John Steward of Jesus
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A Debtor Nation

July 4, 1990

As I am writing on "Independence Day", I read in yesterday's newspaper headlines, "U.S. debt jumps 25%".  People in the U.S. are celebrating independence while marching into economic slavery.

The U.S. has increased its lead as the world's largest debtor nation, ending 1989 with a net foreign debt of $664 billion.  Until 1983, the U.S. was the world's largest creditor nation.  In 1985, the U.S. became a net debtor for the first time in 71 years.  Foreigners now hold more than $2 trillion of U.S. debt, while U.S. holdings of foreign debt are $1.4 trillion. The deceptive and soothing "We only owe it to ourselves" no longer applies.

Those who accumulate personal debt soon learn that debt destroys freedom.  Three thousand years ago, the wise already knew that "the borrower is servant to the lender".(Proverbs 22:7)  The Christians at Rome were advised, "Give everyone what you owe him....  Let no debt remain outstanding...."(Romans 13:7-8)

Whatever our own status, we must be aware that we live among people whose march into economic slavery is accelerating through the accumulation of personal, corporate, and national debt.  As the U.S. becomes more dependent on debt financing, it will join the club of debtor nations whose national policies are determined by global lenders.

Where is the solution?  Not in new economic or political proposals.  The supreme irony of human life is that when we volunteer as slaves to the Sovereign Lord of Israel and His Prime Minister, Jesus Christ, we experience personal freedom, which leads to economic freedom.

Those who do not submit to the God of Israel will experience economic bondage.  "The alien who lives among you will rise above you higher and higher, but you will sink lower and lower.  He will lend to you, but you will not lend to him. He will be the head, but you will be the tail."(Deuteronomy 28:43-44)