Seminar: Religious Folklore 1 of 3
Better Business Bureau: Summer Ticket Scams
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Welcome to Financial Freedom God’s Way radio, where you will learn, apply, and pass on, Bible-based financial principles and applications so that you and your family will not only just survive, but thrive during these very uncertain times.
Hi and welcome everyone, this is Bob Louder from Christian Financial Ministries, and it is an absolute honor to have you with us—it really is.
- What can you expect to hear during our 30-minute time together today?
- First, let me ask you a question, would you like to know one possible reason you sometimes fail financially even though you believe you are following God’s financial principles? We’ll talk about it during our Radio Seminar time together.
- Then, during our Q&A time together today we’ll see a question from a wife who doesn’t want to follow her husband into the budgeting process—we will talk just a bit about that awful sounding 5-letter word—the Budget.
- Then finally, we have a great scam alert from the Better Business Bureau—we are going to see how we can avoid fake tickets scams to fun family events this summer.
So stay tuned won’t you, you are not going to want to miss a single minute of today’s program.
Now, as we start, as we always start, please join me in prayer to make sure He is the one we are going to hear from during these next 30 minutes. Father, thank You for meeting with us again today. Please give us ears to hear all that it is you have planned for us to hear, to Your glory, in Jesus’ mighty name, amen.
My friend, in all of our times together you can see we are drawing heavily on the Word of God. For example, you have already seen the importance God places on his belt of truth, the logos, the written Word of God—your Bible. And from your Bible you have discovered the two most critical financial principles in all of God’s Word. The first is wealth according to God’s definition which is everything God has ever placed into your spiritual trust account—time, talent, abilities, skills, money, and all the rest. The second critical principle is stewardship which is how you are to manage everything God places into your spiritual trust account.
But for right now and for the next several Radio Seminar times together, I want you to take a step back with me. I want to raise a red flag for you to consider. What kind of red flag?
- Well, remember you—actually you and I and all Christians everywhere—recall that you often tend to get into trouble basically for two reasons. Sometimes you get into trouble because you are entirely too close to the world. Other times, well, other times you get into trouble because you’re not nearly close enough to God. Right?
- You see, sometimes you may think you are close to God and you are following His principles but you still get into trouble. Has that ever happened to you, I mean, you’re moving along in your spiritual disciplines of hearing, reading, memorizing, meditating and studying the Word of God, but suddenly you seem to crash and burn in some financial or material area of your life. Does that sound familiar? Now, why might that be? Well, it could be because some of your material beliefs and actions are based on stuff that sounds spiritual but is not scriptural. This “stuff” is called religious folklore and I’m telling you—sadly, I’m telling you from personal experience, religious folklore can really get you into a whole lot of trouble. Religious folklore can lead to worldly habits that will get you into trouble.
So, let’s stop for a minute so you can learn to recognize and deal with religious folklore. As you do,
- You will discover the definition of religious folklore.
- You’ll see some examples of religious folklore.
- And finally, you will discover how to avoid religious folklore all together.
My friend, according to the Bible, it is always important to see past what you do, to better understand why you do it. Remember, you can do the right thing for the wrong reason, or you can do the wrong thing for what sounds like the right reason. Your goal has got to be to do the right thing for the right reason, which means you need to get rid of all the right sounding wrong reasons. Now that was a mouthful, but you get the idea, you need to get rid of and stay away from religious folklore.
So, what is religious folklore?
- It includes the sayings that get you into trouble when you are not close enough to God. It includes all those sayings that sound spiritual but are not scriptural.
- Let me give you a true example.
- A number of years ago a couple came in for some coaching and some counseling. This couple was a fantastic example of what a Christian couple ought to look like both inside and outside the church. They had a great Christian Family. That is why I was surprised when the husband told me that his wife was not speaking to him, his children were not speaking to him, and that life in their home was an absolute train wreck…all because their out-of-work son wanted to borrow some money to start a business. The dad asked me what I thought about the idea of the mom and dad lending their son some money to start a business. Well, I didn’t jump right in with all my thoughts on the subject, and I had quite a few. Praise the Lord I kept my mouth shut and listened to what they were saying, and then simply asked if they had prayed about it. They said, “Why, yes we have.” I asked, “What did God tell you?” They said they were confused because they had the resources, more than enough resources to help their son, but the husband believed God did not want the family to help the son. I asked, “Why?” The husband said he did not remember exactly where, but somewhere in the Bible is says, “Never a borrower of a lender be.” The dad said, “Bob, just help us find this verse so my family can see the basis for my decision, and that I am not trying to a drag on the family. I am trying to be the best spiritual leader possible by following God’s Word even when it hurts. Bob, where does it say, ‘Never a borrower or a lender be?’” Now, let me ask you, do you know where that’s written…well, I’ll give you a hint, it’s not in the Bible. As far as I can tell, Ben Franklin mentioned it in his “Poor Richard’s Almanac” but it actually comes from Shakespeare. It sounds good but it is not from God. It is religious folklore. Moreover, it was causing a whole bunch of grief for this fantastic Christian family. But it sure sounds good, doesn’t it? You see, there’s a lot of stuff that sounds good, even sounds Godly, but when you begin to apply it to your life, then you slip, trip, stumble and fall and wonder why, because you honestly believe you are doing what God wants you to do, how He wants you to do it.
- My friend, when there is so much that God has to say about money, why do we need to spend part of our valuable time together talking about what the Bible does not say?
- Again, we need to recognize our worldly habits before we can see the need to replace them with Godly habits.
- You saw earlier that you often get into trouble because you are to close to the world. Here you see that you also get into trouble when you are not close enough to God.
Personal opinion: Now, I know I said I wasn’t going to give you any personal opinions, I know, but I’m going to give you one here anyway. Personal opinion: I got to believe that one of these days another boy, is going to throw another rock, into another cave over in Israel, and uncover another bottle, and inside that bottle will be another scroll, it’s going to be that long lost, infamous lost book from the antiquities…the Book of First Opinions. It’s going to happen. You wait. And in that book of First Opinions will be all that stuff that sounds good but never came from God’s Word. OK? OK. Let me share with you a couple more great examples of the religious folklore that will be part of that book of first opinions.
The first one is “God helps those who help themselves.”
- Have you ever heard this? Is this what God says? Absolutely not. He says, “I delight in helping those who can never help themselves.”
- Take a look at Ecclesiastics 9:10 when you get a chance.
Or how about this one, here is a good example of religious folklore…”Money is the root of all evil.”
- Is this what God’s Word says? Again the answer is “NO.” This is not what the Scripture says. As the matter of fact, this has to be 1st Opinions 1:1. This is probably the most misquoted scripture about money in all of God’s Word.
- What does the Bible say is the root of all evil? Paul did not say money was the root of all evil. He said that iy was the love of it that caused all the problems.
- It is not the money you have to worry about, it is your attitude about money that gets you into trouble.
Here is another—have you ever heard this? Poverty is spiritual. You probably hear this one a lot…particularly when the elder and deacon boards get together to discuss their pastor’s salary…”Lord, you keep him humble, we’ll keep him poor.”
- But do you know what? Nowhere in scripture will you find that poverty is spiritual. Listen my friend, if poverty was spiritual you would find a whole lot more spiritual people in the world today. But most are not. And that is not what God’s Word says.
- God’s Word does say, Agar said in Proverbs 30:7-9:
Two things I ask of you, O lord; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.
- What does Agar ask for? Only for his daily bread…only to have his needs met.
- He recognized that if he didn’t have enough, if he were poor, and if his family was hungry, he might be tempted to steal. I mean, wouldn’t you, might you be tempted to steal to feed your starving family? I believe the temptation would be there.
- Now, Agar also recognized that if things were going to well, if he had too much he may become too independent, and not depend on the Lord…remember our “spheres of influence.”
- By the way, remember that there is no moral value to money. Money is not good or bad, spiritual or non-spiritual. Just like debt and credit is not inherently good or bad. Again, it is our attitude that is important.
- No, Poverty is not spiritual.
These are just some of religious folklore examples I have to share with you, Next week I’ll share several others and then we will talk about how to avoid religious folklore.
What’s the point of our religious folklore times together? You need to recognize that the truth of God’s Word can be hard to grasp because you have been exposed the lies of the world for such a long time. You need to become so familiar with the Truth, the Logos, the written Word of God that you can clearly see the difference between words that sound good and the Word that is good—to be so close to the Truth that a lie is readily apparent. Only then will you be able to replace the words and habits of the world with habits based and founded on God’s Word. Only then will you begin to discover Financial Freedom God’s Way is all about. These are going to be great and productive times together…don’t miss next week. And by the way if you would like to relisten to this or any of our programming, simply go to our website at www.christianfinancialministries.org. so, that’s it for financial bondage for this time. Next time—well, make sure and be back.
I am sure you know, husbands and wives often have disagreements, have arguments about money, right. I recall the early days when my wife Debbie and I had some money arguments—only we didn’t call them arguments, because Christian couples don’t argue. So what we did was have times of intensive fellowship. What about you? Have you and those closest to you ever had some times of intensive fellowship centered on money? Have you? My guess is that yes, you have. Let me share with you a couple of questions from wives that I’m sure came from times of financial intensive fellowship with their husbands. Here’s the first question:
Bob, my husband believes we ought to be living on a budget but he cannot explain to me what a budget is much less how to live on one…we need some help
- Sara, I have to tell you—to begin with, the best thing I can tell you abut a budget is that everyone already lives on a budget in one fashion or another. Let me explain.
- For some people, budgeting means they spend until all the money for that month is gone, but they determine not to spend more than they make. This form of budgeting seems to work well until the car breaks down or they lose a job for a while. Then what happens is that they rationalize the use of debt as a necessity they could not avoid.
- On the other hand, some people spend all they make and then they plan to live on credit cards to fund their monthly deficits. They realize they have a problem but rationalize that they just do not make enough money to get by.
- Then, a smaller segment of our population makes enough money to be sloppy and get away with it. Yes, they may overspend, buying expensive indulgences, but they can cut back and pay their way out without much pain. However, they also are the ones who wonder how they can earn so much but never seem to have any money.
- The bottom line is that everyone lives on a budget of some kind…the question is, what kind of budget should they live on.
- You see, a budget is nothing more than a short-range plan for how you are going to spend your money. A budget should not restrict your freedom to enjoy life—it should help expand your life. “You may ask, “Just how can living on a budget expand my freedom?’ By helping you live within your means and not go into debt. That’s freedom. Those are steps long the path to Financial Freedom God’s Way. If you are already in debt, a budget will help you out of it. A budget is not magical, and living on one will not permit you to spend more than you make and avoid debt. But a budget will tell you when you have spent all you can afford to each month in each category, such as entertainment, food, and car expenses. A budget also tells you how much you must save each month for one-time annual expenses, such as car insurance, property taxes, clothing, and even Christmas shopping.
- What I find is that the simplest budget system is a series of envelopes, one for each spending category. All you do is write on each envelope the amount to be allocated from each paycheck, and put that amount of money in each envelope. The key to making this system work is not to rob one envelope to feed another. If you do, the money won’t be there when you need it, and you will eventually have to borrow.
- Obviously, most people today use checking accounts—I do, you do, I’m sure most of us have a checking account. A budget can work equally well with a checking account. Instead of envelopes, an account sheet is used for each category of expense. When you spend, simply subtract the amount from the appropriate account sheet. Thus the account sheets determine your spending, not how much is in your checking account. A surplus in checking does not represent a windfall profit. It is a budget money that has not yet been spent.
- The bottom line is this, Sara, if you and your husband are going to budget you must first understand what a budget can and cannot do for you—understanding the basics of budgeting is a great way to start.
- Now having said that, if you prayerfully believe the Lord is calling a budget into place in your life, give our office a call, we have trained folks who can help you.
So, that is a good overall view of what a budget is—I doubt any of this was a surprise to you. Now, let’s build on what we know by answering another question—Here is the question.
Question: My husband thinks we need a budget, but I don’t see the purpose. I manage money rather well and don’t spend more than we make, and I think a budget will be too restrictive. However, I want to be open to what the Lord tells us to do. So my question is this: Are there scriptural reasons to budget?
Great question. What if anything does the Bible say about budgeting. I mean, I know that Larry Burkett, Dave Ramsey, and a whole host of other folks talk to us about the need to budget. But what does the Bibles have to say?
- First of all, we find in the Bible that the purpose of budgeting is to free you up, not confine you. God expects you to be a participant in the budgeting process, not a mere observer. As Proverbs 16:1-9 says, “The mind of man plans his way but the Lord directs his steps.” Therefore, as we apply practical concepts of handling our money—in other words, a budget. God provides godly wisdom. It should free you from worrying about whether the annual insurance payment will be made, whether you put enough money aside for the taxes on your home, and whether enough money will be available to buy the clothing and the food your family is going to need.
- If those are not problems for you, you are among the fortunate few. These are problems for the majority of Americans, and they may well be problems for our children when they have families. If you are not willing to live on a budget, and help your children do the same. Then your children will tend to reinvent the same negative wheel that you di and struggle because you are not living on a budget. A budget can be a treat teaching tool as well as a good measure of self-discipline
- Scriptural guidelines for budgeting can be found thorough out God’s Word. For instance, Proverbs 27:23 says, “Know well the condition of your heards, your flocks and your fields. Now, if you do not have any heards, flocks, or fields to manage, you may think that this doesn’t apply to you. Oh yes it does. you do have things like your savings and checking accounts, your home, your time, your talents, abilities, skills and all the rest. You need to know well the condition of your clothing budget, your housing budget, and your food budget.
- Furthermore, a budget can be used to develop good communication between husband and wife. It is one of those issues you can sit down together to discuss, and then come to a reasonable compromise. A budget is really very simple. You have a given amount of money to spend. A budget helps you decide how you are going to spend it. A budget is a basic requirement to help you manage the wealth that the Lord places into your spiritual trust account.
Scam alert from the BBB
|Many of us are looking forward to some fun festivals this summer. As usual, scammers are finding ways to take advantage of the building excitement. This time, they are cashing in with phony tickets—and even fake events.
How the Scam Works
You see an amazing deal on tickets to a summer festival in your area, usually through a link on social media. The event promises live music, all-you-can-eat meals, craft beer or wine, or other fun activities.
When you click the social media link, it takes you to a professional website with fantastic pictures. You enter your credit card information to buy tickets, and you think you are all set.
However, BBB Scam Tracker has received numerous reports from people who either purchased fake tickets to real events or bought tickets to events that never materialized.
Now, how can you protect yourself from this Scam?
- Do some Research before you buy. Search online for the name of the festival and make sure the name advertised matches the website. Scammers often use names that sound similar to those of real festivals.
- Check for (working) contact information. Be sure the festival website has a real phone number and email address.
- Watch out for prices that sound too good to be true. There is no way a festival can offer tickets at extremely low prices without losing money. If the prices are much lower than elsewhere, it’s likely a scam.
- Pay with a credit card. You can dispute the charges if the business doesn’t come through. Be wary of online sellers that don’t accept credit cards.
- Avoid tickets sold on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and other free online listings. Scammers are skilled at providing realistic tickets and fake receipts. Check out third-party ticket sites at BBB.org before making purchases.
- The bottom line is this, take reasonable, even prayerful steps to avoid fake events and phony tickets.
So, that just about wraps up our time together today,
- You have a great start in learning to keep away from religious folklore.
- I pray our budgeting Q&A was helpful.
- As well learning how to avoid the summer fun ticket scam that’s started up.
Next week, well next week we will continue talking about religious folklore, you will have a word or two from Dave Ramsey and Mr. John Maxwell, plus another Q&A or two.
Finally for this week, let me close as we opened and that is with a word of prayer. Father, thank You for bringing us together today and for all the days to come to Your glory, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Have a blessed rest of you day and we’ll see you next time for Financial Freedom God’s Way radio.