Thursday, September 07, 2006

Credit Card Debts Over Tithing

Although I enjoy writing fiction it will be a long time (if ever) before I'll be successful enough at it to quit my day job -- practicing law. My office handles a wide range of cases including personal injury, workers' compensation, real estate transactions, social security disability and bankruptcy. As part of my bankruptcy practice I belong to a couple of professional organizations and routinely get e-mails with late breaking information. I received an e-mail today from the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) and wanted to share the content of the e-mail with you.

A federal bankruptcy judge in New York has ruled that people who file bankruptcy cannot make tithe or other charitable contributions if they do not payback their creditors. If you want to read a press release from NACBA regarding this court decision then click on this link.

I understand that some will agree with the judge and argue that people who file bankruptcy shouldn't give money to their church if they can't pay their bills. Others will argue that Christians shouldn't file bankruptcy to begin with. I appreciate both arguments. But sometimes events take place -- serious illness, loss of employment -- that cause financial ruin for even Christians. I've seen it hundreds of times. And when these people are faced with financial difficulty they genuinely don't want to file bankruptcy. They offer to work with their creditors to pay their debts but the creditors are unwilling to make any concessions. They continue to charge usurious interest rates, call at all hours of the night threatening legal action or worse, and generally drive people to the point that they have no other option. So they have to file bankruptcy and in that dark hour of having to deal with the humiliation of bankruptcy a federal judge tells them they can't continue to be obedient to God and tithe to their local church. That simply amazes me.

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Blogger Sabrina L. Fox said...

Hmm, I'm not sure how I feel about this. I can see both sides. I find it sad to think of a christian family struggling to do what they feel is right for their family and they can't even follow their moral belief to tithe. It seems like this violates their rights in some way. But what do I know?

9:25 PM  
Blogger Kathy4Scuba said...

My church is part of a national program called Crown Financial Ministries ( which helps Christians learn to manage money in a Godly way. One of the things they teach is that even while you're working on getting your financial house in order, you should be faithful and tithe. God blesses your obedience. It would be wonderful if more churches were involved so that their members don't have to get to the point where they have no option but to declare bankruptcy.

I can easily understand how someone, even a Christian who is trying to follow God's principles on how to manage money, could get into financial trouble. I have personal experience after an accident, three surgeries, and being unemployed for a while. I have managed with God's help, though, to keep my head above water.

Unfortunately the US government doesn't see tithing as an important thing for people to do. Never mind that they depend on churches and other charitable orginazations to provide much of the social support needs of society.

7:30 PM  

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