Is it OK to borrow money?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by annsni, Sep 21, 2006.

  1. annsni

    annsni
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    There is a thread here someplace about fundraising campaigns in a church and that led DH and I to talk about fund raising and debt in a church. Our church has not borrowed money for building or ANYTHING - the congregation has stepped up or God has divinely blessed us in amazing ways so that we can continue our work for the Kingdom. DH got this in an e-mail - it's a sermon John Piper did about borrowing money : http://www.desiringgod.org/Resource...to_Borrow_Money_to_Purchase_the_North_Campus/

    I'm finding I'm totally disagreeing with him. I've seen God do great things in providing for what HE wants us to do and I think a good indication that something is not in God's plan right now is that the funds are not there. Can it be that we shortchange God the glory in getting mortgages for church? Now, I'm not even talking about for personal stuff but just for church in this case. What do you all think? Should/can a church borrow when needed? I'd love to hear other's opinions on this.

    Ann
     
  2. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    When you build a new building most contractors will not begin work without a loan in place for fear that you will run out of money before the project is completed.

    Having a loan doesn't necessarily short cut Gods glory or blessing. I think when you plan to only make minimum payments and finance the building for the term of the loan then you mishandle Gods money paying out all that interest. It could be used in other ways. We should pay off the building as soon as possible in any case.
     
  3. annsni

    annsni
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    Hmm - I didn't realize that. Fortunately, one of our pastors used to be in construction so he's our GC for the project. He hired a lot of our own congregation that was out of work to do the building and now all of the interior work that's not skilled is being done by the congregation - subflooring, insulation, sheetrock (spackle is going to be done by a skilled spackler), painting, wallpapering and such.

    Thanks for your thoughts.
     
  4. Clean1

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    Philippians 4:19, "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
     
  5. Gold Dragon

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    The Mosaic law has several sections about lenders not charging or overcharging interest. Lending and borrowing were are regular part of the culture and a significant enough part of it that God felt it was important to include laws about it in the Mosaic law. One of the major parts of the year of the Jubilee that occurred every 50 years in the Jewish calendar was the cancellation of debts.

    Many verses are about not charging interest to the poor or fellow Israelites, but Gentiles were fair game.

    In Ezekiel and much of the bible, taking interest while lending money is seen as an evil thing.

    One thing to keep in mind is that in the biblical culture, people willing to lend money was rare and those that did, could easily abuse those they lent to and accounting of loans was largely in the hands of the lender.

    While that is still the case with some places today, (like pay-day loans and banks lending to those they expect to default), that is very different from our current culture where there are many legitimate lenders willing to compete with lower interest rates to qualified borrowers who can pay back a loan.

    Anyway, my point was that lending and borrowing money is a part of the biblical culture.
     
    #5 Gold Dragon, Sep 21, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 21, 2006
  6. Revmitchell

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    So was divorce and multiple wives but we shouldnt take part in those issues. Being part of the culture is not a standard setting authority.

    Taking on loans should be done with caution. In every instance the book of proverbs speaks of lending and borrowing money it is spoken of in the negative sense.

    There isnt anything forbidding us to take on loans but a loan isnt always the answer either.

    I would say however that praying and fasting and waiting on God always works and never fails.
     
  7. Gold Dragon

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    I never suggested one way or another whether we should lend or borrow just because it was part of the biblical culture. I was merely stating what the bible says about borrowing and lending.

    I myself am fortunate enough to be debt free to everybody except my parents. Although that may change in the next few years. However I recognize that not everyone is in my situation.

    Borrowing and lending have their purpose and while the bible doesn't tell us when we should or shouldn't borrow, it does have a lot to say to lenders and how they shouldn't abuse their borrowers.

    I believe borrowing is an important part of doing things that require a significant amount of capital upfront as long as you have the capacity to pay for it over a reasonable amount of time. A mortgage is a prime example and for many churches in places with high real estate values, a mortgage is needed to function. Of course this is my opinion and not based on anything in the bible which is silent on the topic.
     
    #7 Gold Dragon, Sep 21, 2006
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  8. Gold Dragon

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    I guess I should also mention that I used to work for a bond rating agency which rates major north american corporations in their ability to repay their debts which are found in the form of bonds and other vehicles bought by investors.

    So maybe my view of debt and borrowing is skewed by that experience.

    For everyone with a bank account, you are lending money to the bank at a given interest rate. Everyone who buys bonds, T-bills or funds that purchase those vehicles are lending money to corporations and the government.

    So if you consider borrowing to be wrong, then you probably shouldn't be an investor or use bank accounts which causes other people to borrow.
     
    #8 Gold Dragon, Sep 21, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 21, 2006
  9. gb93433

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    When I managed a lumber company we considered churches as one of the highest risks because a number of congregations would get pledges and the money did not come so they left their suppliers hanging.
     
  10. gb93433

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    That depends on the project and the owner. I worked as a GC and have rarely built a building where the owner had a loan.

    Years ago when I was much younger I worked for a man whose dad started the business about 80 years ago and they never borrowed one penny at anytime in the history of that business. They were the largest business of its type in the US. The man who owned the business was a Christian.
     
  11. Hope of Glory

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    I've discovered the same thing. When an individual or a business contracts stained glass windows, I generally charge a 25% deposit. When a church contracts, I charge a 50% deposit. Now, many churches simply pay me up front. Others seem to think that since I'm a preacher, I should do it for them for free. I do give churches a 25% discount, and I've been known to make a donation or two, but if you want a luxury, you should be able to pay for it.

    And churches are difficult to collect the remainder on.
     
  12. Gold Dragon

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    Good point. Pledges are a poor way to measure the capacity to pay back a loan. A more accurate measure is cash on hand and historical cash flow, which is simplistically how corporations are rated for their ability to repay debts. Of course churches do not publish their books so it is the responsibility of church leadership to make good assessments of their financial situation. Unfortunately, many church leaders are not equipped with the financial skills to make these types of assessments and may use inaccurate measures like pledges to base financial decisions. Or the people making the final decision may ignore the advice of those who have the financial know how to make those judgements by dismissing their prudence and stewardship as a lack of faith.
     
    #12 Gold Dragon, Sep 22, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2006
  13. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
    Proverbs 22:7
     

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