Independence Day: Declaring Financial Freedom
- 2008 3 Jul
When, in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to get it right financially and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, they must stop spending money they don’t have.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of being debt free. That to secure these rights, we must spend less than we make, That whenever any of us becomes destructive of these ends, it is our right to alter or abolish our behavior and institute Biblical principles into our finances, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that we shall not charge usury rates to others. These Biblical principles established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more likely to inflict suffering on themselves by avoiding these truths. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute financial bondage, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off bad habits, and to provide new Guards for their financial security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of God’s people; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former way of handling money. The history of the current way we handle money is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over God’s people. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world:
• Total U.S. household debt, including mortgage and consumer debt, was $11.4 trillion in 2005.
• US Government debt was $7.9 trillion in 2005.
• There has been a 30+ year decline in the percent Christians give -- depending on the denomination, the average giving is 1% – 3½ %. (Source: Empty Tomb Research).
• Churched Christians give away an average of about 3 percent of their income in a typical year – and feel pleased at their "sacrificial" generosity. (Source: George Barna, Revolution)
• Americans spent more on legalized gambling ($2,500 for every American) than on groceries. (Source: Focus on the Family article on the US abstract reports)
• 95% of Christian Educational Institutions (colleges, universities, seminaries and Bible colleges) fail to offer any personal or ministry financial curriculum. (Source: Lilly Foundation Studies)
• Fewer than one out of every ten churched Christians donates at least 10 percent of their income to churches and other nonprofit organizations. (Yet, more than one-third claim to do so.) (Source: George Barna, Revolution)
• Most believers are unable to specifically identify a cause they have ever donated money to that they would describe as producing life-changing outcomes.
In every stage of these financial missteps, we continue to get farther and farther away from the truth. We believe the lies that are told to us by the world. The greatest lie being, "if you buy this, you will be happy." Those that buck this trend are ridiculed for having such a weak understanding of economics.
Nor have we been wanting in attentions to our worldwide brethren. We continue to find ourselves being consumed by consumable items. Are we the consumers or the consumees? If every Christian in the United States would tithe, giving would increase by a whopping $143 billion. Now do some math- the estimated cost of providing basic health care and education to every man, woman, and child currently living in poverty on earth would cost roughly between $70-80 billion.
If just American Christians paid their tithe, we could afford to feed, clothe, and care for the world and have tens of billions to spare. Just a dime off of every dollar! And one thing I've seen in most American churches is that for every family who honestly cannot afford to tithe, there is at least one other family (if not several) that could give 15% or more and not bat an eye-lash.
We, therefore, the Representatives of God’s family, in churches across this country, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United believers are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent financially, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the world, and that all connection between them and the world, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent people, they have full Power to gain control of their finances, establish generous giving, and to do all other Acts and Things which financially Independent people may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
Steve Scalici is the Vice President of Treasure Coast Financial, a financial planning firm in Stuart, FL. He is co-host of God's Money which can be heard weekdays at www.oneplace.com. He can also be reached at his website www.tcfin.com.