Christian Teachings on Wealth and Poverty
When we think poverty, we think being poor, hungry, homeless which is
exactly what it means. The opposite of this would be wealthy, meaning
a lot of money, property or riches. Even the world we live in is
separated between wealthy and poor, this is called the north-south
divide. The wealthier countries are located to be in the north, areas
including USA, Eastern Europe, Canada, and Egypt. Meanwhile you would
find poorer countries to be in the south, for example Brazil, Mexico,
even poorer countries where you are more likely to find poverty would
be places like Sudan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. When measuring a
countries wealth it is usually measured by their GDP per capita. Some
of the richest countries in the world include Luxembourg, USA,
Switzerland and some of the poorest countries are Sierra Leone,
Tanzania. Ethiopia and Somalia. This essay will be looking at
Christian and Islamic views on wealth and poverty.
Many Christians believe that wealth is acceptable as long as it is
used to help others. Although the bible suggests that being rich may
make you selfish, "people who want to get rich fall into temptation
and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires", (Timothy
6:9-10). Christians believe it is important to share your wealth; an
example of this is the story in the bible, the parable of the sheep
and the goat, where Jesus told the bad people they would be sent to
hell. An example of the British government sharing their wealth with
the poor is when foreign secretary Jack Straw visited Khartoum to help
the humanitarian situation in Darfur; he came up with a 5-point plan
that would benefit the people of Sudan.
Secondly, Christians believe wealth can corrupt a human being and it
will lead them to hell. They believe if you are wealthy you are more
likely to worship money and not God. They argue that wealth is wrong
and a true Christian cannot be wealthy and be true to god at the same
time. Therefore this belief contradicts what Christians said before,
that wealth is ok as long as it is shared.
Thirdly, Christians believe it is important to help those in poverty.
The protestant churches believe it is the Church's number one priority
to help those suffering in poverty. "The church should concern itself
first, and indeed second, with the poor and needy, whether in spirit
or body". They basically believe that it is the Church's duty to help
those in poverty. "God blesses those who come to the aid of the poor
and rebukes those who turn away from themâ€¦Love for the poor is
incompatible with immoderate use of riches or their selfish use", this
is the Catholic view on poverty, they are more harsh and say that if
you help those in suffering god will love you and if you don't god
will hate you.
Islamic views on wealth...