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.


Sandra said...

Wow, Roy.

Moving thoughts. Thanks.

Doc Steve said...

One of the issues for the Third World church is the infrastructure we stuck them with during colonial days. Now, their resources have to go to keeping buildings, etc.
The real question is how to help the Third World Church in ways that actually enable their ministry and not reinforce corruption or nepotism.
The first thing we have to do is to see our Third World brothers and sisters as equals, as our leaders when we work with them. But we bring the money and so the temptation is to throw our weight around.
The same can be said about the Mexican church. My congregation works with the Lutheran Synod of Mexico to aid their outreach in Juarez. But even there they want church buildings that "look" like a church. Doc Steve

Rags said...

Agreed. What the Colonial powers did to Africa and other regions is a disgrace. And we are reaping the whirlwhind of their misguided efforts.

Sandra said...

The cartoon is totally cool. Nicely done, guy. Very effective.