Friday, April 20, 2012

Modern Day Slaves

"The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower becomes the lender's slave." Proverbs 22:7

Sounds like a condemning Old Testament verse, right? That totally doesn't apply to today, does it? I mean, America did away with slavery in 1865, and they even had a war to solidify the decision! How can this not be a fallacy?

I believe the Bible to be completely infallible, inerrant, and God-breathed. If this is true, then slavery certainly still exists today, and it is absolutely rampant. I thought about writing this blog post about how credit card companies are run by amoral, lying scum, but realized I didn't have the time today (if you would like me to elaborate with several examples in a future post, please respond likewise in a comment).

"For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." I Timothy 6:10

Some people think money is good. Some people think it's bad. Both assumptions are wrong. The Bible doesn't exactly call money either. Money is a tool. It is an instrument by which both good and bad things can be done. In that, money is like fire. Fire can be destructive, burning homes, forests, and killing people. But if used correctly, fire can create stronger materials (like steel), purify gold and precious metals, and heat a home, keeping people alive. Likewise, money can be used to buy someone food, pay for a home, buy a gift, or build a school or church. Alternatively, money can be used to bribe an official into voting opposite his conscience, or it can be spent to fuel a destructive gambling addiction, or it can be lent to someone with unmanageable interest, and then the borrower finds himself the slave of the lender.

Have you ever borrowed money from family? If you have, you probably know that this can be an extremely volatile situation. First off, the Bible strictly forbids lending money with usury (interest) to people who are your countrymen (Leviticus 25:35-38). Second, even if the family member doesn't specifically ask for interest, many times, they do expect to be repaid, and if you've ever been there, you know the relationship is never the same until restitution is made, and sometimes even after the recompense is made, there's a lingering awkwardness. 

Jesus warned against lending in Luke 6:35 - "...and lend, expecting nothing in return..."I believe that Christ's intention was to give to others freely according to their needs and your abundance. The early church was a model for this in Acts 4:32, 34-35 - "And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them... ...For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales and lay them at the apostles’ feet, and they would be distributed to each as any had need."

So, if we know we are not to lend to others expecting return or interest, can we not conclude that we are not to allow ourselves to become slaves to lenders by accumulating debt? I believe we can assume this. Consider the following:

1. "You shall have no other gods before me..." Exodus 20:3-4"
2. "...the borrower becomes the lender's slave." Proverbs 22:7
3. "No one can serve two masters..." Matthew 6:24 & Luke 16:13

Therefore, if you borrow money knowing you'll owe it back, you are temping yourself toward idolatry and bondage to someone other than God! What a radical thought!

Too many Christians think that you can't live life without some kind of debt. I can't tell you how many times I've heard sheeple say "you'll always have a car payment." I'm sorry, but if you believe that, you're an idiot because no one can make you sign for a car. And you're also deceived because having a car payment has only been the norm for about 50 years. If you want a smart, reliable way to have a car and not have a car payment, check out my next blog post. I'm going to do a plug on how to drive free cars for life and retire on around $5.5 million;) 

In summary, I say this: if you're borrowing money, you're turning yourself into a slave to someone other than God, because He does not loan out His gifts. And remember not to loan out anything, especially with interest. This is not God's plan for His people, His church, or His servants.

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