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Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Judith, Dec 13, 2013.
Do you believe that bankruptcy is sin? Why?
This is a difficult issue.
On one hand I would say, no.
On the other, yes.
I don't know that the bankruptcy itself is sinful when it is brought about because of irresponsibility in handling financial matters wisely. To me that is part of the consequences of the sinful living - the wages of sinful choices. Life is not lived by making choices but by facing and handling consequences.
Also, if because of other circumstances (accident, illness loss of job...), great debt or the inability to pay debt is impressed upon the person, then I don't view that as irresponsibly, and bankruptcy is sort of like the year of jubilation in which all debts were expunged.
When then might bankruptcy be sinful?
When the person plans and schemes to use it as a tool to acquire materialistic things and then rob providers the payment, and also when a provider does not make allowance for a person who in good faith made a purchase only later to be blind-sided into extreme financial hardship as mentioned above.
There are then two who sin. The person taking advantage of providers, and the providers taking advantage of the person.
What do you think?
Since the bankruptcy laws are based on biblical examples, it isn't a sin to declare bankruptcy just like it isn't a sin to be in debt.
Not to be contentious, but for my own edification, what bankruptcy laws are based upon biblical examples?
I assume you are referring to this passage;
"At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release of debts. And this is the form of the release: Every creditor who has lent anything to his neighbor shall release it; he shall not require it of his neighbor or his brother, because it is called the LORD's release" (Deuteronomy 15:1-2).
So if that is the way we are to live doesn't this mean we are to forgive every persons debt at the end of 7 years? So if you sell a house to someone on a 30 year note you now have to set them free at the end of 7 years if you want to follow that passage, correct?
I think you are correct that it can be sin. If we make a debt we are obligated to pay that debt. Just because hard times come they do not release us of the debt. I see no problem with using bankruptcy as a way to restructure as we continue to pay, but not as a tool to get out of what we have taken and used.
Think it is WHY the person is required to file that, for if it was due to living way over their means, and not budgeting correctly, then yes, would see that being poor stewerds of their funds from God...
On the other hand, if due to loss of job, big medical expenses, natural disastor etc, woukld see it as not being wrong, but the qurestion then is would we file ch 7 or ch 13, are either biblical?
There is no biblical bankruptcy.
yes there is the pattern for it, in the OT Jubilee, where every 50th year I believe, ALL outstanding debts among the isrealites were excused, and all land/properties lost due to debt/loan etc were restored back to former ownership, so the pattern is indeed quite biblical!
Bankruptcy can be considered a learning process. Just as an unexpected pregnancy. Everyone makes mistakes and most rational people learn valuable lessons from their mistakes.
A sin? Nope.
Not unless you're holier-than-thou and enjoy sitting in judgement of others. Then..., it's a "sin".
Milton S. Hershey, of Hershey Chocolate, filed bankruptcy four times before he finally got it right. A couple of Presidents of the USA went bankrupt. It happens.
I agree that the consequences of sinfool living and/or ungodly providers can result in court action such as bankruptcy, and there is plenty of sin to go around in those situations.
About your question about Biblical use of 7 and 13:
If I recall, one is to restructure debt and the other is to liquidate resources.
Restructuring debt is a way to arrange payment - that is biblical - example think of the servant who begged for "restructuring debt" and then refused the same to others.
The liquidation of resources is a way of others taking away what is theirs (if only in part). That too is biblical when considering that God did that when placing the Jews in the promised land (kind of an extreme example - though).
Think this gets back tot he currnt widely held teaching that ALL debt is being in sin, which I don't see taught in the Bible!
Do not want to be enslaved by it, unable to pay it off, but not all sin is automatically sinning against the lord!
A great big double AMEN to this; especially the bolded part
I'm not completely sure how bankruptcy works, but isn't the current way that you give up things of value that you have, and work out a payment plan based on what you can afford, without losing things such as your way to work? (ie a vehicle used to get to work, but you'd have to sell a second one, etc.)
If that's the case, how would it be a sin?
I know that in times past, I heard people say "aha, I'll just claim bankruptcy and they can't do anything and I have to pay nothing!" which sounds very wrong, and probably the reason they don't do that anymore. People abused it instead of the ones who actually needed it?
I suppose most anything can be a sin. An orange lollipop could be a sin. The heart would be what determines it...
When you file chapter 7 bankruptcy (liquidation), the goal is to pay all that you can to those you owe. You are allowed to keep $10,000 in a combination of cash and assets (such as your car). If you are married, then each person is allotted $10,000 for a total of $20,000.
This means, no house, practically no possessions, a cheap car and a little cash.
Bankruptcy is not a way out. It's disastrous. And to make things worse, you will have judgmental attitudes (you have sinned!!) hurled at you like some of the ones on this thread.
I basically agree with your post, that bankruptcy is a tool to come back from bad circumstances in life or judgment errors. Most people who file are honest, hard working folks that had bad luck or learned some hard lessons in life. The condemning attitude expressed in some posts in neither warranted nor Scriptural.
The only way I can see bankruptcy as being a sin is if one plans to spend money they do not have and has mapped out a bankruptcy in advance to avoid having to pay. That is called theft.
Again incorrect. The biblical mandate was automatic, figured into the debt and for everyone. Bankruptcy is not.
So your justification is not based on biblical teachings, but because rich people use it to get richer?
My husband and I were planning on filing bankruptcy because his business failed (which was our only debt. No credit card debt, cars were paid for, house was nearly paid for.) but God intervened and we settled with the bank for a small amount of cash compared to the loan that we owed. But we went through the whole process first, selling our home, selling our stuff, ect... working with an attorney for months. We did not pile up debt by buying stuff. We drained our savings and retirement accounts trying to save the business, but were not able to. This happened when the housing industry bottomed. So when people want to make a blanket judgment that bankruptcy is a sin, it makes me sick.
And your judgment is certainly not biblical! You don't know what you're talking about.