Dear Dave,

I attend a small church with about 100 members. There is a $97,000 mortgage at 8.75 percent on the building, and the note was signed only by the pastor. Are the members liable in the event of default?

Charlene via e-mail

Dear Charlene,

Unless you signed the note, you are not liable. If the pastor signed the note personally or on behalf of the congregation, it would actually depend on the wording in the note as to who is liable in case of default.

But this whole situation is kind of silly, and I’ll tell you why. If everybody in the congregation gave an extra $83 a month in their tithe – that’s only about $20 more every Sunday – you could have this mortgage knocked out in a year! There’s absolutely no reason for this church to be in debt 12 months from now.

This is a prime example of what happens when a church adopts the same mentality as the rest of the world. The Bible itself warns us that borrower is slave to the lender, Charlene.


Wife retire or keep working for the benefits?

Dear Dave,

My wife makes $40,000 a year, and has been working at the same company for the last 20 years. She can take retirement in nine years with full benefits, but we’re thinking it might be a good idea for her to quit now and stay home with our pre-school kids. We’re also debt-free and can pay the bills and save some money on my income. Is this a crazy idea?


Dear Sam,

Is mom staying at home with the kids a crazy idea? Absolutely not. All you have to do is look in the face of those children and ask them which they’d like – benefits, or having mom around a lot more. I think you already know the answer.

But why do we work, anyway? We don’t work for benefits and retirement; we work for what benefits and retirement do for us. We need benefits to help take care of our families, and one of those benefits is money that we can save for later in life in order to retire with dignity and change our family tree.

These are great things to do, Sam. But if you really want to see some benefits, pour your life into your kids.


Buying a home with a girlfriend or boyfriend?

Dear Dave,

I’m looking at a $92,000 home I really love. I have a car payment, but my boyfriend and I have a combined income of about $53,000. Should we wait until the car is paid off to buy the home?

Carrie via e-mail

Dear Carrie,

Don’t do it! You should never buy a home with a boyfriend or girlfriend, or even right after you get married. If you go through with this, it could end up being the worst mistake of your life.

Have you ever heard of Murphy’s Law, and how everything that can go wrong will go wrong? You might as well give Murphy his own bedroom if you do this, Carrie, because you’ll be creating a huge nightmare for yourselves morally, legally, physically, financially and spiritually.

Slow down and take your time. Make sure you two love each other and want to spend the rest of your lives with each other. Then, after you’ve gotten married, live in a cheap apartment for a few years while you get the car paid off and save up for a solid 20 percent down payment on a house. When you’ve done all this, then you can start looking for that first home together.


Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.