Drowning In Debt
- Tuesday, October 08, 2013
I mentioned John Maynard Keynes as the Father of Keynesian Economics, which our world is practicing today. You may have gotten the idea that I am laying the blame for inflation at Lord Keynes’ doorstep. That is not true at all. The root cause of inflation—and I have never heard an economist say this—is the sin of materialism in the human heart.
When I teach my classes on Biblical Economics I use a checklist to help people analyze whether or not they are struggling with the sin of Materialism which is making material resources our god (Matthew 6:24).
Notice that while the following symptoms are personal, the federal government is guilty of most of these characteristics as well.
What are the symptoms of the sin of materialism?
·Discontent with what we have
·Holding on to more wealth than we need (Hoarding)
·Failing to give God the top portion of our income
·Spending everything we make and saving nothing for the future
·Borrowing money for depreciating items
·Cheating on our income tax
·Using a credit card and not paying off or being able to pay off the balance completely at the end of the month
·Getting nervous or upset when the pastor preaches on money
The Bible’s idea of what constitutes contentment is a far cry from ours. Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 6:6-8: “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.”
Food and clothing and shelter refer to the bare essentials of life. Therefore we can define “contentment,” primarily, as the strict essentials of life.
One of the reasons we have trouble balancing our personal budgets (and the federal one as well) has to do with what we Americans consider to be essentials. Are iPhones essential? Not really. How about three cars in every garage? Hardly. Are people entitled to every handout the government can think up? Of course not.
Consider our national debt. We spend all the money we receive in taxes, and then we go out and borrow billions more and spend that! Then, when some unexpected need arises, such as a war, we borrow money to fight the war!
Now I want to share a Biblical illustration of how government finances are to work.
In Genesis 41 Pharaoh had two dreams. In the first dream he saw seven fat cows emerge from the river. Then seven lean cows came emerged and ate the seven fat cows. In the second dream he saw seven healthy heads of grain and then seven thin heads sprouted and gobbled up the seven healthy ones.
No one could interpret the dreams, so Joseph, who was in prison and had a reputation for being able to interpret dreams, was called forth and he interpreted the dreams. He interpreted the two dreams as representing seven years of abundance in the land of Egypt to be followed by seven years of famine.
Joseph outlined his plan for saving Egypt from the upcoming famine in Genesis 41:33-56:
And now let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man and put him in charge of the
For the next seven years Joseph did just exactly that. The results were incredible as recorded in Genesis 41:53-57.
The seven years of abundance in
When the famine had spread over the whole country, Joseph opened the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout
The plan saved Egypt from famine and not only that, Egypt wound up feeding all the neighboring countries.
Go back to 1700 and follow a graph of inflation and you will see a bulge in the inflation rate every time we have fought a war. We fight our wars on borrowed money and we do a lot of other things on borrowed money.
We should not have one dime of national debt in our country. We should have a surplus—like Joseph did when he was running the show back in Egypt.
Each year we should collect enough taxes to pay all the expenses of this country and put some surplus in savings. We should be lending or investing those savings instead of borrowing and paying interest.
If we had a political party based on the Word of God that is exactly what would happen. It would not call for a balanced budget. It would call for a surplus budget. It would call for paying back every cent of national debt.
Please note that according to the Bible not all borrowing is a sin. Borrowing for appreciating items can be a wise investment and a godly thing to do. On the other hand, borrowing for depreciating items like cars and refrigerators ultimately lowers our standard of living. It couldn’t do anything else!
My wife Julie and I do a lot of Biblical teaching in Peru.
Over the years we began to hear about one of the most famous presidents in recent Peruvian history. Sorry, I have forgotten his name and am unable to identify on the internet just which one they refer to. A number of years ago the inflation rate in
And so, on that day, all the prices changed. A liter of gasoline went from 37 cents to six dollars. Bread cost four dollars instead of forty cents. The people put up with it because they knew it was the only way to save their country from crippling debt and economic chaos. The suffering was intense—but, their country is now economically stable—and they are pleased. It is a great story.
Our USA is following in their footsteps—at least in the economic sense of borrowing trillions of dollars to falsely prop up our economy.
The question is whether or not we will take a bold and balanced approach to reducing our debt or wait until chaos ensues when our economic house of cards collapses
Well, Julie, I hope this helps.
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