Dave Ramsey has a Problem…

For a while now, I have been uncomfortable with a particular area of teaching in the modern Church.  It is a sacred area, an area off-limits to criticism by anyone who wants to maintain any respectability.  For whatever reason, I seem to lack the desire for respectability (And it is a good thing, too! I would be utterly depressed for lack of any).  So without further delay, here is my problem.  I have a problem with the Dave Ramsey money management program, classes and books.  A big problem.  I have thought about it for over a year, but today listening to his call-in radio program I was able to put into clear thought what was bothering me.  The problem is that his advice and methods do not take into account the full teachings of Scripture.  I know, I know.  I can practically hear the furious typing already as his defenders give reference to verses concerning faithful stewardship and the scattering on many waters.  But as the call I heard today was a perfect example of what bothers me, I will simply discuss that.

A caller phoned in with the question “Should I proceed with putting new, more decorative hardwood floors in my home?”  He described his current situation as employed, possessing $15k in emergency money and $15k in a fund to beautify his home (worth approx $325k).  He was concerned with proceeding because he was in the auto industry, and many others in this industry were now un-employed.  He was nervous.  And now to Dave’s response.  Dave told him that he should indeed proceed, as he had a safety net in his emergency fund.  He also made it clear not to be nervous, but to feel good about the new floors.  This is NOT Biblical advice.  No way, no how!  Nope.  Why would I say that?  Well, look at the following verses, and please read them all the way through, even if you are familiar with them.  Forget what you have been taught about what Jesus really meant & look at what the text actually says:

And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’  And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.  And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’  But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’  So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”    Luke 12:16-21 (ESV)

And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on.  For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.   Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!   And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?   If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?   Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.   But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!   And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried.   For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them.  Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.   “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.  Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.   For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”    Luke 12:22-34 (ESV) 

In both of these texts, Jesus teaches that saving up wealth in storehouses for security is wrong.  In many parables (must I name them all?) believers are called stewards, managers, and slaves of their Master who is Christ.  We are to manage His resources that He gives us responsibility over with the intention of fulfilling His directives.  Our resources are not our own, and are in no way to be stored up for our own security or comfort!  Why does silver and gold bring us security?  Is being held in the creator’s hand insufficient, we must also have an emergency fund?  Dave Ramsey never once encouraged the caller to search God’s Word to see how the Master has directed us in use of His resources.  No mention of time spent in prayer.  No questioning as to whether the caller felt comfortable because of His trust in Christ or because of his emergency fund.  No Biblical advice was given at all, just simple money management tips with the aim of keeping this steward comfortable and in wealth.  How is this advice considered Christian?  It is not!  Please understand, I do believe that at times God chooses to bless those who follow Him with various material blessings.  But on His schedule, not the servants.  Storing up storehouses and beautifying homes while others are hungry and lost around us brings no glory to God.  In fact, it blasphemes the name of God before unbelievers when they see Christians living this way.  I know this post will make folks angry, but before getting angry about the fact that someone has threatened your “right” to be wealthy, ask yourself this, “Why am I so angry?  What and where is my treasure if I am stirred to such anger from an article?”  Please, I implore you, put down the Dave Ramsey and pick up the writings of Jesus Christ our Lord!

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60 Comments on “Dave Ramsey has a Problem…”

  1. Lumbee77 Says:

    Does anyone have the podcast link to Dave Ramsey’s interview with Joel Osteen. I heard this interview back in the fall of 2014. I think anyone that listens to this interview will be enlighted to what Dave Ramsey truly believes about money/wealth.
    In the interview Dave Ramsey tells his viewers that he and his wife are “very good friends with Joel Osteen”. Dave Ramsey also goes on to say that he is very supportive of Joel Osteen’s ministry etc..If anyone can find this podcast / interview please make it available here.

    Reply

    • ChurchSalt Says:

      I hadn’t heard about that. I’ll see if I can find…

      Reply

      • Lumbee77 Says:

        Yes, Most people don’t beleive me when I tell them about this interview. Unfortunately I can’t seem to find any excerpts from the interview anywhere on the internet The interview though very short is very telling about Dave Ramsey’s beleif system especially as it relates to prosperity.

      • ChurchSalt Says:

        Indeed. When looking, I found pics of him preaching at Lakewood and several people making remarks that they have seen them together but oddly enough all content of what Dave was saying seems to be gone. That alone is enough to raise my eyebrows a bit.

  2. Rich Says:

    I agree , Dave Ramsey’s teaches selfishness !
    I do believe in the basics …. that’s all.

    Reply

  3. Leon Layne Says:

    Interesting posts and replies. To the initial thoughts regarding whether or not Dave Ramsey is giving advice based on a biblical worldview. The notion of laying up treasure on earth is clearly not in alignment with Scripture, which plainly teaches to lay up treasure in Heaven. However, I see two areas in your argument that I cannot agree with, at least without more information.

    1) Your supposition that you have the ability to look upon the heart of Dave Ramsey and see what he is motivated by.

    Have you spoken with him? Scripture teaches if you have issue with a brother, go to that brother, and if he hears you, you’ve gained a brother. If he doesn’t go back with a witness.

    Remember, while you are researching Scripture, don’t leave out Gal 6:1 that says if you see a brother in sin, you are required to go and restore him in the spirit of meekness….not call him out from behind a keyboard!!

    2) Do you believe that proper stewardship would include preparation for the future? As we get older, we are not able to work and produce in the same way we are when we are younger. We must prepare for our later years in life while we are young and able. My wife and I have been married 27 years, we got started saving later than we should have, and now I have some stress as I try to save, not only for a time when I may not be able to earn, but if I should pass before she does, what will sustain her if we do not prepare? Joseph saved up stores of food to sustain the nation of Israel through an incredible drought and famine.

    I have a 401k. Is that wrong in your assessment of Scripture?

    I can tell you this, my wife and I used the encouragement found in Dave Ramsey’s books, along with prayer and a conviction to get ourselves out of debt, to pay off all of our credit debt. Scripture clearly does not want us to be in debt. The only credit we have left is the mortgage on our home. Do you own your home? DId you borrow to buy it? How about a car note? Scripture states that the borrow is servant to the lender. Does that mean that Scripture prohibits borrowing?

    My position is on Dave Ramsey materials is that they work if you follow them. More than 80 percent of Americans are literally living paycheck to paycheck. They are not freed from financial obligation in many instances to even allow them to take a job where they do not have to work Sundays!! Dave Ramsey speaks of his motivation often, he made incredibly poor choices and was in so much debt he lost everything. He discovered a way to avoid repeating those choices. My wife and I were in a similar cycle of poor choices. Reading the testimonies of other believers in his books, reading his encouragements never came across to me as save and be a miser, but save to protect your families future, and be able to give back. My wife and I have taken on helping to support directly 2 missionaries in addition to our regular giving. I have used personal funds to go on missions trips to help others too.

    I hear Dave get loud on his program sometimes, I usually only listen about 2-3 per month, but when you have the personality that makes you successful at radio or tv, sometimes self kind of takes over. I would be interested to ask him if he ever listens back and says “Now why did I say that?”

    Is his system perfect? No. Does it help Christians and non-Christians alike? From personal experience, I would say that it does.

    Reply

    • ChurchSalt Says:

      Hi Leon,
      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. In response to your points, I guess I would like to clarify that I can’t see into Dave Ramsey’s heart and judge him, but I (and you and all believers) are indeed told to judge the teachings presented by various teachers. In the first paragraph I opened the article by saying “I have a problem with the Dave Ramsey money management program, classes and books” but nowhere have I stated that I have a problem with him personally. I do not know the man and he has not sinned against me that I should approach him personally. However, he presents free public teachings on the radio for all to consume and because of this I see nothing wrong whatsoever with also using public media to discuss and examine those teachings. In fact, I see it necessary.
      As far as savings, debt, spending and such, I think it’s important to remember who owns us. The money you and I have isn’t our own if we are truly slaves of God as stated in scripture. Our job is to manage money and all resources so as to best accomplish our mission as laid out by our Lord. So is being debt-free and saving for the future a responsible management of His finances? I would say so. But I also see that if a Brother is in need of the things of this world and we withhold those things that we are in sin. So should we save or should we give? It is my view that we need to prayerfully examine this balancing act as we go, using Scripture as our guide so as to know what to do in every occasion. It is this balance and desire to faithfully serve that I don’t hear in Dave Ramsey’s teachings. The focus seems to be all about management for personal goals, not the goals of the one who purchased us.
      I guess at the end of the day that’s what I’m hoping this post will do; cause us to examine our beliefs regarding resources and management and begin striving to serve him better.
      Again, thanks for stopping by!

      Reply

  4. godsdoormatt Says:

    Hey, I just came across this post and loved the dialogue. I’ve been studying this topic for a couple of years now and read through Dave R’s “Total Money Makeover” and a few other books from WAY different perspectives on the matter. I wanted to say 1. Thanks for your tone, it’s so needed today! and 2. I’m STILL not resolved on these matters after studying most of the biblical passages related to wealth, accumulation, stewardship, and the like. I wanted to ask if you’ve thought any more about this topic and if so, could you please post at some point if you feel 90+% grounded in your current position about Ramsey’s teachings, wealth management in scripture, etc.

    Great site! I’m planning to read more here, more often.

    Reply

    • ChurchSalt Says:

      Hello,
      Sorry for the late reply. Summer is a busy time! My views on this are fairly planted. It seems to me that it all comes down to how the Christian views this life and their service towards Christ. If we view this life as our own and Jesus is just a part of that life, Dave Ramsey makes a lot of sense. If we view our lives as no longer our own and Christ is Lord in practicality not just in title, then Mr. Ramsey’s approach is found to be abrasive with that view. In short, where is our love, devotion and obedience focused – on Christ or on self?
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply

  5. adebtfreeme Says:

    But… Dave Ramsey also doesn’t CLAIM to be Spiritual guidance.. he’s a financial adviser with a background in Christianity.

    Reply

    • ChurchSalt Says:

      Hello!
      I’m going to use a little cut-n-paste here of a reply I just gave to a comment below (hope you don’t mind). Dave Ramsey markets his materials to Christians and claims Christian principles, so it seems to me that he is a little more in the spiritual leader camp then simply having a christian background. My problem with him is his entire worldview on which he bases his teachings. He doesn’t think of himself as being owned by God and managing “his” resources (time, talent, money) in the way specified by his master’s written Word. Instead, he looks at resources (specifically money) as something that should be used or invested according to the plans of the one holding it (for their own needs and wants). It would be like the manager of the local hardware store deciding where to place the proceeds from the daily sales without ever consulting the owner. Simply put, his techniques of money managment aren’t necessarliy evil, but his entire focus as to motivation and end-use are out of step with what Scripture says.

      I think we can show from Scripture that those who are owned by God should indeed work hard, provide for the family, live debt free and try provide for our children to do the same in the future. It can also be shown that we are to help our brothers and sisters in Christ who have needs, further the advance of the gospel, and participate in the welfare of the local church with our resources (time and talent in addition to money). But it seems the master’s goals and directives aren’t really discussed by Mr. Ramsey, at least not on the radio. It seems to be entirely focused on helping listeners build their kingdoms, rather than helping Christians build the kingdom of their Master.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply

      • adebtfreeme Says:

        I see what you are saying, but the end goal of Dave Ramsey’s whole plan is to give. Which is what the Bible says to do. You can’t give if you don’t have.

      • tealrider Says:

        ChurchSalt I totally agree with you. Look at the book of James. It has many good lessons including how we are to view our wealth and treat others. These folks were scattered when the persecution came to Jerusalem. They were refuges and couldn’t depend on having a good education, job, retirement or fanatical planning guru who told them what to do. They had to depend on the Lord. And he encouraged them to give it all away and trust God for everything. Even secular financial folks see problems with Mr. Ramsey’s advice. http://www.thesimpledollar.com/i-think-i-figured-out-why-people-love-dave-ramsey/ How he manipulates people to me is not good. We must get away from all the “Christian Experts” and read God’s word and depend on Him. When your Theology is wrong watch out. Here’s another look at his bad Theology. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/mercynotsacrifice/2011/07/25/why-dave-ramsey-is-the-problem/

      • ChurchSalt Says:

        Exactly! Saving and passing along to your family isn’t the problem, using (or not using) money in way the Boss told us to is the problem. Let others suffer while I buy a Lexus? No problem as long as my investments and emergency accounts are sound, right? That doesn’t look anything like the Scriptural view!
        Thanks for stopping by!
        -joe

  6. adebtfreeme Says:

    There’s nothing wrong with saving money to improve your life or save for retirement. Dave Ramsey’s biggest mission is to help get people out of debt. Doesn’t the Bible also say (Psalm 37:21) “The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives”?

    The Lord gave most people healthy bodies and sound minds so that we can provide for ourselves and our families. Money is kind of a big part of that. It’s not a sin to save for retirement, or to have an emergency fund, just in case. Mine has come in handy many many times, and saved me from a lot of bad debt.

    Reply

  7. meela suite Says:

    I think the questions you raise warrant some answers and really asking oneself am I demonstrating all of the fruits of the Holy Spirit in my life including my finances. I don’t look at Dave Ramsey as a christian minister. I look at his as finance guy that happens to be Christian sharing how he managed his money wiser. If I spend my money wiser there is automatically a surplus. And using some of that surplus to help others is wise as well as helping to be a good provider for my family and kids. God said a wise father leaves an inheritance. How can you leave an inheritance without saving? Also didn’t Joseph store up food in barns for seven years? That was his job. God assigned him to that. I think that’s important. God allowed him to prepare for famine and to provide for his family when they would be hungry. One fruit of the spirit I think that’s needed is balance. Dave Ramsey isn’t my husband so he doesn’t have the authority to tell us exactly what we should do in our house. However, some of his life lessons have proven to be wise and actually work in my life. At the heart of his teachings I think he’s just trying to get people to be more wise with their money in a culture that’s completely enamored with buying stuff. Maybe his approach his a little rough at times which is why some may not like him. But I think he has some wisdom that’s work applying as long as God and your husband are the true leaders of that plan. Now it would be pretty cool if he had a disclaimer encouraging people to seek scripture and Gods word along with his advice. But I think he helps people from all walks of life with finances so maybe that wouldn’t work. I know at my job it wouldn’t work for me to give such advice. But I’m also not the owner. Any who I would pray for him and what he does. Maybe even search all the scriptures about wealth, inheritance, money and so on. If his advice is approached like he is God yes that’s a no no. But he has some practical tips at least the ones I have seen that have really helped up be better stewards of our money. And not so I can flaunt my money. But really I want to help more people with Gods money especially my own family. We were broke close to eviction and now with the same amount we are able to save for a rainy day.. Help friends with meals when they have kids…give more to our local church in time and money… And help out ppl as needs arise…. As well as save for our future like Joseph did.

    Reply

    • ChurchSalt Says:

      Hi Meela,
      Thanks for stopping by and the polite conversation. It seems to be missing so often in these electronic-media days! It is appreciated!! I think my reply could be summed up in the reply I just left “adebtfreeme” above. If you have the time, I would encourage you to look.
      Thanks again for stopping by!

      Reply

  8. James Robertson Says:

    I couldn’t AGREE with you more about Dave Ramsey. Ramsey has clearly been blinded by his wealth 110%. I have witnessed him giving a lot of advice both in interviews with news channels and his radio program that directly contradicts Biblical principles. And the article above is correct- not once does Ramsey ask any callers if they have even prayed about the question they are asking? If they had, there would never be a reason to call his radio show. After listening to his show several times, it’s clear to me the only reason people call into his show try and justify doing what their flesh wants them to do. Just last week I heard him screaming into the mic on his radio program about how “if you’re not a millionaire in this country, it’s your own fault!!” He was yelling this with a lot of anger and conceit. That was the last time I’ll ever listen to his program, and I will never buy any of his books. Biblical financial advice is very simple, easy to understand, and very straight forward- 1 trust in God to provide for your needs, and 2 live below your means.

    Reply

    • NC77 Says:

      What advice have you heard him give that contradicts Biblical principles? Do you have any debt?

      So you don’t invest money like Jesus talked about in a parable? You just bury it so when the landowner returns you can only return what he gave you in the first place and no increase?

      Reply

      • ChurchSalt Says:

        The contradiction with Scripture is his entire worldview. He doesn’t think of himself as being owned by God and managing “his” resources (time, talent, money) in the way specified by his master’s written Word. Instead, he looks at resources (specifically money) as something that should be used or invested according to the plans of the one holding it (for their own needs and wants). It would be like the manager of the local hardware store deciding where to place the proceeds from the daily sales without ever consulting the owner. Simply put, his techniques of money managment aren’t necessarliy evil, but his entire focus as to motivation and end-use are out of step with what Scripture says.

        As far as my finances, maybe I save a lot, maybe i’m in debt up to my neck. It doesn’t matter. What I’m pointing to is Scripture and if Scripture really says we are owned and to pray/live/invest for God’s kingdom and not our own kingdoms then I guess my position stands – Dave Ramsey has a problem.

      • adebtfreeme Says:

        But if you DON’T invest and save for retirement, etc. then someone else has to pay for it, which makes you a debter…. which is also a sin, according to Scripture. There’s nothing wrong with planning accordingly for the future.

      • vmcd Says:

        The bags of money in that parable are symbolic of the responsibility the disciple of Christ has to share the gospel and show fruit for their labor in the gospel. It has nothing to do with money, or saving money, and that is why it is a PARABLE.

      • Diana Says:

        And that is what is so wrong with the prosperity gospel. Jesus was talking about the gospel, about the good news of faith and grace, not money. People like Dave Ramsey and all those who use “Christianity” and “faith” to get ahead and make money for themselves make people who are struggling to get through each day feel like they are doing something wrong. Jesus said there would be tribulations, life isn’t going to be amazing, at least not all the time.

        “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” Colossians 2:8

  9. Jim Says:

    Bless you Churchsalt. Your heart illustrates the fact that we cannot serve both God and money. This life is not about our health, wealth, prosperity, or comfort and happiness. It’s about the Lord Jesus and His work on our behalf and how we can leverage our lives and resources to build His Kingdom. Bless you for showing the world your treasure lies in heaven, not on earth. We do not seek to be poor, as if poverty is more spiritual. However, we do realize that when our treasure is in heaven, all of our money is to utilized for the glory of God, rather than merely furthering our comfort through unnecessary luxuries.

    Reply

    • The Master's Slave Says:

      Where in God’s plans for us as slaves, do we see us getting rich or focusing on money? Do we work? Yes. Do we pay bills, buy groceries and pay our mortgage/rent? Yes. But do we strive to own that mansion on the hill? No. Do we strive to pay $700+ a month to drive an Escalade? No. Do we strive to get ahead in our careers so we can keep up with the Jone’s? No. We are slaves, pilgrims and ambassadors sent by God to this world to accomplish His goals (spreading His Gospel). When we have accomplished enough of what He has ordained us to do, then He’ll call us home to give account. There is no time to pursue worldly gain if you are about your Father’s business. If have that time, then your priorities are messed up.

      Reply

      • ChurchSalt Says:

        Isn’t it amazing how many people will read the Luke 12 parable about the man who trusted in his storehouses of grain and shake their head in disapproval, but then angrily deny that their 401k is the same thing? They watch their Christian brothers and sisters struggle while amassing wealth for their future, often with Financial Peace University teachings soothing their conscience as they go. Apparently our Lord can’t be trusted to provide for them in the later years of life…

        I have no doubt whatsoever I will get more angry, attacking comments on this post!

    • ChurchSalt Says:

      This is one of those topics that seems to really get people angry, but the Bible is clear – A Christian is owned, bought with a price, and the money in our possession simply isn’t ours. To fall in love with it and defend our right to spend it on luxuries is idolatry, and to trust it as our provider is faithlessness. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply

      • The Master's Slave Says:

        Ahhh, it`s just another mirror that God puts before us to reflect our sin back at us. That`s why we tend to get mad because we as humans don`t like to be told we`re wrong. Many men surround themselves in their stuff, money and “friends”, and those things end up defining them. Then someone like us comes along and says, Those things own you!

        Well that goes over like a lead balloon.

  10. ephirius Says:

    I’m curious, if it is immoral or unbiblical for the guy to spend $15,000 to update his wood flooring, is it also immoral to work at a job that installs said wood flooring? Or is it just immoral to use those services?

    Reply

    • ChurchSalt Says:

      Who said wood flooring is immoral? The whole point of the post is that a Christian is to make decisions in light of the Master’s will rather than their own. I am unaware of any immoral floor coverings.

      Reply

      • ephirius Says:

        @Church Salt: Well, if it is immoral to use the service (because it costs $15,000 and we could spend the money in a better way), how could the service survive? What would happen to the workers?

      • ChurchSalt Says:

        Nobody said the service is immoral. Not sure what you are trying to drive at. Maybe that we should spend the money on every whim we have in order to support the various economic sectors of society? Should a Christian have no discretion as to purchases for fear of who might be deprived?
        Perhaps my time spent blogging has made me pessimistic, but I am almost feeling as though you are either trying to make a point (which I am missing) or trying to start a bit of a debate (in which I am uninterested). Why is it wrong for someone who has been purchased wholly by Holy blood to seek the will of His Master rather than merely look at their own finances in order to slowly aqcuire all that their eye desires? That was the point of the post.

      • ephirius Says:

        “Nobody said the service is immoral. Not sure what you are trying to drive at. Maybe that we should spend the money on every whim we have in order to support the various economic sectors of society? ”

        Nope. I don’t think we should spend money on every whim, but neither does Dave Ramsey. I’m convinced at this point you haven’t read his books or his website, because he is all about CONTROLLING one’s spending to make wise decisions. However, if there is no spending, there is no economy, no one gets paid, and there is no money.


        “Should a Christian have no discretion as to purchases for fear of who might be deprived?”

        I never said a Christian should have no discretion. But if buying a good or service is immoral because of its cost (as you indicated in the post; and correct me if I’m wrong), then I’m not sure you could justify the good or service at all.


        “Why is it wrong for someone who has been purchased wholly by Holy blood to seek the will of His Master rather than merely look at their own finances in order to slowly aqcuire all that their eye desires? ”

        You accused Dave Ramsey of some very heinous anti-Christian views that he doesn’t hold simply because he gave some advice you disagree with. You can manage your money in a godly way and still spend it on things not everyone will agree about. Dave Ramsey is all in favor of giving lots of money away (he does this quite a lot). And if you read and listen to him consistently, he has a deep Christian message in his ideas about money. Believe it or not, there is great wisdom in saving money for security and for giving. I’ve watched plenty of Christians do otherwise and then have to plead for money from others when they could have just spent their money wisely, which would have allowed the people they had to borrow from to give money to people who really needed it. If every Christian paid off their debt and saved up money so someone else didn’t have to take care of them, Christians could give so much money it would be insane! As it is, Christians, like the rest of society, are debt-addicts.


        “Perhaps my time spent blogging has made me pessimistic, but I am almost feeling as though you are either trying to make a point (which I am missing) or trying to start a bit of a debate (in which I am uninterested). ”

        My point is that I’m a Dave Ramsey fan, you’ve insulted him for no good reason, and I am simply trying to point out the flaw in your logic. I don’t really care to debate either, so here is my point, boiled down as simply as possible:

        We have a society that is based on working for a paycheck (we are not agrarian). We need to produce goods and services to do so. If people don’t buy those goods and services, we don’t get money, and we can’t buy anything ourselves. If we can’t buy anything, we starve/etc, and need to borrow money from others; and we become their slaves in effect. If a good or service is immoral to purchase because it is too expensive to be “actually spiritual”, then all the people making those goods or performing those services would never be used by moral people, and would be put out of work. Does that make sense? To condemn the purchaser is to condemn the seller, which is to put him out of work and make him destitute. However, if it is moral to purchase things that cost large amounts of money (as everyone who owns a car or a home has done), then it is okay for people to make paychecks creating those things.

        Does that make sense?

      • ChurchSalt Says:

        Your worldview is somewhat puzzling to me. Do you profess Christianity?

      • ephirius Says:

        I do profess Christianity. And I don’t question other people’s Christianity just because I disagree with their purchases.

        Could you please explain what is puzzling or contradictory or nonsensical about my worldview instead of just saying “your worldview is puzzling”?

      • ChurchSalt Says:

        I never said “nonsensical”. Nor did I say “contradictory”. You started the conversation by putting words in my mouth (“immoral purchases”) and have been continuing the practice. Please stop trying to start an argument. I will consider your remarks and reply in the next day or two. If you are interested in dialogue then feel free to respond. However, if you continue to make antagonistic accusations and such I will probably bring this little talk to a close. Either way, I’m off to bed.
        I wish you a pleasant evening.

      • ephirius Says:

        Not putting any words in your mouth. Surely you find some aspect of my worldview either contradictory or nonsensical or you wouldn’t wonder if I’m a Christian. I am unaware of any other categories of observation your question could have arisen from.

        If I were to make a post about a Christian in a position of fame or authority and then I tore them to shreds on being unbiblical in their teaching, that would be starting an argument. If someone came along to show me that I might be wrong, that would not be starting an argument. I assure you I am not being antagonistic, I am simply asking harder questions than you might be accustomed to (when people do the same to me, I see antagonism as well, so I understand this).

        Again, the two alternatives I see are 1. Participating in an economy and thus realizing that goods and services need to be transferred or 2. Abandoning the economy and living an agrarian lifestyle. I wouldn’t fault someone for doing either, but (1) has produced a society in which the vast majority of people have more leisure time than ever before to contemplate the truly important things in life, instead of having to scrap for food, suffer from horrible disease, and have very short life expectancies. I will never advocate (1) as perfect, only better, even to the end of Christian living. However, it requires us to read Scripture in context, knowing that the Roman/Jewish economies were vastly different than our own today. It is a topic I wish I knew more about, to be honest.

      • ChurchSalt Says:

        Putting words into someone’s mouth is NOT the same is asking hard questions. Sorry, but it isn’t.

        How do you know you are a Christian? There is a reason I am asking this.

      • ephirius Says:

        “Storing up storehouses and beautifying homes while others are hungry and lost around us brings no glory to God.”

        This summarizes my disagreement with you most succinctly I believe. If people stop “storing up storehouses”, there is nothing to give to the hungry or lost. And if people stop beautifying homes (or doing other things), all the people who do the work of beautifying homes (and other things) become hungry.

        Perhaps that is a better articulation.

      • ephirius Says:

        “Putting words into someone’s mouth is NOT the same is asking hard questions. Sorry, but it isn’t.”

        But you aren’t answering the questions or telling me why you disagree with me or what puzzles you about my worldview. I am genuinely asking you to tell me what puzzles you about my views.

        “How do you know you are a Christian? There is a reason I am asking this.”

        Could I ask what the reason is? I am a Christian because I believe in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of my sin. I affirm the Nicene Creed.

    • Rich Says:

      It’s simple, the basics are good but Dave goes to far and teaches selfishness.
      There is no good in us .
      The only good is Jesus.
      Trust in Jesus not our selfs or what the world teaches.
      It’s like
      If God lets me win the Lottery I will help so many people…… lol , why not now ?
      It’s not about money.

      Reply

  11. justinschneideriowa Says:

    One thing to keep in mind is that Dave Ramsey is running a business and in doing so he has to put certain restrictions on his content on the air. He cannot assume that the caller was a believer and tell him to pray and reflect on scripture before making his decision. I think that if someone in the church he attends were to approach him with the same question, the conversation would lean more to the spiritual side of things. Dave is not a preacher or a pastor. He’s an entrepenuer. He gave the advice that matched up with his product and was consistent with his teachings!

    Also, with the Luke passage, consider different translations on the end of that passage:

    Luke 12:21- “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth,but not have a rich relationship with God.” (NLT)

    Relying on wealth as OPPOSED to God. It’s clear. It is folly, foolishness, to focus on obtaining wealth without any focus on pursuing Christ. Christ commands a man to first take care of his own household, for if he doesn’t he is worse off than an unbeliever. Were the floors necessary? Probably not. But if this person is an unbeliever, there is no logical reason for Dave to tell him otherwise. If this person IS a believer, then they have the Holy Spirit to help them discern their motives.

    I encourage you to explore what else the Bible says about money management. I think you will find more parallels with Dave than you may like to accept.

    Reply

    • ChurchSalt Says:

      Hey Justin,
      The first paragraph in your response sort of highlights my discomfort with Dave Ramsey’s teaching. You state you think he would have a different response if he were approached by someone he was confident was a believer. Why? What I mean is – The Lord claims sovereign ownership of the Earth and all that is in it. As a professing Christian, Dave should acknowledge the Lord’s rightful claim to ownership. Whether or not the caller is a believer (one who bows in submission) or a non-believer (one who rebels against the claims of the creator) in no way changes the position, nor the mandates, of God. To excuse a believer from confessing the Biblical teachings of God’s sovereignty just because it doesn’t mesh well with our societies worldview and business pactices is to actually reject the teachings of Scripture.

      I understand that not all those in the business world are obligated to promote biblical teaching in every transaction they perform, but in marketing himself as one who teaches financial strategy in alignment with Scripture, Mr. Ramsey has put himself into that position. Since Biblical alignment is a core part of his marketing and promotion, every one of his transactions should indeed reflect the biblical worldview. I don’t see that they do.

      Also, you seem to be of the opinion that I am reluctant to admit there are financial principles taught by Mr. Ramsey that are indeed found in Scripture. Please allow me to assure you this isn’t the case. Any financial principles found in Scripture should indeed be embraced as Dave Ramsey suggests, but they should be done so as a manager (or steward, or slave). The manager simply handles the money and business of the company, or in this case, of the kingdom of God. The manager doesn’t use company assets to build his own business but rather the the business of the existing company. Likewise, biblical principles aren’t to be used in promoting our own kingdoms, but rather His. I do not in any way deny there are such principles found in Scripture, I just don’t see Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University promoting these for the extension of God’s kingdom. His advice is usually man-centered, with man’s comfort and security being the understood objective of every caller and every piece of advice, and I don’t see this man-centered worldview being found in Scripture.

      My response here is sort of rambling (fuzzy-head today for some reason). Hope I was able to clarify what I’m driving at. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

      -Joe

      Reply

      • justinschneideriowa Says:

        Dave is working on a new cirriculum called “The Legacy” that addresses money from a strictly biblical view. The lessons are more of a sermon than anything! I’m looking forward to the release of the whole series and would highly encourage everyone to check it out when it is available!

        P.s. I appreciate the lack of animosity and the cordiality of the comments here. It’s great to find a place where people are listening and responding, not just tearing each other down! It’s refreshing

      • ChurchSalt Says:

        His new program would be definitely be interesting to look through.
        I had to smile at your remark regarding online discussion. I have gotten to the point where I almost cringe when commenting or replying because, more often than not, the response won’t be thoughtful dialogue with respect but instead insults and anger. Our society seems to have forgotten that for there to be “tolerance” there first has to be some difference in views. Please feel free to come back and comment anytime! I too enjoy civil dialogue. Disagreement with civility often leads to growth and knowledge.

        – Joe

  12. Doug Says:

    Aggreed fully. The purpose of excess is to give it to those who do not have so that there may be equality in Gods family. Bet that statement will ruffle some capitalistic feathers. By the way true capitalism is not a Godly principle in any way. I love our country, I’m simply stating there is something ungodly about some having excess while others are in need. Im speaking directly at the body of Christ.

    Reply

  13. Alan Says:

    I didn’t know Dave Ramsey was a Christian minister. His website says they use biblical principles to teach money managment, but no where do I see a confession of faith in Christ from Ramsey. So I wonder why we would expect him to preach the gospel to those who call in for advice on managing money if he is not necessarily a Christian. I know a lot of churches use his teaching materials and courses. I think they are used primarily because they work and are biblical based. They get people out of debt which is an epidemic and curse on both the church and people of the world.

    I know he uses the principles originally developed by Larry Burkett who founded Crown Financial Services back in 1976 and was a Christian. He passed away a number of years ago. So I think one would have to go back and listen to Larry’s old broadcasts on how he explained those principles from a biblical perspective.

    The only question I have, is how did any of you opposed to what Ramsey teaches determine your house and prossessions where in line with what Christ expects for you to have. How were you able to determine that, and how should others determine that except through the leading of the Holy Spirit? Do some of use get blessed above others. Absolutely.

    Reply

    • ChurchSalt Says:

      Hey Alan,
      Dave Ramsey does indeed confesses Christianity. Whether or not he has a “statement of faith” on any of his websites or material I don’t know. I do know he makes his profession clear while talking on his program.
      Obviously, a Christian is to seek guidance from his Master as to how the resources entrusted to his care should be used. Seeking this guidance is done through the written Word and prayer. But, that is the whole point of this post. Dave Ramsey doesn’t hold the view that all of our resources actually belong to God, because we ourselves are owned by Him. Instead, Ramsey approaches financial decisions from the exact same perspective as any secular financial adviser, with the exception that he teaches tithing. He doesn’t understand the New Testament teaching that we are slaves of Christ, that we are duolos. This is something that must must be fully understood for someone to give true Christian financial advice. Thanks for stopping by!
      -Joe

      Reply

      • Julie Says:

        FIRST WHO IS CHURCH SALT WHAT IS YOUR BELIEFS? Seems from what I have read PEOPLE are knocking down Gods Elect .We are to be careful, as he says.next look up the problem is this a Christian SITE

      • ChurchSalt Says:

        Hi Julie,
        1) Who is ChurchSalt? If you care to know just click on the “Why? Who?” page at the top of the site
        2) We should indeed be careful in criticizing other Christians. But how do we know if someone is a Christian? Not everyone who says “Lord, Lord “, or professes Christianity is actually saved. We must examine what they profess and teach. Also, even true Christians hang on to false doctrine and spread it through their teaching, not knowing they are in error. An examination of what message a person is preaching isn’t a bad thing, it is a good thing. The Bereans were commended for doing it personally and in several places we are told to defend and contend earnestly and publicly for the truth.
        3) Am I exempt? NO! Check every teaching here and compare it with God’s Word. Nobody putting forth public teachings is exempt from this.

        Thanks for stopping by!
        -Joe

  14. M Morrow Says:

    Ramseys answers obviously come from culture. I cannot judge him because I know nothing of him. Though we are required to go and tell our first responsibility is to our Jerusalem then to the rest of the world. A good witness will follow those teachings, with a good appearance, habits and a proper maintenance of properties and possesions. We have not done a proper job of teaching, therefore secular folks step in. The pay is good, and results seem to be rewarding. Ramsey is just one of many of whom Christians turn to for help when Jesus has the answers.
    You are doing a good job with the website, keep it going. Praise God

    Reply

  15. M Morrow Says:

    Assuming an individual uses his money wisely and follows biblical principals, He or she should use the money God provides through an occupation to make oneself more comfortable and this earthly life more enjoyable. You need a roof or in this case a floor, go for it. Ramsey seemed to be satisfied all above criteria was met and gave sound advise. I’m not a fan, but Ramsey seems sincere and is a help to many. Give him a break. You and I should do as much.

    Reply

    • ChurchSalt.com Says:

      I guess the part I struggle with in both your reply and the Financial Peace University teachings (Dave Ramsey) is the idea that “He or she should use the money God provides through an occupation to make oneself more comfortable and this earthly life more enjoyable” This is the obvious philosophy of all of Dave Ramsey’s teachings and is at the heart of the conversation I heard. My question is where did that assumption come from? From the Scripture or from our culture? Where is it stated that after dying on the Cross for our sins, and commissioning us to live as travelers (not as citizens) going forth and preaching the Gospel we are to make ourselves as comfortable as possible? There will always be another level of comfort and wealth above that which we have, so should we continually upgrade, or should we obey clear direction from our Lord? As far as helping others, I do not know if teaching others to study financial planning principals while ignoring Scripture could be considered “helping”. I know that is the last kind of help I need!

      Reply

  16. paul Says:

    The Chinese Church have a saying, “Life is a bridge, you don’t build houses on bridges.” We are pilgrims in a strange land making our way to heaven and bringing as many with us as possible.

    Reply

  17. revivalandreformation Says:

    Jesus Himself told us to not have “care-full” thoughts about tomorrow. I can speak candidly about our situation of trial that we are currently in where we have had to rely on God to supply our needs…and He has. I don’t know where some of the funds come from because it seems like the source never runs out. When a need arises, someone comes along and says, “God impressed me to give this to you…” This happens more often than not. It’s His money anyway and He will give it and He will demand of it according to His purposes. If He tells you to give, you give. If He tells you to spend, then you spend. This is called obedience. We don’t tithe because tithing is not part of the new covenant and it is not something we are required to do. However, we do give and give cheerfully. We are always giving in some manner, including money and God always makes sure that there is enough.

    Reply

    • ChurchSalt.com Says:

      I too have been flat broke with everything falling apart. Looking back, I have no idea where funds came from, but they did come in. The Master does indeed provide for His servants. For everything there is a season. Sometimes it is your turn to provide for others as the Lord directs, and at other times it is the season to humbly bow your head and accept the helping hand of your Brothers and Sisters in Christ. I do not, however, see any season described in Scripture as the appropriate time to lay up wealth for our own comfort. It just isn’t there.

      Reply

  18. lwayswright Says:

    I understand what you are saying, and let me say I have never studied Dave Ramseys stuff but I have heard of them. My brother is a baptist pastor and used his stuff at his church! I guess my question to you would be then…should the guy never use the money to beautify his home? Or do anything “worldly” with his money? And, I guess I have always been a believer that God built us humans with a brain and common sense and that sometimes people are so “heavenly minded they are not earthly good” is a phrase I often heard around my very christian, lutheran home as I was growing up! sometimes don’t we as humans need to use our own minds to make decisions as easy as new flooring for our homes? it’s not like the guy wanted to know if he should spend millions on a new ferrari or something….it was a floor…just my humble opinion!

    Reply

    • ChurchSalt.com Says:

      Yeah, I agree we can get so caught up worrying about if we are being good stewards that we neglect the actual performance of our duty. My point of this article was actually more focused on Dave Ramsey’s advice. There was a complete absence of any Biblical teaching. It was totally focused on money management, not on performing faithful stewardship for our Master. In my own life, I have a hard time spending any bulk amount of money without seriously considering what my motivation is and what end result will be achieved. We must be aware that our resources are not our own, but that we are to manage HIS resources according to HIS directives. If Dave Ramsey was truly giving Biblical advice, his advice would have been based on, well, the Bible. The only ones who know if Mr. Caller really needed new floors are Mr. Caller and our Lord. Myself, sometimes I am find myself being vain, and sometimes I need a new floor. Dave Ramsey never bothered to bring this up.

      Reply

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