Why You Should Not Say, “The poor will be with you always.”

“Poverty is not a sin.”

 

He spoke these words boldly, as if he was saying something prophetic. Then he gave a pregnant pause, and waited for the audience to delight at this great revelation. These were the words uttered by a pastor while I was attending a workshop at a church planning conference for leaders. While this statement is true, I didn’t find the words that followed particularly insightful.

He approached the topic of poverty in the same way that I have heard many American pastors and Christians quote the scripture:

“The poor will be with you always…”

When I hear both of these statements, particularly in the contexts in which they were given, I have great concern that the pastors are not challenging themselves or their hearers to respond to poverty in any tangible way. The problem with these holy references is they are both incomplete, and an incomplete truth can be just as harmful as a lie.

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Violence, Compassion, & Last Week with @IJM

Last week, I attended the International Justice Mission (IJM) annual Global Prayer Gathering. I sat among 1400 people from across the world and listened to stories, testimonies, and the great work of IJM, but mostly we heard reports from the IJM field officers and we gathered to pray. This was my second time attending the gathering. The experience is one of the most humbling practices and reminders of my year. It is nearly impossible to fathom that there are such crimes against humanity happening all around the world. It is encouraging to know that God is at work. It is evident when I pray that God breaks up the fallow ground in my own heart about what is important, what is priority, and how I can join in his redemptive work.

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Book Review: Educating All God’s Children

Educating all of Gods Children book cover

What Christians can and should do to close the achievement gap:

Why I picked up this book:

I heard Dr. Nicole Baker Fulgham speak at The Justice Conference earlier this year and I really wanted to read this book. I also have a passion for education and often struggle with how best to address the many challenges that hinder a child’s academic success. I wanted to know Dr. Fulgham’s perspective concerning how Christians can be part of the solution and support the education progress of children in low-income communities.

Who Should Read Educating All God’s Children: What Christians Can–and Should–Do to Improve Public Education for Low Income Kids:

Christians who love children, education, or justice. Christians who are educators, parents, mentors, or tutors. Christians who minister to youth. Christians who are politicians and volunteers. Christians who have financial resources. Maybe all Christians should crack open this one.

Continue reading at UrbanFaith.