For a Christian, it is essential to understand that owning stock means you are an owner of a company. The more stock you own, the larger your ownership of that corporation. “As an owner, you participate in the profits made from the activities of the company,” said Mark Minnella, National Association of Christian Financial Consultants (NACFC, www.nacfc.
org), co-founder, and author of “The Wall Street Awakening.”
“You also have certain rights that are represented by the type and amount of stock you own,” Minnella continued. “Voting rights, or influence regarding leadership and control of the company, are a couple of the more common rights. Because you are an owner/participator in the profits, you also are an indirect participator in the activities of the company.”
Minnella explains that when individuals buy stock, they are effectively partnering with all the other stock owners in that company. “Though you may not be held directly responsible for the actions of the company as a minority stockholder, you are a participant just the same. Let’s say for ease of math you own 10% of company XYZ’s stock. If that company creates a cure for some terrible disease, you have the pleasure of knowing the company, you have become a partial owner in creating that cure.”
However, the same is true on the other side of the formula. “If the company you own creates, distributes, markets and or promotes products or services that harm others and are clearly offensive to Christian Biblical values, then you have the unfortunate privilege of participating in these activities through your stock ownership in that company,” Minnella clarifies.
In addition, Minnella points out that there are products or services that most Christians would agree violate God’s basis of love, that harm or abuse His children. His list includes:
- Pornography and Prostitution – The use and abuse of individuals for sexual activities.
- Abortion – Ending an infant’s life.
- Addictive products – The production and promotion of products, that harm or even destroy the consumer.
- Anti-Christian, anti-God, entertainment and publication that promote, desensitize and program our society to reject God and the Bible.
- The promotion of immoral lifestyles that reject the Biblical principles of marriage and sexual relations.
“When we own stock in a company that develops, distributes or promotes such products or services, we become a passive participant in that Biblically offensive activity.
“To illustrate this point more clearly, let’s pretend there was a company that made 100% per year return for its stock owners. Most people would love to have an investment portfolio full of such stocks. But what if this company made such good returns from the production of child pornography and prostitution activities in third world nations? Do you think most Christians would feel different about participating in such profits?”
Some stock owners may argue that they did not exploit and destroy the children’s lives enslaved to prostitution and pornography. They just invested in a company. Yet by buying the stock, an investor has financially shown support for the company’s activities, endorsed with their own money the company’s services, and have then profited directly from the company’s abuse of these children. A stock owner may be a passive participant, but a participant just the same.
“To maintain integrity between our core beliefs in our God and our investment actions, we need to know with clarity what we truly believe, have a strong grip around our faith and then be conscious of what we are participating in when we invest in stocks,” Minnella concludes.
The mission of the National Association of Christian Financial Consultants is to teach, train and encourage financial professionals to learn, share and instruct biblical stewardship to individuals and families believing that “it profits a man nothing to gain the whole world and lose his soul” (Matthew 16:26). Members will glorify God by impacting their world for Jesus Christ through teaching and practicing biblical stewardship.