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The cookie jar was empty when mom asked little David, “Did you eat the last four cookies?” Of course, he denied eating them and expressed deep disappointment in his beloved mother for even suggesting that he would do such a thing. Since no one saw him do it, and he did have an older brother, it is possible that he did not do it: Plausible deniability.

But mom saw the cookie crumbs on David’s cheeks, she knew: Undeniable culpability.

The term “plausible deniability” is often employed by lawyers for the defense. It refers to a lack of evidence for proving an accusation. If the plaintiff lacks clear evidence for their charge, the defendant can "plausibly deny" the allegation even though the charge may be conspicuously true. It’s actually a lie and everyone knows it. Another word to describe their actions is prevarication. The act of prevaricating, shuffling, or quibbling, to evade the truth or the disclosure of truth; a deviation from the truth and fair dealing.

The use of “plausible deniability” is often exercised by the media (biased reporting), sports figures (denying PEDS, hGH), and government officials (rebuffing charges). Basically, the guilty person dares the accuser to prove their allegations, even though they both probably know the shameful action took place.

In the Bible, there are many examples of “plausible deniability.” When God approached Adam who was wearing a cute ensemble of leaves, Adam blamed Eve (Genesis 3). Adam was positive that there were no witnesses to his actions, so Eve could easily be blamed. But God knew: Undeniable culpability.

When Cain killed Able (Genesis 4), Cain knew that they were the only ones in that rural field. So, when God confronted Cain, he denied knowledge of the murder. But God knew: Undeniable culpability.

Other obvious examples of people who claimed “plausible deniability” were Aaron (the golden calf – Exodus 32), and Ananias and Sapphira (lying to the Holy Spirit – Acts 5), and Saul (caught lying – 1 Samuel 15:14). These folks were guilty of major sin. They dared God to catch them. They prevaricated on technicalities, loop holes, and escape clauses. But God knew: Undeniable culpability.

The lack of personal accountability by so many well-known luminaries is appalling. They glibly tip-toe around their obvious misdeeds and defy anyone to prove their delinquency. By refusing to take ownership of their misbehavior, they prolong the investigations, disrupt worthy projects, and cause more disunity and strife.

These high-profile individuals teach the public that it is acceptable to flaunt your shame before others. Quibbling over definitions of words, and arguing about intent, they try to forestall the inevitable while hoping to stumble into an escape from punishment. Prevaricating is popular in this age. But God knows: Undeniable culpability.

1 Timothy 6:4 reveals the spirit of the one who embraces plausible deniability: “They are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions.” Avoid these people. Judgment awaits them.

My last word: “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.” Ephesians 4:25 ESV.


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