Thursday, August 04, 2005

Some Thoughts on Debt, Insurance and Babies

There are many Christians today that are seeking a more simple life. They are sick of corporate politics, sick of trying to keep up with the Jones's. Tired of talking about 401ks with the neighbor and are wondering if there is something more to life. This wicked economic system of debt, usury and materialism has taken its toll on Christian families and many are ready to jump ship. The brave pioneers of Covenantal Agrarianism face many hurdles in this age. The system is stacked against them and leaving it behind is no easy task.

The first step for the wannbe agrarian is getting out of and staying out of Debt. For this essay I will assume you already know that debt and usury are wrong. The key to staying away from it is learning to be content with what the Lord has provided us and not lust after the possessions of our neighbors. What makes this even harder for the Homesteader type is the fact that you won't have much money. Just because we are cash poor doesn't mean that God hasn't blessed us abundantly. As I've written before, there are many things in life to enjoy that don't cost a dime. Once you weed out the obvious things you can cut out of the budget, you have to reevaluate some we don't think we can do without. Everyone starts out with this rosey idea......"I'll grow all my own food and sell some and I really won't need money". When they sit down and figure the things that modern industrial society tells us we must have........They become discouraged and give up the dream. One prime example is health insurance. You are used to it, your boss pays for most of it now, and you really don't think you can be without it. For my clan, it would cost us $800 a month! Needless to say we don't have any. The whole idea of limiting liability seems wrong to me anyway and some of my $800 would help kill babies and buy people birth control. We are now part of a Christian cost share system that works well. Every month we give $225 to someone that needs it to pay for a medical bill. It is only used for bills over a certain amount so you can't run to the doctor every time your kid looks crosseyed at you. Having ins has got people in the habit of going to the doctor way to much anyway. If you're like me and believe birth control is a sin, you will have babies coming every so often. If you think it has to cost an arm and a leg, your wrong. Our bill is a couple thousand dollars. We don't do ultra-sounds or anything else that cost a lot. We have the babies born at home like people have since the beginning of time. If your new to the "homebirth" idea I recommend Kelly Degenhart's post. The point is this, we have to look at everything we do and decide if its really necessary. We're building a new world, if you will. We can't let the wicked world dictate what do or don't do.


At 8/05/2005 6:59 AM, Anonymous Matt Davis said...

WAIT! You mean... my wife and I aren't crazy after all? There are others? No birth control? Long skirts? Modest living? No debt? Actually tyring to live out biblical principles!

Praise God! Scott, you have made our day with this and the skirt posts!

Thank You!

At 8/06/2005 1:43 PM, Blogger Nate said...

I do not think that you will find any Reformer nor Covenanter/Westminster Divine that says that debt is sin.

Usury is sin, but usury is an unjust amount of interest...if they thought that interest in itself was not wrong, then debt would not be wrong either, by infrence.

At 8/07/2005 6:03 PM, Anonymous Jon Caudle said...


Usury (from the Latin usus meaning "used") was defined originally as charging a fee for the use of money. This usually meant interest on loans, although charging a fee for changing money (as at a bureau de change) is included in the original meaning. After moderate-interest loans became an accepted part of the business world in the early modern age, the word has come to refer to the charging of unreasonable or relatively high rates of interest.

Note that the word usury really (originally) means the exact same thing as interest. There is no distinction. What some translations call usury others call interest; any distinction is a modern one, built on trying to escape the scriptural condemnation of ALL interest charged (except a believer charging interest to an unbeliever).

While debt may not be defined as a sin by the people you cite, scripture defines it as slavery, and Christians are certainly not taught that placing oneself in slavery is a light matter that is adiaphora (a matter of indifference).

Many of us have followed pagans, permitting them to define good and evil, rather than accepting God's definitions of good and evil. Consequently, we bought into a great many things that we shouldn't have.

Though I have a certain degree of indebtedness, I am grateful to Scott, and to Chad Degenhart and Pastor Thomas McConnell, for sounding the warning that all is not well when we adopt pagan definitions. Instead of defending our errors, and the pagan practices that seduced us, we ought to applaud those who a seeking to provoke us to love and good deeds: particularly obedience to our good God.


At 8/08/2005 5:59 AM, Blogger reformed farmer said...

Thank you Jon. Well put and I agree.


You are correct about most of the reformed fathers veiws on this subject. I beleive this is one of the few areas that they erred. I would remind you that the church did not stop devoloping doctrine upon the completion of the WCF.

With 25% of american's income paying off debt, it seems that most are buying more then they can pay for. I think there are times when borrowing money is acceptable. I also beleive that most of American debt is incured becouse of a sinful heart. Most debt is incured becouse of people breaking the Tenth Commandment. They simply lust after that that they don't have and can't afford. Never happy with what God provides them. It does not help that we have a fiat money system that is based on theft, inflation, usuary, and paper. It sure dosen't help that the American Church has given this wicked system a baptism either.


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