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Christianity: Poverty and Wealth

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Introduction

29/06/2003 Najim Abbasi 10c Christianity: Poverty and Wealth Christian Teachings Ever since the beginning of the Christian faith, poverty and wealth have been a big issue. Before Jesus was born, the rich would use religion to keep the poor away from them. The wealthy thought their riches were a blessing from God and that their faith and dedication was a reason for God bestowing them with wealth. They believed that the poor were not true followers of God and therefore suffered with poverty. They thought that the poor were not as important in the eyes of God. However, Jesus himself was born in a poor family and he was born in a stable where the animals were kept. "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich." 2 Corinthians 8:9. Jesus and his disciples didn't own anything. Jesus thought that greed and attachment to wealth would prevent people from going to heaven. Jesus was once asked by a rich man how he should inherit eternal life. When Jesus told him to give up his wealth to the poor and to follow Jesus, the rich man went away upset. Jesus commented that "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God" in Luke 18:25. The message behind this story is that the no matter how good a person may lead his life, he always has an attachment to worldly and materialistic things and that with this attachment it is impossible for him to enter heaven. ...read more.

Middle

Earlier in this century and in the last, financial aid was given to poor countries such as Mexico and some African countries. However, these aids had strings attached. Many of the countries asked for a payback with interest. Some also asked that all the countries products should be brought from the country that is helping them. Through this, countries like Mexico have fallen into debt and are unable to payback what they own. This is known as the poverty trap, a situation in which an unemployed person will lose money by working because more will be lost in expenditure than is gained in income. World development is necessary for the world. People all over are starving and in need of clean, drinkable water. AIDS and other terrible diseases are widespread among many countries. Two billion people are unable to receive any electricity. Millions of children aren't able to attend a school. God made this world where everyone was born equally. Everyone has the right to live in comfortable conditions where they have a sturdy shelter, good food to eat and enough money to support a family. This world is for everyone not just a select few. The rich have enough money to help thousands belonging to poverty- stricken areas. It is about time they did. We have the resources to end poverty. Then why shouldn't we do so? Poverty is one of the worst aspects of our planet and needs to be eradicated as soon as possible. CAFOD - Catholic Agency for Overseas Development The Catholic Agency for Overseas Development is a large Christian charity that has been fighting poverty since 1962 when it was set up by a few Catholic bishops in England and Wales. ...read more.

Conclusion

Additionally, the Bible also teaches that the rich should give money to the poor. No where does it say that there should be no rich people whatsoever. It accepts that there are both rich and poor people in the world. Jesus didn't command everyone to give everything away to the poor. He only commanded the rich ruler who may have had a problem with greed and told him that "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God" Luke 18:25. However, other Christians might disagree and argue that God never accepted the rich in heaven and that it would be better for everyone to have a sufficient amount of wealth to keep them alive and to serve God as this would gain them entry to heaven. "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied." Luke 6:20. Having examined all the opinions above, I believe that the rich should not give up all their wealth in service of the poor but should help them to increase their standard of living and to provide them with a better life through charity work and the improvement of certain policies concerning the poor. Many of the rich are born into families that owned great amounts of wealth and that they don't have to work. I agree that this is unfair to people who work hard day and night yet don't earn a sufficient amount of money but that's part of life and possibly part of God's plan. If we are bestowed with a great amount of wealth, we might as well put it to some good use and help others. ...read more.

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