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In the Gates

False Reports

False Reports--False reports can take various forms.

The ninth commandment

Exodus 23.1

You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness.”

False reports can take various forms. Gossip – unsubstantiated reports about others, or reports scattered in order to impugn or defame – is perhaps the most familiar form. Slander, libel, and equivocation also qualify. It is wicked to distort the truth for one’s advantage or titillation, and it is wicked to join with those who do.

False reports might also include plagiarism or, in publishing, claiming something published under one’s name to be his own work. Perjury and false witness in a court of law are also forms of a false report. Any false witness deprives a community of truth, and God desires for us to know and live in truth. All false witness, therefore, countermands the divine order and flouts His Law. To God, it is abomination.

This series of In the Gates we present a detailed explanation of the Law of God, beginning with the Ten Commandments, and working through the statutes and rules that accompany each commandment. For a practical guide to the role of God’s Law in the practice of ethics, get The Ground for Christian Ethics by going to and click on our Book Store.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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