OK. I know. I’m playing with fire. But this blog is intended to be controversial and challenging. And what could be more controversial and challenging than scrutinizing religion and money?
I especially love “Christian financial planning”, because Christ was quite clear on His financial plan: sell everything and give it to the poor. (But then do the newly enriched poor have to do the same? That’s true trickle down!) And then there’s Jesus’ analogy of a camel trying to go through the eye of a needle having better odds than a rich man attempting to enter Heaven. Not being a Biblical literalist- since I can’t read Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek -from everything else I’ve read about him, I think Jesus was referring to attachment to or obsession with or love of money (or any other ego attachments for that matter) not just the mere possession of it. With no attachment to material wealth, one would indeed gain more happiness relieving suffering by giving than from clinging to wealth. Hence the camel metaphor. Some suspect a mistranslation, that instead of “camel” (kamilos) the word was “rope” (kamelos). The metaphor still gets the idea across as neither object is easy to push through the eye of a needle. So why would a Christian financial planner encourage clients’ attachment to wealth and thus prevent their entry into Heaven?
Well, here’s where the split in rationalization occurs. “Christian” is meant to imply “hey, you can trust me!”. But then, every Christian Financial Planning website I’ve reviewed reverts to mostly Old Testament “Biblical financial principles”, (which I won’t get into). That way they don’t have to deal with Christ’s rather simple wealth resdistribution plan for which their services would be unnecessary. Does that seem contradictory to anyone else?