Sunday, November 04, 2007

beware of false prophets

I am a huge fan of debt-free living. It is a necessary background of the secret agent life. Being an agent would be close to impossible, or mega-burdensome if I had to spend my time working just to make big payments on things that probably weren’t meant for my life in the first place.

But that’s just my personal mantra. Charge away if you want. Build your fa├žade of a life for all I care.

There’s a popular Nashville based radio host/author that many mega churches have embraced with open arms. I mean, churches actually have classes on this guy’s teachings. I suppose the ‘get out of debt’ part of the teaching is good since no one else is telling the church to quit spending money like spoiled brats. But as far as I’m concerned, the good qualities of this guy’s message stops there.

If this message was about getting out of debt so that you can a) be generous with your wealth and support the widows, orphans, poor, missionaries, stop injustice, whatever or b) live simply so when the CEO tells you to GO, you can go or c) all the above, then I could totally go for that.

Americans by and large are huge babies when it comes to having and wanting stuff. And their stuff ties them down like a ball and chain, making it difficult to do the things the CEO might have you do. The church in America is not immune to these ills. They could use a spanking or two. We are to be in the world, but not of it, etc.

But Uncle Dave’s* basic gist for living debt free is to a) build a self-made safety net and b) live low now so that tomorrow you can live like a king.

What faithless bullshit.

1) Safety net: I know, I know. There are plenty of (old testament) biblical references on planning ahead for a rainy day. Such as Joseph and the seven years of drought. And if the CEO of the universe has guided you to stockpile for Y2K or buy every kind of health and supplemental insurance, who am I to question you.

But Uncle Dave’s first rule is to have a $1000 cushion in your bank. Well damn, if I had $1000 bucks in my bank account at any one given time, I’d be seriously looking at property downtown to start The Table. $1000 bucks? That’s like a whole years income in some parts of the world. Sheesh, Who needs faith or trust? I’ve got my $1000 padding to keep me from falling on my ass.

Uncle George (no relation to Dave) once wrote something to the effect of, “if a person has stockpiles of resources, then in the time of need the lord will direct him to those stockpiles”. In other words, who needs the CEO and his miracles when we have our own means.

2) Live like a king: this is directly opposed to the teachings of Jesus. Building wealth for the purpose of living and dying comfortably is the secular teachings of our culture. So, why does the church embrace Uncle Dave’s teaching on this?

Somehow, I don’t think the underground, persecuted churches in communist nations are too concerned with building wealth for their personal comfort. I think they signed away comfort when they joined Jesus. Just a guess, though.

Uncle Dave speaks with knowledge and authority on the subject of debt and wealth building. But his message is not from the CEO of the universe.

*not an official uncle here on the agent b files...


carl said...

Good word here. I read through his book a little and when I read that part about "living like a king in the end" I got a bad vibe about that.

DJG said...


Jenelle said...

I just wrote a stream of nonsense about me getting out of debt, too. I guess it's on the CEO's mind on Sundays. All of your reasons are why I want to get out of debt. And because I'd like to offer my one-day husband-man a debt-free me, so we can be more free to go.

Everyone tells me that student loan debt is "good debt." But I don't buy it anymore. Debt sucks.

Agent B said...

"Good debt". I don't know if there is such a thing.

Although I've considered taking on another mortgage for a building to feed people and hang out in. I might go into debt to feed people. Maybe that's good debt.

JesusFreak said...

I totally agree with you about the whole having a $1000 at all times thing. And plus the software a person has to buy for the program is very expensive. How is that supposed to help me with my financial situation???