In Whom Are You Vested?
A little background.My husband, Jim and I are Christians. We attend Church and Sunday school, help out in the pre-school department and the media center there, and tithe from our income as the Lord instructs. Formerly, I taught GA's (Girls in Action) a missions affiliated study group for Southern Baptist school-aged girls, of which our daughter was a member.
An awakening.Over the past several years, Jim and I have managed to fund numerous abortions, aid in the fight for same-sex marriage, support anti-family entertainment including the making of various pornographic films, and last but not least, we've supplied more than our share to the gambling, alcohol, and tobacco industries that encourage these habits.
In our defense.Quite the diversified couple, wouldn't you say? How can Christians support such things? Unfortunately, we are not alone in this. Tens of thousand of professed Christians are guilty of the same iniquity on a daily basis. Our only excuseand it's a feeble one, as we are well aware of what the Bible teaches about wise investingis ignorance, plain and simple. We picked up the telephone one day and invested in an IRA (Individual Retirement Account). We mailed them a check and the rest is history. Thus our money began its degrading trail of advocating and upholding the evils that we so vehemently oppose.
There is hope.Bible-based investment companies do exist. We found one appropriately named The Timothy Plan. There are others, but it is not enough to allow your broker to talk you into "socially moral" investing. The world's view of "moral," differs enormously from that of a Christian. It is so important that whenever possible, God's blessings are invested in Biblically conscious companies. Believe it or not, they're out there and the return rate is the same or better than secular investingnot to mention the eternal return! Who can afford to do otherwise?
It is impossible to exist in our society without indirectly supporting "bad" causes. We do so when we buy groceries, clothing, and real estate, pay our cable and other utility bills, and even when we take our children to a G rated movie. All these companies are investors and their portfolios would make your hair stand on end.
So, short of pitching a tent (not one purchased at a popular department store that comes to mind) in the woods somewhere and living off the land, we cannot sustain from aiding and abetting the vile companies of this world. But shouldn't we be more watchful in the areas we can control?
Additionally, all our charitable givingwhatever the cause, however great the needshould be given in the name of the Lord either through our home church or another Christian organization. If we feel led to support an individual or a secular venue, it is imperative that we let them know the gift is of God. All that we have belongs to God and we must let the world know that every gift is from Him.
Our first financial obligation to the Lord is, of course, our ten percent tithe on our income to His church (including dividend income earned from investments). Many pastors say they are asked if we should tithe on our net or our gross income and on our gifts of money and so forth, to which they often respond, "Would you prefer to be blessed on your gross or your net?"
Second comes our family obligations, next is church offerings (sacrificial giving) prioritized according to the particular need at the time. Pastors can and do generally provide this information. Then comes the tricky partgiving in the world. Always be careful and most prayerful in this area of investment. And remain mindful that all gifts not given in the name of the Lord is sinful giving.
There are literally hundreds of thousands of "good" causes out there, from projects the Hollywood stars are impassioned about, right down to the change collection jar in the local convenience store for a sick neighbor. But I personally have found that the safest and best way to say that my gift of time, money, food, clothing, etc. is from God is through my home church when at all possible.
I am a Christian novelist and enjoy writing historical, romantic adventures. I placed 3rd and 6th in faith writers challenge. I had a novel accepted by The Writers Edge manuscript co. An excerpt can be found on their website. My second novel entitled "The Mission" is set in 1845 western America.
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