Inherit the Earth (7)

A continuing theme in both the Old Testament and the New Testament is the danger of debt. The Bible is clear: the borrower is servant to the lender. This principle of debt-free living is an aspect of the second principle of a Biblical covenant. The second principle of a Biblical covenant is the principle of authority-hierarchy. There is no escape from authority and hierarchies: the dominion of some men over others according to their ability. Hierarchy is an inescapable concept. It’s never a question of hierarchy vs. no hierarchy. It’s only a question of which hierarchy. It’s a question of who rules over whom in which spheres of life.

  In the field of applied economics, the principle of authority applies in several areas: employer-employee, master-servant, teacher-apprentice, and so forth. The Biblical response to God in the field of personal economics is the tithe: God is to be honoured by a payment of ten percent of our increase after taxes. (God does not expect us to pay Him for any increase which has been eaten by locusts or the modern equivalent of locusts, tax collectors.) We acknowledge our obedience to Him by paying Him His tithe.[1]

Dominion and hierarchy are facts of life. The important first question is, “Whose dominion?” The Bible shows that God owns all things, and He wants to use His people in places of authority and responsibility to serve Him. But they cannot do this effectively, if they are tangled up in debt.

Why? The Bible says that “…the borrower becomes the lender’s slave” (Prov.22:7). A person’s ability to serve God is compromised if they have to pay back their debts. No man can serve two masters.

The Christian should always follow the “Good” principle-Get Out Of Debt, and then stay out of debt, so that his service to God is not compromised. That simply means that he does not borrow money, and learns to make do with what he has.

Should the Christian make every effort to increase his income and productivity? Of course. This is one aspect of what it means to be a diligent person: “the hand of the diligent will rule, but the slack hand will be put to forced labour” (Prov.12:24). That way he has money set aside for unforeseen events, and is able to plan for future expenditures, without needing to borrow money and pay it back, with interest.

Modern governments have laughed at this idea. Their attitude has commonly been, “Spend till the End,” and the outcome of this attitude has been disastrous for communities, who then have to pay back foolish government borrowings that were used to finance foolish government schemes. Furthermore, this indifferent attitude of governments to debt could very well lead to another financial calamity, similar to the Great Depression.

When Christians are prepared to work hard, avoid debt, plan for their future, save their money and tithe to their local church, they can have confidence to ask God for His blessing on what they do. This approach is one of the key aspects of being free, self-motivated people under God. These kinds of people are rewarded with dominion by God. “…You have given me the inheritance of those that fear Your Name” (Ps.61:5).



1. There is no escape from servitude: we either serve God or Mammon.

2. The debtor is servant to the lender.

3. Christians are to serve God.

4. This service to God is manifested by our tithing to God through His church.

5. The debtor has mortgaged his future.

6. He has thereby announced that he can see the future.

7. The Old Testament limited debt to no more than seven years (Deuteronomy 15).

8. The New Testament says that we should not be in debt at all (Romans 13:8).

9. This applies to all institutions.

10. Usury is Biblically defined as any interest payment from a charitable loan.

11. Usury is not defined as “high interest.”

12. Lending to “foreigners” is a means of bringing them under God’s yoke.

13. Politically controlled money gives debtors a means of defrauding creditors and bringing them under Satan’s yoke.

14. Widespread long-term debt leads to political pressures for monetary inflation.

15. Monetary inflation is a form of theft.[2]

[1] Gary North, “Inherit the Earth,” 1987, p.86.

[2] ibid, p.97-98.

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