Wednesday, 3 February 2016

To Even Think what one has as One's Own, rather than God's is itself Self-Centred and Selfish

All things belong to God (Psalm 24:1). This literally means that all that is in the earth belongs to Him. He is the owner of all things, and no one else is. Human beings are only the stewards as Genesis 1:28 says: "And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth". The word 'dominion' in Genesis 1:28 comes from the Hebrew word 'radah' which means reign. However, Psalm 24:1 makes it clear that all things belong to God and Him alone. 

One might argue that the 8th Commandment, which is "do not steal" (Exodus 20:15) supports the idea of 'private property' meaning that human beings own what God has given them. However, this is in effect to deny that God is the Sovereign Owner of all Things which Colossians 1:16 makes very clear: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him

The argument that the doctrine that only God is the owner of all things is one that denies the 8th Commandment is based on a very subtle half-truth. It is based on the truth that God did indeed say "thou shalt not steal" in Exodus 20:15. This is undeniable. However, this 8th Commandment, like all the  Moral Law not made for humans for their pleasure and desires, but to reflect God's will and character (Matthew 22:36-40; Romans 13:10). The Moral Law stems from God's character Himself, not 'made' as some rules for humans to outwardly follow, nor for their own pleasure and desires. 

Just as the 7th Commandment against adultery (Exodus 20:14) was given by God to humanity, not for their own self-interest in not having their spouse stolen from them, but rather is an expression of God's righteousness. Similarly, the 6th Commandment against murder (Exodus 20:13) was given by God to humanity, not because anyone whatsoever has a "right" to live, or for their own self-interest in preserving their own lives. No! It was because it is an expression of God's righteousness. 

Likewise, the 8th Commandment which so many in the modern Church love to use to justify the idea that humans own what they have, rather than God and God alone, was given not because anyone owns what they have been given. No one has any "rights" for all deserve God's just wrath. It was given as an expression of God's righteousness. The outward act of stealing is simply the outwardly consummation of greed and covetousness, just as the outward act of murder is the outwardly consummation of hatred (Matthew 5:21-22) and the outward physical act of adultery is the outwardly consummation of lust (Matthew 5:27-30). Likewise, anyone who has the desire to steal, greed and covetousness has already committed theft in his heart. The sin starts in the heart's desires (Matthew 15:18-19).

The Commandment against Theft is purely of the character of God, and not in any means out of respect of persons, for God is no respecter of persons (Romans 2:11; Acts 10:34). To claim that the 8th Commandment supports the idea that people own what they have, rather than that God owns all things, is to imply that God did not mean what He said when He says He is Sovereign Creator of all Things, and that what one has is what one is entitled to. It is to make out the 8th Commandment to be made in favour of humanity, respecting its own selfish interests, including the very belief itself that what one has is one's own, instead of God's. 

People think that they own what they have, because they are serving mammon, whether it be outright seeking to serve mammon, or being tempted to serve both God and mammon, in the case of the true Christian. That is the only reason why people think that. It is utter faithlessness.