Discussion on Giving

a) Giving, the Poor and the Bible.

Our discussion will be in three parts:

b) What does the Bible tell us about the poor and about giving?

Here is a quote from Jim Wallis book The Soul of Politics:

"Many years ago, I was part of a group of seminary students in Chicago. We decided to do a study to find every biblical reference to the poor and oppressed. We searched the Scriptures and found that there are thousands of verses about the poor in the Bible. Those who are marginalised and forgotten by everyone else, those who are mistreated and abandoned on the bottom of society keep appearing in the Bible as a central concern. The Bible, we discovered, was full of poor people. And God is portrayed throughout the Bible as the deliverer of the poor and the oppressed.

"In the New Testament, one out of every sixteen verses is about the poor! In the gospels, the number is one out of every ten verses: in Luke's Gospel one of every seven and the book of James one of every five."

c) The God of the Bible is the deliverer of the poor.

Fidelity to the Scriptures is finally tested not by doctrine but by how one's life demonstrates that we believe the Bible. Belief results in obedience. In wealthy nations, that fidelity will best be tested by our relationship to the poor.

d) The Gospels, the poor and giving.

Think of one or two passages (not more) from the gospels that are about people who are poor. Please don't look in the Bible for them. Just bring them to mind, from your memory (however unreliable!). Do they say what God wants us to do about people who are poor? What is it? 


Wallis, Jim: The Soul of Politics, qqq.