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Credit cards and alcohol

Posted by Chance on August 23, 2011

Dave Ramsey has a lot of good financial advise.  However, he does not believe in credit card usage whatsoever.  Now, looking at his article he makes a lot of good points, and I can’t disagree with most of them them. I do believe it is possible to use a credit card, reap the benefits, and pay the balance off.  That being said, I do agree with his point about “When you pay cash, you can “feel” the money leaving you. This is not true with credit cards.”

However, my pastor said something yesterday that was quite wise.  Christianity is about principles, not rules.  When you focus on following rules and not principles, you can miss out on following the voice of God. I feel that by saying “credit cards are prohibited”, it amounts to legalism.

Also, the arguments I’ve heard against credit cards seem familiar.  “Credit cards destroy people and families.  So many people use them irresponsibly.  People can’t handle credit cards”.  These sound very similar to arguments against alcohol.  Some Christian denominations believe in abstinence altogether.

I do believe abstinence from both can be a very wise decision for many people.  Unfortunately many people cannot handle either and end up harming their lives.  But I believe a key principle in the Christian walk is that of discernment and hearing God’s voice.  My pastor said it well.  “People want rules, they don’t want to listen for God’s voice.”

I’m not saying that is why Dave Ramsey is saying to not use credit cards, or that he is suffering from legalism, or anything like that.  And after reading the article I want to evaluate how I use credit cards.  But the philosophy of  “never use them, never ever” is not one I agree with, and doesn’t necessarily apply to everyone.


4 Responses to “Credit cards and alcohol”

  1. Josh said

    Yeah, we went through the Financial Peace University, which was awesome. However, when he was cutting up credit cards, we politely nodded while knowing we would ignore that advice. We pay them off every month, and so we’re not too worried about it – it makes paying the bills simpler, and also gains rewards/rebates. However, I do agree about not “feeling” the money leave you.

  2. Lorenda said

    I really like your pastor’s quote: “People want rules, they don’t want to listen for God’s voice.” Sometimes we get so wrapped up in rules, we forget it’s the Relationship God wants us to cultivate.

    So yes, for some people, credit cards should be cut up, and personal prohibition instigated. But those actions should be a means to an end – to remove stumbling blocks – and not a hard and fast rule. If you can use credit and alcohol without it interfering with the important things in life, go for it.

  3. Chance said

    Thanks for the thoughts, guys (or guy and gal). Yeah, I think a key thing is that there is nothing wrong with someone deciding for themselves (or someone encouraging someone else) to put certain restrictions on themselves when it comes to stuff like this. There are certain things I will not do, rules I’ve placed upon myself, but with the goal of doing what it takes to live how God wants me to.

  4. Beckie said

    We use a credit card only because it became the ONLY way many business transactions were accepted. Living on a budget with a set income I have always had a voice in my head reminding me “if you don’t have the money now, you most likely won’t have it later”. My more recent (I’m several decades older than many commentors) voice asks “could I have used that interest amount in some form of offering to another?” For a few cents a day you could feed . .

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