2015-07-12 - The Eighth Commandment
I used to listen to a lot of “Christian” radio, back in the day. I chose to listen to some of the so-called “Faith” Teachers, healers and people who generally, while claiming the name of Christ, were disseminating a lot of bad teaching. I guess it was a case of wanting to know what the enemy was doing. Of course, in those days, much of the stuff was aberrant; now it is mostly heretical.
I remember one well-known radio evangelist who was sending a prayer cloth for a donation. Then, as prayers were miraculously answered, he would tell of the testimonies of the blessed. In one case, an individual testified how he had placed the cloth under his pillow, and the next day he received a second welfare check by mistake. “Wasn’t the Lord wonderful?” The person gave to the ministry, and the Lord gave him multi-fold. Of course, the fact that he cashed a check he wasn’t entitled to, breaking the law, didn’t seem to phase him. The fact he gave the Lord credit, for providing him the opportunity to steal, was amazing. But he wasn’t stealing, was he? After all, the Lord sent him the check.
Last week, we talked about the problem of adultery. This can also be perceived as another from of stealing. The adulterer is stealing what belongs to his or her spouse, faithfulness, love, etc.
We have all heard someone explain they were “maximizing” their deductions on their tax return, because the government gets too much of our money anyway. Of course, the fact they are cheating and getting money that isn’t theirs, isn’t a problem. “After all, the IRS is ripping off everyone. Everyone uses creative financing.”
The child who runs away from home without cause, doesn’t take advantage of the opportunities of an adequate education, is stealing from his or her future. And along the same lines, some believe the deficit steals from our children’s future.
So next, we are going to talk about give and take - or is it take or give?
Once again, we are looking at one of the commandments that seems to need no real explanation. Why are we spending any time with it? After all, none of us has robbed a bank this week, or even ripped off our neighbor’s newspaper. We don’t steal from people. But I think we will see that we do take that which isn’t ours. Also keep in mind, we want to look at the positive side of the commandments. So we will need to consider what is the opposite of stealing, and how this may apply to us.
Pastor Geoff Kragen
For more information about the author, podcasts and additional studies visit www.GKRAGEN.com.