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cnyusa
Member



Joined: 2008/6/20
Posts: 2


 Re: CREDIT CRUNCH

Hello Fellow Believers,
I hope I am not violating the forum rules, since our posts are to be about fostering true revival and I'm not sure how this post qualifies?!
But I also understand it is about edification for the body of Christ too, so perhaps under that umbrella I share some of my recent experience on this topic. (If this is poor form, please remove my post...)
I want to testify to God's goodness in this area. I took a loan out for college. And when my wife and I got married we consolidated her student loans and mine. Well after 6 years of paying the payments, we paid our loans down $6000. I knew that was pitiful and to be honest I was ashamed to be in this debt. So two years ago we made a commitment, any additional income first gets tithed and the rest goes on our loan. This month we paid them off in full. When we began 2 years ago we still owed $22,000 and I made an average of $28,000 a year over the last 2 years. When we made this commitment, the Lord really began to work with us.

I am a big Fan of George Mueller. And had I learned of him before college, I don't believe I would have taken any student loans, better to not go at all... Anyway, I remember one story of Mr. Mueller returning money to a woman who gave to his orphanage work, he returned the money when he found out she had some debt. If that was a normal practice many of us would be disqualified to give.
I believe debt in America is out of control, but what's worse is debt in the Church is crippling. The bible certainly doesn't encourage debt, in fact it discourages it. Here are some scriptures:

"Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law." Romans 13:8

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

And for the idea of keeping a little debt for credit building...
"Do not say to your neighbor, "Go, and come back, And tomorrow I will give it," When you have it with you." Proverbs 3:28

If the scripture says to trust God for our needs, then does that mean we are in so much debt because we have borrowed for our wants? I hope that isn't so.

My wife and I have no credit score (good or bad). Which hasn't hurt us for the simple reason that good credit only allows you to buy things you don't have the money for. But if you don't have the money for it, you don't need it or God will provide it. And without a credit score we still were approved for a mortgage (which I couldn't bring myself to borrow). I even believe with patience and discipline it is possible to save up and buy a house outright. Our family lives very simply, not many envy our van or apartment, but it is refreshing to finally owe only the "debt of love".

I do implore you fellow believers Get out of Debt as just one small part of your personal testimony and peace of mind. Cut ties from this Culture's way of life. Certainly some of these preachers of old would have risen up and spoke against this too if they could have foreseen such bondage.

God Bless you and thanks for your consideration.

 2008/6/20 11:28Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
Member



Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4498


 Re:

Hello…

I don’t have a problem with those who think that “borrowing” money to purchase a house or car is wrong. But we need to emphasize that you are NOT borrowing money to buy a house. When you apply for a “home loan,” you are actually purchasing a house on equal monthly payments. The house will be legally “owned” by you – as long as you maintain your monthly payments (or have insurance in case you lose your job). In a sense, the lender is now the seller – and they are actually selling the house to the buyer via monthly payments. The person who purchases the home is the owner for all legal purposes. That person can turn around and sell that house almost immediately and either turn a profit or be liable for the difference.

If we are going to say that it is wrong to be in “debt,” then we need to hold true to such a principle in the small things as well as the large. Otherwise, we live a life of hypocrisy.

We have already pointed out that use of the Internet is (at least in America) provided first with a bill to be paid after the month of usage. Thus, the Internet Service Provider (ISP) has [i]loaned[/i] you the service in exchange to a promise to pay at the end of the month. Where I live, there is NO OTHER WAY to get the internet into the home. Even if I were to pay in advance, I am merely offering credit to the ISP in exchange for future service (whereas I would actually cause the ISP to be in debt to me). The same is true of nearly all “services” offered. Home telephones, cell phones, electricity, water, gas, sanitation services – these are all provided BEFORE we are billed. Thus, we enter into a contract in which we are literally BORROWING these services until we pay for them at the end of the month. How is this any different in principle than borrowing a house until it is entirely paid off?

The essence behind the Scriptural principles about indebtedness seems to indicate gluttony for the things of this world for which we cannot afford. If we use a credit card on a very limited income, there is a strong risk that we will not be able to pay in back. This is foolish borrowing. However, if I have $500,000 in the bank, and then I use a bank-issued credit card to purchase a new shirt for $20 (which is automatically taken out of my bank account by the end of the month), then am I really breaking a Scriptural principle of being in debt? If I buy a house via a process that leads my purchase through equal monthly payments that I can afford, am I really in debt? By the black and white LETTER OF THE LAW, someone might point the finger and claim that I am in debt. But am I behind in debt if I am not behind in my payments? Is this any more “indebtedness” than a person who rents a house, uses electricity, gas, sanitation services and water with a bill coming at the end of the month?

If any of us have a bank account (of savings account), we are not simply storing our money in the bank (unless we simply stash it into a safety deposit box). Rather, we are loaning our money to a financial institute with an agreement that we can usually retrieve it at any time (or with a limited amount per day). If we open a savings account, we are loaning our money to the bank – in exchange for usury that comes in the form of an interest rate.

Do you see how complicated this matter is? So it is difficult to pass a “black and white,” “letter of the Law” type of judgment in such a matter that is not entirely similar to the economics of 2000+ years ago. The principle is still entirely Scriptural: We should not owe money to someone in the sense that we should not be behind in our payments. If at all possible, we shouldn’t have any payments to make.

Quote:
My wife and I have no credit score (good or bad). Which hasn't hurt us for the simple reason that good credit only allows you to buy things you don't have the money for. But if you don't have the money for it, you don't need it or God will provide it. And without a credit score we still were approved for a mortgage (which I couldn't bring myself to borrow).


I’m not sure how entirely accurate this statement is. A credit score ranges from 350-850 – unless a person has been entirely a non-participant in any economic transactions for at least 20 years. If you currently have either a bank account or a savings account, then you have a credit score. However, you also said that you borrowed student loans for college. Thus you probably have a credit score. If they were a financial aid loan, the government paid the interest while you were in school – giving you a good credit mark for every month that you were in college for each of the school loans). A bank will NOT offer you a mortgage for a house without a decent score (usually around 615 or higher). Otherwise, you would be considered a “risk” to the lender.
Quote:

I even believe with patience and discipline it is possible to save up and buy a house outright. Our family lives very simply, not many envy our van or apartment, but it is refreshing to finally owe only the "debt of love".


Like I said before, I do believe that it is possible to save up and either build or buy a home outright. My wife’s family did this. They built their home from scratch using the money that they earned from migrant farm work – at a time when none of them spoke English! However, they live in an area where property value is extremely low and the cost of building materials is cheap (because they live 15 miles from Mexico). Their first attempt at a house resembled a shack you would find in a third world country. However, they recently completed a 5 bedroom, 3 bathroom, 2 story brick home on 2 and ½ acres. Their entire bill since their last season of migrant work was less than $25,000.

In fact, they recently divided their property and are building another one story, 3 bedroom brick home on the property. Now that the last child graduated from high school last week, my in-laws plan to move into the smaller home once it is completed and sell the larger. Of course, this was only possible because of the lax building laws in their county, low property cost, and the fact that the family built most of the house with their own hands (the oldest son drew up the plans while in college as an Architecture student). Several of the older children graduated from college, gotten married, and built homes for their families in a similar manner. Their homes are beautiful and are look better than homes that sell at the “national average.”

So I do believe that it is possible to build a home without needing to go through a bank. Unfortunately, this would have been far more difficult in states that have more rigid rules on home building. Land comes quite cheap in south Texas (where my in-laws live). The rules are lenient – and not rigid. The cost of living is extremely low – and it is easy to find a nice apartment to rent between $350 to $450 a month. Fuel prices in extreme south Texas are some of the cheapest in the nation (much cheaper than the rest of Texas). Yet unfortunately, my father-in-law is still responsible for the property taxes of his house. While the property taxes are cheap compared with many other states or regions, it is still difficult for him since he is lives on a janitor’s salary (just over minimum wage). This year, we all had to pitch in and to assist him in paying his property taxes. But what a joy to own a home! It is far better than being in [u]debt[/u] every month to a renting landlord!

The point that I am trying to make is this: It is quite commendable to live as debt free as possible. We should make every effort to do so! However, there is hardly a soul alive in the United States who doesn’t owe money to someone at any given moment. Whether a person owes for rent, electricity, water, phone, sanitation, cell phone, internet services for which they borrowed – or if a person is responsible to maintain a monthly payment for their car or house – many of us are in “debt” (at least according to the “letter of the law”). However, does this equate to being a “[i]slave[/i]?” If you can sell all of your possessions for which you are still paying for via fixed payments (such as a house, car, etc…) at any time – are you truly in [i]debt[/i]?

I just think that we should commend those who strive to live without owing money to anyone, but we should refrain from judging those who do as “slaves.” Why? Because I think that many of those same people owe money in the little things (rent, services, etc…). If we want to call someone a slave, then we should be readily able to point the finger to the man in the mirror and say the same…if the shoe fits.

:-)

BTW, let me welcome you to the forums, dear brother (cnyusa)! I know that some of these topics might not seem to fit the specific topic of true, Biblical revival -- but they are often important to people in their journey through "the wilderness of this world" (ala John Bunyan's [i]Pilgrim's Progress[/i]). Some people might feel hindered in their desire for a personal revival via some of the cares of this life (like indebtedness). We don't want to come across like the men of Athens discussing the latest issues, but as men and women who have daily sought the face of God for His wisdom and guidance. It is in this hope that we can encourage one another through each and every issue.

The Lord bless you mightily along this pilgrimage!

:-)


_________________
Christopher

 2008/6/20 13:04Profile
PaulWest
Member



Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Dear brother Chris (sorry, too lazy to count out all the repeated letters), I must say that I've been enjoying your posts here in this thread. I had my wife read a portion last night and she was nodding in complete agreement. Just thought I'd send you a bit of encouragement. Lots of good material for thought and prayer.

Thank you, brother.

Paul

p.s. My wife is Hispanic also. Her family is from Monterrey, Mexico. Our beliefs on the intricacies of debt and owing and borrowing for the Christian basically coincide with all you're saying here. Good to see it explained here in such a concise, thoughtful manner :)


_________________
Paul Frederick West

 2008/6/20 13:21Profile









 Re:

I have a question...do you have to take out a loan or use a credit card in order to establish credit or can you establish credit some other way?

 2008/6/20 14:38
PreachParsly
Member



Joined: 2005/1/14
Posts: 2164
Arkansas

 Re:

Quote:

Rebecca_LF wrote:
I have a question...do you have to take out a loan or use a credit card in order to establish credit or can you establish credit some other way?



Here is a few links. I don't know much of anything about credit though...


[url=http://money.howstuffworks.com/credit-score.htm]How Credit Scores Work[/url]

[url=http://money.howstuffworks.com/credit-report.htm]How Credit Reports Work[/url]


_________________
Josh Parsley

 2008/6/20 15:41Profile









 Re:

Quote:

PreachParsly wrote:
Quote:

Rebecca_LF wrote:
I have a question...do you have to take out a loan or use a credit card in order to establish credit or can you establish credit some other way?



Here is a few links. I don't know much of anything about credit though...


[url=http://money.howstuffworks.com/credit-score.htm]How Credit Scores Work[/url]

[url=http://money.howstuffworks.com/credit-report.htm]How Credit Reports Work[/url]



"35 percent of the score is based on your payment history. This makes sense since one of the primary reasons a lender wants to see the score is to find out if (and how timely) you pay your bills. The score is affected by how many bills have been paid late, how many were sent out for collection, any bankruptcies, etc. When these things happened also comes into play. The more recent, the worse it will be for your overall score.

30 percent of the score is based on outstanding debt. How much do you owe on car or home loans? How many credit cards do you have that are at their credit limits? The more cards you have at their limits, the lower your score will be. The rule of thumb is to keep your card balances at 25 percent or less of their limits.

15 percent of the score is based on the length of time you've had credit. The longer you've had established credit, the better it is for your overall credit score. Why? Because more information about your past payment history gives a more accurate prediction of your future actions.

10 percent of the score is based on the number of inquiries on your report. If you've applied for a lot of credit cards or loans, you will have a lot of inquiries on your credit report. These are bad for your score because they indicate that you may be in some kind of financial trouble or may be taking on a lot of debt (even if you haven't used the cards or gotten the loans). The more recent these inquiries are, the worse for your credit score. FICO scores only count inquiries from the past year.

10 percent of the score is based on the types of credit you currently have. The number of loans and available credit from credit cards you have makes a difference. There is no magic number or combination of types of accounts that you shouldn't have. These actually come more into play if there isn't as much other information on your credit report on which to base the score."


Thanks, that helps... :-)

 2008/6/20 17:07
BeYeDoers
Member



Joined: 2005/11/17
Posts: 370
Bloomington, IN

 Re:

Good thing not every Christian lives by this "no loan" theology. We would have no Christian doctors, lawyers, etc. Education loans are viewed as an investment for both parties, so credit doesn't come into play here until one graduates.

Loans are not handed out like candy. Home, auto, and similar loans are based on credit score and you have to prove you have more than enough means to afford the payments, either through cash or assets.

People don't get in debt because they take out loans, but because they are irresponsible.

If you take out a loan and then don't make payments b/c you buy a bunch of other junk and get into more debt, then that's a problem. Living on credit cards you can't pay off is a problem.

I absolutely believe you should live as debt free as possible...which obviously means being careful with how you handle credit.


_________________
Denver McDaniel

 2008/6/20 17:32Profile
HeartSong
Member



Joined: 2006/9/13
Posts: 3156


 Re:

I am not sure if this applies here or not, but somehow it seems to be directly related.
(God keeps putting this before me, maybe someone can help clarify . . .)

Luke 19:45-46 KJV
And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought; Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.

Since our body is the temple of God;
"And he [Jesus] went into the temple [Jesus comes into us] and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought [who is being cast out, and what is being bought and sold?]; Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer [we are to pray for our provision]: but ye have made it a den of thieves. [is this saying that being involved in, or relying upon, the system of buying and selling invites the powers of darkness to reside within us?]

 2008/6/20 18:57Profile
BeYeDoers
Member



Joined: 2005/11/17
Posts: 370
Bloomington, IN

 Re:

what exactly are you suggesting? never buy or sell anything?

It is not money that is evil, but the love of it. Jesus didn't rebuke them for having, buying, and selling, but because they had desecrated the holy in the name of greed, etc. No doubt we are to buy spiritual riches and depend wholly on him to supply. But that doesn't mean living in a tent, no utilities, walking everywhere, growing your own food never to barter, etc.

I understand your concern for how money tends to run people's lives and the dangers of living in debt, but what exactly are you saying? Are you shunning all market activities, or just being hyperbolic to prove your point?


_________________
Denver McDaniel

 2008/6/20 19:36Profile









 Re:

Quote:
cnyusa wrote:
I am a big Fan of George Mueller. And had I learned of him before college, I don't believe I would have taken any student loans, better to not go at all...



Many of us have not been weaned from the ways of the world, brother. We have long taken those customs for granted without scrutinizing them. We have been enslaved, but we have called it freedom. Thus, we never thought we needed someone to set us free.

I can say the same with you: I took loans to go to college, which I am now paying back--and there is a long way to go. At least the Lord delivered me in time: I quit after my third year seeing the insanity I was becoming a part of. On one hand, I am glad I finally left that path; however, I am saddened that it took me so long to realize what bondage this was--especially mentally--to live my life by such principles, which had nothing in common with the Christian faith I saw in the Word. You are taught to press on, to be strong, to always have your back covered. You are never put on your knees because you always muscle through everything. And if the Lord shows you mercy to put you to open shame and bring you to your knees, you are still taught to fight on and resist Him--"because through Christ you can do ALL things," even those contrary to the will of God. See how dangerous this is? But thank God He broke through that self-righteousness and showed me the idolatry and self-reliance in me. And how many a Christian is running down that same path... without raising a question. It is the trodden path and many walk in it, so why bother ask?

Quote:
"Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law." Romans 13:8

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



Such verses have become inapplicable in modern-day conditions. This is what many will say, decrying the clear teaching of the Word of God in order to save themselves some embarrassment. And such are [i]no offense[/i] to this present world. To them the world will give praise and honor; they will never be considered a thorn in its flesh; for the world hears them and applauds them--for in them every good and self-righteous soulish quality is embodied. They have avoided the offense of the Cross of Christ!

These are those who teach you to get a degree, to get loans, insurance, and all that stuff, to secure your life--so you avoid hardship and persecution in this present age. These are the "judaizers" who want to make a boast in their flesh. I am not advocating laziness or irresponsibility here. But this is another spirit which has infiltrated modern churches. There is no totality to that "Christian" life, but balance. There is no persecution, but compromise. There is no love, but tolerance. There is no self-denial, but self-establishment. There are no clear-cut commandments of God, but flexible philosophies of men. And all that under the Christian banner.

Quote:
If the scripture says to trust God for our needs, then does that mean we are in so much debt because we have borrowed for our wants? I hope that isn't so.



I think we haven't learned to trust God for our needs. We'd rather go ahead and ask our neighbor, or parents, or the bank, or the government, when we are running out of steam. We have learned to go to God as a last measure, if everything else fails us. This doesn't mean that we should wait and do nothing (say, go to a restaurant for dinner with empty pockets and hope that we get a "free meal"). But all ways of provision that God has not approved and all means which He hasn't given should be out of the question. Yes, this may leave us empty-handed, but "will the Son of Man find faith on the earth when He returns?"

Only a man who has no other alternative but complete dependence on God for his daily bread knows what I am talking about. For so long as we get certain support from here and there--whether it is a barn or a bank account, which we can always resort to--for what do we need to have faith? Or maybe we are just too foolish not to be taking advantage of our credentials and our intellectual prowess or all the well-paying career opportunities that flood this world?

It is also interesting that taking loans and living on credit would have been absurd only a hundred or even fifty years ago in secular countries, let alone in the church. And now, when the apostolic foundations have been blown up completely, and the Word of God has been dethroned, this American phenomenon is spreading like a landslide worldwide, and has even found its "place of honor" in the "Gospel of Jesus Christ."

Quote:
So two years ago we made a commitment, any additional income first gets tithed and the rest goes on our loan.
...
Anyway, I remember one story of Mr. Mueller returning money to a woman who gave to his orphanage work, he returned the money when he found out she had some debt. [u]If that was a normal practice many of us would be disqualified to give.[/u]



Brother, if George Mueller gave this woman her money back, then why is your money so gladly taken in by your local church? If you are disqualified to give, why do you still pay your tithe regularly? "For God loves a cheerful giver"..., or perhaps you do it because you are [i]required[/i]? But this is a whole another discussion. It is interesting how churches nowadays take from those who have less and give it to those who have more... We have a whole prosperity movement.

Quote:
I do implore you fellow believers Get out of Debt as just one small part of your personal testimony and peace of mind. Cut ties from this Culture's way of life. Certainly some of these preachers of old would have risen up and spoke against this too if they could have foreseen such bondage.



Some preachers are speaking against it even now. Moreover, the Word of God has not changed or evolved; the Lord still speaks through His Word to those who have ears to hear. The biggest deception here is that what you call bondage, others have embraced as liberty. To a man who has never been truly free, the concept of freedom has little meaning. But to those who have found freedom in the Lord, let them not use it too liberally.

So protect your freedom, brothers and sisters. Don't let others destroy your faith because you are "forced" to compromise by the cares of this life. If the Lord doesn't permit you to do something, even though everybody else sees no problem with it, and you are alone and weak, don't let this dishearten you. Remember the exhortation of the apostle Peter, "Resist him [your adversary], steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world" (1 Pet. 5:9), knowing that the One who has called you IS [i]faithful[/i]. He will not let you down.

In Christ,
Slavyan

 2008/6/20 19:55





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