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Poverty And The Bible Essay

1045 words - 4 pages

Is poverty inevitable or can it be prevented? That is a hard question to answer. In order to answer this we need to know what poverty is. There are three definitions of poverty. The absolute definition of poverty is a fixed economic level below which people are considered poor, and this level does not necessarily change as society on the whole becomes more or less affluent. Government programs in the United States are based on this definition. So according to this definition it is possible to solve the poverty issue by getting everyone above the set economic level.The relative definition of poverty is people are poor relative to some standard, and that standard is partially shaped by the lifestyles of other citizens. One way to use this definition might be to define the poor as those families who are on the lowest end of the income scale. Or the poor could be defined as families who make less than one third of the median family income in the United States. If this definition is used it means that no matter how affluent the society becomes there will always be poverty.The cultural definition of poverty views poverty not only in terms of how many resources people have, but also in terms of why they have failed to achieve a higher economic level. According to this definition the poor are those who are permanently and unwillingly poor.There is another source to which we can look to answer the question. Through out the Bible the poor are discussed. Deuteronomy 15 verses 4-12, ?However, there should be no poor among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, if only you fully obey the LORD your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today. For the LORD your God will bless you as he has promised, and you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none will rule over you. If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs. Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: "The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near," so that you do not show ill will toward your needy brother and give him nothing. He may then appeal to the LORD against you, and you will be found guilty of sin. Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.? At the beginning of this passage of scripture it...

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