The Baby With The Bath Water

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of the ideas that Dave Ramsey espouses, including his latest effort called The Great Recovery. Today I saw someone I think highly of post on Google+ that they believe that supporters of The Great Recovery would not be helping the country, but instead could be hurting friends and family. I was flabbergasted at how they could draw this conclusion and I don’t agree with it, even after a healthy discussion in the comments of their post, but I think the idea warrants more discussion.

The idea behind The Great Recovery is pretty simple. From thegreatrecovery.com:

The Great Recovery is a grassroots movement spread by people who are tired of looking to Washington for answers. The truth is that the government can’t fix this economy. It’ll be restored one family at a time, as each of us takes a stand to return to God and grandma’s way of handling money.

Together, we’ll bring this country back on track—one family, one church, one community at a time.

I don’t know about you, but I’d agree that the current system is broken and that if we keep waiting for politicians to fix our lives we’re going to be waiting a long time. Instead of looking to the government to fix the economy The Great Recovery suggests that a better way is for each of us to “return to God and grandma’s way of handling money.” That is where my friend found fault with the plan. Why? Because by and large, churches are opposed to gay marriage. What? That website didn’t mention anything at all about gay marriage, did it? Nope, not one word, but people will draw their own conclusions and create conspiracy theories.

Yes, The Great Recovery is a movement that is centered around churches. Dave Ramsey is a born again Christian and at times cites bible passages as a reason for being fiscally responsible. He believes in the power of the church and the work that it can do. At this point you’d assume that if I’m a Dave Ramsey fan then I must be someone who goes to church every Sunday and thinks that it can do no wrong. Well, you’d be incorrect. I’m not religious by any stretch of the imagination and can certainly find fault with the way that many denominations treat social issues, including gay marriage. In fact, I wholeheartedly support the idea of gay marriage.

But Todd, if you support the idea of gay marriage and most churches oppose it, then how can you possibly support this movement? Wouldn’t that make you a hypocrite? I don’t believe so. I think that if you’re willing to look you can find fault with any and everything. I don’t think The Great Recovery has anything to do with opposition to gay marriage, the Spanish Inquisition or any other church-related badness at all. I mentioned in yesterday’s post that in my own life there are people who have certain traits in people I know that I wish to learn from, but I don’t necessarily want to be the whole person. That’s the same way I feel about the church. Yes, there are things that I don’t like about it, but I also believe it does a lot of good and to overlook that would be throwing out the baby with the bath water.

I think The Great Recovery is centered around churches for two reasons, yes, one would be because of Dave’s strong faith, but the second is because throughout most of the country, churches are community gathering places. They’re a place for people to gather and share ideas, and for the most part they’re a place where people are helping each other. I know a lot of people don’t like Dave Ramsey or his ideas, but they’ve made a dramatic impact on my life and I’ll continue to support them, not because I’m a mindless ideologue, but because they work. I’m a proud supporter of The Great Recovery, despite the fact that I’m not an avid churchgoer, because I believe that each of us has the power to change our own lives financially and that if enough of us take positive steps the economy can turn around.

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