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Guest Stacey

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Guest Stacey   
Guest Stacey

I have a question about what the bible tells us about purchasing stock when I have a moral issue with what the company does.  If there is a publicly trade stock which I can purchase shares for on the stock exchange and they take part in a business like pornography which the bible clearly is opposed to, is it OK for me to purchase stock in the company?  I'm not purchasing enough to effect the price of the stock and this doesn't result in making it easier for the company to do business.  If anything, I will have a voting share in the company and may be able to change it's direction.  But ultimately what it boils down to is that I'll be profiting off of the sins of others.

On the one hand I think that it's wrong.  But then a friend pointed out that most companies are committing sins of one form or another.  Banks are guilty of sin.  Clothing companies are guilty of vanity.  And I've always been of the opinion that God frowns upon all sins equally.  So that makes me think that in today's society it would be impossible to invest in a company that doesn't somehow profit off of the sins of others.

Any advice that people can provide me with would be greatly appreciated.

 

Stacey

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On 10/22/2016 at 8:25 AM, Guest Stacey said:

I have a question about what the bible tells us about purchasing stock when I have a moral issue with what the company does.  If there is a publicly trade stock which I can purchase shares for on the stock exchange and they take part in a business like pornography which the bible clearly is opposed to, is it OK for me to purchase stock in the company?  I'm not purchasing enough to effect the price of the stock and this doesn't result in making it easier for the company to do business.  If anything, I will have a voting share in the company and may be able to change it's direction.  But ultimately what it boils down to is that I'll be profiting off of the sins of others.

On the one hand I think that it's wrong.  But then a friend pointed out that most companies are committing sins of one form or another.  Banks are guilty of sin.  Clothing companies are guilty of vanity.  And I've always been of the opinion that God frowns upon all sins equally.  So that makes me think that in today's society it would be impossible to invest in a company that doesn't somehow profit off of the sins of others.

Any advice that people can provide me with would be greatly appreciated.

 

Stacey

First, let me address the financial difference between purchase of a product at either retail or wholesale level verses investment in a company or other organization via public market trade.

When a product that you need is offered as a purchasable commodity (water) you have some options (how many you have available has limitations such as number of vendors, distance to alternate venues, etc.). Your purchase does put money into the hands of someone who is going to use their wealth wickedly -- the city or county who handle the public water system, the company you bought bottled water from, the bottling plant that supplied your retailer with that water, the plastics manufacturer who made the bottle, the trucking firm and their employees who delivered the stock,etc. On this basis, your friend has a valid point. There probably doesn't exist a product which has a clean path from raw material to manufacturing to transportation to distribution to consumption.

 

On the other hand, publicly traded stocks and credit union account are both a purchase of ownership (which is why voting rights are conferred). If you buy enough ownership into the company you have a great (but not guarantied) chance of your vote changing some operational aspects. If you purchase 51% of the company (not usually offered into availability) you can now make the changes you want without effective opposition for you have "controlling rights". The average level of investment (such as you described) makes you a direct partner (as one of the 15,000 - or whatever number is applicable - owners) with no hope of effecting change.

 

Now, as for your wanting Scripture that applies to your predicament as outlined in the question above. The last phrase in Rom 14:23 ... for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

IF you have to ask, justify and wonder THEN you're still not ready to act on it.

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On 10/22/2016 at 10:25 AM, Guest Stacey said:

If there is a publicly trade stock which I can purchase shares for on the stock exchange and they take part in a business like pornography which the bible clearly is opposed to, is it OK for me to purchase stock in the company?  

No, I don't believe it is ok to have dealings with such a company.  

On 10/22/2016 at 10:25 AM, Guest Stacey said:

But then a friend pointed out that most companies are committing sins of one form or another.

This is true.  Since companies are made up of humans and all humans sin, it is impossible to avoid doing business with a company that does not engage in sin.  However, acknowledging that all companies engage in sin, as a justification for doing business with them, is, I believe, a cop out.

If a local strip club also made beautiful hand made oak chairs, I would neither purchase their chairs nor would I invest in the chair making aspect of their business.  If I had no Idea that the chair maker also owned a strip club, I could, in good conscience, purchase or invest in his chairs.  However, once I became aware of the other aspect of his business, I believe that, as a Christian, I would be obliged to avoid him.

I have three brothers.  I will have dinner with and converse with any of them.  If I found out that one of them was struggling with child pornography, knew it was wrong and wanted help, I would help him and continue to have dealings with him.  However, if he didn't see anything wrong with it, I would never speak to him again, unless of course, he came to his senses.

We are not expected to completely cease from sinning.  That is impossible.  However, we are expected to turn our backs on sin when we are aware of it.  We mustn't excuse sin and have dealings with it, simply because it is impossible to avoid it completely.

Remember, a company is nothing more than a collection of individuals;  so is a nation.  God gives us plenty of examples of him judging individuals, tribes and nations.  Investing in companies that are known to be engaging in unrepentant sin, is turning a blind eye for the sake of personal profit.

Edited by Brother Stafford

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