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The Heart of Christian Investing With Luke Bolton

FaithFi: Faith & Finance | Jun 6, 2023


Show Notes

God’s Word promises blessings when we put our faith in God, but what exactly does that look like when it comes to investing? Luke Bolton joins us to explore the heart of Christian investing. 

  • Luke Bolton, Executive for Strategic Relationships at Kingdom Advisors, and he’s really our go-to guy for understanding faith-based investing. 
  • On this program, Bolton shares his round-about path to becoming involved in biblically-based investing. He began by studying theology and imagined a career teaching the Bible. But after seminary, he took a job with a wealth management firm.
  • Every day he worked with financial advisors and investment accounts and found himself asking, “What does this have to do with theology?”
  • Over time, the Lord showed him that his training could apply to this line of work. Now after working in this industry for about 10 years, part of his mission is to help believers see their financial investing through the lens of God’s Word.
  • God has revealed himself through the Bible. Because Scripture is about God calling people to a new life in the Gospel, the first impact of biblical faith on investing is to consider how we, as investors, relate to God. And then to consider how our financial investments also relate to God.
  • Step #1 is to turn from seeing investing as a mere numerical or economic decision and begin to see it as part of our walk with God, an extension of our heart to worship Christ.
  • To anyone who wants to be a faith-based investor, we encourage them to start with a prayer, “Lord, what are you calling me to do with these resources entrusted to me? I want to do your will, whatever that may be.”
  • The most important issue is not strategy, but worship. Are we investing with a heart that worships God (not money) and honors Christ as our ultimate financial authority? If we start with this posture, there are so many ways we can honor God with our investing.
  • It begins with Genesis 1-2 and God calling us to participate in the fruitfulness, growth, and ongoing development of his world. The Lord creates people in his image and then instructs them to multiply, to manage the created world, and cultivate and enlarge all the potential that God embedded into his creation.
  • There are many ways people can cultivate and enlarge the potential in God’s creation, including productive work, trade and business, building relationships, etc. But one way we can contribute to the development of God’s world is through investing.
  • At a very high level, investing allows us to contribute into a financial system that gathers large amounts of money for use by others. Investing is this fascinating activity that moves money from one person with excess capital to where it can be used by others – like companies, cities, etc. So investing is fundamentally a good thing – good for society, business, often for investors and their families.
  • Investing, in general, expresses certain aspects of God’s will, such as making our excess resources available for others to use productively, as well as planning ahead for our future financial needs.
  • One way we can honor God through our investing is to abstain from investing in certain funds or companies that violate God’s principles. But avoiding those investments isn’t the only tool in the investing toolbox. 
  • We must also admit that there are many gray areas where Christians will draw their lines in different places about what they might want to avoid.
  • And avoidance isn’t always necessarily the most effective for seeking change in our world. 
  • This leads us to a third aspect, not just the basic goodness and pervasive brokenness of investing, but also ways investing can be redeemed.
  • This term “redeemed” reminds us that God has purposes at work in this world far greater than just restraining evil or judging sin. In redemption, God demonstrates his love for this broken world by rescuing sinners and restoring what was lost. Christ came to seek and save the lost.
  • A redemptive approach to investing will focus on how it can achieve something restorative and good by our investing in this world. It will focus on investing in ways that show we care about the long-term wellbeing of our neighbors and that we want businesses to succeed that serve the needs of society.
  • We see this as purpose-driven investing, supporting specific kinds of good endeavors. 
  • Faith-based investment funds offer a terrific opportunity to accomplish this.
  • It is a common misconception that faith-based investing must necessarily be less profitable than other strategies. Studies have been done on values-based investing, and the facts simply don’t support an assumption of them being less profitable. 
  • "For you were called to freedom, brothers," not as an opportunity to serve ourselves, "but through love [to] serve one another." (Gal 5:13)
  • So, for our greater joy and delight in Christ, we invite every believer to consider talking with a professional about how faith-based investing might fit into their long-term savings plan.

On today’s program, Rob also answers listener questions: 

  • Are 529 plans a good option to save for your children’s future? 
  • Can you take distributions for an IRA and use them as qualified charitable distributions? 

Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Also, visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach. 

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