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Are Christians bound to the laws of their country?

  • Making illegal copies of films, music, books and games
  • Downloading and seeding torrents
  • Using someone else's program code without license
  • Plagiarism (which is like breaking 9th Commandment)

Are the things listed above sinful?

Does it depend on whether we're making money from it?


1 Answer 1


This issue is really just a sub-set of a much larger issue. See my answer on Are Christians bound to the laws of their country? for a defense of why Christians are bound to follow the laws of their countries whether or not they agree or disagree with them.

Whether or not some of the items you list would or would not fall under a biblical definition of "theft" and thus run afoul of one of the ten commandments, breaking a civil law is still something we're instructed against according to Romans 13:1. Hence breaking civil laws and ethical standards is also disobedience to God, which is sin.

  • 1
    I think that although from your point of view this question is just a subset of the other question, still there may be other answers. However thank you for your answer, it worth pondering. Commented Sep 7, 2011 at 11:24
  • Lex dubia non obligat. (A doubtful law does not bind.) is also another moral principle that comes into play here.
    – Geremia
    Commented Jun 19, 2014 at 21:41

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