By Gerald W. Schlabach, John M. Perkins
Ebook through Schlabach, Gerald W.
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Extra resources for And Who Is My Neighbor?: Poverty, Privilege, and the Gospel of Christ
Poverty "is not a lack of things; it is not having only one television or one car. Our poverty is a demonic force which enters human life and threatens to destroy it completely. It causes men and women, boys and girls, to be so ground into the dirt that their spirits are destroyed. It breaks all social norms, down to the smallest rule of hygiene. " Poverty is anti-life, death. All that makes people human, all that expresses the image of God, begins dying long before the body dies. Elie Wiesel tells of the particularly demonic form of human deprivation that the Nazis inflicted on their victims in German concentration camps.
But each faces an opportunity as well. Nothing is automatic. Clarity may result, or bitterness. Each one has the opportunity to set new priorities. Each has a chance to reject false goals for life. There is a chance to admit one's need for God and to put people first again. In a special way, God is present. There is renewed love for the victim of neglect. And if the person herself is the victim, that may mean a new, healthy self-love and self-respect. So too in the life of all humanity. Shouldn't we expect God to be most passionately involved precisely where need is greatest?
It was a part of God's original creation, which God called good. And diversity will be part of creation's fulfillment when from "every tribe and language and people and nation" we sing Christ's praises (Revelation 5:914). In fact, the congregation, for all its exciting variety of gifts, could have used a little more diversity. All the cars in the parking lot looked like they would make it to another Sunday morning. Nearly everyone's skin was the same color. Being an urban congregation obviously didn't mean certain neighborhoods.