Multiply Justice

Archive for the category “Poverty”

Perpetuating poverty and hindering salvation

If we believe salvation is more than securing our destiny in the next life,

If we believe the gospel is for the whole person, not just his spirit,

If we believe redemption is of the entirety of a person’s being and circumstances, in this life as well as the next,

then what about the assertion that much of the “help” we give to people in chronic poverty actually keeps them trapped in poverty and dependence, rather than moving them toward self-sufficiency and prosperity?

And what about those who manipulate good-hearted people to escape the hard work of supporting themselves?

And what about those who don’t have to face their own brokenness because they can count on others to enable them with money, food, and housing?

If you claim a holistic theology of salvation, how is your “help that hurts” not actually hindering that person’s salvation?

Brian Fikkert: Seven tips for overcoming poverty

Brian Fikkert writes on Radical.net that the lie of American culture is that human flourishing can be achieved through greater consumption of material things, so we try to alleviate poverty by increasing economic growth. But human beings are created for relationship, not consumption. The selfish pursuit of ever-increasing levels of consumption is absolutely devastating American society.

Read his seven tips for overcoming poverty by clicking here.

 

Fight social immobility, not ‘inequality’

Scott Winship writes at e21:

With long-term unemployment historically high and still-pervasive economic insecurity in the wake of the Great Recession, it is understandable that many Americans have grown more concerned about the nation’s levels of inequality. Too many families struggle in poverty, too many workers have given up on finding fulltime work, and too many young adults have graduated into a weak economy that will lower their lifetime earnings. …

While upward mobility has not diminished over time, and while it has not been hurt by rising income inequality, it has nevertheless been stuck at unacceptably low levels for decades. If past patterns hold, 70 percent of poor children today will fail to make it to the middle class as adults. Four in ten will be mired in poverty themselves in midlife.

These are not the kind of odds those of us solidly in the middle class would accept for our children. The American Dream is in poor health if children who grow up in the bottom can aspire only to fill the same sorts of jobs as their parents hold.

The challenge is to identify real solutions to the problem of limited upward mobility. Fifty years after Lyndon Johnson’s declaration of war on poverty, we should establish a second front against immobility. Attacking inequality, however, is unlikely to mitigate either problem.

Attacking “inequality” by seizing wealth only weakens the engines of economic prosperity and further cripples the poor by worsening dependence. Far better is for those who know how to show those who do not. God’s justice is established as his people teach others how to walk in his ways. Do not blame the desperate poor for looking to the government when God’s people have ignored their cries. If you want to foil rabble-rousers and petty tyrants, show the poor where to find abundant life. If you want to help the poor, multiply justice.

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