On December 29, Rob at Dollars and Doctrine launched a new network of Christian Finance websites, the Christian Financial Alliance. The concept is simple: Define a set of core beliefs regarding biblical finance and hold ourselves accountable to it. After much thought, study, prayer, and help from other great blogs, he put together a list of 20 Core Beliefs of what the Bible teaches regarding money.
I’ve chosen to join the Christian Financial Alliance. I hold myself accountable to teach and adhere to these fundamental teachings of Scripture in anything I post regarding biblical finance on Provident Planning.
Want to add your blog or site to the Alliance? Read the core beliefs and if you agree, follow the simple instructions below:
Put something on your site stating that you are a part of the Alliance. (How you go about doing this is completely up to you.)
– Post link or link image as badge on sidebar, footer, etc. Or…
– Post link back to this post somewhere on your site. Or…
– Run this information (and 20 core beliefs) as a post/guest post on your site stating that you support the cause.
– Email Rob to let him know that you support the effort and he will add your site to the C. F. Alliance.
How you want to be a part is totally up to you. Anyone can join. There are no restrictions or policing by Rob (you hold yourself accountable). All you have to do is join with the honest effort of adhering to these core beliefs in your posting and teaching, and you are part of the C. F. Alliance! It is Rob’s hope that this network will provide readers with a foundational understanding of biblical financial truth from websites they already trust. In addition, Rob hopes it provides a level of distinction for bloggers who take great pains to make sure they are “accurately handling the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
Christian Financial Alliance Core Beliefs
- I believe Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). My heart, soul, mind, and strength seek to glorify God through the pursuit of Christ, and it is my hope that my life and financial management will reflect this fundamental purpose (Luke 10:27).
- I believe the Bible is the supreme authority and source of truth and instruction for Christians; therefore, I seek to root my financial teaching in the truth of God’s word (2 Timothy 3:14-17).
- I believe stewardship does not equal salvation (Acts 8:20). We are saved by grace alone through faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-9). No financial action can save a soul (Matthew 16:24-26).
- I believe God owns everything (Psalm 89:11) and I am merely a steward of His resources for His purposes (Luke 12:42).
- I believe the heart is the focus of the New Testament’s instruction regarding money (2 Corinthians 9:7). This does not make obedience contingent upon our feelings, but calls our attention to focus on the intentions of our heart (Proverbs 21:2).
- I strive to be rich towards God (Luke 12:21) and not place my hope or trust in riches (Revelation 3:17-19).
- I seek to serve God as my master, not money (Matthew 6:24).
- I believe how we spend our money reveals what our heart treasures; therefore, if God’s kingdom has its rightful place in our hearts, it should show up in our budget (Matthew 6:21).
- I believe prosperity is not the purpose of Christianity (John 6:29). It is a gift that God may or may not choose to give (1 Samuel 2:7), and should be handled with generosity and humility recognizing that to whom much is given, much is required (Luke 12:48).
- I believe Christians are called to be content in all circumstances (Philippians 4:11) because God has given us everything we need in Christ (2 Peter 1:3).
- I believe we are called to be wise stewards of resources (Luke 12:42) but not consumed with a love of money (1 Timothy 6:10).
- I believe stewardship, generosity, and contentment are fruits of a deeper walk with Christ, not ends in themselves (1 John 5:21). I seek first His kingdom and wait for the rest to be added (Matthew 6:33).
- I believe the Bible does not speak highly of the bondage caused by debt (Proverbs 22:7); therefore, it should—if nothing else—be approached with extreme caution (Proverbs 22:26-27).
- I believe Christians are called to be generous (Acts 20:35) to their family (1 Timothy 5:8), God’s kingdom (1 Corinthians 9:14), and those in need (1 John 3:17). After these things, we are free to spend money on ourselves (Proverbs 10:22).
- I believe heavenly reward awaits those who choose to invest in God’s kingdom (Luke 12:33), and whether or not God chooses to bestow earthly reward is up to Him (Job 1:21).
- I believe integrity is more important than financial gain (Proverbs 10:2).
- I believe money can be a blessing and a curse depending on the heart of its holder (Luke 6:44-45).
- I believe that the way we handle our money should be a testimony of our devotion to God not a distraction from Him. (Colossians 3:17)
- I believe there are many things in life that are more important than money. (Proverbs 23:4-5)
- I believe true riches are found in Christ alone. (Ephesians 3:8)
I’m afraid I’m going to be unpopular here, but I fear this is an alliance of people who misinterpret half of Proverbs 22:7. The verse in full is, “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.” If we conclude that it is wrong to borrow money, do we also conclude that it is wrong to be poor? No, the verse is not expressing a moral commandment, but rather the economic fact that borrowing creates obligation and loss of flexibility.
In fact, even the word “slave” is probably too strong (NIV has “servant,” and slaves in the ancient world were often people voluntarily indentured, not at all like the captured-and-enslaved Africans of the 1800s). Despite the popularity of the keyword “bondage,” that word does not appear in the verse.
And what do we make of the fact that Jesus borrowed a donkey?
You’re never unpopular here, Michael – not for me at least.
I hear what you’re saying, but I think your fear is more a fear of the extreme it could be taken to rather than the actual phrasing of point #13. We don’t really find anything in the Bible that’s praising debt. What it does say about debt seems more cautionary. And I know you wouldn’t disagree with the fact that debt should be approached with caution and prudence.
I do agree that bondage might be a harsh word to use there, but maybe it’s not a bad idea. So many people seem to be ignorant of the realities about debt – namely that obligation and the loss of flexibility. Perhaps harsh language around debt may at least catch their attention.
(Founder of Alliance here). I respect your view and willingness to respond honestly, but have to disagree.
– I think calling the CFA “an alliance of people who misinterpret half of Proverbs 22:7” is a little bit of an exaggeration. Item #13 is only one of twenty different beliefs.
– Secondly, we are not saying that borrowing money is “wrong”, just that the Bible does not speak highly of debt and a wise believer will approach it with caution.
– The word “slave” is the NASB translation.
– You are correct that slavery in ancient times was not like the African slave trade, but it was not voluntary servitude (that is called a “bond-servant”). In most cases, slavery was a requirement for debts that could not be paid. Hence the proverb, “the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.”
– Personally, I don’t think “bondage” is too strong a word. You said debt brings obligation and loss of flexibility. I would call obligations and loss of financial freedom bondage.
(related: I don’t believe that we can say that debt is wrong because God tells the Israelites that they will lend to many nations (Deu. 15:6). It would be incongruent to say that it is ok to lend but wrong to borrow.)
I do not have a website but I am an avid student of the concepts of personal finance as emphasized in the Bible. In relationship to the verse about the borrower being the lenders slave, I agree that back in that day it was probably the norm for borrowers who could not pay to become slaves. I have looked at it from a different perspective since going through the lengthy process of debt repayments. In today’s culture
we are the lender’s “dependent” in a way just as a child is dependent upon his parents to provide for him, a person who has to borrow money is like a “dependent” upon the credit card or other entity from which they receive payments for things with just the swipe of a card. When you end up using your current money to pay back the things from the past, you see that your spending, saving, and giving ability is less since you are still having that debt over your head like an authority who still “rules over” you. This is especially true for people who can only make minimal payments to the principal and end up paying lots of interest as well.
Thanks for commenting, Bonnie!