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What Dave Ramsey gets wrong about poverty
Financial advisor Dave Ramsey is also an evangelical Christian.
November 30th, 2013
09:59 AM ET

What Dave Ramsey gets wrong about poverty

Opinion by Rachel Held Evans, special to CNN 

(CNN)– Dave Ramsey is rich. And he makes his living telling other evangelical Christians how they can get rich, too.

Host of a nationally syndicated radio program and author of multiple best-selling books, Ramsey targets evangelical Christians with what he calls a “biblical” approach to financial planning, one that focuses primarily on the elimination of consumer debt. His for-profit Financial Peace University is billed as “a biblically based curriculum that teaches people how to handle money God's ways."

Much of what Ramsey teaches is sound, helpful advice, particularly for middle-class Americans struggling with mounting credit card bills. I have celebrated with friends as they’ve marked their first day of debt-free living, thanks in part to Dave Ramsey’s teachings and all those white envelopes of cash he urges his students to use instead of credit cards.

But while Ramsey may be a fine source of information on how to eliminate debt, his views on poverty are neither informed nor biblical.

Take, for example, a recent article by Tim Corley posted to Ramsey’s website. Entitled “20 Things the Rich Do Every Day,” the article presents some dubious statistics comparing the habits of the rich with the habits of the poor, including:

“70% of wealthy eat less than 300 junk food calories per day. 97% of poor people eat more than 300 junk food calories per day.”

“76% of wealthy exercise aerobically four days a week. 23% of poor do this.”

“63% of wealthy listen to audio books during commute to work vs. 5% of poor people.”

One need not be a student of logic to observe that Corley and Ramsey have confused correlation with causation here by suggesting that these habits make people rich or poor.

For example, a poor person might not exercise four days a week because, unlike a rich person, she cannot afford a gym membership. Or perhaps she has to work two jobs to earn a living wage, which leaves her little time and energy for jogging around the park.

A poor family may eat more junk food, not because they are lazy and undisciplined, but because they live in an economically disadvantaged, urban setting where health food stores are not as available: a so-called “food desert.”

Critics were swift to point out these discrepancies and among the critics were some of Ramsey’s fellow evangelical Christians who also noted that, though the book of Proverbs certainly heralds success as a common return on faithful labor, nowhere does the Bible guarantee that good habits lead to wealth.

The writer of Ecclesiastes observed that "under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to the skillful; but time and chance happen to them all."

And far from having contempt for the poor, Jesus surrounded himself with the needy and challenged the excesses of the rich. “Blessed are you who are poor,” he said, “for yours is the kingdom of God. … But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort” (Luke 6:24).

"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle," Jesus famously said, "than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."

It’s hard for the wealthy to flourish in the kingdom that Jesus inaugurated because the economy of that kingdom runs so contrary to the economies of the world. It rewards the peacemakers over the powerful, the humble over the proud, the kind over the cruel, and those who hunger to do the right thing over those whose wealth has convinced them they already are.

Ramsey responded to the pushback with an addendum to the original post calling his critics “ignorant” and “immature” and instructing them to “grow up.”

“This list simply says your choices cause results,” he said, again committing the false cause fallacy. “You reap what you sow.”

The list, he said, applies only to people living in “first world” countries, where Ramsey believes economic injustices are essentially nonexistent. While the poor in developing countries are so as a result of external circumstances beyond their control, the poor in the United States have no one to blame but themselves.

“If you are broke or poor in the U.S. or a first-world economy, the only variable in the discussion you can personally control is YOU,” Ramsey says. “You can make better choices and have better results.”

America, he argues, has prospered as a direct result of its “understanding and application of biblical truths” which have led to “life-changing industry, inventions and a standard of living never known before on this planet.”

“There is a direct correlation,” he concludes, “between your habits, choices and character in Christ and your propensity to build wealth.”

For Christians, Ramsey’s perceived “direct correlation” between faith and wealth should be more troubling than his other confused correlations, for it flirts with what Christians refer to as the prosperity gospel, the teaching that God rewards faithfulness with wealth.

Ramsey’s particular brand of prosperity gospel elevates the American dream as God’s reward for America’s faithfulness, the spoils of which are readily available to anyone who works hard enough to receive them.

But such a view glosses over the reality that America was not, in fact, founded upon purely Christian principles (unless one counts slavery, ethnic cleansing, gender inequity, and Jim Crow as Christian principles), so we should be careful of assuming our relative wealth reflects God’s favor. (The Roman Empire was wealthy, too, after all.)

It also glosses over the reality that economic injustice is not, in fact, limited to the developing world but plagues our own country as well.

When medical bills are the biggest cause of bankruptcy in the United States, there are systemic injustices at work.

When people working 40-hour weeks at minimum wage jobs still can’t earn enough to support their families, there are systemic injustices at work.

When approximately 1% of Americans hold 40% of the nation’s wealth, there are systemic injustices at work.

When the black unemployment rate has consistently been twice as high as the white unemployment rate for the past 50 years, there are systemic injustices at work.

And throughout Scripture, people of faith are called not simply to donate to charity, but to address such systemic injustices in substantive ways.

The 17-year-old girl who lives in a depressed neighborhood zoned for a failing school system who probably won’t graduate because her grades are suffering because she has to work part-time to help support her family needs more than a few audio books to turn things around.

People are poor for a lot of reasons, and choice is certainly a factor, but categorically blaming poverty on lack of faith or lack of initiative is not only uninformed, it’s unbiblical.

God does not divide the world into the deserving rich and the undeserving poor. In fact, the brother of Jesus wrote that God has “chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him” (James 2:5).

God does not bless people with money; God blesses people with the good and perfect gift of God’s presence, which is available to rich and poor alike.

And that’s good news.

Rachel Held Evans is the author of "Evolving in Monkey Town" and "A Year of Biblical Womanhood." She blogs at rachelheldevans.com. The views expressed in this column belong to Rachel Held Evans.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Business • Christianity • Ethics • evangelicals • Faith • Leaders • Money & Faith • Opinion

soundoff (2,299 Responses)
  1. Joyce

    Rachel Evans hits the nail on the head about what always bothered me about Dave Ramsey. It also seems to set successful people up in the church to look down on the less fortunate because according to Ramsey they could have just made better choices.

    November 30, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • Bob

      I think what bothered you about Dave is that to follow his program requires WORK!!! No debt, don't buy crap, pay off your bills. Most people aren't willing to do that so they complain about the messenger.

      December 1, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
      • Realitybites

        Exactly. He does not trash the poor at all. He just tells people ways to manage their money so they can have a plan for getting out of poverty. He helps the poor. That is his business.

        December 2, 2013 at 9:26 am |
    • Wayne Brice

      Joyce, I suspect that what irritates you about Ramsey is that he suggests you cut down on the number of lattes and frappuccinos you buy.

      December 3, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • Wayne Brice

      There are many ways to be skeptical about the validity of this writer's opinions here, but I couldn't help but notice this: in response to Ramsey's implied advice that successful people exercise a few times a week, she says that poor people can't afford TO BE MEMBERS OF A GYM! Does she really think that this is the only way, or the way most people exercise? Doesn't this say something about this writer's lifestyle?

      December 3, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
  2. lol??

    People PAY someone to tell them to try and get out of debt??

    November 30, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • Matt

      Yes and with how unresponsible and over spending people are it is a great investment to pay someone to teach you how to live smart. People pay to get an education?????

      November 30, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
      • Teresa

        Why doesn't he offer his teachings for free? He's rich already.

        November 30, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
        • Codeman

          Teresa, I've been through his class and, if you listen to his show, most of the important components of his plan are explained many times over. The class and his books lay it out in a much more organized way, but you can get most of his information just by listening.

          Also, if you listen to his show, you'll hear him give away free books and free memberships to his class nearly every day it airs. I doubt he's as stingy as implied. Give him a listen and see what you think!

          November 30, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
        • gseawell@nc.rr.com

          Give it to them free? That's what is wrong with these lazy bums in society today. They expect everything to be free, and are unwilling to put forth any effort to achieve success.

          November 30, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
        • Bob

          How much do you pay for radio in your town? If you want to buy the books you can, but you can get everything you need to get started for free. Again, stop buying crap, sell the crap you don't need, pay off your bills, no more debt. No charge for that.

          December 1, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
        • Maude

          You can. It's called a "library".

          December 1, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
        • Realitybites

          He does. You can go to his website, podcasts, radio shos, forums, he has free budget forms to download. Even some of his seminars are free to those in need. He provides programs to high schools etc. But not sure why he shouldn't be able to make a profit off of his books and his seminars. I have a job. I hpe you have a job and I get paid for it. I don't expect everyone to work for free becasue i or they are "christian"

          December 2, 2013 at 9:29 am |
        • Angel

          Because there will be no value to you when you get it free. If you spend your hard earned money to buy something Of course you will do everything to get the result or the reason why you buy the product..:)

          December 10, 2013 at 10:28 am |
  3. HieTide

    I have happened by enough of Dave Ramsey's material to know two things about this article. One, I have some nuanced discrepancies with what he teaches, but his material otherwise provides good financial advice for most people. He teaches financial planning based on practical Bible wisdom, not Biblical doctrine itself. Two, this article is a clear example of a straw man fallacy, presenting an argument primarily based upon a forwarded article.

    I've come to expect as much from Rachel Held Evans articles, however. She's repeatedly affirmed the adage, "A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing." Her surface knowledge and disingenuous objectives make her a wolf in sheep's clothing. There are hundreds of legitimate Christians scholars who could dig into topics like this with greater insight, wit and understanding of Christian teaching and history. I fear CNN uses Evans' writing instead not only because she employs the same sound bite approach so common in modern news, but because she represents a theological perspective that the network has predetermined to affirm.

    This piece isn't a lens by which to correct our vision of Biblical doctrine and make the world a better place at the same time. This article presents advice that could have been given in many ways and seems to dig into Christianity for no other purpose than portraying Christians not in line with Evans as bad guys. If CNN is going to raise a voice of Christian critique, I wish they would use someone with earnest assessments and insight rather than someone with an axe to grind.

    November 30, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • A. N.

      Thank you, and well said . . .

      November 30, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      What statements has Evans made that demonstrates her objectives are disingenuous and she has an axe to grind? Do you find her reporting of Ramsey's "causation versus correlation" points to be otherwise?

      I would tend to agree that there are individuals who would be much better at making salient points that counter some of Ramsey's teachings, but were there any places where where Rachel was wrong in this report?

      November 30, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
      • Matt

        Correlatin does not always equal causation. However, correlation can equal causation. I would not doubt that the wealthy people read, workout, look good, eat healthy, where as a lot of lazy dependant people do not.

        November 30, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          And....? I'm not sure what how your point is a response to my questions.

          November 30, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
      • HieTide

        Captain Obvious, I apologize that I cannot reply to your question as the website has (once again) prevented me from commenting despite not using any abusive or hostile language. Hopefully the stars will align and allow us to once day cross paths and have a friendly, engaging conversation. Unfortunately, this site tends to prevent that for whatever reason.

        November 30, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
        • goodnews17

          I have found the same problem. I have not used any offensive writing, yet some of my responses are 'awaiting moderation', effectively shutting out what should be viewed as it constructive but doesn't seem to fit in with someone's ideas.

          January 16, 2014 at 5:32 am |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        No one is persecuting you, Hie Tide. It's the automatic word filter. For example, you cannot say "const!tution," because it has within it the word "t!t."

        November 30, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
        • HieTide

          Yeah, I know, I'm not a conspiracy theorist. Nobody is waiting around for my posts, eagerly deleting them because they disagree. I frankly don't know what killed my response to you or past ones, but there's a reason I've not posted on CNN for a while.

          But I do earnestly hope we cross paths someday. Good conversations are too few and far between.

          November 30, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
      • Jim VB

        Dear Cpt. (not so) Obvious,

        Wow, where to begin? How about this – The Headline of her opinion piece reads "What Dave Ramsey gets wrong about poverty." First, the posting on Dave Ramsey's website did not say anything about poverty other than to list the differences between the habits of the Rich and the Poor. Nowhere in her opinion did she dispute those differences.

        She then lists 3 of the 20 Things and states: "One need not be a student of logic to observe that Corley and Ramsey have confused correlation with causation here by suggesting that these habits make people rich or poor."

        Nowhere in the posting did Corley or Ramsey "suggest that these habits make people rich or poor". Read it. It is a list of choices – Read or Watch TV – Exercise or sit on the couch – read more or read less – be organized or not. She is clearly not a 'Student of Logic' if she finds a problem with any of that.

        And then she writes this: {Dave Ramsey} “There is a direct correlation,” he concludes, “between your habits, choices and character in Christ and your propensity to build wealth.”

        "For Christians, Ramsey’s perceived “direct correlation” between faith and wealth should be more troubling than his other confused correlations,..."

        Who here is confused? Perceive what you want, but Dave Ramsey did not say that there was a direct correlation between faith and wealth. Read it. He talks about Habits and Choices and Character, not simply faith. And if you were to advise someone in poverty on how to improve their lot in life, would you not tell them the very same thing?

        One more – she writes: "Ramsey responded to the pushback with an addendum to the original post calling his critics “ignorant” and “immature” and instructing them to “grow up.”

        He did. And they should. But that is not a fair representation of what Ramsey wrote in his addendum. He said many things, and it is worth the read. The specific line she seemed to have a problem with (cherry picking?) was this:

        "There is a direct correlation between your habits, choices and character in Christ and your propensity to build wealth in non-third-world settings. To dispute that or attribute hate to that statement is immature and ignorant." And "Is this list a way of hating the poor? Seriously? Grow up."

        Wouldn't you agree?

        December 1, 2013 at 6:01 am |
        • BJW

          I was about to respond to CaptObvious, and then I read your post. Well put. The only thing I would piggy back on what you said is in relation to what you said Christians should take issue with. I don't take any issue with that. It would get really wordy to attempt to explain, but Dave doesn't promise financial gain from faith. He promises financial peace through hard work. Money is only one form of influence in this world (albeit a strong one). I have various posts that are newer than yours that help identify where I stand, and most do (with varying degree) that are following what Dave teaches. But Dave's program has an emergency fund in the first three steps. He isn't promising a great life. He is promising a great response to life. We all know it can be messy. "if" God made us, he isn't ignorant. He is the only one that has the big picture perspective.

          December 2, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • Emminem

      HieTide,
      Very, very well said. Your summary of this blog post is spot on.

      November 30, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
  4. COOORRLATION

    thanks for pointing out that his correlation, is in fact a correlation and not causation. I think he assumes most people understand that. That said it makes your entire opinion piece irrelevant.

    November 30, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • David

      You "think" he "assumes" something? Sounds like the piece is very relevant.

      November 30, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
  5. Bob Bobson

    Anyone who plans any part of their life by a book of fairytales that was written by a bunch of bronze age goat herders, is crazy.

    November 30, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • Set

      Like, father the Big Bang Theory crazy? Or lead to the freedom of millions of Americans kind of crazy?

      November 30, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • Set

      Crazy like they couldn't hold top jobs at NASA? Crazy like you wouldn't trust them to be rescue workers, like firefighters and police officers?

      November 30, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • HieTide

      That would be pretty crazy. It's a good thing all of these Christians aren't doing that, seeing as how most of the Bible (including all Christian contributions) were written after the bronze age by doctors, historians, rulers and others.

      November 30, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • Tom

      And what, may I ask guides your life?

      November 30, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • Dan

      Atheism predates Christianity. If you're going to deride the religion because of its antiquity, the surely atheists like Epicurus don't deserve your time, because they come from a distant time, still in the bronze age.

      November 30, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • Bob

      I so respect your ability to copy/paste without any original thought.

      December 1, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
  6. A. N.

    Take it at face value. The goal of Ramsey's program is NOT to assign blame to the poor. It is to establish good habits in people that will improve their lives by increasing financial security, reducing stress, and lengthen their lives (more money to eat better and lower stress reduces risk of many diseases). The fact that Ramsey has become wealthy from selling his program only speaks to his prowess as a business man. He has certainly helped many more people than he has hurt by collecting his fee for good advise. Pointing out his flaws in a non-constructive way will only reduce the number of people inclined to take his course and achieve financial independence. My advise to Rachel, find a new topic to write about . . .

    November 30, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • Theron

      What was "non-constructive" about it?

      November 30, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Lots of opinion from you, but no objections that I can really sink my teeth into. Which of Rachel's points above is inaccurate?

      November 30, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • Teresa

      I think it's very constructive, because we in America hate on the poor for these very reasons. A piece like this is very important.

      November 30, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
      • le

        I think the major point is that a successful life is based on self discipline, self control and an openness to to expand one's intellectual horizons. Being physically healthy by eating well and exercising will enable a person to live up to one's potential better- think clearly, endure, etc. Libraries in america are free- as long as one has the discipline to bring them back when due- therefore gaining knowledge whether by audio or reading, obviously can lead to wisdom- A KEY COMPONENT in living a good life.

        November 30, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
    • dee

      I have been following Mr.Ramsey and other advocates of the 'prosperity gospel' and am appalled how the bible is twisted to suit their own selfish desires to be rich. Sure most people would rather be rich than poor, but justifying one's selfish way of life by deluding oneself into believing 'God wants believers to be prosperous' is as sad as it is pathetic. Look at the income disparity that has been increasing in the US and compare it to where the US ranks in infant mortality, literacy, economic stability, unemployment etc. As the rich become richer the US falls further and further behind other countries.

      December 1, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
      • JustLiberty

        I'm not a big follower of Dave Ramsey, but there is a big difference between promoting a 'prosperity gospel' and promoting the notion that there are biblical principles that usually lead to a healthy financial life. DR does not seem to me to be very far down the 'prosperity gospel' path.

        December 1, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
      • Joe Sixpac

        My Granny used to watch a local evangelical preacher every week and sent him money every year. The preacher eventually got himself in trouble (surprise) for improper handling of the donations. They have been at it for years and will be at for years to come as long as people put their faith in religion rather than people.

        January 15, 2014 at 6:30 pm |
        • goodnews17

          Putting one's faith in any religion or human is unwise. You need to go to the source of all truth, and that is Jesus Christ himself. If people would earnestly seek Jesus(not religion or any human) then error and disappointments in life would be greatly reduced. Yes, even those who profess to be Christians do not necessarily practice being one, it requires genuine faith and obedience to God and his Word, not exploiting people and making a mockery of the clear teachings of God. It just shows how deceived people can be, and how we can all become victims if we can't discern their hearts and true motives. By their fruit you will know them.

          January 15, 2014 at 7:44 pm |
        • sueehul

          Please look at the basics of what Dave teaches, the Seven Baby Steps, here http://www.daveramsey.com/new/baby-steps/

          Now, please tell me how this free information exploits people.

          January 16, 2014 at 1:01 am |
        • sueehul

          You obviously know nothing about Dave Ramsey. He is not a preacher. He does not teach the "prosperity gospel." He teaches people who don't know how to handle money how to do so. People here keep running on about how some people don't have the same advantages as others. That is, of course, true. People who don't have money don't know how to handle money (I know this from experience.) Mr. Ramsey is trying to give the disadvantaged that missing financial education. No get rich quick stuff coming from him. Just get out of debt, stay out of debt, don't use credit cards, save for what you want (even if it takes a LONG time), have an emergency fund (the first thing to do). Why is this a problem for so many??? Do they think
          the poor are unable to learn? Do they (you) think they are innately stupid? Mentally slow? Undeserving, maybe? WHAT is it?

          I think education is a GOOD thing. I once lived, with my four little children, in a one bedroom apartment in a church basement (complete with church mice, yes) in an urban inner city. I used food stamps, WIC, medicaid. The little apartment was free for working in the church, so I was able to get by with the government benefits and $350 a month. Even in the 70's, that was not much! I am now preparing to retire. I own 3 houses and a 50 ft. world cruise capable steel sailboat outright. I am still paying for two other houses.

          I did not know how to handle money until I LEARNED how! No miracles. No schemes. Just common sense education – like Dave Ramsey provides.

          Please, try to give the poor a break. Stop assuming they are not capable of improving their situations. Stop thinking of them as dependents who will always be dependents. The disadvantaged are just that: disadvantaged. When someone comes along who wants to impart an advantage (and he offers enough for free to learn what to do), don't stop him. Sheesh! Why not encourage him? Try taking off your judgment hat and put on your encouragement hat. At least check out what he REALLY teaches, as opposed to what all these people are accusing him of.

          January 16, 2014 at 12:38 am |
        • Ethel

          This is what it is about. Thank you so much. I really do not understand what Mr. Ramsey is being accused of. IMO, part of the reason we still have such poverty is because information like this was kept away from the poor. I wish I had had the opportunity he offers when I was in my twenties.

          January 16, 2014 at 1:05 am |
        • ricegf

          Very well stated! His work has helped us, and many others in our church, immensely.

          A few people do; many criticize. I'm so thankful Dave Ramsey is among the former!

          January 16, 2014 at 7:04 am |
      • goodnews17

        Yes, there is a danger of twisting what the Bible says in not emphasising other relevant elements, which can change the true meaning and we miss the point or importance of other things. That is why we need balance and be open to review our thinking taking into consideration both sides or more. Both Dave and Rachel have valid points. In the end, as Christians we come back to what the teachings of Christ were and his view of poverty and the poor, particularly our love response to the poor and needy as that indicates our faith and love for Christ himself. We should be elaborating and discussing these questions more.

        January 15, 2014 at 7:59 pm |
  7. 1ofTheFallen

    What the author Rachel Held Evans gets wrong about poverty and hard work. I might be wrong but I'm assuming the Rachel's college education was paid for by her parents and she assumes that most people cannot go to college because their parents cannot afford to pay for it. WRONG – I came from a working class blue collar family that was only 1 generation from being poor dirt famers on 20 acres. I worked my way though college at minimum wage jobs. It took 6 years not 4 but I graduated with a computer science degree and within 4 years was making more than double what my father ever made at his blue collar job. Just beause people are rich does not automatically mean there are systemic injustices at work. Wheres the proof? Easy to say but hard to prove. Bill Gates,How much do these people contribute to the economy and jobs with their vast wealth? Just beause people are poor does not automatically mean there are systemic injustices at work. Wheres the proof? If you earn minimum wage they you are at the lowest skill level. Anyone can go to college with student loans and woking a job while going to school part time. I did it and it takes hard work but 95% of minumim wage employees can do this if they work hard and smart. You have nobody to blame but yourself if you choose to keep working minimum wage jobs and choose to raise a family instead of trying to improve your skills through hard work. The very very sad fact is that most people on welfare do not use any of their spare time to try and improve their skills.

    November 30, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • David

      So there's your problem. You "assume" her college was paid for by mommy and daddy? How can you possibly assume this? She may not have ever gone to college. She may have joined the military to pay for her college with the GI Bill (like I did). Please think before you type.

      November 30, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Lots of opinion from you, but no objections that I can really sink my teeth into. Which of Rachel's points above is inaccurate?

      November 30, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • Teresa

      Are you at all aware that the cost of a college degree has gone up exponentially in just the past 10 years? (And public school tuition is going up faster than private school tuition, so we're not talking "luxury" schools). In the South it's gone up 65% and in the West it's gone up 85%. You worked your way through on minimum wage jobs? Glad for you, but are you older than 28? Because it's simply not possible today. Costs of housing, health care and education have all risen dramatically over the past 20 years, MUCH faster than wages. The whole "I did it, so can you!" argument doesn't hold sway anymore. You and I lived in a different world.

      November 30, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
      • Lynn

        You can still work your way through college even with the higher costs. Who says college has to be completed in 4 years? If you run out of money to pay your school bill, take a semester off and work to save money.

        November 30, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Those who are very poor cannot afford to go to school by using that method unless they are willing to wait twenty years for their diploma. .

          November 30, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
        • CollegeTuition

          Here is a reality check. Our daughter will be going to college in next year. Average cost per year for a state school with in state tuition is $25k/year or some where between 100/125 for a 4 year degree and I am the one advocating to come out of schools with little or no dept. The max loan amount she can take out is $27k (over 4 years) leaving the remainder to be paid by other means. Remind me what type of job a 17/18 yo can get that allows them to save $20k in a year for school and living expenses. Can it happen maybe but it is less likely than one of the miracles Christianity likes to tells us happens. How about you have two or more kids in school rather a dicey situation on how to pay and or save for school. Once you drop out of school the clock starts on your student loan with some deferred time and then you need to reapply each time with no guarantee of being readmitted.

          December 1, 2013 at 2:33 am |
        • HotAirAce

          While your reality check has validity (a student may not be able to take a semester off whenever their cash flow demands), the overriding reality check might be that your daughters "wants" exceeds her ability to pay and she may need to scale back her cash outflow to something she can handle. Perhaps a two year technical diploma will position her almost as well as that four year degree. Anyway, my point is, just because she wants it, it doesn't mean she can have it, at least not without some compromise. But I'm sure you know that.

          December 1, 2013 at 3:20 am |
      • valoree

        Teresa, yes the costs of college can be shocking. However, both of our sons worked their way through college to pay their living expenses. We paid tuition and books and never paid more than $5000 a year tops. It was even cheaper when they took community college courses. Their friends who racked up huge student loan debts took loans for living expenses and didn't work much. Granted, they lived in less than stellar apts in the not so great part of town, ate cheap food, wore clothes until they were worn looking and didn't take spring break trips. But they made it out of school with little to no debt. It can be done.

        December 1, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • Dale

      "Just because people are rich does not automatically mean there are systemic injustices at work. "
      "Just because people are poor does not automatically mean there are systemic injustices at work. "

      Right. Not "just because". There are many reasons why. Systemic injustices is a big subject. The existence of rich people OR poor people does not address how injustices happen. They happen when those in power use that power to monopolize the system. That the gains in production have not been realized by the vast majority of our citizens (the 1% keep increasing their share of those gains, so that the people who do the work that produce those gains are not reaping their share of those benefits. This is condition of the American economy in the past 30-40 years.) These are facts borne out by economic figures of income gains of the top 1% of earners vs the income gains of the other 99%. The former has increased exponentially over the latter. Even the latest "recovery" (since 2008) is all top-heavy in a historically unprecendented way.

      November 30, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
  8. chas

    If you listened to this guy Dave Ramsey, and invested in his bank that paid you interest in discounts and merchant freebies, you would be broke right now. Oh i am sure Dave did not lose a dime on this one, and as a matter of fact heard him throw his buddies / partners under the bus when this clear ponzi scheme back fired. Yes Ramsey does offer some sound advice on his show. if you can filter through what he is trying to sell you, most folks could learn a thing or two. Unfortunately or fortunate depending on your point of view, most people cant. Like Beck he tilts to the right, and these listeners like sheep are led to slaughter.

    November 30, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • tobygal

      You are full of bull poop! We came from poor poor people. I'm not driving a big car but I have enough and the government isn't giving me a hand out. I have worked 3 job for the past 26 years. I could sit on my butt and whine....like you or I can get out and work. Cook foods that aren't junk and you can walk a mile or 2 every day and get some exercise. Maybe more people need to move out of the huge cities because they seem to be a waste land of people wanting something for nothing. Oh and get you butt to church or some place that gives you something close to a moral compass.

      November 30, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • gw

      Chas:

      I would have to agree with many of the points you have made. My wife and I first became acquainted with Dave Ramsey when we were traveling quite a bit on family business five years ago and could only pick up a couple of radio stations in an area, one of which carried DR's radio show.

      Not being religious people, we were at first turned off but the more we were able to dissect the religious from the secular/economic message, the latter started to ring true with us. We were doing many of the things that he advised but what really registered with us was his "debt snowball' strategy. It was a set plan with a determine outcome.

      Fast forward to today and many of DR's principles are still part of our budgeting protocols–envelopes, no debt, emergency fund and diversified investments. We rarely listen to the radio show unless we run across it traveling. His system helped us to develop the discipline of living without credit or debt and now it isn't even part of our economic discussions when we are making short term or long term budgets and plans.

      November 30, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • Rick

      Chas- you obviously don't know what you are talking about. No one lost any money they invested. What the program did was stop honoring reward points. Many bank around the country do this all the time. Their principal they invested is still there. Dave found out the night before and discontinued their sponsorship. He talked about it on the air, took calls, and admitted they were not the company he thought they were. Dave gives great advice. He tells of spending less than you make and living on a budget. Maybe if people would stop buying what they can't afford they would be better off

      November 30, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
      • anne

        Thank you for saving me having to reply to this nonsense. Why do people post things so blatantly incorrect? Does it make them feel big?

        December 1, 2013 at 7:55 am |
  9. bostontola

    Finances are not related to religion or God. Anyone can learn to be better at finances, and anyone can choose what they believe in. If you don't like this guy's advice, there are many other advisors, books, classes, etc. take control of what you know, make decisions, and learn. You will most likely be better off if you educate yourself and keep that separate from beliefs/religion.

    November 30, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • Set

      YOU are OBSESSED with religion and God.
      Take a break.

      November 30, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
      • bostontola

        Another that presumes much. How did you get that from this post? Do you disagree that finance and religion are separate? Do you disagree that people would benefit from educating themselves?

        November 30, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
        • Set

          You had too many "you statements". And you fricken' talk about religion and God all day long. Google "bostontola" "cnn belief" "religion".
          HOLY.CRAP!

          November 30, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        YOU are OBSESSED with judging others prematurely according to your own bias.

        November 30, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
        • Set

          Just like you. Yes.

          November 30, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          1. you provide no evidence for your claims
          2. you can't be better than little ole me?

          November 30, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
        • Set

          1. you provide no evidence for your claims
          2. you can't be better than little ole me?

          November 30, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
        • Set

          The things you hate about me...
          ...are really the things you hate about yourself.
          You are good at pointing out flaws in other people. Not goo at recognizing them in yourself.

          November 30, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Fail.

          I am expressing no hate, and you have no idea if I am or am not good at identifying my own weaknesses. You, however, have provided proof of you own childish behavior.

          November 30, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
        • Set

          And that is exactly what everyone (except your fellow 12 trolls) says about you...
          OMG a childish troll just called me childish.

          November 30, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • Teresa

      The whole belief that God rewards Christians with wealth is just bizarre. If it were true, the Bible Belt would not be the poorest region in the nation, nor would East Indians (mostly Hindu) and Jewish people be statistically the wealthiest people in America. Oh, and wasn't Jesus poor? And priests take a vow of poverty? I can't wrap my head around it.

      November 30, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
      • Dan

        The idea that believers should be wealthy is a misunderstanding of scripture, because some very high profile believers were wealthy, take Abraham and David for example. This belief was fostered by the Pharisees and repudiated by Jesus. Jesus was very clear - we are to store up treasure in heaven, not on earth.

        November 30, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • HieTide

      Except that finances has huge implications on our religion and vice-versa. If the Bible is not a moral guide for you, then fine, I wouldn't expect you to look into it for financial advice. But for millions of people out there, they want to know if financial advice also concurs with God's morality. For those people, the most effective financial advice comes from people with college degrees in economics and business, decades of financial planning experience, as well as Biblical training to speak into their lives, because Christianity is not defined by where we spend Sunday morning. A lot of financial trouble comes from issues of the heart, such as compulsive buying, greed and dissatisfaction with life.

      What kind of financial advice is given? Don't overspend and go into debt, set money aside for unexpected trouble, share with those who are less fortunate if you are able to make more than you need – all stuff that has been proven wise for pragmatic reasons as well. The spiritual aspect kicks in when we go beyond practical planning and put our trust and hope in the future on money rather than God. Not-so-coincidentally, the Bible dives into these topics hundreds of time as a result, and we should be thankful it does. After all, much of our modern concern for fairness and people of all social classes is due to Biblical teaching for the last two millennia. We're not yet where we should be, but we're a far cry from the situation in Ancient Rome for example.

      November 30, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • JustLiberty

      "Finances are not related to religion or God". Hmmm. There are "religious books" such as the bible that contain much that is related to finances. And many people following those principles find that they work well in producing healthy finances. So how is your statement valid?

      December 1, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
  10. Buddy D

    But those in self-imposed poverty want to keep having children, of course which they get paid for. If it is just so awful, why bring a child into your world. Oh, because then we can cry, it's for the children. Those same children that grow up to play knock-out "games". But let's make everything FAIR and take more, more, more money from the hard working to give to these poor people.

    November 30, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • David

      This is the most bizarre talking point in the conservative echo chamber. Why do you think people are in "self-imposed" poverty? Why do you think that people on welfare and food stamps are living great lives? You know what would happen if the best and brightest from disadvantaged areas were given the chance that kids from the suburbs are given? You would be the one asking if the customer wants fries with that.

      November 30, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • konaguy

      You are getting to the point where having children should only be the exclusive domain of the wealthy, a dangerous and morally indefensible position.

      November 30, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • A. N.

      Your point is poorly written, by I see what your saying and it's not relevant to this discussion.

      November 30, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • Shyla

      The poor have more children because they cannot afford birth control and regular doctor visits. Now we have "Christian" companies saying it is against their religion to pay for birth control. Christians can't have it both ways. Should poor people be offered ways to avoid more children? In the news these days, the message is no birth control for you, no abortion for you, don't have more children. It's hypocritical.

      November 30, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
      • woodfieldcreative

        I'm sorry, I don't normally reply on these things, but the stab at what I assume to be Hobby Lobby is a little bit misinformed. The company refuses to pay for abortive birth control, but is totally ok with paying for the pill and other non-abortive birth controls. In fact, they only refuse to pay for 2 of the 19 regulated option. That leaves their workers with 17 other birth control options. On top of that, the company's entrance wage is double minimum wage, which gives those women twice the amount of money to buy Plan B if they want to. I know the media has blown it into a lot more than that, which is sad, but it's much less of an issue than people think. 😦

        December 1, 2013 at 12:58 am |
        • Sara

          It is that big a deal because if you allow one moral exemption you have to allow them all. A Christian Scientist buys over the main employer in a small town – health insurance gone. A strict vegan...better make sure your meds weren't tested on animals. This always sounds good when it's not your life being scre.wed with, but think it through.

          December 1, 2013 at 1:02 am |
        • beckajayne

          Sara, I see what you're saying... "If you give a mouse a cookie..." Right? Living in a world were everyone has different beliefs and motivations is really hard and I don't envy anyone who is employed to govern. Government is never going to make everyone happy because everyone has different values and at times they cross each other.
          My main point in replying to Shyla was that her statement about a certain "Christian" company was grossly misrepresented. Saying that the message is "no birth control for you" is so sad because it's far from the truth. As I said, it's LESS of an issue in light of the fact that others are allowed to opt out of more and other parts of the mandate for different reasons. (Including Congress itself)
          Going back to the fact that we are all different people... It becomes tricky when you mandate something that must be DONE with "no exceptions". Using your example of Vegans, even though I eat meat, I would never force a vegan to eat or wear something that had been made at the suffering or death of an animal because they believe that is cruelty and murder. Murder is a pretty big moral standing. If the government started mandating that all people ate a particular diet that included meat, I would expect that Vegans would have the freedom to appeal eating meat. Likewise, I would hope that a company like Hobby Lobby that believes abortive pills are murdering babies would be able to appeal that too. Murder is a high moral issue and I believe we should have the freedom to live our lives and run our businesses without corrupting our conscience....for those of us who believe we have one. 🙂
          I have thought about this a lot because I have a similar but less morally high issue with my personal business that I am dealing with. I wish this culture knew that it's ok that people are different, and be more accepting of different moral beliefs...which goes both ways.
          I think that being a family run company with personal beliefs has helped HL be a positive influence in communities in ways that others haven't. From what I see, they take corporate responsibility very seriously and don't rely on corporate handouts to keep their business profitable or their workers fed (coughWalmartcough). I doubt their decision to appeal the mandate was one done lightly, and though I don't agree with everything they stand for, I do respect that they have stood against something they believe is murder.
          But like I said, the main reason I replied was because it was just so far from the truth. Twisting truth is done by media (and people) that profits from division, discourse and tragedy....and when people believe it, that's an equally sad tragedy. 😦 😦

          December 1, 2013 at 3:18 am |
        • beckajayne

          Ooops, for some reason it changed my name. 😮 I promise I'm the same person, haha

          December 1, 2013 at 3:19 am |
  11. gailwallace55

    Thanks for pointing out the danger of making this all about some kind of magic formula. While I agree that Dave Ramsey has some solid financial advice to offer, his lack of knowledge about the systemic issues related to poverty and privilege are appalling. I was very disappointed in his response to the criticism. Rather than showing humility and a desire to understand, he was indignant and patronizing. He has lost this listener for good.

    November 30, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • Nelson

      Notice what Dave Ramsey said. "The only variable in the discussion you can personally control is you." Sure, there are injustices in our society. Sure they should be eradicated. Even so, the message that needs to get out to the inner city homeless is that they do have hope. They can succeed. They can take control of their lives. The people, like Jesse Jackson, who profit by pushing the message that young black men have no hope of succeeding because of societal injustice have done more to create poverty than anything else in our society. If Dave Ramsey's message of hope and personal responsibility could be internalized by the poorest in our society, we might not abolish all injustice but we'd be a lot closer to that goal than we are now.

      November 30, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Liz

      So, now, being indignant is a crime?

      December 2, 2013 at 12:10 am |
  12. Mike Lindstrom

    I am a Ramsey fan due to the fact that Financial Peace University has changed our lives drastically. That said, our household brings in more than MANY others. I do wish the wealth-building aspect of Ramsey's work was played differently. I always harken to the issue of building bigger barns and the fact that if Jesus returns and the hungry have not been fed, what good did that wealth do anyone?

    That said, I also wish Evans gave more attention to the aspect of generosity that is often discussed and promoted by Ramsey. Being a suburbanite myself I am thankful to see people who have significant household incomes moving away from consumer debt. It doesn't guarantee a move away from consumerism, but it is an important first step. Once we begin to delay our gratification in regard to getting more "stuff" – delineating between wants and needs – the more room we give the Spirit to move in us and call us to meet the needs of others.

    My concern here is that the bashing of Dave Ramsey causes those of means to dismiss the call to better stewardship. Highlighting the dilemma of the poor is not enough to bring about the change needed to address the systemic issues. The Body needs the various gifts in order to fully function – the gifts of helping people of means find financial peace and the gift of prophecy that points to a lack of financial peace in our society that those of means can help overcome. What good will it do if consumer debt continues to move more people into the ranks of the poor when their world crashes down around them? How much good could it do to move into a great sense of generosity? We need both and we need then working together. Unfortunately, our culture is to talk about each other on blogs and talk shows, thereby giving others reason to dismiss us all.

    November 30, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • Cheryl

      Well put!

      November 30, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
  13. Pharmermike

    Really well written opinion! Thanks for writing a biblically-based opinion piece!

    November 30, 2013 at 11:45 am |
  14. JW

    "When people working 40-hour weeks at minimum wage jobs still can’t earn enough to support their families, there are systemic injustices at work."
    I think part of what Ramsey is saying, is that based on choices made (drug use, whether or not to drop-out of school, etc), they relate directly to minimum wage jobs. Let's face it... some people do face injustices. But I would agree that MOST of the poor in America made bad decisions growing up that have directly resulted in them being where they are today.

    November 30, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      You might look at the employment figures, JW, and look at what most of the available jobs are really like and then come to an informed conclusion about whether there are places for all of the poor even if they did make the best choices and the best use of opportunities available to them.

      November 30, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • Still Poor

      Really? "Most" poor people today are poor because they made bad decisions growing up? How ignorant.

      November 30, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • Occupy Christianity

      Just curious...do you have statistics to back your assertion that "MOST of the poor in America made bad decisions growing up", or is this just a predisposition, based on things going on in your head rather than any actual research?

      November 30, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • cam

      JW, have you ever been poor? We all have equal rights under the law, but we certainly do not have equal opportunity. A child growing up in a well-off family theoretically has enough to eat, parents who have time for him and an education from a good school system. While he is growing up he engages in sports, and the expectation is always there that he will attend college.

      Let's now take an impoverished single mother of three. She is probably working 50-60 hours a week just to make ends meet. Her oldest child is probably the caregiver for the younger two, so there go the afterschool sports. Mom is too tired to talk about college, and the kids are probably not in the best of schools. The reality is that many teachers and administrators in inner city schools will be happy if the kids ust graduate high school, much less colllege. If a kid is raised in a cycle of poverty it takes a strong will to break it. This is not about poverty being a choice, or welfare moms having kids to get the checks. There are always going to be takers, in every society. This is about a system that's broken, and a country that cares less and less about the people at the bottom of the economic ladder.

      November 30, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
      • JustLiberty

        Thee are many single parents with three kids whose spouses left them or died or have other serious issues. However, MANY of them made the single bad decision to have children before they were in a stable marriage and maybe before they got even a high-school education. That is a huge bad decision which almost guarantees poverty for the individual and his/her children.

        December 1, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
    • Bob Smith

      Yeah. Some kid that goes to school in some substandard school area, that then can't afford college, hasn't been taught how to go to college, and had to make a choice between taking care of his/her aging parents or struggling as a poor person hoping to be able to go to college must be making bad choices. Yep. The just so story works like that. Uhh huh...

      I think what is missing here is the other half of the argument.. that the rich somehow deserve their wealth or did things to earn it. Well I can say I am not close to poor but some of my good fortune had nothing to do with choice but blind luck.

      November 30, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • Dan

      I am living proof that you can go from comfortable to poor in a very short time. Corporate downsizing, a layoff and a divorce can lead an educated person very poor through no fault of his own, or any bad decision making. Life throws some wicked curves at all of us.

      November 30, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
      • Dan

        *make, not lead

        November 30, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
  15. modernenglishschool

    Brady, your post makes no sense, as is usually the case with those who do not actually pay attention to real statistics. Maybe someone in your past, perhaps a professor, or someone who practiced sound logic hurt you or someone in your family in the past. The problem with disputing anything related to Christians is that they get so defensive that they forget how to engage in actual debate...assuming, of course that they were ever capable.

    November 30, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • Liz

      Your snarky put down in the last sentence demonstrates that you yourself know nothing about the spirit of true debate. Learn something before taking cheapo potshots at others

      December 2, 2013 at 12:21 am |
  16. Steve T.

    Interesting. I am a liberal Presbyterian pastor, have never been labeled as a evangelical. I followed Dave Ramsey's advice in FPU and got out of debt in less than 6 months, paid off a second on the house in 12 months and paid cash for a new car, and a new rv. I used his program not for a theological lesson on poverty and wealth, not for discussion of economic injustice but rather simply for the financial advice. Think about it, it is call Financial Peace University.
    I am a proud graduate of his program and have used it in my church and it works.

    November 30, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • Occupy Christianity

      I applaud your using Ramsey's methods to escape debt...all of us who can should do so! But you've got to realize that you actually have to possess enough resources to subsist in order to do Financial Peace University. For those living in poverty, Ramsey offers nothing.

      November 30, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
      • Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

        This blabbering fool gets money for preaching. Do you really believe he has any idea of how anyone else lives? You know, people who actually have to produce results or be fired?

        November 30, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
        • JustLiberty

          So exactly why is he a blabbering fool? By that you mean someone who teaches others? And why shouldn't teachers get paid like anyone else? Especially if they offer wise advice that others actually use and that helps them financially? Perhaps you should pronounce (preach) "blabbering fool" while looking into the mirror.

          December 1, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
        • Bob

          I listen to Dave often, though I'm not a participant in his program, and I've never heard him "preach", only teach common sense financial ideas. I think your bitterness is caused by something else than Dave Ramsey.

          December 1, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
      • Dan

        Absolutely correct.

        November 30, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
      • Jim VB

        You wrote "For those living in poverty, Ramsey offers nothing." Just what more, exactly, is Ramsey supposed to offer? His efforts are geared toward helping those in debt to take whatever they have and make better choices – leading them out of debt. Once out of debt, he encourages them to donate what they can to help those who need it. I'd say that is offering a lot.

        December 1, 2013 at 6:27 am |
    • Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

      Does it never enter your puny mind that you are not a cog in the wheel, but simply grease?

      November 30, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • lol??

      I smell a rat in steve T.

      December 2, 2013 at 9:31 am |
  17. Jim8

    It shouldn't be missed that a guy unloading a Sparklett's truck, or working in a warehouse all day does not need to exercise as much as a guy watching over his polo ponies all day.

    November 30, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • Emily

      You mean, a guy sitting a desk and crunching numbers or designing a circuit or writing a legal brief.

      Most of the middle class do something involving sitting and writing or thinking. Very, very few people have polo ponies in this world, and the people who listen to Dave Ramsey certainly do not.

      November 30, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
  18. Jim8

    It does not take much Christianity to ruin otherwise good advise.

    November 30, 2013 at 11:38 am |
  19. D. David

    FYI – A rich man passing through the eye of a needle does not refer to a sewing needle, it refers to the small doorway cut into the large wooden gates at entrance to the fortified cities of biblical times. These doorways were called the needle gate. So it is possible for a rich man to get into heaven, it will just require him or her to divest some of the baggage, first.

    November 30, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • Judge

      If that's true, why was "eye of a needle" used? That explicitly refers to a sewing needle.

      November 30, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • Brent

      There is no historical, worldly or biblical, account that shows proof of a 'needle gate'. Man has created that myth to go along with his view about being rich. That is fact, not fiction.

      November 30, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • Occupy Christianity

      That is an interpretation that has grown in popularity (surprise, surprise...among the rich). It may or may not be that the passage was an illustration based on the type of gate you are talking about. But there is nothing in the actual words of the Bible to indicate that...the translation of the Greek words is literally "eye of a needle", with no indication anywhere in the Bible that it means anything more than that.

      November 30, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • Sara

      The Camel needed to lower itself in order to get through that gate/door. It could only get through once is made itself lower and then went through. Humility should come with wealth. There is nothing humble the message Dave Ramsey is presenting here. Its very opposite lifting up the rich for their 'good' choices and slandering the poor for theirs. One of the biggest obstacles in Christianity now, and one of the reason many are dropping out of the church, they pride themselves on political stances versus humbling themselves as Christ did when he was here on earth. They care for and worry about the plight of the rich versus caring for the poor. In fact they often mock them and pride themselves on being superior to them. Completely opposite of what Jesus commanded.

      November 30, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
  20. Brady Toops

    Your blog is highly one-sided and sounds a bit reactionary – possibly someone who preached a certain prosperity gospel hurt you or your family in the past. Either way I think Dave Ramsey is into helping people become pro-active with their finances and not believing lies about wealth building often created through a closed minded evangelical sub-culture.

    November 30, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • David

      Did you even read the piece? She acknowledges that Ramsey has helped people and that a lot of advice is sound. What she is doing is pointing out that his positions are in conflict with the Bible. This makes every atheist and non-Christian point that even these two Christian people can't even agree what the Bible says, so why in the world would you submit to it?

      She just has a disagreement with another person, it doesn't mean she's been hurt by someone. That is called an ad hominem attack in the debate world.

      November 30, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • Dale

      actally, it DOES sound a LOT like Ramsey DOES accept those LIES about wealth building found in that evangelical sub culture. That's precisely why Rachel wrote the article. He repeats many of the major tenets of those arguments, pointing to so called "habits" of the poor as evidence of how they're not living right. No question there are people who spend way too much on things they neither need or can afford. Much large is the problem of working full time and still needing food assistance and other help. THat these large companies making billions and paying hardly any taxes can pay so little that actual citizens have to pay up to compensate for what these companies AVOID paying (because things are rigged so that they CAN), is the problem that is often referred to as "the 1%". It's real, dude.

      December 2, 2013 at 9:25 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.