Get thee Behind

I am confused. Really and truly confused, don’t get me wrong I have no issue with the church any church wanting to help their members, but I thought this was part of the deal. Isn’t this what you sign up for? Join the club and gain some benefit other than automatic bliss and life in the hereafter. No? Well I bet you don’t sign up to be scammed.

Do not mistake me, I am all for the idea of individuals seeking out and finding solace in personal faith. Whether that faith ends up being Christian or otherwise is frankly not my business and of little interest to me. My only interest is they are comforted and lifted up by their beliefs. Well admittedly, I have one other interest; those who find religion and faith keep their beliefs from infringing upon my personal right to freedom of and from religion. I am perfectly happy to celebrate with them their happiness in finding joy, just not in the public domain.

Back to my confusion though, in recent years there has seemed to be a plethora of new business models focused on the Christians among us. I wonder to myself every time I hear the advertisements for these businesses, what are the drivers and the justifications:

Christian Lending

Christian High Risk Lending

Christian Tax Preparation

Really? The above are just three of my favorites; these seem contrary to Biblical teaching.

Starting here on Lending:

“You shall not charge interest on loans to your brother, interest on money, interest on food, interest on anything that is lent for interest. You may charge a foreigner interest, but you may not charge your brother interest, that the Lord your God may bless you in all that you undertake in the land that you are entering to take possession of it.”  Deuteronomy 23:19-20

Now there arose a great outcry of the people and of their wives against their Jewish brothers. For there were those who said, “With our sons and our daughters, we are many. So let us get grain, that we may eat and keep alive.” There were also those who said, “We are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards, and our houses to get grain because of the famine.” And there were those who said, “We have borrowed money for the king’s tax on our fields and our vineyards. Now our flesh is as the flesh of our brothers, our children are as their children. Yet we are forcing our sons and our daughters to be slaves, and some of our daughters have already been enslaved, but it is not in our power to help it, for other men have our fields and our vineyards.”   Nehemiah 5:1-13

Then looking here on Tax payment and the authority of Government:

Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.  Romans 13:2

Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.  Romans 13:7

So I did a bit of investigating for myself, I thought well this is interesting do they lend based on some principle I don’t understand or file taxes based on rules different than the ones I follow. Do they only lend to professed Christians in good standing? File taxes for those of their own faith? How do they know, do they call a pastor at the church you attend? There are hundreds of Christian denominations, what if you don’t follow the same denomination what if you follow one distinctly different from the lender or lending officer; will this be a problem?

What I found is I couldn’t find anything, when I typed “Christian Lending” into Google Search this is what I found as the top three:

christianlending

Of these the first was a very pretty website, glossy and what you would expect I think. The site provides mortgage tools, testimonials and a contact page. What it doesn’t provide is links to Christian Lenders or any Lenders for that matter.

The next one is even more interesting, no matter which link you follow you go nowhere but another obscure page within the same site. The front page is a terrible yellow page with three links, all of which take you to this site. This site is nothing but articles, cross linked to more articles. Information you could find anywhere else on the web but with a few “Christian” quotes thrown in for good measure. If you scroll across the top tabs you find yourself mired in the selling machine for bonds, mutual funds, stocks and bad college options. Doesn’t sound terribly Christian to me, but then what do I know.

teananalyst

Finally, we come to my favorite, the last in the list a complete scam if I have ever seen one. Suck you in and without even a by your leave you get a blurb about what a ‘High Risk Lender’ does and then this.

ChristianNet

So what I ask you exactly is a Christian Lender? I certainly couldn’t tell by the top three Google searches.

Tax preparation, seems to follow the same line of thinking though not nearly as slick. At least these gentle souls promise to do your taxes with ‘integrity’. I am not certain what this means, all the top three tell you is they are Christian and will apply Christian ethics to your tax preparation. Does this mean they will ‘render unto Caesar’, or something else?

christiantaxhelp

I don’t mean to be snarky or ugly. Many of my best friends, favorite bloggers and closest family members are believers. Not just Sunday go to Meeting believers, but true walk in the footsteps of The Christ believers. I love them for their great faith and the wonderful example they set for others, myself included.

My problem is when I hear these advertisements on the radio or see them in the local newspapers and think of the people who are sucked in, believing they have found help. When what they have really found is just one more Shady Huckster willing to put on the mantle of holiness to strip others of their worldly goods at their time of greatest need.

All I can think, what the Hell is wrong with this world.

Comments

  1. I just wanted to read this post again, it is that good 🙂

  2. In my city there is a carpet store called “Christian Flooring” Figure that one out. (and no, it’s not a last name, they have that fish symbol on their ads)

  3. You are saying what many actual practising Christians feel… though I’m not one – CK Chesterton once wrote “It isn’t that Christianity has been tried and found wanting – it’s never been tried..”
    This Christian capitalism hasn’t crept in here yet, but since everything reaches us in the end from Coke to Kentucky Fried Chicken,, .maybe the Kardashians and Capitalist Christianity will get here soon….

    • Feel fortunate Valerie! You don’t have the Kardashians or Christian Capitalism, though truly if you have The Church you have the first arm already. I must agree with Ck Chesterton, though except practiced on an individual level it hasn’t been tried.

  4. Val, why do any of these kind of businesses have to have Christian attached to it. Feels more like an exclusive club, rather than inclusive. Do they bar Jews and Muslims from their services? What about Buddists? It’s just weird. It seems as though, since segregation is illegal, some folks find other ways around it. I know any kind of business with Christian in front of it, makes me feel excluded. Not something I want to try. But maybe I’m wrong and their intentions are completely innocent.

    • That was what bothered me Monica. When started hearing these adverts more and more, though I knew they were out there already they were getting more aggressive. It led me to try to do some research, what I found bothered me. It bothered me not because it felt exclusionary though. It bothered me because it felt as if these businesses were trying to take advantage.

  5. I tend to agree with poet365’s comment.

  6. Deuteronomy is in the Old Testament and since we are living in the new one, according to Christian folk, it’s okay to charge interest and taxes to other Christians now. Least that’s my understanding but my comprehension may be wrong but I don’t think so. Uncle Sam and IRiS are the law of the land, so I don’t see any Christian folk making a big fuss at the local grocery store when they pay taxes since they wanna eat.

    The money changers in the bible ripped folk off and so here are the radio stations. Seems to be a movement of sorts but there’s a lotta movement in all sorta directions. I get lost myself sometimes.

    • Leviticus is also OT, doesn’t stop anyone from pulling those laws out when it is convenient. I don’t know Totsymae, I found other quotes from the NT as well, these were simply the most comprehensive.

      I think you are right, here it is the television and radio stations, oh and internet. I am just so confused.

      • Well, you know Michael aka Satan, is the king of the airwaves. It is written and that ole Satan, as said by Bible folk, is the master of confusion. I don’t think we could ever live a total holy life. I was amongst, supposedly, some very holy folk in Saudi and while they dress this way and that, pray multiple times a day and whatnot, when they come off their knees, they stand up and their insides are like anybody else’s I knew. Bible thumpers tend to use the Bible to their convenience to judge other folk or take advantage of them. We’re all flesh and trying to find our way. I don’t pay attention to them.

  7. That’s what you call a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Wear whichever mask sucks them in…

  8. In my view it seems that sharks are everywhere these days but then this is the nature of the world in general, at the end of the day it doesn’t matter a jot who is doing the lending, if payments are not met on time or there are difficulties then Christians or not those halos will be slipping left, right and centre 😦

  9. Just saw the perfect image, but can’t post it I don’t think. Here’s the link:

  10. Wait a minute. Not all Christians practice the principles? Damn.

  11. As in many business they seem to want to through Christian into the title – me thinks so that you will “trust them” and they don’t have to worry about being transparent in how they intend to process “your” transaction. I tend to find the @ sign copyright name somewhere on the site, and then follow the trail and the trail of the directors, and generally gut proves true because there always seems to be yet another company behind (or many). Always follow the money trail.

  12. The money lenders were thrown out of the temple and wound up on the internet.

  13. When they say “Christian lending,” they mean you’ll have to recite a prayer with them before you sign the contract, and if you don’t pay up on time for the full amount, they’ll threaten to send a bunch of Muslims to your house to take your guns and your Bibles and give them to Joe Biden.

  14. I will not put my tongue in my cheek, albeit my natural instinct. When the religion calls for its followers to be sheep, it stands to reason the wolves will hunt the flock. Plain and simple. To me, this is Darwinism at its finest.

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