I don't want to work with those people

It seems like our world becomes more divided every day. Everything becomes political whether it's justified or not. We've faced some push back since openly sharing our Christian faith as a firm. Last month, we started a series going through some of the objections we've received since starting our Cornerstone Portfolios in 2020. One of the largest questions received is, "will I have to sacrifice performance for BRI?" You can find our response to this objection in last month's blog:

BRI Objections - Part 1: Performance
We started offering our Cornerstone Portfolios in 2020. Over the last few years, we’ve received a lot of questions and objections to these biblically responsible investments (including push-back from Christians). After years of rebutting the objections we receive for Cornerstone, we decided to start a series going through the common

This month we're focusing on a larger objection, which isn't necessarily related to Cornerstone; however, it relates to having people refuse to do business with SEM simply because we are Christian. While we respect the freedom everyone has to whatever opinion they want, we believe this quick judgement misses some key factors about what a true Christian business is really about.

Business Values

Not every Christian business is the same, but there are some common values the businesses share.

[You'll notice in some of the descriptions that I'm emphasizing "should" in the statements. The reason for this is because some companies that say they are a Christian business, do not always follow these values.]

Promoting Integrity and Honesty

Christian companies should be focused on doing the right thing, even if it means potentially losing money.

Committing to Excellence

Christian companies should be committed to serving their employees and customers to the best of their ability.

Willing to Learn and Improve

This is tied to the above, of being committed to excellence. If a Christian company is striving to serve their employees and customers to the best of their ability, this should include the constant drive to improve the company to better serve customers.

Prioritizing Employee Well-Being

This can include having a good work-life balance for families, competitive pay, a good work environment, etc. An example of this is Chick-fil-A closing every Sunday to give their employees the day off.

Supporting Faith-led Causes

Examples of this include sponsoring local church events, giving to churches/charities, etc.

Caring for God's Creations

There are many examples of Christian businesses employing sustainable business practices – i.e. using recycled materials.

Introducing Customers to God

Christian businesses might share things like Bible verses on product packaging, share posts on their social media, listen to Christian music in their business, etc.

It has Nothing to do with Politics

Christians put their faith in God and believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God. Their faith is in God & the Bible, not man-made political parties, representatives of those parties, or the ever-changing platforms these parties claim to represent.

Openly Christian Businesses

SEM isn't the only openly Christian business around. Here are some more well-known companies who put their Christianity at the forefront.


Chick-fil-A is well-known for their Christian beliefs. One of the biggest things they do, is closing on Sundays (they're also closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day). Something that isn't as known that they do is providing limited-time fish-based sandwiches around Lent. This is done in order to honor those who abstain from consuming meat during Lent.


Tyson has a chaplaincy program (for 20+ years) which provides spiritual and emotional support their employees. Chaplains help Tyson's team members through prayer services, and other needs such as providing transportation and housing.

Outside of their chaplaincy program, Tyson founded the Tyson Center for Faith and Spirituality in the Workplace at the University of Arkansas – aiming to help business leaders create faith-friendly workplaces.


In-N-Out shares their faith through Bible verses on their different products (milkshake cups, cheeseburger wrappers, etc.)

Hobby Lobby

Just like Chick-fil-A, Hobby Lobby closes on Sundays so employees have time to be with family and attend church. Hobby Lobby also has full-page newspaper ads for Easter and Christmas.

Discount Tire

Bruce Halle, the founder of Discount Tire was a spiritual man who took his core beliefs into the store. These include: treating people with respect and fairness, caring for those in need, always doing what is right, working hard, being responsible, and having fun.

Besides their founding principles, they don't shy away from the Christian faith and subtlety play Christian music in the waiting rooms of the stores.

Are you a Christian financial advisor that's afraid to put your Christian faith out there because you're worried about turning off existing or potential clients? Here are some of the responses we have given when clients or advisors don't like SEM being so openly Christian:

  • How we invest has nothing to do with our personal beliefs. If a client does not want Biblically Responsible Investments, they absolutely will not have them.
  • If a client chooses to not work with a Christian simply because they are a Christian, that is a pre-judgement we simply cannot control. That could be a red flag that the client may not be somebody you personally want to work with.
  • If a client believes all Christians are represented by Christians who have blended their personal beliefs with politics, we’d love to have a personal conversation with them and apologize on behalf of those Christians who made them feel this way. We’ve been quite vocal about that over the last 4 years. The social divide created by those people is not something SEM stands for.
  • SEM is anti-political. Most of our employees are registered Independents. More importantly we make it a point to not let ANY political opinions enter our investment decisions.
  • If a client wants a low-cost Vanguard portfolio WE HAVE THAT. We also have low-cost ESG portfolios and low cost ETF-only portfolios. NONE of those have Biblically Responsible Investments. Only those clients specifically requesting Biblically Responsible Investments will have that consideration when we invest their money.
  • TRUE Christians love everyone. SEM always does the same for ALL PEOPLE. We would love the opportunity to display that to anybody and align their investments to THEIR values.
The Premier Gathering of the Christian Financial Industry

A couple weeks ago, several SEM employees attended the Kingdom Advisors Conference in Orlando. This is the 4th year we've attended, starting with Jeff attending in 2020. Each year, this conference is an excellent reminder that we're not the only Christian firm in the financial industry. Here are some of the key takeaways our employees had from this year's conference:

  • This was my [Jeff's] 5th Kingdom Advisors Conference, and each time it reinvigorates me as it reminds me of our true purpose – pouring God's love into our world, serving others, and finding ways to spread God's Word. Getting to spend a few days with thousands of Christian financial advisors allows me to hear what others are dealing with and remind me we are not alone. While there is an overwhelming amount of content provided, the main benefit for me is being able to talk to all of the fund providers and partners to ask deeper questions about how they are accomplishing the goals of our Cornerstone Portfolios.
  • The whole conference is a good reminder that you do not have to - and in fact, you should not - keep your faith, ethics, and morality separate from your business life.
  • Everyone is in a different stage of their financial journey. We need to embrace that from the financial advisor perspective as well as their clients. There are more quotes in the Bible about money than anything else. Understand that when talking to advisors and their clients you can still teach and recommend biblically responsible ways without quoting scripture. IF we are invited in helping them create insights, we should be able to help them further themselves along their financial journey.
  • The BRI space is becoming more popular and more profitable. It seems like some vendors and firms are in this space because it's a good business opportunity (not all the vendors are genuine).
  • There are contrasting approaches about how to approach investing and corporate engagement from a Biblical perspective.
  • Some moral issues have near universal support, even secularly (e.g. don't support slave labor). Some moral issues are divisive (e.g. abortion, transsexuality, misc. LGBTQ+ issues). It was obvious when a firm didn't have a clear stance on the divisive issues.
  • The biotech industry is very exciting. Humanity is making a lot of progress in the medical space right now.

If you're a Christian financial advisor, we'd encourage you to attend next year. SEM hopes to be a partner at next year's conference so we can help more financial advisors incorporate BRI into their business! Here's more information for the 2025 Kingdom Advisors Conference:

Kingdom Advisors Conference | Learn. Worship. Connect.
At the Kingdom Advisors Redeeming Money conference, find your community and learn timeless wisdom to elevate your financial advice.
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West Point, VA
Courtney is SEM's Marketing Manager. She joined SEM full-time in 2016. Outside of SEM, Courtney enjoys hiking with her golden retriever, Mya and volunteering at LifePointe Christian Church.
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New Kent, VA
Jeff joined SEM in October 1998. Outside of SEM, Jeff is part of the worship team at LifePointe Christian Church where he plays the keyboard and bass guitar. He also coaches a club soccer team.