Christian Investment in An Uncertain World
By Jeff West
The following article appeared in the April 23, 2008 issue of The Times Examiner
As a young boy God determined my future through a church elder who explained to me why the Federal Reserve system of paper money would fail. Consequently, I lived thereafter under the Sword of Damocles, knowing that one day our current financial problems would eventually appear, and therefore I eagerly studied the subject of money.
I was amazed how a child could understand fiat money fraud whereas most adults were blinded by their complex investments. Because of recent loan defaults, derivatives losses and the near-collapse of the global financial system from the Bear Stearns bankruptcy, a few friends recently asked me where to invest. Being no financial adviser, I said, “The future is so uncertain I don’t know.”
I later finally realized that the answer is, of course, in the Bible. Having just researched immigration for a book, I was appalled that statistics document how native-born Americans are vanishing in contrast to immigrants: 90% of population increase since 1970 has been due to the influx of immigrants and their children, while “native American” births fell below replacement level around 1970.
Though statistics aren’t specific, the popularity of our current presidential candidates should be proof enough that our Christian population is rapidly shrinking. It appears that we have disobeyed God’s first commandment to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” Doubtlessly some Christians preferred materialism over childbearing, while others simply could afford few children because of the decimated American economy.
This is unfortunate since if we rear a child correctly “he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6) and children are “arrows in the hand of a mighty man” (Psalms 127:4). My friends with large families have observed that if all Christians could emulate them, we could quickly take back America.
People in the Bible could only invest in tangibles such as land, livestock, precious metals, and most importantly, their family and children. They had no distractions like options, retirement plans, etc. Consider the beautiful story of the wealthy Abraham sending his servant to find a wife for his son Isaac and lavishing her with expensive gifts, knowing that her descendants would be innumerable and live to testify to the glory of God.
Though not all are so wealthy, it takes more than money to rear Godly children. While He allots different amounts of money, we all get the same amount of the most important item: time. We all receive 24 hours in a day and must decide how we spend it. If you invest the maximum possible time in your children, by the grace of God you should receive the best return on your investment. Otherwise, look at the wealthy king David’s family to see the consequences.
My family was blessed with an example inspiring this article. My grandmother became legally blind from detached retinas and had to move in with us. Occurring late in life, she had difficulty adapting and required near constant care. But she was a good parent to my mother, who knew her duty. Consequently we took care of her for 25 years with my mother and father, who was like her son, bearing much of the burden.
A financial analysis is revealing: the 2006 national average cost for a nursing home for the disabled is $194/day. Therefore, my grandmother received $1.8 million of health care, unmatched in quality and free of charge. Additionally, she received the priceless family love that contributed to her longevity of 98 years. I think my grandmother earned quite a return on her “investment” in rearing my mother. Does Social Security or any insurance company offer the same plan?
So perhaps in these uncertain financial times we should look to the Bible for investment advice: spending as much of our resources as possible on children, with Biblical education and rearing. It should offer better earthly returns than any secular investment or retirement plan, not to mention the eternal reward that awaits us.