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Debt is debt; borrowing and financing are debt, some who take the con stance in regard to the practice of the church borrowing money for its building project(s). In fact, as the excerpt from the following quote by Sanders, introducing this paper's segment contends: "It's dynamite to spend future earnings. I have had a taste of it myself, and it's mighty bitter. A debt is a debt, whether it's margins or mortgages; and debts are all the same, no matter how you try to camouflage 'em. You never get much out of 'em except trouble. On the farm or in Wall Street, if you use the other fellow's money, it costs you a lot more than it's worth."
Scripture relates the following four precedents regarding borrowing:
Borrowing is always presented in the negative (see Proverbs 17:18).
God never made a promise to anyone and then fulfilled it through a loan or debt (see Luke 6:38).
God promised His people that if they would obey His commandments they wouldn't have to borrow (see Deuteronomy 28:12).
God had worship structures built at least three times in the Bible, and no credit was used.
Today, as churches regularly build big buildings, the rationale for borrowing funds to construct buildings is that they need big money to do it.
Those who support the con stance, however, argue that the alternative to borrowing to construct buildings comes from God's people giving gerously to/for the building cause. Those who oppose borrowing money to construct buildings contend that even though it is not a sin for a church to borrow funds to construct or expand a building, borrowing circumvents the church's need to trust God. When God convictes his people to construct, expand or renovate a building, the con stance asserts, He will provide the money the church needs to fund the project(s).
Countless churches across the U.S. And in the world, the con side contends, both large and thriving, regularly chosen to avoid debt. "They have decided to build debt free and have delayed expanding until they could afford to do so. To these, the church is in their hearts, not in a building."
God, the con side argues, does not need buildings financed by banks. When the need to build or expand arises, the congreation, led by those who lead the church need to invest time to seek God's building plan for the church. They need to ask God to show them how the money He wants to provide the money.
In regard to constucting and/or expanding buildings, each church, the researcher asserts, needs to prayerfully, first and foremost, seek to know the plans the Master Builder has for them. In regard to the Christian's debt to humankind, W. Sockman,
Senior Minister Emeritus, Christ Church, Methodist, NYC, purports: "A true lover always feels in debt to the one he loves." In regard to those who subscribe to the pro-stance and those who adhere to the constnace regarding borrowing money to constuct buildings, the researcher challenges the contention, noted by Sophocles
, at this paper's start. The profit from constructing anything, particularly a church building, is not sweet, particularly if/when it evolves from any sort of deception; from anything contrary to Scriptures and/or God's building plans.
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Borrowing and the Church, ECCU, N.d.
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Borrowing to Build, Crown Financial Ministries, N.d.
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Harward, Esther. "Parishioners Take on Debt to Avoid Church 'Naming and Shaming'." Sunday
Star-Times. 2008. HighBeam Research. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P219708493.html (Accessed April 24, 2009).
Ingebretsen, Kelly. "Churches Turn to Foundation Capital Resources for Big Money: Big
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Business Journal. 2005. HighBeam Research. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1133685932.html (Accessed April 24, 2009).
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