Dear Pastor Gallups, "Should a Christian go into debt of any kind. I hear so many conflicting views on this, what are your views?" U.M. - Pea Ridge
Dear U.M., over all, this is a matter between an individual and the Lord. However, I believe that there ARE Biblical principles involved. Proverbs 22:7 says that the debtor is the servant of the lender. There are many other words of wisdom and instruction on the matter of money management found throughout the Bible.
The Bible has a lot to say about the pitfalls of excessive debt and the mishandling of financial matters. I think DEBT could best be defined as when your expenses exceed your assets to the point that you cannot meet your expense obligations.
I personally do not believe that debt is defined as the reasonable borrowing of money for necessary "big ticket" living items such as a home or vehicle, provided that the home and vehicle purchases are made well within the projected ability of the borrower to meet the payment obligations. However, there is much freedom and benefit to be gained if even these items can be purchased without borrowing money for them. I would strongly encourage God's people to live as wisely as possible in this regard.
People generally get into debt, U.M., when they begin to purchase things on credit that they really don't need (impulse buying) or they purchase beyond their reasonable ability to meet the repayment obligations. Our culture is full of this kind of debt, and I believe that it is Biblically wrong for a Christian or a Church to put themselves in this situation.
Also, U.M., I certainly believe that a responsible Christian will make the Biblical practice of "tithing" a regular part of their financial discipline. I rarely find a consistently tithing, financially responsible Christian, who is striving to live reasonably within their current means, having any problems with debt. The management of debt is often a matter of dollars and SENSE rather than dollars and cents! You just can't lose in ANY area of life when you do things God's way!