Why the Name Boundary Stone?

by May 15, 2020

“Cursed is the man who moves their neighbor’s boundary stone.”

Deuteronomy 27:17 NIV

Boundary stones have long been used to mark property lines. The biblical curse above was one among many that Israel’s priests called out when the people were entering the promised land in the Old Testament. This served as a warning that God had given the people his law and he expected it to be observed. If it was not, the people would be cursed. Among the requirements of the law was the affirmation of private property, which is rooted in the eighth commandment against theft.

The name for our organization, Boundary Stone, is taken from this Deuteronomy passage because we live in a society where people are beginning to routinely move their neighbor’s boundary stones. Today we live in a culture that plays fast and loose with the property rights of others. The proposition that the powers of government may and should be used for the purpose of redistributing property from one person to another has become commonly accepted. However, there is no biblical justification for such action. In essence, this kind of activity undercuts the legitimate property rights of individual people and is, therefore, a legalized form of theft.

The classic example of such theft in the Bible was the conspiracy of Ahab and Jezebel to take Naboth’s vineyard. In this case, Ahab and Jezebel were motivated by their own greed. Modern redistribution is generally motivated by supposed charitable desires. However, we cannot truly be charitable toward others by promoting the violation of our neighbors’ private property. Such efforts confuse the meaning of charity.

The important point to make is that the government is limited and its actions are as much bound by the moral law of God as are the activities of anyone else. Moreover, failure to act morally inevitably invites one’s own destruction since such behavior ignores the laws of God. The name Boundary Stone is a reminder of God’s command to respect the property of others. Our purpose is to create tools to help you teach the foundational truths of economics as demonstrated through history in an easy to understand fashion so that anyone can recognize the real solutions to today’s economic problems.

Paul Cleveland

Boundary Stone was started by Dr. Paul Cleveland. Working as a professor for over 35 years has allowed him to study and think deeply about issues of political economy. He has discovered ways to communicate these sometimes illusive concepts to today's students, often through story telling, which makes understanding these principles more accessible to all of us.

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