The Doctrine of Privacy

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Compiled from transcriptions of recorded teachings of Pastor R. B. Thieme, Jr.

Definition of Privacy

Privacy is that principle of freedom whereby an individual of the human race has the right to retire from the company of others, remaining in seclusion from the knowledge or observation of others.

It is the innate right of the human race to seclusion.

Privacy, property, and life are the basic concepts of happiness and freedom.

The laws of divine establishment guarantee the privacy of every member of the human race so that they can exercise their freedom uncoerced.

In addition to freedom and establishment, every believer has additional privacy from his royal priesthood to fulfill the principle of living his life as unto the Lord.

The Principle of Privacy and the Royal Priesthood,

1 Peter 2:9. You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, in order that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

Throughout the Gospels the Lord dwelt with the disciples privately, since much of what occurred was “family business.”

Matthew 17:19. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not drive it out?”

Matthew 24:3. As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

Mark 4:34. and He did not speak to them without a parable; but He was explaining everything privately to His own disciples.

Mark 9:28. When He came into the house, His disciples began questioning Him privately, “Why could we not drive it out?”

Mark 13:3. As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew were questioning Him privately,

When a person sins, his privacy is still to be respected.

Matthew 18:15. “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.

Paul respected the privacy of the leaders of the Jerusalem church when he presented his Gospel to the Gentiles for their consideration.

Galatians 2:2. It was because of a revelation that I went up; and I submitted to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but I did so in private to those who were of reputation, for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain.

The royal priesthood must have privacy to fulfill its function.

Colossians 3:17, “And whatever you do in word or deed, keep doing all things by the name of the Lord Jesus, constantly giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”

No believer has the right to intrude into the privacy of another believer.

In John 21:21-22, Peter was sticking his nose into John’s business; the Lord told him it was none of his business what happened to John. Peter was to pay attention to his own life before the Lord.

Violation of privacy means judging others

Romans 14:4, 10. Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.

When you judge other people, you violate their privacy.

EPrivacy includes the principle of live and let live,

2 Thess 3:11-12. For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies [violators of privacy]. Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and mind their own business.

‘Eat their own bread’ is an idiom for minding your own business.

Backsliders (reversionists) violate the privacy of others,

1 Tim 5:13…And at the same time also, they learn to be idle, having wandered around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips, intruders of privacy, constantly saying those things which ought not to be mentioned.

Violation of privacy is comparable to violations of other freedoms.

  1. When you violate one freedom, you are violating other freedoms. When you stick your nose into the private business of someone else, you have violated their freedom.

  2. The principle of life is violated by murder, slavery, and tyranny. Property is violated by stealing.

1 Peter 4:15. By no means let any of you suffer as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler [one who violates the privacy of others].” Freedom means the right to life, property, and privacy.

  1. Privacy is violated by gossiping, maligning, and judging. Intrusion into the privacy of someone else is compared to stealing and murder.