Friday, July 06, 2007

Earn, Save, and Give

The following e-advertisement received from my denominational headquarters is a bit rich (pardon the pun)!

Earn, Save, and Give at WIF! If John Wesley were with us today, we imagine he would be an investor at Wesleyan Investment Foundation. His admonishment to "Earn all you can, save all you can, give all you can" is about Serving Higher Interests! When you save with WIF, your money earns up to *6.0% *and helps churches. Request an investment packet today by calling WIF at 317.774.7300 or e-mailing us at

Imagine away my freids at WIF. I think I can say with a fair degree of certainty that John Wesley would not invest in the Wesleyan Investment Foundation (WIF) if he were alive today. The idea of investing money at interest was anathema to him. People forget it was the give part of his motto that was its real point. Wesley could have become a wealthy man on the strength of his publishing ventures alone, but he stayed on a very meager income his whole life. Whatever extra he earned he gave to the poor, because he believed it a sin to have any money or goods while others lacked food, clothing and shelter. He never owned a house, but lived in bedsitters attached to chapels in London and Bristol and slept in other people's houses as he travelled. He never accumulated any savings, and when he died he left behind him a saddle and a few books - oh yes, and Methodism. You can read his sermon on The Use of Money here.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying you shouldn't invest in WIF. If you're going to invest your money it makes sense to invest it where it might do some good for the church (though I would want first to ensure that WIF is committed only to ethical investments). I'm not speaking here as a moralist or as an ethicist but as an historian. Whatever you or I decide to do with our money it is certain that Wesley would not have invested it in WIF or anywhere else. He had none to invest becasue he felt it was his obligation to give it all away.


K E Alexander said...

A couple of years ago, my husband (then, a pastor) and I attended a Financial Peace course along with our parishioners. We were hanging in there with the leader on the getting out of debt part but really struggled with the lengthy sessions on investing and accumulating money. It just didn't feel right to me.

The problem with following Wesley's teachings is that it makes one out of step with the world. Oh...wait! That's how Christians are supposed to be!

Joshua said...

Wesley wrote, "" He would love the wise investment of money. This is part of the "gain all you can section."

As Real Estate investors, we earn ten times more money than we need to raise our families comfortably and modestly. God trusts us with the proper stewardship of that money. Some is reinvested to provide housing for others. Some is given away directly causes that better our world. The rest goes to creating passive income; mailbox money. This will ensure that my time will be free to focus on whereever I see a need in the world.

Wesley would praise that.

If you want more details, check us out at


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