Can You Deal With Poverty Without Dealing with Sin?

question_man flickr Marco_Belluci

A few months ago, I asked this question on Facebook:

“Can you deal with poverty without dealing with sin?”

Here are some of my favorite responses:

“In regards to others’ sin, I don’t think it should prevent us from moving. I suspect some would use “their” sin as an excuse from moving. Ultimately, like all issues, sin would need to be addressed.”

“Before we started hanging out with poor people in new ways I would have said “yes.” Now I would say “no.” This is why the government, especially federal big government programs are so ineffective. They can’t address the issue but only the symptoms. This is a problem with a gospel solution.”

“The guys who wrote When Helping Hurt say “no,” and their arguments persuaded me.”

“My husband and I have been talking about this regarding a meal ministry to a homeless population near downtown Greenville. We’ve helped for about 9 months but started to notice that nothing was changing. A meal and gospel message is given but no help or encouragement for practical life change. The conversation was about whether or not to continue serving a people that don’t seem to want life change badly enough to do something about it.”

In response to the last two points, I highly recommend the books When Helping Hurts and The Weight of Mercy.

And from a friend who recognizes that I don’t mind bringing up any topic:

“Breast feeding, legalizing marijuana, and now poverty… Joey you keep my FB feed interesting!”

Would you like to add your thoughts, or questions? Can you separate the issue of poverty from the issue of sin?

Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments.

Related Links:

**image courtesy of Marco Bellucci via flickr

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