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The ultimate cause of poverty
September 15, 2014 David Yun

The ultimate cause of poverty

Posted in Forum Post

The world is and has been full of tragedy, death, hardships, poverty, selfishness, abuse of power, and terror. In the modern materialistic world, the rich are finding ways to become wealthier, no matter what the cost may be, and the poor are helplessly consumed deeper and deeper by poverty as a result. This is true not only in third-world countries, but in the States as well. One can see in the Land of Opportunity, the homeless holding signs for food/money almost every corner of the streets.

As a Christian, I came to be concerned about the ‘poverty in the world’ topic as well. Given in my belief that there is God, what is leading/causing all this ‘evil’? In Christianity, the explanation for this, or at least the beginning cause of this, is sin. Now let me define sin in Christianity: the basis of sin, as I have come to realize, is the hardened heart that I am my own God(or something else other than God is God). The well-known story of Adam and Eve’s eating of the Fruit of Knowledge, for example, shows that the two people were tempted to eat it because “[we] will be like God”(Genesis 3:5 ESV). The result, however, have been devastating: “ For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator,”(Romans 1:19-25 ESV). People’s heart have been darkened and was blinded into thinking that living for oneself is the best. In his book Engaging God’s World, Plantinga claims that because of the blindness, “we all keep living our lives against what’s good for us”(pg 50). A rich man, even after he is rich, cannot be ever satisfied with the money and wants to become wealthier. An addict can never be satisfied and wants more of what he/she knows is not good for him/her. Pascal, a famous mathematician and a Christian philosopher, once said “There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God.” As I have realized and experienced God, something inside me that was empty became full, and now I cannot live without Him.

             JYP, a famous Korean singer, once wrote in his lyrics: “Just as it’s a common sense for one to ask Apple if one doesn’t know how to use iPhone, or Samsung for Galaxy, it’s a common sense to ask to the One who made man when we don’t know how we should live…”

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