On Privacy Part 1

I. “A mistake is to assume wrongdoing on the part of an individual because they prefer their privacy. The idea that many people have, ‘if you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to worry about’, is nonsense and presents the dangerous belief that one is guilty until proven innocent. I do have something to hide: my life, which is nobody's business but my God's. The right to privacy is a God given right. We demand privacy all the time, such as when going to the bathroom or taking a shower. No wrongdoing going on there. Other than God, my life is nobody's business.” (John Kishishian)

II. Scripture sternly warns against being busybodies in other men's matters. 2TH 3:11; 1TI 5:13; 1PE 4:15. A. busybody: An officious or meddlesome person; one who is improperly busy in other people's affairs. 1. officious: 1. Doing or ready to do kind offices; eager to serve or please; attentive, obliging, kind. 3. Unduly forward in proffering services or taking business upon oneself; doing, or prone to do, more than is asked or required; interfering with what is not one's concern; meddlesome. 2. meddlesome: Given to meddling or interfering. 3. meddle: To mix, mingle; to combine, blend, intersperse; To concern or busy oneself. Now always expressive of disapprobation, to concern oneself or take part interferingly. B. The busybodies of 1TI 5:11-15 have waxed wanton against Christ, have cast off their first faith, and are turned aside after Satan. C. 1PE 4:15 classes busybodies with murderers, thieves and evildoers. D. Beware the notion of “noble meddling” where one presumes to involve himself in struggles which are not directly his business. 2CH 35:20-24; PRO 3:30; 25:8. 1. Strife is encouraged by meddling. PRO 17:14; 20:3. 2. (PRO 26:17) He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears. a. He cannot let the strife go without being injured and it completely occupies him if he tries to hold on to it. b. If you pass people engaged in a quarrel, do not concern yourself with it unless there is a clear, present danger at hand. E. Beware of “white knight meddling” where one is (per the definition above) “unduly forward in...taking business upon oneself” because of a perceived danger or injustice. 1. We are living in times when people are prone to rat out their neighbor on something as trivial as a missing face-mask out of some deluded notion that in so doing they are working salvation for innocent folks. 2. There are too many “nosy-parkers” who are quick to report things to overly eager authorities on the basis of limited information. PRO 19:2 c/w JER 20:10. 3. Beware of assuming dirt or guilt concerning someone’s decisions or actions based on superficial details and then moving upon that person peremptorily (precluding debate, discussion or opposition). JOH 7:24, 51. F. Beware the man who is too inquisitive about your personal business. PSA 41:6-7. 1. Inquiring minds don’t always need to know everything. JDG 13:18; COL 2:18. 2. The wicked gather intelligence, not for public discourse or good, but for a weapon. PSA 64:6 c/w MAT 2:7-8. 3. Such inquirers may be laying a snare for their mark. MAR 12:13-15. 4. Such inquirers may be laying a snare for their mark’s associates. JOH 18:19-21. 5. Such inquirers may be building a dossier on someone to be used against him and make him an offender for a slight inconsistency or slip of memory. ISA 29:20-21. 6. In this depraved culture of information overload, one can vacuum the internet for all kinds of personal information and build a formidable dossier on someone. a. Why, in the absence of clear, present danger or legitimate inquisition (c/w DEU 17:2-4) would you think of doing this to a brother or sister? b. Such “intelligence gathering” of a brother or sister is unnecessary, contrary to the second great commandment, and could cause your loss of inheritance in the kingdom of Christ. c. NOTE: There is a big difference between investigation generated because of genuine suspicion of wrong-doing and investigation to generate a snare or case against someone. 7. You are not obliged to answer every inquiry. MAT 15:23; JOH 19:9; PSA 39:1.

III. Totalitarian governments are busybodies. A. Governments that usurp the place of God must strive to become omniscient and omnipresent. PSA 139:1-10. 1. Total knowledge is necessary to total control. 2. “Every tyranny in history followed the path of becoming increasingly invasive and seeking to eliminate individual privacy. The government and their private benefactors want to know everything about everybody because they won't allow any opposition and dissent to their evil plans. Only God, who has infinite understanding and is omniscient, knows everything about everybody and everything. When various authorities in positions of power strive to eliminate individual privacy, they are in essence trying to usurp the role of God.” (John Kishishian) 3. God is the only Person Who can have total knowledge of men without it corrupting Him. Can you imagine sinful man with the power of HEB 4:13? B. The reign of the beast denies the right of private commerce thus controlling the business of men. REV 13:16-17. C. Participation in discussion groups is a means of getting people to reveal their thoughts. 1. “...out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (MAT 12:34). 2. By this means a person's weaknesses can be discovered, thus paving the way to exploit and manipulate that person. 3. Even without the government factor, the wisdom of advertising one's personal details in a public forum is questionable. 4. A silent fool is better than a knowledgeable person without discretion. PRO 17:28; 26:12. D. We have all likely sacrificed our privacy on the altar of convenience. 1. “Privacy, freedom and liberty, are not always convenient or easy. Going along with the latest privacy invading technology is often done by many because of convenience. In this country, our hard fought freedoms and liberties are being given away cheaply by several generations of people who value convenience more than liberty.” (John Kishishian) 2. In the past, we gathered information via one-way channels: books, magazines, newspapers, over-the-air broadcasts, etc. But every internet “click” is a two-way system which tells someone else what interests you, motivates you, enrages you, etc. We have exposed ourselves to both private and governmental control to the point that some algorithm knows more about us than we can even remember about ourselves. We are living MIC 7:3-7. 3. Wicked rats thrive on convenience for their own ends. 1KI 12:27-28; MAR 14:11. E. Too much group activity can result in one becoming unable to function without the group. 1. The individual thus yields to the group the control of his thoughts and life. 2. The mind of the group becomes the ultimate law rather than the truth of God. 3. Divisiveness thus becomes the ultimate crime and unity the ultimate virtue. 4. Never sacrifice the right or responsibility to judge for yourself. 1CO 10:15. 5. “...Let every man be fully persuaded IN HIS OWN MIND” (ROM 14:5).

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