Bible-based Programs for the Debt-ridden Surge in Popularity
Can the Bible help you pay off your credit cards?
Christian debt-elimination programs, which use Old and New Testament passages as a framework to encourage financial responsibility, are surging in popularity, with seminars offered at churches across the United States.
In South Florida, Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University has proven especially popular. Nine Palm Beach County churches and 15 in Broward are offering the course. Across the country, 4,000 churches started class between Jan. 1 and Feb. 6, said Meg Alcorn, a Dave Ramsey spokeswoman.
Alcorn said the average family that completes the program pays off $5,300 in debt and saves $2,700 within three months. This promise of a debt-free future is especially appealing during the recession, a “wake-up call” to Americans who pursued the dream of limitless prosperity, said Arthur Ally, president of the National Association of
Christian Financial Consultants.
“We are getting people to reassess the direction they’ve been going in,” said Ally, founder of The Timothy Plan, a group of funds that screens for conservative Christian values. The plan has about $500 million in assets and 40,000 shareholders.
For Christians seeking a religious basis for a new financial direction, the Bible has proven a rich resource. According to Crown Financial Ministries, the Bible has more than 2,000 verses related to money and managing assets. Among them, Proverbs 22:7: “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.”
Churches in South Florida are using such verses to get congregants to examine their personal fiscal conduct, an aspect of life not typically scrutinized in the spiritual world. At Parkridge Baptist Church in Coral Springs, pastors began noticing about a year ago that congregants were streaming in with stories of unemployment, foreclosures and unpaid bills.
“Many in our community were living above their means,” the Rev. Daryl Brown said. “We started exploring what it would mean for the whole church to reassess on a full-scale basis.” The congregation was invited to participate in Dave Ramsey’s 13-week series after services each Sunday. About 150 of 430 members attend, Brown said.
This article “Bible-Based Programs for the Debt Ridden” by Tom Fallen was excerpted from: The material is most likely copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study and research purposes.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”