Christian teaching on Wealth and Poverty
Christians believe that wealth is neither completely good nor bad. Wealth can be a big advantage to those in need, an example of a good use of wealth would be building houses and making shelter for the homeless and needy. Wealth can also promote corruption in our world, providing the incentive for some to abuse their wealth, an example of bad use of wealth would be buying weapons to commit violent acts. Other sinful things that are caused by wealth are drugs, gambling and prostitution. When people have a lot of wealth they usually commit most of these sins or all of them.
In Timothy 6:9-10 it is said that “For the love of money is the root of all evil”. This quote shows that all the evil, such as gambling, drug trafficking and murder are all caused mostly by the love of money. People love money so much they have to do all these things and hurt other people in order to get more money. In most cases people don’t intend to do the damage but their love of money would be hurting a lot of people in the world and even their own families.
Christians also believe that wealth is a good thing, but greed is not. If a wealthy person becomes greedy they start hurting the people among them in order to earn more and more wealth. It is easier for a poor person to give up £1000 if that’s all they have than a greedy person to do so. In Mark 12:38-44, it is shown that people with a little seem to give more than people who have a lot. The widows mite story is an example of this, “but she, out of her poverty, put in everything- all she had to live on.”
This quote is supporting the fact that people with a little seem to give more than people with a lot of money, this is because the widow gave all she had and the rich man gave a little of his wealth.
Christian teaching states that wealthy people should be good stewards with their wealth. By this they mean that people have to use their wealth for everyone in need. Also they believe that a persons possessions have a rightful owner which is God. In Psalm 50:12 it is said that “If I were hungry, I would not tell you, because the world and all that it contains are mine.”
“Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!. The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard is it to enter the kingdom of God! 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.”. Mark 10:23-25. This shows how wealth can be a banner to having a close relationship with God and Christians teach that everyone should focus on spiritual wealth rather than money and make sure they have a lot of riches stored up in heaven.
In this quote Jesus is not directly saying that by being rich you wont get into heaven. He is telling them that by being rich it can lead to people not going to heaven. Also he is telling his disciples that the way people use their wealth defines if they are going to heaven or not. He compares the fact of a rich man going to heaven with a camel entering the eye of a needle. He uses this comparison to make believe that if someone becomes rich it is impossible for them to store riches anywhere else except here on earth.
Lastly Christians believe and teach that all wealthy people should give to charity and other people who are in poverty. They also believe its their duty to give to the poor as God has given them all this wealth.
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