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The Poor

Posted by Matt Postiff September 4, 2020 on Matt Postiff's Blog under Theology 

Christians believe that we can alleviate but not eliminate poverty. Why? The Bible tells us that there will always be poor people.

For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good. —Jesus in Mark 14:7, also recorded in Matthew 26:11 and John 12:8.
For the poor will never cease from the land; therefore I command you, saying, 'You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land.' —Moses in Deut. 15:11.

You might wonder why this is. The pandemic reality of sin, the sin nature in every human, total depravity, and the fallenness of the world make some level of poverty inevitable. Natural disaster can bring poverty. Your own sin can cause you to become poor. Or, the oppressive sins of others can cause you to become or remain poor. These effects can carry on across generations. This is harsh, but it is reality.

To assert that humanity can solve the problem entirely—whether through change in government structure, improvement in government policy, or benevolence—is to set yourself against the words of God.

On the other hand, to make efforts to help the poor in substantial ways, not enabling ways, is pleasing to God.

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