Debt and the Curse
In our study relating to what the Bible calls "the curse ", which the Lord created to correct and turn His children around in repentance, we find that debt is part of the curse. What a surprise!, -especially for the tithers and those who don't believe Christians can be under the curse.
In the last article, we began by posing a number of questions:
Why do some children of Christians suffer and even die?
Why do Christians get sick? Why do many Christians die young?
Why do Christians have some of the troubles they have?
Today, we will adress another element.
Christians and DEBT
Despite the promises of "100-fold blessing" for those who tithe and are manipulated and victimized into "seed-sowing" by the slick christian hucksters as they beg for "gifts", the nagging problem of unending debt just seems to dog the folks that obediently reach into their wallet or purse.
When we look at the "blessing" principle God gave in the first Covenant, we see in Deut. 28:
12 The LORD will open unto thee his good treasure the heavens, ... and to bless all the work of thy hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.
13 And The LORD will make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if thou shalt hearken unto the commandments of Jehovah thy God
Have you noticed the church just LOVES the blessings (of course we do! ), but very few ever mention the curse? Let's pay (no pun intended) close attention to what God says about debt.
We will start in Deuteronomy 28.
15 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of The Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day, that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee...
43 The sojourner that is in the midst of thee shall mount up above thee higher and higher; and thou shalt come down lower and lower. (the economy going lower and lower)
44 He shall lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him: he shall be the head, and thou shalt be the tail.
Let's pull the mask off borrowing and debt. It is clearly stated by God as one of the curses. Ouch! Haven't we all been bit by that serpent? Let's go a bit further as we begin to "pay" attention to what God says:
Proverbs 22:7 The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
Now tell me again what Jesus said about us not serving two masters? Did he mention "mammon" by some coincidence?
Romans 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. And did Paul really mean what he wrote to "the saints"?
How many of us read those verses and really never gave it much thought at all as we financed that car, home remodel, new appliances, vacation, or whatever else our soul lusted for?
There is no self-righteousness here folks. We've been there, done that plenty. As faithful tithers for many years, 10% of our business gross went to the 'ole "storehouse". (there is no "storehouse" in the New Testament.)
Can you say " POOF-B-Gon "?
Yes, we got a good financial spanking, courtesy of "the Curse", and finally we got the message. "GET OUT OF DEBT".
I could write the book "Debt for Dummies", but finally, praise God, we understood. God really means what He said! "Owe NO man", which translates to: "owe no man". -nobody, no one, anyone. (-except love).
How about all you tithe-loving preachers that hammer away at the folks with Malachi 3:9-10.
Do you teach that debt is part of the curse, so if the people are in debt, they are under the curse even when they tithe?
In fact Paul wrote the Galatian Christians that if they kept part of the law (like tithing), they were under the curse? Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.,
-and that Jesus said that tithing was "of the matters of the law" in Mat. 23:23?
Borrowing and debt are part of the curse. When we borrow, we go under the curse, an oppression, and we become a slave to the lender. That's what happens when we transgress God's Word, we go back under the law.
What are some of the "freebies" that come with debt?
How about a sense of obligation?
How about worry? Anxiety? Fear?
Lust for gain? Gambling on the lottery in hope of deliverance?
How about economic slavery and the loss of spiritual liberty?
Bill pressures? The fact that if payments are not made, repossession can take place?
The loss of the ability to give to others?
Binding the future to a pledge and promise?
Family stress? (money problems break up many marriages)
The loss of huge amounts of money to interest charges.
Mortgage: a french word that means "death grip".
There are more negatives to debt, but the bottom line is that the curse of debt is waiting for us when we give in to the temptation to "get" what God has not provided. Sadly, this is where the church has experienced its own "Babylonian Captivity" to materialism. The world is very wise at luring Christians into the debt trap and bondage. We are bombarded with the world's message that debt and borrowing is the rosy road to having it all, the house, the SUV, the clothes, the travel, the "good life".
We recall some of the testimonies in church, how one family had a beautiful NEW car! -and how BLESSED they were. Somehow, it was never mentioned that there was 48 monthly payments and about $2,000 in interest that they were also "blessed" with.
In our old church, those same folks were lauded as blessed because they tithed faithfully! (So did we. In fact we borrowed (mortgaged) to pay a tithe on a house we were given.)
In fact, faithful tithers were usually publicly noted as examples to the church, and only one family that we knew of, was debt free.
What happens when our heart departs from God and we do not pay attention to His Word to do it?
-why the Lord simply gives us over to the lusts of our flesh: and we start believing the TV ads, the "business deals", and that we deserve that new Lexus.
Proverbs 14:14 The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways
Mark 4:19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
Wow. What a potent series of scriptures. I must admit, as church-goers, our lives were filled with the very things God warned us about. -all the while dressing up in a nice suit, holding a position and title and having the respect of the church folks and living the life of a Christian businessman.
It was a year or two after leaving the church, that the Lord began to confront us in regard to our debt, hidden pride, covetousness, greed, and more. Our investments turned sour, our little empire began to fall, and the Lord showed me in a dream what He was about to do before it all happened.
My wife and I began to repent, deeply.
From a sorrowful heart, and we changed our ways. In times past, we TALKED about being debt free, but now we got SERIOUS about it, and I now understood what "owe no man" meant. -No need for the Greek Lexicon or spirtualized interpretation on that verse anymore, just DO IT!
What is salvation worth?
We began to sell "stuff" and pay off debt. We paid off every debt except the 1st mortgage the Home Equity loan which were too large for us. So we cashed in our IRA's and took the tax hit, we depleted our savings, and we told God we would work hard, spend less, and pay evrything off. We disconnected the cable TV. We gave away lots of things to the Salvation army, a local ministry, and Amvets.
It took about 18 months but now, we are DEBT-FREE for the first time in our marriage, and my adult life.
IT IS WONDERFUL!
We don't have a new car, we don't have rental houses, we don't have exotic travel vacations, we don't have a boat, we don't have IRA's or 401k's, we don't have MEDICAL insurance. But we do have PEACE, contentment, joy, and we are able to help others in need through loving, joyful giving. And our needs are met.
I know some of you got there a long time ago, I was not that smart.
But for some others who still labor under the curse of debt, we testify to you that when we got serious about this, God showed up. And as the months of debt-free living go by, we are experiencing THE BLESSING which is part of our "better Covenant".
1 Timothy 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
What is your salvation worth? Our abundance was taking us to hell. God told me so. By His sovereign grace, we will never go into debt again, I don't care how high my credit score is. They can keep it.
God's Economy operates through giving and receiving.
The Worlds economy is all about buying and selling and lending
Before signing off, we would like to mention the "blessing" side of this. You are not blessed because of tithing, that is a lie. If it were true, God would have said so in our New Testament Covenant and given instructions to tithe. he never gave tithing to the church. Never.
Here is where the "blessedness" secret is found:
1.Rom13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another has fulfilled the law.
(purpose and act now to get out of debt. Repent for borrowing and whatever else the Lord shows you about this.)
2.Luke 11:28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.
(start today in obeying God's Word to owe no one).
3.Acts 20:35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
(ask the Lord to show you where He wants you to give. Listen and wait upon him to speak)
Deuteronomy 15:6 For the LORD thy God blesseth thee, as he promised thee: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow; and thou shalt reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over thee.
Proverbs 15:27 He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house
Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
Matthew 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
Ecclesiastes 6:2 A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honour, so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it: this is vanity, and it is an evil disease.
1 Timothy 6:5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
8 1 Timothy 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.Proverbs 30:8 Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:
2 Peter 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
1 Timothy 3:3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
Isaiah 56:11 Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, (to) every one for his gain, from his quarter.As the American church capitalized on the Prosperity Gospel, and tithing is now mainstream, greed and a lust for gain has taken over much of the church from the pulpit to the pew. I mean, how many jets does an evangelist need? A $70 MILLION church remode becomes a "need"?, millionaire celebrity pastors?, and the list goes on.
We could go on to list many, many scriptures which speak to our giving in meeting the needs of others, the majority of which, the church has perverted to fund their own buildings and ministry-kingdom.
Meanwhile, as we looked for our own miracle "100-fold" blessing, we did a lot of the things most American Christians did by buying comforts, cars, and "stuff". -Much of it on credit.
We bought houses during the real estate run up. We even did something I told everyone else to never do; we took a Home Equity loan on our home to buy an investment property in 2005.