Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Faith and Finances

There's more then just David Ramsey out there dealing with the money in church angle. They have now moved things to deal with the very poor. Here is a program I came across where they invite low income people to be taught how to budget their money. Sadly I see a taint of kingdom theology in their teachings. This class is directed by a group called the Chalmers Center which has one of their stated goals as the "alleviation" of poverty. This group has ties to Covenant College which is Presbyterian {Calvinist?} in it's founding. I went to their website and they spoke of "micro-financing" and globalist type projects where the "alleviation" of poverty isn't just for Americans but international in scope.

Here is one "faith and finances" class example being advertised. On comments today, I wrote about how the self-improvement stuff has become an idol. Here while not all practical advice is a bad thing, the cares of this life can be allowed to supercede what God desires. It disturbs me at this link they promise that the people will become "financially secure". Financial security and spirituality are connected in an insidious way. I find myself thinking these people would have lectured Jesus and the apostles for not budgeting and finding a decent place to live and building up their bank accounts.

I went to their website {google Faith and Finances and The Chalmers Center} and look at the curriculum and rest. In these programs, one will note that they see budgeting and "responsible" living as solving the poor's problems. There is a paternal element to this, as they judge the poor for not living life "right" with the message that solving poverty is all about making people "more responsible". The idea that the poor don't already budget to keep a roof over their head and some food in the refrigerator rankles me a bit.  What disturbs me further is that spirituality and financial health are linked in programs like this where the two don't always go hand in hand, and this ties in even to my article where many will claim blessings in this world [aka financial security] means you are considered "worthy" by God. If having a healthy bank account means "worthiness" that is a very dangerous spiritual message to people. There are evil things I have refused to follow to be in God's will which meant the sacrifice of money. Faith and Finances, do the two follow together? Not really.

Revelation 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor and blind, and naked:


Anonymous said...

If they really cared about the poor, they would gather up all their unscriptural tithe money and give it to those in need.

Bible Believer said...

I agree.

I doubt any job offers are in the mix either from the ones who may own companies or have connections to give real opportunities as well. One thing I notice with the wealthy church world is they are as class-conscious as the rest of the secular world, they aren't letting the poor in the door either.

It will be just more paternal "lecturing" and it will be like that Bridges out of Poverty program I wrote and warned about here too.

Anonymous said...

Agree, Mark 14:7 and 1 John 3:17 - Don

Anonymous said...

There is a place for scriptural teaching on how Christians are to be good stewards of their finances and that everything belongs to God and each person is accountable as to how they handle what God has given them. But it doesn't have to be by some celebrity or company. It can and should be available to all at no cost from the leadership of the church or by someone experienced in the field of finances from the church who donates their time as a ministry.

Churches I have been involved with have what is called a benevolent fund for the poor in their midst. Also, they regularly go to the poor area of town and minister to the homeless with food and clothing and the message of the Gospel. It is the responsibility of Christians to support such efforts.

It is sad that there are churches who treat the poor badly and make them feel they are to blame for their circumstances. I have known of some who were just plain lazy and knew how to work the system and live on the dole. To give them handouts is not helpful.

Anonymous said...


I wonder if the participants on this course are paying anything at all?
Over here, I have come across a few churches that run programs in teaching people how to manage their budgets. I have never been directly on one myself but these courses are run for free.

Nothing wrong with teaching budget management of course. But the issues of poverty is very complex. You don't just fall into poverty though laziness and poor money management skills. All it takes is redundancy, an accident and illness and there you are. I know plenty of folks in my area who cannot work due to becoming disabled or ill. No employer will hire them because of their SAD or Narcolepsy. Plus you have people who care for disabled relatives in their home.

As Don has already quoted (with scripture references) Jesus said that the poor will always be there and that is true. Look at the amount of money both the UK and America spend on overseas projects and yet people are still as poor as ever. I remember live aid concert put on by a bunch of celebrities to try and get the public to give money to the starving Africans and yet Africa still suffers from hunger. I mean what is going on with that.

I also argee with the commenter about why don't they use their connections to secure job opportunities for these people. That won't happen and you know why? you will need to go out there and evangelise till your feet fall of about the church and be part of one of their cliquey groups before that happens. This really annoys me to the core. Aren't God people supposed to help each other?

Anonymous said...

Yes, Christians are supposed to help each other but it doesn't seem to be happening on any kind of scale. People should be able to give to their church for the benevolent care of those who are in need and come to their attention.

It seems that at Christmas there are many efforts to reach the unfortunate, the poor with food and material assistance. There are doctors who donate their time and skills to benefit and treat the poor.

It is just such an overwhelming problem and so few are doing what the Bible says.

There are programs from the government for food stamps and housing and health care but so many work the system and abuse it and those truly in need don't get the help they need. It is a solution the world can't solve. It should be a time for the church to shine and not only the Catholics who run food banks. So many Christians are into self - spending money on the latest electronics, sports events, TV cable,
and other items that the poor can only dream of having.