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Warren Buffett’s most under-researched investment decision

Investing icon Warren Buffett.
Investing icon Warren Buffett. | REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Warren Buffett is an American business magnate and philanthropist who has been called the greatest investor of all time. You may be aware of his excellent investments in Bank of America, Apple, Coca-Cola and Kraft Heinz, as well as a few bad investments along the way. But have you heard about his most under-researched investment decision? 

Warren Buffett once said, “Risk comes from not knowing what you are doing.” And with all due respect to this investment genius, Buffett’s biggest investment decision is illogical and vastly under-researched, in spite of the fact that he stands to lose his most valuable asset.

On his first trip to India in 2011, Warren Buffett was asked about his religious views. He responded, “I am personally an agnostic. I am a true agnostic. I am right in the middle. It is not because I am a closet atheist. It is not because I am a closet theist. I grew up in a religious family, and as I began to think for myself, I came to the conclusion that I don’t know. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that conclusion. I don’t disagree with people of faith at all. In fact, I regard all faiths pretty much equally being an agnostic. I don’t think you can wish yourself into a faith. Faith, the word, means you are not getting there by a logical approach. You are really getting there based on a feeling of faith. And I don’t have that, but I don’t question other people that have it. I don’t feel that they’re wrong. I just don’t know. And I prefer to find out the answer at some distant date.”

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Warren Buffett has run across his share of scams over the years with investment pitches that were certainly too good to be true. But what he does not yet realize is that he has been scammed into believing an absurdity about religious faith. He thinks that faith means “you are not getting there by a logical approach.” This is completely false, and I will show you why.

Compare it to the world of financial investments for example. Warren Buffett never invests in a company without first researching key indicators. And if he decides to pull the trigger, he takes a step of faith based on sound facts and logical analysis. How else could he have become the greatest investor of all time?

Warren Buffett does not seem to realize that religions must be approached like companies in a way. You investigate the person at the top, as well as all the pertinent data upon which to make an informed decision. It is reasonable and logical to research religious claims before investing your immortal soul by taking a step of faith. 

Buffett assumes that religious people get to their respective position “based on a feeling of faith.” And while that may be true for some religions, it is certainly not true for Christianity. Rather than being a blind faith based on feelings, Christianity is an intelligent and logical faith based on evidence, history, and sanctified reason.

My recent op-ed, “A Christian Turned Atheist vs. Atheist Turned Christian,” reveals the logical approach to the Christian faith that led Canadian astrophysicist Hugh Ross to become a believer and a follower of Jesus Christ. Like Hugh Ross, Warren Buffett is a brilliant man. The huge difference between the two men is that Buffett assumes faith is a feeling and lacks a logical foundation, whereas Ross realizes that Christianity is an evidence-based faith loaded with logic and an overwhelming amount of historically factual data. 

It would be logical and wise for Warren Buffett and those who think like him to actually do some research and check out Scott Powell’s Holy Week CP op-ed, “Jesus Christ’s Resurrection: The Best Documented Event of Ancient History."

This is not pie-in-the-sky daydreaming or wishful thinking. It involves placing your trust for eternity in the hands of the One who was “pierced for our transgressions” and “crushed for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:5). The Apostle Paul explained that when Christ rose from the dead, “he appeared to more than 500 of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living” (1 Corinthians 15:6).

Dr. Hugh Ross correctly stated, “There is the empty tomb. The powerful enemies of the emergent Christian faith, the Jewish religious leaders and the Romans were unable to produce the body of Jesus. Also, it would take more than visions to persuade the 10,000+ Jews living in Jerusalem at that time — more than a third of the total population — to become Christians in the few days that followed Jesus’ death on the cross.”

That is solid evidence upon which to wisely invest your immortal soul through a step of faith.

Warren Buffett said, “Beware the investment activity that produces applause; the great moves are usually greeted by yawns.” Good advice. For example, consider all the people who were yawning yesterday on a sleepy Easter Sunday morning. 

Were you one of them, or instead, did you rush with the disciples to the empty tomb to celebrate what the angel said to the women on that first Easter morning: “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said” (Matthew 28:5-6).

Ideally, how long would Warren Buffett like to own a company? He said, “Our favorite holding period is forever.” Thankfully, Jesus rose from the dead to place a “forever portfolio” within reach of each of us. 

“Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life” (Revelation 22:17).

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25,26) 

Like Warren Buffett, your most valuable asset is your immortal soul. And those who invest faith in Jesus live to enjoy the return on their investment forever. You have God’s Word on it!

Dan Delzell is the pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Papillion, Nebraska. 

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