Murder by Debt
Deuteronomy 24:6 :
No man shall take the mill or the upper millstone as a pledge; for he takes a life in pledge.
God protects a man's livelihood here by making sure that a person giving a loan can't use a fundamental part
of a person's ability to eat as collateral. If you take the millstone away, a person can't grind their wheat into
flour and make bread to eat. As I meditate on this verse, I think that this might be what has ruined the economy
of the United States of America.
When I first started thinking about this verse, I tried to think of the kinds of loans that don't violate
this rule and it turned out to be hard. Car loans usually use the car as collateral. I suppose that if you don't have
to use a car to get to work, a car loan is a good example of a legal one, but many people depend on a car
to get to work and if they don't get to work, they don't eat. That sounds a lot like an upper
millstone to me.
A house loan may also fit, as long as we realize that we will need to rent if we don't buy a house. If we
work in a place that doesn't have any apartments it might violate the rule.
Credit cards are probably the biggest violator, at least once the balance reaches a certain level.
There is no collateral except for the life of its holder.
I think that credit cards should be illegal in a Christian economy according to this rule. We should probably
also make student loans illegal as well. It is interesting that credit card debt and student loans are two
of the biggest problems that the U.S. economy faces today.
This verse points the blame at individuals and governments. Any government that allows these things is making possible
for the lives of people to be taken in pledge. That's just another way to say that it is a way to permit
As individuals with choices, we should make the wise choice to not take loans. That will protect us from
businesses and governments that are eager to make slaves out of those who they are supposed to be helping.