Sunday, February 28, 2016

Is It Really Permissible For Christians To Borrow?







Can Christians Borrow To Buy A House And A Car?

Question : Thanks for all the insights you have given me in the past concerning different issues. Yet I have more questions. My wife and I thought we heard God clearly tell us never to borrow again, and since that time we have not borrowed except for one emergency that proved unnecessary. Yet we have new emergencies...tied to opportunities. If we don't pay this money we may end up owing more than we already owe. But we don't have the money, neither do we have anybody that have the money. Deadline for payment is in three days time and no source in sight. I can't hear God on this...should go to a bank or should I wait? Are there special occasions when Christians are allowed to borrow? For instance we also want to build a house, saving for it may take us five to ten years and the uncertainties involved. For instance we also have other projects equally important for a family like buying a car and we can't do both the same time. Borrowing from the bank to build will take us three years to pay back and we'll have our house and if possible a car the same time. So...is it really permissible? Thanks.

Answer : Greetings in Jesus wonderful name! Praise the Lord and Glory to God!

When it comes to borrowing, the first thing that should come to mind is the verse that many use to discourage getting in to debt, it is
"Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law." (Rom 13:8). We have to see whether this above verse says that no one should owe anything to anybody or does it say that we should love others consistently as long as we live because we cannot repay the debt of love we owe towards God and others even for a lifetime of loving God and others in this life, or it says about both because both are true? At the first glance if seems that both the above question is true. To say the truth, it is a hyperbole that is used to exaggerate the first sentence to highlight greatly the next part of the sentence in relation to the first. It does not mean that the first sentence is exactly true, but rather it does mean that there is some truth in the first one that is exaggerated in a great way to highlight the second one. In a much better way we can express the above verse as, "Pay all your debts except the debt of love for others--never finish paying that! For if you love them, you will be obeying all of God's laws, fulfilling all his requirements." (Rom 13:8, Living Bible). So we can safely come to the conclusion that when the Bible says "Owe no one anything except to love one another", it does mean, we should not stop paying back our debt in time to every one we have borrowed except for loving God and one another which we need to pay back to them as long as our earthly life exists. In other words if we take the literal sentence and ask ourselves this question, Is it possible to be debt-free financially, and still not obey the command to love? Yes indeed. That is why it assumes that every man has some debt to pay back, and the greatest thing to pay back for a Christian without fail is to love God and others without fail which automatically fulfills all the laws of God.

So does the Bible indicate that borrowing money is a sin? No, not at all. But the Bible always also do not encourage borrowing money because financial debt is a form of slavery
(Prov 22:7; Deut 28:43-44), one should only borrow if they have the ability to pay back through a plan what they owe to others on time without fail (Psalm 37:21). In other words, There is no sin in borrowing the money as long as you are able to pay the interest and premiums according to that schedule you have agreed to your lender.

Jesus treated banks as a normal part of life and assumed the personal right to borrow money
(Matt 25:27; Matt 5:42; Luke 6:35). Jesus also gave examples of lending talents or money to people, and then expected them to work with it to produce more money or talent and return to Him what he had already given to them. In those examples, Jesus commended the people who borrowed money from him and multiplied it diligently to pay him back along with a interest. But one person who gave him the exact amount He gave him and also charged Him as a hard task master to have asked him to pay back, was told that it would have been better for him if he had deposited that one talent of money in the bank to atleast gain the interest for it. So this man was judged and condemned at the end for selfishly trying to use the money given to him which was taken for granted by this evil minded unprofitable man to think that it was his own to bury it under the earth in a secret place (Matt 25:14-30). So all the banks in the world run in this basis only, they get money to help people deposit their money for a low interest and then they try to lend the same money to risk takers in buisness with more talent to roll their money and make more profit and repay their money with a higher interest which will make the bankers to grow.

I always would suggest that when a Christian want to go for a loan, it is better to ask God and seek Him to confirm to us specifically whether to go ahead or avoid it altogether because our God is a living God who speaks from heaven
(Matt 22:32).

When God says to you individually and collectively as a family not to borrow again, it does mean the specific word of God applies to you for your own good in your particular situation. If you know that you have heard from God and by conviction of the Holy Spirit are covinced deeply about it, I would rather suggest you to better obey that voice of God from heaven that is directed towards you within your heart
(Heb 12:25), as only God knows your future even from the times past and also in the present, there will be a specific reason God might be saying like that to you (Isa 46:10, 11). I also feel that you are right about it, as you have since that time have not borrowed except for one emergency that proved unnecessary.

Because you say that you have new emergencies...tied to opportunities, it does mean you might be tempted in this area 
(1 Cor 10:9, 11, 13), but when you know that God has told you not to borrow money specifically, do avoid completely to give in to debt because only God can understand your weakness and also your bright future when you are in obedience to His voice even before you step in to it.

As you yourself have said that if you do not pay on time, you will end up owing more money than before, and also along with that you don't have the money, neither do you have anybody that have the money, it does mean that a danger bell is ringing that you should not put yourself and your family at the risk of payment deadline when you know that there is no source in sight to pay that debt back. It is foolish to take such a risk that you cannot manage and lose all the money that you have altogether for nothing but for wasted time, worries and unnecessary health risk and spiritual hara-kiri.

When God has already spoken to you clearly by the conviction and voice of the Holy Spirit from heaven
(1 Thess 1:5; John 16:13; 1 John 3:24; 4:13), if you still go on expecting an answer other than what he has already told, you are in to the deception of the presumptuously permissible will of God (Num 22:12, 20). So turn back and try to keep the first command that he has give to you and your family, that is not to borrow any more money, whether there are opportunities available for growth by borrowing or not doesn't matter at all. When you know that God has already spoken to you against it, obeying the voice of God is better than many sacrifice you do to please God (1 Sam 15:22).

Now I am coming to your question, are there special occasions when Christians are allowed to borrow?

Yes..but these principles are never exclusive to veto the voice of God which speaks specifically for each person within their heart who seeks God personally to find the will of God for their lives specifically, but it is very much inclusive of voice of God that speaks and that which leads a person to find the ultimate will of God with the help of the Word of God. In other words, when God speaks specifically, general will of God in His Word
[i.e. the Logos] becomes a good principle to learn but to obey we should look to the voice of God which is the rhema word or a quickened word of God that comes to our heart from heaven for our specific situation which will line up within the principles of the Word of God and not against it (Isa 8:20; 34:16).

We should check our own motive to judge it before borrowing money from someone
(1 Cor 11:31-32). A lot of borrowing happens for all the wrong reasons of greed. Over and over again, the Lord warns us to avoid covetousness and greed (Luke 12:14-15). Remember, “Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I forsake you’” (Hebrews 13:5, NIV). As Christians, for us to live in the center of God's will which keeps us in God's Presence is more precious to us than how much earthly money, property, riches, comfort, honor and power we acquire through this earthly life (Psa 119:72; Psa 16:11). Whatever earthly we acquire in life is just a bonus, but as we serve God in the will of God, our reward is eternal and more precious than anything we could ever compare on earth (Matt 16:26, 27).

As for your case, I can sure be bold enough to discourage you to go for any more loan because God has spoken a specific word not to go for a loan anymore. I believe that you should become content with what you have
(1 Tim 6:6, 7-8; Heb 13:5), and you should be happy that God's Presence is with you to never leave you nor forsake you and that God might have important assignment for you in the future to fulfill, that is the reason God might be testing you and your family to know whether you will obey his specific revealed will of God for your and your families life.

Generally, it is not wrong to invest in immovable property which actually rises up in value for you to not only return the loan safely, but also make money out of it to fulfill a vision that God might have given you. But to invest in deteriorating products such as luxury cars or in general a car is not wise to take it through loan unless you can afford it as a luxury. Or else when you are doing a business for which a vehicle becomes a important instrument to generate more money to save time and pay back the loan efficiently and also expand the business for more returns, it will be more meaningful and affordable. At the same time the Bible warns us to guard against making plans that presume on God’s will for our future
(James 4:13-16), so it is better to wait on God to know His specific will for our lives and then with all our heart pursue it by faith to see great and marvelous work of God done through our lives for the Glory of God.

Trying to get rich quick through borrowing or even lending for usury will not be blessed at the end by God, the people who borrow money without a clear plan to roll it to increase or pay back systematically with the required interest will lose completely their whole sum to the lender
(Prov 20:21; 1 Tim 6:9). Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears; wealth from hard work grows over time (Prov 13:11). A faithful person who walks inline with the specific will of God for his or her life will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich through deceit or violence will not go unpunished (Prov 28:20).

So God’s Word does not forbid financial debt, but discourages it and warns of its bondage and its tendency to encourage us to presume on the future. Borrowing is never God’s best for His people
(Deuteronomy 28:43-45). Therefore, follow God and his commands and your need for borrowing will be minimized or even eliminated (Deuteronomy 28:1, 12).

The longest term of debt God’s people took on in the Bible was about seven years
(Deuteronomy 15:1-2). The only debts that could exceed seven years were those made to non-Jews or from non-Jews. So I would like to tell you, even if you have to take a 15-year loan, have a plan to pay it off in 7 years or less.

We see both in the Old and New Testament that the practice of biblical love toward one another is given a greater importance than becoming rich, or remaining, financially debt-free. So we must strive to pay back our debt financially if we have obligated ourselves in to such and such loan, but at the same time let us be careful enough not to get consumed in this whole process so as to lose sight of the highest importance of paying back our debt of love towards people because of the love of God shown towards us
(John 13:34).

The bottom line is, because you already know the specific will of God for your life, do not again try to daggle in to confusion of trying to apply the Biblical priciples which are more or less permissible will of God when we find no specific will of God for us. For matters which you have sought enough from God, you can start to apply the guidelines of the Word of God to proceed further. If God sees your sincerity, he will say no if it is not His specific will of God for you. Or else He will automatically guide you through the same Biblical guidelines to confirm that what you are involved in is already His specific will for your life.

“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these [material] things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)
. In other words, God says that if we seek the spiritual riches first with God's right way of living through pleasing Him, we will become holistically rich with also all our needed material things added to it, so that we will have no lack in any area of our lives to fulfill God's purpose for our lives.

GLORY TO GOD!


Much Blessings....





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