Why Christians Are Funding Abortions and Porn Without Knowing It

Why Christians Are Funding Abortions and Porn Without Knowing It

One principle that should drive every Christian is honoring God in everything, including financial investments. Go in-depth with Art Ally, founder and president of the Timothy Plan, as he shares a special message for Christians across the U.S. who may be funding sin without even realizing it. Hear how Art started the Timothy Plan 25 years ago to help Christians find companies that support Christian values.

31 Minutes • a month ago

Episode Notes

In Depth with

Stephen Strang

Guest: Art Ally

One principle that should drive every Christian is honoring God in everything, including financial investments. Go in-depth with Art Ally, founder and president of the Timothy Plan, as he shares a special message for Christians across the U.S. who may be funding sin without even realizing it.

Hear how Art started the Timothy Plan 25 years ago to help Christians find companies that support Christian values.

Introduction

Stephen Strang: Hello, everyone that this is Stephen Strang, and welcome to this edition of In Depth with Stephen Strang. And today, my guest is Art Ally. He is the founder and president of the Timothy Plan, which is celebrating 25 years of helping Christians honor God with their investments. He and I have been friends, we both live in the Orlando area. I've known him and known of the Timothy Plan over the years and when their 25th anniversary rolled around, I thought that would be a great time to do an interview. So, let me welcome you, Art Ally. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to me about the Timothy plan and what God's doing in your life.

 

·         Read the Strang Report: Why Many Christians are Funding Abortion, Pornography Without Even Realizing It

 

Art Ally: Steve, it's my honor. And I don't know anybody in America who is too busy to talk to you, sir.

Stephen Strang: Well, we'll just leave that there. The Timothy plan … first of all, I should ask you to explain it even though I understand it, you could explain it, of course, a lot better than I can. It’s basically investments that you vet where the companies don't do bad things. Now, I realized that's not a very precise way to say it. But tell me the principle of why you started the Timothy plan 25 years ago.

 

·         Read the Timothy Plan Blog

·         Read the Timothy Plan’s Biblical Stewardship Study Guide

 

Art Ally: Sure. You pretty well hit it the way you described it. But 25 years ago, I'm sitting in a very nice, lucrative financial planning practice here in Central Florida, working with a Christian community. Actually, I was challenged to start a retirement plan for pastors of independent churches. Ministry is my passion and that appealed to me. So, I started calling some of the product lines that I had been working with for my clients. They got excited. Mutual funds and annuity companies to really create a special retirement plan. Then it hit me that I can't do it because I was becoming increasingly aware of what some of these publicly traded corporations were doing beneath the radar. Iit was absolutely the opposite of our biblical worldview, whether they were involved in abortion or pornography or any of those things. I said how in the world can I have a retirement plan for pastors who stand in the pulpit, and preach about the evils of these things, and then have their retirement dollars invested in companies that were involved in or funding those very things. So, it was a turning point. And the turning point was simply this:  Drop the project or start a mutual fund, which is the way these retirement plans are funded, that would be honoring to God. It would apply strict moral biblical standards to who we invest in. And that became what is now the Timothy Plan. And that was 27 years ago because it took 22 years to really put it together.

 

·         Request information about the Timothy Plan

 

Stephen Strang: Well, let's talk about this because this is not for the faint of heart. First of all, there's lots and lots of governmental regulations. And the regulations are put there to protect the naive investor. Or, at least that's the principle behind it. But it includes a lot of roadblocks or hurdles that someone like you would have to go over to start something. Plus, you talk about shark-infested waters. When you're talking about the investment community, there's some big boys that don't like new players. I can't imagine all the obstacles you had. And then a lot of things are started, a lot of financial things are started, a lot of companies are started, a lot of public companies actually go under because they're not successful. So, how did you navigate that? Especially when you're getting started?

Art Ally: Very carefully, Steve. I mean, you're right. We live in a compliance fishbowl. I don't know any more regulated industry than the one that we are in. When we started, you know, I had some friends on Wall Street. And they said, you're nuts. I was used to hearing that from my wife regularly. So, I said, what do you mean? They said you can't have an investment program that screens out some of the most profitable companies that we invest in, and expect to get good returns. Well, and you're right on, too. The investment world is all about money and all about investment returns. But my comment then was the same as it is today. I know who's in control. I know who owns it all. My answer to them was obedience trumps performance every single time. That is never been more true now than it was then. But that does not mean we can't get good competitive performance. When they predicted total failure, well, we're about to celebrate our 25th anniversary and our shareholders have gotten very nice, conservative returns over their whole history. Some people have been with us the entire 25 years. So, it was not easy. It is not easy. It's a whole lot easier today than it was when we started because we were running up a mountain of conditioning of the way people thought about investing. When they thought about investing, it was almost like church is church and businesses is business. They were never thinking about where the money's invested in what these companies are doing. They didn't burn a path to our door in the in the early stages.

Stephen Strang: It's interesting that you would say that because that was my next question. Working and living in the Christian community, especially, kind of in the business world, I have seen this thing that you're describing where church is church and business is business. There isn't that much loyalty to the Christian community, especially when someone's trying to get something off the ground. I'm in publishing, of course, or today, we call it media, and not to distract from the focus on you, but I mean, there are some very good authors, for example, who will go straight to New York with the publishing houses that have a history of being very, very ungodly and skip over people like me that trying to make a difference because the dollars speak. Now, there's nothing wrong with what I described. We do have a capitalistic system and we face competition. But I guess I know up close and personal the fact that just because you do something for godly reasons doesn't mean, as you say, that people are going to beat a path to your door because with investments, who even knows what you invest in? Most people, if they're smart, keep that very quiet. You don't even hardly want people to know that you're investing other than the few financial people … your CPA or your Certified Financial Planner, or whoever might help you. So, you can sit in church next to someone and sing at the top of your lungs and pray and do all the things that we Christians do and the person next to you would never know that you're compromising in a very significant way. You mentioned the obvious ones of abortion and pornography, but there's also gambling. There are also big companies that sometimes the leadership, especially more recently with this whole tension between left and right, have come out very, very strongly for some of the leftist points of view, and used their financial platform to espouse this. Do you avoid those kinds of companies too, or is it just … that would be, I guess, a little more political or maybe a little bit more publicity, rather than how they're investing their money. How do you make your determination of who is a company that follows Christian principles and who doesn't?

Art Ally: Well actually, thanks for bringing that up because we are a biblically responsible mutual fund family. We started out with one and we now have 13 funds. But the Bible is very clear: There is none righteous, not one. So, there really is no such thing as a publicly traded righteous company. Where we draw the line and make the distinction is, and you can see when you do the research, we've got five full-time people that do nothing but research these companies … not to blackball them, but to find out what they're doing and if they fail our screens, we will not allow our money managers to invest in them. But it is wrong to think we only invest in quote unquote, good companies. But where we do draw the line is there is a difference when you see this research, between companies that are passively unrighteous and those are pursuing an unholy agenda, and those are the ones we refuse to own. We don't care how good they look. Sometimes that hurts our performance and sometimes it helps us. Your broader question was, what we found, is if they fail our basic moral screens, there probably isn't a lot of integrity up in the corporate white ivory tower offices. Some of these companies, sooner or later come crashing down. You got to have good morals to do well. You can do well without them for a season. But sooner or later, it catches up with you. Now, that doesn't mean we're going to do better than anybody; we don't. We're just competitive. But, you're right on. People just don't think in those terms. I get really critical of those in the body of Christ, and the Lord and I had a lot of conversations coming to and from the office and the early days. Finally, it hit me like a ton of bricks. It's not that they don't care, it’s that they don't know. The church has really dropped the ball on educating their congregants in one area that is more central than anything else in every single person's life, and that's money. The Bible says more about it than any other subject. And yet, you don't learn the biblical principles of handling money in church. You get all of your training from the world. And if you're in business, you learn how to run your business from the world because the church is not teaching you that. If you're investing, you invest like the world invests because the church is not teaching you that. You end up in a financial quagmire because you're doing it the world's way. That hit me like a ton of bricks. So actually, Steve, I hibernated for three months, me and the Holy Spirit wrote a biblical stewardship study guide that is nine hours long that covers cradle to grave … a ton of scriptures of God's Word compared with the way the world teaches you to do things. It is a night and day difference. We have just made that available to the general public. They can plug into it right on our website, no cost; it is our ministry to the body of Christ. But it is a life-changing when you really lay side by side God's principles … and you know who runs the world and you know, Satan, is exactly the opposite. So, it's time we start doing it God's way if we want to be successful, and we've got a resource in that biblical stewardship study guide that has no comparable course anywhere. There's some good stuff out there, but this one is so thorough, and it's free, and it's a good resource for people.

 

Connect with the Timothy Plan

·         On Facebook

·         On Twitter

·         On LinkedIn

·         At timothyplan.com

 

Where to Find Stephen Strang on the Internet

·         The Strang Report on Charismamag.com

·         The Strang Report on cpnshows.com

·         On Twitter

·         On Facebook

Episode Notes

In Depth with

Stephen Strang

Guest: Art Ally

One principle that should drive every Christian is honoring God in everything, including financial investments. Go in-depth with Art Ally, founder and president of the Timothy Plan, as he shares a special message for Christians across the U.S. who may be funding sin without even realizing it.

Hear how Art started the Timothy Plan 25 years ago to help Christians find companies that support Christian values.

Introduction

Stephen Strang: Hello, everyone that this is Stephen Strang, and welcome to this edition of In Depth with Stephen Strang. And today, my guest is Art Ally. He is the founder and president of the Timothy Plan, which is celebrating 25 years of helping Christians honor God with their investments. He and I have been friends, we both live in the Orlando area. I've known him and known of the Timothy Plan over the years and when their 25th anniversary rolled around, I thought that would be a great time to do an interview. So, let me welcome you, Art Ally. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to me about the Timothy plan and what God's doing in your life.

 

·         Read the Strang Report: Why Many Christians are Funding Abortion, Pornography Without Even Realizing It

 

Art Ally: Steve, it's my honor. And I don't know anybody in America who is too busy to talk to you, sir.

Stephen Strang: Well, we'll just leave that there. The Timothy plan … first of all, I should ask you to explain it even though I understand it, you could explain it, of course, a lot better than I can. It’s basically investments that you vet where the companies don't do bad things. Now, I realized that's not a very precise way to say it. But tell me the principle of why you started the Timothy plan 25 years ago.

 

·         Read the Timothy Plan Blog

·         Read the Timothy Plan’s Biblical Stewardship Study Guide

 

Art Ally: Sure. You pretty well hit it the way you described it. But 25 years ago, I'm sitting in a very nice, lucrative financial planning practice here in Central Florida, working with a Christian community. Actually, I was challenged to start a retirement plan for pastors of independent churches. Ministry is my passion and that appealed to me. So, I started calling some of the product lines that I had been working with for my clients. They got excited. Mutual funds and annuity companies to really create a special retirement plan. Then it hit me that I can't do it because I was becoming increasingly aware of what some of these publicly traded corporations were doing beneath the radar. Iit was absolutely the opposite of our biblical worldview, whether they were involved in abortion or pornography or any of those things. I said how in the world can I have a retirement plan for pastors who stand in the pulpit, and preach about the evils of these things, and then have their retirement dollars invested in companies that were involved in or funding those very things. So, it was a turning point. And the turning point was simply this:  Drop the project or start a mutual fund, which is the way these retirement plans are funded, that would be honoring to God. It would apply strict moral biblical standards to who we invest in. And that became what is now the Timothy Plan. And that was 27 years ago because it took 22 years to really put it together.

 

·         Request information about the Timothy Plan

 

Stephen Strang: Well, let's talk about this because this is not for the faint of heart. First of all, there's lots and lots of governmental regulations. And the regulations are put there to protect the naive investor. Or, at least that's the principle behind it. But it includes a lot of roadblocks or hurdles that someone like you would have to go over to start something. Plus, you talk about shark-infested waters. When you're talking about the investment community, there's some big boys that don't like new players. I can't imagine all the obstacles you had. And then a lot of things are started, a lot of financial things are started, a lot of companies are started, a lot of public companies actually go under because they're not successful. So, how did you navigate that? Especially when you're getting started?

Art Ally: Very carefully, Steve. I mean, you're right. We live in a compliance fishbowl. I don't know any more regulated industry than the one that we are in. When we started, you know, I had some friends on Wall Street. And they said, you're nuts. I was used to hearing that from my wife regularly. So, I said, what do you mean? They said you can't have an investment program that screens out some of the most profitable companies that we invest in, and expect to get good returns. Well, and you're right on, too. The investment world is all about money and all about investment returns. But my comment then was the same as it is today. I know who's in control. I know who owns it all. My answer to them was obedience trumps performance every single time. That is never been more true now than it was then. But that does not mean we can't get good competitive performance. When they predicted total failure, well, we're about to celebrate our 25th anniversary and our shareholders have gotten very nice, conservative returns over their whole history. Some people have been with us the entire 25 years. So, it was not easy. It is not easy. It's a whole lot easier today than it was when we started because we were running up a mountain of conditioning of the way people thought about investing. When they thought about investing, it was almost like church is church and businesses is business. They were never thinking about where the money's invested in what these companies are doing. They didn't burn a path to our door in the in the early stages.

Stephen Strang: It's interesting that you would say that because that was my next question. Working and living in the Christian community, especially, kind of in the business world, I have seen this thing that you're describing where church is church and business is business. There isn't that much loyalty to the Christian community, especially when someone's trying to get something off the ground. I'm in publishing, of course, or today, we call it media, and not to distract from the focus on you, but I mean, there are some very good authors, for example, who will go straight to New York with the publishing houses that have a history of being very, very ungodly and skip over people like me that trying to make a difference because the dollars speak. Now, there's nothing wrong with what I described. We do have a capitalistic system and we face competition. But I guess I know up close and personal the fact that just because you do something for godly reasons doesn't mean, as you say, that people are going to beat a path to your door because with investments, who even knows what you invest in? Most people, if they're smart, keep that very quiet. You don't even hardly want people to know that you're investing other than the few financial people … your CPA or your Certified Financial Planner, or whoever might help you. So, you can sit in church next to someone and sing at the top of your lungs and pray and do all the things that we Christians do and the person next to you would never know that you're compromising in a very significant way. You mentioned the obvious ones of abortion and pornography, but there's also gambling. There are also big companies that sometimes the leadership, especially more recently with this whole tension between left and right, have come out very, very strongly for some of the leftist points of view, and used their financial platform to espouse this. Do you avoid those kinds of companies too, or is it just … that would be, I guess, a little more political or maybe a little bit more publicity, rather than how they're investing their money. How do you make your determination of who is a company that follows Christian principles and who doesn't?

Art Ally: Well actually, thanks for bringing that up because we are a biblically responsible mutual fund family. We started out with one and we now have 13 funds. But the Bible is very clear: There is none righteous, not one. So, there really is no such thing as a publicly traded righteous company. Where we draw the line and make the distinction is, and you can see when you do the research, we've got five full-time people that do nothing but research these companies … not to blackball them, but to find out what they're doing and if they fail our screens, we will not allow our money managers to invest in them. But it is wrong to think we only invest in quote unquote, good companies. But where we do draw the line is there is a difference when you see this research, between companies that are passively unrighteous and those are pursuing an unholy agenda, and those are the ones we refuse to own. We don't care how good they look. Sometimes that hurts our performance and sometimes it helps us. Your broader question was, what we found, is if they fail our basic moral screens, there probably isn't a lot of integrity up in the corporate white ivory tower offices. Some of these companies, sooner or later come crashing down. You got to have good morals to do well. You can do well without them for a season. But sooner or later, it catches up with you. Now, that doesn't mean we're going to do better than anybody; we don't. We're just competitive. But, you're right on. People just don't think in those terms. I get really critical of those in the body of Christ, and the Lord and I had a lot of conversations coming to and from the office and the early days. Finally, it hit me like a ton of bricks. It's not that they don't care, it’s that they don't know. The church has really dropped the ball on educating their congregants in one area that is more central than anything else in every single person's life, and that's money. The Bible says more about it than any other subject. And yet, you don't learn the biblical principles of handling money in church. You get all of your training from the world. And if you're in business, you learn how to run your business from the world because the church is not teaching you that. If you're investing, you invest like the world invests because the church is not teaching you that. You end up in a financial quagmire because you're doing it the world's way. That hit me like a ton of bricks. So actually, Steve, I hibernated for three months, me and the Holy Spirit wrote a biblical stewardship study guide that is nine hours long that covers cradle to grave … a ton of scriptures of God's Word compared with the way the world teaches you to do things. It is a night and day difference. We have just made that available to the general public. They can plug into it right on our website, no cost; it is our ministry to the body of Christ. But it is a life-changing when you really lay side by side God's principles … and you know who runs the world and you know, Satan, is exactly the opposite. So, it's time we start doing it God's way if we want to be successful, and we've got a resource in that biblical stewardship study guide that has no comparable course anywhere. There's some good stuff out there, but this one is so thorough, and it's free, and it's a good resource for people.

 

Connect with the Timothy Plan

·         On Facebook

·         On Twitter

·         On LinkedIn

·         At timothyplan.com

 

Where to Find Stephen Strang on the Internet

·         The Strang Report on Charismamag.com

·         The Strang Report on cpnshows.com

·         On Twitter

·         On Facebook

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Why Christians Are Funding Abortions and Porn Without Knowing It