Monday, March 28, 2005

Scorned Pennies: The Root of All Evil

One of my most recent favorite pieces of unsolicited email was delivered to my inbox over the weekend. Delivered with the subject heading "Eliminate financial burdens the Christian way," I couldn't resist. The fishers of men caught me on a giant cross-shaped hook. (CDT) promises to help you live a happier life by getting you back on the “chosen path.” Kinda reminds me of the Lord’s Prayer: “forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” Instead, the site quotes Proverbs 22:7, which says “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” I like the prayer better, but here’s the thing: CDT doesn’t present prayer as the sole means of coping. Afterall, the Christian God helps those who help themselves.

Wait—but that’s not all. There’s a history lesson, too:

Debt has been part of society since biblical times. In earlier civilizations, if a person was indebted to someone - they and their family became property of that lender until the debt was paid in full.

…Today it is still possible to be thrown in jail for failing to meet one's debt bligations. Debts of fraud, child-support, alimony, or release finds can not only result in a jail sentence but they can also prevent one's release if they are already incarcerated. These types of moral and financial decisions are not based on the principles of God’s Word.

…A major reason for the decay of our society is that a majority of churches are struggling financially. This is because church members are struggling financially.
To combat the situation, CDT clients are counseled by credentialed professionals who advise on debt solutions, including bankruptcy, consumer credit counseling, and debt consolidation. A “no-obligation debt consultation based on Christian financial values” is provided once prospective clients fill out the online form. However, the ultimate solution presented by CDT is to learn to trust God.

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.
—Romans 13:8
While I’m somewhat amused by the whole thing, I say more power to ‘em. Debt is crippling; I’m all for whatever it takes to get out from under it. I've used some of these debt management strategies myself. I just marvel that it has to be coupled with Christianity for some. Then again, would I would I scoff so much if it was a debt management program just for women or geared towards Latinos? Probably not.

I'm predispositioned to rag on religous folks, I guess because I lose my own so frequently. It's like a bad penny. I think that expression came up because when most of us see a penny, we turn our noses up at it. Who needs a penny? But when you need one, you really really need one, and you end up ruing the days of scorned pennies.

I also wonder about the reference to low tithing levels and how that eventually plays out in this whole Christian support system. The concept of Christian financial planning (which isn't new) is probably welcoming to some, but what sort of indoctrination, if any, goes with it? Then again, likely clients are probably already part of the flock nso maybe it doesn't matter. But somehow it does. Who's the ultimate beneficiary is what I want to know.

Anyway, add it to the list of areas in which Christians are doing it for themselves. Athiests and Agnostics better get on the ball; Buddhists and Jews we don't have to worry about, and mum's the word about Muslims 'cause I don't know if debts are covered in Sharia law or not, and I won't venture a guess. I do know, however, that in many religious languages, money is the root of all evil. That's why I aspire to being a true nondenomenational villain: rich and immaculate. It's not the first thing on my list, though.


Anonymous jadester said...

i received a similar spam yesterday that, on the face of it,
appeared to be simply inviting me to go visit beliefnet. However, after actually reading some of the e-mail, and considering some of its characteristics, i was a little suspicious as to the
intentions of the sender. Then i notied the first link went to some subsite. I clicked it and, hey presto, it\'s someone trying to push yet another \"get rich quick by doing absolutely nothing at all! honest!\" scheme. One that doesn\'t even have an original look, being identical to one i
first saw over a year ago. Mind you, these sub-human scum turning to religion as a means of trying
to rwecruit yet more gullible people is hardly a new thing. I can only hope the number of poor saps who actually fall for this kinda crap is tiny. I suppose at least this one appears to be rather more realistic, actually seeming to want to help people rather than make the people who came up with the idea rich.

7:13 AM  
Anonymous Keith said...

posted on by Keith on March 29, 2005 09:22 AM:
Hmmm. I wonder if these fine folks would appear as counsel in bankruptcy court? Jesus will not help you there.

Fill in the blanks a ____ and his ____ are soon parted! Especially a fool for Christ!

7:14 AM  
Blogger mpho said...

This one was interesting because it give the appearance of being on the up and up, in which case I'm all for it. But it's hard to tell because you can't get anywhere within the site without filling in the form, and I wasn't willing to do that just to satisfy my curiosity. When I went to Amazon, I was surprised--guess I shouldn't have been--that there's even a Christian Financial Concepts Resourceful living series. I wonder how Christian financial concepts differ from non-Christian ones. Of what does the qualifier consist?

7:19 AM  
Anonymous Tristan said...

posted on by Tristan on March 29, 2005 12:17 PM:


look what that guy jesus did to the moneylenders in the Temple, eh ..!!

(the wrath of god ...)

I wonder what the xtian APR is......
don't they have their own little credit cards with pix of the Pope or something on them~
or pix of PEEPS ...

maybe this might be a good idea for Axl Rose to help finance his new CD ...
or pix of PEEPS ...

maybe this might be a good idea for Axl Rose to help finance his new CD

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Tristan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:53 AM  
Anonymous Tristan said...

posted by Tristan on March 30, 2005 10:34 PM:

or was it the Wrath of Khan~~?

9:20 PM  

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