Money

Church of England to Install Luxury 'Pods' in Old Churches for Vacationers

"Several Anglican churches in England are preparing to install luxury 'pods' for vacationers within their buildings to defray renovation expenses, bringing together glamorous camping  — 'glamping' — in old churches, which is being called 'champing.'" CPost

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From the Archives: Tipping, Tithing & Grace Giving: Giving in the New Testament

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Today’s Christian gains big-picture understanding of what the Bible teaches about financial giving by learning the Old Testament background and foundational truths related to the subject. This was presented in the previous article. But the New Testament contains the full teaching that guides what we do in the church and in our individual Christian lives. Join me as we survey Jesus’ teaching, the practices of the newly-formed first century church, and the instructions given by the apostles.

Jesus’ Teaching on Giving

Some say Jesus spoke on the topic of money more than anything else. I haven’t personally verified this assertion, but I do know that He had a lot to say about giving. The following is representative of His teaching on this subject.

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Ordering Finances Wisely Part 8: Work and "Using the World Without Abusing It"

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Key Verses

Luke 11:11-13, “If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

1 Timothy 5:8, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (KJV).  (“Infidel” is ἄπιστος, “without faith;” in ESV, NKJV, NASB, NIV, “an unbeliever.”)

1 Corinthians 7:29-31, “But this I say, brethren, the time is short, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they had none, those who weep as though they did not weep, those who rejoice as though they did not rejoice, those who buy as though they did not possess, and those who use this world as not misusing it. For the form of this world is passing away

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Ordering Finances Wisely, Part 7: Becoming Debt-Free

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Why are credit card fees and interest so high?

Credit operates using basically a two-tier system. Tier 1 consists of those who pay no fees or interest. Consumers who pay off their balances on-time monthly pay no fees or interest charges. Tier 2 consists of those who pay fees and interest due paying late, not paying the minimum payment or due to carrying a balance and being charged interest. Tier 2 credit card customers not only pay for their own credit card service, they also pay for the credit services of those in Tier 1.

Any customer may be a Tier 1 borrower. Falling into the Tier 2 category is the customer’s choice.

Another reason for high credit fees and interest is that there is expensive technology infrastructure in place to support the service. The infrastructure includes network expense and computer hardware and software expense. It also includes real-time processing with failover—the most expensive type of computer processing. Additional infrastructure expenses include fraud detection processing and the cost of plastic production and the associated mailing.

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Ordering Finances Wisely, Part 6: Helping Another in Financial Crisis

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Pastors and other leaders are often faced with helping others in personal financial crisis. The crisis may take several forms:

1. job loss whether by layoff or firing
2. a major medical crisis
3. debt at the tipping point
4. divorce or other family crisis
5. death of a spouse or family member
6. societal economic crisis with widespread impact

Job loss, whether by layoff or firing

The income flow stops (as in the case of being fired) or will soon stop (as in the case of a layoff) but the outflow does not. Single income homes are more susceptible to financial impact because the second income of a spouse may cushion the blow.

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Ordering Finances Wisely, Part 5: The Personal Income and Expense Statement

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In various phases of life I have spent money without giving much thought or planning to it. The first was when I was in seminary and I had to have the latest book. A professor would mention a book and I would have to have it. Another was when I bought my first CD player. The first CD I bought was an Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass album. I soon thought I had to have a library of CDs. The third time was when I bought our first DVD player. First, it was “Lawrence of Arabia,” then many more followed. Another phase—and this probably sounds like “true confessions”—is when I had to have the latest modem (2400 baud) or software (Word Perfect) or hard drive.

A single CD, or book, or DVD, or device is not much of a problem, but unchecked anything becomes a spending issue. My wife, who handled our finances during these phases, put up with a lot! Many counselors can testify that finances are a major cause of marital strife. A secular study from 2009 attempted to quantify the effect finances had upon marriages:

Of all these common things couples fight about, money disputes were the best harbingers of divorce. For wives, disagreements over finances and sex were good predictors of divorce, but finance disputes were much stronger predictors. For husbands, financial disagreements were the only type of common disagreement that predicted whether they would get a divorce. (New York Times)

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Ordering Finances Wisely, Part 4: Good Debt, Bad Debt

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Some Christians are completely opposed to borrowing.1 Verses such as Romans 13:8, “Owe no one anything except to love one another” and Proverbs 22:7, “the borrower is servant to the lender” are used to support this position.

My own view is that borrowing is permitted in the Scriptures, since the Scriptures provide regulations with regard to lending (cf. Ex. 22:25; Lev. 25:35–37; Deut. 15:7–9; Neh. 5:7; Ps. 15:5; 37:21, 26; Ezek. 22:12; Matt. 5:42, “from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away”; Luke 6:34). The broader context of Romans 13 speaks of paying “all their due” (Romans 13:7), so the teaching of Scripture is that one should honor debt agreements and pay on time.

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