Biblical compassion vs. collectivism

Doug Wilson  ·  Jun 28, 2017

If we want justice and equity in human relationships, we have to begin by acknowledging that God owns everything. One of the reasons our culture had for adopting atheistic evolution as our foundational creed is to get around this most inconvenient reality. In a world of purposeless chance, there is stuff lying around, and those who evolve out of other stuff first and find the stuff lying around can provisionally call it “theirs,” unless and until a stronger predator comes and takes it. In modern economics, we call that stronger predator “the majority.” 

But in a creationist ethic, God created man and woman, and gave them the responsibility for being stewards of the earth. So that we would know what our particular stations were in this broad task of stewardship, God established private ownership, answerable to Him. Just as the commandment not to commit adultery presupposes the institution of marriage, so also the commandment not to steal presupposes the institution of private property. This is why every form of socialism is evil.

The command is not “thou shalt not steal, unless you really need it.” It is not “thou shalt not steal, except by majority vote.” It is not “thou shalt not steal, unless it is for the common good.” It is simply this: thou shalt not steal (Ex. 20:15).

So this prohibition of stealing is foundational to any just social order. Contrariwise, the lure of thievery is foundational to every corruption of the social order. As soon as we truly understand this, we start to see violations of the principle everywhere. Theft is not an activity restricted to porch climbers and carjackers. Theft on a grand scale is usually accomplished, not with a crowbar, but rather with a congressman ...

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