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Who Owns You?
© 01.13.19 D. Eric Williams

This article appeared in the January 17 edition of the Cottonwood Chronicle

The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him (Psalms 24:1).

It is fashionable today (especially among modern youth) to claim that each individual is an autonomous being ultimately free from the dictates of any other entity. One oddity among those to hold to this point of view is the idea that there is a universal standard of "tolerance" that should be enforced by the central state power. Yet, apart from that one illogical caveat, many if not most of the people in the modern world believe they are beholden to no one. Thus, their life choices are theirs alone and no one has the right to question them.

From this point of view arises all sorts of ungodly behaviors. It is this idea that underlies the primary justification for abortion. After all, according to the ungodly, no one owns a woman's body but herself. In the case of abortion, this is an obvious hypocrisy since the right of each person to possess and control their own physical being is never afforded the child in the womb.

Ultra-autonomy is also behind the rise in our society's acceptance of homosexuality, transgenderism, extreme body modification and (sadly enough) the growing acceptance of pedophilia. After all, if a person - of whatever age, race, sexual preference and so on - wants to do something or believe something about himself, who is to say it's wrong? The answer of course is that God is the one who determines what is right and wrong. It is God who owns the world and all its people and he has determined right and wrong for even the most personal aspects of human existence.

There have been a number of prominent "evangelical" pastors and teachers who have recently repudiated the Old Testament (specifically the 10 Commandments) or pushed the idea that God's law is not applicable to society in this current age. Various reasons have been given by these celebrity teachers but none of them withstand the scrutiny of God's word. Jesus said that all authority in heaven and earth has been given to him (Matthew 28:18-20). He didn't say he possesses authority over his followers only; he has authority over everything. The New Testament makes it very clear the Eternal Son, incarnate in Jesus the Christ, is the creator and sustainer of all things (Colossians 1:15-17, Hebrews 1:2). And as the Creator he is the owner. Moreover, as the owner he is the one who decides what is right and wrong. Very simply, Jesus Christ has all authority in heaven and earth. Jesus, the Word made flesh, demands that his word be acknowledged and obeyed.

Therefore, no person is the owner of themselves. No person has to right to do whatever they want with their body. No person has the right to decide they will ignore the gender they are by God's design. No person has the right to subject themselves to behaviors or activities harmful to their body or contrary to God's design. On the other hand, every human being - Christians and non-Christians alike - are responsible to God for their physical body. Just as it is with the rest of creation, human beings are stewards of themselves rather than owners.

We will return to this subject next week.

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