Dave Ramsey Comments On My Post About His New House, His Debt Philosophy And Giving

A few months ago I published a post about how financial guru Dave Ramsey had built a beautiful new multi-million dollar home in an upscale neighborhood in Tennessee.  When I wrote the post I intended to focus more on the fact that Dave Ramsey had built the house without any debt of any kind, and wanted to hold it up as an example of living a financially responsible life.  I thought it was pretty cool that Ramsey was practicing what he preaches, and was living a cash only lifestyle.

Soon after I wrote the post the comments section quickly took a turn, and the comments turned from a discussion of paying cash for a home, or living a cash only lifestyle, to a discussion of the ethics and morality of buying such a big home when you don’t need it, and whether you can be a witness for Christ when you have such wealth.

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There were some comments that I believe made salient points about how we need to guard against allowing our wealth and possessions to become an idol in our lives, and about how we as Christians always need to be looking to Christ for guidance in our lives to make sure we’re being good stewards.

Dave Ramsey's House

Photo  copyright coolsprings.com

There were other comments that I think were extremely judgmental, that were assuming the worst about Ramsey and essentially saying that he was making money off the misery of others and that he wasn’t a good witness for Christ.

I was thinking about closing the comments on the discussion because it was starting to devolve a bit, when Dave Ramsey himself decided to stop by and comment on the discussion to shed some light on the situation.

Dave Ramsey Comments On His House, His Debt Philosophy, Giving

It was obvious from Dave’s comment that he had read much of the discussion, and I’m sure some of it was pretty frustrating to read.  Here is what he said.

I just found this discussion from a twitter link. Wow. Thanks for all of your concern about my soul, my reputation and my witness. Please continue to pray for me because wisdom is sometimes elusive. The teacher in me has to reach out and help with proper biblical and life view points for some of you.

First, None of this is any of your business nor is it your problem, however in an effort to teach I have always been overly transparent. So I will try to help.

1) We tithe 10% of our before tax income to our local church
2) We have a family foundation that God allows us to give many times what our personal home or other items cost, so we give much more of God’s money to his kingdom that we live on percentage wise.
3) No Gary, we don’t have any debt any where of any kind. No corporate debt, no credit cards, no mortgage debt, no blind trusts, and no kind of debt no where no how. Didn’t you hear? I don’t believe in debt.
4) Before making a large purchase of any kind we ask God if that is what he wants us to do with HIS money. Like you I sometimes hear clearly and other times I am not sure. In the case of our home I was very sure.
5) Our home is a very small percentage of our net worth.
6) In the two years we have lived here we have had many many functions to fund raise for ministries, charities, and community causes. Millions of dollars have flowed through those events. We view our home, like everything in our life, as a tool to be used for the kingdom.
7) Yes, it blows my mind how much it costs to maintain a lot of things God has called me to manage. We have a 64,000 square foot office building (paid for) that we spend a lot of natural resources and money to keep operating and from where I came from it is sometimes hard to emotionally grasp the zeros. However, I man up, and step up to do what God gave me to do. It is weird some days though.
8) I used to say ignorant things like “what does anyone need with a ______ like that” when I was immature. Now I have been blessed to see how God uses people who are obedient when they are broke and when they aren’t. I was with a really Godly guy a few weeks ago worth 2.2 BILLION. He gives 300-500 million a year. Some of you sent him hate mail worried about his soul because he bought a $110,000 car. That does not make him wrong, that makes that person silly, foolish, and spiritually immature. Note: God gave HIM 2.2 Billion to manage, God did NOT assign you to help.

Thanks again for your concern and please continue to pray for me as I am perfectly capable of messing this whole deal up. So far though, I am not inconsistent between my message and my life. So far I have managed to keep God First, Sharon Second, my kids third, and serving all of you fourth. I am having a blast and I thank all you who do understand.

P.S. I will not be visiting back to see your comments because I already know what they are: Some get it, Some don’t.
Yours In Christ,
Dave Ramsey

Dave has said a lot in his comment, and I thought it might be good to dive into some of the things he touches on.

Good Stewardship

In his comments Dave mentions that the money is all God’s in the first place, and that they ask God for guidance on what to do with HIS resources before they do anything.   He mentions that like the rest of us he doesn’t always get a clear answer as to how to proceed, but seeking God’s will is important.

So what does good stewardship mean?  It means using what God has given us in accordance with his will, and using it wisely.  It also means working hard so that we can feed ourselves and our families, while having enough left over to help others as well.

17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.  1 Timothy 6:17-19 (NIV)

Wealth And Things As Tools Used For His Kingdom

Dave mentions that they consider their house, and their wealth in general as a tool to be used for His kingdom.  I think that’s a great way to look at how we should view the material things of this world – as merely tools given to us by God to be used to further his kingdom. When they become ends in themselves, they can become more important and we can start to lose our way.

Importance Of Prayer And Seeking God’s Will

Far too often we negate the power of prayer, and don’t even think to seek God’s will for our lives, and in our decisions.  When that happens our own sinful motives far too often crop up.  Ramsey touches on the importance of prayer, and seeking God’s will for your life and the resources he has entrusted you with.

We can make our own plans, but the LORD gives the right answer. People may be pure in their own eyes,  but the LORD examines their motives. Commit your actions to the LORD,  and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:1-3

God Can Use The Wealthy (And The Poor)

I was reading in my Bible study this week about several very wealthy men in the bible – and how they were men after God’s own heart.  There was King David, King Solomon, and then later on I read about some New Testament Christians who had wealth and used it to help others in need.  God can use those who are obedient to his will.

For instance, there was Joseph, the one the apostles nicknamed Barnabas (which means “Son of Encouragement”). He was from the tribe of Levi and came from the island of Cyprus. He sold a field he owned and brought the money to the apostles Acts 4:36-37

Those who have much are called to give much.

We all also remember the story of the widow who gave sacrificially out of faith as well, and how Jesus contrasted that with the showy giving of the pharisees. While God hasn’t entrusted us all with the same financial resources, we can all use our resources to give glory to him.    We should try to avoid giving in order to gain approval from the world or other men, but instead give with godly motives.

Humility And Our Need For Prayer

Despite the fact that I believe it’s OK for a Christian to be wealthy, I believe, and I believe Dave understands, the need for humility and a constant seeking out of God’s will. If we aren’t constantly seeking his will, the things of this world can quickly become an idol in our lives, and the money and wealth can become more important than our relationship with Christ.

No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus.  He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.  Luke 16 :13-15

As the verse says, God knows our hearts.  When we try to justify ourselves in the eyes of others, and use money and position as a justification of our worth, and not our relationship with Christ, that’s when we start to focus more on ourselves and our own self-importance, and not God. It’s something we all need to guard against.

Conclusion

Whether or not you agree with Ramsey’s decision to build such a large house, I think there are things to be learned from this situation, such as our need for Christ, the importance of prayer and God’s guidance in our lives, and our need to be justified only in Christ, and not in the eyes of others through our money and possessions.  We need to focus on Christ.

What do you think about what I’ve written here? Do you think I’ve missed the mark on what can be learned here?  Do you have a different philosophy on whether or not Christians can or should be wealthy, or if they should give it all away?  Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

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Last Edited: 24th March 2014

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Comments

  1. says

    I just want to say that Dave Ramsey really impressed me with that comment. While I disagree pretty strongly with some of his views (I think debt consolidation is often a good call as part of a debt plan, and I personally use cash-back credit cards), this really showed to me his true colors.

    :)

  2. says

    Hey, Peter. I just wanted to say I think you’ve covered what can be learned from Dave’s comment pretty well. I also wanted to say that I hope you realize I was not attacking Dave’s character or trying to pass judgment on him. Many of the commenters didn’t seem to get that and just assumed I was saying some things I wasn’t.

    Also, I would add that having wealth or not having it isn’t the main issue. The bigger issue is how we view that wealth and what we do with it. If we make becoming rich our primary goal – to the point where we elevate it above seeking God’s kingdom and His righteousness first – then we are not following Christ. That is the real danger we need to protect ourselves against, especially in America, and that’s the discussion I was hoping to spark from my comments on that post.

    I think you handled it well, and I hope the discussion can revolve more around our personal struggles with the deceitfulness of riches rather than trying to judge Dave’s heart on this matter.

    • says

      Paul, thanks for your thoughtful comment. I agree that talking about the deceitfulness of riches is an important topic that needs to be discussed. Money can quickly become an idol that replaces God in our hearts, and we need to guard against that happening by always keeping our relationship with Christ first and foremost.

  3. says

    I have personally met Dave on a couple of occasions and been to his Counselor Training and met several staff in his organization. His values he describes on the radio and in his message above are resolute through the staff in his organization. In other words, they “walk the talk”. I think that just wouldn’t be the case if he was a hypocrite.

    I love Dave’s teaching and it has helped put our family on track. I only wish he sometimes wouldn’t wade into the muck with people that really are the lowest of the low. In no way should we EVER be pushovers as Christians, but I think he gets a little hot-blooded pretty quickly when challenged. Even if that challenging is incredibly “stupid” as he likes to use the word.

    I have ZERO issue spiritually with his wealth and his “stuff”. Until I have my life perfect with Christ, I have no time to fuss about his.

    Congrats on the original post getting noticed. Keep up the great work!

  4. says

    Wow Dave just spanked the people who commented negatively. I hope the haters have learned a valuable lesson, don’t judge a book by its cover. Dave Ramsey has gained even more respect from me. I’ll be praying that God blesses his ministry. Great post Peter, I can’t believe he found you through Twitter haha!

    • Pete Simonson says

      When did our standards become so low for what we consider a ministry or a Biblical teacher?

      There is no question that Dave offers some worthwhile information. I love how he helps people with debt, insurance, and dealing with collectors. He empowers people in difficult situations.

      However, since when does a ministry earn millions of dollars for the minister? What does Dave do that he doesn’t receive an earthly reward? I thought he owned a company, hired workers, and charged for a service, all of which are designed to make him money. This is what we want followers of Jesus to think of as ministry? What is wrong with challenging Dave on these claims? Sometimes we don’t “judge” (actually “test the spirits”) because we have the same “planks” and we like them.

      As for the claim of being a “teacher with proper Biblical and life view,” don’t we expect a person who claims this to use the teachings of Jesus in a meaningful way? He loves to quote the Bible, but only the Old Testament. If he isn’t teaching Jesus, isn’t he simply teaching a different form of slavery?

      Has anyone ever heard Dave give an example of a Galations 5 transformation, living to please the Spirit instead of the natural self? I haven’t. In fact, many of his teachings clearly lack this type of transformation. Is there anything that he teaches that requires the intervention of the Holy Spirit?

      Dave seems to be under the impression that spiritual maturity is getting a different answer to an immature question. Instead, doesn’t spiritual maturity usually change the question? For instance, the more spiritual question would be “why would anyone WANT that house?”

      Why do we encourage and empower this? Is there a better example of 2 Timothy 3 than Dave Ramsey?

      How does he get speaking gigs at Christian Churches? Its not that Jesus is silent on money. The problem is that Dave doesn’t like what He has to say.

  5. says

    Congratulation on having Dave comment on your blog, that’s a great accomplishment.

    I think you did a great job of expanding upon some of the themes Dave touched on. Another theme I would like to add is that we are not supposed to be jealous of others. IE “You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor I think Dave said it as “Some get it, some don’t” ” I think some of the negative comments are because of jealousy, but that just my humble opinion.

    • says

      Chris, I would be careful of assuming that anyone making a “negative” comment about such a use of wealth is jealous. Many who said that of the negative commenters also accused them of judging Dave. By saying that someone’s comments stem from jealousy, you also are judging the motives of their hearts. As I said before, it’s much safer to discuss what we may be seeing in our own hearts and struggles rather than trying to determine what’s going on in someone else’s walk with Christ.

      • says

        I never said I was judging them and in my heart I was not judging them, judging them is not my job, as Christians we both know that God’s job. I simply had the hypothesis that “some” of the negative comment were out of jealousy because jealousy is emotion easily associated with wealth and money. God knew this and that’s why he commanded us not to be covetous.

  6. says

    Peter,
    Good job of summarizing Dave’s comment (and cool thing the he DID comment). Once he put his teacher’s hat on, his first sentence put the entire discussion of the right or wrong of him building his house in the right perspective: it isn’t any of our business or our problem. Leave it to Dave to say it like it is.

    • Dale says

      I will have to take exception to what Dave labels as “First.” “First, None of this is any of your business nor is it your problem” doesn’t strike me as being a response of humility. If we are brothers and sisters in Christ, then we are each other’s business and problem, and what each of us do and say have Kingdom effects. So it is righteous to be concerned, but we do have to be careful of being judgmental. I admit difficulty in affirming what appears to be the opulence of the abode, and would think that if it is indeed a conference center that a more humble dwelling on the same estate would be as good a testimony… but then there might be zoning issues, and we can’t know all the factors involved. I am concerned about the deceitfulness of wealth, and prayer and grace is always in order.

      A couple of good books on the issue of wealth that compliment each other well are _The Hole in Our Gospel_, by Rich Stearns, the president of World Vision, and _Generous Justice: How God’s Grace Makes Us Just_ by Tim Keller, who had another book on the New York Times bestseller list for a while, _The Reason for God_. The latter is kind of a play on words: it’s an apologetics work, using reason for God.

      • Kevin says

        It’s funny you say that you should be concerned about him as a brother in Christ… How is his family these days? Have you reached out to let him know you’d be happy to come and help if he gets a flat tire? It’s interesting that the folks who make other’s potential struggles the center of their concern rarely have that person’s back when they have a legitimate need. I suppose a “rich guy” like Dave should be able to afford Triple A, right? By the way, if you ever have a flat and need some help, Hit me up.

  7. says

    Eh, color me unimpressed. I am not that religious of a guy and I think Dave dumbs himself down to appeal to the mass of people who can’t control spending, so I don’t have much experience with his stuff. but…

    “Before making a large purchase of any kind we ask God if that is what he wants us to do with HIS money. Like you I sometimes hear clearly and other times I am not sure. In the case of our home I was very sure.”
    – HAHAHAHAH how many people have had God talk to them before buying ANYTHING nevertheless a mansion? Just say you wanted a fantastic home and I make a s*** load of money lol

    “Our home is a very small percentage of our net worth.”
    – So?

    “7) Yes, it blows my mind how much it costs to maintain a lot of things God has called me to manage. We have a 64,000 square foot office building (paid for) that we spend a lot of natural resources and money to keep operating and from where I came from it is sometimes hard to emotionally grasp the zeros. However, I man up, and step up to do what God gave me to do. It is weird some days though.”
    – Again, God told him to buy this monstrosity so ANYTHING can be justified

    “8) I used to say ignorant things like “what does anyone need with a ______ like that” when I was immature. Now I have been blessed to see how God uses people who are obedient when they are broke and when they aren’t. I was with a really Godly guy a few weeks ago worth 2.2 BILLION. He gives 300-500 million a year. Some of you sent him hate mail worried about his soul because he bought a $110,000 car. That does not make him wrong, that makes that person silly, foolish, and spiritually immature. Note: God gave HIM 2.2 Billion to manage, God did NOT assign you to help.”
    – How many different ways can he say God said it was cool for him to buy it?

    “P.S. I will not be visiting back to see your comments because I already know what they are: Some get it, Some don’t.
    – Adult way of saying I am taking my ball and going home.

    I am not anti-Dave, but this response seemed like someone who can’t just admit that he loves being rich lol

    • Amy says

      “HAHAHAHAH how many people have had God talk to them before buying ANYTHING nevertheless a mansion? Just say you wanted a fantastic home and I make a s*** load of money lol ”

      My hand goes up on this one and I know I’m not alone. I’ve prayed to God on numerous occasions asking him for guidance and he’s talked to me about what I should do. It may not be an audible voice but you know it when you hear it. On the occasions when I didn’t follow His prompting it lead to hardships but I’d like to think I’ve learned from it.

    • says

      I’m with Amy on this one. God is talking to us all the time. We’re just not listening very often. You may want to try asking God for some guidance. When He speaks and you’re listening, it’s an amazing experience. It sometimes takes a while for us to actually recognize when He’s doing the talking though – at least it did for me.

    • Ty says

      I glad you wrote what I was thinking. I am a Dave Ramsey Fan, but just because Dave writes why he bought the big house does not make it true – I think and it is my opinion he is justifying it. I glad he can afford it and paid cash for it, but he should not make excuses for his wants. Go Dave and buy what you want and don’t let no one make you feel guilty. I can afford a better house, car and things but I don’t. I can’t deal with the pressures of people thinking bc I have I should give it to them. I sometime fall prey to feeling guilty, but I thank God for my blessing.

    • Lynn123 says

      Evan,
      My response was the same as yours-laughter. I appreciate Dave Ramsey, but to tell people with a straight face that God personally okayed something you purchased for yourself?

  8. says

    Great post! I read the prev post when you originally posted it, but didn’t read many of the comments. I’m glad Dave responded and I don’t find anything wrong with him building that house. He has proven He will use God’s resources wisely and He will glorify God with them…enough said. And If God sees fit…then what wise person would oppose or judge that??

    Two thumbs up to Dave and two REALLY BIG thumbs up to you Peter for sharing such great content!

  9. says

    I agree that David should not waste his time commenting because as vigoursly as he defends his beliefs someone,somewhere in internet land has a problem with him having and they not. Do I follow all of Dave Ramsey’s views financially… of course not I do what works for my family,but I like that he keeps it real.

    I,m like this when it comes to wealthy Christians….Look at the consistency of their ministry. If it was not blessed they tend to crash and burn after a few months or years. Dave, Like Joel Osteen,Bishop Jakes,Rick Warren, and other people that a lot of people have a problem with have been rocking and conquering land for the Kingdom for years. So I remember the old quote “Only what you do for Christ will last” Keep conquering land and saving souls guys….

    • says

      I have a feeling that success in the Kingdom of God does not look quite like what we think it should. What I mean is that you cannot measure success in the Kingdom the same ways we measure success in the world. A large, highly “blessed” ministry does not necessarily mean Kingdom success.

      Jesus described the Kingdom as upside down. The first shall be last and the last shall be first. He compared the Kingdom to very small things – things that grow not through marketing genius or manpower but through the power of God alone.

      I’m not sure we can really measure success in the Kingdom because we’re so focused on earthly ways of measuring success…

        • sister says

          Paul is not small minded. He is just saying that the only lens we have is the human one. There are other perspectives we can not see. Albert Einstein knew this and I don’t think he was small-minded as you say.

        • HIM says

          Good, well thought out comment…again, name calling…..uh…what VERSE can I look up to verify that THAT is a good, solid Christian teaching??

  10. says

    How awesome is it that Dave Ramsey posted a comment on your blog?!

    I agree 100% with everything said in Dave’s comment, but what I identify with the most is in the first few lines:

    “None of this is any of your business nor is it your problem.”

    People, particularly Americans, spend too much time criticizing others for how they spend their money. They’d be better served focusing on what they can do to bless others with what God has given them.

    • says

      We do have a HUGE problem with the spirit of envy in this country don’t we? Having a president that stirs it up doesn’t help much either. Hopefully we’ll move past this and soon remember that this is the land of opportunity. I recently read an article about how 60% of the forbes 400 started with nothing. Amazing.

    • Mark says

      Shawanda, have you ever listened to Dave Ramsey? All he does is criticize people for how they spend their money! Funny how it’s ok for him to do that, but when anyone criticizes him they are spiritually immature and stupid and idiots…

      • Joe says

        I believe one of the reasons Dave Ramsey took time to read the comments and post here was that this is a heavy theme in his follow up series to Financial Peace University, called The Legacy Journey. One of the first myths he debunks using plenty of scripture is that wealth is wrong or evil. The love of money and the desire to be rich are but money is just a tool, it is amoral. Wealth is a natural result of serving others (including in our work), living within our means and giving a lot away. Stepping back to look at the big picture, Dave Ramsey is supplying a great need in our land. Millions of people are destroying themselves with debt. Money problems are the number one cause of divorce. And best of all Dave points to the Creator and His principles in scripture.

  11. says

    Great post and great job getting Dave to comment on one of your posts! It’s always easier to talk about how other people should live their lives than actually practicing your ideologies. Dave made some valid points and while some people may still disagree with his wealth (or purchases), we should focus more on improving our financial decisions and less on scrutinizing the decisions of others.

  12. Anne says

    If a person has or is thinking of contributing to Dave Ramsey’s wealth, then it does become his business. Discernment is a gift.

    • says

      Dave would be very quick to agree with you on that point. But I don’t think a bunch of nosy commenters on a blog are debating making a donation.

  13. jennypenny says

    I always seek God’s will for any decisions in my life. But I find if I ask repeatedly for guidance on a specific issue in my life, that’s usually a sign that I’m heading in the wrong direction and looking for God to help me justify my actions.

    On the other hand, it’s his money and if he wants to rent a plane and through it out the window he has every right. As long as he’s debt free (because that’s the message he makes his money off of) it’s all fine in my book. He doesn’t preach to live a frugal life forever. His message is to be frugal for a while, so later you have enough money to live however you want.

    • jennypenny says

      Ugh, I meant “throw” it out the window. I should wear my glasses when I’m typing :)

  14. R. Anderson says

    Amazing!!! This man, through the grace and mercy of God, pulled his family out of bankruptcy and through ingenuity and the application of biblical principles was able to gain a significant amount of wealth; yet, people want to judge him for his house. Give me a break!!! I guess all those folks going to heaven will have a hard time dealing with the gold and various precious jewels that make up its foundation. While I’ve never met Dave, his speech seems to match his lifestyle. Many of the people commenting about his house are probably in houses that they can’t afford, yet this man paid cash for his. Really sad. Dave, keep up the great ministry that you have. The Bible says that “your gifts will make room for you.”

  15. Brian says

    Your comments have an overtone of envy and jealousy. This is not a judgement, it is a fact displayed by yourself in your video and your post. After viewing your video a couple of times and reading the post even more, I still do not see what your intent was by throwing out there the fact that a guy saved money to pay cash for a big house, nor what you were trying to accomplish. Who cares if Dave Ramsey built a huge home with cash? The guy walks the walk by giving bags full of cash away due to his gift given to him through the will of Christ. Celebrate the fact that there is a guy out there witnessing to millions of mainstream people everyday in his own special way, and pray for him to continue to spread God’s word in a way only Dave can do it. Celebrate anyone that is spreading God’s word in their own way! It just amazes me that fellow Christians still go out of there way to throw critisism toward other Christians that are successful, give millions away to the church and charities, help millions of people, and are never satisfied with this fact. After that, you/we should mind your/our own business and let them live their lives…get over it and move on with YOUR message of God’s word, not that some guy built a big house!

    • says

      I’m not sure where you are getting the idea that I’m envious and jealous of Ramsey and his success? Quite to the contrary, I’m one of the folks defending him, and saying that we should be slow to judge others and how they use their money as we don’t know the full story. I shared the story of his building his home with cash because it’s inspiring to think that people can save up and pay cash for something like a home these days -it’s not even something a lot of people consider. In short, I’m not jealous of Dave and his home, just happy for him, and inspired to do even better on my own!

  16. Maggie says

    I like a lot of the stuff Dave teaches, such as saving for emergencies, paying down debt, making conscious financial decisions, etc.

    I do have a couple of issues though.

    1. That’s not a house, it’s a mansion. Purchase of a mansion that large is conspicuous consumption, and way more than what you really need. Seems boastful, which would be inconsistent with Biblical values.

    2. I recall that Bible verse I learned in childhood, “Give all that you have to the poor and follow me”. Not exactly practical advice for a married man with a family, but how can that principle be adapted to family life in such a way that you can be faithful to your family and faithful to your religious beliefs also.
    One possibility: Live a simpler lifestyle than what you can afford.

    3. Dave seems to be equating wealth with God’s favor. Yes, he is an intelligent, hardworking, and resourceful person, but he is also extremely lucky to have such an outstanding career. Not everyone who is wealthy has earned it by ethical means. I’m not saying that that is the case with Dave. What I am saying is that people shouldn’t have the mentality of “I deserve it.”

    • says

      I think you’re right in one thing. This isn’t a house in the traditional sense. One thing I think people are forgetting is that Dave uses his home for his business and charitable events in addition to it being a home. I heard from the CEO of another company (who didn’t want to comment here) who attended a leadership event with Dave and the seminars were held in his beautiful home Apparently it’s a pretty common occurrence. So I think beyond just being a home it’s used extensively for business purposes as well as for charitable fundraising events. This isn’t just a home in the traditional sense that a lot of us would use our homes. It’s also used for a ton of other purposes – it’s a conference center, an office and a fundraising event center.

  17. aeg623 says

    I guess you guys completely missed the point. which is, mind your own business! stop looking what other people are doing and may they do whatever God has appointed them to do! these discussions are absolutely ridiculous. . . .

    • Redland Girl says

      No, it is not ridiculous when Christians, or any human being for that matter, THINK. God gave us a frontal cortex for a reason. There are some things that the Bible states that we should not judge; however, there are other things that we are urged to judge. Teachers are more accountable than those who do not teach. When we set ourselves up as moral authorities in an area, especially when it is with a Biblical overtone, we open ourselves up to criticism. When people criticize me as a teacher, I do think about what they tell me. I have power in the classroom, and I want to use that power wisely. Unfortunately, what I have seen in most churches is that we are “respectors of persons.” Just as movie stars end up with a bunch of “yes” people around them — ultimately contributing to their downfalls — Christians, especially wealthy ones, are catered to in the church. This does put their souls at risk because pride does go before a fall. While I know that there are Christians who will respond to Ramsey’s home with jealousy, I also know that there are some of us who want to do some THINKING. But, for the past twenty years or so, we have moved to the pendulum extreme of “not judging” to such an extent that any type of “reasoning together” or “rightly dividing” causes a major stir. That worries me. There has to be a way to think about and discuss things in a way that promote Church health, thus also promoting the Church’s witness, without wanting to burn people at the stake or overlooking things that may or may not be damaging. Thank you for all of you who made me THINK today.

      • says

        Amen, Redland Girl! You get it. Whether or not Dave’s heart is right is not the question. The question is whether we as Christians should automatically accept such goals as good and worthy of pursuit in and of themselves. Why do we think such things are a mark of success and favor? Why do we even desire them in the first place? It’s these deeper questions that we should be coming together to discuss and reason about.

        • Joy says

          Paul, I’ve spent a good deal of my morning reading this blog and the numerous responses. Being a Ramsey fan of many years (but a “Christ fan” for many more), I found myself agreeing with both sides of this rather interesting “debate”. But, I kept reading And re- reading the comments of one particular responder that rang true in it’s logic, sincerity and humility. That responder was you, Paul. You seem to be a very sincere seeker of truth (the underlying truth of this specific issue at hand). Truth – and the lack thereof – demonstrates itself in a myriad of ways. Dave Ramsey’s choice of home is only illustrative of a deeper value. You essentially urged the fellow commenters to “Come, let us reason together” so that we may all seek first the kingdom of God … and His righteousness. Thank you for your comments, Paul. Your words and thoughts encouraged me to serve Him more fervently.

      • MPW says

        Did anyone notice that Dave offered himself as a teacher to give us a proper biblical view and then did not reference the Bible even once?

        This was more about Dave the salesman trying to sell us on his godliness. Reminds me of a verse (please allow me to paraphrase):

        “Lord, Lord, did I not give 10% of my pre-tax income to church? And did my foundation not raise millions for your kingdom? And did I not build myself this magnificent house for you? And did I not man up and manage what you gave me to manage?” And Jesus said…..

        So many of you have posed wonderful spiritual questions, only to be discounted as immature. And then to top it off, the claim is made that “I have managed to keep God first.” Can you imagine anyone making such a statement if he has compared himself to the fullness of God (Christ)? But its very easy when you pick selected verses as justifcation for your personal views.

        It really shouldn’t come as a surprise, however. We’ve often heard Dave say, “If you want to be rich, do what rich people do.” I’ve never heard him say, “If you want to be spiritual, do what spiritual people do.”

        I would argue that the way to truly achieve financial peace, is to look those worldly demons who would convince us of our need for worldly riches, look them straight in the eye and say, “I’m sorry, you just don’t offer anything I want.”

  18. Joey says

    Your opinions of Dave don’t matter. This whole article, even the nice comments aren’t relevant to anyone. I’m embarrassed to find out that Dave wasted his time to comment about this. Talk about adventures in missing the point. Likewise even my opinion doesn’t matter but someone will inevitable comment about this comment as if it matters.

  19. Shawn Dunbar says

    I believe that there are a few people who have forgotten that it’s very possible for a person to contribute to society in ways that go beyond charitable contributions only. If all of America’s wealthiest individuals simply sat on their money and never followed through on the construction of a “mansion,” thereby restricting themselves to living in a house consisting of 4,000 square feet of living space or less, economically, a large portion of everyday working Americans who’s lively hoods depend upon such homes being built would be impacted, and not in a positive way, either. Consider for a moment the collective economic impact of the construction all of the extremely large homes (mansions) by some of this nation’s wealthiest people. The money that Dave and his peers have spent and continue to spend on homes such as his does indeed go to purchase building materials, which are produced and sold by working individuals who happen to be employed by business owners. In addition, the money pays the salaries of the many construction workers who are the employees of business owners. Also, those homes are not constructed to be empty shells, and in fact are quite often well furnished with products that are manufactured by working Americans who are the employees of business owners. If you were the contractor who won the bid to construct Dave’s house, would you be complaining? If you were any of the previously mentioned employees or business owners, would you be complaining? If you were a plumber, electrician, or any other type of repair person who will eventually be getting paid to perform tasks which help to maintain Dave’s home, would you be complaining?
    I will have my bachelor’s degree later this year, and will be attending law school this fall, but I’ve also got the experience of having worked as an assembly line worker at a furniture factory for 5 years. I’m actually having a very difficult time trying to understand how a particularly expensive purchase constitutes that the person making the purchase is somehow to be considered less of a Christian than they were prior to making such a purchase. I think it sounds like the only thing of any significance that has occurred is that Mr. Dave Ramsey made the purchase of an extremely large house and subsequently, a few other people have made a judgement about Mr. Ramsey, which incidentally, I thought Christians were instructed not to do.

  20. Jeff says

    Would Jesus live in that monstrosity? I think not. Jesus rejected Satan’s offer.

    If I had Mr. Ramsey’s kind of money, I’d fund worthwhile ministries. He can’t take it with him.

    “It’s easier for a camel…”

  21. Michael says

    Nothing wrong with wealth. But one must ask, WWJD? I must agree with Jeff to a great degree. Dave certainly has the right principles with regard to spending money and being a good financial steward. However, I cannot imagine Jesus living with extravagance like this. Dave has helped a lot of people and that’s great. But, wow, I wasn’t expecting something like this. And I speak not from envy. I’m quite happy with our paid for 1,100 sq. foot home and no debt. And we continue to prepare for our future. But this is on a whole different level. And something inside me is quite troubled by it and I’m not sure why. Kind of reminds me of the prosperity gospel that emphasizes this sort of thing. I don’t know, there’s just something not right about this. I would have a whole lot more respect for Dave if he lived a little more humbly, despite his great wealth. In Dave’s mind, am I one who “gets it” or not? I’m not sure I know, myself. But I know that I’m troubled by this.

  22. says

    WOW! What a beautiful home. It is good to know that Dave was able to pay cash for his home. But I do have a problem with his response of saying that buying his home is nobody business. That statement should never be made by a person claiming to be a Financial Expert for Christians. Especially one that advocates being a good stewart over your money. Although I feel that it is fine for a Christian to live in large home, many people that have contributed to his success will feel hurt over that statement because without them buying or using his services or products, he wouldn’t be able to afford living the lifestyle that he is living. So I think he needs to watch what he says and how he says it. Other than that I can’t see anything wrong with him living in such a nice house.

  23. Ray says

    First Dave Ramsey ministry is worthy, tithes his taxable income, teaches basic financial common sense and has worked for many people to get out of financial misery .I don’t envy his wealth because that is a sin. He has a outward kind heart to want to help struggling people. Is He a witness for Christ or has he manipulated the system and people to build a mult-million dollar empire? Only God can judge that.

    I don’t agree with his criticism in blaming some credit card companies for people living beyond their means..that is enabling others to blame others for their actions and go in debt. No one held a gun to these in people’s head to go get credit cards. Buying things you can’t afford and not paying back your debt is stealing from others. People do question his three bankrupcties and did he pay those people back he took money from. Just an integrity issue from a public figure.

    I’m from the Nashville area and knew Dave indirectly when he was a real estate mogul. He doesnt exactly come from rags or does his wife. His parents were real estate moguls themselves. Dave in his twenties, just got greedy, preyed on foreclosure properties and lost control. Dave is charasmatic, evangelistic talent, and has the gift of gab.I dont fault him for his skills and talents.

    Living in a mansion could be percieved as boastful possibly to some that are lost and living in poverty..I will let God judge his life and business. Fact is He like Lifeway heavily market and sell to churches that probaby should be spending their money on orphanages and missions around the world. They use tax shelters like non-profits and churches to make their millions and live in mansions. Hey Its its legal and the American way. It doesnt make it right or ethical. Truth shall make you free. http://www.coolsprings.com/news/dave-ramseys-house/

  24. says

    Wow, I’m pretty impressed with Dave’s comment. I like the fact that he took the time to comment on someone else’s blog, but I also really like what he had to say. I think he has his head and heart in the right place.

  25. Anne A. says

    I am totally debt-free Christian who has not used any Dave Ramsey materials so I am not too familiar with his methods. However, I have some questions I hope someone can answer.

    Recently, I heard a local church advertising a Financial Peace course for people who are having financial problems. The cost was $99. How does someone with financial problems pay for such a course? Does Dave Ramsey offer scholarships or financial assistance to those who may not even have $.99 for their next meal, and probably don’t have $99 for a financial planning course?

    Since I am rather frugal, I could easily afford the $99 for such a course. However, there are so many free financial planning resources available that I don’t think I could justify spending my money on such a course. I regularly read online financial websites, borrow library books, and attend free seminars and use other resources offered by my credit union.

    Thank you for your answers.

    • Kathy says

      Anne, I have wondered the same thing. I have read Dave’s books, (checked out from the library), visited his web page and was really interested in learning more, however, I cannot afford to pay for his help. I know of one church in our area that offered his course and the church offered financial help.

  26. VOR360 says

    I do want to add some scriptures we must consider when we are spending God’s money: Heb 13:5 “Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have.” Luke 16:11 “If you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?”
    2 Corinthians 8:14 “Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal.” Matthew 7:3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” These ought to keep everyone guessing is Dave right or wrong. Each man is responsible for the life God gave him and will stand before Christ and give an account for our lives. I hope Dave made the right choice but I know for me I couldn’t live there.

  27. says

    I’m a fan of Dave’s. I’ve learned that Dave does not usually answer his critics. This must have touched a nerve.

  28. James Duren says

    Peter,

    My wife and I used Dave’s debt snowball to dig ourselves out of credit card debt. Awesome feeling. Now that our credit card debt is gone, we have come to a crossroads. We believe that Dave’s debt-free philosophy is right-on. However, we believe that his emphasis on accumulating wealth after debt is off the mark. In other words, we believe that the Bible teaches that we should not be in debt, but we don’t see any legitimate texts that encourage Christians to be wealthy, or to desire to be wealthy.

    Secondly, we believe that Dave’s rationale pertaining to millionaires making large purchases also is wrong. The rationale goes like this: Buying a $20,000 Harley on a $600,000 income is not different than buying a Happy Meal on a $30,000 income. (This is an example he uses near the end of his book.)

    There comes a point in our wealth where what we have stored up in the bank and in our portfolios is pure excess; more than we ever need. At this point, we must ask ourselves, Why did God make me rich?

    According to Dave’s book, we become rich because we make wise financial decisions and wealth is the outcome of those wise decisions. According to his book, we should become rich so that we can keep wealth from the wicked, who will use it for unsavory means.

    We believe that God makes us rich so that we can give (2 Cor. 9). Dave’s book falls short on this principle. He devotes one page to giving and countless more to accumulating wealth. Christians are not supposed to desire wealth (1 Tim. 6, Heb. 13).

    I appreciate that Dave is helping Christians get out of debt, but I think the map he lays out for us for life after debt is dangerous.

  29. VOR360 says

    Just because I can buy it doesn’t mean I should buy it! Much is given much is required!

  30. Nick says

    I would’ve been more impressed if he had bought a shack on the side of the road. He should just say hes enjoying being rich. Just be honest, man.

  31. Joe says

    I will bet he comes back to view the posts. If not he is just as shallow as the person who built the house. He should not have to explain himself if he really feels secure with what he is doing for Christians. He is also very similar to a guilty man while trying to boast what His ministeries do for people. It is amazing how these wealthy people find out at some point that by their association with Christ, they become entitled to mock other Christians who question their ethics. I believe most people lose their focus with regards to Christ at some point in their lives, but to mock anyone for questioning them, and excusing it as being a little hot blooded, just gives you a sense that they really don’t care what God reallly thinks. All of the Republicans out there who favor admoinsitrations who start wars for lies, but are not in favor of the Government putting our dollars to work helping the poor, are victums of people like this masquerading Christian. They laugh at you behind closed doors for your devotion to someone they know nothing of. They are truly the same as the rich man who could not see Lazarus suffering at his feet! TO build such an extravagant home and then claim that it is for the purpose of God is a farce. He will be judged just as you or I, and unfortunately, with his ignorance, he will go and meet God empyhanded!

  32. says

    I am so glad that Dave laid it on the line for the Pharisee’s who drank the poison kool-aid of “God doesn’t want you to have anything” better than me down here because it’s improper stewardship.

    Bottom line is: if you really believe what you say, then you probably aren’t going to like heaven, or the new earth, so maybe you should plans to live somewhere else.

    I find it very interesting that those who are really concerned about the level of success or wealth that others have, or the amount they’re spending on themselves” generally don’t want to do what is required to accomplish the same things.

    And, they almost NEVER have all the information necessary about that person’s giving etc. in order to make an accurate assumption.

    Casting Crowns has a great song about “plank-eyed saints” pointing their fingers at others and judging them harshly.

    Dave and his wife have helped so many people that this whole issue shouldn’t even have come up. Has it ever occurred to you folks that prosperity with a kingdom purpose is ordained of God?

    It’s just that few of us, especially Christians, have proven themselves faithful enough to be trusted with this kind of wealth and that is a crying shame.

    When you get to heaven (keep in mind there are riches there) are you going to walk up to David, Solomon, Abraham and others and chastise them for a level of wealth down here what would “choke a horse.”

    Come on.

    Dennis

    • Joe says

      My idea of heavan is probably different than yours Dennis! I don’t really care if Dave bult a huge home. I have been rich, and lost it all. Perspective is all about you current situation as a human being. We are all sinners and to claim that he was somehow endowed by god with riches because he is a Christian, is also misleading. I am not here to question or judge him. As a Christian, I am leary of others who have been bankrupt three times and suddenly have found their way by supposedly helping other Christians out, all the while making a living off of them at the clip of $99 per debt freedom loving kit. My point is that there are many people getting rich selling something other than God’s word in God’s House, and when they go to meet him without their wealth, they won’t meet him in any different circumstance than you or I will. They will be empty handed. It is amazing how secure he is with his place at God’s foot. Remember, whether rich or poor, you must believe that Christ is the son of God and died for your sins, and God can tell in your heart if that is the case. Go mock someone else who may pray at your feet because you are wealthy and obnoxious.

    • Pete Simonson says

      Interesting that you mentioned the Pharisees.

      Why is Dave “announcing” to us that he tithes and has a charitable foundation?

      Why is he “justifying” himself before us?

      Why is he referencing his friend, the billionaire? Why are his examples always rich and famous people? Could his association with these people be what he considers “places of honor?”

      Why is he offering himself as an example? Can’t you just hear him praying, “God, I thank you that you did not make me like other men.”?

      Why is his response to people raising spiritual issues to call them immature? Seems like he is running the risk of speaking against the Holy Spirit. What did Jesus have to say about that?

  33. John says

    Dave: “8) I used to say ignorant things like “what does anyone need with a ______ like that” when I was immature.”
    ^That’s great, when Dave wasn’t rich he’d say the same things about rich people. Now that he’s rich God told him to buy a mansion. Pretty convenient how that worked out, didn’t it? lol. I’m pretty sure that’s the textbook definition of a hypocrite.

    Dave: “That does not make him wrong, that makes that person silly, foolish, and spiritually immature. Note: God gave HIM 2.2 Billion to manage, God did NOT assign you to help.”

    ^Glad Dave came to clear this up and inform us what God wants. Pretty cool how God wants lavish homes and riches for him, and he says God wants the rest of us to mind our own business. It’s HIS, HIS, HIS, HIS! God wants you to stop asking silly and immature questions, go buy his new book and vote for Romney to keep the taxes lower for the rich. You want funding for the veterans, the nursing homes, environmental regulations for that beautiful planet God gave us, NO!! Ugh, he’d have to pay taxes and as giving and generous as Dave is he’s much rather talk about how charitable he is rather than deal with those pesky issues that Jesus used to talk about.

    “First, None of this is any of your business nor is it your problem, however in an effort to teach I have always been overly transparent.”
    Ah, the “teacher” would rather give advice and tell other people what God wants rather than get a dose of his own medicine. You talk the talk about charitable giving, transparency to most people in the real world means proving something, not indignantly repeating how charitable you are (but again, not like it’s our business to question how giving you continually claim to be).

    “4) Before making a large purchase of any kind we ask God if that is what he wants us to do with HIS money.”

    Pretty slick how God wanted you to have a mansion, I bet you had a tough time having God talk you into that, didn’t you? lol. You could also just say you wanted a beautiful house, you liked it, you had the money so why not? It dishonors religion to use a deity as an excuse to pamper yourself. But using the Bible and the name of God was a great way to build that wealth in the first place. Only reborn Christians would be dumb enough to get financial advice from a guy who’s only financial experience led directly to bankruptcy.

    Dave: 4) Before making a large purchase of any kind we ask God if that is what he wants us to do with HIS money. Like you I sometimes hear clearly and other times I am not sure. In the case of our home I was very sure.

    God’s money, you routinely remind people on your show that it’s YOUR MONEY! Every time you get into a rant on how you don’t think you should have to pay taxes. Like Helmsley, only the “little people” should have to pay taxes… Just keep voting repub and pass the taxes on to Buffet’s secretary or the bus driver or firemen. Don’t ask Ramsey or Romney, like a five year old with a new toy, “MINE, MINE, MINE”!

    Heck, if Dave wanted to help the poor, the needy, the sick, the dying, God would tell him to do that instead of working at FOX and figuring out how to not get lost in his new mansion. Don’t worry Dave, look for the “You are HERE” sign and figure out what other plush things God wants you to buy for yourself. The elderly, the sick, the needy, and the veterans can fend for themselves.

    • HIM says

      While I believe much of what you said….its a politics and religion thing for you, isn’t it?? Rich pay plenty, thats not even debatable. You go to school, you study your butt off, you get A’s….well, why not go to the instructor and tell them that since you have so many A’s, you give some of them to those who got F’s, because you and I both know that almost all of those college kids flunking are flunking because school is sooooooo unfair. And since you are SOOOO lucky to get A’s…..its only RIGHT, you SHARE your marks with those less fortunate.

      THE EXACT SAME THING.

      He’s given more to others than YOU could EVER dream of. Stick to debating his lame arguement that GOD TOLD HIM TO BUY this house……and you would have a good point…..start down that stupid political trial and you crash and burn……real quick.

  34. Rebecca says

    I am from Germany and have recently discovered Dave online and I am so grateful for his motivational talk and counceling. I am also a Christian and I am pretty shocked about the mean and envious comments other “Christans” make about his mansion purchase. My statement:

    1. When Jesus said “sell everything and follow me” he talked to a specific person he met personally at a specific time. None of us has met Jesus in person and I don’t know any Christian who applies this verse with all consequences to himsef. It is not exactly good exegesis to quote this verse in connection with Dave.

    2. Do I really need to remind people of the command “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” Don’t be envious about other peoples belongings! You have no entitlement to them in any way. If you want the same, work for it! Whoever is envious of other peoples wealth is in his heart a communist. And communism is an enemy to Christianity.

    3. Abraham, David and Joseph were rich and had Gods favour.

    4. Is your spiritual life really so empty and unfullfilling that you need to criticise this man who worked so hard and tireless for his wealth? I earn rather little and live in a small flat but I am not envious. I have Jesus and this is all I need. He is taking care of me and gives me as much as I can handle right now. I feel rich on the inside, I love to read the bible and to go to church. I am spiritually blessed beyond all measure and it is a privilege to be one of the elect. That is worth much more than winning the lottery or Daves house. I suspect you critical guys are perhaps not walking with the Lord as you should. Exmine yourselves! What is the condition of your heart? Are you discontent with your circumstances when the Apostle Pauls says whe should be content in all situations and that we have enough if we have food and clothes? Are you guys reading the bible on a regular basis??? I doubt it. Because if you would, you would feel rich as I do. Nourish your empty souls with the word of God!! Read through the whole bible at least once a year!

    5. Read John 21:22. What is that to thee??? You follow Jesus and don’t care how rich Dave is. You make sure you are right with God and you will be fine. Being rich is not listed as a sin, it is no issue for church discipline, so there is really no need to make a fuss about it. But you know, gossipping and backbiting are sins …

  35. Rick says

    In reading both articles by Peter Anderson and knowing very little about Dave Ramsey other than he has made a marketing what seems to be fairly obvious financial advice, I would make the following 4 observations.
    1)Dave Ramsey is a very smart man who is entrepreneurial in nature and has accumulated much worldly wealth.
    2)He appears to be following the letter of tithing and gives generously both money and time to charities by what he writes.
    3)Mr. Ramsey does not seem to see the true theological argument that the accumulation and spending of great wealth whether on mansions, cars, yachts, jewelry, nice clothes, maids, etc, etc, etc can lead to an insidious shifting of values in a person regardless of how we think we want to list our priorities. That is, would you really dramatically downsize your lifestyle tomorrow if you felt it was hurting your marriage, spoiling your kids, or simply God was telling you to do so (which I suspect happens far less frequently than vice versa). Most people would honestly say that it would be difficult; hence the references in the Bible about the difficulties of serving both God and Mammon and it being easier for a rich man to pass through an eye of a needle than to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I am not saying I have the answers to these concerns. I simply think we all face this problem and it is a viable issue regardless of how large or small our possessions are percentagewise of our total wealth.
    4)I took the overall tone of Mr. Ramsey’s comments as somewhat dismissive of, and arrogant towards, those who don’t agree with him. Writing things like “I used to say ignorant things…..when I was immature,” and “some get it, some don’t” seems very defensive and close-minded. We get it, Mr Ramsey you believe you have been called by God to buy your house and manage your business and others should have no opinion because they have not been so endowed. I would only caution Mr. Ramsey that others, perhaps of much more means, may have an entirely different and valid opinion of the sometimes contradictory desires of a secular and spiritual life and what it all means with regards to our success and salvation in Christ.

  36. Al says

    I met Dave last week. He was cordial, polite, accommodating, and showed a spirit of humility. He spent over 5 hours speaking to his audiences with about 3500 people. He had spread a great message to millions and had earned a good fortune. If he wants a mansion, so be it. He has served millions and continues to do so. If he didn’t care about people, he could retire and enjoy. But he chooses to still work hard to help us get out of debt. I for one am glad he does. I know most of his 5 million + daily listeners feel the same. What few dollars I have spent on Dave’s products has paid for many times over. $95 for FPU to eliminate thousands and more in interest. Not even close. God bless Dave and his staff for years to come. We need more people like him.

  37. Ang says

    Not a fan of Dave Ramsey. My husband and I were burned everytime we used one of his endorsements. I no longer feel his heart is about helping people but about money. I know many will disagree but I am not stating that his foundational principles about money have changed because that is where he earns his money; however, I am stating that his reasons for doing it have changed.

  38. Douglas says

    Dave provides a great service. He deserves HIS wealth. It is His to manage. Unfortunately, he struggles with that fact, and feels the need to pander to superstition, myth, and fantasy. There is no god, and a plethora of atheists are even more “blessed” than he is! Religion has given many people ,less deserving, the opportunity to judge him. I can’t imagine what it must be like for him to have to entertain such fools.

  39. Josh says

    I will refrain from saying whether Dave Ramsey is doing what God wants him to do or not.

    But I find it interesting that some people consider Dave Ramsey’s house to be wasteful and bad stewardship but some of those same people would consider someone a great person if they gave all their money to the homeless and ex-convicts.

    Let me ask this question, if you responsibly spend money on yourself and your family isn’t that better stewardship than giving your money to people who will blow it and quite possibly end up with more problems as a result of you having given them money?

    John 12:3-8
    3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.
    4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s [son], which should betray him,
    5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?
    6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.
    7 Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this.
    8 For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.

    The above passage indicates that: 1) In some cases, there are wiser things you can do with your money than give it to the poor. 2) There will always be poor people and you giving them money will not change that.

    One thing that is hard to argue with, Dave Ramsey’s approach to personal finance has caused a lot of people who would have been poor or mediocre with their own money to become above average with their money. He has also taught people that part of money success is giving it away. I say he deserves quite a bit of slack.

  40. donald says

    People with no money will judge those that do because they are jealous. I would love to see the net worth of the people that negatively comment and see where they stand against Dave’s.

    • BNL says

      I have $1.5M, and I’m not even remotely jealous of Dave Ramsey. And I’ve provided my negative comment down below. Dave’s general message as well as his comment left on this site is filled with hypocrisy. Basically, he says Jesus’ clear message in Matthew 19:24 is “doctrinal nitpicking” but that he follows the “good samaritan” gospel instead.

      I don’t mind his choice to build personal wealth, I do mind his hypocrisy hidden behind his own convenient interpretation of the Bible that allows him to prey on less wealthy Christians.

  41. Blake says

    REALLY like Dave’s radio show!
    As for this, it IS no ones biz but Dave & God’s
    And those of you who judge him on this…at least 80% of you could be asked the same thing!!…could not YOU live in a smaller & cheaper place?!?!
    (and give more away, not appear huge, be more humble etc. as many of you have said)

  42. Taryn Fox says

    I tend to think it _is_ our business that he can afford to buy a massive house. Partly because a great deal of his success came from the advantages of living in a civilized country with public services for him and his employees, and partly because the fact that one person can afford such ostentation while millions of others are living in squalor or without homes means there are unresolved bugs in our tax code and holes in our social safety net. A net which should be available to all who need it, without their having to grovel to family or belong to a particular church.

    I’d also just like to point out that I pray to a goddess of rice and wealth, and even I can see the irony in Ramsey worshiping a god who said to “sell that thou hath and give to the poor” and living someplace like that. Jesus spent a _lot_ of time telling rich people off and telling them what to do with their riches, and I think it’s really flipping convenient that he just happened to tell Dave Ramsey to do that. Or that his supposed followers suddenly can’t emulate him by telling a rich “Christian” off … or that he should be so immune to criticism while poor people deserve yelling and lectures for having problems he never will again.

  43. Robert says

    I have nothing against anyone helping anyone else out of debt. I have no problem with the amount of wealth that Dave has earned. Not having credit cards and paying for things you can afford are great principals. The one problem I have is that he ties it into Christ.

    I’m reminded of the story of the poor beggar who gave in the Temple. She gave practically nothing and yet Christ said that she gave more then the richest could ever give. That’s great Dave gives away more money in a year then most of us will get in a lifetime. But what good is pointing out how much one has given if it isn’t to elevate one’s position? Oh, but it’s okay, God told him it’s okay to do that.

    I don’t envy Dave’s money, financial situation, cars, or his lifestyle. I live below the poverty line but I have enough. God has been so gracious and amazing to me I could even begin to tell. I live and die for Christ. And when someone starts taking the Jesus of the Bible, the poor carpenter who healed the poor for free, who loved the down trodden, whose only financial advice was to pay taxes and essentially use that name to make millions, I cannot agree. If that 4 million dollar house is a fraction of his wealth, I would love to see the good things Dave could do to eliminate global hunger and other major issues. I know there are many houses that are nice that sell for literally a fraction of 4 million. If a child can live for 1 dollar a day, how many children could survive JUST off of him picking a smaller house? Again I am not jealous, far from it really.

    “Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.“It is written,” he said to them, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’but you are making it ‘a den of robbers”. I pray that God is glorified by Dave’s ministry and that Dave hasn’t made millions off of folks by throwing in the “Christian” tag line. I pray that Dave simply did not see a way to make money on the “American Christian” market. I would be curious to see the reactions of poor and persecuted Christians in third world countries if they saw how big and excessive Dave’s house was.

    God bless you all. Please do not forget Jesus.

  44. MPW says

    For what its worth, I don’t have any objection to Dave’s house or his income. My objection is how he ties his activities to the name of Christ.

    As a teacher of Dave’s FPU in a public school, I am VERY familiar with his story, as he tells it, and his materials. I have also taught Bible classes in the church I attend, so I also have training in that area.

    To talk of money as something that God gives us is a loose theological concept at best. Can God give us money? Absolutely. But money was not around at the creation of the world. It is an invention of man. God created all of the resources.

    Money is the result of a curse; the curse of having to fend for ourselves that has been with us since the fall of man. If there was no fall, we would simply be drawing life itself from our Heavenly Father. Instead, we have to “make a living.” And do to our human nature, we often claim more than is needed.

    Dave is simply a master of the curse. By his own words, he clearly wanted to be weathy his entire adult life and he found a way to do it. This would not have happened if he did not want it so badly. He claims an abundance of resources for himself and teaches others to do the same. What does this have to do with Jesus?

    His business could be just as successful and do just as much good for folks without diverting so many resources to himself. If Christ was running a business, do we really think he would be the highest paid in HIS organization?

    I also find it somewhat humorous that God needs someone to have a mansion to do HIS work. If this was about bringing glory to God, my guess is that a house that was raising millions of dollars for the work of Christ would look more like an outhouse than a mansion. Jesus’ ministry was done without a house.

    As for the giving, doesn’t it seem like he is more like Robin Hood than Christ. He found a way to capitalize on the misfortune of others and now gives out of his excess. A “redistributor” more or less. The only time I remember Jesus praising someone’s giving was the widow who gave all she had.

    And quite frankly, its pretty clear from listening to Dave, that he is more into self-promotion than Christ-promotion. He isn’t very kind in the way he presents his views at times. As a public school teacher, I see how kids react when he uses ADD as a punchline, or when he belittles people with money difficulties, similar to the parents of my students. And as for how he sometimes talks on his show? WOW!!! If you aren’t convinced yet, listen to him brag about some of his real estate deals. Can you imagine Christ doing deals like these? I would love to ask him to explain the difference between payday lenders and “driving for dogs.”

    After listening to Dave and studying other wealthy Christians, I don’t find they have much to offer when it comes to spiritual advice due to a lot of worldly baggage. I would rather learn from people living in poverty, wondering how they will feed their kids, but yet still praising Jesus.

    Does he have a right to his house and his income? Of course!
    Did he do anything illegal to obtain them? Of course not!
    Are they evidence of Christ working in his life or the benefits of living in the USA and having a strong desire for wealth? You decide

    • MPW says

      …and, do we honestly believe that Dave could hear a contrary opinion to his own regarding money, even if it came from God. From listening to his show, I’m not sure. Who do you think brought the idea up regarding the house? Did Dave go to God or did God go to Dave?

    • sister says

      MPW–Right ON! 1000% agree with you. Dave be rich, build mansions, give away your money–great; but drop the christianity of your actions, it is not…just ask Mother Theresa, she died a wealthy, christ-filled messenger of God and didn’t live in a mansion to prove it.

  45. says

    Very interesting. It is an extravagant house. One thing that those of us who are not wealthy may not consider is that Dave has the ability to reach those who ARE wealthy. Wealthy men and women associate with different kinds of folks. He has an opportunity to reach those people for Christ because he is one of them. He then also has a better chance at accessing their pocketbooks for charities in ways us poor folks sure can’t. So that’s one way to look at it. Is it still hard to wrap my mind around? Yes, especially after going to Haiti this year and seeing folks starving and with nothing. But does that mean Dave should live with nothing too? No. And I would bet that most of those, if not all, who had something nasty to say are a little envious that he has something they don’t. Thanks for sharing this with us!

  46. BNL says

    Dave’s argument is flawed, and veiled in either hypocrisy or willful ignorance. I suspect hypocrisy, which is really my biggest problem with him as a guide, mentor, and in some cases, idol.

    Dave says that his financial decisions are none of his business. Then why does he so often point out that he lives by his own advice? He chooses to constantly point out that he lives by these rules for a reason – it’s an effective tool in rhetoric and he knows this. That’s OK, but then he shouldn’t be so dismissive when that’s used against him.

    More importantly, he uses the Bible as his proof, but then completely ignores one of the most well-known Bible verses about wealth. The Bible says:

    “The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?” 21Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property.…”

    Dave, if you could speak to this then I would be willing to listen. But he won’t speak to this, because he’s on record as saying this is “doctrinal nitpicking.” In other words, he chooses to interpret the Bible however he wants, and where it’s convenient in his own wealth building. That is hypocrisy.

  47. Beth says

    Interesting that those who are so appalled by Dave buying a house like that live in the richest country in the world and are probably in the top 75% of the worlds most wealthy. People who live in the poorest parts of the world would probably look at your house and what you have and say the same things about you. Be careful how you judge because someone else may be thinking that you can’t possibly love God if you live in America and have all that we have. Whose job is it to take the measuring stick and say “you can honor God with this much money, but this person has WAY too much,” that’s not our job. God looks at the heart.

    • TLG says

      I really wish this blog and comments had a date, because I have no idea how old this is.

      I too reached this conclusion. In a sense we’re all just whores and we’re just bickering about the price. When I first got married, I lived in a 800 square foot apartment. We moved to a Townhouse, then a house, then another house, and finally we’re up to a 4200 square foot house. My income can justify it, but with only three kids, we typically “live” in only about 2000 square feet.

      In college, I ate dinners of Lipton noodles and frozen vegetables. Extravagence was a pizza or Taco Bell. Now I can expect to spend about $40-50 for just my wife and I when we eat out. Our food at home is fresh. We buy better cuts of meat.

      My lifestyle is extravagant for my needs. We are all guilty of this in either practice or in thought. The thing is that when I could afford ordering wild salmon, a bean burrito becomes quite unappealing.

      Dave’s response hits all the notes, but it would have been more effective if he admitted that despite all his justifications the house is obviously extravagant for his personal needs and at times makes him uncomfortable knowing this is so. And that he hopes that God can get His use enough to justify.
      I can respect a man who tells it straight. Unfortunately, Dave seems to prop up his decision using a God pedestal without acknowledging the other side. It makes him appear to have all justification and no self-reflection.

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