A Biblical Response to Current Events – 10-24-19
The Problem With Debt
It’s Happening: “Yesterday was the seventh day of Chicago’s teacher strike and was marked by a march downtown of teachers and sympathetic protesters (20,000-30,000), and a speech by Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot. She has a plan to deal with the city’s $838 million budget shortfall…but it involves new debt, higher taxes,…and meeting few teachers’ demands. What Chicago is experiencing is no different than what the federal government faces with its own set of revenue woes as it nears $25 trillion in debt and more if you include unfunded liabilities (https://abc7chicago.com/education/teachers-strike-march-during-mayors-budget-address-classes-canceled-thursday/5640234/). ‘We’re teachers. We’re going to read your homework assignment. You turn in half a paper, then we’re not going to give you a complete grade for that. She is going to have to do enough for us to say this is fair and it’s a real change for our schools,’ Chicago Teachers’ Union President Jesse Sharkey said.”
Knee-Jerk Response: “I’m sure glad I don’t live in Chicago!’”
Biblical Response: “Yeah, but you do live in America. You may say it’s different nationally because the federal government just prints itself out of debt (they alone possess the power to print more money). That’s true, but they also must find someone to buy their debt. Here’s how it works: The U.S. Government advertises bonds they guarantee to pay, and then they sell those bonds generating revenue. This allegedly makes up the shortfall between projected IRS collections, Customs’ revenue, Tariffs, etc., and approved budget expenditures. Everything’s okay…until you take into consideration the old saying, ‘Who pays the piper, calls the tune’ (from ‘The Pied Piper of Hamlein’ – 1605). Although the American people buy most of the bonds, countries like Communist China buy some, too. Do you naively think their money comes without influence?
“Christians? Are we all debt-free? Hardly! However, we at least try to heed the Scripture (Rom. 13:8). And we do recognize that with debt comes the loss of freedom (Prov. 22:7). Are Christians even allowed to borrow? Yes, or there wouldn’t be scriptures on loaning in the Bible (2 Kings 4:7; Neh. 10:3; Ex. 2:14; etc.). It’s just that all borrowing comes with a price, except for those for whom Christ died. That debt is real though, and comes with a price, too (godly living), it’s just that it can never be repaid and there are dividends for attempting.”
Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray: “Heavenly Father, help us to live within our means, both personally and nationally, and to live like You are our Source; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”
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