by Wayne Coleman

Why Should The Church Be Debt Free
Wayne Coleman
October 23, 1997

Ref: Your Question, "Why should the church be debt free?"

The word debt is not the issue, but must be defined. One commonly used definition of the word debt states that as long as ones assets exceed the value of their liabilities, technically they are not in debt. {This definition is made presumptuous by not considering that the value of the asset can fal while the amount of liability is not affected by market values. Should the value of the asset become lower than the liability before the contract is satisfied, that which was not debt, becomes debt.) Another definition states that as long as one makes their payments and does not violate the terms of their credit contract, they are technically not in debt. (This definition leads to financial suicide. By the time you cannot make your payments, you have long since been in trouble.) The third definition states that if you borrow for an appreciating item, that is an investment. To borrow for a depreciating item constitutes debt. {This definition fails the same test as the first because it presumes the value of the asset to always appreciate. In definitions 1 and 3, debt is not determined by the borrowing, but rather by the value of the assets. ) The common bond between all of these definitions is that money must be borrowed before debt exists. Therefore the true definition of debt becomes very simple, if you borrow you are in debt.

In order to settle the issue as to the obedience of the church borrowing money, one must first settle the issue of the obedience of borrowing money personally. The following items should be given consideration in making this determination:

1. Borrowing was prohibited in the Old Testament.
Duet. 15:6 and Duet. 28:12 issue commandments from God that state "Thou shall not borrow" Careful study of these areas, especially Duet. 28:1-14 will show that the loving grace of God is so completely sufficient, it eliminates ...

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