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Expert Answer Forum

by Catherine Frakas 10 May 2002

The Bible ONLY as infallible Word of God QUESTION from Deacon Larry Lottier May 27, 1999 A member of our parish has an opportunity to teach art to pre-schoolers at the Calvary Christian Church in our area. As a part of the application there is a question, Do you believe that the Bible is the ONLY (emphasis in the original) infallible source of the word of God and Christian faith. The applicant has to answer yes or No and sign his name. Since he believes in the Bible AND Tradition plus the teaching of the Magisterium what does he do? He feels that if he says No he will not get the job. But if he says Yes he is going against his Catholic faith.
My advice was to either say No and take his chances or leave it blank and explain when asked.
Your comments and suggestions?
God bless,
Deacon Larry Lottier
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius on May 27, 1999 Dear Deacon:
An interesting question, but really an easy answer. The short answer is that lying is a sin. The question must be answered truthfully. There can be no question about it. One might leave it blank, though, so that an opportunity to explain is presented. It could be an opportunity for evangelization. But in NO WAY, should a person lie -- even on a job application.
Let me tell you a story. This is a story I told in a Bible Study Class one time.
A man is out of work for more than a year. His wife is struggling with a low level and underpaid part time job. It is all she can find. The husband sometimes find temporary work, but nothing that pays well and nothing permanent.
The kids shoes are wearing out, they need clothes, a winter coat, etc. etc. Sometimes supper is not filling.
The man applies for more than 100 jobs without even once getting an interview. In each application a question is asked, Have you been convicted of a felony? This man was convicted of a felony many years ago. It was an isolated situation. It never happened before or since, but it did happen.
He believes that that reason he is not even getting an interview is that he is answering the question honestly like a good Christian should..
But he is in anguish to see his children in rags and humiliated at school, and their hungry faces.
He has been praying for a job, but after one year and 100 applications nothing is happening.
Finally, in frustration he gives in and lies on the next application he fills out. The application is for a convenience store making $8.00/ per hour to start.
He gets the job right away!
Soon he is able to provide for his family in a much better way. The job is still not well paid, perhaps, but it is enough and he can work his way up to $30,000 per year within about 5 years.
It seems to be an answer to a prayer.
Was his lie justified?
After answering this question, scroll down.
What this man did not know, but God knew, was that if he had told the truth just ONE MORE TIME and thus been turned down for the $8.00/hr job at the convenience store, he would have gone to the business next door to apply for work.
What God knew, but the man did not, is that the business owner next door was LOOKING FOR ex-cons to hire. He wanted to reach out to felons and give them a change. And the starting wage? Well, the starting wage was $30,000/year. And furthermore, the job was in an area that the man wanted to work in.
This man ROBBED God of the gift that He had for him. The gift of begin rewarded for telling the truth and hanging in there in faith.
We do not know what is around the corner, but God does. We should not rob God of the gift He has for us around the corner by taking our own direction and thereby never walking around that corner into God's loving arms.
P.S. Perhaps I should not reveal the background for this story. I have never revealed this information publicly before, but I feel lead to do it now. This story is fiction, sort-of. It is based upon the real life experiences of a person who committed a one-time stupid act many, many years ago. That person was me. God will honor our fidelity to truth, which means to Him who is Truth, the Way, and the Life.
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