October 11th, 2010
05:08 PM ET

Should pastors provide finacial advice?

Editor's Note: CNN's Soledad O'Brien sat down with Bishop T.D Jakes and Pastor DeForest B. Soaries, Jr. as part of her new documentary Almighty Debt: A Black in America Special premiering Thursday, October 21st 9pm ET on CNN.

Soaries and Jakes give their take above why pastors should get involved in the financial matters of parishioners.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church • Money & Faith

soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Carobe H.

    Actually, the headline and the inference of the article are flawed.

    It isn't the Pastor who is advising on finance. He is merely teaching the Bible as is his job. The Bible, God's Word itself, specifically states that believers should avoid debt and live debt free. Don't believe it ? Read the Holy Bible. God's Word provides much, much, much better guidance than any reporter or news article or fly-by-night scam artist trying to sell you something.

    Debt free living DOES protect you. How to do it ? For one thing, you don't need a new car every few years. Maintain the one you have. You don't need to sell your house and buy an upgrade every few years. Remain in the house you bought and save that 5% sales cost. You don't need expensive vacations every year. Just enjoy your local area or local state and go touring or camping. You'll save thousands. Speaking of saving thousands... kick the tobacco habit and the coffee habit. You'd be surprised how much $$$ you're wasting.

    Follow God's Word..... the Lord Jesus Christ...... and forget about the "news" which does everything it can to keep itself in business by asking such lame questions as "should pastors give financial advice."

    October 17, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
    • Lorraine

      People should try to live within their means when it comes to buying a house, everybodty knows the black man is the llast hired and the first fired, this is not a news fllash

      October 25, 2010 at 3:24 pm |
  2. Bubba

    Clergy are community leaders. Why shouldn't they offer financial advice? Who else can you trust? Brokers and banks only act in their own interests, encouraging irresponsible borrowing and gouging you with fees to rip you off..

    October 17, 2010 at 2:16 pm |
    • Carobe H.

      You're absolutely correct. And the "news media" also acts to make a profit by intentionally asking such lame questions as "should pastors give financial advice." The news media will say / write anything to sell their articles and its wrong half the time.

      October 17, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  3. Michael

    Folks you're missing the point. Your money buys that ticket to heaven and you all know airfare keep going up. On a serious not, people like Eddie should be castrated on the spot and that bentley–well, I'll run it straight into his behind. Time to wake up people and see what these so called religious are up to, " depriving you of your money tops the list."

    October 16, 2010 at 8:18 pm |
  4. Carl Washington

    Just for a point of information Eddie Long who is a Bishop here in Atlanta is being sued for a large amount of money in the million dollar range.
    Now would it make sense for me to go to him with all of the issues he's having,I think not.

    October 13, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  5. Carl Washington

    I won,t go to a chef and ask him how to repair an automobile transmission, and I sure won't go to a auto mechanic and ask him how to prepare Gumbo soup.
    We as Black folkes have to start having a better economical education and we won't get in our schools.
    Most of us are so busy trying to impress other people who don't give a damn about us that we are going broke trying to keep up with the Joneses.
    I dropped out of high school 50 yrs. ago and now with my understanding of money and Real Estate my net worth is $500,000.00

    Wehave to stop thinking about how much we got in our pockets verses how much we got in our Portfolio.

    October 13, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  6. ibelievelive

    Asking a religious leader for any advice outside of religious facts is risky. I take pause when minister offer family therapy or marital advice. Let's face it, ministers are trained in theological study, not psychology. When I think of how many religious leader even get some of the biblical facts incorrect one has to assume that finances and family advice may not be all correct too. I think people just try to go to their minister for these things because the minister can be used as a free resource for many different things but financial advice should not be one of them. Honestly, how concerned with finances should a minister be??? http://www.ibelievelive.com

    October 12, 2010 at 9:45 pm |
  7. Rider

    Ministers have no business giving advice on anything except spiritual issues. They are NOT trained to council anything except religious issues. Remember the young girl who was "counciled" by her pastor about drug abuse? If you don't she committed suicide.

    An aside to those who have posted before I did, stick to the subject and quit bashing each other.

    October 12, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
    • Raison


      Is your "aside" a call for peace and an end to off-topic posts? I kind of agree with that sentiment, but peace is relative and some topics are so completely useless that I have no problem with using the space for useful postings.

      I happen to agree that religious people have no business giving advice on anything, but I would include "spiritual issues" as well.

      October 12, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
    • Peace2All


      I agree..... However @Raison is an atheist. You can just see by his posts. The fact that he doesn't believe in the big G.. Is proof enough for me that he is a sinner...

      Now, lets pray... As @Raison said, that NO advice of any kind spiritual or otherwise is given by these folk.

      October 13, 2010 at 2:52 am |
    • Raison


      Laughing...I confess I can't really tell where you're trying to go with that post...!

      I come back and you've got me wondering...?

      Just agnosticin'

      October 13, 2010 at 3:01 am |
    • Peace2All


      Got you wonderin'...did I..? Perrrrrrrrrrfect....! THAT was my plan..!

      Ha... Take that....! πŸ™‚

      October 13, 2010 at 3:04 am |
  8. William Lockett

    Make that: http://www.myfinancialworth.com

    October 12, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
  9. Reality

    To understand Christian financing, one must get some education in Christian economics (and greed):

    Christian economics 101:

    The Baptizer drew crowds and charged for the "dunking". The historical Jesus saw a good thing and continued dunking and preaching the good word but added "healing" as an added charge to include free room and board. Sure was better than being a poor peasant but he got a bit too zealous and they nailed him to a tree. But still no greed there.

    Paul picked up the money scent on the road to Damascus. He added some letters and a prophecy of the imminent second coming for a fee for salvation and "Gentilized" the good word to the "big buck" world. i.e. Paul was the first media evangelist!!!

    And he and the other Apostles forgot to pay their Roman taxes and the legendary actions by the Romans made them martyrs for future greed. Paul was guilty of minor greed?

    Along comes Constantine. He saw the growing rich Christian community and recognized a new tax base so he set them "free". Major greed on his part!!

    The Holy Roman "Empirers"/Popes/Kings/Queens/evangelicals et al continued the money grab selling access to JC and heaven resulting in some of today's richest organizations on the globe i.e. the Christian churches (including the Mormon Church) and related aristocracies. Obvious greed!!!

    An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue, ( Professors Crossan and Wright are On Faith panelists).

    "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

    October 12, 2010 at 12:48 pm |
    • Peace2All


      Now THAT is my buddy the 'real' Reality..! Sometimes the pseudo-Reality guy, posts and I think I am responding to you, but is actually the other guy... not-Reality.

      You might want to make sure you do some kind of your 'patented' posts like above so we can recognize you. Or... something to let me and others know it is the 'Real' Reality... Wow, I just got lost in some kind of quantum space/time loop with that...!

      October 12, 2010 at 1:12 pm |
  10. Godzilla


    Tell me of your lawyer friends. What did they say?

    October 12, 2010 at 5:56 am |
    • Peace2All


      Hey Big G..! I have not forgotten about our discussion concerning the Rev. Phelps, situation. There is one (attorney) in particular that I want to speak with. I have had other priorities going on, and he has been out of town.

      But, patience my good Monster... Please, keep checking in with me, and we will have more discussion on the legal aspects of that situation.


      October 12, 2010 at 6:26 am |
  11. Raison


    So you would rather be wrong about something THAT important merely to make a point? I would rather not be wrong at all about religion. But give me one...just one teensy shred of proof beyond the cheap writings made by con-artists to fool people like you into giving them money, political power, and a host of other things. How can you not see the obvious?

    October 12, 2010 at 5:04 am |
    • Raison

      whoops! I hate that! I forgot to click on the proper reply link. Grrr!

      October 12, 2010 at 5:04 am |
    • Peace2All


      Ha...! you atheist souless so and so.... You thought you could fool me...! See you are already starting out assuming i am wrong, by your posting But, God gave me the wisdom to recognize when Satan is trying to speak through you to make me lose 'faith'. God is all... that and then some...!

      Because these so-called con-artist's are our 'profits'.. Er... I mean 'prophets' of the Lord God...! HIS word is truth. The bible was written by Him, and Mr. Jesus Christ is coming back.... And you better be ready freddy.... I will pray for you.

      Repent... save yourself now before it is too late..!

      October 12, 2010 at 6:56 am |
  12. Peace2All


    Yeah... the rest of us, learned that lesson a long time ago. Trying to have a rational, logical, reasonable debate or discussion with Mike feels about the same as banging your head against a wall.

    October 12, 2010 at 5:00 am |
    • Raison


      I know. I was involved in some of those attempts in the past – under a different name, of course. πŸ˜›
      btw, I really must apologize for some of the things I have said to you in the past. Some of them wayyyy back.
      I may have even apologized before. And of course you being a nice guy forgave me too easily. For some reason there were times that actually bothered me. I hope you can understand what I mean....?
      Anyway, sorry.

      October 12, 2010 at 5:10 am |
    • Godzilla


      Are you still around? Have you talked with your lawyer friends yet? Any Constltutional Amendments brewing in the works????

      October 12, 2010 at 5:23 am |
    • Raison


      How was Tokyo? Did they feed you this time? Arrgh! Where are the fundies?

      October 12, 2010 at 5:26 am |
    • Godzilla


      I was just in time for the Tokyo International Film Festival. I did not step on anyone this time. My friend Toshiro fed me a swimming pool full of soba and rice cakes.
      Do you know where Peace2all went?

      October 12, 2010 at 5:33 am |
    • Raison


      *sigh* Nope. And I've got to go. Sayonara, Godzilla-sama!


      Taking off.

      October 12, 2010 at 5:37 am |
    • Peace2All


      Gosh darn you Raison.... I 'don't' forgive you for all of those ...wait wut.. things you said under a different name ( you had a different name ???)...wayyyyyy back when...!

      Does that help...?

      What was your moniker back then and what awful attack/s did you sinfully go after me with that you felt the need to 'apologize' to me...?

      Let me know, so I at least know who you were then, and what you apologized about, and what I apparently tooooo easily forgave you for, because i am such a nice guy.....?

      Because... haha..! I will not forgive you so easily now... grrrhh...!

      October 12, 2010 at 6:38 am |
    • Mike

      "Trying to have a rational, logical, reasonable debate or discussion with Mike feels about the same as banging your head against a wall."

      Especially when I provide supporting articles.

      October 12, 2010 at 9:30 am |
    • Peace2All


      I recognize that... was a bit harsh. My 'apologies'. As I discussed above, sometimes your intractableness as everything you say as *absolute fact or truth* is quite often an immediate conversation stopper. Do you understand...?

      Even when you cite typically biased references, and even a few rogue scientist or articles that might agree with your literalist biblical stance. Does that make sense...?

      Again, I 'apologize' for being a bit harsh. That wasn't cool of me..

      Again, again, again..... I will give your postings more serious consideration, and see if there is any common ground I can find, and we can build from there. I would much prefer to start from some kind of common ground than not.

      Other wise, even from your perspective, I would imagine that we ..'are just not getting the truth'...yes..?

      Anyways... talk with you soon.

      October 12, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
  13. Peace2All

    It seems to me the question isn't whether they should or shouldn't.

    They already are... pretty much doing it all the time. "Place your money (lotses of it) into the 'offering' and watch your financial abundance.... skyrocket.!!

    Why, heck, on TV... they are especially good at being financial advisors. When, I was a kid, I was watching old Ernest Angely... anyone remember him...? I wanted to get into my allowance money that i had saved, so I could send it in to him,
    because he said.."send it in and he would make sure that Geeeeeeeeeeeeezus would bless it and I would be rewarded a hundred fold."

    Now THAT is a heck of a ROI (return on investment). My whole $46 dollars... I would have been rewarded a hundred fold.

    I could have started my own church with that money by now....! Shoot....

    And we all know what the fundie clergy say..... what is one of their favorite lines.....? Why of course it is... "Jesus Saves"

    October 12, 2010 at 3:28 am |
    • Raison


      Hi Peace2all!
      Just checking around for any "fundies". You wouldn't be a secret fundie would you? :O

      October 12, 2010 at 4:27 am |
    • Peace2All


      Yeah.. it's a bit late I have been checking around for "fundies" too. The last one I found was someone on the "Is Islam peaceful or not" article.

      But, heck, I'll play....... I will even start...... O.K....here goes..... "JESUS IS LORD..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

      Now you give your response, while I 'stick my fingers in my ears and scream' while you give me logic and actual science and facts. πŸ™‚

      October 12, 2010 at 4:44 am |
    • Peace2All


      Just an FYI.... I posted to you about MIKE on the 'Gaining freedom through faith and good works" article....

      If you don't want to 'role play' with me here.... If you REALLY want a true 'fundie' to play with, Mike is always good for that. As a matter of fact, I am pretty sure, Mike left you about 3 other posts to you...just waiting for your response. πŸ™‚

      October 12, 2010 at 4:47 am |
    • Raison


      Lord of what? You fundies never say! Can you prove anything without your Bible?

      October 12, 2010 at 4:48 am |
    • Raison

      I will not respond to his posts anymore. I gave him more than one chance to show any talent at expressing himself.
      He's had it.

      October 12, 2010 at 4:50 am |
    • Peace2All


      You immoral atheist communist such and suches...! We don't need proof.... God 'just' is... And when we die, if I'm wrong, I've just lived a wholesome good god-fearing life, but if I am right and you are wrong, then...whoa to ye....!!! You will burn the H-e-double hockey sticks place...

      Take that...!!!! πŸ™‚

      October 12, 2010 at 4:57 am |
    • Mike

      So I was reading and I did see my name mentioned. But I don't have anything to comment on this story because I agree with you fully peace on the original post. Good thing we have a Bible to compare what the TV man says. It is very sad that people life their pastors above the word.

      As for Raison, I am sad that he did not finish the discussion in an adult manner. I mean he accuse me of K-mart argue whatever that is, but when I point out his great wisdom of

      "Docu-ments are no good in my opinion." and I make the point Including Laws, Physic Books, Evolution theory papers... even the papers that Reality quotes. Property Deeds, even Paper money is just a doc-ument to reference the gold it is backed up with. I would encourage you to give your "doc-uments" to those that have need.

      Instead of conceding or counter the point, He says β€œI gave him a chance I win”

      October 12, 2010 at 9:29 am |
    • Peace2All


      As for @Raison, while I can't speak for him, but I would imagine that his frustration, is much like a lot of our frustration, when trying to have a rational debate with people, such as yourself, that take the bible as absolute fact. No, wiggle room on anything there. You do understand, don't you...?

      And, as for us, and you totally agreeing with 'my' original post.... You do realize I was kidding, doing a parody....?

      Well, regardless, I'll take it. Because that is probably the first time we have found some common ground. I am actually very happy about that..!!! Good for us..!

      I hope that we will find more common ground on articles and our posts in the future. I will make it a point to take an extra hard look at your postings and really try and understand a bit more where you are coming from.

      Thanks for talking Mike...

      October 12, 2010 at 12:56 pm |
  14. Finacial Bank of Taranto

    Finacial advice is the provence of Canada! We demand that those pasters cese and disit immdiataly!

    October 12, 2010 at 12:31 am |
  15. table for three

    No! Bring us an out-ane topic! Those in-ane ones give me gas!

    October 11, 2010 at 11:50 pm |
    • Not My Table

      Monsieur is perhaps unhappy with ze topical fruits? We have a nice selection of cheese...? No?

      October 11, 2010 at 11:55 pm |
  16. Reality

    Another inane topic!!!

    October 11, 2010 at 11:35 pm |
    • go for their jocular

      Yes! Bring us another one!

      October 11, 2010 at 11:49 pm |
  17. TheRationale

    CNN, could you possibly have bigger typos in your headlines?

    October 11, 2010 at 7:37 pm |
    • CNNN


      October 11, 2010 at 11:48 pm |
    • CNN

      We mean no. Ttheres too many of them!

      October 12, 2010 at 12:25 am |
    • CNN

      What are typos?

      October 12, 2010 at 12:25 am |
    • CNN

      Wait...did you mean today???

      October 12, 2010 at 12:26 am |
    • mgj

      This is the link to this story: "Should pastor's provide finacial advice?"

      Is CNN hiring first-graders now?

      October 16, 2010 at 11:13 am |
  18. Luke

    No. You should not even seek financial advice from most financiers without doing extensive background research and cross referencing with peers. Note that I am a financier.

    October 11, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
    • adams

      i appreciate you answer luke. i'm a pastor and cringe when i hear pastors warn of "financial armegedon." but i read enough finance stuff to know that financiers have been guided by unchecked optimism as the other extreme.

      October 13, 2010 at 11:11 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.