Kingdom banking – eliminating bondage to debt

[notice] A fortnightly column by Johannesburg Business Editor, Patrick Kuwana. [/notice]

A critical component of any economic system and business environment is the banking sector. As part of the work we are doing to look at Kingdom economic structures and a Kingdom based business environment I would like to share some brief thoughts regarding banking. I would like to start though by quoting Romans 12:2 – ‘And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God, because what follows will probably take us totally out of what the world has made us to think is the normal way of life.

In this article I use the term ‘I believe’ a lot because what I am deducing is my own interpretation of things as guided by scripture and the Holy Spirit. As you read this I pray that the Holy Spirit will lead you to deeper truths and further revelation that will refute, confirm and or even expand on what I have written.

So what is banking today?
Unfortunately instead being an industry focused on serving the people, banking today has become a system that derives value by driving people into the evil cycle of bondage to debt and thrives from the profits made from keeping people in debt for as long as possible. I have just read an awesome definition of debt from a book titled ‘Why divide when you can multiply – sow a seed – feed a nation’ by Robert Needham. He says ‘debt is a way Satan uses the love of money as his agent to cause us to trust money more than God and therefore fall into sin’. The core business of today’s banking industry is driving people into sin and bondage – the more people borrow to consume, the more money a bank makes.

For as long as the banking industry is focused on making profits out of people’s indebtedness – it will remain in opposition to the word of God and hence be an instrument of promoting the interests of Satan in the world.

I believe banking itself is not unbiblical because in the parable of the three servants who were given talents to trade (Matthew 25:14-30), Jesus quotes the Master as saying that the servant who buried his talent should have put it in the bank to earn interest. (Matthew 25:27).

Borrowing to consume (World strategy) versus borrowing to produce (Kingdom strategy)
The world banking industry thrives on consumption debt and I believe this is unbiblical. Believers (including myself) have been caught up in consumption based overspending habits which have led us into bondage to debt and therefore sin.

I believe that Kingdom banking will be driven from a foundation of production debt (borrowing to produce). This is offering loans that are strictly linked to a production cycle that will generate revenues and hence enable the debt to be quickly repaid while the production cycle continues to generate revenues that will pay off other debts and bring about debt free living for the banks’ clients so that consumption needs (cars, clothes, furniture, etc.) can be purchased for cash. We see this principle in 2 Kings 4:1-7 where Elisha advises the widow who was in deep debt to borrow jars so that she and her children could fill them up with oil and go and sell them to raise money to pay off the debt and have enough to live debt free after that. In this case study we see the prophet Elisha advising them to borrow so that they could use what they borrowed to produce what they needed to get them out of the debt trap. He did not advise them to borrow to purchase a meal. This is the difference between consumption debt and production debt.

Interestingly enough this ‘borrowing to produce’ strategy will result in the proliferation of small, medium enterprises that will become the foundation of driving job creation and economic growth – which is exactly what our country and in fact all countries need right now!

The South Africa Credit Ombudsman, Manie van Schalkwyk said last week that household debt to disposable income ratios remain high at 76.3% in the 2nd quarter of 2012 with just 53% of retail borrowers in good standing on their accounts.

The reality is that a banking industry that is focused on making high profits from the indebtedness of the people will never contribute towards new business creation, economic growth and the elimination of poverty. I love what Proverbs 28:8 says – ‘Income from charging high interest rates will end up in the pocket of someone who is kind to the poor’. This says to me that God will reverse this greed based system and that restoration will take place so that the poor will see His glory through the banking industry again.

So how will Kingdom banks make money?
A Kingdom bank will be a place where people’s money is stored for safety and in return the people will get interest. From this stored money I believe the focus of Kingdom banks is to generate profits from creating an environment that will allow people access to capital (the stored money) for production (wealth creation) purposes and derive profits from the multiplied wealth that is generated. They are institutions that will offer production linked debt products that are given only when the client is putting it into a production based venture that will help bring that person out of debt and give them sustainable income to live debt free lives into the future.

Many people ask the question – so how will the banks make money? In fact I believe that this proposed Kingdom banking model will become the most profitable banking model in the world because its profits will be linked to the success of the people it lends to. It will be a bank that will release people from bondage so that they can live lives that will be able to bless the poor and take care of orphans and widows. God’s word is very clear that any person or organisation that focuses on this will carry the fullness of His blessing.

The Lord has given me the privilege to meet and debate these concepts with Kingdom business pioneers here in South Africa, in other African countries, in Europe, the USA and Asia as we have travelled teaching Biblical Entrepreneurship. Through these interactions I have come to realise that these thoughts on Kingdom banking are not farfetched, but are already being brought to manifestation and believers are already putting their investment into these ventures.

What we need to understand is that God’s economy works on ‘multiplication principles’ whereas the world economy works on division principles. In God’s system everyone makes a profit; in the world’s system someone has to lose for someone to profit. In a nutshell the world’s banking system thrives on you being in debt (bondage) whereas God’s Kingdom banking system thrives when you are building Godly wealth (freedom). Why then don’t we follow God’s economic system where everyone profits? Is it maybe because  we are not obeying Romans 12:2 or because we just don’t’ believe the Bible?

9 Comments

  1. Correct.We must start God’s system as soon as possible.

  2. Shiney Alexander George

    I’d always thought that the present banking system is nothing short of legitimized daylight robbery. So when are you going to establish the Kingdom Peoples’ Bank? Sounds like a good alternative on paper.

  3. This is still very much on paper and needs much more work but the encouraging thing is that more and more Kingdom minded people with the expertise to make this happen are starting to get together to figure out the details. We continue to trust that God himself will go before us and make a way where there seems to be no way and make this happen because we know that His heart is for the economic freedom of His children.

  4. I’m game and geared for this, something similar to a model God gave me some time ago. This is one of the missing pieces. Blessings and keep us in the loop,

  5. Any news for 2nd quarter 2013??

  6. Exciting thought…..implementation must happen soon….count me in already done some extensive research and able to share in due course…

  7. Exciting opportunity….changing the world one micro business’s at a time….