The War on Poverty is Over

You heard it here first. The war on poverty is over. Okay, actually you heard it at church first.

A recent poll found that “two-thirds of Americans surveyed in a new poll say their churches are doing enough to help the poor despite the latest United States Census Bureau statistics showing consistent year-to-year increases in the numbers of Americans living in poverty.”

Sixty-seven percent of respondents “agreed” or “strongly agreed” with the statement, “My church already does enough to help the poor in my community.”

“These results, when combined with current census and economic data, expose a discrepancy between Christians who believe they are doing enough and the reality that Christians are just scratching the surface in our communities,” said Steve Haas, vice president for church relations at World Vision.

Question…. How do we as Christians define “doing enough?” Is there a break even point where we decide to utilize our resources elsewhere?

What is an acceptable amount of poor in the community?

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9 Responses to “The War on Poverty is Over”

  1. Wow, some loaded questions. I don’t know what is enough. We stop short when we think “acceptable amount of poor”. Aside from what my church is doing, I believe its my responsibility to give on my own as well. One thing I wonder about is Jesus’ statement that “the poor you will always have with you” when Judas scolded Mary on the whole perfume/anointing thing. I have always taken that to mean that there will always be poverty. We won’t ever exhaust our need to support others.

  2. An acceptable amount of poverty is none, and that will happen when Jesus comes again – until then we must continue to fight for those who aren’t as fortunate as us (us = those of us who are blessed with good jobs, nice homes, cars, bulging pantries, etc.).

  3. Your question is a really hard one because to me it goes far beyond just the poor. How do we define “doing enough” to care for and support our neighbors, disciple others, care for the widows and orphans, be examples of Christ love and compassion. I guess my belief is not probably not really popular even with Christians but it all goes back to the greatest commandment. Love God with ALL your heart, soul, mind, and strength. “Enough” is when I don’t have more to give. However, it is not about works, but living out of the overflow of the blessings God has placed in our life and that is really easy to get mixed up.

  4. Great comments.

    In thinking about Jesus’s teachings, there always seemed to be common thread…”more.” How much should I give? Sell everything. Who should I love? Everyone. How much? As much as you love yourself.

    Like Sherrie said, until I don’t have anymore to give.

  5. i heard francis chan say this morning that he never saw a divorce where one spouse said the other just served them too much.

    the same applies…can we ever serve the impoverished too much? it’s the single biggest problem in terms of being a byproduct of a dysfunctional economy.

    when i contacted chf recently they said they didn’t work in my state…so it’s tough when the best charities can’t afford to partner with churches to help feed our own.

  6. Wow, so encouraging to come and read this post and all of the comments!! And yet so sad to think that most churched-people think we are doing enough. In the past year, I have really gotten into the ONE organization – some folks think that it is just a bunch of “liberal, left-wing, tree-hugging do-gooders” (like my father)! But I can’t for the life of me figure out what politics as to do with empty bellies???

  7. I used to think I did enough with my $20 a month to adopt a kid. Makes me sick. It is never enough

  8. Michael – Like the analogy.

    Jenn & Roger – The sad part is that there are a lot of organizations doing great things and it isn’t even keeping up with the increased levels in poverty.

  9. Roger is right, it is never enough. The Kingdom of God is always coming, yet already beginning, and we are to work to achieve it.

    Sometimes I think our attitude toward the poor in our midst teaches more about ourselves than any other thing.

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