The Rights of Ownership
by Zeal Clark
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Many people, including many Christians, feel that our government has the inherent right to take from some and give it to others. Many Christians believe this is actually based on Scriptures. But there are actually no Scriptures that suggest that our government should have such power. Although the principle of our giving to the poor is Scriptural, the philosophy of taking from some and giving it to others is actually based on the principles of covetousness, which is dealt with in Scripture.
The term “social justice”, which is a misnomer as it is basically social extortion by conscience, was created as a ruse by those wishing to create guilt for those who have earned their possessions and have gained prosperity that is greater than others. The intent was to use this method to cause those who are successful to feel guilty so they will then willingly offer up their possessions to those who, for whatever reasons, have not been as successful. Therefore, the social justice movement was designed to defeat the rights of ownership and to create a community conscience wherein everyone is to share equally in whatever material goods that exist. This is the foundation of Socialism.
But here is where it’s important, actually imperative, to consult Scriptures without an agenda and apply truth to what is actually contained therein. Actually, not only are there no Scriptures that suggest that our government should take from some and give it to others, but there are no Scriptures that suggest that we should feel any guilt for having acquired possessions, although there are Scriptures that deal with our pride of ownership and our failure to give to those in need. The Scriptures are clear that we should willingly give to those in need without being compelled to do so.
But there are also Scriptures that deal with those who are in need, specifically how we are to utilize the gifts that God has given us to support ourselves. One such Scripture, which is often misapplied, is found in Matthew 25:14-30, where Jesus taught about the master who, before going on a journey, entrusted his three servants with talents, expecting them to invest them wisely. When the master returned and found that only two of them had invested wisely and the other had done nothing with what he have been given, he took from the one who had failed to invest and gave it to the one who had earned the most. This supports the principle that we are to use wisely whatever we have been given, without expecting others to rescue us and reward us for our slothfulness or lack of motivation.
On the other hand, had the point in this parable been according to the principles of Socialism, the servant who had accomplished nothing would have been rewarded by the forced sharing of the profits of the other two who have invested wisely. Or, perhaps the servant who had accomplished nothing would have at least been expected to give to the one who had earned the least instead of to the one who had earned the most.
But in Jesus’ parable the rewards went to him who had been the most productive steward with what he had been given, a principle that is totally the opposite of the principles of Socialism. Since we have all been given abilities, we are expected to use those abilities to the extent possible before expecting others to rescue us. This principle is totally ignored, or rather deliberately manipulated, by the principles of Socialism. But then, since our society, especially our government, is determined to rebel against God’s Principles, the principles of Socialism are being extolled as the perfect substitute. Unfortunately though, too many Christians and their leaders have been duped by this strategy.
Even worse, what is being missed by many Christians is that this entire concept is based largely on covetousness. Since this subject has been covered throughout Scripture, it’s amazing the extent to which it is being ignored. This edict was first expressed clearly in God’s Law, in the 10 Commandments in Exodus 20:17:
17 "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's." NKJV (Commandment #10)
Then there are other Scriptures which address covetousness, such as Hebrews 13:5:
5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." NKJV
And for those who are willing to accept covetousness as being necessary, Colossians 3:5 describes it well as, “covetousness, which is idolatry”.
But much of the impetus for this assumed need for the “redistribution of wealth,” which actually is the agenda being carried out in this entire government program, is that many feel that others should bear the burden of their needs because of the disparity between the rich and the poor. This shows an extreme lack of understanding or appreciation for the effort that was put forth in order to achieve this level of success and acquire this wealth. But for many of those who haven’t achieved this level of success, the logical, or rather illogical, solution is the redistribution of wealth.
This brings to mind a Scripture in Proverbs 21:25-26:
25 The desire of the lazy man kills him, For his hands refuse to labor.
26 He covets greedily all day long, But the righteous gives and does not spare. NKJV
Many politicians, seeing this problem as a means of gaining supporters and their votes, have taken on the cause of redistribution of wealth and have been quite successful in making it an entire agenda. In fact, this has become the primary agenda of an entire political party, and has enabled it to gain the support of the majority of those ethnic groups having the greatest percentage of those in need. It seems that as long as our government continues with this agenda, which is based on Socialism, the political party that supports this will have the greatest success in elections.
But, despite the perceived advantages of this aspect of Socialism, many of those who see a benefit either are unaware or choose to ignore the negative aspects of a Socialist Society. They also don’t realize the deceitfulness imbedded in this agenda. But God had warned us to be wary of this deceitfulness in Micah 2:1-2:
1 Woe to those who devise iniquity, And work out evil on their beds! At morning light they practice it, Because it is in the power of their hand.
2 They covet fields and take them by violence, Also houses, and seize them. So they oppress a man and his house, A man and his inheritance. NKJV
As Christians we should be alert and wary of the ways of the enemy. We should be suspicious of a government that is offering something for nothing. That is the typical trick of the enemy to bait us into something that we should avoid or fight against by offering us something easy or free up front. He tried this trick on Jesus in Matthew 4:1-4 after Jesus had fasted for 40 days by offering Him a quick and easy means of obtaining food. But Jesus, knowing well the tricks of the devil, refused to be deceived by his tricks. His tricks will always lead us into destruction.
From a Biblical perspective, it is the church’s responsibility to bring aid to those in need. On the other hand, there are no Scriptures that place the responsibility of supplying the needy on our government. However, while it is commendable that our government is willing to assist those in need, the authority our government has taken in this regard goes beyond the authority given to them by our Constitution.
Jesus, in teaching His disciples in Matthew 20:15, gave them a parable about a man who had hired others to work for him. After some of the workers complained about the amount that some others had been paid, Jesus asked:
15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?' NKJV
This same question should be directed toward our government concerning our possessions. Along with our willingness to aid those in need, there needs to be an outcry against our being forced into a society which encourages those who are not willing to contribute toward their own support.
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Fabulous article Zela!