Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Money and Christianity

My wife and I have been taking part in a very interesting 13 week seminar by a man named Dave Ramsey. Dave is a well known author and speaker, and is a Christian man. The seminar is called "Financial Peace University" and is set up so that a group of people get together once a week, watch a video lecture for about an hour, and then discuss it together. We've been doing it for four weeks now and have really enjoyed it. While not all of the topics he goes through are immediately important to us, they almost all will be sooner or later. From savings to investing, from dumping debt to learning how to invest, he covers it all.

The reason I bring this up is this: it seems to me that within the Christian community and the history of our faith, opinions about money have been as different as people's opinions on whether or not Michael Jordan is the best basketball player of all time (for the record, he most certainly is). What I mean is that some people take verses of the Bible and use it to defend saving your money, leaving an inheritance for your kids, saving for retirement, investing, and so on. And then others take verses from the Bible and use it to say that we should give all our money away, keep as little as possible for ourselves, trust that God will sustain us and that we don't need a whole lot in savings and on and on. To be honest, it sort of makes my head hurt just thinking about it. Dave Ramsey uses the Bible quite a bit when giving financial principles - the interesting thing is, it seems like they are literally ALL out of Proverbs. Then other people never use Proverbs and only use certain things Jesus said about money, which may or may not even be relevant to the financial principle they are trying to make.

I don't have some grand way of wrapping this up, other than to say I'd be interested in your opinions and comments if you have any. What have you heard about money and principles about finances that you liked or didn't like? Do you understand the tension that I'm speaking of in this blog or does it seem to come from nowhere? One more thing... I Timothy 6:9 says "But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction." What sort of ruin and destruction have you seen come with the ungodly "desire for riches" that Paul speaks about - either in your personal life, the lives of those you love, or by observation of our culture.

Soli Gloria Deo

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