Pope Francis has fallen under the spell of Karl Marx. Although some would deny it, the Pope espouses liberation theology - using the church to liberate the economically oppressed from their oppression. It has much in common with atheist Marxism, but uses the church to do what the government does. As such, liberation theology depends on the government to do what Christians should do as charitable. It takes God out of goodness and makes the government the author of good. Liberation theology binds the church closely to the state. Marx smiles!
Positive Christianity doesn't like the notion but God is the author of poverty. Because his creatures failed to obey, He introduced consequences to disobedience.
Genesis 3:16 "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. 17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."Therein is a cause and effect: Adam caused poverty by disobedience, and the effect was God introduced poverty into what had been His perfect world. Mankind went from being nourished by God to self-nourishment. Adam, the individual, was assigned hard work. He wasn't due anything but had to do his part if he wanted sustenance. Adam would say, "I have a right to good things," as he probably did looking at the forbidden tree, but God thought, you have a right to nothing; it is by grace that I provide.
Throughout scripture hard work is expected and honored:
2 Thessalonians 3:10 (ESV) "For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. 11 For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. 12 Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living."The command in the early church was this: No work - No eat. The individual was to supply his own needs by hard work. Others were not commanded to work for the sluggard. God's will is social independence, not social justice! Nowhere in scripture does God or his emissaries depend on the Kings or Caesars to provide for the people.
Social eruption to drive change is evil. Those riots in the streets and wars for social justice are the will of Satan, and are not of God:
1 Thessalonians 4:11 (ESV) "And to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12 so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one."God supports capitalism. That is divine justice - you deserve only what you work for! People are not due anything. We are not gods. Only God deserves things, and that is love and obedience. When mankind has anything, it is by grace that we have it. Even our ability to work and sweat was because God had grace with Adam. We are able to work by the same grace!
The Church does not exist to wipe out poverty. God didn't come to save men from the penalty of work, but from eternal death. You see, there were two punishments for Adam - he lost eternal life and he even had to work hard for temporal life. He regained eternal life by grace, and by grace he was allowed to live and work for his keep.
Poverty is of God and He could end it anytime without our feeble help. Poverty enables us to show love by charity - giving freely of our own volition out of love. Government can never command charity, but God supports that notion as a way to demonstrate love. Jesus delivered mankind from the commands of obedience, not to enslave us again to the government. Caesar never dictated charity; he was too smart for that. He was the instrument of taxation, and it wasn't for the good of society; it was for the good of Caesar. Little has changed since then!
Poverty is the existence which allows charity. Rather than charity, taxation steals from the charitable pot. Rather than please God, Christians steal from charity to pay Caesar. That's legalized theft, and because Robin Hood used his theft for "good", doesn't make him good. He disobeyed God to do what was right in his own eyes just as people always have. (Deut. 12:8). Likewise, the Pope does what is right in his own eyes, and so did Marx. Ironically, both wanted us to do what was right in their eyes!
Jesus was charitable and good. Is there any question about that? Jesus could have ended poverty with a wave of His hand. He didn't do that because he came to save people from their sins, not to save them from his penalty - poverty!
Matthew 26:11 "For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me."Jesus chose to keep the penalty of poverty because that wasn't his concern. He died for our sins, not for the consequences of Adam's sin. He threw Adam and Eve out of Utopia for a reason, and that wasn't for Marx or the Pope to create a Utopia of their own. All God had to do was to allow his children back in the Garden to tend God and escape poverty, but he put them in the garden, fields, and factories to tend for themselves. They lost their charity from God which they were never ever due, and now they call prosperity a right!
Out of grace, God made a deal with His people. It's called the Abrahamic Covenant. Essentially, it says this: obey me and prosper. disobey me and you won't! Some say that this covenant is unconditional but it is far from it! The Jews were expected to love God, and when they loved other gods, they were destroyed! (The part about Jesus coming was unconditional and undeserved!)
How can we prosper? The Abrahamic Covenant was forever! We can prosper if we love, honor, and obey God. We can't depend on the government, but we can depend on God! Divine justice is the way to prosperity. It levels the playing field. Social justice just adds mud holes which impede people from doing God's will.