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Outline Christian and Jewish teaching on wealth and poverty.

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29th September '02 R.S. Coursework (A part 1) Outline Christian and Jewish teaching on wealth and poverty Christians believe that wealth can be used be used for good and also for evil and that it is not a bad thing to have wealth, but obtaining wealth must only done lawfully and morally correct. When money is obtained it is a blessing from God and not theirs, so it must be treated and used with respect. Several teachings are that if you have the wrong attitude about wealth, it will lead you away from God. Christianity tries to teach the dangers of prosperity, the right attitude to wealth and where money should come in your life. There are many warnings in Christianity teaching about the dangers of wealth. An example of this is in Luke 12:16-21 where there is a teaching about a rich selfish fool. This is the parable of a man who had so many things that he had no room to place them all; he then built himself extra room. He then said to his soul, " Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry." ...read more.


Christianity also teaches that money should not matter and that it somebody is in need you should help out that person, no matter who they are. This is taught in the parable of the Good Samaritan; here it says that Christians must share their wealth especially with the poor. The parable of the good Samaritan also teaches that you should help your neighbour no matter how far away your neighbour is. The Catechism of the Catholic Church all teaches that you must not only help your own but people in different nations. It says, "Rich nations have a grave moral responsibility towards those which are unable to ensure the means of their development by themselves." Christianity is not based in one country alone so it is a person's duty to help those across the world. The New Testament sums up the attitudes of wealth, saying that riches must be used to help others, especially the poor. It teaches that every one is equal in the eyes of God. This means that all the good things on earth have been given to people so that they can use it to help others. People should not be selfish in with their possessions and wealth because it is God who gave them their prosperity so it should be treated the right way. ...read more.


Gentiles should also be treated with the same respect as anybody else; they should be visited as well as the Jewish dead for the sake of good relations. There is a story of how king Ahab had stolen the vineyard of Naboth in unlawful ways. He used deceit and treachery to gain what was not his and even killed Naboth to get the vineyard. This story shows the consequences of evilness. God took all the prosperity away from Ahab and allowed dogs to kill him. This is supposed to ward people away from evil and make people gain prosperity in the right and proper way. Maimonides ladder basically how wealth should be given out and the correct attitude. The best ways to give are to give to a person become self-sufficient and when neither the receiver nor giver knows one another. The worst way to give is to give money is to give a little amount reluctantly with a smile. The ladder has several ways to give but what's most important is the best way to give is to help someone become self-sufficient. Overall Jews teach that money is required to be given to the poor, and that the giver must want to give the money. ...read more.

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