The Bible & debt

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by evangelist6589, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589
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    I am curious as to your views on this subject. Many have varying degrees of interpretation. Some are on the left and will use Credit Cards and debt to buy whatever they want, whenever they want, and are enslaved to debt for a long time, or they pay it off easily due to a high paying job, and never learn their lesson, until they lose that good paying job and have to drop down to unemployment or a working class income.

    Others are on the far right and never will use a credit card or debt for anything. I have seen some put their life in danger and that of others for their views. One individual would not let someone eat anything but hot cereal 3 meals a day, because they had gone over the budget. Another is having extreme pain and may have a very serious health concern. Yet because of an extreme view on debt refuses to get aide for he does not desire to go into debt as he is without insurance.

    So what are your views? We need to use the Bible in our defense and reference point.


    John
     
  2. HAMel

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    Running out of money; going belly-up financially; sinking in debt; will expose one to just how strong their "faith" is. For way too many, as long as the money is coming in their "faith" is as strong as steel but should the money run out..., oh my. It's a whole different ball game at this point.

    We have to deal with some level of debt as most would otherwise not be able to own a home, car, education, etc.

    People, especially Christians, need to realize that Madison Avenue Ad Men spend millions of dollars annually to study the buying habits in America and in how to con those American's into spending more and more.

    As women do most of the shopping, these ads are geared to tickle their fancy and usually it's, "...but look at the money I saved".

    Christians need to really consider their buying habits bounced against the Word. We don't need a third of everything we buy and I consider going into debt to the point of no return, as being a sin. What fools we are!

    Good topic and it needs to be preached in every church in this country of ours.
     
  3. JesusFan

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    Think that we can go to extremes on both sides of this issue!

    We should be good stewerds of the possessions God has allowed us to have, and IF we go into excessive debt, WILL not have funds avaialble as we should have to further His work!

    Think that IF one uses debit/credit cards to buy gas, purchase groceries etc fine AS LONG AS able to pay full debt off each month gets billed

    problem is when one charges and cannot keep payments curreent on the debt...

    So if able to charge and pay it off fully each Month, dont see a problem

    believe should though save Money and use cash whenever possible. just means have to put off item later getting purchased!

    IF using credit to buy over means, to pay off thingsbought unwisely, to just maintain lifestyle etc

    That would tend to get one sinning, as one needs to budget to live within means!
     
  4. sag38

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    My wife and I make money off of our credit card. We pay the total balance each month and we get between $250.00 and $300.00 annually cash back. We use it each year for Christmas expenses. To me it would be a sin not to take advantage of this opportunity.
     
  5. InTheLight

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    Nothing wrong with using credit cards so long as you don't get stuck with a balance that runs on for months.

    There are some thing you simply cannot (easily) purchase unless you have a credit card. Airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, online purchases, and more. In some cases credit cards also offer the purchaser additional warranty coverage as well as the ability to return a product past the usual return terms.

    Unexpected expensive car repairs is another area where a credit card can be a real lifesaver.

    However, if you run up a balance that then cannot promptly pay it off you become a slave to the credit card company.

    Proverbs 22:7 The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
     
  6. preachinjesus

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    Ironic that you would mention using the Bible in "our defense an reference point" when the OP doesn't have any Scripture in it. This isn't a biting criticism but just pointing out one glaring error.

    A properly leveraged financial portfolio can lead to sustainable financial growth over a long term. Debt isn't a bad thing. Debt, when properly managed, can help. Now if you're getting out of control with your debt to equity ratios you're just asking for a bruising.

    Since Proverbs is about principles and not promises or mandates I do agree with 22:7 that there is a master servant relationship when we take on credit. But that doesn't mean not to use credit to your advantage.

    Debt is part of life today. How many people under the age of 35 go into debt to obtain a valued education that will serve them for years to come?

    Our approach is that we put a lot of our regular monthly bills on our rewards card and pay off the balance every month. Whenever we make a purchase we note it, then transfer the appropriate amount (often a little extra) into a high interest savings account. When the bill comes due we simply transfer the money from that account to the bill pay account and never feel a thing financially.

    Also, when we bought a set of appliances several months ago we used a 36 months no interest account with the store. Not only did we get points with the store but we also paid off the appliances within 14 months.

    Being diligent about your finances is a key to sustainable growth. Credit needs to be treated like a baby. Watch it carefully, tend to it when needed, and keep away threats.
     
  7. JesusFan

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    To our family, basically go into debt due to

    Emergency needs
    buy gas. groceries etc knowing WILL pay off on next month statement
    Hotels/airlines/car rentals etc

    as much as possible, try to cash and carry
     
  8. humblethinker

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    I like your view! Also, something to mention is that when you move to using a credit card for all purchases, after the first month or 60 days you will have that much money sitting in the bank drawing interest so long as you don't ever miss a paymnet.

    I tried this... all it takes is a one 'late' payment to whipe away all the 'cash back' money and if that's all it costs you then you're shooting for par.

    So, I would disagree with it being a sin not to take advantage of the 'opportunity' (although I think you were kindof kidding).
     
  9. evangelist6589

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    I am a slave to the loan company. But it was out of my control and I needed a car (as current car needed repairs going over 3K). But I wisely got a reliable 3K car and one I could afford the payments over a car I could not afford the payments. At the moment I am looking for a better paying job so I cna pay off my debts. But the Lord has not provided that yet.

    I am reading Erwin Lutzers latest book and it has a chapter on debt in it. Check it out!

     
    #9 evangelist6589, Jul 25, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2011
  10. humblethinker

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    It is admirable for for people to live within their means. If there must be one, let this be the new fashion statement: "It's paid for.".
     
  11. freeatlast

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    Scripture does not forbid borrowing or lending, but it does give guidelines (OT) on it and it does also warn about the consequences. One guideline is interest. it can be charged to an unbeliever but not a brother. That is a place the church has failed and sent a bad message by floating bonds to the membership with interest to do new construction on the church buildings. Sadly many of our leaders are very poor stewards and that passes onto the church. They should be looking down the road for building projects, saving some money to do just that instead of financing.
    A consequence is this. Pro 22:7 The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower [is] servant to the lender.
    A clear warning to the borrower so wisdom is don't borrow unless necessary and most borrowing is not necessary but done because of poor stewardship and coveting.

    I often hear someone say that they bought (financed) their house on faith. That is impossible and totally false. Rom 10:17 So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

    There is no scripture telling them to finance a house. The truth is they financed it out of presumption. Tomorrow does not belong to them. That is not to say it is wrong to finance, but we need to be honest and not call our coveting and presumption faith, but financing does need to be kept in control and very few do that. I would add that bankruptcy is usually sin. We are to pay our debts not find some way to get out of them, I said usually sin because I think bankruptcy can be used to honor the Lord if it is used to put a stop on the creditors and then after it is all over set up payments for what you did not pay for even if you no longer have the items. The problem we have today is not being good stewards and not wanting to wait until we can pay cash. My policy is unless I can pay cash I don’t buy it and by cash it would include credit cards as long as they are paid in full every month.

    I would however say that in emergencies credit may become a must and acceptable, but the bill must be paid off to honor the Lord even if bankruptcy is filed and it has to be paid on the rest of the persons life.
     
    #11 freeatlast, Jul 25, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2011
  12. evangelist6589

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    I appreciate the biblical response of most here. I do agree with the general premise that its not a sin to own a CC. What is a sin is one that charges and doe snot pay back. These are mistakes I made earlier in my days that I am still paying for. Unfortunately the Lord has not yet provided a job that can knock them out easily, but Lord willing that will come. Making the best of a bad decision by Erwin Lutzer I continue to read.
     
  13. HAMel

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    freeatlast, you mention "bankruptcy". Please don't make a blanket statement that BankRuptcy is a sin across the board. It isn't.

    It's interesting to note that State Laws governing bankruptcy are in place to protect its citizens from unscrupulous lenders and other assorted businesses. Often, these people are within the law but totally immoral in practice. Legally correct but morally wrong.

    One of the biggest offenders in this arena are the folks offering Time Shares. What a rip-off.

    I agree with you that if someone declares bankruptcy for the sole purpose of not meeting their financial obligations, that's one thing. Sin, perhaps, as you suggest. On the other hand however bankruptcy laws are in place for the protection of citizens.

    As you remember, just a few short years ago we all were receiving Credit Card Offers in the mail on a daily basis. All you had to do was call in to activate the thing. A lot of people, mostly young adults, got caught up in this racket by not knowing any better.
     
  14. freeatlast

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    can I ask you a question? Do you approach the word of God the same way you did my post. Because of you do then you must be very confused at what it really says. I NEVER said bankruptcy is sin across the board. it is sin when used to get out of paying our debts not when used to get the room to do so.
     
  15. HAMel

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    My bad, there FAL. I thought you said the following.

    I would add that bankruptcy is usually sin. Perhaps I did skip over your word..., "usually sin", but I did respond with..., "Please don't make a blanket statement that BankRuptcy is a sin across the board. It isn't." So may I ask what you mean by, usually? If an otherwise responsible person declares bankruptcy out of necessity would that be....

    Let me share this with you freeatlast. My wife and I worked our entire life. We raised three kids and ended up with four grand kids of which we had to raise..., for 10 years. We sent our grand kids to Christian School for those 10 years, had to bail out two of our children on occasion (with one facing legal woes) and put the third child through College who graduated without owing a dime.

    After all the smoke cleared and I retired..., WE WERE FORCED INTO BANKRUPTCY. Been there and done that. Am I necessary proud of what we had to do? Not really but for sure..., my wife and I are Free At Last from hounding bill collectors who were relentless. I suppose that after a review of our life one (perhaps you) could conclude that yes..., we didn't make the right choices in that we spent it all on the kids.

    Out of the four grand kids..., we only hear from them when they want something. Three of them are still in High School. The eldest has one child with another on the way. Perhaps and her tattooed boy friend will get married some day but we'll just wait and see. My son, now 41 is finally getting his life straight; one daughter now 39, works for the State; the one who graduated from College, now 31, has a phobia about driving so we still have to take her every place she goes and refuses to seek help with her fears. It's amazing.

    So, in answer to your question, "Do you approach the word of God the same way you did my post..."? No, the Word of God is infallible.

    Sometimes, FAL, people, even including believers, find themselves in positions they just can't get out of. Hence, my statement in an earlier post about discovering just how strong your faith is after you Run Out Of Money. It often seems like those with the most faith have the most money..., or so that's their outward appearance.
     
  16. sag38

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    Even if one declares bankruptcy and has his or her debts supposedly removed that does not remove the moral responsibility to pay those debts. Even if I could only pay ten dollars a month once I got back on my feet then that's what I should do. I may be free from the debt on my lender's books by a court decree but in my heart and reality that debt is still very real.
     
  17. HAMel

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    Even if one declares bankruptcy and has his or her debts supposedly removed that does not remove the moral responsibility to pay those debts. Even if I could only pay ten dollars a month once I got back on my feet then that's what I should do. I may be free from the debt on my lender's books by a court decree but in my heart and reality that debt is still very real.

    sag38, you commit a crime that normally mandates three to five years. The judge shows mercy and sentences you to only time served. Feeling obligated to serve the full sentence you would report to the prison at least for 10 hours a month?

    The reality here is that most people never take to time to really consider the amount of money they are really being charged for an item. Consider a new vehicle that costs $38,000. Finance that vehicle for four to five years and you're paying close to 10 grand just in interest alone.

    I knew a man who in 1962 bought a new home that cost a whopping $13,500 dollars back then. For some reason he financed this home for 30 years. His payments were right at $125.00 a month...for 30 years. At the end of 30 years he had paid well over $125,000.00 for that home.

    Sorry, but the money changers are legal crooks. If one gets back on their feet and pays a minimum monthly payment the bill will never be paid off. It will go on forever and, should you ever once attempt to pay on an obligation after bankruptcy..., you are then obligated to pay it all, plus all the accrued interest.

    Milton S. Hershey, of Hershey's Chocolate filed bankruptcy three times before making it. Over the years we have had two or three Presidents who filed bankruptcy.

    Bankruptcy is not an evil thing. Sometimes it's necessary. The financial world has added the stigma of it being an evil thing. Corporations declare bankruptcy all the time. Good for them but not for the individual?
     
  18. InTheLight

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    $38,000 financed at 8% for 5 years would mean interest paid would be about $8,250.

    How do you figure that? His payment was $125 a month for 360 months. That's a total note of $45,000, meaning he paid interest of $31,500, definitely NOT $125,000.

    Never? Under a new law the credit card companies must list how long it will take to pay back the credit card balance if all you do is make the minimum payment every month. That amount of time might very well be 20 or 30 years (depending on your balance and interest rate) but to say it will never be paid back is inaccurate.
     
  19. HAMel

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    $38,000 financed at 8% for 5 years would mean interest paid would be about $8,250.

    Figure it out at 11% Rates have recently come down a bit as car sales are off.

    How do you figure that? His payment was $125 a month for 360 months. That's a total note of $45,000, meaning he paid interest of $31,500, definitely NOT $125,000.

    Interest is usually compounded differently on a home vice a smaller purchase. Back in 1962 a new car was around $2,250 bucks.

    Never? Under a new law the credit card companies must list how long it will take to pay back the credit card balance if all you do is make the minimum payment every month. That amount of time might very well be 20 or 30 years (depending on your balance and interest rate) but to say it will never be paid back is inaccurate.

    I'm 66 years old and doubt I'll be around in 20 to 30 years so for me, it would never be paid off..., unless they came after my estate which does include a home and some life insurance.
     
  20. InTheLight

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    Interest rates on car loans have not been above 10% for over 20 years.

    Interest is figured the same way, usually on a 360 day per year basis. There is no complex math involved, as the interest is already figured into the monthly payment. $125 a month for 360 months = $45,000.
     
    #20 InTheLight, Jul 27, 2011
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