You've got the home you've always dreamed of and the neighborhood to match. But someone close by has very different ideas. Fear Thy Neighbor reveals what happens when a new homeowner unwittingly takes up residence within a stone's throw of a psycho, or when evil minds decide to lay down roots right next door. These are the terrifying tales of the unwanted neighbors who turn home sweet home into home sweet hell.
Runtime: 60 minutes
Fear Thy Neighbor - Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour - Netflix
“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” is one (either the eighth or ninth, the designation varies between religions) of the Ten Commandments, which are widely understood as moral imperatives by Jewish scholars, Catholic scholars, and Post-Reformation scholars. Today, most cultures retain a distinction between lying in general (which is discouraged under most, but not all, circumstances) versus perjury (which is always unlawful under criminal law and liable to punishment). Similarly, historically in Jewish tradition, a distinction was made between lying in general and bearing false witness (perjury) specifically. On the one hand, bearing false witness (perjury) was always prohibited according to the decalogue's commandement against bearing false witness, yet on the other hand, lying in general was acknowledged to be, in certain circumstances “permissible or even commendable” when it was a white lie, and it was done while not under oath, and it was not “harmful to someone else”. The book of Exodus describes the Ten Commandments as being spoken by God, inscribed on two stone tablets by the finger of God, broken by Moses, and rewritten on replacements stones by the Lord.
There are six things that the LORD strongly dislikes, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.
The command against false testimony is seen as a natural consequence of the command to “love your neighbor as yourself”. This moral prescription flows from the command for holy people to bear witness to their deity. Offenses against the truth express by word or deed a refusal to commit oneself to moral uprightness: they are fundamental infidelities to God and, in this sense, they undermine the foundations of covenant with God.
Fear Thy Neighbor - Reformation and Post-Reformation doctrines - Netflix
God therefore would have it prohibited that any one speak evil of another even though he be guilty, and the latter know it right well; much less if he do not know it, and have it only from hearsay. But you say: Shall I not say it if it be the truth? Answer: Why do you not make accusation to regular judges? Ah, I cannot prove it publicly, and hence I might be silenced and turned away in a harsh manner [incur the penalty of a false accusation]. “Ah, indeed, do you smell the roast?” If you do not trust yourself to stand before the proper authorities and to make answer, then hold your tongue. But if you know it, know it for yourself and not for another. For if you tell it to others, although it be true, you will appear as a liar, because you cannot prove it, and you are, besides acting like a knave. For we ought never to deprive any one of his honor or good name unless it be first taken away from him publicly.
Over and above our own body, spouse, and temporal possessions, we have yet another treasure, namely, honor and good report [the illustrious testimony of an upright and unsullied name and reputation], with which we cannot dispense. For it is intolerable to live among men in open shame and general contempt. Therefore God wishes the reputation, good name, and upright character of our neighbor to be taken away or diminished as little as his money and possessions, that every one may stand in his integrity before wife, children, servants, and neighbors. And in the first place, we take the plainest meaning of this commandment according to the words (Thou shalt not bear false witness), as pertaining to the public courts of justice, where a poor innocent man is accused and oppressed by false witnesses in order to be punished in his body, property, or honor.
Calvin asserted that God’s intent in the prohibition of false witness extended “more generally to calumny and sinister insinuations by which our neighbors are unjustly aggrieved.” Since perjury in court is amply prohibited by the third commandment (against swearing falsely), the commandment against false witness must extend to protection of one’s good name. “The equity of this is perfectly clear. For if a good name is more precious than riches, a man, in being robbed of his good name, is no less injured than if he were robbed of his goods; while, in the latter case, false testimony is sometimes not less injurious than rapine committed by the hand.”
John Calvin taught that the commandment against false witness prohibits all calumnies (gossip and slander) and false accusations which might injure our neighbor’s good name, and any falsehood which might impair his fortune. Christians must assert only the truth with pure motives for the maintenance of our neighbor’s good name and estate.
Martin Luther explained that this commandment is given “first of all that every one shall help his neighbor to secure his rights, and not allow them to be hindered or twisted, but shall promote and strictly maintain them, no matter whether he be judge or witness.” Luther also asserted that this command extends to the spiritual jurisdiction and prohibited slander against preachers and Christians by calling them heretics, apostates, seditious, wicked, etc. Thirdly, he described the commandment against false witness to prohibit the public judgment and reproof of his neighbor. One can indeed see and hear the neighbor sin, but one has no command to report it to others. If one judges and passes sentence, one falls into a sin which is greater than his (except for judges, parents, and preachers.)
Fear Thy Neighbor - References - Netflix