I am looking for 2 words or phrases, if such exists, for either side of the following situation:
A pastor was conducting (christian) bible study and was teaching the story of how Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit and thus caused the devastation of mankind from then on. The students asked, if God made everything, knows everything, and knows the fruit is harmful, why give Adam and Eve the opportunity to even access the fruit, if God wanted it as an ornament and knew A+E were going to eat it and cause devastation, he could have at least put it out of reach. The pastor replied that it was to test the children (ie, A+E)'s obedience, and the students replied, but you are a parent yourself, would you not make sure your poisonous and hazardous cleaning products and knives etc are out of reach of your own children, lest they hurt themselves, and the pastor said no, they need to learn to be obedient (ie not touch things I tell the not to touch). The students all said nothing but were not convinced.
I am looking for 2 words or phrases, one for the pastor or his action, and one to describe the way the students must have felt upon hearing this.
Note: This has nothing to do with religion itself and I am not here to start an argument about religion.
For the pastor, I thought of "lied through his teeth" but I don't think this works, because 'lying' is saying something false: this would imply he does indeed hides his dangerous things from his kids at home, but simply says he doesn't. What I want to portray is, the ridiculousness of a claim, to stand up to or support a ridiculous claim/something that is just obviously wrong, in order to be "correct" all the time, and not contradict yourself. Again, not meaning to stir up political controversies, another similar, but not the same, example would be when Trump supporters lied through their teeth with no evidence.
Can I say the pastor "changed his goal post and said "No, I wouldn't..."", ie, changing his answer to fit the question?
I would also like a word to describe the students and what they must feel or react to hearing something like this. I thought of "disappointed" or "conned" but neither is remotely close. "Amused (at the pastor's answer)" isn't so great either but better than the former two, the problem is, it is a bit vague and can have a positive connotation. You can be amused by good things too, but I think a word with a more negative connotation here would be better. "Angry" or "irritated" are also not the right word (I think), because the 'deception' doesn't harm them (it's not like the pastor said he prepared lunch for them but didn't so all the students went hungry). "Bemused" is closer, but the Merriam-Webster defines it as "marked by confusion or bewilderment", and the synonyms absent, distracted... The students were not confused, baffled nor perplexed, which would imply they accepted the pastor's answer as fact, but just could not understand it, rather, they all secretly rejected his answer as nonsense.
What I'd like to write is, "The students then looked to each other with ___ understanding" like, "they understood how ___ each other were feeling".
The students then looked to each other with mutual "angry" understanding but didn't say anything?
The students then looked to each other with mutual "baffled" understanding but didn't say anything?
The students then looked to each other with mutual "exasperation"/exasperated understanding but didn't say anything?
The students then looked to each other with mutual "bemused" understanding but didn't say anything?
etc etc. (these sentences aren't necessarily grammatically correct)
Again, a political example would be when anti-Trump people hear Trump supporters lie, and they know it is a lie.