There are poor Christians for the same reason you have poor people. The Bible does not promise that when you become a Christian you will not be poor. There are certain reasons as to why people are poor. There’s a grand theological cosmic reason which is this that God created this world, He created it in perfect condition that allows for economic flourishing if we follow his commandments. However, Adam and Eve didn’t, that brought in a curse and then that means that the world was not going to work properly and that’s why we have poverty at a cosmic level but if you distill that into a more practical level there are three things that I can tell you.
One is this, that people are poor because they live and work under economic and governmental conditions that do not allow for wealth creation. So, if you are in a place, a war-torn area, you will most likely be poor. If you are working as a slave, you will most likely be poor. If you are under a totalitarian communist government, you will most likely be poor. If you are a poor person in a capitalist society that does not address the issues of inequality most likely that will lead to generational poverty and then you will have a few people at the top getting richer whereas the people at the bottom continue to get poorer and poorer. If you are one of those people that is in that bracket at the bottom most likely, you’ll be poor.
A second reason is this that even if you’re placed in the economic conditions that allow for wealth creation, if you’re lazy then most likely you’ll be poor. Proverbs 23 13-16 addresses this issue over and over again and then there’s the other issue, the third one which is this; that some people have skills that are not really demanded, and many people have this skills. Most likely those people will be poor. Those who are wealthy are those who have skills and are in very high demand.
We as Christians should be at the fore front of fighting against poverty. We should do that at an economic level, we should do that at a political level, we should do that at a business level, we should do that at an inspirational level because Christians are called to love their neighbour.
Femi Osunnuyi is lead pastor of City Church, a gospel-centred urban church in the city of Lagos. Because of his passion for church planting and leadership development he also serves on the Lead Team of Acts29 and the Advisory Team of City to City Africa. He is happily married to Tosin and is father to Tofunmi and Timilehin.