember the request only when they see the person at church a week later.

To avoid having your response turning into a lie, it is always best to stop and pray when the request is made. It proves to the person that you didn't lie.

Lies the Pastor Instigates

Some pastors instigate lies in the church when there is no reason to do so. He or she inflates the amount of tithes just to make non-tithers feel guilty enough to increase their own giving to the church.

Pastors also inflate the number of how many people are joining the church to make the congregation think they are part of something bigger than it really is. People can look around and see empty pews and know the numbers are far from being correct.

The pastor instigates a lie when he or she tells the congregation to "Turn to your neighbor and tell the people that you love them and they can't do anything about it." The Bible does tell us to love everyone, but a person's free will is violated when they are constantly told to lie about something during a worship service.

Have you heard any of the above lies in a church?

See results

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