Monday, May 04, 2009

For the Eyes of Christians Only

Now I don't mind anyone else reading this post because it is important for all, but this post is specifically a reminder to those of us who call ourselves Christ followers. So here it goes, Christians in the US, we are failing with the gospel! We have what Richard Stearns, President of World Vision, calls The Hole in Our Gospel. Richard Stearns left a very lucrative position as the CEO of Lenox fine China to become the President of World Vision, a little over 10 years ago.

This book tells of his call to the ministry/position which is a miracle in itself as well as the facts of our hurting world's poverty. He calls Christians to stop living in name only and act in accordance of what Jesus says to do, "Love God with all your heart, soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself."

He lays out some interesting facts and statistics and then points out that sometimes statistics takes away the humanity within the numbers. He talked about a giving study conducted with three groups of people. The first group was given a picture of a girl, her name and told her horrible tale of suffering. The middle group was given statistics about suffering in the world and the same picture of the girl with her story. The third group was only given statistics. In a study of giving the first group with only a picture and the story gave more than the other two groups and the statistic only group gave the least amount.

Then right after that he gives a dreaded statistic: "26,575 children die every day of largely preventable causes related to their poverty." Can you imagine? 26,575 Gs die everyday. Go ahead list that number with the name of your children. Everyday, amazing, incredible and largely preventable. Here is something that is quite eye opening to me and I hope will be to you too:

If the human race were represented by a global village of just 100 people,
  • 60 would be Asian
  • 14 would be African
  • 12 would be European
  • 8 would be Latin American
  • 5 would be American or Canadian
  • 1 would be South Pacific
  • 51 would be male; 49 female
  • 82 would be non-white; 18 white
  • 67 would be non-Christians; 33 would be Christians

But divide this same group up into "haves and have-nots" is more startling, "The average income in America is $38,611 per person or about $105 per day." Compare this 2.6 billion people live on less than $2 per day (40% of world's population), 1 billion live on less than $1 per day (15% of the world's population) and .3 billion live on $105 per day (US 4.5% of the world's population).

So what are we doing with our money? The economic downturn we are currently experiencing doesn't bring the poor mentioned above up in income per day no more than it brings the US down much in income per day. There is enough money in America that we can do the work God called us to and fill in the "hole" that is in our gospel so that all people can be whole.

"Sometimes I would like to ask God why He allows poverty, suffering, and injustice when He could do something about it."

"Well, why don't you ask Him?"

"Because I'm afraid He would ask me the same question." Anonymous

4 comments:

fricke92 said...

When we truly think about it, it is humbling to think of how little some have while we complain of not having enough. Thanks for the reminder.

Kim said...

Ug, should of read this post before I bought new shoes tonight!

Have you seen the article that shows what families around the world eat in a week? The US family was embarrassing. The small village family was living on just a couple of bags of dried goods.

http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1626519,00.html

If we all just skipped one fast food meal a month and donated the money, could you imagine what that would add up to?

Marla said...

Wow, now thats something to think about. I also heard that if everyone that calls themself a Christian would adopt, there would not be any orphans! I think all of us could do a better job, I know I'll say a prayer for myself tonight.

jkuntz said...

Thank you for commenting on Rich Stearns’ new book, The Hole in Our Gospel. This book has already had a tremendous impact on many Christians. Bill Hybels, Senior Pastor of Willow Creek Church, just bought 10,000 copies of the book to give to his congregation. Hybels told his church, “This is one of the finest books I have ever read. It is my goal to get every member of Willow Creek Church to read it.” To find out more information about the book and Stearns, you can visit www.theholeinourgospel.com. You’ll find on this site a lot of great resources and supplemental material to the book. You can also read Rich’s blog and engage in a forum discussion there. It’s a fantastic site – I encourage you to check it out!