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The Bible is a book of supreme authority that will never be outdated. Sure times change and technology advances, but for the believer, regardless of the time we live, the Bible must remain to be the foundation on which every decision is based.

There are many situations and circumstances we encounter in life that the Bible does not address directly. Instead of addressing every single circumstance directly, God has chosen to set commands, laws and guidelines by which all situations are to be governed. It is our job to contrast and compare the situations of our life to the commands, laws and guidelines God has established. By this manner, through searching the Scriptures (and listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit for the two will always agree) an answer to any circumstances can be obtained.

Some issues require much prayer, searching and deliberation to be resolved. Others however, when compared with the Word, should be obvious and straightforward. Today I am going to discuss an issue that is indeed straightforward, but unfortunately for various reasons it has become a complex one for some Christians.

Is it ok for a Christian to download music, movies and software from the internet? To begin with, a Christian must first remember their source of supreme authority over their life; the Word of God. What we think and believe may not always agree with what God has written. When there is conflict between the two we must adopt the policy of God and replace the position we once held. If it’s not from God, it is from the devil and you don’t want it.

God is the same yesterday, today and forever. (See Hebrews 13:8) There are things He has established for a time, and there are things He has ordained to last forever. In the Old Testament God gave us a very clear command: “Thou shalt not steal.” (Exodus 20:15) True Christians will testify that stealing is wrong and it is sin. God considered stealing a sin during the times of Moses and still considers it sin today.

I wanted to clarify that stealing is sinful, however that is not the main issue in this article. The main issue is this: When is downloading music, games and software stealing and when isn’t it?

Know that anything that has international copyrights is protected under Canadian law. What this means is that all rights, including sale and reproductions rights belong to the companies that own the copyrights. Anyone who infringes upon copyright laws can be charged. Any unauthorized reproduction or duplication of music, movies and software is punishable by law.

On the internet there are two categories that files will fall into. There are free files (files where the authors have given permission to be used freely) and protected files (files that are not to be duplicated, reproduced or transferred in any way shape or form without purchase or permission). Free files can be duplicated, altered and transferred at will however protected files are to be distributed at the company’s or individual’s will.

The majority of music, movies and software that is downloaded on the internet today is downloaded illegally through dishonest programs. Many of us know this, and I know many Christians take part in this.

To steal is “to take something without the owner's consent”. When you illegally download files that are protected under law, it’s not any different than if you were to actually go to the store and steal them off the shelves. Unfortunately the world today largely distinguishes between the two. One they call stealing, the other they ignore. My friends, God calls it stealing. Do I speak for God? No, but His Word speaks for itself.

Understand that the devil’s plans never change, but the means by which he carries them out do. Think about it, whatever will cause you to stumble in your walk with God satan wants to use it against you. Satan’s lies are subtle! “What a marvelous way to steal these days!” he says. “They can now break almost every commandment of God while comfortably sitting at their computers!” Not only has satan used the internet as a tool for evil concerning theft, but also pornography, adultery, murder and many other wicked acts as well.

Stealing is stealing. Whether done by literal or virtual means, stealing is stealing. Remember that sin always has an excuse. “I wasn’t the one who originally stole it, so really I’m not stealing it.” “Everyone one else downloads music, movies and software, does God really care about something so small?” “These companies charge us ridiculous prices for their products; we shouldn’t have to pay so much.” “I like to try things before I buy them.” All of these things are excuses to cover up thievery. Satan will try to persuade you out of acknowledging that what you’re doing is sin. He tries to justify sin with excuses.

Don’t be fooled; instead look to God’s Word for answers to all your questions and troubles. If you don’t like what someone charges for a product don’t buy it. Don’t resort to stealing it.

I know some will say I am picking a small thing to make an issue of; however I say to these people if God cannot trust us with the simple commands He has given us, how then can we expect Him to move us from defeat to victory? Should we expect miracles from God, but offer a minuscule amount of obedience to His Word? If you want to increase in the things of God, if you want to be entrusted with the secrets of His Kingdom, if you want to be set apart from lukewarm Christianity and rise to be a wise, Holy Ghost filled believer who is mature in spirit and feeds on the meat of the Word you have to produce obedience as your understanding increases. Stealing songs, movies and software is not something a spirit led Christian should struggle with.

Many ungodly people refuse to steal based on their own experiences and understanding of human law. How much more then, because we have a God who continually guides us and instructs us should we be blameless before Him?

Know that thievery is not only limited to material things. Stealing is taking glory for something God has done. Stealing is taking credit for another’s accomplishments. Like these things are stealing so is the illegal downloading of music, movies, and software.

When we listen to the commands of the Lord, when we obey His decrees, wonders will be done in our lives, this I can assure you. Is there something in your life that’s hindering your relationship with God? If there is, whatever it may be, take it to God; take it to the cross and leave it there. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

Obedience brings blessing. Ninety-nine percent is still out of step with the perfect will of God. Are we perfect? No, but through Jesus Christ, we can indeed do all things!

To accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior please click here.

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