Christian Views on Poverty and Wealth

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Christian Views on Poverty and Wealth Distinctions made between the wealthy and the poor are known to measure not only standards of living, but the standard of human character. In the Christian perspective, how one acts upon their wealth or poverty is often a measure of godliness. In present day, the gap between the rich and the poor continues to grow. Even within the wealthiest nations, disparities between the wealthy and the poor are increasing as fewer people are experiencing monetary success while the poor are becoming poorer (Ondari, 2001). Therein lies the paradox for Christians, as the growing discrepancy between the rich and the poor occurs in a world that God has blessed with profusion, and has created a world for every person to live a respectable and comfortable life. Understanding the Christian views on poverty and wealth first requires defining the two entities as they pertain to human existence. The central definition of poverty is the experience of material deprivation, and also consists of isolation, dependence, and lack of freedom as personal choice (Ondari, 2001). Concepts of wealth extend beyond material possessions, and incorporate access to food, opportunity, security, physical and emotional health (Clapsis, 2002). Christian studies on human nature recognize the human body as a spiritual entity, and human character is reflected in the context of such social symbols as wealth and poverty. How Christians react to, and cope with, wealth and poverty
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