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Churches Offering Financial Advice

News to Me: Financial Advice Turned Religious

If you've so much as glanced at the news lately you'd know the economy has been going through rocky times. Some people are seeking financial advice from their church to hold their hands through the tumultuous market ride, and I just learned that thousands of churches around the world have added teaching the gospel of money to their repertoire.

Participants in such church groups say that the bible is packed with information on handling finances and for some it has helped lift the "spiritual burden" of being in debt. A proponent mentioned saving aggressively and giving 10 percent of your income to the church as basic fundamentals found in the bible. Critics say that the bible is being trivialized by these "finance ministers."

What do I say? Whatever gets people through troubled times, more power to you, but when it comes to handling money I'm wary of the emphasis on giving so much to the church. We should try to give what we can to charities of our choice, but it just makes me uncomfortable that giving 10 percent is mentioned as part of an overall financial plan. What do you say?


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chovabub chovabub 8 years
The reality of how tithing is not the truth is evident in many ways. The first one is simply the word fact. If half of what many churches that believe absolutes preach was fact then the results would speak for themselves. We wouldnt have to preach tithing = prosperity because we would have countless examples. I know hundreds of believers who have tithed for 20+ years wholeheartedly and are poor and struggling; sick and desperate. Why arent they healed (as they claim); rich (as they believe). The real question is who is lying and for what reason. Instead we see quite the opposite - the majority of believers are sick, poor and unfortunately just the same as every other people on the planet. Tithing was instituted to look after the levitical priesthood which ended in Christ (Jesus said all people are now priests and Kings) - so if this is true then we should be giving (not tithing) to every believers - because Jesus said Whatever you do to the least you do to me. It's pretty obvious then that we dont know as much as what we think we do or we wouldnt have to be continually trying to demand what the truth is and preach without example. Even Paul said We only know in part; and when you consider the truth of history; the facts of biblical absolutes (and legends) - and the truth of reality it doesnt take too much wisdom to see who is really profiting from the tithe. The average Pentecostal Pastor earns $80,000 U.S. a year because of the tithe. But the average christian is poor and remains poor because of the heresy that tithing truly is. After all (again) if it were the truth you could show countless examples and not more theology.
bingkaycoy bingkaycoy 9 years
Check this article
Kelly-O Kelly-O 9 years
The thing for me is that it's not the specific church you go to with a hand out demanding 10%. It's clearly stated in the Bible we're to give our tithe, but you need to give it for the right reasons. Not because it's required, but as part of your worship and discipleship. I'm not there yet. I'm working toward it, but I feel zero pressure from my particular brand of Protestantism to force the issue. You give what you can with a willing heart. You also give of your time and talents to help with mission projects, outreach, whatever. For those who don't believe in the Bible, can you at least see that giving back to something larger than yourself is a vital part of being part of the human race? If you choose to give a portion of your money to a charity near and dear to your heart, one you believe passionately in, or even something you just have an interest in, it helps you reach around the world to help others. And no, maybe that is not money put in an IRA for your retirement, or buying a stock, earning interest, whatever. But if it helps someone else improve their life, isn't it worth it? And who knows when something might happen to you, and you find yourself on the other side of it. I guess I feel like it's almost a karma issue.
verily verily 9 years
It's fair enough to ask your patrons to donate in order to pay wages and pay off operating costs. However, I've always been annoyed by churches who flat out expect a certain amount from you. Perhaps it's because my former church once asked us in Sunday School (12 year olds) how much we'd like to donate per month. When I fell behind on my donations, I started getting letters about it, I kid you not. It's one thing to remind an adult who promises a certain amount, but children do not usually have steady incomes. I wouldn't bother now of course, since I'm an atheist and only darken the doors of a church about once every year (for weddings). ;)
jadenirvana jadenirvana 9 years
I think ten percent is ok, since it does specify this doctrine in the Bible. After all, it's the amount we give waiters as a "thank you for not spitting in my salad" fee, so I don't think I would call it "so much". But I do think there are some mega-churches that go too far. Once you get into telling someone the more money they give, the better life they will have-that just seems a little overboard. Just my take though, and I do know many people find a *lot* of comfort and solace in churches, so I don't think there's anything wrong with supporting those institutions.
piesecki piesecki 9 years
I'm an atheist but I went to a church school, and I still love visiting beautiful churches to look at the art and architecture. I will always give a donation to help pay their maintenance etc, however any church that demands or expects their parishoners to give a certain amount of money, or to pay for their spiritual services is starting to sound a little bit too much like the money lenders in the temple that Jesus got rather cross at...
jessy777 jessy777 9 years
I think that it is perfectly fine. Most people do not give their money to the church without yearly reward on their tax return. It is a standard way to live and show grace to the church. I appreciate all forms of spirituality and a person should be able to use what makes them feel more secure, especially economically.
chakra_healer chakra_healer 9 years
Not new. Protestantism has been tied to wealth for a long time. The protestant reformation and social darwinism worked to skew the biblical and new science to make it seem good, and indeed some entitled, to seek and amass fortunes. There are more than a few books on the subject. Whatever. If all it takes is money to solve their problems, I'm happy for all who work towards it.
freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
We should try to give what we can to charities of our choice, but it just makes me uncomfortable that giving 10 percent is mentioned as part of an overall financial plan. I don't understand why it would make you uncomfortable. How else do you expect a church to continue to operate? The preacher has to eat and live like the rest of us. They have rent and electricity bills too. They can't do much of anything (on a financial level) without the contributions from their community.
bfly1133 bfly1133 9 years
In terms of tithing, every church has a different view point on it. Ours believes that at least 10% should be your goal...some day. You give what you can. Our church also believes your tithe can go to the church or a charity. It's up to you so long as you are doing something for the glory of God. Dave Ramsey's ideas are faith based. There are many financial institutions that are also Bible or God centered. As you can see, this isn't new to me. :) Our church is getting ready to start a ministry dedicated to showing people how to be more money wise. Or you could say more savvy. ;) When you think of how many marriages are destroyed over arguments over money, it makes sense for churches to show members of their congregation how to better manage money.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Whatever floats your boat I guess... I wouldn't do it. I don't go to church and still don't even know what I believe in! When iw as in Europe and visited gorgeous churches I always gave something little even though i couldn't spare much because those churches were so wonderful and magnificient!
sweetpeabrina sweetpeabrina 9 years
I have to start out by saying that I'm not religious. However, I went to church with a friend of mine last fall. The preacher was talking about this same thing. There's a passage in the bible that talks about how to "be rich." The focus of that particular sermon was on giving not only money but also time to charity. What I got from it was that before you pay yourself or your bills, give to others. Set aside something - maybe not 10% but any amount to invest in others. It can be the church and its ministries, it can be to a health charity, or a person who may be in financial straights. He then went on to say that having money isn't the only way you can "be rich." Time is another way that we are richer than others. So, with our extra time we should spend some of it reaching out to others too. :)
bingkaycoy bingkaycoy 9 years
Tithing is in reality, truth to the BIble. You give 10% of your income back to the Lord so it comes back to you a hundredfold. The return does not mean "financial or material " all the time, but the Lord's graces---which means blessings of peace, prosperity, good health, joy, etc. Tithing is compulsory in the Old Testament. But as Christians know, tithing is also essential but not compulsory. "You give freely not grudgingly". Most Christian churches don't impose this tithing as compulsory but voluntary. If you don't want to give, it's fine. Most people don't know that most churches maintain their existence through the donations the church-members give. Aside from that, most ministries support other causes and it's only in tithing that they rely the finances for these avocations. If you are not a Christian, then you would really feel uncomfortable with it because you don't know that practice is actually based on the Bible from the Old Testament to the New Testament. And if you are not a Christian, you would not believe that "All you have comes from God. He is the Provider". If not for Him, you will not have your faculties and abilities to get a job that provides you with the money to feed your hungry stomach. Genesis 14:20, Deuteronomy 14:22, Deuteronomy 26: 1-10, Leviticus 27:30, Numbers 18:21-24, etc. Although nowhere the 10% is stated in the New Testament about tithing, but it says "to keep His income" as stated in; James 1:5, 2nd Corinthians 9:7. Paul states that believers should support the church by setting aside a portion of their income; 1st Corinthians 16:1-2 I think it is great to know that more people are becoming aware of knowing a God and having a God in their lives, and applying prayer and worship not only in their homes but also in the places where they work. for me, I cannot start the day without giviing thanks and praise to God as soon as I wake up and as soon as I get at work.
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