Biblical Responsible Investing: Decoding Christian Financial Wisdom

Did you know that Christians collectively hold a substantial 55% share of the world’s entire wealth.?

In today’s episode of “Retire in Texas,” Darryl Lyons introduces his upcoming book, “Biblical Responsible Investing” which explores the unique motivations driving Christian financial thinking.

Throughout the podcast, Darryl provides an in-depth overview of the book’s chapters, covering topics from political motivations to multi-generational wealth transfer. With endorsements from industry figures, the episode offers a glimpse into a distinct approach to financial decision-making rooted in faith.

Some of today’s show highlights include:

* A high-level overview of each chapter in Darryl’s book, “Biblical Responsible Investing”.

*Darryl’s personal connection to the book, which originated during the COVID period when he decided to pursue law school online at Texas A&M.

*An exploration of the different motivations and ways Christians think about money, referencing the vast number of scriptures about money and the significant wealth held by Christian communities.

*Why it is crucial to disconnect the idea that all Christians align with a particular political ideology.

If you enjoyed today’s episode, make sure to share it with your friends and family!


Hey, this is Darryl Lyons, CEO and Co-Founder of PAX Financial Group. Thanks for tuning in to Retire in Texas.

This information is general in nature. It’s not intended to provide specific investment, tax, or legal advice. Visit PAXFinancialGroup.com for more information. So, this particular show is to give you insight into Biblical Responsible Investing, the book. Right now, you can preorder it at the time of the recording. You can preorder it on Barnes and Nobles, but it comes out everywhere.

January 30th. So, if you’re listening to this after January 30th, you can pick it up. And I love this book. Of course, I wrote it, but I actually read it just recently. Again, after stepping away. And man, I loved it. And I know that sounds like a big pat on the back, but there’s a lot of heart in this content of the book.

The genesis of this book was from COVID. So, during COVID, you’re hanging out, you’re kind of saying, all right, I’ve got blank space. What do I want to do? And I decided to go to law school during that time. And Texas A&M had this program online. So, when you go to law school, a lot of my buddies coming from Saint Mary’s went to law school and you do your first year, you do courtroom work.

I wanted to go to law school, but I could not figure out a way to afford it. So, I didn’t go. So, this was a great way for me to go. And I didn’t have to do the courtroom stuff because this program was specifically focused on the legal aspects of wealth management. And so, it was a master’s of jurisprudence concentrated in wealth management.

So, I did that. It was a two-year online course. Some of the curriculum was harder than others. And there was one specific class where I was asked to write a paper as pretty much the whole class, a thesis. And what was on my heart and mind at the time was I was working with high level executive groups at some of the largest financial institutions in the world in an advisory capacity.

And I was trying to make a case to some of these firms that they need to start thinking about how to construct their products and their services towards the Christian marketplace. And so, I thought, you know, I haven’t really been able to make progress in telling people about the Christian marketplace, these Wall Street firms. So, the paper that I wrote was me making a case to executives.

So, I was trying to make a case to executives that pay attention to the Christian marketplace. It’s a legit marketplace with unique needs. I created the manuscript. I used it to make a case to these executives, and it fell on deaf ears. But I looked at the content and I said, there’s content in here that could be good for the consumer, for just all of us.

So, I had to reformat the book a little bit to make it a little bit less jargon-ish. And that’s the genesis of Biblical Responsible Investing was directly from my Texas A&M Law School. So, it’s not a thick book. It’s really easy to read, and I actually prefer when I write now to make everything really easy to read because I know the trend in reading is not high.

So, a lot of people don’t read thick books anymore, so try to make it pretty easy. But here’s a quote. This is from Rachel Schnoll. She’s the CEO of the Jewish Communal Fund. So, she says, Darryl Lyons uses compelling stories and practical examples to show readers how their faith can guide them towards smart and intentional financial decisions. If you don’t like reading about money, this book will change your mind.

So that was great. Rachel Scholl’s a really well thought of executive. This is from Michael Perkins, a CPA here in town. CEO of Slattery Perkins. Wow. If you have a passion to be a good steward of the resources you’ve been blessed with and read this book, the title is Biblical Responsible Investing, and it leaves you not only motivated but inspired.

Thank you for sharing your wisdom unashamedly. So great quotes and endorsements for this book. I start out the book with my story about Alice in Chains, and so you’ll have to get the book to read that. And I actually close with Alice in Chains. So, you have to definitely read the beginning and end. For those that know me, I am still stuck in the nineties with my alternative grunge music, although I prefer acoustic versions of it now, But I do start a financial book off with Alice in Chains and I conclude with Alice in Chains.

Let’s dive into the chapters and I’ll give you a high-level overview of each chapter, because you may or may not even pick up this book, and if you don’t, then this will give you some ideas to at least noodle on. So, in chapter one, I talk about political motivations and what I’m trying to do there is I’m trying to make sure that there’s a lot of readers that maybe in this Christian community but may not.

I really want them to disconnect the idea that all Christians are Republicans, all Christians are MAGA, because that’s been really hard. I’ve sat down with a lot of people in the last several years who just have a hard time disassociating Christians from the political Christians. I make a case that I’m really focusing on Christians regardless of their political affiliation, and I actually reference the idea of who Christians were at the beginning because Christians weren’t Christians.

They were called people of the way. There was a different way of doing things. And so, I want to make a case that there’s a different way of doing things. If you are a Christian, there’s 2000 scriptures about money. Christians in that group hold 55% of the world’s entire wealth. And so, if there are Christian communities that have a different way of thinking about money, I think it is worthy of our consideration in the financial business to say this is a very financially impactful group.

What are they thinking? What’s their different way of thinking about money? Is it in fact different from the rest of the world, or is it just the same? Is there something underneath the surface that motivates Christians differently than the rest of the world? It is tricky when you use the word Christian because there’s a difference between what you might consider practicing Christian and those that might be casual Christians.

And so, I unpack those differences based on some research in that first chapter. Now, moving on to chapter two, I want to make sure that I alluded to this just a minute ago, that there are different motivations when you look under the hood of Christians and how they behave with their money. The idea from an American consumerism point of view is that you retire, you play a lot of golf and you’ve won the game of life.

It’s actually very odd, as I’ve had a lot of conversations over the years with people to see that they actually associate their wealth with winning or losing in life. You see this in a very subtle way, but it does occur that should not, and I believe it’s not in the case with Christians, because Christians ultimately now again, you have casual Christians, you have practicing Christians have money to honor God.

God says honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of your crop. So, there’s honoring of God. He gave us this money. It’s not ours. How do we honor that with him? So, if you look under the hood before you start looking at some of the more practical examples, you really have to understand what’s the motivation. What’s the end result of the accumulation of wealth by Christians versus other more secularist Americans?

So, in the next chapter, I’ll unpack disowning corporations. This is chapter three. This really gets into the idea of Biblical Responsible Investing. I’m a huge advocate of the stock market because the stock market, if you think about it, is a collective group of companies that are innovating. They’re growing. They’re typically led by very smart people. If it wasn’t for the stock market, we would not have cell phones, we would not have this podcast.

We would not have cars; we would not have tires and toilet paper. I mean, it is the machine that is unbelievable. I don’t bow down to it, but I do have a respect for it. Despite all of its flaws, It’s brilliant. But there has been a lot of progress made in the ability to win investing in the stock market, screening out companies that behave antithetical to biblical worldview.

And so, I talk about disowning those corporations in Chapter three. Chapter four, I discuss charitable giving and how that’s a central tenet of the Christian faith. And there are some specific strategies to be able to give to charities and at the same time reduce your taxable income. So, I talk about two strategies in that chapter that I think are important for Christians to understand.

You definitely want to pay your taxes, but you’re not called to leave a tip. Chapter five I talk about scrapping traditional health insurance for those that know I have not used traditional health insurance for the past ten years, and we’ve had major medical claims in my household that have all been paid by an alternative Christian sharing program. That sounds very weird and illusive, but it’s very legitimate.

I can’t wholeheartedly endorse it. But I can tell you got to look into these alternatives. The traditional health insurance marketplace is really problematic and it’s burdening many people in the middle class today. And so, I discussed the viability of alternative health sharing programs that’s rooted in trust, and it’s done very well within the Christian community, especially when you look at some of the scriptures that talk about sharing each other’s burdens.

Chapter six. I talk about Debt. And I mentioned in a story at the end of the chapter how Dave Ramsey actually had a very important impact in my life in helping us get out of debt. But I also talk about my experience in resolving debt in a very honorable way. Even if you get in over your head, I think a lot of people will be quick to file bankruptcy or foreclosure.

But I think there’s something to be said in the scriptures when you think about it. Let no debt remain unpaid and it is honorable to do our best when we do get in debt, to get out of it and pay it. And so, I talk about that in chapter six and in chapter seven, I talk about the transfer of multi-generational wealth.

There’s going to be over $30 trillion that’s going to be transferred to the next generation in the next two decades. And so, what I like to think about when I think about transition of wealth, I think I distinguish between what is an inheritance and what is a legacy. An inheritance is what you leave to someone. A legacy is what you leave in someone.

And so can you effectively leave money to the next generation, either while you’re alive or when you die, and do it in such a way that it doesn’t accentuate bad behaviors. And so, we unpack that a little bit. Chapter eight I talk about con artists. This is happening all of the time now. They target specifically the baby boomers and then a subset of the baby boomers.

They love Christians because of the trust factor. And so just being aware of the financial con artists and unfortunately a lot of them can even be in a Bible study or the church. Chapter nine I talk about retirement, is retirement in the Bible? There’s only one scripture that actually references retirement, but generally speaking, retirement is not necessarily a biblical calling.

We like to think about it as pivoting, pivoting into the next chapter with a purpose. If you’re not dead, you’re not done. God still has breath in your lungs. What do you do in that next chapter of Life with Money and Wisdom? Chapter ten, we talk about behavioral finance. I have to admit, this is one chapter where I go. Should I have written that?

It seems to be jargon-ish. The reason I like this chapter is because I like it personally. I just don’t know if it translates to the reader as well, because the financial industry has really made this massive shift and you’ll see it once you are aware of thinking about maximizing returns. But talking about the heart of money, I saw a bank sign that says money is more than just wealth.

You’re going to see a lot of that now. And what we’re seeing here is that a lot of financial institutions are starting to connect money with the heart, and that’s a spiritual connection. And the secular movement’s doing it in something called behavioral finance. From a secular perspective, there’s incredible tools, but at the end of the day, what they’re trying to do is connect your money with what God has put in your heart, your purpose and your calling.

So, it’s very much a spiritual thing that’s happening. But in the secular world, they call it behavioral finance. And it’s a very interesting next chapter in financial services. But again, a little too nerdy, Chapter 11 proxy voting. So, the idea that you can use your vote to have an influence on the direction of corporations, so they don’t use their profits to undermine religious freedom, I think is an important thing for you to know.

It actually could be one of the most important chapters in this book. That’s a general overview of Biblical Responsible Investing. Again, I concluded with the Alice in Chains story and then just a little Q&A with me, with my editor. You can look at all the references there. There’s also Morgan James who did something cool, so there’s a free e-book edition with the purchase of this book so you can get that from Morgan James at the very beginning.

That’s kind of a high-level overview. Grab the book if you get a chance. You can certainly, I think, enjoy reading it. It’s easy to read and then you can share it with others. But if you don’t, you just got the executive overview, so I hope that helps. Thanks for tuning into Retire in Texas. I want to encourage you that we’ve got PAX Financial Group.

You can get a 50-minute consultation with one of our advisors. They have the hearts of a teacher, do that just to see if there’s a good fit. There may or may not be a good fit, but I think it’s important that you just connect with them and just understand if they’re able to help you navigate this next chapter in life.

In the meantime, I want to remind you, as always, you think different when you think long term. Have a great day.

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