Guarding My Neighbor’s Good Name: Heidelberg Catechism~Lord’s Day 43


What does it mean to bear false witness against our neighbor? Here is the Heidelberg Catechism’s answer followed by some commentary by me.

What is the aim of the ninth commandment?

That I never give false testimony against anyone, twist no one’s words, not gossip or slander, nor join in condemning anyone rashly or without a hearing. Rather, in court and everywhere else, I should avoid lying and deceit of every kind; these are the very devices the devil uses, and they would call down on me God’s intense wrath. I should love the truth, speak it candidly, and openly acknowledge it. And I should do what I can to guard and advance my neighbor’s good name.

Never give false testimony~This refers primarily to a court situation. Don’t lie about someone in court. But as the answer says later this applies both in and out of court. We should never lie about someone else’s deeds, character, or words nor should we lie about ourselves or a particular situation. In short, unless we are at war, we should never lie.  Continue reading