Click below to listen to Episode 75 – The Question of Ownership: The Case for Investing in God-Honoring Companies

The Question of Ownership: The Case for Investing in God-Honoring Companies

Learn about “Investing that makes the world rejoice!®

You have heard us talk many times before about biblically responsible investing. Essentially, this is lining up your investment portfolio with God honoring companies by buying Mutual Funds, ETF’s, stocks and bonds of companies and entities that are making a positive impact on our society while avoiding the negative ones. These investment principles are what Christian Financial Advisors was founded upon, and we continually strive to offer the highest quality investment portfolios that also align with one’s Christian values.

One of the leading mutual fund companies when it comes to God honoring investments is Eventide Asset Management, LLC whose philosophy is “Investing that makes the world rejoice®”. Speaking across from Bob in this episode is Jason Myhre, the Director of Advocacy at Eventide. Jason delves into the history of Eventide and the positive impact that investing with your values can have on our world.

GUESTS: Jason Myrhe of Eventide Investment Management
HOSTED BY: Bob Barber, CWS®, CKA®

Mentioned In This Episode

Christian Financial Advisors
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Bob Barber, CWS®, CKA®
[dt_soc_icons soc_icon_gap_between=”4px”][dt_single_soc_icon link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fchristianfinancialadvisors.com%2Fwho-we-are%2Fabout-us%2Fbob-barber%2F|target:_blank” dt_soc_icon=”icomoon-the7-font-the7-login-02″ soc_icon_border_width=”0px” soc_icon_color=”#ffffff” soc_icon_border=”n” soc_icon_bg_color=”#7ac9ab” soc_icon_border_hover=”n” soc_icon_bg_color_hover=”#014a8f”][/dt_soc_icons]
Jason Myhre
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Eventide Asset Management, LLC
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EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

[INTRODUCTION]

Welcome to “Christian Financial Perspectives”, where you’re invited to gain insight, wisdom and knowledge about how Christians integrate their faith, life and finances with a Biblical Worldview. Here’s your host Christian Investment Advisor, Financial Planner, and Coach Bob Barber.

[EPISODE]

Bob:
Well welcome to today’s podcast. I am excited to have a good Christian brother on with me, Jason Meyer from Eventide Asset Management. We’re going to be talking about a question of ownership today and what that means. You’ve heard me, over the years, speak about biblically responsible investing. Some people today call it faith based investing. I tell you, it’s been called a lot of different names. Everybody’s trying to figure out what do I call this, but whatever you call it, it’s about honoring God with what you have. Jason is the director of advocacy and managing partner with Eventide Asset Management and he serves as the director of advocacy at Eventide. I love this saying for Eventide, “Investing that makes the world rejoice.” And they have this business 360 investment philosophy to investors, businesses, and popular audiences that I hope Jason is going to tell us about a little bit today. And so Jason, welcome to Christian Financial Perspectives.

Jason:
It’s so good to be here. Thanks for having me.

Bob:
So Jason, I forgot to ask before we got on, where is your office? Are you up there in Boston? Where are you located?

Jason:
We’re headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. I’m one of the few remote workers. I’ve been around since the get go, and they’ve just gotten used to me working remotely before we even had an office. So, I’m calling you today from Louisville, Kentucky where I live.

Bob:
Oh man, that’s gotta be beautiful where you live.

Jason:
It is really nice today. Yeah.

Bob:
So, you’ve been with Eventide Asset Management, I heard you say, since the get go. I mean, was that from the very beginning? How long have you been there?

Jason:
So the way I came to Eventide, I was actually a student in a graduate program at Harvard University. And shortly after I moved into the dormitory there, I met someone on my dorm floor who was a Christian. And after the shock of that dissipated, I was like, Hey, where do you go to church? And so he said, yeah, you should come with me. But then he warned me that it was it was not your typical church. He said it was a small house church that’s meeting in somebody’s apartment just off campus. And I said, that’s no big deal. I’ve been to lots of different churches. And so I went along with him and when I got there the person who was sharing the message from scripture that day was actually Finny Kurruvilla, who’s our chief investment officer. And I met Robin John, who’s our CEO and his brother BJ, who served in compliance with us for a number of years and others who were involved in Eventide. And so as I started to go to this church, I learned that Finny and Robin had started to meet together and to have discussions about starting a company together. And so I asked if I could join in on those conversations, and over time that eventually turned into conversations about an investment company. And lo and behold, Eventide was born.

Bob:
Wow. So, how many years ago was that? That was when you were in college then?

Jason:
Yeah. So I’m 38. It was my second grad program. It was back in 2006 when I first started attending. And the formative conversations around starting this investment company began in 2007.

Bob:
So y’all got some deep roots when I think about that. You’re in business with your college buddies.

Jason:
I actually didn’t finish that program. And the joke around the Eventide office is that every good startup needs a Harvard dropout. And so that’s why they brought me on.

Bob:
Well, Hey, I gotta admit Jason, I don’t think I would make it at Harvard. They’re way over my head. I remember when I went up there one time to Boston, and it was for a business meeting. We stayed in the Four Seasons across the street from the campus, and I wanted to go out and walk around. And so I went out and walked around and you know, me, I’m just an old South Texas country boy, Mr. Friendly. And I would just go on by people saying, howdy, how y’all doing? Good to see ya. And they were looking at me like, who are you? So today, we’re going to talk about investing where people can make a difference in our society by mutual funds and ETFs and stocks and bonds of companies that they buy and actually have a positive impact on our society. Some people they hear this for the first time going, I never even thought about that. I started this type of investing, like I mentioned earlier, about 25 years ago or even longer. And in the beginning we called it morally responsible investing. Later, it was changed to biblically responsible investing. Today, it’s still called that, but I’ve heard it referred to as faith based investing. But it’s all the same thing. And I heard recently when Finny spoke at the Kingdom Advisors conference in an interview, and I didn’t get to go to that. I was right next door in a session next door to that. This was back in February and a lot of y’all heard me talk about this on the podcast, but I want to set this up today for this type of investing. And there was this case called “High Class New York” that set the stage and for talking about biblically responsible investing and the terms of ownership for investors or companies that we need to be concerned about what we’re investing in. So, can you tell us about that and how this could play in? This is an example of, “Hey, it’s important how we invest.”

Jason:
Yeah, I love this example because I think that it allows us to see investing in its true light and to really get a good sense of what we’re involved in when we invest. So, this story is about a company called High Class New York that operated out of Brooklyn, New York a number of years ago. And the company held itself as a companion service or an escort service. So, this is a company that you would call if you wanted to hire a model in accompanying you to celebrate some special occasion. Well, as you can probably guess, this was actually just a front for actually a prostitution ring, and the local law enforcement authorities eventually got onto this and they busted High Class New York in the summer of 2011. It hit all of the major media outlets. You can still find articles about this, for example, in the New York Times, and 17 people were indicted in this bust. And so what’s interesting, what caught our attention, when reading these articles is the roles of these 17 people in the business. So, four of them were the owners of the business. It was the owner and his wife and their two sons. And then a number of the other people were all of the managers and supervisors of High Class New York. So, they ran the business day to day. And so they were indicted as well. And that makes sense. But we noticed that there were two people that their roles in the business were unexplained. As we read further, what we discovered is that two of the 17 people that were indicted were actually not involved in the day to day operations of the business. They were not the ones who hatched this whole scheme to start this prostitution business. They were actually just investors. So, the two men were a person named Efim Gorelik and another named Yakov Maystrovich who each invested $700,000 of their own money to fund the business, and they were being repaid with interest on the business and they were indicted right alongside the owners and operators of the business. And so this raises an interesting philosophical and ethical question, which is this – was it legitimate for the government to indict them? And if we think about this example at least in the eyes of the courts, they were legally responsible. But we could ask the question about moral responsibility, ethical responsibility, and this can help us understand better our more ordinary investments in the stock market. Things like mutual funds and exchange traded funds. When we become investors in companies through equity, through stocks, we are getting the rights to receive profits and growth. But as we highlight in this High Class New York example, we’re also taking on a level of ethical responsibility for whatever it is that that company is doing in the world. And in this case it can be for harm, but I also believe that it can be for tremendous good. And hopefully, we get to talk about some of those examples.

Bob:
Jason, you think about this and I’m thinking about how do I come back on that one and thinking what I’m going to respond. Because everyone I think would agree that yes, the people that invested in that High Class New York were just as guilty as everyone else. I mean, there’s no question, but when it comes to what we own in stocks or bonds or mutual funds or ETFs, hardly anyone ever thinks of it that way.

Jason:
Yup, exactly.

Bob:
And it’s really interesting. I’ve had a lot of people tell me say, well, okay Bob, where am I going to shop? You know, what about you? Do you say you won’t invest in a certain company, but yet you use their phone? Or you’re using their cell phone service or you’re using that dish company or whatever. So, there’s a difference, I see, between being a consumer and an owner, and someone might say, I don’t own any shares of a certain company that promotes, say, adult entertainment. But when you shop at a local convenience store that sales pornography, are you promoting it? You have some good philosophy about this and I would like you to share that difference between being a consumer and being an owner of a company.

Jason:
Yeah. This is, I would say, one of the most common questions that I receive, as well, on my side. People will say, well, why would I avoid this prominent company as an investment if I’m a patron, if I’m a delighted customer about their service? So, we could take any number of examples here. For example, Amazon. People love Amazon. They get things all the time from their business. And so why wouldn’t I be perfectly okay with owning and profiting from Amazon? Especially if I’m a delighted customer. And the way that we respond to this is that there’s just simply a different level of responsibility as a consumer, as a patron of a business than if you are the owner of a business, and I’ll give you the classic example here. So, forget the Amazon example that I gave you. Just let’s consider an easy one. So, let’s think about a local gas station convenience store in our own community. So let’s say I need to get gasoline and I go there, I fill up my car, I go in, and I buy an orange juice and I walk away. So I’ve done business with gasoline and orange juice, right? Nothing wrong with that. Now think about the other side of the equation. Let’s say the gas station also sells pornography, tobacco. And so as the owner of that business, he’s happy, of course, to have me as a customer buying gasoline and orange juice, but the reason he’s selling those products is because he’s hoping people buy them. And as the owner of the business, he’s rooting for and profiting from the sale of all of those products. And so if we think about it, as a consumer, I have a clean conscience. Now I might choose to go out of my way to patronize a different convenience store that maybe didn’t sell tobacco or pornography. So, I’ve got some choice there as a consumer that I think is very good to exercise. But as the owner of that convenience store, you’re profiting from all of it. And so if we think about this now in terms of investing, we can see the real key here is that you’re owning and profiting from all of that company’s products and services. And so do we feel good about everything that they’re offering? And so I think there’s a higher level of ethical responsibility when you own a business than simply as a consumer who patronizes the business.

Bob:
Yeah, there’s a big difference there. But like I do say, if I see that they’re selling that, and I hate it when they push the lottery tickets too – the same thing. I steer clear of doing business with them, but sometimes I just got to fill up gas in my car. And you know, if I’m out in the middle of nowhere, it’s understandable. So there is a big difference between being a consumer and an owner. But we do want to emphasize that if you have a choice in a matter, go to the convenience store that’s not selling that and not involved in gambling and tobacco in a huge way. But when given the choice, don’t go. And when given the choice of owning that particular company, same thing. I’ve heard people say, yeah, but owning a stock makes me a part owner in the company if I own a lot of it. I could actually be involved in getting that company to stop their funding of agendas that violate moral principles, Christian principles. What are your views on that of owning a company for that reason? Have you ever seen anybody come about?

Jason:
Yeah, absolutely. I do think there’s a place for this. So, let’s just step back for a second and think about this ownership concept. So if we believe that investing is true company ownership, this should lead us to ask ownership questions. Things like, well, are there certain kinds of companies that because of my beliefs, values and commitments, I just can’t in good conscience own, right? So, there’s the ‘what do I not want to own’ aspect? Then, we could exercise that in a positive direction and say, well, what are the companies that best reflect my vision for the way that the world should be that embody kingdom values, that embody business calibrated towards service of others and love of neighbor, right? There’s a positive side that we can think about ownership, positively seeking out companies that embrace our values. And then there’s a third one that we could think about. We could say, well, this ownership has a voice in the company. And so maybe I could strategically invest in businesses that do not meet my values criteria with an effort to try to change them. Okay. So I want to give you an example of a positive use of this. So, the year is 1971 and you have a group of Christians who are concerned about apartheid in South Africa. Apartheid, for those of you who may not know, is the South African word for separation. It was a form of racial segregation, much like we experienced in the US during Jim Crow. And there was a group of Christians that was concerned about this and in fact the United nations had already applied sanctions and embargoes on South Africa, and South Africa basically said, we don’t care. And so what do you do if you’re a Christian? Well, there was a group of Christians, they were Episcopals who decided to become shareholders of General Motors and to write what’s called a shareholder resolution. And this is actually the first example of modern shareholder advocacy according to economic historians. They ended up enlisting the help of a person named Leon Sullivan, who was a Baptist minister and someone who cared a lot about the apartheid problem in South Africa. He was black, and he grew up in the era of segregation in the US. When he was 10 years old, he was sitting at a soda fountain and he was told to leave that he couldn’t purchase a soda there, and that left a mark on him. He carried that burden with him. And so when he started to hear about similar situations in South Africa, he became an anti-apartheid activist. So, they enlisted the help of this person named Leon Sullivan. He drafted up a proposal for General Motors, a set of principles. They’re called the Sullivan Principles that GM could implement to satisfy this shareholder resolution that the Episcopal Christian shareholders had filed. GM ended up embracing these Sullivan Principles. In fact, they brought him onto the board of GM, believe it or not. They embraced these principles. Things like you’ve got to desegregate your bathrooms. No separate water fountains, equal pay for equal work, equal working conditions for blacks and for whites. And so it was a great success. And then guess what happened? So the following year, Ford followed suit. Ford had operations in South Africa as well, as well as Goodyear. And so like dominoes, these companies began to fall in line and actually history remembers the actions of these Christians through intentional shareholder investment as one of the key instruments in the fall of apartheid. It was investor pressure and it was Christians who are exercising conviction. So I do think there’s positive examples. Now, let me give you a big, big word of caution, and that is this.

Jason:
I think that if we’re going to employ this strategy, we need to be really honest with ourselves in what we’re doing. So, I want to talk about this. The big temptation here is what I describe as missionary investing. Okay. So for those that are Christians that are listening to this, maybe you’ve heard of the term missionary dating?

Bob:
I was about to say that. Yeah. I’ve heard of missionary dating. Right.

Jason:
Yeah. So missionary dating, it’s a Christian thing, but it describes a person who’s a Christian who wants to date somebody who is a nonbeliever, and they know in their heart of hearts that this is a bad idea, right? The person is misaligned with them on the things that matter most, but gee, they’re so desirable, right? And so they say, well maybe, just maybe, I can convert if I start dating this person, then then my Christian witness will shine out and I’ll end up converting them. And we can live happily ever after. We know how this goes. This tends to go very poorly. The people are very resistant to change. Of course, God can work miracles. He does with salvation every single day. But if you think about that idea of missionary dating, what you’re doing is, you know it’s a bad idea, but there’s something attractive in that other person that causes you to quiet your conscience and move forward. Now, think about missionary investing. Let’s say, oh, this company doesn’t meet my values, but gosh, the numbers look so good and I love everything about this company except these few problem areas. And you tell yourself that you can convert that company, and maybe you never even take any actions but you step into that situation and you say, well I’m there so that I’ve got a voice in the company, and I can exercise that voice anytime I want and I can bring about positive change. And I think we have to be honest with ourselves and ask, are we really stepping into it like those Episcopal shareholders with great intention or are we simply allured by the attractive financial merits of that company and quieting our Christian conscience? We need to listen to our hearts and the Holy Spirit here. I think it’s a very dangerous thing we do whenever we are going to set aside our values and say we’re going to do something intentional that is a bit out of line. And so I would just offer that huge caution. I think that it can be done, but for the most part I think Christian witness is on the side of choosing companies that already meet your values.

Bob:
Well, I wrote this down, and I have been doing this a long time and I’ve heard of missionary dating a long time. I talked about it with my children, who are all older now, but I’ve never thought of it as missionary investing. So, that’s a term that I wrote down, and my listeners need to know, I’m going to be talking about that now.

Jason:
Yeah. I happened upon it myself. It just occurred to me one day. I really liked it. I use it a lot now. So, you have full license.

Bob:
Thank you. I appreciate that. So, what about when some people are like, I’ve got $50,000 total or $500,000, but these are billion dollar companies and what’s my $50,000 or even $500,000 gonna make any difference in this billion dollar plus company? They don’t know who I am. Does it really matter that I invest in these companies anyway cause it’s just such a small amount, and I’m just doing it for the return.

Jason:
Yeah. I think it’s helpful to think about our impact in a couple of different ways. Okay. So one way that is very common for people to think about impact is social change. So let’s say changing a company or changing culture or changing the broader society, and that’s very legitimate, right? I think a kind of impact that we overlook, though, is the impact on our own personal integrity and our own wholeness. And I would say that the proper perspective, at least as a first step in this direction, is to consider your own personal wholeness as important an impact than any beneficial impact that could happen on the world. Now, I do believe that this can have a beneficial impact on the world, but I hope that we can recognize that this is a way in which we can feel a peace of conscience and to feel complete and to feel whole. Just one note on wholeness here. I really like that word. We get the word wholeness from the word integrity. So, integrity means the state of being whole or undivided. And the root word for integrity comes from the Latin integer, which we know from mathematics. What is an integer in mathematics, it is a “whole” number and when you don’t have a whole number, so whole numbers are like one, two, three, four, five, et cetera. When you don’t have a whole number, what do you have? You have a fraction, you have one quarter, one half, or five eighths. You have a divided number. And what it means to have wholeness is to have that feeling of being a whole number, a whole person, right? And to not have that sense that you are divided in some way that what you believe in one part of your life is not being fully expressed in other areas, and that lack of wholeness can feel like a loss of life’s meaning and it can feel like losing your sense of self. You can feel as though you’re not a solid individual in the world, that you’re compromised in these various ways, that you’re a fraud, that you’re a walking contradiction. That really erodes our sense of self. It is like rust on a car that spreads and corrodes further and further. And so I just really encourage people to think about themselves first and to think about wouldn’t it be wonderful if I could – yeah, sure, save up for my future – but to do so in ways that I genuinely felt good about, that I felt proud about, that I could offer up to God in prayer, and hold my investments out to him and be proud of those investments. That feeling – there is a positive, emotional return that comes from that. And I think we need to think about that first before we think about the impact on the greater world. So one other comment there and then maybe if you’d like, I can address how this does in fact change the world. But one other comment there is, I think in God’s eyes, small obediences are never overlooked. I think that God is a God that cares about the smallest details of our lives. There’s scriptures that talk about how there’s nowhere that I can go in this world to hide from God’s watchful eye. And that’s not to scare us. We should live as those that walk in the light, not in the darkness, and he sees all things and he is so rooting for us and he’s given us his Holy Spirit to empower us. And so, our small actions, they might amount to a widow’s Mite, right? But these small obediences are really great things in God’s kingdom. If you think about, for example, Mary who wasted a jar of perfume by anointing Jesus’s feet. It’s a relatively small gesture, but Jesus said that every place that the gospel is shared, the story of her sacrifice would be told along with the gospel. That is amazing, right? That’s a small act that is remembered in history. God sees it, God cares, and the small things matter a great deal to him.

Bob:
What you’re saying is it’s the little things that matter. We’ve always heard the story about the little boy on the seashore, and he’s throwing starfish back into the ocean because a bunch of them have washed up. This guy comes along and says, you can’t save all of these starfish. And he just reached down and he grabs that one. He throws it and he said, I just saved that one. And it made a difference to that little boy because he was doing all he could. So, the little things are what matters. I love that you brought this out, and it’s not just about impacting our world, but it’s about impacting us and what’s it going to do to us. I will tell you from all these years of being involved in biblically responsible investing, I have seen people’s walk with the Lord move from elementary to all the way up to a doctorate degree. Biblically responsible investing, I’ve seen it push people into a stronger and deeper walk with the Lord and to a deeper faith.

Jason:
Yeah, I’ve seen it too.

Bob:
Isn’t that cool?

Jason:
It is cool. It is such a blessing, especially, I know that you feel the same way that I do, getting to work in an industry where we’re able to work on the money side, and putting money, basically using money as an expression of our faith and to see the results of that. I think about there’s a verse where Jesus says, and you’ll know this verse well, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” And so it’s a little bit, it’s a little bit odd, right? Because he could have said, “Where your heart is, that’s where you’ll put your treasure.” So in other words, your heart wants something and you put your money there. That makes sense from a human perspective. But he actually said that if we put our money somewhere, our hearts will follow it. And so I do think that when we move our money in line with our faith, we end up moving our heart in line with our faith. And it is a leading action. I’ve seen this over and over. There’s actually a book by an advisor named Cassandra Laymon. It’s “How I Found Jesus in the Stock Market”, how she ended up pursuing typically responsible investing and how that was a catalyst to a much larger work of the spirit in her life. And I don’t think that’s a coincidence. I think that money is so bound up with the heart and that if we take this action with our money, we may not feel it immediately with our heart, but I would offer that as a challenge to anyone. Try it. See what happens because I think this is a way that can catalyze much change in our lives for the better.

Bob:
What you were speaking of, just so y’all know, was Matthew 6:20-21, “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where moths and vermin do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Jason:
Can I just say one thing about that? I’ve been really thinking about the first verse you shared there about when we think about investing, if we’re honest, it is about storing up things for ourselves for the future, right? Where we’re investing so that we can have more money in the future, which , we can use to meet all of our needs and obligations and care for family and all of that. All that’s good. But it is about that. But I think what Jesus challenges us to do is to figure out how we can build wealth toward God. In other words, riches in heaven, right? And I think at the heart of biblically responsible investing is to prioritize a life that builds riches in God. We’re not talking about money here. We’re talking about riches in God that will endure for all eternity and our dollars should follow that greater mission in our lives to put the kingdom first and to build wealth toward God. I just love the way in which he contrasts something ordinary, which is very much like investing, to something that is so much more important, which is to become rich toward God.

Bob:
Well, it’s like it says, seek ye first the kingdom and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. So Jason, you’re with Eventide Asset Management, and I just respect y’all so much. You were talking about Robin and Finny, and Robin has been in my office. I remember when Robin first came into my office. Robin told me this at the conference, and I didn’t know it. I felt so bad cause y’all are in the billions now. I said, well Robin, how much do y’all have under management? He said, well right now 7 million. And he said, I laughed and I didn’t mean to do that. I feel so bad. And he said, I didn’t know what to think about that. I said, well you know brother,, you’re our number one holding, now, investment portfolios.

Jason:
Wow, I didn’t know that. That’s awesome.

Bob:
Anyway, Eventide Asset Management is really about investing in these companies that have a positive impact in our world and avoiding those companies that don’t. So can you speak into how Eventide does this?

Jason:
Yeah, absolutely. So it really is not that sophisticated, at least at a thought level. So I think it really is helpful to think about investing as company ownership. Remember I said, what are the companies or industries or products or services that we cannot support simply in good conscience, right? And just establish a line in the sand where you say, I don’t want profits that flow from things like pornography or abortion or gambling or tobacco, et cetera. There’s a whole list of, I think, really obvious and egregious examples that I think if we’re honest with us as believers – now we may land in different places on various issues – but I think we could very easily come up with a set of things where we say, wow, I know these things break God’s heart and yeah, I don’t want to profit from them. And so that’s step one. And so we’ve got a whole system that we’ve built over the years. We use a lot of research from some data sources like Evalueator, which you know of. It’s a Christian data screening service that helps us to gain information on the companies that we’re choosing on behalf of our clients. And so there’s actually a whole lot of negatives that we avoid. I think the last time I checked we had about 220 specific screens in place. Now, a lot of those are facets of larger issues, but 220 specific screens. That’s driven by about 700 to 800 rules within a software program that we developed, and that helps us to just at least wipe out the worst kinds of businesses that we have no interest in partnering with, and our clients don’t either. But then you’re still at square one to a certain extent, right? You still haven’t invested in anything, and you’ve got to come up with a portfolio. Well, how do you do that? I think the next step is to ask questions like what kind of companies would I feel proud to own? What kind of companies do I feel like are well aligned with God’s heart and his design for business? What are the businesses that I feel like are genuinely serving society and enlarging what we might call human flourishing? That sense of improving people’s lives. And I think those positive questions can be a really helpful guide. I don’t think that our faith stops at avoiding the worst kinds of examples, but our faith is meant to be something that is a lived reality. Jesus talked about, “I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly.” And so I think we should really be interested to think about how we can exercise the positive dimension of our faith in seeking out companies that we feel like are really well aligned with our faith. I’ll give you a little bit of an insight into how we do that. This requires a bit more Christian imagination, but if you think about the role of business in society, and I think in God’s larger economy, I think that God has designed human work and business in such a way that it is to meet a lot of our material needs through products and services. And in meeting those needs, businesses and human work is also intended to bring glory and honor to God. And so I think it starts by thinking about, okay, what are the needs that exist in the world today that business is meeting that are well aligned with a Christian understanding, right? That are well aligned with our understanding of God’s heart. And I think that we can come up with a number of spaces that are interesting places to go look for companies. For example, one of our favorites here at Eventide is the area of biotechnology where you can find many businesses often run by secular non-believing, people that are applying, though, their God-given human creativity to try to tackle devastating diseases and to eradicate those diseases. And I think we should be excited about that work as believers. We get to participate in businesses that, in effect, are destroying the works of the devil, so to speak. So brokenness and disease and death entered the world through the fall. The whole creation is under a curse. And by investing in these businesses, it feels to me a little bit like we get to roll back the curse a little bit and to participate with businesses that are really doing excellent work. What I try to encourage people to think about is think about behind the numbers. There’s a story behind the numbers, and isn’t that what we should be rejoicing in? People’s lives made better.

Bob:
Absolutely.

Jason:
And so that’s what we’re all about is trying to find investments where we can meet our financial needs in life. You know, that’s absolutely part of the service, but to do so by partnering with companies that are enabling blessing and rejoicing in the lives of others.

Bob:
It’s also investing in companies that treat their employees well, and they care about our environment. I always say if you love the Creator, take care of the creation.

Jason:
Yup.

Bob:
Businesses that have honest accounting principles and low debt and that’s what we’re talking about, folks. When we talk about biblically responsible investing, we’re not just talking about avoiding the bad, but looking at the good and feeling good and sleeping well because that you’ve done the right thing.

Jason:
Yup.

Bob:
Is there any last words of wisdom? Some folks might say, I’ve never heard of this. How do I get involved? How do I find out? Give us that website address and we can help them, too.

Jason:
They can go to eventideinvestments.com. Eventide Is E-V-E-N-T-I-D-E, eventideinvestments.com. They can check us out there, and a lot of people don’t do a do-it-yourself approach of choosing investments. They work through a financial advisor, and you’re one of the few out there who specialize in helping Christians align their values and their investments. So, I would encourage people to sit down with you and have a conversation about what this looks like. But in conversations like these where we end up addressing some of the common objections that people might have, I hope that some of this has been helpful to you. I think there are rational explanations for all of your questions. I certainly have heard many, many questions over the years. We only got to touch on a fraction of them today, but I do want to just encourage you to think back to what I was saying about the value of living out your faith in every aspect of your life, including in your investments. And we can often throw up questions and objections because we’re very resistant to change and we’re very scared to step out in faith, but I really think this is an opportunity for us to experience that feeling of wholeness that I talked about and what a wonderful thing. I think it’s also one of those things where we can not only store up treasures on earth, but look to build those treasures in heaven that are much, much more valuable and that have the highest return of all.

Bob:
Jason, thank you for taking time out of your day. When I speak with folks like you and have you on my podcast, I don’t want it to end because it just makes me so excited every day when I wake up and know that God owns it all. This is one of those things, folks, is just the freedom that comes with saying, God, I know it all belongs to you and I don’t want to be in control. I want you to be in control and you submit to that. Investing with biblical principles aligns right there with the fruits of the spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self control, and can give you that peace that you’re just doing another thing, you’re adding that to the life of obedience of a Christian. Just like tithing and giving is part of it, this is another part of it. If you’re already biblically responsible, I encourage you to continue to give that to God. If you don’t know about it, I ask you to look into it and maybe go to our website CISwealth.com, and we’ll link you through over to Eventide and some other great fund families that honor God with the way they do it. That’s going to do it for today. If you just want to give us a call, (830) 609-6986 during business hours or go to our website ciswealth.com, and there’s a link there you can set an appointment. Thank you for joining us today on the podcast and thank you, Jason.

[CONCLUSION]

That’s all for now. We invite you to listen to all of our past episodes covering many financial topics from a Christian Perspective. To make sure you don’t miss any of Bob’s upcoming episodes you can subscribe to Christian Financial Perspectives on iTunes, Google Play Music, Spotify, or Stitcher. To learn more about integrating your faith with your finances, visit ciswealth.com or call 830-609-6986.

[DISCLOSURES]

Comments from today’s show are for informational purposes only and not to be considered investment advice or recommendations to buy or sell any company that may have been mentioned or discussed. The opinions expressed are solely those of the host, Bob Barber and his guests. Bob does not provide tax advice and encourages you to seek guidance from a tax professional. Investment advisory services offered through Christian Investment Advisors Inc. DBA Christian Financial Advisors, a registered investment advisor.