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 Is it wrong to borrow Money?

Today's Question: Romans 13:3 says, "Owe no man anything." Is it always wrong to borrow money?

 Bible Answer: This scripture is not saying that it is wrong to borrow, it is saying that you should pay back what you owe. The New International Versions says, "Let no debt remain outstanding." You see, it is not wrong to borrow so long as you pay back what you owe.

      I'm concern that many Christians are put under bondage by certain teachings--that debt is always wrong, therefore you should not borrow money to get a house or car or improve your business. Even some churches reflect this by not borrowing money to expand their church facility or build a new one. They think they are sinning if they borrow money. This is simply not true.

      Without debt, there would be no America, because our capitalistic society is run by debt. Nearly every business has some sort of debt. Nearly every home has some sort of debt. If people could not borrow money, the economy would collapse.

      Debt is not wrong when you can make it work for you. For example, it is wise for a business to borrow money at 10% interest if that money would be used to expand and improve the business resulting in 25% more profits. The business would be worth more. Yes, it has more debt, but it also has more assets.

      It is wise for a family to borrow money to get a home. First, the home is likely to go up in value. Second, part of the payments go toward the principle, which is money in your pocket. Third, eventually the home will be paid off if you live in it long enough. Fourth, it is better to pay off a home then rent a home indefinitely and make someone else rich.

      A church, likewise, is wise to borrow money to expand their facility or build a new one if it is going to result in ministering to more people.

      This is what my church Word of Life  did. We borrowed a half million dollars to purchase nine acres and build a new facility which doubled the size of our meeting place. Yes, we had more debt, but we also had a greater potential of reaching more people. That's what is important.

      Later, we sold one acre for two and half times more money than we had paid for the entire nine acres.  The loan has actually worked in our favor. Now we owe about one-fifth of our original note and have equity worth over a million dollars and as a result we are getting ready to expand again. If I had bought into the teaching that it is a sin to borrow money, then our church would still be renting.

      I know churches that refuse to borrow money; and, as a result, are struggling with overcrowding. Also, they are battling to raise enough money to build a bigger building. It would be better to borrow the money, move into a bigger place and trust God to pay the mortgage payments.

      As you can see, all debt is not wrong. However, there is the other side to this coin. Many people are borrowing money for things that they should have paid cash, such as clothes, vacations, stereos, etc. And you must be careful of credit card debt, because they, in my opinion, charge usury. Usury is excessive interest.

      God told Israel not to extract usury from their own brothers. In Nehemiah 5:10, Nehemiah said, "I and my brothers and my men are also lending the people money and grain. But let the exacting of usury stop!" You see, it was okay to lend and borrow money, but charging excessive interest was wrong, and Nehemiah told the people to stop doing that.

      We must use wisdom in the handling of debt, but we should not make a man-made, legalistic law that forbids people to borrow.


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