The Poor

Jesus assures us that one of the signs of His coming is that the poor have the gospel preached to them. It is as true now as then, but along with the church going out to the poor, it is the poor of this world that are becoming the church. The liberating action and revival ferver moving in the world today bears witness to the gospel message moving among the poor. It is the Queen of the South that will arise to condemn this generation for their economic oppression and exploitation of the poor. The Kingdom of Heaven belongs to the poor in spirit and the meek will inherit the earth.

We have the same anointing as Jesus. We are to preach good news to the poor, to set at liberty those that are oppressed and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. Knowing our place in the army of God gives us the wisdom and knowledge to be able to denounce the oppression and minister to those that God would have us minister. Amen? Those in the movement may not all be saints but the good news is that Jesus will justify them anyway, they are being saved for the Kingdom on earth. They will be God's people bearing witness, especially during the latter days. Wisdom is crying in the streets.

Homelessness has been a great concern to me for many years. Jesus is the most famous homeless man who ever lived. Who cares the most about solving the homeless crisis? Jesus told us that it will not be the righteous or the ones that have cast out demons or done mighty works for Him but "I was hungry and you gave me meat, I was thirsty, and you gave me drink. I was a stranger, and you took me in, naked, and you clothed me, sick, and you visited me, in prison, and you came unto me.... Truly I say unto you, as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you have done it unto me." Matthew 25. Think about it, when we look into the eyes of the poor, Jesus is looking back at us. The poor are poised to possess the Kingdom.

Many people are suffering, many are hurting, many have needs not being met because of the restrictions society have placed on them as second class citizens. From God's viewpoint, poverty is no disgrace but to a luke-warm church, they are despised. What has to happen is a radical change of direction and an entirely new world view. American society is especially oppressive to the poor. There is the distorted image that poverty is the cause of crime and it is reflected on the criminal justice system. This bias against the poor is reflected at every stage from arrest to conviction. Many of the victims are poor. Our jail and prisons are full of those unable to pay for a good lawyer or simply can't pay the fine. A poor person is more likely to be arrested for petty crimes than a rich person. The police will pull over old cars before new ones. Our civil courts are full of expletive deleted lawyers defending the rich in order to take advantage of the weak. Just ask a rich person which is the bad side of town, they will always point to the poor side. Fact is that if there was a rich side of town that was truly good, there would not be a poor side to point to as bad.

Avarice and corruption has contaminated the American church and its most prominent ministers. Christians everywhere put up a false god named Je$u$ and look for financial blessings in the congregation more than spiritual ones. The worst of them justify themselves in the name of the laissez faire of manifest destiny and the god of free enterprise to look down on the poor and exploit them until they have nothing. These are the whitewashed sanctimonious hypocrites that Jesus has always opposed, laying up treasures for themselves and storing nothing in Heaven. The worst of them come in the name of the Lord with words of comfort, peace, prosperity and things of this world, blind to their own arrogant bourgeois mediocrity. Putting their own family values above all others they have taught their children how to worship the image of the beast and take its mark. They look squeaky clean on the outside but have the stench of lukewarm puke inside. The name of Jesus has been used by Christians to support oppressive powers. It is possible to see a new way.

Our duty to the poor is clear in the scriptures; if you oppress the poor you will come to spiritual poverty yourself. The Lord Himself will plead the cause of the poor and take the life of those who rob them. The person who gives to the poor shall be repaid and never want for anything, but shut your eyes to the poor and you will incur only God's wrath now and at the time of judgment. We must remember that when we are gracious to the poor we are really lending to the Lord and God will repay us either in material riches or spiritual ones.

The poor man does not always have it so bad. A poor man with understanding can see right through the rich man with no trouble. A poor man can have much spiritual wealth and be much happier than the rich man. Certainly it is better to have very little in worldly goods and fear the Lord, than to be very rich and live in turmoil. Money is not the root of all evil but the love of money is. The true saints are those who see Jesus in the eyes of the poor and show liberality to all. Feed the hungry, cloth the naked; house the homeless because this is where Jesus is. Jesus wants us to visit Him and he has no place to lay his head.

There will be a time whene the poor will rise up against the rich. Whether this is a movement coming from the poor itself in violence to achieve economic justice or a peaceful organized effort from compassionate community and democratic political organizing, I don't know. Whatever it is, Jesus, the apostles and the prophets, have promised it will happen. Any socially aware student of the Bible can see a movement of liberation coming, the rich will fall and the resources of the world will be given over to the poor.
[140, 185, 319, 372, 388, Proverbs]

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