i know there is a movement among some christians that are into this whole “be poor with the poor” notion of the christian life, aka the new monastic movement. i have a problem with this… not so much with the intent but the hyper spiritual authority/superiority that some folks revel in who participate in such movements. here’s why:
i’ve had my taste of poor. i remember big government cheese blocks. i remember doing homework by candlelight because our electricity got turned off. i remember taking cold showers because we had no hot water (in chicago!) i remember being evicted from multiple homes. i was poor.
that said, though i have had the tremendous opportunity to arise from the suffocating realities that poverty imposes, i often feel convicted because i know that so many others are still there. at the same time, i don’t want to go back from whence i came.
i like nice things…..actually, i LOVE nice things. is that wrong? i’m just being honest.
to the folks that live into the monastic movement, is it really that you’re living poor or is your “poverty” still a manifestation of power? to be able to choose poverty is power. at any point, these folks can choose another way. however, those who are truly victims of poverty often have no out, have no choice, have no sense of hope -basically powerless.
perhaps this is the reason why i was a prime candidate early on to embrace the prosperity gospel. though i am no longer a follower of the prosperity movement as it is generally thought of, i do believe in hope, in blessings, in faith, in a god who desires only good for humanity yet dwells among and with those who suffer.
the truth is, i struggle with this. even the thought of being poor in that desperate kind of way gives me hives. *sigh*