Downloaded Shirt

I got this shirt from my good friends, Eric and Carlin, over at Life Resources.  I love the shirt because it’s a great tool for teaching the 7th Commandment.  While I couldn’t find it for last night’s class, I still enjoy the pic and thought I’d share it with you.  🙂

You Shall Not Steal” is a huge commandment.  Beyond the obvious stealing, we also talk about dishonest gain.  Plagiarism is a growing concern in schools, especially as more and more papers become available online for people to read.  Profiting on someone else’s work, whether in school or the real world, is forbidden in this commandment.

Also forbidden is file sharing.  I use James 5:4 as the Bible verse for it.  It reads:

Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty.

When you download music, movies, television shows or other copyrighted material, you are stealing from the people who made that material.  I’ve heard lots of rationalizations for the behavior in my seven years of ministry.  Some of the highlights:

  • Everyone else is doing it!
  • Why would they make CD Burners if we couldn’t burn music?
  • Why do they put the music online if not for me to download?
  • I wasn’t going to buy the CD anyway, so it’s not like they lost money on me!
  • My friend and I split the cost of the CD and I got the copy.  What’s wrong with that?
  • They charge too much for CDs anyway!

My favorite by far, however, came up last night.  Katie shared it with us during class.  She had been told that sharing music online is like helping the poor.  The ones that can afford the music buy it and share it online so the poorer people can download it for themselves.  While very noble, it’s still wrong.  It made me chuckle though.

Jaime hates the subject, but I love it because it meets students where they are, confronting a real world sin in their lives.  The discussions I’ve had with youth around this issue (and the larger issue of sin in general) have been great for helping students in their walk with Christ.

If you’d like to hear the full-blown, knock-down drag-out version of the lesson, it’s available on our podcast.  Or, for your convenience, you can listen below by clicking play (NOTE: If you are reading in a reader like Google or Bloglines, you’ll need to visit the blog to see the play button).  Be warned, however, the lesson ran 55 minutes–30 minutes longer than usual, thanks to all the questions.  I tried to amplify the student’s questions as best I could, but until we get a new sound system, the student portions are much harder to hear than me.