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Should Christian Invest?
a reference-based perspective by the author of adriansiaril.com
We all know the bible sometimes contradicts itself
- Portrayal of God in old and new testament
- Contradicting characteristic of Messiah
- How sinners are treated
- God’s scope of work in old and new testament
but the matter of money management is one of the most contradicting topics the bible ever serve.
Matthew 6 19-20
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
even to your old age I am he,
and to gray hairs I will carry you.
I have made, and I will bear;
I will carry and will save.
The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.
Do not take interest or any profit from them, but fear your God, so that they may continue to live among you. You must not lend them money at interest or sell them food at a profit.
Do not charge a fellow Israelite interest, whether on money or food or anything else that may earn interest.
man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own
You cannot serve God and mammon
Genesis 41 – important at 56 and 57
When the famine had spread over the whole country, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout Egypt. And all the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe everywhere.
“saving for hard times” – cycle of life
and poverty will come upon you like a robber,and want like an armed man.
again cycle of life
but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty
time value of money
Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling, but a foolish man devours it.
again time value of money
Luke 12 :47-48
And that servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.
best example of ‘return’
Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest.
best example of savings
I Thessalonians 4:11-12
to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody
I Timothy 5:8
if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever
Conclusion – The Balance
Instead of denying each other, the bible offers a balancing perspective on what to do and what not to do.
Bible’s Perspective on Each Investment Instrument
The Bible on Lending
so that he may have something to share with anyone in need
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.
14 “If anyone borrows an animal from their neighbor and it is injured or dies while the owner is not present, they must make restitution. 15 But if the owner is with the animal, the borrower will not have to pay. If the animal was hired, the money paid for the hire covers the loss.
Better is a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice
Do not charge high interest
Borrower must compensate for capital loss
Lend to help, and only lend if you yourself is in power to do so (not in debt oneself)
The Bible on Insurance
A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.
Insurance is highly recommended, But watch out for the investment component in insurance (more on that later)
The Bible on ‘Speculating’ and Stock trading
Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty.
1 Tim. 6:10
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.
35 Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36 Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.
Do not invest in stocks by haste, for we never know which one will win or lose. Don’t be greedy, set target profit and don’t aim too high. Stocks doesn’t replace your full time job. Don’t crave for endless profits
The Bible on Mutual Funds
1 Corinthians 4:2
Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.
Do not do something you are not understand yet. Fund managers exists to help you. This is why there is also a product called ‘trust fund’
Bible on Property
14 “‘If you sell land to any of your own people or buy land from them, do not take advantage of each other. 15 You are to buy from your own people on the basis of the number of years since the Jubilee. And they are to sell to you on the basis of the number of years left for harvesting crops. 16 When the years are many, you are to increase the price, and when the years are few, you are to decrease the price, because what is really being sold to you is the number of crops.
29 “‘Anyone who sells a house in a walled city retains the right of redemption a full year after its sale. During that time the seller may redeem it. 30 If it is not redeemed before a full year has passed, the house in the walled city shall belong permanently to the buyer and the buyer’s descendants. It is not to be returned in the Jubilee. 31 But houses in villages without walls around them are to be considered as belonging to the open country. They can be redeemed, and they are to be returned in the Jubilee.
32 “‘The Levites always have the right to redeem their houses in the Levitical towns, which they possess. 33 So the property of the Levites is redeemable—that is, a house sold in any town they hold—and is to be returned in the Jubilee, because the houses in the towns of the Levites are their property among the Israelites. 34 But the pastureland belonging to their towns must not be sold; it is their permanent possession.
Fair pricing, fair disclosure, accountable depreciation and appreciation, recognize land ownership
Bible Advice on Savings
1 Timothy 6
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.
Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain; it takes away the life of its possessors.
For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?
And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
Do not save out of greed
The Bible on Investment Strategy
The people curse him who holds back grain, but a blessing is on the head of him who sells it.
Active portfolio management, don’t just hold and see
“Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard and put a wall around it and dug a wine press in it, and built a tower, and rented it out to vine-growers, and went on a journey.
“And when the harvest time approached, he sent his slaves to the vine-growers to receive his produce.”
There are time to invest and time to spend
I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings
100% Acceptable Level By Bible Standards
- All sharia savings and lending products
- Investing in stocks for long run (fundamental based)
- Gold and other commodities
- Equity crowdfunding for ‘good’ businesses
- Conventional banks
- Government and Corporate Bonds
- Peer to peer lending
- Shares Trading
- Binary Options
- Equity crowdfunding for ‘bad’ businesses
Sharia vs Conventional Products?
Both are debt-based, but on sharia debts, late payment does not incur a penalty. If the borrower defaults, the lender has no rights to liquidate other assets as collateral.
On shares market, sharia certified shares are those belonging to companies who are practising sharia laws in their business operations.
Fun fact: The majority of Indonesian company shares are sharia certified even for mainstream stocks
Want to take it a step further?
Learn about BIBLICALLY RESPONSIBLE INVESTING!
Inspire 100 ETF (ticker symbol: BIBL)
All material for this section taken from insipireetf.com
Inspire 100 ETF (BIBL) invests in some of the most inspiring, biblically aligned large companies ($20B+ market cap) in the U.S. It is market cap weighted and designed to be the core equity holding of a portfolio. Any accrued dividends are paid out quarterly.
We select portfolio companies using the Inspire Impact Score methodology, our proprietary process that identifies companies doing amazing things like working to cure cancer, providing clean water solutions and otherwise being a blessing to their communities, customers, workforce and the world, while at the same time avoiding investments in companies involved in immoral activities like abortion, pornography and human trafficking.
BIBL is managed according to biblically responsible investing (BRI) standards seeking to create meaningful impact in the world and helping investors align their investments to support biblical values.
• One-hundred inspiring large U.S. companies
• Market-cap weighted index construction
• Supports Christian ministry
• Meets biblically responsible investing (BRI) standards
The Bible offered a rather detailed, comprehensive, yet balanced view on investing. It is entirely up to each individual on how they want to take that into account when investing.
- Some may invest without any consideration, which is okay considering there is no explicit ban on investment in the Bible
- Some may choose to follow a few guidelines written in the bible, which is what I am doing
- Some may choose to go a little bit extreme and follow the ‘rules’ as closely as possible, limiting their options in the investment world
- And small parts perhaps refuse to do investment entirely for reasons unknown.