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Giving Guidelines to Fight Materialism

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
December 8, 2023 6:03 pm

Giving Guidelines to Fight Materialism

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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December 8, 2023 6:03 pm

We’re coming up to the end of the year and that means it’s time to make decisions about year-end giving. And as you make those choices, it’s important to understand the power that generosity has, especially within our materialistic society. On today's Faith & Finance Live, host Rob West will be joined by Randy Alcorn who will share some giving guidelines that will help you fight the temptation of materialism. 

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We're coming up to the end of the year, and that means it's time to make decisions about year-end giving.

Hi, I'm Rob West. As you make decisions about where to do some year-end giving, or if you will, it's good to understand the power of giving. Randy Alcorn joins us today with some advice to help you give just a bit more, and then it's on to your calls and questions at 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000. This is Faith and Finance Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. Well, we're delighted to have Randy Alcorn back on the program today. He's the author of over 60 books on Christian living and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries. Randy, it's a delight to have you with us. Thanks.

Great to be with you, Rob. Well, as you know, Randy, we're talking about 11 guidelines for giving that you've identified in the New Testament that can really help us break the power of materialism. You've taught for many years, and I know Ron Blue has as well, that giving breaks the grip of money over our lives.

So let's start there. Why do you think materialism is such a challenge for us, especially here in America? Well, it's identified by Jesus as a god, a false god, an idol, mammon, you know, and that's in most translations capitalized, and rightly it should be because it's like Baal or, you know, Molech or, you know, it's a false god. But in our culture, we don't think of ourselves as idolaters, of course, and yet we're told that greed is idolatry. And this is, it takes hold of our lives. And I think what happens is we keep accumulating possessions, and we're grateful to live in a prosperous culture.

But what happens is we keep accumulating and things have mass, mass exerts gravity, gravity holds us in orbit around it, and pretty soon we're in orbit around our stuff, our things, our accounts, whatever it might be. And without realizing it, even Christians who desire to honor God in the way they live are just sucked into kind of the black hole of materialism. It's well said, Randy, and you're exactly right. I think then it's important, even before we get into these guidelines, to recenter ourselves on a biblical worldview of money, you actually give some preconditions to these guidelines.

Why don't we start there? Well, certainly we need to see ourselves as stewards. And this is the thing, I was actually speaking years ago, I was about to speak at a Kingdom Advisors Conference. And of course, I love you guys.

And I love that ministry and Ron and everybody else. But somebody came up to me and said, now, please don't tell us again, God owns it all. Because we've heard that and everybody says it, and we've all heard it. And I go, well, here's the deal. When we all start living that way, I think we'll just never say it again.

Because it's like, yeah, it's like, I'm a tennis coach, a high school tennis coach. And I may say things like, you know, follow through, keep your eye on the ball. Well, you know, those things would be unnecessary, except they're vitally necessary. And this is where we are. I mean, so let's see ourselves as stewards, God as the owner, and then just realize He has entrusted money and possessions to us in order that, yes, we would use them to live, but also use them to give. And Jesus said, it is more happy-making to give them to receive.

Acts 2035, I've written several books on happiness. And I guarantee you that Greek word makarios, which I've studied extensively, was the common word for happiness. And when we hear the word blessed, I think blessed has become to most of us more of a holiness word than a happiness word. And I think we just need to get back to what the word actually means. It is more happy-making to give than to receive.

Oh, wow, that's powerful. I love that, because it's the same word, but it's a completely different idea in our minds. And I think it does ultimately lead to the joy that Jesus was speaking about when He was telling us that we should be givers, because there's so much more that comes back to us when we give. It's not what He wants from us, it's what He wants for us.

And so that's why I think this is such a critical topic. Well, Randy, when we come back from this break, I can't wait to dive into these guidelines about what does it look like to give in alignment with the New Testament so we can take the Council of Scripture and apply it to this really vital area of our money management. Randy Alcorn here today. Much more to come just around the corner. And then your questions at 800-525-7000. This is Faith and Finance Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. Stay with us.

We'll be right back. It's great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. With me, my guest today, Randy Alcorn is the author of over 60 books on Christian living. And Randy, I think I've shared this with you before, but apart from God's Word, Money, Possessions, and Eternity, your book had a profound impact on me in college that really ultimately led to me pursuing the intersection of faith and finance that I've spent the rest of my professional career at. So I'm just so grateful to you and all the extensive writing you've done on this topic.

Well, thanks for saying that, Rob. Absolutely. You know, we're talking today about a key area of our money management.

You said it well. God owns it all. We're stewards, and now money is a tool. And when we look at Scripture, what kind of leaps off the page is that it's a generosity story, right? For God to love the world, He gave His one and only Son. And if we're created in His image, then we're most like Him when we're giving. So what should that look like?

What are those guidelines? And the first one is you tell us pretty plainly that you just simply need to give, right? That's right. And you know, when we do things, they become a habit. If you teach your children to say thanks, the chances that they will become thankful people is greatly increased. The very verbalizing of the thing, the doing of a thing, saying thanks, cultivates thankfulness.

It makes perfect sense. And what cultivates generosity? Giving.

You simply do it. And if you don't do it, you won't cultivate generosity. You will never become a generous person as long as you're waiting to give. And sometimes people will say, God loves a cheerful giver. Well, I'm not cheerful about it, so I'm going to wait until I'm cheerful and then I'll start giving.

Well, don't hold your breath because it's not going to happen. You know, you have to give and then discover the blessings of generosity, not only the contentment that comes with obeying God, but also the happiness that comes as we said for Jesus. It's more happy-making to give than to receive.

Yeah, that's so helpful. Well, that takes us to the next one, which is to give generously. What does that look like for us? Well, I think everybody has to evaluate, you know, how much are you giving now? And if you are giving 50 percent of your income away now, which some people do, and some people are at a place where they can give 90 percent of their assets away, well then for you, you don't want to go backwards.

You want to go forwards. And if God opens the door and keeps blessing you and more comes in, then give all the more. For other people, they've never tithed. The idea of tithing is unthinkable to them. I've had long conversations.

I know you have too with people. And what I always say is the tithe is not a pinnacle. It's just a starting place. That's all it is.

And God called upon his poorest people in Israel, farmers and everybody else that we would consider even lower class in terms of income and had three different tithes for them, but one in particular that would be parallel to what we have in the church, which is supporting your pastors, the work of your church, missions and all that. And then give above and beyond that. But I would say to people who haven't tried it yet, this is not legalism. If you don't want to start at 10 percent, that's perfectly fine.

Start at 11 percent or 12 percent. Whatever you want to do, just do it. It's not legalism. It's just simply saying, well, if this is what God expected of his poorest Old Testament saints, and I'm indwelt by the Spirit of God, and I live in the wealthiest country in human history, it would seem that I probably don't want to start below where they were. Yeah, that certainly makes sense. And it leads us to this next point, and that is to give regularly.

What is it about systematic giving that's so important? Well, I think when we're in the habit of it, I mean, you think of the things in life that you do. I'm an insulin dependent diabetic, so I have to check myself. I have to actually look at my phone, see what my blood sugar is before I start an interview, because by the end of the interview, I don't want to be making no sense whatsoever. I mean, that will happen to me if I don't examine myself. The regularity of checking my blood sugar is huge.

The regularity of brushing your teeth, the regularity of showering or shaving or whatever it is, it just cultivates the thing itself. So if you give regularly, you'll have an eye for giving, and that regularly may be once a month at your church. And I know a lot of people have the automatic, you know, taking it out of your account and that sort of thing. I do think there's a little bit of a danger in that, because you can kind of become less conscious of the fact that you're actually giving. But in any case, then your eyes are open. When I walk into a store, my eyes are usually alert to somebody that looks a little bit needy. There have been a number of times where I've offered to buy something for somebody, whether it's a water bottle or whether it's a little something to eat or, you know, and it just cultivated. The more you give, the more you're aware of giving. And remember, grace, God's grace toward us is giving. Grace means giving. So the grace of God toward us, which is like lightning, is supposed to produce thunder in us. And that thunder is the thunder of our giving back to him and to others. Oh, wow.

That's so helpful. All right, Randy, the next guideline is to give sacrificially. This, of course, models the most famous giver in the New Testament. We don't know her name, but we know she was a widow that gave out of her poverty, right?

Exactly. So she has this coin or two little coins or whatever that she puts in to the offering, and Jesus is watching her and uses her as a model for the disciples. And he's not using wealthy people as the model, you know, but he, knowing everything, says she has given all that she has. And he knows that God's special blessing will be attached to this great act of generosity. And so she is in Scripture itself.

That's like the Hall of Fame. When you make it into Scripture, for good reasons, there's other recent people who make it into Scripture that are not so good. But in her case, it's like, wow, she's the model of giving. And by the way, the model of church giving is in 2 Corinthians 8, when you have the northern Greece and southern Greece, Macedonia, Nicaea, and you have the model of the Macedonian saints who gave out of their poverty to the famine relief offering in Jerusalem. And they are the most famously noted church for their giving. And it says they were actually living in poverty when they did that giving.

Yes, it's so good. Unfortunately, we've only got about 45 seconds left. Randy, finish with this guideline of giving worshipfully.

What does that look like? Yeah, I think when we think of who God is, and then in contrast who we are, we just need to focus on His grace and the fact that to become like Him, to be godly, to become Christlike, is to give as He gives. And the more we give, as long as it's from a right heart, not showingness, but worship of Him, we will become more like Him the more we give.

Wow, that's powerful. Well, Randy, we're going to have to have you back because there's so much more I want to talk about, but I'm so thankful for you and your ministry, your friendship, and thanks for being here today as well. You bet. Great to be with you, Rob.

All right. That's Randy Alcorn. He's founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries. You can check out their excellent work in sharing the gospel and expanding God's kingdom, including a lot of writing on money and possessions in light of biblical wisdom at EPM.org.

That's EPM.org. All right, back with your questions just after this, the number 800-525-7000. This is Faith and Finance Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. We'll be right back. The opinions offered during this program represent the personal or professional opinions of the participants given for informational purposes only.

Any information provided is not intended to replace advice from a financial, medical, legal, or other professional who understands your specific situation. Thanks for joining us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West. We're taking your calls and questions today on anything financial. The number to call is 800-525-7000. That's 800-525-7000.

You can call right now. We'll look forward to diving into your questions today, helping you answer whatever is on your mind financially speaking through the lens of Scripture. And that's the way we approach everything here on this broadcast. You know, our heart's desire is that ultimately, ultimately, you would see God as your true treasure. And when we treasure God above everything else, well, money becomes a tool now to accomplish God's purposes. The challenge is that our culture would have us to believe that money should be our true treasure and the things that money can buy.

The challenge is it can't satisfy. It's being asked to fill a role it was never intended to play. It's a creation from God to be used for our good, to participate in God's activity, to give generously, to meet the needs of our families, to enjoy. It was never meant to be an end in and of itself. It's a means to an end. But that end is ultimately glorifying God and using it as a tool to accomplish God's purposes. Well, when we get our perspective right on the role of money as a tool and our role as steward and God's role as owner, well, everything comes into view. And then we apply biblical principles from God's word to the decisions and choices we're making every day, recognizing God's word is relevant. It's always right.

It's never going to change. And it's intensely practical, including in this area of money management. So what are you thinking about today as you live, give, owe, and grow? We'd like to help you navigate those financial decisions. So lines are open. We are ready to take your questions. Josie, our call screener today is standing by at 800-525-7000. Call right now 800-525-7000.

Let's start today in Florida. Jose, you'll be our first caller, sir. Go ahead. Hi, Rob. Thank you for taking my call. Of course. I'm calling today because really I appreciate your program.

I listen every day on my way home from work. I'm getting close to retirement. And as you know, last year was not very good for my retirement account. So I got with my financial advisor to see how we could protect it. And he's recommended a what's called a six-year variable annuity. So I do not surrender the asset, but it's tied up for six years, but it's tied to also with the S&P 500. So I have the same benefits as the 401k while it's gaining, but it also has a 30% guarantee against any losses. And I was wondering what you thought about that. Yeah. I know you're not fond of annuities, but what do you think about this particular one?

Yeah. You know, I'm not a big fan of annuities primarily, well, for a few reasons. Number one, they're complex. And so often difficult to understand.

I mean, there's a whole new vocabulary you have to understand. Mortality and expense fees and joint life payout and sub accounts, which is their term for, you know, the investments inside of them, the surrender fee. I mean, and then there's the types of annuities, the variable or fixed, you know, you've got indexed annuities, which is what you're describing here. And often in exchange for that downside protection, you give up a portion of the upside. So your upside is limited. So when you buy an annuity, you're pooling your risk with all the other people buying annuities. So the insurance company you buy it from is managing that risk and you're paying a fee to limit your risk. So in the same way you may never come out ahead from buying homeowner's insurance, if your home doesn't burn down, you may not make more money from an annuity than you put into it, or as you could have made somewhere else.

And so, you know, I think the key is to recognize the trade-offs, which is the complexity, the loss of access to your capital without surrender charges, the additional fees you're going to pay. You also have to recognize the difference in, you know, how it's going to be taxed. Now, if the money today is in your retirement account, is that right? Yes, correct. Okay, all right. Yeah, so one of the criticisms of annuity income is that it's taxed as ordinary income, but traditional 401k distributions are also taxed as ordinary income.

So that would be the same. You know, the other issue is just that the expenses can add up. And so you've got lots of expenses kind of built into this, you know, what they call is the mortality, but then there's also just other expenses, riders and premium taxes and administrative fees and, you know, a whole host of other things. So I think, you know, when we just kind of look at all of that, the bottom line is, I would rather you, you know, not have that downside protection, but get the full upside potential, you know, for your investments, manage the risk through diversification, and the selection of the investments themselves, working with an advisor to make sure you're not taking unnecessary risk, and then still giving you complete access to the funds if you need it at some point down the road, you know, maybe you need to get to more than just, you know, what you might, you know, get as a monthly income stream or something like that. So there are trade offs that I think you need to consider. Now, at the end of the day, if you say, listen, the peace of mind, knowing that I have that downside protection, you know, is worth the trade offs, well, then, you know, that's where I'm not going to say that there's never a place for an annuity.

I just want you to, you know, factor in the cost of that downside protection. Does that make sense? It makes sense. Oh, it makes perfect sense.

And I appreciate everything you just said. However, I keep being told that there are no fees. Should I be looking for some hidden fees somewhere? Yeah, I mean, they're going to get paid. There's all kinds of fees kind of embedded in there and expenses. So you're going to have to read the fine print pretty closely. Or you could ask your advisor to just kind of disclose to you all the fees and expenses, you know, before you make a final decision.

And he or she should be able to do that. Hey, thanks for your call and for your kind remarks about the program, Jose. We appreciate it. We'll be right back on Faith and Finance Live. Thanks for joining us today on Faith and Finance Live.

I'm Rob West. We're taking your calls and questions today, and we have lines open room for a few more calls today at 800-525-7000. Again, the number to call and you can call right now with your financial question 800-525-7000. Also coming up today in our broadcast, Jerry Boyer will stop by. He'll give us the latest read on the economy, some new labor data out today on the jobs market that's moving the major indexes today. He'll help us understand how that might affect the possibility of a recession next year. Also, an update on the corporate engagement work he's been doing as of late. He sat in on a meeting with Microsoft yesterday, and he can tell us about that. And of course, your questions as well.

Again, 800-525-7000. You know, here at the end of the year, we're in the month of December. This is a really important time for us to hear from you as we press toward our listener giving goal of $250,000. If you'd like to see the progress we're making, you can check it out at faithfi.com.

Just click give, and you know, we're so excited to hear the stories of impact that are shared with us almost daily of how God is using this ministry with his principles and people's lives. In fact, let's take a moment and just listen to one of those stories. Because I started listening several years ago, and I was in terrible credit card debt, and I just felt like I was drowning. I couldn't get out, and I was so depressed and so stressed. I heard Rob talk about pushing credit counselors, and I was in the program for three years, and they thought that it was going to take me four and a half years to pay back my 14 grand in credit card debt. The program was so wonderful, and my counselor was so encouraging, and I was so motivated by the program, and so many of my behaviors changed throughout the process. I became debt-free last month. It completely changed everything about the way I handle money. I just wanted to express how much I appreciate the program and Christian credit counselors.

That's awesome. We're so grateful for our partnership with Christian credit counselors and love hearing stories about those of you who are applying these principles, seeing God move in your financial lives, being freed up to respond to the Holy Spirit's leading in whatever He's called you to do, and that's what gets us so excited about this work we do here at Faith and Finance. Again, if you'd like to support our work here at Year End before December 31st, a gift of any amount would go a long way to helping us reach our goal. faithfi.com. That's faithfi.com.

Just click give, and thanks in advance. All right, we're headed back to the phones. We've got a few lines open. You can call right now.

In fact, you'd be able to get through right at the moment. 800-525-7000 with calls on anything financial. Let's go to Chicago. Hi, Joe. How can I help, sir? Hi, Rob. How are you doing?

I'm doing great. Thanks for your call. Hey, I contribute to a union Roth program through payroll deduction. I'm married, and how do I know when I reach the contribution limit? Will they send me a letter and say, we have to cut you off because you've hit the limit? And how would they know that I'm married and my wife is also contributing to her Roth as well? Is that something I need to keep an eye on?

And if I go over, what happens? Yeah, well, the key is that this is an individual contribution limit, and so it's per one participant. So this year, what is your age? I'm 53, and my wife is 54.

Okay. Yeah, so over the age of 50, you have the ability to put in more into a 401k. You can go all the way up to $30,000 for 2023, and she would be able to do the same. So it's not based on a joint contribution limit.

It's individually. And so you're just going to want to monitor that. I mean, often what will happen is your plan administrator will tell you just based on how much you're putting in each month, whether you're on track to exceed that.

But that's really something that's your responsibility. And so I would just try to keep track of that and make sure you're looking at that pretty closely so that you don't go over that annual contribution limit for you, and then the same for her. So it's not a joint account.

It's individual. And so you'd probably mean this is a good time for you to check in on, okay, what has gone in this year? And did I get go over the limit? Okay, and that's a Roth as well.

I know you said 401k, but it's a Roth as well. Either one. Okay, I must not have gone.

I get a weekly thing. I must not have gone over the 30,000. In fact, I know I didn't. So maybe that's why everything's been quiet.

Yeah, yeah. Well, that would be something to look at. And in terms of the, you know, the match, if there is one, the matching contributions made by employers do not count toward your maximum contribution limit. So you don't need to look at that.

It's really just the amount you're putting in. Perfect. Thank you very much. I appreciate it. All right, Joe, we've got time for one more. Thank you very much. I appreciate it. All right, Joe, we appreciate your call, sir.

God bless you. 800-525-7000. We've got a few lines open today. Give us a call. We'd love to hear from you.

Let's go to Florida. Hi, Matt. Go ahead, sir. Yes, sir. My name is Matt. I've got a question.

I've been listening to you for many, many years. The question I have is, is my wife had set me down a couple days ago, and it caught me off guard. I handle all the investments, but she told me, Matt, if something happened to you, I have no idea how to handle any of this. So the reason I was asking is, do you have anyone that would be able to handle the finances in my absence that would make sure that she is taken care of? Yeah, you know, it's a great question, Matt. And you're exactly right. I mean, you know, so often, especially if you're the one that, you know, finances comes more naturally, maybe you enjoy it, you know, it's something that you've done for a long time.

It sounds like you're managing the money yourself, which is fine, you know, if you have interest in it and the time to do it. But obviously, you've got a plan for, you know, what happens when I'm gone. And most of us guys will pass away before our wives.

That's just the reality of it. And so having that plan in place, so she's not, you know, left just wondering, okay, where do I go from here? I mean, I hear from so many widows on this program that are in that position your wife was describing to you, where they're kind of left with this burden, and they see it as a burden because they just don't have the experience in that area. So I think, yes, the answer is we do have folks, they're not on staff here. We trust the Certified Kingdom Advisor designation, which is the only designation in the financial services industry for men and women, about 1,500 of them now, that have met high standards and character and competence and experience. They've gotten a pastor and client reference and signed a statement of faith, and then they've also been trained to bring biblically wise financial advice. So I'd find a CKA, maybe interview two or three there in Florida, find the one that's the best fit, and I would go ahead and establish that relationship now.

And even if you're going to be the one to continue to manage the money, perhaps you go through that interview process, maybe the advisor, you know, works with you on a financial plan to maybe take the plan you've already done, update it, but you're beginning to build that relationship so she has that trusted person already in place that if you were to, you know, die tomorrow or the day after you have this meeting, she immediately knows where to go and it's a pretty seamless process. Does that make sense? Yes, it does, and I really appreciate that. We'll go online and immediately start working. Awesome, that sounds good. Yeah, just go to faithfi.com, faithfi.com, right there at the top of the page it says find a CKA, and that stands for Certified Kingdom Advisor.

You can do a zip code search right there in Florida and start the interview process. So we appreciate your call, Matt. I'm so glad you've thought about this, and I'm confident this conversation will be an encouragement to somebody else as well. We're back with much more on Faith and Finance Live. Stay with us. Hey, great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West. With us today, our good friend Jerry Boyer.

He stops spy each Friday with his update on the markets and the economy, also periodically an update on his work as in corporate engagement. Jerry joins us today to do just that. Jerry, good afternoon, sir. Good afternoon, and a happy Hanukkah to you.

Thank you, and to you, my friend. Hey, Jerry, you know, I saw Time magazine, they announced their person of the year, which was Taylor Swift. Did you see, though, the runners-up that they had on the list? No, how could there be any runners-up? Well, among them were President Xi of China, and Barbie, and Vladimir Putin, but you know who else made the list?

Jerome Powell, Jerome Powell. So, you know, here's what jumps out at me. I mean, I guess it just underscores how significant the Federal Reserve is that the Fed chairman made the list, but I guess it makes sense because they're single-handedly the conductor of this economy here in the United States, huh?

Well, they are, and I guess it's kind of appropriate that he'd be on the same list, the short list as Xi, right, because it's all about central control. Thankfully, the Fed just controls interest rates, not social credit, in every aspect of our lives, but yeah, it is interesting that they see that because we've talked about this before. You know, we think of someone like Warren Buffett as being the biggest investor in America, or Elon Musk is the most wealthy man, but there's no investor in America that is a tenth as large as our own central bank, and it wasn't always like that, but as it went from half a trillion to 10 trillion dollars, basically a gigantic hedge fund is what's happened essentially since the Great Recession. It is now far larger than any individual investor.

It's larger than the next maybe 10 sovereign wealth funds, which are giant government wealth funds put together, which means that whatever it does moves the markets, and that's why we get these distortive effects. Like today, we had some, you know, what seemed like bad news. I mean, as someone who works for a living and hires people, I think of employment as a good thing. So if employment is slowing down, I think people working, you know, but then, you know, I'm influenced by the by Genesis 1.

I guess my thinking is distorted. I think that we're made to work, and the Ten Commandments, six days thou shall labor and do all thy work, and the seventh is a Sabbath to the Lord. I think working is a good thing, but under Keynesian economics, too many people working they think causes inflation, and so if we don't have so many people working, well, then we don't have an inflation problem anymore, and therefore the central bank Jerome Powell can say, I won, it's over, and we beat inflation, and then the markets say, well, then they're going to start the money spigot again, and the money spigot drives up the price of assets, especially risky assets. So you notice that NASDAQ went up more today than the Dow. So kind of the old line stocks aren't pushed up as much by easy money as the more speculative stocks. So that easy money creates bubbles, and the more bubbly part of the economy is most helped by easy money, and that's, yeah, I guess Jerome Powell really should have been Man of the Year.

Yeah, well, he certainly made the list, that's for sure. What do you think this means for the Fed? I mean, obviously he was very guarded in his most recent comments about this idea that he would, you know, begin to see interest rates come back down, saying that, you know, we're by any means not there yet, and yet obviously today's data around the labor market is going to begin to signal in that direction.

Do you think we start to see a significant turn down on interest rates next year? Well, the markets certainly think so. The markets think that we're going to be cutting next spring. So I'm not so good at predicting the future, or I don't know whether I am or not, but I know that markets are better than I am. So what markets think about what interest rates are going to be shows up in what markets think the price of stocks should be. If markets think that interest rates are going to be coming down, which is just another way of saying the Fed's going to be pouring new money into the economy, they're going to be, you know, creating new money, and they're going to put it in markets, then of course markets go up.

If you're throwing, if you're creating new money and throwing into markets, well, that drives up the price of markets. So that's why today was a good day in markets, or at least it went up, of course, to the degree that it's artificial stimulus, monetary stimulus is not good in the long run. So that seems to be the consensus right now, which is probably one of the reasons why gold is like $60 higher than it was a month ago. So the boomer rocks are basically indicating fear of inflation. And the new alternative, the digital gold, Bitcoin is also up a lot when people thought it was left for dead, because there were so many scandals involved and even, you know, a famous Bitcoin monger went to jail recently. So you would think that Bitcoin would really hurt. But it is seen as an escape from the coming inflation that comes from the fact that the Fed thinks it's beaten inflation.

See, if the Fed thinks it's beaten inflation and it hasn't, then we should be worried about inflation. And that's the situation. Yeah. All right.

Very interesting, Jerry. All right. Let's touch quickly on the corporate engagement work you've been doing as of late. I know you were in a pretty big meeting yesterday, huh?

Yeah. Microsoft, very big, very important company at its annual meeting. There's a couple of things that were of interest. One is that those who are kind of pushing back against the agenda of corporate politicization. So there are people who have been pulling companies into politics, pulling them into gay marriage debates, LGBTQ, voter ID, Florida law, all the rest of it. These companies have kind of gotten pulled into this stuff. And there are others, I'm part of that, who are saying, no companies, you need to just go back to doing your main job. We had almost half the proposals on the ballot this week.

And I've never seen that before. Historically, their side outnumbers us by about 20 to one. Last year, they outnumbered us by about 10 to one, which I guess that's progress.

If I went by Microsoft as sort of a forerunner of next year, it's going to be more like 50-50 or something like that. So there is a real challenge. Ordinary Americans who are investors, not political activists, but investors, and think of these companies as investments and should be focused on business, have figured out that something's going wrong. And we're now taking action to do something about it. Now, they didn't win, but neither did the other side, because the shareholder proposals never won.

They almost never win. But there were a couple of really interesting issues that came up. And one of them is the idea that Microsoft came out and said, we're going to reimburse for abortion travel. But they didn't say we're going to reimburse for adoption travel.

Well, seems discriminatory. You're not allowed to discriminate based on pregnancy status, right? So if a woman goes away, and she comes back, and she's still pregnant, she doesn't get $5,000. She goes away, she comes back, she's not pregnant, she gets the whatever the amount is $5,000 or something like that. So she gets money for not being pregnant. Well, that's pregnancy discrimination.

Here's another one. They said, we're going to support transition surgery, or transition benefits, they call it, for our employees and their minor children, which I'm a little concerned about that. But they didn't say anything about supporting reverse or detransition. And increasingly, that's happening where young women are getting surgical treatments, and then they're turning around saying, wait a minute, I really am a girl.

I didn't realize, I don't know why I did that. I was talked into it. I'm in pain. I want to go back to being a girl. Well, we've asked Microsoft, the people put the proposal forward, they asked Microsoft, and they will not commit to funding detransition.

If somebody has undergone that painful surgery and damaging surgery, and they want to go in the opposite direction, it's only in one direction. Well, isn't that discriminatory? If you're not allowed to discriminate based on trans status, then that means you shouldn't be allowed to discriminate in either direction. So we'll only pay if you want to move away from your actual created gender. But we won't pay if you want to move back to your created gender, seems discriminatory.

It also seems, you know, legally risky, and frankly, morally pretty risky as well. And that's a topic that came up. They did not answer the question, but that question is not going away. We're sending follow up questions about it. They're going to have to answer that question at one point or another. And I don't know that they have a good answer to give.

Hello? Sorry, Jerry, we had a, uh, couldn't hear you there for a second. That's really helpful though. And really interesting. We appreciate your insights, my friend. Thanks for being on today. Always a pleasure. All right. God bless you.

Have a great weekend. That was Jerry Boyer. And he joins us each Friday with his market commentary and analysis. All right, quickly, let's finish today in Zealand, Michigan. Chet, thanks for your call, sir. You'll be our final caller. Go ahead.

Rob, thanks. Learned a tremendous amount from your predecessor, not just a raw and blue, but Larry Brickette first became a believer and kind of learned through all about biblical finances. So it was great question for you. I've really got two. Let me start with one. Uh, once we got married, our pastor had suggested that we tithe and I didn't know anything about that at the time. And I said, well, I get a gross pay and a net pay. And I said, what should I tithe on?

And he said, Chet, I don't have a great answer for you. But the one I was given was if you want God to bless you on your gross tithe on that, if you want him to get tithed on your net, uh, then a tithe on that. And so when I was married, always tithed on our gross, never had any issues, never missed a meal, never missed a bill.

You know, things were tied at times, but were fantastic. I've been divorced about the last six and a half years, unfortunately. And for whatever reason, my mentality was I can't tithe on my gross because I'm giving an awful lot of money away to take care of my children and spousal sport. So I've been tithing on my net since then. And I'm just curious from a biblical perspective, is there a right or a wrong on that before I ask you my second question? Yeah, very good.

And we might have to hold that second question the next week. You know, at the end of the day, Chet, I mean, if this is between you and the Lord, you can't outgive God. I think tithing to Randy Alcorn, our opening guest today, to his point is a great guideline. It's a great starting point. Randy often calls it the training wheels of giving, giving systematically the first and the best. And I think, you know, perhaps if there's anything that we can glean from scripture about tithing, gross versus not, even though you certainly won't see those words, is that the tithe was really on the first fruits. So it was on the first of the harvest. It was on the first of the livestock that we were giving the best, the ones without blemish.

And so I think the most accurate kind of parallel to what we deal with today is it should come right off the top, which would be gross. But at the end of the day, this is not about checking a box or legalism. It's about giving cheerfully as unto the Lord. And I think that's the best approach. Hey, thanks for your call faith and finance. Live is a partnership between Moody radio and faith. I will see you next time. Bye-bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-08 21:31:44 / 2023-12-08 21:49:03 / 17

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