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Is it wrong for a Christian to go bankrupt?


It is wrong for a Christian to not pay money that is owed, and to not fulfill promises/contracts/responsibilities that they have given their word to fulfill.

Bankruptcy is a legal action. While this legal action may provide some “breathing room” from overly aggressive creditors, or intense pressures, any Christian who resorts to bankruptcy should not do so for the purpose of avoiding responsibility for debts and agreements.

So, is it “wrong” for a Christian to go bankrupt? My personal opinion is, that most of the time, yes, it is the WRONG CHOICE. But I would submit that there are times when bankruptcy can provide the means by which an honest person can “regroup” and plan to honor all responsibilities.

Is it a SIN? Bankruptcy is not the moral issue. The motivation behind it is. If the motive is too avoid paying debt or to get out of agreements, then yes, it would be sin.

God’s opinion is clear about financial integrity and keeping your word:

  • Exodus 20:16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (NKJV) (if you don’t pay what you owe, you have lied to your ‘neighbor’ about what you would do)
  • Numbers 30:2 If a man makes a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by some agreement, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth. (NKJV) (any oath by a Christian is in essence an oath to the Lord because you represent Him)
  • Ecclesiastes 5:4-5 When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; For He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed— Better not to vow than to vow and not pay. (NKJV)
  • Psalm 37:21 The wicked borrows and does not repay, But the righteous shows mercy and gives. (NKJV)

In summary, in cannot be said that declaring bankruptcy is a SIN, but declaring bankruptcy for the purpose of getting out of what you owe, is absolutely and always sin.