Denying HungerDecember 04, 2006
Britt Towery has a column today at Ethics Daily that is entitled “Bush Administration Ends Hunger.” It is about how the annual report of the Department of Agriculture has replaced the term “hunger” with “low food security.” Towery writes, “Such a euphemism is almost Orwellian.” He then offers some good suggestions about what each of us must do to work to end huger and poverty.
We can change the terms we use, but there is no way to honestly deny that hunger does indeed exist and is a serious problem that Christians must work to eliminate. Some may say that it is impossible to end hunger, but it is has never been tried so how can they be sure. If we did actually try we could change the lives of many people. It is possible—if only American Christians would give.
Consider a recent report from Money Matters. It explains:
According to the research organization empty tomb, inc., “if members of historically Christian congregations in the U.S. had given at the 10 percent level in 2003, there would have been an additional $156 billion available.”A very similar argument was made with slightly different numbers by Ron Sider in his book The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience: Why Are Christians Living Just like the Rest of the World? (an excellent and thought-provoking book that I highly recommend; it is pictured and linked below). The conclusion of both is the same—if American Christians actually tithed we could basically end world poverty and still have a lot of money left for evangelism.
If you’re wondering what could be done with such an amount, empty tomb listed the following possibilities.
*Each day around the world, 29,000 children under the age of 5 die as a result of preventable poverty conditions. It would only take $5 billion of the amount listed above to stop the majority of these deaths!
*With $7 billion of the above amount, we could provide the world’s children with a basic education.
*And, with $124 million of the amount that remains, the church could launch a massive evangelism effort in the “10-40 Window,” the area of the world that contains the largest population of non-Christians.
Hunger is thus a Christian problem. If we wonder why people are suffering we should look no further than our churches. We must not attempt to ignore it by changing our language. Instead we must change our actions.
The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience: Why Are Christians Living Just like the Rest of the World?