Estimated cost of the project: $ 1,400,000
Current Building Fund: $ 525,000
Goal Amount: $ 875,000
Amount Pledged (as of April 20) $ 437,100
Because the pledged amount was less than the anticipated amount needed for commencing and completing the building project, the elders first explored whether we should borrow, if needed, and if borrowing would be a Biblically acceptable approach.
The Bible actually says quite a bit about lending or taking on debt. Throughout the both the Old and New Testaments we observe there was present an acceptable system of lending, borrowing and investing money. While Scripture permits these practices, it is very clear they should be done responsibly and wisely. Here are two principles from God’s word regarding the borrowing of money:
1. Be careful not to allow debt to be a burden or something we are enslaved to. While scripture doesn’t prohibit borrowing money, it recognizes there is the potential for debt to not free us up to serve God but instead to force us to be a slave to the debt. This is why Scripture appears to counsel that if given a choice between being a lender or a borrower, be the former. Yet there are times when borrowing money is necessary. So, if one does enter into it, they should proceed wisely and literally count the cost. We should make sure borrowing money serves us and not the other way around. (Deuteronomy 15:1-11, Proverbs 22:7)
2. Be able and sure to pay back what we owe. This is similar to the first principle, but still worth highlighting. In Romans 13:7-8 Paul says, “Owe no one anything.” Context helps us understand Paul isn’t prohibiting the borrowing of money, but instructing the only debt that should ever remain is of loving one another. Whatever we owe: taxes, rent, mortgage payments, or the neighbor’s cordless drill, should be paid or given back. All debt besides love for people should be entered into with the understanding that it will be temporary and not open ended. It should be pursued not as a gamble but with both an ability to pay back what is owed and the intent to do it sooner than later.
(Other references: Exodus 22:25, Leviticus 25:37, Matthew 5:32, Luke 6:35)
Having determined that borrowing would not violate God’s principles, it was then determined that because the amount needed was beyond the pledged amount, it would be wise and prudent to bring the matter to the members for a vote, and we would request a 2/3rds approval to proceed. With planning and faith, we would desire to move forward, and anticipate a congregational vote on April 29, 2018 at 11:30 AM, following Sunday School. Please be in prayer for God’s direction, and that He will provide that direction.