5.3.9.4 False witness today–prohibition against lying and fraud

All false witness is a lie. In a broader sense, the Eighth Commandment can be understood as a prohibition against any dishonest conduct (Leviticus 19: 11). Due to the imperfection inherent in human beings, no one will succeed in speaking nothing but the truth. However, the more diligently a person follows Christ, the more he will speak and act in a truthful manner.

Apostle Paul advises: "Therefore, putting away lying, 'Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbour'" (Ephesians 4: 25). To speak truth with one's neighbour does not, however, imply that everyone in every case may or should reproach his fellow man with unpleasant truths. Much evil could result if someone were to relentlessly denounce all the mistakes made in his surroundings. Even the Eighth Commandment is subordinate to the principle of loving one's neighbour. Great care should therefore be taken in speaking to–and about–others. Accordingly, Proverbs 6: 19 states that "a false witness who speaks lies" is an abomination to God. This is also true for "one who sows discord among brethren".

See also