My aggression towards the bailout.

Posted on January 13, 2009. Filed under: Dave Ramsey, Money, Politics, Theology |

Recently, someone forwarded me an email that someone sent them that was in favor of the bailout. The following were my thoughts on the bailout, specifically regarding the “big 3” automakers. The basic mantra of the email was that the patriotic thing to do in this time of crisis in our economy is to go get a new car from one of the big three automakers, and finance it, or even lease it! Also, the email stated that they contributed a total of 30 million between the three of them, to charity. Here’s what I had to say:

 

We’ll call him Jim

Dear Jim,

I feel like I should blog about this. I completely disagree with giving the automakers ANY money whatsoever. Actions require consequences. Period. Many people do not know this about me, but in march of 07, my Toyota Truck was nearly re-possessed. I was behind two payments when I was sent a letter stating that if I did not pay the full balance of 4,250 in ten days, the truck would be picked up because of defaulting on the loan. I called back, begged and pleaded, and worked out a bargain with them where if I paid the to payments that I owed, plus the current months payment, and the next month (a total of four payments) they would let me continue paying on the loan. I paid up, and they reneged on on taking the truck and graciously allowed me to continue paying on the truck for the planned life of the loan. I borrowed money from no one even though this put us in a very hard place financially. We had to make dozens of sacrifices. 

This showed me the harsh reality of where my lack of discipline with money, frivolous spending, and carelessness has landed me: a deficit of nearly 800 dollars a month, hardly any groceries, and some $100 pair of designer jeans. Not to mention the toll that this could have taken on our marriage. I called NO ONE to bail me out. (Keep in mind that there has not been one time in our marriage that Susan and I did not tithe at least ten percent. This was the beginning of the realization that Gods financial provision as promised in Malachi 3 never supercedes bad money management.) We sought financial counseling and it was recommended that we start the Dave Ramsey Plan. We jumped in head first selling the truck, nearly 1/4 of everything else we owned in a yard sale, started delivering pizza, and started knocking away debt tremendously very quickly. We are now closer than ever to being debt free, and even though I have not been hired for the position I have applied for yet, we are living on about $1750 a month, have $500 in savings, have food in the fridge. God honors us when we honor him with HIS resources that he has allowed us to be stewards over. 

Furthermore, the auto industry is the root cause of what I believe is the financial ruin of millions of people through the last 50 years. Practically anyone can get a loan no matter what their credit score is, or income to debt ratio for that matter. People get cars they cant afford, filling them with gas they cant afford, paying insurance premiums they cant afford. Add this to the fact that ANY car you drive of the lot that is less than 5 years old immediately depreciates 10-15 percent, not to mention the new cars that depreciate up to 40% even with all the fancy rebates. I would say that if you asked 100 people who faced some sort of financial difficulty, 90% or more would say that they had an automobile that was too much money for them.

To address the donations that the big 3 gave, which between the three of them add up to 30 million, doesnt even equal 1% of their entire profits from last year. This is sort of like the Pharisees who were praised for their large donations but looking over the woman who gave ten sheckles, I think. What was that for her, as I recall?  It was- one years salary! No ones any more impressed with this than with tiger woods donating 1 million to an orphanage. It is needed? Yes. It is generous? I dont think so. So, I do not praise the auto industry for their giving. I think its nice, but hardly sacrificial. I praise the family who doesnt know how they are going to make it the next week, with 4 kids, that joyfully gives 10% trusting God for the provision. 

If the big 3 didnt crank out another car for ten years, America would have an excess of automobiles to drive. This country became socialist when we did the bailout that 78% of Americans were not for. Ill never encourage bailing out someone for their repeated poor financial management, and for failing to release technology that would save our non-renewable energy. There charitable donations that the big 3 gave dont even come close to the amount of money that they recieved from big oil companies to hold back the current hybrid technology. 

This country needs to learn the value of a dollar. We as a society need to learn to live BELOW our means. If the big three fail, so be it. Maybe it would be a good time or self-examination, and returning, (or coming to, in may cases) to God. What a great opportunity for the church. The Bible is very serious when it says that The rich rule over the poor. The borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7. How much longer are we going to allow culture to tell us that in order to be accepted, we must drive the best? I will never be a slave again, God willing! Ill drive my car with nearly 200,000 miles on it that my friends shake their heads at. They ask why would anyone drive a vehicle like that? One of the most hurtful statements that I can remember someone saying to me in my adult life was when I was at my uncle Jeans house in Canton, and his rich arrogant friend looked at me with Susan standing there and he said If thats not a buy-here, pay-here car, Ill kiss your ass! At that moment, I wanted to key his new chevy, and then take a 2×4 to his knee caps. Of course I didnt do that. I told him that when am as old as he is, I wont have all the grey hair he has because I wont be in debt! Ill drive my piece of junk till the wheels fall off!

Jim, on this one I have to disagree. Giving to our country shouldnt be defined as buying a new automobile. Please dont give into the wave of culture that says it is the duty of the taxpayer to bailout big companies for their bad money management. 

Hope this didnt come across too strong, because I dont mean it ill-willed. However, this is something that I am very passionate about. I would love to know your personal thoughts on this.

Josh

 

So, what struck a NERVE with you this week?

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20 Responses to “My aggression towards the bailout.”

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Hey, Josh, thanks for alerting me to your new blog!

I can fully identify with your thoughts above, but there is a critical point that can be easily missed, at least in my thinking – which isn’t “authoritative”, by any means.

I don’t work for GM. I don’t work for Ford. I don’t work for Chrysler.

I don’t work for an automobile company at all. I work for a machine shop in Western North Carolina, building equipment for a worldwide tire manufacturing company.

My job is threatened by the fact that the car companies don’t need many tires right now. Others here have already lost their jobs.

Thus, the unemployment lines are long. Even here in WNC, where we have no automotive plants owned by any of the big three. The unemployment insurance funds – paid by employers – are rapidly depleted, and since there are fewer folks in the workforce, the coffers are not being refilled and eventually, benefits will be withdrawn.

My wife works at Haywood Community. HCC is having to refund part of their 2009 budget to the state, due to the fact that the state is running out of money. Sure, that may be bad management, too, but remember that state funds come from income taxes, and when people don’t have jobs, they don’t pay income tax.

Retail sales are down because thousands upon thousands have lost their jobs. As retail sales go down, more people lose their jobs.

When people have no jobs, they can’t pay for insurance. Yet, they still get sick. Thus, hospitals wind up writing off services that they should get paid for. Budgets thus become tighter there, and people at the hospitals lose their jobs and the folks left have to work harder with less chance for promotion.

A key factor that many folks don’t realize is that this ugly cycle actually connects back to the fact that so many manufacturing companies have transferred a HUGE majority of their work to cheaper labor markets like Mexico and China. It was cheaper to spend MILLIONS on moving plants than it was to continue paying inflated American wages.

American wages have been inflated, especially in the automotive industry, by the influence of labor unions, and this is unfortunately a key component of the problem. As auto workers’ wages went up, automobiles became more expensive, yet the Big Three still needed to sell cars in order to succeed, so credit was given to those who did not deserve credit.

To say “we can’t bail out the big three because they have managed badly” is to miss the entire point, I’m afraid. It’s not just the CEO’s of those companies. There are millions of Americans that your theory ignores. We can’t just say “you’ll have to live more frugally”. It doesn’t work that way. Millions will face total financial ruin – through no fault of their own. Many will lose their homes, and the bankers who financed those homes will probably lose theirs, too. Thousands of small business owners who risked everything in order to start a business will lose all that, simply because their business is connected to that industry much more than we realize. A HUGE number of people in our country work in industries that service or supply the automotive industry.

Technically, the “bailout” is a LOAN. As I understand it, restrictions on useage and the management of the Big Three will probably be severely restricted as a result, and your concerns about excessive credit and unwise loans could be addressed.

Is it socialism? I won’t argue against that position, because I don’t know enough about how it would be managed to do so, but I just wanted to toss out the idea that this isn’t a “Big Three” issue.

Millions upon millions of people are ALREADY being affected, and it will get much worse. Many who HAVE been living within their means will suddenly be with NO MEANS, and they’re not all rich people with big savings accounts, either. Some of them are poor people like me and you.

It’s not “taxpayer” versus “bad money management”. It’s not even “duty”. The issue is taking care of the overall economy in a time when investors have lost billions and are thus not putting money into the market to keep it “afloat”.

When a government allows labor unions to bully the companies, the government sometimes has to be willing to take up the slack. When government policies such as NAFTA and other free trade agreements force American companies to compete with labor that resides in dirt huts and 4 or 5 families per household, the government has a certain amount of culpability in the resulting catastrophe.

Like you said, I’m not meaning to come across too strong or even argumentative, because I definitely don’t have all the answers, either. I’m just convinced that letting the Big Three crash will have much more impact than the detractors of the bailout would like to see.

Thanks for writing 🙂 Hope you’re doing well in GA.

Bernard, that is some pretty valuable insight that I hadn’t thought about. I need to sleep on this one before I can give a thought out reply.

Amen! Actions do have consequences! I totally agree with you! However, Just becuase I like to push your “thinking” buttons; I’m glad that I don’t have to face the consequences of my actions! Grace given is grace received!

Jonathan, you are correct. What you say is true.

Bernard,

Ok, here are my thoughts to your theory, which, by the way, is very thought out. I totally see and respect your opinion. Think about these things:

1.) While the Bible doesn’t say that getting a loan is wrong, it never speaks about borrowing money in a good way. After all, read that verse in proverbs. Being a slave to money means you are not free. It means you are not free from the consequences of an ever changing economy that you can’t control. So for the folks that lose cars because they can’t pay payments- should they have financed the car? What about those who have lost homes? Did they get a house that forced them to live above their means?

Ok- I know about Murphy’s law- If it can happen it will happen. So if we know that the economy COULD go sour, should we not plan for that by being disciplined savers? Me personally, I don’t finance cars. I don’t want to be a slave to the lender, and that’s what would happen.

Also think about this- By worrying about “what would happen if…” isn’t that taking away from the sovereignty of our great God? By asking the questions that you did, isn’t that putting God in a box, if even just a little bit? We have to understand that none of this situation took God by surprise. He knows how to handle this. Read Matthew 6:25-34.

I maintain my position.

Hey, Josh – Thanks for the further thoughts. Without boring you to tears, I’ll just say that I’m not meaning to defend the wrong people here. Yes, many people borrow unwisely. You have been very wise in your dealings, it appears, and I commend you. I was once much “better off”, then we had children. The struggle to keep my wife at home with them at least a majority of the time took away a major amount of our income, yet the expenses climbed. Insurance became an issue, etc.

My point, however, is possibly still a bit unclear. I’m trying to point you beyond the “individual” level, and stir you to a consideration of the global impact. Many of us have made unexcusable mistakes with our money, but they have been made, and to be “punished” because someone feels it’s our just due because we borrowed in a way that they feel is unwise, even though it was legal and we had a good credit rating at the time, isn’t quite a “gracious” approach.

In saying that, I guess my real thrust is that “bailing out” the Big Three really isn’t what we’re talking about. We’re really talking about making sure that Americans have jobs.

Thanks for your time, I’m not here to argue needlessly, just discussing.

Just as a thought, if EVERYBODY bought used cars, wouldn’t there be a shortage pretty quick, and wouldn’t there be a bunch of cheap new cars somewhere for sale? Wouldn’t a lot of people then start snatching up the new cars, and wouldn’t the automakers then react by edging the prices up? Wouldn’t the cycle slowly repeat until there is another crash? Isn’t that basically where we are now, in that people can only afford used cars and credit isn’t available? Just a thought. Consider the cycle, in other words.

You make another great point.

Before I go any further though, let me say I do not find ANY of your comments argumentative or offensive in nature. I think it’s great that 2 adults can actually have a peaceful, open dialogue about this issue, and still walk away respecting one another. I hope our dialogue on this website can get people thinking about things.

All in all, if God were to have the impatience for me that I have for this whole financial situation, I would be going to hell. The automakers, or anyone for that matter, doesn’t deserve a bailout any more that I deserve being rescued from an eternity separated from God. That being said, I guess I need to be much more gracious. God had (and still has) mercy for me that I didn’t deserve. I really don’t know what the solution is. Complicated problems require complicated solutions. I pray for those who could be facing the hardship of a lost job.

Bernard, I would suggest to you to read a book by Dave Ramsey called “The total money makeover.” It saved my life. Not that you need that, but just check it out.

Josh – Respect you lots, bro. Lots. I also appreciate the good spirited dialogue. I don’t have a lot more to say about it, though, because I’ve basically said all that I’m smart enough to say 🙂 I definitely don’t have an answer.

Praise God for Jesus Christ, huh! It’s awesome that even finances can remind us of just how amazing it is that God became a man and paid for the sins of all who will only believe. Wow. That is, truly, grace, and I don’t have nearly the appreciation for it that I should.

We recently did the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University at our church, but my wife and I weren’t able to attend due to schedules and kids (having children requires at least triple the commitment and involvement that a lot of people think it does!). We were going to do the classes online but haven’t done so. Thanks for the book recommendation; I need to get a copy and carry it with my Bible, I think 🙂

We’re not destitute or in a total wreck, but the month to month is sometimes extremely frustrating. Appreciate your prayers for us in that. Not for a magical money shower intervention, but for good management sense.

And I don’t buy new cars either 🙂

Josh, I’ve read your conversation with Bernard. Great points on both sides! It’s really hard to fall on either side of this issue, but I think I still land on your side. I’ve got question though! Proverbs 22:7 (you used it alot), “The borrower is servant to the lender;” where does the Bible continue that thought by saying that it is a bad thing to be a servant to the lender? I think Proverbs is simply making a statement that we need to be aware of before we assusme debt.

Our pastor just began a series on Sunday (irony? I think not) called “A Matter of Life or Debt.” He used Proverbs 22:7. There are two types of debt: Wise Debt and Unwise Debt. Unwise debt is caused by greed, it is buying just because you want on Credit Cards. It’s stupid!!!! However, there is wise debt: buying a house. As long as you have an affordable payment and an affordable rate, then buying a house is actually making an investment in your future and the future of your family. Or what about an education loan: again it’s making an investment (wise debt), what about a business loan? To begin a business one must have capital! These are examples of wise debt or examples of a servant to the lender being a good situation.

All I’m asking is on what grounds do we automatically assume that just because the Bible states “The borrower is servant to the lender” does that make it a bad thing? Think about it!

Ok, I mostly disagree with you, and here’s why: (I do agree about the house, but I also have a thought on that.) To answer your first question from the above paragraph- “where does the Bible continue that thought by saying that it is a bad thing to be a servant to the lender?” The bible absolutely says it’s a bad thing to be a servant to the lender. Matthew 6:24- “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” This verse isn’t talking only to wealthy people who have accumulated masses of money, but also to those who are in debt. Debt robs us of our opportunity to serve Christ with our resources. If our view on money is biblical, we know that it’s not our anyways, God is the owner, and we are the managers. When we are a slave (or servant, depending on your translation) we began to lose focus.

About a business loan: Business loans are never “wise debt.” A business is a very risky move. Business loans are unattainable without collateral, and they usually want some sort of real property as a form of that collateral. So let’s say you start a business that you just KNOW is going to work. Then it flops. As a result, your house is taken and your family has no where to live. Was that really wise debt?

The only debt that I could see going into is a home loan, and even then, with much caution. When susan and I were going to finance a home last year, we learned that the highest income to debt ratio is 28.5 – 30 % depending on many other factors. We fell at 22.3 %, much below the requirement. Our house payment was still going to be considerably high for where we thought it needed to be. Therefore, we decided to hold off, and save for a bigger down payment.

I by no means think that debt is a sin, it just should not be entered into lightly, and someone should really evaluate why they are doing it. I should be careful saying what I am about to say, but I believe this. I think that debt is like alcohol, in the sense that it is hard to state a biblical case that either is a sin. However, too much of either will put you in some form of a fog of intoxication that could have long term consequences. And trust me, I know the effects of both!!!

I firmly believe that where a person stands with Christ isn’t measured by how worn their bible is, or how scuffed their knees are from prayer. I think the best measure of where someone stands with Christ is opening their checkbook. It says in Luke 12:34-“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

I have seen many, MANY christians who were absolutely prayer warriors, who served, and would be there for you in a heartbeat, but consistently mis-managed money, and never tithed. I think that is a travesty. I would say that it is IMPOSSIBLE for someone to be in the center of God’s will who mis-manages the resources that God has given them.

Let me know your thoughts.

you’re absolutely right! I have no idea why Matt. 6:24 didn’t come to my mind. I still think that “investment debt” however, is ok. If you’re making a reasonable investment in your future or the future of your family. If we are to be good stewards of the resources God has given us, then is it better stewardship to spend $1000/month in rent that you will always have to pay and never be any closer to owning a house and not having to pay anything. Or is it wiser to take the debt for x number of years, knowing that by the time you’re x years old, you can retire, not have a house payment, not have a car payment, only pay utilities and be totally free to serve God in any capacity? When I get to be that age, if I’m still spending X$ in rent, I’ll always have to have a job and never be free.

I don’t know man, I’m just writing! These are just thoughts popping in my noggin(?) and I’m puttin them on paper, or the screen or whatever. Ok, I’m stopping now! L8r

Well, not the whole article. I work for Precision Products.

great advice, interesting article, and nice presentation…
i think that the bailout is GREAT!!!!!!

Now all of the CEO’s wifes will still have lots of $$$$$$ to buy my jeans while they sit at home (since they dont have to work).

heaven forbid that we should have a natural economic adjustment period where only essential jobs prospered…..!!!

cheers,
polly
the jeans guru,
my Designer Jeans
( at good prices too. )

Hey Josh, good write! i agree with pretty much everything except the tithe thing, I dont feel god needs any of your money (if he were to exist) because we give value to little bits of paper and scrap metal, the only thing that matters to god, (or that I could imagine would matter) is your love for him and the acceptance of his son’s death and life at Calvary… so who gets this money anyway, and how does it go to god? and I have heard the term “money is the root of all evil” as I know you have been familiar with this term as well; why would god seem to want evil?

Cara,

Very good thoughts, I must say. You have thought this out well. I am going to be as honest and as vulnerable as I know how to be, while trying all the while not to sound hypocritical or like a know-it-all.

I gather from your statement (if he were to exist) that you most likely don’t believe in God. So, the only problem in me answering your question is that I base my belief system on one thing, you base yours on another. After lots of thought, prayer, and wavering in faith, I have landed on the idea that for me, the Bible is the infallible word of God, and should be taken both literally, and in it’s proper context. So, I am going to try and answer this from a biblical and hopefully logical perspective.

I would have to agree with you when you say that God doesn’t need anyone’s money. I couldn’t agree more. I operate out of the mindset that it is his anyway. I look at it like this: I am a manager, or steward. God has given me a certain amount of resources in which to live. To some, I believe he gives more than others. This is a common theme throughout the new testament. (Jesus talks about it in Matthew 25 if you’d like to read it.) Anyways, the reason that I believe in tithing is because it comes out of the book of Malachi Chapter 3, starting in verse 6. It is uncertain who wrote the book, but in this chapter, the author accuses those who don’t tithe as “robbing God.” (Yeah, I know. It’s harsh.) It further talks about tithing (this word meaning a tenth) as “bringing the whole tithe into the storehouse.” Now many people would debate about what the storehouse is, and to tell you the truth, I wish I were able to do more research to find out what this originally meant. I have been taught by very respected bible teachers that “the storehouse” refers to the local body, or the local church. I have consistency “tithed” 10% or more of my paycheck for about 4 years now, and in some amazing supernatural way have experienced an excess in times where it has been simply unexplainable. Amazingly, theologians have found that the command to tithe is the only place in the bible where God invites us to test him in this area. Verse 10 [“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this” says the Lord Almighty “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have enough room for it.” ] Cara, I wish I had the time or the room to tell you how real this has been in my life and many others.

Who gets the money- That is another great question. I’ll tell you my point of view. I go to a church that I really enjoy. The people are very nice. I volunteer there, and what’s so great is that they are intentional about creating an environment that is conducive for people who don’t even like church, or have had a bad experience with it. They have great music, great teaching and preaching, and give tens of thousands of dollars a year to the poor and impoverished. Consider what I just said. This church must be staffed. This costs money that depends on the donations of members. Great music requires great musicians, (who by the way, are underpaid for their level of talent.) People come to the church with needs. Maybe it’s a single mom who is in a horrible situation and needs a hand. Maybe it’s marriage counseling. Who knows? Regardless, those situations cost money too. Consider when hurricane Katrina Happened. My church dispatched several teams of people to the coast to aid in the help of tens of thousands of victims who desperately needed clean water, clothes, and a shoulder to cry on. This costs money. Sadly, many churches in America have painted the image that churches are money hungry, and to tell you the truth some of them are. I however, have found a church that I believe in their mission, and want to support the good work they do locally, and around the world. My church, in effect, is my storehouse. Agree or disagree, I place a high priority on giving consistently to the church, and anyone else whom I’m able to help that is in need. So my question to you is this. By giving the church money, in effect carrying out his commands of helping the poor, taking care of widows and orphans, and paying our pastors who strive hard to organize these mediums, is this not giving our money to God?

As far as the “money is the root of all evil” phrase. This is nowhere to be found in scripture, and is commonly confused with what is in the Bible in the Apostle Paul’s 1st letter to Timothy in Chapter 6, verse 10- “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” The fact is, is money were the root of all evil, why would we want that? Who wants a life filled with evil. I think the principle by which you are talking can be illustrated most conspicuously in people who have won the lottery, and lost their morals. In reality, money is a tool, and I am sure you know this. Money simply allows us to pay our bills, eat, get gas, and bless other people. In my mind, that is the purpose of the money that God has given me.

So, I hope have answered your questions in a fair and respectable way. I admire your willingness to engage in this discussion. It’s important to know why we believe what we believe.

Have a great day, and I await your response.

Josh

P.S.- Do you believe in God?

Thanks for your reply. The phrase I mentioned had nothing to do with scripture, just a saying like any other… While acknowledging the question of a belief in a God I would have to ask which God or “Gods” do you mean? Josh, we were great friends for a long while and I know what “God” you believe in; but you have to ask yourself, why do you believe in that particular God? If you had been born in ancient Greece you would most likely be Pagan, or Israel a Jew, Saudi Arabia a Muslim, in Ancient China-Confucianism, India-Hindu, the list goes on and on and on…. throughout all tribes and civilizations of the last 50,000 years there have been thousands of Gods each just as true and worthy of praise and belief. You have to admit that this is bound to cause great confusion! You don’t believe in Apollo or Aphrodite, Lord Vishnu, or Thor; I just go a few Gods further. I do believe in charity and true altruism; I haven’t found a need as of yet, to do any humanitarian works solely through the reason or belief in a deity, however I find such acts just as productive and beneficial whatever reason or belief it is derived from. Going back to topic, yes, I view money as a tool and nothing more; the only value I gather from it is the value we have all set up it… to survive in our society. I can relate to your experience with the truck and having to make sacrifices. At the moment, my husband (a mechanical engineer) has just lost his job due to contracts no longer being renewed with the company he was a contractor for (the coal mining industry here in AU). So, at the moment, we are in the middle of refurbishing and selling the house we are in, and have to do it in a short amount of time. It is great how we can all realize that we can live without half-million dollar houses and beautiful “stuff,” at the end of the day we are all asking the same questions and trying to survive in the most comfortable way possible. 🙂 I wish you all the best and appreciate the open-minded discussion!

Cara, I just realized who this is! I hope you are doing well, and I hate to hear about the situation with your husbands employment. That’s very sad.

I would like to continue our discussion on here. Many people have read this are engaging in conversations about the subject. I too, appreciate your willingness to have open-minded discussion. I wish more people could dialogue like this in a peaceful way.

In continuing this conversation, you’ll have to understand that I am no expert theologian, but I do desire get some clarity on where your coming from, and would like to hopefully narrow our focus back to how we deal with our money, and how that is influenced from our religion or belief system.

So here are my questions-

What is a brief summary of your belief system? In answering this, I would like to know what you believe about the afterlife (or lack thereof), the person of Jesus Christ, where you derive your belief of right and wrong from, and who or what you call God.

Have a great day, and I’ll talk to you soon!

Josh

Josh, Cara,

I would like to insert my opinion and my understanding of Scripture into your conversation regarding tithing. Josh, I think you’re right about tithing and I fully agree with you. However, I think there is vital principle to tithing that is being left out.
Cara, you’re right in the fact that God doesn’t need our money. It’s actually not ours anyway as Josh has already stated.

The left out principle is obedience! Tithing really has nothing to do with money! In the Old Testament, Malachi (as Josh has referenced) the principle is laid out that we are to give 10% of whatever is valuable to us. Obviously money is valuable to us, but so is our time, our energy, our possessions, even our family. I know this sounds nuts at first, but we are to give God, at the very least 10% of everything. When I say family, I don’t mean sacrifice your children, but simply that we are acknowledge the fact that they really aren’t our children, but God’s and that I’m just a steward of them. Hard to take, but very true!

Tithing is about faith and trusting God to do what He said He would do! Josh, you have already mentioned testing God with this and I know you know this principle. I’m sure you have tithed for the past 4 years for the same reason I have; becuase God said so. What more reason do we need? Jesus said in Matthew 6 that He would provide for our needs. God commands us to give Him 10% off the top too! It easy to give 10%, if it’s available after all the bills have been paid! But it takes true obedience to give 10% before you pay bills and especially when you think you’re going to be short anyway!

I don’t want anybody to miss the principle of tithing. It doesn’t matter where the money goes. God doesn’t need to justify requiring 10%. Josh, if nobody in your church tithed and God wanted the doors to remain open and quality musicians to play there, then the that would happen. Churches are not dependent upon tithers, if they are then who needs God?

You guys think about it and let me know what you think! Thank you for allowing me to join in!

Belief system? while addressing culture, from which belief systems are made, I would say that mine is not so much different from your own really; minus the supernatural. I gather my belief of right and wrong through education. Religion doesn’t make one any more or less moral, we learn through experience of observing others or through our own actions; religion is not a security blanket that shelters us from the obvious “bad” we see in the world nor is it the most fundamentally positive way of gathering what is right and wrong. Take Leviticus 18:22 as it is translated: “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” You see, I do not follow this assertion whatsoever, it is simply irrational to me. First of all they forget to add why it it abominable and you will find that same lack of explanation through out the scriptures. As for Jesus, I know just enough about him as you; I was indoctrinated with the same stories, I am not exempt from this knowledge, and as far as the story goes, we should all try to emulate such love and sacrifice 🙂 but nevertheless, he was a person, and we are not exempt from being just as kind and valuable. If you wouldn’t mind I would rather talk about what I don’t believe than what I do because I feel that it explains things more clearly. I don’t believe that the choices and actions that you portray while on this planet, is followed by punishment or reward in the “so called” afterlife; our choices have a direct effect through consequence of our actions, and we need to not give religious zealots the slack to use scripture and religion for their own fanatical machinations this would include martyrdom, war, or any reason why people are killed or wounded because they have a certain criteria of understanding. Any belief can be taken to extremes but lying within the symbolism of “absolute truth” only leaves space for prejudice and fear of difference. I don’t believe there is any ONE true God or Gods, I find them all to be equal; and our interpretation is what defines their existence. I don’t believe that natural catastrophes are the result of any Gods being angry or having vengeance upon any certain culture or people regarding how they behave within their society; natural catastrophes can be explained through causes and fluctuations within our universe and doesn’t rely on any supernatural forces to be apparent. I don’t believe in creationism; there is a logical explanation backed by mountains of evidence explaining the progression and viability of our species that being evolution; because there is one thing that ties everything that is living or has ever lived together and that one thing is DNA (well RNA to, but we won’t go that in depth pertaining to viruses etc.) If I were to sum up the importance or definition of God I would simply call it;s “education.” Education is the only thing that has taken us from swinging in trees to creating methods and theories of the beautiful Universe that surrounds us. I believe in education. I hope this has answered your questions.


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