Monday, January 16, 2012

Can You Burn Me a Copy of that Illegally Downloaded Christian Worship Album?

Last week a person was sentenced to prison for running a website that allowed for illegal downloads of movies and music.  She was later ordered immediately to jail for ranting about her conviction.  She has become some sort of a hero to many, but I wonder why.  She was a thief, plain and simple.  Then I was thinking how many of us are guilty of the same crime.  Today is a busy day, but I wanted to leave you all with something to think about.  That thought is that God is not pleased by illegal downloads or copying. 

Just about all of us are guilty of it.  We have watched a bootleg movie, downloaded an illegal song, or made a copy of a copyrighted CD for a friend.  Each time we do that, we are stealing from the people who own the rights to those songs or films.  We can not use the argument that they charge too much or their product does not warrant the cost.  If we are so offended by quality and cost, the answer is not to steal but just not to purchase.  I would like a BMW SUV.  They are priced much higher than similarly sized and equipped SUV's.  Personally, I think they are overpriced.  Does this now mean I can just steal one?  Of course not, by doing so I would be guilty of grand theft.  The same applies to anything else.  The price or quality of something never ever gives us the right to steal it. 

What about the argument that everyone is doing it.  That argument is very childish and reflects a mind that still needs to grow up.  Many people do a lot of things, that does not make it right.  Besides, as a Christian, you are called to a higher standard.  You are not called to do as everyone else does, but you are called to do as God calls you to do.  God will never call you to steal. 

Then there is the argument that it is silly to expect your friend to buy something when you can just make a copy.  That would be true if it were not stealing.  Its more comparable to your friend liking the shirt you were wearing, but instead of loaning it to her, you just go out and steal one for her.  Stealing for a friend is still stealing and it is still wrong. 

I have known many Christians in my time who may have been walking with the Lord in so many ways, yet still struggled with illegal copies of movies and music.  They steal from secular as well as Christian groups.  I wonder how God feels about stealing a worship album to worship Him with your stolen goods.  That is not worship God will accept.  God will not listen to the fruits of sin.  When you watch a movie you illegally download or listen to a CD that someone made an illegal copy of, you are taking money from the various people along the supply chain who make their money on distribution of that product.  Whether it be the producers, artwork people, musicians, actors, various members of the cast, manufacturers, distributors, and stores, they are all losing their share of the profit from the product you have stolen. 

If you want to watch a movie, buy a ticket or wait until it comes out on DVD.  If you want an album, buy the CD or legally download it.  Anything else is theft.  You may think you are saving a few dollars, but you need to consider just how much God is going to allow you to gain from your sinful acts.  I can guarantee that in the end you will lose much more than you have ever gained. 
You shall not steal.   Exodus 20:15 NKJV

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