I recently blogged about the dangers of what has been called the “Prosperity Gospel”. In it I took exception to the idea that we should assume material blessings are automatically mandated for those who have enough faith to claim them from God. I think idea this both unscriptural and unwise, since it promotes what I’d consider a shallow, materialistic theology.

But does that mean God wants us to be poor?

NO.

Christians are to be diligent in business, working with all their hearts (“for you serve the Lord Christ”) and that we are to strive for justice in the world; and that this, more often than not, means economic justice.

Our modern society has produced more safety, more comfort and security, better access to education and health services, than any society the world has ever seen, and is founded largely on Christian principals. But we are seeing a shrinking of the middle class, as increasing amounts of society’s wealth is held by fewer people, at the expense of the rest of us. This is a bad thing, from both a practical and moral viewpoint. Something’s got to change.

God cares for the poor, and wants those who have enjoyed material blessings to share what they have; we are to work for a society that is fair and offers the most opportunities for a decent living to as many people as possible. The Bible tells us that God hates oppression and injustice, and that especially includes unjust economic structures. The balance, I think, is wrapped up in the scripture, “and having food and clothing, we will be content” (1 Timothy 6:8)

In a fascinating talk given on TED talks, gazillionaire Nick Hanauer talks about the importance of a thriving middle class to our society. He’s talking mainly from the viewpoint of enlightened self-interest, but I think he’s spot on anyways. Check it out at http://bit.ly/1taBBpm

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