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In Theory:

Financial advice at church OK?

October 01, 2009

PASTOR CLIFFORD L. “SKIP” LINDEMAN

La Cañada Congregational Church

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.

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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.

The Bible does address finances: “The borrower is servant to the lender,” and “He who gathers money little by little makes it grow.” (Proverbs 22:7 and 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.

Some say Ramsey’s ideas don’t always add up, while others have become true believers. Isn’t that like everything? Unless there’s something corrupt afoot, Christians are simply paying for advice, and God gets the credit. Where’s the problem?

PASTOR BRYAN GRIEM

Montrose Community Church

I understand that there will always be critics and those who feel this type of thing doesn’t belong in the church, but I have another take on the issue.

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