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Monday, March 16, 2015

Do you have the heart of a thief?

Random Thought of Conviction

I am teaching through the entire book of The Institutes of Biblical Law (R.J. Rushdoony) with my family in devotions in the evening. One of the great things about Rushdoony's book is that he shows the connection between each of the Ten Commandments and the case laws of the Old Testament. We have not yet made it to the eighth commandment (we are still on the first commandment-- it is rich with wisdom in obedience to God), but one thing I take away from Rushdoony's classifications is that each command is much deeper than Christians and infidels alike realize. For instance, Rushdoony points out that;
 
“[I]n any culture, the source of law is the god of that society.”    

Thus to set up any other law system than God's law is to violate the first commandment. The point being, you do not have to literally say, "I believe in the god of so and so, over and above the God of the Bible", in order to violate the first commandment. You violate each commandment through the way you live; i.e. your conversation (lifestyle-- 1Peter 1:15).

Likewise, there are many ways you can steal, other than physically taking someone's property out of their hands before their face (or in secret). And just as you can have the heart of an adulterer (Matthew 5:28), you can have a heart of a thief. Even more so, you can demonstrate the actions of a thief in practice, without actually stealing, as we conventionally think of it as. My example is a simple one, and probably not one Rushdoony covers, but I thought of it as I pondered a situation we had at work one time.

I was walking past our work's coffee station today and there is a paper sign that says, "Coffee-- 50 cents per cup" (Of course, I do not drink that nasty stuff; I bring my own organic/locally roasted coffee with raw cream and maple syrup... yum!). I remember months ago someone complaining that nobody ever put enough money in the coffee can container (to collect the money) and that the person in charge was having to buy more coffee (restock it) without the proper amount of money given.

Then a question arose in my mind. What is the definition of "cup"? I want to write a post later about how important word definitions are; but consider it shortly here in this post; your definition of cup will make a big difference in how much coffee you actually take per the amount of money you put in the container. I am sure some people's coffee mugs are bigger than others. I am certain there are people that look at the sign and say in their hearts, "I am going to take advantage of my larger cup, and still pay 50 cents. Such a person has the heart of a thief and is demonstrating the actions of a thief. But he justifies himself in his mind, because he has not "technically" stolen anything. He who has the heart of a thief looks for loopholes to take advantage of so that he can gain from the demise of others (or of God) without technically breaking the law.

Every law-breaker-in-heart operates on the same principles of the thief mentioned above. He looks for loopholes in God's law so he can heap upon his own lusts. The Christian way to approach the situation (besides not drinking coffee produced by the evil corporations) is to err on the side of giving more money than necessary. This way you are blameless before God and before men. No one could accuse you. And regardless of how you will be viewed by men, you are making certain you are in obedience to the law of God without question.

What about other areas of Christian obedience? Do you have the heart of a law-breaker in other areas of life? This is seen to a great extent in the area of women's attire. There is a saying that goes around in some of the Anabaptist circles; Modesty Without Question. They go above and beyond what is technically required so that there is no question of whether their attire is appropriate. This is a vastly different attitude than the typical "Christian" woman.

We spoke about women's attire here and here and also about whether a Christian should go to the beach, here. All of these topics/issues will prove whether or not we have a spirit of obedience to Christ. When a woman says, "My dress/skirt is not too short" or "my pants are not that tight" or a man says, "I can go to the beach and not look at the naked women there with lust" they are not only tempting God, but they lack a fear of God and certainly do not tremble at the thought of sinning against God. This should cause a Christian to consider whether he truly is born of God, or is just a pretender, following Jesus as long as it does not get too uncomfortable.

"Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation." -- 1Peter 2:12


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