* You: Would You Sell the Songs You Pirated? Sadly, many Christians refuse to admit that they are wrong to download pirated software, music, and movies. They are stealing intellectual property. And except for the hardest of hearts, there is a way to convince Christians who steal copyrighted material that doing so dishonors God.
Consider first though that it is ironic and poetic (not godly mind you, but poetic) justice, that Hollywood and the music industry are losing billions of dollars in pirated goods. The Bible says do not steal; render to all what is due to them; do not covet; if sinners entice you, do not consent; and a workman is worth his hire. Hollywood on the other hand says if it feels good do it; you decide what is right and wrong; question authority; and there are no absolutes. Ha! This couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of people!
When you steal songs, movies, and software, you are not violating the law of Hollywood; you're violating the law of God. The primary reason why it is wrong to steal is because you thereby dishonor God. And a little leaven leavens the whole lump, so given enough time, if you steal from Warner Bros., you would steal from anyone, including from God. A Christian ignores a lesson from the book of Job when he says, "It's not wrong to take copyrighted software, movies, and songs without paying for them." That ancient drama warns of those who seek to justify themselves by discrediting God. For it is God who said, Thou shalt not steal. He didn't say, "Don't steal unless
- you're sure you won't get caught, or
- it's from wealthy corporations, or
- it's really easy to do; or
- the owner won't notice; or
- everybody's doing it (they're not); or
- it's something you don't want enough to pay for.
Here's a way to convince all but the hardest of hearts that they are disobeying God when they take intellectual property. Consider, if you buy a music album, and then decide to sell it, as long as you don't keep a copy for yourself, you can sell that album with a clean conscience, because you paid for it and that copy belongs to you. On the other hand, if you download a pirated copy of the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, do you dare burn copies and sell them? This question should clarify the right and wrong of intellectual property for believers who are guilty of piracy, and have been trying to justifying their theft. Of course such a person must be open to the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Some especially hard-hearted believers though, even though properly admonished, instead of repenting, will dig in, lie, and swear to it. But other Christians who have done wrong will want to be corrected and will humbly confess their sin, ask God to help them to repent, and will thank Him for having already forgiven them.
So the question for those who download pirated music, software, and movies, is this: do you think you have the right to sell these products? Of course you do not. You have right to sell your pirated goods because you are in possession of stolen property. According to the Scriptures, and as confirmed by the conscience God put within us, selling stolen property is an additional crime that our conscience bears witness against. So this question should convince all but the most rebellious who try to lie to themselves. Please don't attempt to justify your theft, for in so doing, you are stealing God, and from His right to require holiness and justice, so it is His law you are dismissing, and you are encouraging others to become thieves. Instead, strengthen the conscience that God gave you and be a good testimony to the Lord!
* 2016 Update: The Edward Snowden of scientific research, Alexandra Elbakyan, has posted 48 million copyrighted scientific papers online. One of her problems is that in doing this, she is trying to follow the United Nations charter whereas she should be following God's Word instead. For our Real Science Radio research, for years we pay the typical $32 per paper fee to download the information that we need. Of course we won't be accessing thief Elbakyan's site.
* Vermont 'Homo Marriage' Exposes Christian Flaw: Not the 'courts' or 'unelected judges' but lawmakers using the legislative process legalized homosexual 'marriage' in Vermont. The courts 'legalized' homosexual 'marriage' in Connecticut and Iowa, and Republican governor Mitt Romney ordered state officials to institute homosexual marriage in Massachusetts. Christians have spent 35 years since Roe v. Wade arguing that it is 'bad law' because it didn't follow the constitution and therefore abortion was pushed on the country by the courts. There is a fatal weakness with using that as your primary or even a significant argument. Those in rebellion against God could modify the Constitution to allow homosexuals to marry, and they can use the legislative process as was done before Roe to legalize child killing in 19 states. The reason that gassing Jews was wrong in Germany was not because of how the practice was 'legalized.' Many well-meaning Christians are more familiar and comfortable quoting the Constitution than God's Word, and they tend to think that just by advocating constitutional processes they are advocating what is right. They are wrong. Right and wrong, valid principles of criminal justice, matters of life and death, took on no different fundamental qualities the day after our Constitution was ratified, nor do they vary as one travels the globe through the jurisdictions of foreign constitutions.
* Obama to Speak to All Students: Yes! It's time to pull your children out of our officially godless public schools and give them a Christ-centered education.
* BEL Staffer to Advise Copyright Cops: French Pirate Outwits Hollywood Agents -- Film distributors insert nearly undetectable unique visual and audio tags into each copy of a major motion picture distributed to theaters. Unauthorized copies of movies uploaded to the Internet contain these tags and as a result, reveal which theater's copy of the film has been illegally reproduced. For the last three years, Hollywood's copyright enforcement agents in France have been unable to catch the thief who is recording films like Superman III, Valkyrie, Pirates III and Slumdog Millionaire even though they've placed undercover operatives in and around theaters and using high-tech infrared spy gear. Now, BEL general manager Will, also founder of the CollaboratorsProject.com, has cracked the case by determining how the crooks are pulling off the ongoing caper. "Someone is switching the film with a copy at a nearby movie house, so even though detectives are crawling through the suspect theater during each movie's opening weekend, the pirate is kilometers away carelessly recording the movie at a neighboring theater."
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* Colorado RTL Sept. 26th Banquet! Please mark your calendar right now for Saturday, September 26, at 6:30 p.m. and make your reservation by calling Donna at 303-753-9394 (or to just get on their vital mailing list)! Do you know who Lila Rose is? You'll HAVE TO come out to see her! You'll have a tremendous time, and you'll be a great blessing!
* Help Colorado RTL Get Signatures: If you live in Colorado, could you help circulate the Personhood Colorado & CRTL 2010 petition? We need your help! If you live in any other state, can you help to advance personhood via the 2010 ballot or in one of three different ways?
Today’s Resource: You can learn more by browsing the KGOV Store's Department of Government which includes Bob's classic God's Criminal Justice System seminar on CD and you can read Bob's article (Google 1 of 2.1M for: God death penalty) or watch his DVD on God and the Death Penalty: NT Support for Capital Punishment!