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Honest Money Biblical Principles of Money and Banking by Dr. Gary North is a book that brings together not only the history of how money came to be, but how to use it correctly. It teaches honesty and godliness in our daily dealings with earnings.
The value of money is something hard to determine. Money is a commodity. For money allows us to establish prices for most goods and services available. Money exists because man realized that some things are more wanted and sought after than others. People sell things for money to increase their income and enrich their futures. They exchange things of equal price, but the values differ in the minds of those involved. For money must have five essential characteristics: (1) divisibility, (2) portability, (3) durability, (4) recognizability, and (5) scarcity.
The origin of money is something that is quite surprising. It was not the government that established money, but the people. Those who used money voluntarily originated money and can still change it at any point in the future as well. It was the free market, which determined what was going to be the national unit for exchange.
Maintaining honest money is something of great importance. We should not be making profits in any way that is not pleasing to God. We are to be godly and honest in all our dealings with money. For the Bible is very clear about this. It says, "Thou shalt not steal." This sin is a sin against God. Honest weights and balance is not an option, it is a requirement.
Another important thing about keeping honest money is that the ruler be honest in his dealings as well. If the ruler is not right, the people will soon be the same. For people are morally corrupt, there is no exception to this when it comes to income. When civilizations become corrupt, they fall, which is their punishment for breaking God's commandments.
The contagion of inflation is also one thing to avoid. Our economy could crumble, if the monetary unit is changed. If this happens, the debasement of our currency will spread universally and end in disaster. The world would be living in complete immorality and sin. Government tries to control the economy with price controls, but it in return just tears down our free market system.
When the state monopolizes our money, it causes problems.
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Another thing discussed in this book, is the process of lending money. It tells that lending money at interest is not wrong as long as it is gone about the correct way. For instance, making a profit off a loan to a poor man is wrong and should be punishable. However, Jesus does speak of investments as something that is acceptable.
Fractional reserve banking is something that is not in tune with the scriptures. It not only results in an endless debt, but it is also a form of fraud. The economy continually goes up and down, causing inflation followed by deflation. It is never stable.
The Bible also strongly discourages people to owe money. It results in the borrower being a type of servant to the lender and we are not to be subject to anyone but God. Debt is to be avoided.
According to this book, to fully grasp the fundamentals of Biblical money people need to understand the following points: (1) We should not expect something from nothing. (2) The State should not interfere with private non-coercive decisions. (3) It is cheaper to print paper money than it is to mine metals. (4) Money is not really money unless we expect other people to accept it in future trades. (6) Debasing money is a form of tampering with weights and measures. (7) Debasing money reduces its value in trade. (8) Debasing money therefore reduces the wealth of people who hold money. (9) Warehouse receipts should be backed 100% at all times by whatever is promised by the receipt.
If people can grasp these concepts and start to get out of debt through this reform, our economy will last. Unfortunately, this is unlikely, because people would rather things stay the same and pay the penalties later. In return, there will be a default, with different currency and a different system of banking.
The book Honest Money Biblical Principles of Money and Banking by Dr. Gary North is a good guide that correctly displays how the Bible views handling money. It tells how to keep honest money and how to glorify God, not man, through it.