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In Theory

September 24, 2009

The Associated Press last week published a story about David Ramsey of Brentwood, Tenn. Ramsey is touted as a “Christian money guru” who mixes faith and financial advice by arranging money classes through churches where he uses the Bible to support  his ideas of wise money spending. Critics feel that Ramsey’s financial advice does not belong in church, that “It was a way to make money instead of deliver a message.” What do you think about what Ramsey is doing? Do you believe it is appropriate to make money by dispensing financial advice through churches?

BRYAN GRIEM

Recently, I purchased items at two local big-name stores. Then I wandered into a dollar store and found both items for guess how much? The brand stores charged seven times what I immediately bought before returning their ridiculously overpriced goods.

I tell you this because, had I known in advance where to find my items and save money, I would have saved both time and money. Now aren’t you glad I told you? Perhaps I’ll find more ways to save, then market a seminar to help others. With positive response, I could make myself a decent income while helping you save more of yours. Sound good? Well that’s about what happened when David Ramsey shared some financial advice and people were helped. His insights were not especially embraced by the general public, however, because his principles derived from Scripture, and that doesn’t excite the unconverted. It’s the church people that want to live according to God’s wisdom, and if he says anything about handling our money, then we should listen more attentively than others might to Millionaire Bob on the infomercial about instant real estate wealth.

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The Bible does address finances, e.g.: “The borrower is servant to the lender,” and “He who gathers money little by little makes it grow.” (Proverbs 22:7 & 13:11 NIV) Pastors occasionally preach these passages, but collating all such verses into a helpful, topic-specific system also interests Christians, and we gather in church auditoriums. So I have no problem with this any more than I would if someone held cooking seminars based on Bible foods, in the church commissary.

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