Let me start by saying this will NOT be a definite answer on this subject. I simply would like to share my thoughts on it for your consideration.
I have been reading again. This time it has been a book about a young African man named Samuel Morris and then on to the amazing Hudson Taylor, missionary to China. Both of these books are about men who lived and are contemporaries with George Mueller. Amazingly, I found some very close similarities in these men, not to mention A W Tozer, another contemporary of these followers of Jesus.
Here is a theme that ran through them all. They each felt as if borrowing money was wrong for a Follower Of Christ. What struck me most though is they did not go into detail as to why it was wrong, only taking Scripture at Face value, "owe no man anything, except the debt of love."
I will not lie. As April 15th approached this year, so did a large bill to Uncle Sam for which we were not ready for. I had my taxes done early so I could at least have an idea what I would owe, but man, blessings that come in a year are also very taxable by "Ceasar" if you know what I mean. We faced a dilemma, pray and wait on God to provide, or borrow money to pay our taxes. Needless to say, my heart trembled a little and wavered wondering what God would do. I knew I could borrow the money, but I still sensed in my heart God did not want us to be in debt.
Right as I was starting to waiver in my heart, God set these book on Samuel Morris, Hudson Taylor, and Waiting on God by A W Tozer in front of me. Immediately my heavenly Daddy answered the question of my heart as he reaffirmed through these men that he wanted us to remain free from the bondage of debt. So we turned to Him in prayer and sought him regarding the tax bill we faced.
Only like God can, He made the provision for our need and in the middle of March our tax bill was paid in full. AMAZING!
So back to the question, Is Debt Sin? Here is my thought on the matter.
I firmly believe God intends His people to be free from debt. Look at these verses God gave me regarding the matter and see how they line up.
"Owe No Man Anything!" Romans 13:8
"The Borrower is Servant to the Lender." Proverbs 22:7
"You Cannot serve God and Money." (Matthew 6:24, Luke 16:13)
As I wrestled with this question, I also came across Romans 13-14. In this passage Paul was speaking to fellow followers about giving liberty to each other regarding matter of life (drinking, eating meat offered to idols, etc....). There was one verse that really stood out when Paul said, "everything that does not come from faith is sin." (Romans 14:23) What Paul was saying is if you have doubts in your heart regarding a matter, yet you proceed forward despite your lack of faith, then you have sinned." So what one person may can do in full faith, can to another be sin if they do it without faith.
Well, that is me and debt. I cannot at this point in my life borrow money in faith, therefore, borrowing money for me is a sin because it would not be done in faith.
But why did these forefathers of ours in the faith have such a resolve not to borrow money and that is was wrong. Hudson Taylor separated from his mission society because they started borrowing money. He was quoted as saying, "How can something be wrong for an individual Christian, yet be right for a group of Christians?" George Mueller was adamant that Christians should only look to God for their provisions here on earth and NEVER borrow money. Samuel Morris prayed and waited on God for his provisions as in his very limited education state, he knew Scripture to say "owe no man anything."
George Mueller once was in great need of a large sum of money for the orphanage. He prayed and at the last minute a check came in for the exact amount they needed. However, the lady whom had written the check was known to be in debt to creditors and behind on her payments to them. George wrestled with what to do, but within hours had made the walk to her house, handed her the check and simply said, "You are not free to give to God until you are free from your creditors!"
Wow, what a statement! When I read it I thought, boy, how would that preach in our churches today? Imagine a pastor who said, "Until you are debt free, you are not free to give anything to God!" That is BOLD! However, I believe the verses I listed above is why George could say that! (btw, the next morning God replaced that check in full from another source!)
Look at what God has said through his Son, his Servant, and his wise king.
"Owe no man anything BECAUSE the borrower is Servant to the lender and if you are servant to the lender you can only serve one master and until you are free from the lender you can therefore only serve Money!"
You see the beauty of His divine plan. God says we cannot serve Him and Money. Therefore he commands us through Paul to owe no man anything except the debt of love because he knows that if you borrow money you have just enslaved yourself to be a servant of paying that money back. And since we can only serve one master at a time, owing money to a lender excludes you from service to the One who we are called to serve!
I tried to make that simple. I cannot sit here and say owing money is a sin, HOWEVER, I can say that owing money to any lender, wether big or small, is SLAVERY. If you are a SLAVE (servant) to a lender, then on the words of Jesus we can state we are not then free to serve God until we are free from our slavery to the lender.
I believe with all my heart God wants to free his people from the bondage of slavery to money just as he freed Israel from Egypt. I believe Satan has deceived us here in America and has drawn us into slavery from which many a child of God has suffered great consequences. I believe God wants to provide ALL our needs and bless us beyond all measure, but we must first allow Him to break our self made bondage to slavery to money.
Until next time......