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Monday, August 4, 2014

The Affliction of Poverty

What distresses you spiritually about the area in which you live? What specific needs do you see? What do you feel God is calling you to do about it? (Serendipity Bible 1998, page 1549).

It is the age-old social affliction of poverty that distresses me most.  It is a spiritual issue in the sense that by its very nature poverty has social conscience implications.  No society in which poverty exists has gotten it right--that is a given.  It is fair to note that no society as yet has fully arrived.  Many societies now have "safety nets" for their citizens, but these arrangements do not share abundance (so that all can live abundantly) so much as serve to minimally attenuate misery.  What is needed is psychological as well as material freedom--full-fledged abundance.  Thus, what must be addressed is the blindness of the well-off, for in many respects when people are paid insufficient wages it is truly a matter of moral theft and not merely business thrift.  Capitalism it will come to be seen, is a necessary but insufficient condition to produce an abundant society so long as the well-off blindly tolerate hidden-thievery within their employment practices.  Certainly the first step in correcting this will be to shed light on the issue within a democratic and Christian context.

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