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September 01, 2006


Craig Bennett

Great topic Shane.

While I appreciate that you are not prescribing any responses or prescriptions, I wonder if the disparagy of wealth being in the West, is a indication in that the way we measure wealth is a western invention?

Joshua Ballard

Definitely an interesting topic, but I'm thinking the other way in regards to this post. I disagree with Craig, because I happen to think that without offering a response or a prescription beyond the "moral reprehensiblity" of the rich being rich, talking about the statistics is a worthless statement.

Anyone can quote statistics, but can you explain them with sociological concerns taken into account? Can you explain these statistics and offer solutions, rather than just point fingers and say "morally reprehensible?"

By the same rate, I am against judging the wealthy simply because they are wealthy. The same God who owns the cattle on the thousand hills, and all of the silver and gold, would surely have a problem with an "anti-wealth" conception or theology.

What I am saying is...tread is too easy to become judgemental in these issues. You personally are wealthier than more than 80% of the population of the planet...just because you live in Australia.

Shane Clifton

Gents - thanks for your comments. i do have some things to say and do on this topic more than just quote statistics. But knowledge of the problem is a necessary starting point.

Frank Emanuel

Ormerod, I am pretty sure I've read something from him as a text, did he write a primer on modern theology?

Looking forward to the continuation of this topic Shane.


Shane Clifton

Neil Ormerod Wrote "introducing contempory theologies" - among other things. It is exciting for me to be writing with him (he supervised my phd - and in the process we worked out we could work together)

Luke P

According to The Hunger Site “About 24,000 people die every day from hunger or hunger-related causes... Three-fourths of the deaths are children under the age of five.”

It’s hard to know what to say about that while we live in such opulence. In more reflective moments I wonder how we can justify our lifestyles in the face of such suffering and crushing inequality.

I found a pretty cool website , where every time you click the "Give Free Food" button (maximum once per day, and it is free to click) funds paid for by advertising on the site go towards providing food for the hungry. I think it is about 1.1 cups of staple food per click.

Why not consider making your home page?


Priscilla Richardson

Blog: Poverty
I believe it is part of the churches call to look after the poor, spiritual or physical poor.
Isaiah 58:6-9 shows clearly the heart of God for the new community, the former glory was fading but God was clear in saying He wants them to lead in justice and righteous in the care of the poor and His Glory would be a rear guard and they would hear from Him.
We are of the New Covenant, a New Community in Christ of a glorious ministry of the Spirit where we are still called to look after the poor and uphold social justice.
It is echoed in 1 John 3:17 that sharing with those in need is to show the love of God is in us, and even to say that we belong to the truth. 1 John 3:18 “Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth”. I believe there is too much talk and not enough action.
I believe the Western Church is in great danger of being materialistic, falling into secularism.
I believe the call to look after the poor is more for the church to remain humble and not to get out of touch with the heart of God and to reflect the kingdom that it is for all people.
There is a rich history to draw from different cultures and centuries where a resounding theme of the necessity for Christian simplicity arises.
Tertullian wrote that the Christians in 250 A.D. showed deeds of love, which were so noble that the pagan world confessed in astonishment ‘see how they love one another’. The ingredient was exuberant caring and sharing for those in need to the point of self-sacrifice.
The Quakers stood up for social issues where the wealthy exploited the poor.
John Wesley and the early Methodists had simplicity of lifestyle that gave integrity to the Gospel they preached. Evangelism and service to the poor was their mission.
There are many groups that have arisen which have battled for justice out of Christian conviction over the centuries.
One last thought that echoes the Quakers, “We who live in a world of half-truths and rationalizations and intellectual gymnastics that keep us from hearing and obeying the word of Christ need to hear their witness. Because we live in a different culture, we must once again ask what it means to live faithful lives in our day”, written by Richard J. Foster, “Freedom of Simplicity”.
We are brought back to the heart of the gospel to do the word and not just be hearers only, this challenge is not just for the collective church but for each individual, what are we going to do with what we hear and know to be right, are we going to obey?

Joy Oon

I believe God saved us for a reason. Jesus called us and delievered us from the kingdom of darkness into His marvelous light(The Kingdom of God) for a reason. He definately wants us, His children through the power He is working in us to change or transform the world into the likeness of His Kingdom. Yes, the world needs help in food, water, clothes, shelter and hopely we as Christian does not forget that the Spiritual foods is not neglected. I was pondering about the word Jesus said in the Bible. Jesus stated that "The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me."(Mat 14:7) I believe Jesus is trying to tell us the world is always having needs to be met and we as human being will try to meet this needs such as the material needs. Jesus says we will always have the poor and He is right. We usually look directly to their physical needs and try to help them. Hey! Jesus says that we will not always have Him! Probably we have been focusing too much of the physical needs of the poor when Jesus is actually emphazising the need of the people who are spiritually lost. I believe He knew if the gospel are to be taken seriously-that is if we share the good news of salvation to them(send more missionaries there),these spiritually poor will give their heart to the Lord Jesus Christ they then will pray in supernatural power of God, God will send His supernatural intervention to help them overcome their poverty which you and I are are trying to think how help eliminate poverty from this earth. Jesus is saying the poor is always around. Perhaps through their personal acceptance of Jesus Christ into their heart and our helps in supplying foods, shelters,clothes,etc will quickly eventually eliminate poverty problems. Yes God is true to His Words and promises. His promises is "Yes" and "Amen". Personally, I have seen God move supernaturally in my life. As you know I am a student and I do not earn a lot of finance but through the prompting of Holy Spirit to sponsor the children in Africa. I gave out of my nothingness and in 2 days time, God miraculously blessed me one thousand dollar for my fees. This is our God. He wants us to walk by faith. He is rich. All He wants us to do is to respond to the needs of the poor,the lost and the needy. My contribution to the children in Africa on monthyly basis is still ongoing and God providing me free accommodations for 1 year. God is amazing. The Bible says "Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go."(Jos 1:7) Let us be encourage to help the poor all the times and do it in Jesus ways.

Jason Arnold

Hello, Great discussion

I have seen this site several times now. I linked to it after googling Rich Christians in an age of Hunger. I am thankful there are places we can go to find meaningful insight into these questions. I live in Wyoming and am participating in alternative structures of the Body of Christ. This is very simply an effort to learn from and feed the family, the body of Christ as we see it in the early church. In the early church we see people eager to give, happy and joyful to share their material wealth. There are rich people and poor people, friends selling their fields to benefit the ministry. The woman giving her last two coins. There is a joy and a freedom in this community that cannot be replicated by simple organization and modeling. I am struck by the parables of the Kingdom, in which a man, once he had seen this kingdom, would sell everything he had to be a part of it. Something so beautiful it would be irresistible to ignore. This is the life of the body. The Kingdom of God is hard reality, food and jobs and family and laughter.

It is hard to be so sensitive to the needs of others when we have needs ourselves. Priscilla is leading the charge in giving, and reminds me of my own problems in giving. But I would offer to you, Priscilla; don't be afraid to eat and drink, to feed your own body and spirit. (1 Cor. 9 3-11)Don't be slow to take and eat...enjoy anything that your body and spirit need to not be overwhelmed or burnt out. It is hard work caring for the hurting.

After serving in the Peace Corps for two years I have seen how hard it is to reach hungry people with well intentioned aid. The old "give a man a fish he'll eat for a day...teach him to..." saying has led to many great efforts to care for the needy. But education, economics, politics and other inescapable realities are genuine hindrances in the well being of the hurting. I don't have any fresh answers, but there are wonderful resources and movements taking place. Check out for information in micro-lending or for a fresh look at the role of the believers in this world.


Pentecostals, I beleive has much to contribute for the well-being of the poor, by virtue of their pneumatic heritage. Perhaps it is time to rediscover that our theology, spirituality and praxis can be a potential resource for social action. I beleive that when Pentecostals placed their mission endeavors toward, they can be an agent of change and commununity transformation.

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