Faith and financial ethics

 

Jesus had a lot to say about money – in fact, he talked more about how we use our resources than almost anything else. In consequent, many Christians see how they spend and invest their money as an intrinsic part of their faith.

They may, for example, choose a bank, mortgage or pension based on how the company invests its money (or instance, avoiding banks that invest in arms, oppressive regimes or companies that damage the environment).

They may aim to spend their money in small businesses that benefit the local community rather than big corporations, buy Fair Trade wherever possible, and boycott products whose ethics they disagree with (such as companies that test on animals, employ people on zero hours contracts or avoid paying tax).

These kinds of decision are not always easy to make, requiring information and sometimes requiring slightly greater cost or lower returns in interest. It’s complex to find out both what is really happening but also to determine what is best for you in living out your faith. 

Explore

  • the ethics of how you use and invest your money,
  • how you can align your finances with your faith,
  • and how financial services and products rate for their ethical standards

in the following two websites:

www.yourfaithyourfinance.org

www.ethicalconsumer.org/buyersguides/money.aspx

The ebook Ethical Consumerism by theologian and business consultant Eve Poole (£2.99) is also helpful for thinking through issues of faith, finance and “Kingdomising your bank statements”. It’s available from Amazon online.  

“When I was choosing a mortgage, I chose the bank rated best by Ethical Consumer. Fortunately the interest rates and conditions were also pretty good, but the bank’s ethics were my main consideration. I have my savings in a building society that also rates very highly. With shopping, I boycott various companies that I consider unethical, but I need to do better at buying Fair Trade and supporting local businesses. Sometimes you pay a bit more that way, but as a Christian I don’t want to give my money to companies that hurt people, animals or the environment.”

Catherine Francis 22 May 2017