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God vs Poverty, part 4: Liberating

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This is as the title suggests the fourth part of my God vs Poverty series.

“Give a man a fish and he has food for a day. Teach him to fish and he has food for a lifetime.” We’ve all heard that, haven’t we? It’s a good proverb about the importance of empowerment and long-term solutions in aid giving. But what about the lake? What if the man cannot fish even after we taught him because the lake is polluted by a multinational corporation, or illegal to fish from because of an unrighteous regime? In other words, are there structures that are blocking development and poverty reduction?

The Bible is well aware of structures that oppress the poor. It is very common that the Old Testament not only talks about giving to the poor but treating them fair in court (see for example Prov. 22:22-23), so that they will not be discriminated. When Isaiah prophesies about true fasting, he doesn’t just talk about giving food and clothing to the ones in need but he also says that it includes “to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke” (Is 58:6). In order to fight poverty effectively, we have to identify oppressing structures and crushing them.

What could those structures be? Dictatorship is one. When people refuse to listen to what their people want, there is nothing stopping them from oppressing and neglecting the will of the poor. Discrimination is another huge one. The poor are often discriminated just for being poor, as Prov. 22:22 adresses, but ethnic groups, religious groups, LGBT folks and other minorities are also very often kapt in poverty and oppression through discrimination – plus women, who aren’t a minority.

Then we have different global economic and political structures that are very unjust. Did you know that more money leaves developing countries through capital flight, debts and unfair trade compared to what they receive in aid (see the video above)? In other words, the poor give more money to the rich than vice versa! This obviously has to stop. Likewise, the unfair power balance within international institutions where Western countries has far too much to say must change in order for a better world to come true.

These topics are a bit controversial. Oscar Romero famously said: “When I helped the poor, they called me a saint. When I asked why people are poor, they called me a communist.” But these issues has to be adressed by a radical, prophetic church. It’s time to loose the chains of injustice and break every yoke!

Part 1: Loving

Part 2: Giving

Part 3: Working

Part 5: Praying

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6 Comments

  1. I recommend you deeply study “In That Day Teachings” and do the thing that is always really hard: to mature.

    Also consider studying Victor Davis Hanson and Bruce Thornton, historians.

    Can you do that?

    Mark 16:20 sign in reverse: Little kid interrupting you on video… is a sign that what you are proselytizing is very immature thought… low level thought.

    Consider Higher Ground of thinking that creates wealthy nations.

    Study the video of 200 nations in 200 years… growing in wealth and health, look it up in YouTube.

    Then see where redistribution (stealing) gets countries… which is… keeping poor.

    So in a mature outlook, your ideas are old and stale and proved to not work in every case in every country tried.

    Explain the 200 nations in 200 years video… health and wealth happens by following Western Enlightenment. There is no greater maturity.

    Stop preaching immaturity that locks in poverty! Try a Higher Ground Gospel!

    • Hello brother!

      If you have criticism of my thesis, you are very welcome to express it and not just use name calling. As for the video, I assume you mean this with Hans Rosling?

      I have seen it and a lot of his other lectures, he lives in the same Swedish town as me (Uppsala) and I have personally attended two lectures he has been holding here. I see no reason why anything that he presents should stand in conflict with the arguments I give above.

      Furthermore, I find the Bible as much more normative when it comes to morals and ideology than either Rosling or the historians you mention, and I think the Bible is very clear with that we should support economic equality: In Luke 3:11, John the Baptist says that the fruit of repentence is that the one who has two tunics gives one to the poor. In 2 Cor 8:13-15 Paul states that the goal of giving money to the poor is equality. He refers to Exodus 16 where we read that the manna through God’s supernatural intervention was equally distributed to the Israelites. And last but not least, the first church, which all other churches come from and whose leadership was the apostles, practiced economic equality (Acts 4:32-35). There were no needy person among them, since there were no rich either.

      Huge blessings!
      Micael

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The author

Micael Grenholm - a Swedish charismactivist residing with the Jesus Army in the UK.

Micael Grenholm - a Swedish charismactivist residing with the Jesus Army in the UK.

Check out my YouTube channel!

A Living Alternative

God vs Inequality

Goodreads

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