Author Topic: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?  (Read 7899 times)

albireo13

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #50 on: November 03, 2017, 05:28:38 PM »
OP:   Doesnt affect it at all
They are orthogonal. 
What does your faith have to do with monetary affairs?



CanuckStache

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #51 on: November 03, 2017, 06:55:17 PM »
I find myself trying to find small continuous ways to save so I can give enough cheerfully.

Also find myself struggling with this verse. Even though being wealthy isn't a sin, it does provide an enormous responsibility to remember

who actually owans any wealth I have

Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

  http://biblehub.com/matthew/19-24.htm

I believe that verse isn't about 'being rich' - more like being greedy. Or being wealthy at the expense of others (i.e. running a business and taking advantage of workers or something). Also, the reality is the bible is full of all kinds of things and each denomination essentially picks and chooses what to follow and what not to follow. So personally, I say go with whatever you feel most comfortable with, and as was summed up earlier 'love your god, and love you neighbour as yourself - in so doing, all other commandments are fulfilled' (i'm paraphrasing).

Don't be wasteful, be thankful always, take care of your family, help your neighbour when you are able.

LiveLean

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #52 on: November 03, 2017, 07:42:53 PM »

I drink only what Jesus drank -- water and wine.
Living lean at www.tolivelean.com

87tweetybirds

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #53 on: November 03, 2017, 08:22:32 PM »
Thank you for all the lovely, thoughtful responses.

I think the two issues I'm thinking most about right now are:

1. Storing up treasures on earth.
It's not greed, but I think I do find it hard to trust that everything will be alright - both to trust myself and to trust God. I tend to consider the lilies and feel like they're cutting it dangerously fine! My initial searching for early retirement advice was because I was very anxious about the future, and I still somewhat am. Perhaps it is also because I am laying up treasure for myself but don't feel like I am rich with God.
In a Christian worldview, "Mustachianism" would be referred to as "stewardship".

In my view stewardship has to do with being self sufficient as well as taking care of the resources we've been blessed with. One of the best ways to become self sufficient is to make that stash grow. I have also noticed that as my stash has grown (and I still have a long way to go to be FI), I have become more conscientious and willing to maybe pay more for something that will impact the environment less, whereas before I might not have had that as an option just because of $$.


2. Service.
Tithing is not preached in our church, but giving is. We give some money to a non-church charity and my husband gives a lot of time to the church. I don't especially want to get involved with my husband's church, but at present I don't feel like I have a lot to give that people generally want, and I am finding it hard to seek out opportunities for service that align with my talents and interests (basically, I am very organised and efficient but not very good at dealing with people. So no, I do not want to volunteer with the youth group, we will all have a miserable time!). I'm also not able to commit to anything too structured/long term right now. No one advertises for low-key volunteering opportunities that involve a lot of paperwork and sitting down! Urgent FIRE has never been a priority for me, but now that I have enough saved up to not need to worry about the immediate future and am downshifting my working life for other reasons I'm wondering what else life has in store for me and finding it hard to come up with a good answer.

My church has been encouraging us to use Justserve.org, which has many organizations contributing service needs to it. (I'm LDS, also known as Mormon). You type in your zip code and can find service opportunities in organizations in your area, maybe you can find something that fits your time and talents. When I typed in my zip code it popped up stuff with the animal shelters in the area, and food banks so not necessarily things that requires a whole lot of people interaction.
As our stash grows, DH and I eventually would like to be able to go on missions, which are self funded. A healthy stash would help us do that as well as be able to give where we feel it would be most beneficial.

TempusFugit

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #54 on: November 04, 2017, 01:37:25 PM »
Garden Variety Protestant here. 

I give to my church every month.  We don't have any official tithing requirement and don't pass a collection plate during the service.  We just have boxes by the entrance for gifts.   

In regard to mustachianism and my faith, I suppose there are only a couple of things that I come across in the forums and I think even in Pete's posts that sometimes give me pause.  The notion of waiting until I'm FI myself before I start to give money away strikes me as a bit un-Christ like.  I don't judge anyone else if that's how they approach it.  Certainly if you give of your own time rather than financially, that is in some ways even more charitable than writing a check. 

I also wonder if it isn't a bit selfish to retire early.  I'm not saying that it is or it isn't, it's just something that I think about.  Do I have any responsibility to continue to work so that I could provide money to other people who perhaps don't have the ability to generate income like I do or so that I am continuing to pay taxes and especially so that I am not in any way free riding on society?  When we learn about the somewhat complex financial loopholes that would simultaneously allow us to have a million dollars in the bank but also get subsidies on healthcare or avoid paying income taxes by leveraging Roth ladders, etc, is that in some way unethical?  Does the fact that we could continue to work obligate us in some way to work?

I'm not at all saying anyone shouldn't do these things, or that I won't myself do them, just that I do think about it in light of my faith. 

robartsd

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #55 on: November 06, 2017, 09:17:28 AM »
My church has been encouraging us to use Justserve.org, which has many organizations contributing service needs to it. (I'm LDS, also known as Mormon). You type in your zip code and can find service opportunities in organizations in your area, maybe you can find something that fits your time and talents. When I typed in my zip code it popped up stuff with the animal shelters in the area, and food banks so not necessarily things that requires a whole lot of people interaction.
Full disclosure: justserve.org is provided by the LDS Church. It is a free listing website (funded entirely by donations to the church) designed to connect volunteers with community based service opportunities. I don't think there has been any effort to expand justserve.org beyond the United States yet (there are currently no projects listed for London, England, so probably not useful to the OP).

talltexan

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #56 on: November 06, 2017, 09:54:01 AM »
In our case, not enough.

Having a commitment to a church community means having a physical site (the church) that has to be factored into where you live. My wife and I chose our current house before we knew where that church would be, and before we knew where her parents would settle (they moved 1,000 miles to live in our area about three years after we moved here). We're discussing a medium-term goal of moving to re-optimize based on these two locations.

FINate

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #57 on: November 06, 2017, 10:57:50 AM »
In a Christian worldview, "Mustachianism" would be referred to as "stewardship". I have read many, many books on the subject. But you really can't beat the New Testament. You cannot serve both God and Mammon. Don't be a fool, storing your extra wealth in more barns. Your very life could be demanded of you tonight.

This is true in many ways, but I think there is a distinction worth making.

The word "steward" as used in the New Testament greek (ex 1 Peter 4:10) literally means "household manager" or one who manages the household affairs (https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?t=kjv&strongs=g3623). This is a person with a great deal of responsibility to manage all aspects of the estate. So the biblical concept of stewardship is rooted in the idea of being an esteemed servant, a manager of resources rather than an owner. And it's not really about money, though money is part of it. The greek word for steward is the same one used in 1 Corinthians 4:1 (often translated "as those entrusted with") when talking about the Gospel - so we are also to be stewards or managers of the Gospel.

Rather unfortunately, a lot of churches make stewardship exclusively about money. Basically, be good stewards of money so you can give to the church. That Mustachianism includes a focus on not just money but also the environment, health, time -- a more comprehensive view of managing life -- is closer to the understanding of biblical stewardship than those focused only on money.

Where I think plain Mustachianism differs is on the issue of ownership.  The Christian perspective is that we don't own anything (we are managers in God's house). That doesn't mean you necessarily give it all away, though that might be the right answer for some. But whatever you do, do it for God, whether that's retiring early (perhaps to volunteer and serve others), or keep working even though we don't need to so that we can donate more. 

Jonboyz

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #58 on: November 06, 2017, 11:31:18 PM »

I drink only what Jesus drank -- water and wine.

Hahaha!  WWJD exactly. Water or wine today? My daughter and I loved this reply.

Goldielocks

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #59 on: November 07, 2017, 12:58:32 AM »
I love how MMM reinforces Christianity for me (Lutheran, which, here, is closely tied to Anglican).

1) Theme of Stewardship -- not just of money, but especially of environmental stewardship, not being wasteful, using my skills and gifts for others, growing my skills to make better use of what I have been given, etc.

2)  Tithing -- not really a thing with our church... But reading MMM and being very conservative with "optional" money spend made me realize that if I have money to spend on me, I have money to spend on the church too.  I set a goal that I would match any personal spend with 20% to the next week donation (over my modest normal amount).  Suddenly getting the latest "whatever" that I don't really need looks a lot more expensive...   or eating out at a restaurant I think "Set a place for Jesus", etc.  This helped me to double down on my budgeting when I needed change habits.

3)  Lots of inexpensive activities, and many are volunteer.   I am in Choir, for example, and there is a games night.

3b) Great tasks for organized people that are not people people -- Sit on the council, join buildings and grounds for Project management / coordinating contractors and volunteers, assist in the office, be backstage support for pre-registration for the annual kid's camp, update the webpage.. etc., etc.   I just finished creating a database for our church office.... and am currently working on updating the bylaws document. (UGH but overdue).

4)  Family benefits  -- I am able to get the kids to volunteer frequently, in church and greater community, because of all the church based volunteer roles.  Because of this, DD had enough hours (over 400 hour of volunteering in 3 years) to qualify for several scholarships.

5)  I can bike to church, and I sometimes do!  That's MMM, if nothing else.

6)  I am not defined by money.  I don't need to FIRE with $5million..  enough money is enough, and the rest of my time and money can be returned to the person it belongs to (God).  MMM truly made me break my focus on money, funny enough.  The Blog is great.   Work = Money = Things is not an equation that resonates with me.. at all...   
« Last Edit: November 07, 2017, 10:09:10 AM by Goldielocks »

Imma

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #60 on: November 07, 2017, 08:07:26 AM »
I'm loosely Christian - not confirmed into the Church, and the church I loosely associate with doesn't actually require that. You don't have to be a member to be part of the community (Remonstrant).

I was raised Catholic and was always deeply inspired by monastic life ( I grew up very close to a convent) and plain people. I believe strongly in living simply and frugally. I never fit into the Catholic church because of its overly materialistic tendencies.

Edit: seems half of my post disappeared. I'll come back to this thread later.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2017, 08:37:14 AM by Imma »

Imma

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #61 on: November 08, 2017, 04:29:33 AM »
As I promised, here's the rest of my post.

For me, simple living is one of the core principles of the message of Jesus. You don't want material things to distract you from your spiritual life. Giving to other people is also a core principle that I attach a lot of value to, although I don't equal that to giving money to a church. It does mean that we give to other people around us even when it's not convenient for us. A friend of ours lost his home and he stayed in our spare bedroom (in our 900 square foot home) for a year. It wasn't always convenient and this particular friend also doesn't have the easiest character. Still, we are very happy that we were able to provide him with a roof over his head for a year. We don't believe we only need to care for other people once we're completely done caring for ourselves. This is where I disagree with MMM too: there's no need to be FI before you start giving to others. I believe in sharing your wealth in all stages of life.

For me, looking after myself financially and desiring FI isn't completely incompatible with my beliefs (as others have noted, preparedness is important too) but you have to watch out for greed. When the Gospel talks about rich people, I think they mean greedy people, people who keep all their wealth to themselves and hurt other people to gain it. I like to think that I'm not like that (but I'm extremely far from FI right now). If you are FI, you can also choose to spend your time doing things that are good for this world instead of doing things that are bad for the world just to earn a living. FI gives freedom of conscience. I also like the MMM approach of becoming FI not for the sake of a life of luxury, but as a way to self-fulfillment (or what many Christians would call ministry). Time to do what you feel called to do, instead of living in the world.

I like the focus on simplefying life too. That's what I really appreciate about the plain people - they don't adopt every new technology mindlessly, just because they can. We don't have a car on purpose. It means we're 'stuck at home' - a job needs to be within biking or public traffic distance. It forces us to spend more time at home, which is what we really want to do, deep inside. If you have a car on your driveway, there's a much bigger temptation to use it and go away from home instead of spending time at home with your family. I also don't have internet on my cell phone, because I don't need that temptation of being online 24/7. We don't have wifi at work, so at work, I work. My coworkers can call me on my phone when I'm home, but they don't do that unless there's something really important going on. It's much easier to send someone a message on whatsapp, but I don't want that distraction in my private life. I want to FIRE to a more rural area eventually, and I can see ourselves living much more simply then than we already do now.

davisgang90

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #62 on: November 08, 2017, 07:15:48 AM »

I drink only what Jesus drank -- water and wine.
In the Southern Baptist version of the story, Jesus transformed the water into sweet tea.

Nondenominational Christian here.  Nothing much to add, but have enjoyed the discussion.  We've given to our church and charities our adult life.  We will move after retirement next summer, so among many things, we will need to find a new church. 
Check out my blog.  Early retirement from a military perspective.

http://chartprepping.com




mbolton

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #63 on: November 11, 2017, 07:29:19 AM »
Lutheran and Baptist here.

Mustachianism is not in conflict with our faith.  We give to the church and as many others have pointed out that Mustachianism is a form of stewardship.  One of our goals after reaching FIRE is to be able to volunteer and give back.

Romans 13:8 - Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.

skeeder

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #64 on: November 17, 2017, 11:09:36 AM »
On one hand I could say "gee, if I could save that 10% instead of give it to a church my stash would be much better off".  Yet, I feel blessed that my income has increased every year and we've paid off a ton of debt. 

All of these things we were doing before finding this website.  Prior to this website it was minimalism (becoming minimalist etc.), and prior to that was Dave Ramsey.  Plus my financial advising history and literature, it made it clear regardless of your income you can make saving a big priority.  Our desire is to have the house paid off and then retire/career #2 for me.  Ironically, I want to get back into financial advising. 

So I don't feel faith has effected it, if anything, the opposite is true.  Faith has lead me here, to this website, to this point. 
Never cry for money because it never cries for you. -Mr. Wonderful

shelivesthedream

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #65 on: November 17, 2017, 11:36:04 AM »
Why do so many people think "affected" has to be negative?

ixtap

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #66 on: November 17, 2017, 12:01:52 PM »
Why do so many people think "affected" has to be negative?

Between that an confusing affect and effect, this thread is getting more and more confusing.

StarBright

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #67 on: November 17, 2017, 12:45:34 PM »
We are frugal, but not because we want to retire early, exactly. Both my husband (a social worker) and I (a teacher) have careers that we find deeply meaningful and rewarding, and for us working is (mostly) joyful.

But our credo is "radical generosity" and it is heavily influenced by Richard Foster, a Quaker who wrote Freedom of Simplicity and several other excellent books. So instead of being frugal in order to amass an enormous "stache" of wealth, we aim to give as much as we can away while still being responsible about saving for the future.

We save 15% of our income in retirement accounts, tithe 10% to our non-denominational church that meets at a community gym and gives heavily to the poor, and give 5% additionally to causes we find meaningful. In the future, when we aren't trying to pay off a mortgage early and pay for daycare for two children, we hope to give much more. Eventually our goal is to become FI so that we can pursue some kind of service regardless of pay. That won't be for at least fifteen more years, but I imagine it would look something like teaching at a missionary school or working at an orphanage abroad. That's our long-term vision, anyway.

So yes, we are very, very frugal, despite the fact that our combined salaries are north of $150k. We drive old cars and most of the things we buy are used. This blog and the forums are quite helpful in aiding frugality. Our motivation, however, is sometimes a bit different. We aren't using wealth in order to get out of the rat race. We don't feel as though we are in a rat race.

In a Christian worldview, "Mustachianism" would be referred to as "stewardship". I have read many, many books on the subject. But you really can't beat the New Testament. You cannot serve both God and Mammon. Don't be a fool, storing your extra wealth in more barns. Your very life could be demanded of you tonight.

Whenever I look at my retirement accounts, I kind of shake my head and think of the foolish farmer in the parable. To me, the money we give away is the only money that has any kind of eternal value.

This is a really great post and the bolded sentence is beautiful! Thank you.

Kwill

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #68 on: November 17, 2017, 04:49:56 PM »
Why do so many people think "affected" has to be negative?

I didn't pick up on that until you pointed it out, but it might be a US English vs UK English difference in how the word is most commonly used.

https://www.ahdictionary.com/word/search.html?q=affect
https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/affect

theadvicist

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #69 on: November 18, 2017, 09:44:37 AM »

2. Service.
Tithing is not preached in our church, but giving is. We give some money to a non-church charity and my husband gives a lot of time to the church. I don't especially want to get involved with my husband's church, but at present I don't feel like I have a lot to give that people generally want, and I am finding it hard to seek out opportunities for service that align with my talents and interests (basically, I am very organised and efficient but not very good at dealing with people. So no, I do not want to volunteer with the youth group, we will all have a miserable time!). I'm also not able to commit to anything too structured/long term right now. No one advertises for low-key volunteering opportunities that involve a lot of paperwork and sitting down! Urgent FIRE has never been a priority for me, but now that I have enough saved up to not need to worry about the immediate future and am downshifting my working life for other reasons I'm wondering what else life has in store for me and finding it hard to come up with a good answer.

SLTD I have the perfect sitting down paperwork job for you - treasurer (ie bookkeeper). Shame you don’t live closer because our church is looking for a new one, their current (excellent) treasurer is having twins in a few weeks!

This could be for any organisation you care about. The work is not time-specific so you can do it whenever. You might have to attend meetings perhaps monthly, but i have found if you are volunteering people are understanding about other commitments. Write a few cheques, tally up some figures in columns and present “the accounts” to much acclaim once a year. You can go for a small or a large roll just by considering /asking the number of bank transactions in a given month. Your local community centre, scouts, refugee assistance organisation, dog’s home, all these places need a competent bookkeeper, just depends what cause you are into.

Anyway, just an idea for something service-related that I thought might be a good fit for your skills. Though I know you might not be looking to take something else on right now.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #70 on: November 18, 2017, 09:49:42 AM »

2. Service.
Tithing is not preached in our church, but giving is. We give some money to a non-church charity and my husband gives a lot of time to the church. I don't especially want to get involved with my husband's church, but at present I don't feel like I have a lot to give that people generally want, and I am finding it hard to seek out opportunities for service that align with my talents and interests (basically, I am very organised and efficient but not very good at dealing with people. So no, I do not want to volunteer with the youth group, we will all have a miserable time!). I'm also not able to commit to anything too structured/long term right now. No one advertises for low-key volunteering opportunities that involve a lot of paperwork and sitting down! Urgent FIRE has never been a priority for me, but now that I have enough saved up to not need to worry about the immediate future and am downshifting my working life for other reasons I'm wondering what else life has in store for me and finding it hard to come up with a good answer.

SLTD I have the perfect sitting down paperwork job for you - treasurer (ie bookkeeper). Shame you don’t live closer because our church is looking for a new one, their current (excellent) treasurer is having twins in a few weeks!

This could be for any organisation you care about. The work is not time-specific so you can do it whenever. You might have to attend meetings perhaps monthly, but i have found if you are volunteering people are understanding about other commitments. Write a few cheques, tally up some figures in columns and present “the accounts” to much acclaim once a year. You can go for a small or a large roll just by considering /asking the number of bank transactions in a given month. Your local community centre, scouts, refugee assistance organisation, dog’s home, all these places need a competent bookkeeper, just depends what cause you are into.

Anyway, just an idea for something service-related that I thought might be a good fit for your skills. Though I know you might not be looking to take something else on right now.

That does sound kinda good, but I just worry about the responsibility of having to keep track of the organisation's money. I don't have any experience of actual bookkeeping (although obviously I can do maths and use Excel) - what if I mess it up and get in trouble? I've been a volunteer secretary before, though, and quite enjoyed it. I take some fierce minutes! :) I might do some research on local organisations - my main problem is that I'd want them to be hyper-local (like, fifteen minute walk) and I don't know the area well enough yet to know what's around.

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #71 on: November 18, 2017, 09:50:21 AM »
Mustachianism is a good complement to a Christian life. Christianity (when actually followed) is in opposition to wastefulness and selfishness. Mustachianism is about working hard to get enough and then being satisfied with enough while you use your time in purposeful ways.

theadvicist

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #72 on: November 18, 2017, 10:42:41 AM »

That does sound kinda good, but I just worry about the responsibility of having to keep track of the organisation's money. I don't have any experience of actual bookkeeping (although obviously I can do maths and use Excel) - what if I mess it up and get in trouble? I've been a volunteer secretary before, though, and quite enjoyed it. I take some fierce minutes! :) I might do some research on local organisations - my main problem is that I'd want them to be hyper-local (like, fifteen minute walk) and I don't know the area well enough yet to know what's around.

You wouldn’t mess it up! Honestly it’s super simple, and most very small organisations will have very few transactions. The only hard part is if there’s any cash being handled, because I find volunteers can’t count, and even when someone ‘double checks’ it, either than person can’t count, doesn’t count, or they don’t want to disagree with the first person. I count all cash given to me in front of the person now, and make sure we both agree how much it is.

My good friend is our secretary and she enjoys it. The work is a bit more time-sensitive (eg getting minutes and agendas out in time for meetings) but it’s not an ”every Tuesday at 8pm whether I feel like it or not” kind of commitment, which is what I hate.

Just keep your eyes open as you walk around. If you spot a community centre or church hall look on the notice board for different groups. As you get to know the area better you’ll see what’s around (and mat leave will be great for that, you’ll be at the library / surgery etc going to groups and getting the baby weighed and meet lots of people involved in different things!)

Kwill

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #73 on: November 18, 2017, 02:02:37 PM »
SLTD I have the perfect sitting down paperwork job for you - treasurer (ie bookkeeper). Shame you don’t live closer because our church is looking for a new one, their current (excellent) treasurer is having twins in a few weeks!

This could be for any organisation you care about. The work is not time-specific so you can do it whenever. You might have to attend meetings perhaps monthly, but i have found if you are volunteering people are understanding about other commitments. Write a few cheques, tally up some figures in columns and present “the accounts” to much acclaim once a year. You can go for a small or a large roll just by considering /asking the number of bank transactions in a given month. Your local community centre, scouts, refugee assistance organisation, dog’s home, all these places need a competent bookkeeper, just depends what cause you are into.

Anyway, just an idea for something service-related that I thought might be a good fit for your skills. Though I know you might not be looking to take something else on right now.

That does sound kinda good, but I just worry about the responsibility of having to keep track of the organisation's money. I don't have any experience of actual bookkeeping (although obviously I can do maths and use Excel) - what if I mess it up and get in trouble? I've been a volunteer secretary before, though, and quite enjoyed it. I take some fierce minutes! :) I might do some research on local organisations - my main problem is that I'd want them to be hyper-local (like, fifteen minute walk) and I don't know the area well enough yet to know what's around.

Treasurer for a church may be very different depending on the size and age of the church. There may be tax-related reporting and rules relating to charitable status and gift aid. There might be investments in an endowment, building loan complications, bequests, emergency payments needed if the roof blows off in a storm, etc. I wouldn't take on something like that lightly without some prior experience or training. Treasurer for a small local club without a building might be possible with less fuss.

FIREySkyline

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #74 on: November 18, 2017, 08:14:40 PM »
Non-denominational here in the most literal possible sense. This is a great topic, and I've enjoyed many of the responses.

As mentioned previously, Mustachianism/FIRE is simply a means to an end. In and of itself, it means nothing. But frugality fits perfectly with the life Christians are called to live. It's been exciting to see what's possible in the kingdom with these principles.

For me and DW, it's about reaching FIRE so we can spend full time doing ministry/aide work without the need for income -- so it's in complete unity. This is also why we're trying to make our FIRE number minimal, to get there ASAP and need to allocate as little to our own living as possible.

Regarding tithing, we do 10%+, but not specifically to the local church, rather, to any cause that spreads the gospel and helps the helpless. I've thought about it plenty, but to me giving back that first 10% to God is all about faithfulness and faith (trust) in God's plan. I mean, if the tithe/firstfruits sacrifice was a big deal all the way back to Cain and Abel, I can't see it not being important today. Besides, even though our goal is to fund ministry with FIRE, storing up treasures in heaven should be priority #1 both now and then. God can bring unexpected cashflow and/or expenses; we really control much less than we give ourselves credit for sometimes. Being faithful now gives God the reins and makes our lives more open to his plans -- which are better than ours. As others have mentioned, He always honors that faithfulness.

« Last Edit: November 18, 2017, 08:16:12 PM by FIREySkyline »

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #75 on: November 21, 2017, 06:40:31 AM »
Well said. I kind of consider my current firehose of cash situation as "seven years of harvest", and would not be surprised to have "seven years of famine" coming up soon. Given that SO is interested in international development work, and his idea of a good time is sleeping in a tobacco drying shed in some small village while working with the locals, seven years of famine sounds about right.

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #76 on: November 25, 2017, 06:49:56 AM »
Regarding tithing, we do 10%+, but not specifically to the local church, rather, to any cause that spreads the gospel and helps the helpless. I've thought about it plenty, but to me giving back that first 10% to God is all about faithfulness and faith (trust) in God's plan. I mean, if the tithe/firstfruits sacrifice was a big deal all the way back to Cain and Abel, I can't see it not being important today. Besides, even though our goal is to fund ministry with FIRE, storing up treasures in heaven should be priority #1 both now and then. God can bring unexpected cashflow and/or expenses; we really control much less than we give ourselves credit for sometimes. Being faithful now gives God the reins and makes our lives more open to his plans -- which are better than ours. As others have mentioned, He always honors that faithfulness.

That's pretty much how I approach tithing. I think the 10% thing is for people who may be challenged a bit in their charitable giving and need a guideline to help them out. Personally, I give to the church to help with operational expenses plus their charity programs and then I'm involved in various other charitable organizations that I help regularly -- especially when they have emergency situations. Thanks to Mustachianism, I have a lot of extra money that can be used for these purposes, so when folks run into really difficult problems -- like health emergencies -- I have the money to help them out.

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #77 on: November 26, 2017, 10:50:20 AM »
Ex-Catholic here, haven't really figured out yet if other forms of Christianity might be a good fit, just wanted to chime in to say I've found this conversation interesting. I'm still very much influenced by my religious upbringing, which was very conservative Catholic but of the Charistmatic Renewal type, not the Latin Mass/High Church type of conservative.

Charity is something I really struggle with. I struggle with slowing down our FIRE journey, especially since we came in to Mustachianism in poor financial health, thinking that in achieving our baseline goals sooner and then doing charitable work our total lifetime charity will be highest. But maybe that's my natural tight-fistedness speaking.
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Imma

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #78 on: November 26, 2017, 01:03:56 PM »
Ex-Catholic here, haven't really figured out yet if other forms of Christianity might be a good fit, just wanted to chime in to say I've found this conversation interesting. I'm still very much influenced by my religious upbringing, which was very conservative Catholic but of the Charistmatic Renewal type, not the Latin Mass/High Church type of conservative.

Charity is something I really struggle with. I struggle with slowing down our FIRE journey, especially since we came in to Mustachianism in poor financial health, thinking that in achieving our baseline goals sooner and then doing charitable work our total lifetime charity will be highest. But maybe that's my natural tight-fistedness speaking.

I think that's just a different approach, not necessarily a better or worse option. I don't believe in a one-size-fits-all approach. Which is also why I'm not really a supporter of tithing. Of course it's a good thing to make it a habit to support charity, but I have also met people who seem to think they can 'buy off' their sins by giving 10% to church.

One of the more important men in the (Catholic) church I grew up in was a guy like that. He owned a local business that employed a lot of people, he had plenty of money and gave very generously to the church. His wife and kids were very active in the church community, they seemed to be decent enough people, but he was a pretty nasty guy. He was arrogant, creepy around women, partied heavily when away on business trips. Giving to charity is a good habit, but for some people tithing is a really easy thing to do and it kind of justifies everything else for them. I believe that you should try to be charitable every day of your life, not just on payday when you write the check to your church. 

One way I try to be charitable is by opening up our home, sharing our food, house and when necessary our belongings. We know a lot of people who live out of town but need to visit this place for a few days every now and then. The door to our guest bedroom is always open to everyone, we have taken in a friend who became homeless for a year. We try to invite people to share our holidays with us as well. The holiday part is always fun, but people staying over is sometimes a bit testing, especially if they're staying for a longer period of time like the homeless friend. I strongly feel like this is something we have to do regardless of the minor inconvenience to us. We are so lucky that we have a warm home with a guest bedroom, it'd be incredibly selfish if we didn't share that with people who don't have that. 

One of the main reasons why I grew disenchanted with the Catholic church is because I saw in my local parish how much money the church needed to spend on itself, rather than on charity, and that they needed it so desperately they were willing to put up with the behaviour of nasty guys like that local rich guy. I don't think that's something that happens only in Catholic churches, by the way - after all, the core of the Christian belief is that people are by nature sinful - but seeing this as a teenager attracted me to the plain people. That's a movement that hardly exists in Europe, but I think I read every book in the library about them. In a way, nonconformity to the world is a practice that is also central to Mustachianism. We try to live a very simple life on purpose. Even though we are not members of a particular church or regular churchgoers, I think this part of the faith is central to our lives.

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #79 on: November 26, 2017, 05:30:48 PM »
Interesting discussion, and certainly far better than the normal holy wars that arise about tithing...

We are tithing and I notice no difference in our savings rate! It's been eye opening.

It's amazing how that works, isn't it?  Obviously this is not a Scriptural promise, and this is where the prosperity theology manages to twist the Bible, but I've certainly seen this in my life - "You want me to give how much?  M'kay... I really don't know where this is coming from, but I'll give."  And then, somehow, it works - and I had more.  As much as I dislike the associations with the word "stewardship" (visions of the annual Stewardship Sermon growing up), it's a good term.  Are we using God's resources for God's Kingdom?  We'll be tested with little, and if we are faithful, we'll be given more - yet, expected to be faithful with that as well.  I've been tithing(ish - I don't pull out the calculator for every side gig) for a long while now, and I simply don't miss the money.  Tithe, max out 401k, and live on the rest.  It's not technically first fruits in that I'm paid every 2 weeks and randomly, and church giving is taken out twice a month, but that's just something that comes out regularly.  I've actually considered going back to writing a check so it's more in the front of my mind, but haven't gotten there yet.  Auto-debit is pretty handy...

The Bible often talks about greed and patience.    Anyone thinking of putting money into crypto currencies or the latest hot bio tech stock should read up on those verses.

Certainly, though I'll note that a long hold strategy on Bitcoin from early on would have been very, very profitable.  I don't do any day trading, but I made a good chunk of money "selling the shovels" in the late FPGA/early ASIC era when BFL was constantly delaying.

I think I would feel like I was doing something wrong if I had $50,000 sitting in bank for a what if. For me that would not be trusting God to provide for me. That would be trusting in me. I don't worry at all about being not having enough money. Its always there.

I understand your argument, but there are quite a few bits of wisdom in Proverbs about storing up for the future.  I'd agree that relying on one's emergency fund or such too much isn't Biblical, but at the same time, we're called to be wise stewards of resources.  By your argument on the surface, Joseph wasn't trusting God in storing up grain from the 7 years of good production for the 7 years of famine.  We don't know what's coming, and having some ability to buffer that (or simply to have the resources to be generous) is wise preparation.

If you are on the path to FIRE, I'd look at what you plan to do with your time once retired - if you can be FI younger than average, that's huge in terms of having the time and resources to spread the Gospel.  Not that many working people have the time to really dedicate to planting churches, reaching out in the community, etc.  But FI?  Yeah, I can spend my time working for the Kingdom!  Better, still, if I have the resources to be generous.  So there's a balance to be struck.

======

Going back to the original question, it impacts how I spend my time and resources.  I'm part of a church that is very, very focused on outreach into the local community and on serving locally.  We set aside 10% of the church income into a fund that is dedicated to helping locally - we've bought families a vehicle when they needed one, helped cover rent, been able to give generously to other local organizations, etc.  The school we meet at (mobile church) is in a really low income area, so we're working with them to be able to provide resources to students and families - the school has a resource room filled with, literally, things like underwear, socks, peanut butter, Mac & Cheese, etc.  We want to partner with the school in being able to be effective with that.  I'm planning to organize a more official "garden production swap" next year, where we have a place, on Sunday, to bring our garden production, with a focus on, "If you need something, take something" - if you brought something or not.  We had something like that, more unofficially this year, and I've seen some people very, very excited about a giant zucchini, because that's a lot of extra food for them.  We meet in a bit of a food desert, but a lot of us have property and gardens.  I'm working towards being able to be as productive as I can with my property, not only to meet our own needs, but to be able to be generous with the excess.

What this means, in my own life, is that I try to "default yes" to opportunities to serve and help.  I can't always make it, but if I can?  I'll be there.  Don't care what it is.  Let's get our hands dirty and dive in!

+1 to this post.  All of it. 

Though in my case, I cannot possibly say "yes" to all opportunities to serve and help: there are constantly so many (even amazing ones!) that I have to limit them.  I do so not out of selfishness, but out of a desire to do the most that I can and put the gifts God has blessed me with to the highest possible use.

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #80 on: November 26, 2017, 05:32:28 PM »
I asked about denomination because it helps to have a general sense of people's ecclesiastical background. Different churches emphasise different things so when people talk about things like tithing it's nice to know where they're coming from and to contextualise it in the general tone of that church.
I've appreciated seeing the different perspectives. I think we might have more in common with each other as fellow Christians who seek FI through frugality than we do gwnerally with other members of our respective denominations. Thanks for starting this thread.

Very much agree here, robartsd.  (And am glad to very much agree with you, too, after disagreeing on some other, less important, matter.  Glad to see your post here.) 

sequoia

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #81 on: November 26, 2017, 08:18:06 PM »
For me, lifelong frugal, it is the extreme aversion to waste. The idea that a charity could take the money that I have saved with much care, and waste it on excessive admin costs or just budget items that I would consider wasteful, makes me fearful of giving.

I agree with that 100%. That's why I generally research who to give to. I give most to MSF (doctors without borders) because over 80% of every dollar actually makes it to the people on the ground. Not to mention they do amazing work in the most dangerous places (like how the US blew up one of their hospitals a year or so ago in an airstrike killing several of their doctors..terrible stuff). I also donate to local causes.

Otherwise many charities feel like a scam. My mom gives to a couple and now she gets spammed EVERY DAY by other charities via snail mail. You should see some of the stuff. Blatantly trying to guilt people into giving. Or they send a 'free gift' like a calculator and ask that you send them money in return as a donation. Red Cross is terrible for this. So is the SPCA and a few others. I feel it really cheapens their brands, though I do in principle believe in their work..just not their administration. Anyways, enough of a rant :)

+1. I research who to give to. I do admit I do not support some programs that the church I attended because I consider it wasteful. I am sure I am the minority or the only one who thinks this way, but I am fine with this. 

partgypsy

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #82 on: November 27, 2017, 06:54:16 AM »
I am a "lapsed" Eastern Orthodox. I do not attend church (save most years Easter, palm Sunday) but do practice Lent. I do not intend in the future on being part of an organized religion. Tithing a specific amount was not emphasized in the church I attended, though giving during Lent and Christmas - New Years is. My grandmother was a big influence on me. She was devout, but did not advertise it. She did not do any missionary trips or grand gestures, but lived her life needing very little, keeping busy and giving to those around her. Stewardship to me, not just helping people, is about taking care of this earth that we all depend. So I perhaps have diverged from standard Christianity in that humans and our souls are not the end all and be all.
 
The other big influence on me has been the philosophy of Taoism. Among other things, it states the only thing that is constant, is change. Life itself is temporal. Although it is an essential part of the human condition, attachment (to other people, and particularly to material things) leads to suffering. This philosophy helps me put things in perspective. All of these beliefs, leads to a life that is more about doing, than consuming. You have to consume to live, but when you are around loved ones and involved more with doing than consuming, a little goes a long way, and is more joyful.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2017, 06:59:08 AM by partgypsy »

Imma

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #83 on: November 27, 2017, 07:30:17 AM »
My grandmother is inspiring like that too. She's never preachy about religion, she doesn't mind if you're not religious at all, but the main theme throughout her life has been caring for other people. She raised her children and her grandchildren, she was devoted to her husband until his death, she cared for many friends and neighbours during the last years of their lives. She's always looking out for lonely people in her community. She has been quietly serving other people for her entire life. She's well in her 80s now and not fit enough to care for others physically, but she still lives independently and she's still looking out for other people. She still has people she cooks for and she visits people who can't go out because of ill health.

What I like about her is that she's never judging. She is very devout and she believes judging is God's job, not hers. Her job is just to care for other people as well as she can. She has spent relatively little time studying the Bible (because she's always working, she doesn't sit down except in church) but she has very clearly understood the message of the Gospel. She has a wonderful, rock solid, simple faith in Jesus Christ.

StarBright

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #84 on: November 27, 2017, 07:44:19 AM »
I have really been savoring the responses in this thread and as requests for church commitments and money came in over the Thanksgiving holiday I thought of this thread a few times.

I was raised Catholic (and actually still identify as Catholic - because you can't outrun that programming :)) but as an adult have found my home in the Episcopal Church.

One of the ways my faith has affected Mustachianism in a good way is that the frequent volunteering with communities that have less constantly makes me evaluate what "enough" is for my family.

On the other hand my father's family always tithed and while my grandmother always said they had "enough" my father remembers eating straight mayonnaise as a child because it was all they had in the house until next pay day. It is not a good memory for him. So I don't keep hard and fast rules about charitable giving or "enough."

A (slight) negative on my faith and savings is that I have a strong urge to reactively give and for the last several months I have slightly busted my budget on responsive charitable giving.

In general I'm not big on evangelizing - about faith or money- but in both cases I try to be the best version of myself that I can and I'm always happy to share my motivations if people ask. I think both my spirituality and mustachianism are facets of the desire to just be a good and helpful human who makes the planet a slightly better place.

change_seeker

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #85 on: November 27, 2017, 03:29:08 PM »
As others above, I have really enjoyed reading this thread!  My wife and I grew up in the Evangelical Free Church, and have since attended a Southern Baptist, Brethren Fellowship (in India), Assemblies of God, and Harvest Chapel.

Our financial journey included time walking through Dave Ramsey's baby steps to become debt free.  At the time I did not feel that Dave's philosophy followed the teachings of Jesus once you were debt free.  "Live like no one else so you can LIVE LIKE NO ONE ELSE!"  In the same way, I see Mustachianism as a good tool, but towards a different end than Mr. MM.  Every decision that I make, including financial ones, needs to be made through the lens of my faith.  I believe that 'money' below could be replaced with 'not spending money'.

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For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
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Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #86 on: December 01, 2017, 10:35:30 PM »
I love this thread.  Now I finally have time to respond, while sitting here watching the Christmas tree and fire (well, fake Christmastime TV fire). 

Personally, I find that Mustachianism is a great complement to the gospel in the world.  It encourages fantastic stewardship.  It allows people a way to live and serve one another more powerfully than they otherwise could, and to make an even greater impact if they steward their time similarly. 

In fact, I love Pete's gift for expressing human inefficiency in ways that make it apparent - and make change appealing.  He has a gift for it and uses that gift well.

With all of that said, yes, sometimes Mustachianism can conflict with faith - for instance, we're called upon to give regardless of whether we are on a journey to FI or not.  (Though my perspective is that people who say don't give aren't necessarily being "Mustachian" as much as they are sharing an opinion about what's valuable to them.)  Someone above related the relevant parable.  And I struggle with things like, for instance, how to appropriately tithe on the increase that comes to my tax-advantaged accounts, because that's important. 

The main sticking points are about ends, though, rather than means.  Mustachianism for many is about stewarding well.  Where Christians may conflict is the why, and for what purpose.  For us, it is to serve others, as we have been served, and to give back, generally.  Maybe that means using our early retirement to do other great things for humanity - while giving more to our own families, as well (as we are called to do).  And maybe that means giving greatly to other ministries as well. 

To @TempusFugit, you raise some interesting questions related to that last issue such as not giving, and whether retiring early is selfish.  For early retirement, I think it depends entirely upon what you're doing with it.  If you save up to go vacation around for years and years and years, then yeah, that may be unbiblical and selfish.  But if you do it because you steward well, it's fine.  And if you use your time to give back even more - including to the people you love - then I think you're showing God honor there.  It's about the ends you put it to, rather than the tool you use. 

Personally, Mustachianism is a tool to encourage me to do better in this area and it helps me to give even more of myself and my resources to others.  The end goal for me is to "retire" early in a way that allows me to pursue the things I am gifted at full-time in a meaningful way without financial constraints.  (Finances constrain me from some of those things as of now.) 

Plus, in many ways, I think Mustachian folks - including many on this forum - are already a long ways towards faith and taking further steps in that direction by the way in which they order their lives.

Finally, I also enjoy Mustachianism and finances because it's a place to talk openly about finances and stewardship, which links so well to so many areas of life where the gospel stands ready to shed some wisdom - relationships, boundaries, fulfillment, work, purpose, meaning, giving.

robartsd

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #87 on: December 04, 2017, 12:56:51 PM »
And I struggle with things like, for instance, how to appropriately tithe on the increase that comes to my tax-advantaged accounts, because that's important. 
I've struggled with this somewhat too. Currently I tithe based on gross income minus contributions to defined benefit plans with the intention to tithe proceeds from defined benefit plans as they come. Previously I tithed on gross income. When I made the change, I did not attempt to adjust for the tithes I had previously paid on contributions to defined benefit plans and do not intend to adjust for them later. I still tithe earnings that are contributed to defined contribution plans as I figure it is easier in such plans to track what was put in over the years.

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #88 on: December 04, 2017, 07:47:49 PM »
And I struggle with things like, for instance, how to appropriately tithe on the increase that comes to my tax-advantaged accounts, because that's important. 
I've struggled with this somewhat too. Currently I tithe based on gross income minus contributions to defined benefit plans with the intention to tithe proceeds from defined benefit plans as they come. Previously I tithed on gross income. When I made the change, I did not attempt to adjust for the tithes I had previously paid on contributions to defined benefit plans and do not intend to adjust for them later. I still tithe earnings that are contributed to defined contribution plans as I figure it is easier in such plans to track what was put in over the years.

Yeah, that's more or less where I'm at, too.  Otherwise, the accounting is a beast - and doesn't make much sense, since you don't realize the gain (really) until you take it out.  It could all go to near-zilch tomorrow. 

Glad to know I'm not alone on that.

Bartleby_the_Scrivener

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #89 on: December 04, 2017, 08:05:39 PM »
Some food for thought from someone whom I daresay knows more about the topic than anyone posting on this board (if anyone here has translated the New Testament, I apologize for my assumptions).

https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/christs-rabble

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/04/opinion/sunday/christianity-communism.html

shelivesthedream

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #90 on: December 05, 2017, 09:27:55 AM »
Some food for thought from someone whom I daresay knows more about the topic than anyone posting on this board (if anyone here has translated the New Testament, I apologize for my assumptions).

https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/christs-rabble

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/04/opinion/sunday/christianity-communism.html

Thanks for posting these. This is the sort of thing that troubles me. "Sell all your possessions and give your money to the poor" - oh yeah, but, like, Jesus didn't mean ALL your possessions...

FINate

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #91 on: December 05, 2017, 11:19:53 AM »
Some food for thought from someone whom I daresay knows more about the topic than anyone posting on this board (if anyone here has translated the New Testament, I apologize for my assumptions).

https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/christs-rabble

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/04/opinion/sunday/christianity-communism.html

Thanks for posting these. This is the sort of thing that troubles me. "Sell all your possessions and give your money to the poor" - oh yeah, but, like, Jesus didn't mean ALL your possessions...

Jesus also said you should cut off your right hand and gouge out your eye if these cause you to sin. And he said you must hate your family to follow him. Yet early Christians didn't go around lopping off their hands or poking out their eyes, and there's no indication they initiated cutting of ties with family. These are widely understood as hyperbole. Yet many Christians have had to endure such things to follow Christ. The early church was heavily persecuted and gouging out eyes was a common form of torture for followers of The Way. Some of the early church fathers at the Councils of Nicea had been blinded and mutilated for their faith. Other believers have had to accept that their families would disown and/or disinherit them for following Christ. Many followers have given up everything to follow Jesus. So is this a command to proactively give up everything, or is Jesus saying we need to worship God first even if that means giving up everything, including potentially our very life?

As for the story of the rich young man: Although I'm not an expert in Biblical Greek there are great tools/resources for exploring the original text. Mr Hart's interpretation of "Who then can be saved?" as "Then can any [of them, the rich] be saved?" I disagree with. From what I can tell the most straightforward translation seems to be the former (and many other experts agree). Putting this version in context further favors "who then can be saved", because it says that the disciples were astonished at what Jesus said. Why were the disciples astonished? At that time it was widely believed that the rich had found favor with God (or the gods for the pagans) and ritual sacrifices in first century Judaism (the religious context of the story) were expensive. If it's difficult for the rich, who were seen as being more righteous and more able to fulfill the requirements of the Law, to enter the "kingdom of God" (BTW - this doesn't simply mean "going to heaven" - see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zy2AQlK6C5k) then what hope does anyone have? Jesus was flipping the established social order on its head.

It's true that early believers lived communally, but there's no indication that this is a primary doctrine of Christian theology. It's a great counterpoint to Christians who insist that communism is somehow "unchristian," but there's no indication in scripture that this is how believers are necessarily expected to live. I do think it very strongly suggests that local churches are to love and care for one another, which includes sharing possessions/finances as needed. I don't think this means giving financial support to a member so they can keep paying for cable, but this does make a case for frugal living so that you have the ability to help others in real need. Again, I think this is all rooted in the concept of stewardship, that we are managers of life and possessions rather than owners. We need money to live, but it is not primarily for our benefit. If our goal for FIRE is to live a life of luxury and comfort, that's at odds with scripture. However, a FIRE with the goal to be free of wage slavery to be able to better serve others...I don't see any problem with that.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2017, 11:25:08 AM by FINate »

atelica

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #92 on: December 05, 2017, 07:57:06 PM »
Wow, some really great responses in this thread.  I feel like a lot of you have beautifully articulated things I have been contemplating awhile.  Thank you.

I'm unsure how religious to consider myself -- I grew up in the South, went to nondenominational megachurch for a few years in high school and the start of college, loved so much of the Bible and analyzing it, got in trouble for thinking/doubting/questioning, and consequently became very disillusioned with organized religion.  But I can imagine, had my church been much different, that I would have stayed, and so much of scripture still shapes my thinking.

For me, I see an intersection of Christianity and minimalism and Mustachianism.  I see all of these movements as encouraging us to be intentional and deliberate in how we spend our time and money and attention.  How we invest our time and money is the ultimate reflection of what we prioritize.  Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  I also see them all as celebrating counterculture and encouraging us to make radical, uncomfortable, unpopular choices.  So I donate to Against Malaria Foundation and Give Directly, probably about 5% of my salary now, but I'd like to increase that as I get older.  I try to opt out of consumerism.  I try to be politically active.  I spend time on art and writing, and with friends and family.  And I try to eliminate a lot of cultural stuff from my life -- television, eating meat, gender expectations, buying stuff, having clutter, cars, alcohol, etc.  Not so much because I think all of those are inherently bad, but because I don't truly want them, and I remind myself that I can design my life exactly as I like.

I'm not a particularly good Mustachian or a particularly good Christian, I guess.  But I learn from both.

talltexan

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Re: Christians - how does your faith affect your Mustachianism?
« Reply #93 on: December 06, 2017, 08:56:39 AM »
As others above, I have really enjoyed reading this thread!  My wife and I grew up in the Evangelical Free Church, and have since attended a Southern Baptist, Brethren Fellowship (in India), Assemblies of God, and Harvest Chapel.

Our financial journey included time walking through Dave Ramsey's baby steps to become debt free.  At the time I did not feel that Dave's philosophy followed the teachings of Jesus once you were debt free.  "Live like no one else so you can LIVE LIKE NO ONE ELSE!"  In the same way, I see Mustachianism as a good tool, but towards a different end than Mr. MM.  Every decision that I make, including financial ones, needs to be made through the lens of my faith.  I believe that 'money' below could be replaced with 'not spending money'.

1 Timothy 6:10
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

Occasional Dave Ramsey listener here: I understand that the book of his that most clearly explains his philosophy about giving and managing wealth is The Legacy Journey. I have heard DR state several times he feels that it is his most overtly Christian book. Are you arguing that the philosophy in that book is contrary to Jesus' teachings?