Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Who can guess the source of this statement on poverty and church?

E) Poverty – In spite of general affluence in the industrialized nations, the majority of persons in the world live in poverty. In order to provide basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, education, health care, and other necessities, ways must be found to share more equitably the resources of the world. Increasing technology, when accompanied by exploitative economic practices, impoverishes many persons and makes poverty self-perpetuating. Poverty due to natural catastrophes and environmental changes is growing and needs attention and support. Conflicts and war impoverish the population on all sides, and an important way to support the poor will be to work for peaceful solutions.

As a church, we are called to support the poor and challenge the rich. To begin to alleviate poverty, we support such policies as: adequate income maintenance, quality education, decent housing, job training, meaningful employment opportunities, adequate medical and hospital care, humanization and radical revisions of welfare programs, work for peace in conflict areas and efforts to protect creation’s integrity. Since low wages are often a cause of poverty, employers should pay their employees a wage that does not require them to depend upon government subsidies such as food stamps or welfare for their livelihood.

Because we recognize that the long-term reduction of poverty must move beyond services to and employment for the poor, which can be taken away, we emphasize measures that build and maintain the wealth of poor people, including asset-building strategies such as individual development savings accounts, micro-enterprise development programs, programs enabling home ownership, and financial management training and counseling. We call upon churches to develop these and other ministries that promote asset-building among the poor. We are especially mindful of the Global South, where investment and micro-enterprise are especially needed. We urge support for policies that will encourage equitable economic growth in the Global South and around the world, providing a just opportunity for all.

Poverty most often has systemic causes, and therefore we do not hold poor people morally responsible for their economic state.


Dan Vaughn said...

Not having Googledit, I am going to guess it was Pope Francis that said it. He has been voicing similar thoughts in recent months.

Cathy Sweeney said...

I can! Book of Discipline, United Methodist Church.

Anonymous said...

As a church, we are called to support the poor and challenge the rich.NOT TRUE.
We are called by the Great Comission -

Unless of course you are Larry James and you know that the homeless have probably already heard the Message , and therefore there is no need to repeat it to them, however you can use Christianity as a crutch when you need to advance your Liberation Theology doctrine.

Best Regards,
Not a friend

Anonymous said...

Jesus said he came to preach good news to the poor, free the prisoners, recover sight for the blind and release the oppressed. Luke 4. The Methodist Church is hardly a bunch of radicals. They've just read the book. You're missing much of the message, 'Not a friend'.

Anonymous said...

So, and help me with this, the primary job of the Church is to feed the poor and redistribute the wealth of the rich?

Anonymous said...

As long as we are quoting from
Luke 4:
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.
8 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.

16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Verse 18 & 19 are Jesus reading from Isaiah

Anonymous said...

Larry, as someone who works with poverty every day, can you tell there has been an economic recovery?

Larry James said...

Ms Sweeney is the winner!

ANON 3:48, the people I work among have been at Depression era level for over 30 years.

Anonymous said...

Jesus came "to proclaim good news to the poor ... to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free." In context, all of these things are examples of how to lessen peoples' burdens in concrete, real world ways.

Jesus also said to love your neighbor as yourself. To someone who is poor, I suspect love would look a lot like food, clothes and a roof over their head. Isn't that what you would wnat want if you were poor?

Jesus told the rich young ruler to sell all he had and [do what?!] give it to the poor.

"Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me. .... Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me." And those who do not do such things will "go away into eternal punishment." Matt 25

Just how many examples of Jesus' special concern for the poor and oppressed can you overlook? At the very least, his mission clearly included taking the poor and their plight very seriously and doing all we can to ease their suffering. If you can't see this, I don't know what book you're reading, but it isn't the Bible.

Anonymous said...

We will all be poor soon because the economy is bring artificially propped up. But this can't go on forever. It will not be pretty.

Anonymous said...

income down, poverty up.