1. What is Faith Based Investing?
As followers of Jesus Christ, we have the opportunity and responsibility to invest in a biblically responsible manner while helping our clients do likewise. We find this perspective inspired by many passages in Scripture. Among Kingdom Advisors (a group of Christian financial advisors), Faith Based Investing is defined as “investing that seeks to please and glorify God as a vital act of worship.
1 Cor. 10:31: “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
2. Why does Faith Based Investing Matter?
As followers of Jesus Christ could you, in good conscience, invest God’s money in causes that go against God’s teachings? For a fuller perspective of how I came to view this key question, you can read my blog post titled, Christian Investing — My Story. I have found this model of investing valuable because of the principles on which it is founded. In short, they are:
By whatever measure of wealth we happen to have it all belongs to God. We are mere stewards of His resources (during our lifetimes) who must one day prepare to give Him an accounting.
Whether we think God cares how we invest money is likely influenced by our view of who the money belongs to. As followers of Jesus, we should consider what He teaches about who actually owns the money in our possession.
Psalm 24:1 says “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all its fullness.” and Jesus himself says in Luke 12:48, “For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required….”
Understanding why someone is seeking to invest as well as those who, like me, seek to manage investments for others, is another crucial principle to weigh in God’s view. Scripture is replete with examples and lessons to be gleaned from human motivations for wanting and doing all sorts of things. Chief among them is our handling of money. Luke 18 tells us of the young man who had wealth and thought he’d done well in walking according to what God expected of him, but when challenged by Jesus to relinquish wealth for the good of the poor, he was saddened at the thought of it. In another instance, when Zacchaeus in Luke 19 finds Jesus Christ welcoming to him, he openly proclaimed that he would give to the poor and restore money to those he’d cheated. Sadly, even Judas, who held the moneybag and dwelt with Jesus throughout his earthly ministry, was found to have a heart motivated more by money than the Savior.
Who / What is Supported.
Because my personal investments (like those of many other people) were poured into mutual funds, I really didn’t see what the money I’d invested was supporting. However, in light of Scripture, we ought to have some interest in supporting God’s agenda in the world with the resources He places in our control. After digging for information, I was stunned to learn that the money I’d invested in “the market” was being supplied to businesses with agendas including abortion, pornography, and hurtful, violent video games for youth. These and many other business interests are antithetical to what God seeks to accomplish in the world. Funds structured for Faith Based Investing intentionally screen out these kinds of stocks from the investment mixes offered under its umbrella. This way you can confidently know that your investment dollars are not supporting such legal, but patently God-dishonoring activities.
There is much more to share with you about Faith Based Investing. These principles are a good start for now. Within this email I share a short video that puts these crucial first principles into perspective for you. To be clear, we cannot say Faith Based Investing is the magic bullet to screen out all sin, but we believe the screening that is done helps us do our best at wisely stewarding God’s resources entrusted to us from your hands.
There will be future emails and resources on Strategic Stewardship’s website to specifically speak on this important topic. I invite you to set aside time to watch the video and discuss it with me as part of our shared journey in learning what can mean to honor the Lord in everything.
In your service and His,
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