Skip to main content

Taking Ownership of Poverty

Jesus loved the poor.

You might notice that I talk a lot about Jesus. Depending on who you are, and where you come from, this will either make you disgusted or encouraged. For a lot of you, the name Jesus makes hurt or anger swell up inside of you. You may have come across some people called "Christians" who turned out to be major hypocrites. You may have married one who ended up abusing you. You may only know the name Jesus as something that shapes and manipulates a voting population of the most powerful nation on earth. You might have a snapshot of Jesus. You might unknowingly try to live by his golden rule. You might respect him as one of many spiritual leaders.

But let me tell you why Jesus is the most important person in my life, and why I end up talking about him a lot.

Jesus loved the poor. And when I mean he loved them, I mean, he singled them out while on this earth, and poured himself into them more than any other group of people on the planet.

Some of you might not like that statement. But I dare you to read the gospels and tell me otherwise.

You see, Jesus loved the poor, because that is where his love flourished the most. The saddest judgement ever made by human beings, is that the poor are less than human. In reality, the poor, are in a sense more human than anyone else. What I mean by that, is that poverty produces a level of hopelessness unknown to most of us. The scope of experience for many of the destitute is a suffering we wouldn't dream of. A financial "struggle" for me is having to make a decision not to eat out for a month. A struggle for most of the worlds impoverished means making a decision to drink absolutely filthy water, and going days without food. To be a human is to experience suffering, and I'm afraid, the poor are the most human of us all. Poverty has repeatedly been linked to crime. It is also obviously one of the major contributing factors to health care issues. Illiteracy, inequality, abuse, slavery - poverty is at the root of so much of the worlds grief. How do we respond?

There was a time, when Christian thinkers created a dichotomy of the gospel. They drew a hard line in the sand (funny how we like to do that) and separated the gospel into two parts: social, and spiritual. One group considered the people on the social side to be less spiritual, and some considered the others to be less interested in social issues. And for some reason, like the sheep that we are, we allowed these labels to define our doctrines and actions. I have no idea why we are unable to see the big picture. The big picture where Christ died for the sins of the world, and to teach people a love that could actually change it. We actually allowed such an anti-Jesus dichotomy to exist.

When anyone says they are a follower of Jesus Christ, and they refuse to follow him into the world of poverty, they are not a follower of Jesus Christ.

There are no excuses. Jesus loved the poor.

One of the most exciting projects that I have been involved with the past several years is seeing my friends, family, and church members on a regular basis cook a meal for over 200 people and help serve it in on the street through the Salvation Army. It's the gospel. Feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and making sure they hear about the hope and grace of Jesus Christ. There are countless charities, from multiple denominations that share in Christ's love for the poor.

Standing in opposition to poverty is too important to be left to governments. What I mean by that, is that the poor are in desperate need of a loving hand, from one person to another. It's too important to be left in the hands of a system which above all values power over freedom. It's time that we start to take ownership of poverty. For far too long, left economist thinkers like myself have thought that governments can solve the issue of poverty. I could reiterate to you the long list of broken promises, lies, deficits, and failures that our governments have made in my lifetime alone, but I am not sure I have the time to do so. This issue is too important to be left to the bureaucrats. Are you angry about poverty? Learn from the great teacher himself, and reach out and participate in the solution. The solution has always been before our very eyes, that when we, as individuals reach out in love to those who are suffering, the vision of a government which would rather spend billions of dollars on prisons, than make sure every person is feed and housed, will begin to change as well. No matter what your economic ideology, religion, political,or cultural affiliation is, we are all responsible for making sure human beings are treated with love.

How are you personally attempting to end the injustice of poverty?


For more information on the causes of poverty you can go to


Popular Posts

Did God Command Genocide?

If you've ever taken any interest in the debate between Christianity and Atheism, you've more than likely come across the following critique of the Bible: "The Old Testament God is hardly one to be worshipped. He's a vindictive, angry, jealous God who commands genocide!"

This line of attack is hardly unjustified. How are we to respond when we come across verses like these?  However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them - the Hitties, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, Jebusties - as the Lord your God has commanded you. (Deut 20:16-17) Go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys. (1 Sam 15:3) For some, the solution is easy. Simply pretend like these verses don't belong in the Bible. Problem solved. But this creat…

Let's Talk

I went to go check out a childhood friends facebook page in the winter of 2010. I hadn't talked to him since I was a teenager. I soon found out that I would never talk to him again,

I did a quick google search and found out that he had been apart of an online gaming community. I tracked him down to some forums where I suddenly became away that something tragic had befallen him.

The last time I had talked to him was shortly after I moved back to southwestern Ontario. I don't remember much of the conversation, except that he told me he was feeling depressed. I was 13 at the time and depression was just a word that I thought meant "sad". We caught up, talked about the trivial things that 13 year old boys talk about, but something wasn't right. We never talked again. 
Now 15 years later I was reading these words about a person who was once a close friend of mine. "What a f***ing coward." or "I can't believe someone could be that selfish.". It …

How are you feeling?

Response 1:

"I'm not sleeping again. It turns out my body might be reacting to antidepressants. The annoying symptom? Night sweats. We thought it might be lymphoma. It wasn't. That was a fun couple of weeks. I'm terrified. I'm terrified that this won't be the end of it, that the next medicine will fail too, and those absolutely terrifying impulses to harm myself and the thoughts of failure that I tell myself I am over and over and over and over and over and over again will one day be too much. Will these thoughts that only seem to stop in short intervals darken into complete mental breakdown? My biggest fear isn't snakes or falling, it's that I will end up on the street and lose my intellect and sanity, being mocked by people who don't know what mental illness is like. I'm afraid that the loneliness I seem to NEVER break from free from will enslave me into a life of dependence on others. I was doing so well but maybe wellness is just an illusio…