What’s a Christian Financial Planner? And does that even matter? Some folks would say that it shouldn’t matter any more than it matters if your lawyer is Jewish, your plumber is atheist, or your dentist is Hindu.

I’ve had a number of discussions with people about this topic, and have learned many interesting things about what people think. Some say a Christian Financial Planner directs you in a way that puts God & Christ first in the financial choices you make. Others say that he or she incorporate Christian principles and Biblical responsible investing into their client’s investing plans. What that usually means to those people is ensuring that investments do not include things like alcohol, gambling, weapons of mass destruction, adult entertainment, objectionable medical practices, and so forth. Others, though, might be interested in working with someone they would consider a “Christian” financial planner, they might wonder if, in fact, the planner actually shares their Christian values. For example, some Christians don’t have a problem with fossil fuels, while others see climate change and environmental degradation as a significant part of their Christian perspective and baptismal responsibility. Some “Christians” have a strong aversion to supporting any kind of medical practices that even hint of supporting a woman’s right to choose, while others feel equally as strong that they have a responsibility to provide access to planned parenthood for all women that is both safe and affordable. So if you’re looking for a Christian Financial Planner, you’re likely to find yourself asking if “Christian values” are universal, and whether or not the planner you’re seeking shares what you consider to be “Christian values.”

So what to do and think? Allow me to offer another way to think about a “Christian” financial advisor … or doctor, lawyer, dentist, shop keeper, plumber, trash collector, or whatever … is that he or she is someone who uses their Christian values to inform the way in which they will work with you. Yes, if you’re interested in making some decisions based on your faith stance, they should be prepared to help you with that. But more importantly, if someone says they are a “Christian” anything, what it should give you is a sense of the person’s values, an expectation that you’ll be treated with respect and honesty, and the confidence that you can trust the advice you’ll be receiving is given to the best of his or her ability and knowledge. As a Christian, I hope and pray that I can live up to that expectation each and every day.