I am pleased to offer this provocative “guest column” by Bethel San Diego seminarian Matt Jeffreys. It is an abridgment of a research paper Matt recently wrote for a seminary ethics course.
A recent New York Times article described a successful financial advisor who was losing his home due to excessive debt. He said that processing what had happened raised profound ethical questions. Americans have slowly come to accept debt, even extreme debt, as a normal way of life. And Christians appear to be the same. Believers seem to borrow just as much, and just as fast for everything from cars and houses, to furniture and vacations. Churches are now filled with, and led by, people who are often drowning in debt and struggling to think about much else. Even closer to home, debt has reached crisis proportions for those of us who venture to study at America’s expensive seminaries on our own dime. Maybe this is just wrong.