Monday, July 18, 2005

Ending Poverty

For the poor will never cease {to be} in the land; therefore I command you, saying, 'You shall freely open your hand to your brother, to your needy and poor in your land. Deuteronomy 15:11

On July 3 the world was treated to a bevy of musical artists coming together to ask the G8 nations - Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Russia, United Kingdom, United States – to forgive the billions of dollars owed by African nations and other poverty-stricken areas of the world. They want the G8 to declare a year of Jubilee The intent is that if the debt service burden were lifted from these nations, the inhabitants of those countries would experience an increased level of affluence.

All politics aside (I question whether the situation will change for the average African if the same corrupt governments are still in place) this was truly an amazing event. Sure, the whole world focusing on debt relief was cool, but where was the church of Jesus Christ on this issue? The only openly Christian band performing was Jars of Clay, though other bands doubtlessly have Christian members. Various Christian websites have links to the One campaign to end poverty, I still wonder what would happen if the Western church invested as much in education, compassionate ministry and economic development as it does in furniture, choir robes and buildings. What would Africa look like if the church poured its resources into helping these people instead of spending most of its budget on its internal issues?

Sadly, we may never know.