Link: Rachel, stop whac-a-moling other Christians. Please.

Good thoughts from  Derek Ouellette on Rachel Held Evans’ criticism of Dave Ramsey.  I wholeheartedly agree.

He writes:

As a Christian I’m compelled to challenge Evans ungenerous assumptions about Dave’s teaching. He is her brother in the Lord. So I have to ask myself why she would jump to such preemptive conclusions, then plaster her opinion of his teachings all over a secular media source prompting scoffers in the comments to make claims like:

“just one more in a countless line of scammers using a bronze age book of stories to squeeze money out of gullible fools. It’s been going on for 2000 years!”

This is why it is so important for Christians to address each other in Christian venue’s. The image of the Church is already in disrepair and I think Evans’ taking to CNN to offer heavy-handed accusations to a fellow Christian does Christ more harm than good.

Rachel, please put down your hammer and stop whac-a-moling other Christians.

See Derek’s post here.

Evans frequently takes things too far with those she disagrees with. She is not charitable.  She doesn’t give the benefit of the doubt to her brothers and sisters in Christ.  She did the same thing with Calvinists John Piper and Mark Driscoll (who any casual reader of the blog with know I’m not fans of).  She refers to their “god” (in lower case), and attributes beliefs to them that they do not hold, or would at least have a more nuanced way of expressing. It’s gotten to the point I don’t care to follow her anymore. And that’s a shame, because sometimes she is inspiring.

Our family has benefited from taking Ramsey’s class. A few years ago we had student loans, car loans, and additional consumer debt. Now we have everything paid off but the mortgage, and have money in savings. We have definitely benefited from his class.  We’re able to give more, and we have more “financial peace” because of it.

Having said that, I don’t agree with Ramsey on everything. I would like to see him focus more on simplicity, and less on acquiring stuff – even if it’s paid for. But overall he’s a solid teacher.

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5 Comments

Filed under Dave Ramsey, Rachel Held Evans

5 responses to “Link: Rachel, stop whac-a-moling other Christians. Please.

  1. My neighbor, who is not saved, recommends Ramsey to all his friends including me. Ramsey has had a big impact even on the lost. I rejoice in that.

  2. Kevin, I understand the sentiment in your post. Christian unity ought to be one of our central aims.

    Do you think there’s a difference between whac-a-moling Christians-haphazardly knocking down those you don’t agree with- and a prophetic rebuke that defends the marginalized, especially Christians marginalized by the teachings of other Christians?

    I’m not sure if my question is entirely clear. If various teachers are creating disunity in the body by rejecting the gifts and full status of women in the church and if someone’s theology inappropriately condemns the poor, then ought not someone speak to these voices of power and influence (as good and helpful as some of their teaching is)?

    • Hi Curt, thanks for the comment.

      No Christian is above criticism. But if Evans was interested in genuine correction and dialogue , she could have handled this situation a lot better. She could have written a piece on her blog, instead of in a secular outlet (which opens all Christians up to ridicule). She could have done a Q&A session with Ramsey, like she has done with a lot of others she has disagreed with. If he wasn’t interested in doing that, she could have done it with someone who works in his organization (like Jon Acuff for example, whom she’s interviewed before). And she should have been more charitable, by working to understand where Dave is coming from, and by acknowledging that he has good motivations even if she disagrees with his methods.

      If you’re implying (I’m not sure you are) that Dave Ramsey condemns the marginalized, I’d strongly disagree. He is one of the biggest advocates out there who helps the poor (fighting against predatory lending practices, and helping out single moms, for example). He’s also egalitarian as far as I know. He speaks of the importance of spouses working together, and how they should always decide things together.

      • Kevin, thanks for your reply. You make some good points about the alternative ways she could have gone about this whole thing.

        Condemn is probably too strong a word. Maybe marginalize? One can help and marginalize at the same time. But really I don’t know much about him, I was trying to describe an observation that Evans’ criticism seems to come in defense of groups that are marginalized within the family of God.

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