Richard Ritenbaugh, describing a horrific case of child abuse occurring in Pennsylvania in 2012, and the judge's decision as to its resolution, eliciting a mixed review of condemnation and approval, asks us, as future judges in God's Kingdom, if we have the biblical savvy to come to an equitable judgment. Are we ready, at this stage in our spiritual growth, to apply chapter and verse all the biblical principles that apply in this case. In the last message, Richard Ritenbaugh enumerated seven such principles: (1) All authority for law and justice resides in God, (2) the breaking of any law incurs a penalty, (3) sinful actions have inherent cause-and-effect consequences, (4) God has relegated the execution of judgment to constituted authority, (5) everyone is equal under the law, (6) everyone must obey the same laws, and (7) jurisdictions should organize courts in a hierarchical manner to handle cases of increasing difficulty. In this sermon, Richard Ritenbaugh expands his enumeration of principles of godly jurisprudence. The principles of justice in Exodus 21:22-27, sometimes simplified to the "eye for eye' principle or lex talionis, that the punishment should fit the offence , has been applied differently from culture to culture, with the Muslims applying it literally, chopping off a hand of a thief, while the Israelitish cultures apply the principle of proportional or monetary restitution. Jesus Christ applied a much higher standard in the Sermon on the Mount, based upon mercy and forgiveness—a standard that not even His followers, burdened with human nature, can yet attain. The monetary penalties prescribed by Old Testament law were intended to serve as deterrents to crime, as were the stern laws imposed on false witnesses and any form of perjury. Mob or vigilante behavior was outlawed, as well as partiality in judgment and bribery. The judge, in the interest of truth, had to have the intestinal fortitude and the strength to withstand the pressures of errant public opinion. God's judicial system purp
The eighth commandment seems so simple: "You shall not steal." Yet, it seems that just about everyone on earth has his hand in someone else's pocket! John Ritenbaugh documents the ubiquity of thievery, particularly in the U.S., explaining that the solution is equally simple: honest, hard work.
John Ritenbaugh, expounding on the eighth commandment, affirms that possession of property and the right to own property is a blessing given by God, a principle taught extensively throughout the scripture. The Jubilee (Leviticus 25:9) taught that land which a family had lost through carelessness would be restored on the fiftieth year, enabling a family to gain wealth. When the Israelites clamored for a king (patterned after Gentile form of government), they sought a government that would "legally" steal through confiscatory taxes and eminent domain. American corporations and industries are stolen blind by 'faithful' employees who do not think the company will miss the items they steal. In the past 50 years, the theft related crimes such as burglary, larceny, robbery, embezzlement, and motor vehicle theft have more than doubled. In America, the annual collective cost for automobile theft is over $8.6 billion. Surprisingly however, white collar crime dwarfs these figures into insignificance, with employee theft exceeding $50 billion. Internet scams have leached $40 billion annually. Though God Almighty has indicted Gentile nations for violent crimes, He has indicted modern Israel for its gross lack of trustworthiness and its eager tendency to defraud or misrepresent. Inflation is the net or cumulative effect of businesses and corporations stealing legally. Property and possessions are to be gained only by honest labor or hard work, enabling the individual to generously give to those less fortunate. Our Elder Brother Jesus became poor in order to make us rich. To steal is an affront to God's family name.
Why do so many nominal Christians reject works and obedience to God's law? John Ritenbaugh posits that they do this because they fail to gather God's whole counsel on this subject. In doing so, they miss vital principles that help to bring us into the image of God.
From last week's essay, it is apparent that Constitutional protections of private property ownership have been eroded over the past several decades, not just by major Supreme Court decisions, but also by the steady encroachment of socialism into American culture. ...
Non-Christians tend to see Christianity as an utterly boring, rigid way of life. However, Jesus Christ Himself says He came to give His disciples abundant life (John 10:10). Richard Ritenbaugh reveals the big 'secret' in living the abundant life.
In this article on the Eighth Commandment, John Ritenbaugh discusses stealing and the devastating effect it has on our society.
There is more to the eighth commandment than the physical act of stealing. This Bible Study explores other ways of stealing and how to avoid Satan's way of get.
John Ritenbaugh reveals that God intended land to be the basis for all wealth, desiring that families should own and retain property. The Jubilee Laws indicate that God never intended any kind of state collective (or corporate) ownership of property, but that families should retain what has been given to them. The Federal Government, through confiscatory taxes, has violated the commandment against stealing- modeling theft for society at large. Beside predatory street crime (dramatically on the increase), blue collar and white-collar theft have even more dramatically contributed (and continue to contribute) to the demise or failure of many large businesses and to the economic woes of our country in general- literally stealing from (the inheritance of) future generations. In modern Israel, we are drowning in thievery, forcing the land to vomit us out. Wealth accumulated by honest work and diligence will be blessed, but hastily acquired by any kind of theft or dishonesty will be cursed.
The Berean: Daily Verse and Comment
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