SUMMARY: Loyalty above all else. Money before integrity. Lawyers deployed to silence dissenters. An egotistical leader that doesn’t tolerate dissent. This doesn’t describe a Fortune 500 company but rather CEO Dave Ramsey and the culture at his company Ramsey Solutions.
There is a good chance you are already familiar with Ramsey. His financial workshops, which have found homes in churches across the United States, have helped tens of thousands of people get out of debt. His radio show, the Dave Ramsey Show, is syndicated to over 600 radio stations in America while reaching 18 million people each week.
If you have ever tuned into his radio show, then you will know that part of Ramsey’s schtick is “tough love.” He oftentimes belittles the callers and treats them like children. While this may rub some the wrong way, many Christians have ignored his arrogance because his financial advice does a lot of good. But just because a company, a company that Ramsey touts as unapologetically Christian, does good does not mean it is above reproach.
In a nine-part miniseries (episodes 17-25), host Amy Fritz of the Untangled Faith podcast, along with her husband Nathan, former co-workers Greg and Lauren Thoman, and the ex-wife of Ramsey Personality Chris Hogan detail the good, the bad, and the scandals inside Ramsey Solutions.
Particularly enlightening are episodes 20 and 21 where Fritz and Hogan play clips of Ramsey speaking in a 2019 team meeting (known as the “I Got Your Six” meeting), pausing the speech, and giving their input on what he says. Ramsey’s lack of humility and grace is particularly disturbing.
For those wondering if this type of podcasting is “failure porn” Fritz has an excellent episode, 16: Is Talking About Church Hurt and Institutional Abuse Failure Porn? that addresses those concerns.
From our perspective, the reason why this series is important for Christians is that Ramsey Solutions presents itself as a distinctly Christian company. As a result, they should be unique in how they treat people within and outside of the company in addition to how they operate the business. Listening to the way Ramsey talks about people that disagree with him should make people, especially Christians, at the very least, stop and pause.
It is also important to realize that those in power unite together. Ramsey uses Mark Driscoll, former pastor at Mars Hills (listen to the Rise and Fall of Mars Hill for more), as an example of someone who has his back – regardless of the evidence. It is a perfect example of why these stories need to be told – to prevent people with power from uniting and silencing those that are telling the truth.
We appreciate how Fritz and her friends talk about their time at Ramsey without hate and malice. They are simply telling a story about practices that should not be allowed to exist in a self-professed Christian company.
KEY QUOTE: “That’s what I want in this – to pull back the curtain on deception and manipulation and things that aren’t true and are not of Jesus and for God to be glorified. Even in the exposure of really dark things.” – Melissa Hogan
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