Are You Funding Abortion, Homosexuality, Pornography with Your Retirement Account?
Should a person’s faith determine everyday actions such as where to shop and spend money? As the Christmas holiday approaches that question takes on a greater significance.
Nothing sends a message quite like money. It stands to reason then that where people of faith spend their money has the ability to send a powerful message to companies. Look no further than the attempt to destroy Chick-Fil-A for adhering to the religious convictions of its founder. Christians came out in massive numbers to support the beloved chicken chain and set a goal for single day and quarterly sales for the company. The planned “boycott” was a dismal failure.
The decision to patron or to boycott a company based on the views of the owner, or the organizations and legislation that company supports is near and dear to many people. In fact, an entire organization devoted solely to informing “faith driven consumers” was created for that purpose.
Faith Driven Consumer describes itself as:
“Faith Driven Consumers are Christians who choose to live out our faith in every arena of life – including the marketplace. We make daily decisions based on our biblical worldview and see everything we do in the context of stewardship. Our heartbeat is to give honor to God with every choice we make…. As Faith Driven Consumers, we choose to match our wallets to our worldview and support companies whose corporate actions are compatible with biblical faith. This is action every one of us can take, every day. And we can advocate for and grow faith-compatible businesses all over America.”
Many people have become concerned about spending their money at restaurants, businesses, and organizations that actively oppose their deeply held religious convictions. They seek to make informed decisions about where to spend their money in order to be good stewards of what God has blessed them with. No one can fault them for that.
But one area of life that is routinely overlooked is in the area of retirement and investment saving. This area of spending is rarely given any consideration and many of these “faith driven consumers” would be surprised at the unbiblical values being supported by their retirement and investment money.
Investment products like IRA’s, Bonds, and Mutual Funds are often stock-market based. Investors use an individual’s money to invest into a certain company with the hope of seeing a return. This is how many organizations and companies make money – by spending other people’s money. And this is how the investor makes money – by earning interest and dividends. But what you may not know is that the organizations and companies your financial advisor is investing your money into could very well be actively opposing your religious convictions.
What if your IRA is built on supporting abortion and euthanasia?
What if your mutual fund is built on investing in tobacco and gambling industries?
What if your stocks and bonds are advancing the pornography industry?
You may have never thought about how your retirement and investment money was being spent, but it might be a good idea to reconsider.
One resource that can help is The Timothy Plan. The Timothy Plan website describes the financial advisor organization as:
“Today, the Timothy Plan continues to be the leader in the Biblically Responsible Investing arena. It continues to launch new funds in response to changing economic and other conditions…In conjunction with their Kingdom mission and focus, Timothy Partners provides financial support to numerous ministries including those involved in human trafficking, defending of Christian liberties, and preserving the life of the unborn.” (Click here to learn more about the Timothy Plan.)
The Timothy Plan also publishes its annual “Hall of Shame.” This is a list of the top 30 corporations in America that support such unbiblical values as abortion, pornography, gambling, and homosexuality. The Timothy Plan does this as a service to the conscientious investor that would like to avoid supporting these unbiblical values with their investment dollars.
I know you can’t possibly know what every organization or business does with its money. Maybe the mom and pop diner down the road is supporting pornography and you’d never know it. Maybe that national chain is defending the unborn. The point isn’t necessarily to try and know what ever business in your town does with their money. The point is to be educated enough to make a faith based decision when needed.
For me, that means not going to Starbucks. They have openly and vocally support causes that I believe are unbiblical so I choose not to patron their establishment. What that means for you might be entirely different. But, one thing is for sure, Christians need to be more intentional about where we spend our money. Our money is being used to advance causes we do not support; let that sink in for a moment.
What can you do?
First, check out the resources in this article to see if you frequent any of the companies or organizations listed. If so, consider finding an alternative.
Second, talk with your financial advisor about what companies your investment dollars are supporting. If your money is supporting companies on the Timothy Plan’s “Hall of Shame,” talk with your advisor about removing them. It is your right to decide where your money goes and any financial advisor has the ability to add or remove a company from your mutual fund or bond fund.
Last, share this information with others so they too can be a “faith driven consumer” that seeks to be a good steward of the resources God has given.
I get it, we can’t avoid every company or organization. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be intentional about where we spend our money sometimes. It could make an eternal difference.