One of the great worldwide problems is the disparity of wealth in the world. The gap between the “haves” and the “have nots” just continues to grow. Those of us who are Christians devote significant amounts of time and money trying to help the “have nots.” The problem is that as the world moves away from Christianity and replaces it with secular humanism and a “survival of the fittest” moral standard, the gap between the wealthy and the poor grows.
Recently there have been some amazing displays of the “haves,” including some with scientific connections. In 2020, a Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton sold for 32 million dollars. In October 2021, a triceratops skeleton known as “Big John” sold in Paris for 7.7 million dollars. Private individuals made both of those purchases, meaning that the fossils are not available for scientific research. In some places in the world, luxury living is incredible. For example, in Dubai (United Arab Emirates), an apartment can sell for as much as 180 million dollars. There is a resort called Atlantis, the Palm off the coast of Dubai, where spending $7000 for a meal is not unheard of.
The disparity of wealth in the world means that most of the world’s population is living in poverty with food shortages, poor housing, and a lack of medical, leading to premature death. Even in the United States, where we have things better than in most countries, there is a vast disparity between the rich and the poor. It is essential to point out that religion is sometimes the cause of this disparity. Even those who claim to be Christians can be swept up in what the world offers, and religious leaders have made headlines for living the life of the rich.
Imagine what we could do to alleviate the poverty in the world if every wage earner chose to give a percentage of their income to care for others. Jesus hit at the real problem in His sermon in Matthew 6:19-21. “Stop storing up your riches on the earth where it may be turned to dust by worms and weather and where thieves break through and steal. But keep your treasure in Heaven where there is no moth or rust to consume it. For where your treasure lies, your heart will be there too.”
The disparity of wealth in the world is rooted in attitude, which is strongly affected by what we believe about the value of human life. A strong argument for the existence of God and the validity of the Christian system is how it can change a person’s attitude from getting and hoarding to giving and serving. When people fail to follow the teachings of Jesus (not the practices of organized religion), the experience of war, conflict, pollution, abuse, and division will grow. Jesus is truly the “light of the world” and the only hope for the future.
— John N. Clayton © 2021
Reference: Associated Press for 10/23/21 and Atlantis the Palm website.