Jewish Journal

An altar call to cut up that credit card

by Brad A. Greenberg

July 21, 2008 | 2:45 pm

All you really need to do to avoid credit card debt is live within your means and pay the full bill every month. If that’s beyond your reach, you can leave your cut-up credit card at the altar. From the Washington Post:

“If we want to have victory, we have to come out of financial bondage,” the Rev. John K. Jenkins of First Baptist Church of Glenarden shouted during a recent sermon.

Ordinarily Jenkins’s sermons are about spiritual freedom and ridding one’s self of sin. But his message has taken a different turn lately—one that preaches the dangers of overspending and debt.

The sermons are not unusual. With the country on the cusp of a recession and many people burdened by the mortgage foreclosure crisis, skyrocketing gas prices and rising grocery bills, religious leaders across the Washington region are increasingly ministering to their members about financial responsibility, encouraging them to control their spending.

“We tell our members, don’t buy dresses and shoes, take trips, all on credit,” Jenkins said in an interview. “It’s killing us.”

Agreed. We should be good stewards of what God has given us. I just wish folks didn’t need their pastor to tell them to be financially responsible.

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Since launching the blog in 2007, I’ve referred to myself as “a God-fearing Christian with devilishly good Jewish looks.” The description, I’d say, is an accurate one,...

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