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1. Jesus once stated “As much as you do unto the least of these you do unto me”. Given that much of the world’s population lives on approximately $ 2 per day and reports suggest that the wealthiest people in the world own as much or more than the world’s poorest 50% (see for example, Oxfam, January 20, 2020), does it seem that the Church have much to do to live up to this view of how we best serve Christ? Are Christians called to support and promote public (government) policies that help the poor or must this exhortation above be restricted to individual acts of generosity based on the private practice of faith (i.e. to care for the poor)? In other words, what is the biblical teaching about caring for the poor, the domain of public policy, private responsibility or both? Try to support your position with scripture.
2. This session focuses on the economic concept of the levels of competition in a given market. From an economics standpoint, competition is preferred. A free market which allows producers to sell whatever they can and to make the greatest profits for themselves, and, consumers who are free to buy the goods that provide the most value per dollar is the preferred economic system. What is more when businesses compete freely, for market share and profits, economists say society as a whole benefits.
We sometimes also find this attitude among churches and their leaders. Pastors and congregations sometimes take pride in their achievements (large congregations, impressive buildings, offerings, programs, etc.) and often appear to be in competition with one another. In the Bible however, competition for dominance, power, and possessions of material things is discouraged; See Mathew 20. 20-27; and Philippians 2. 1-4 (New International Version, 2011/1973). The love of money is considered the “root of all evil” (New International Version, 2011, 1973, 2 Timothy 6.10).
Questions to consider:
Economists say competition in the free market is a good way to organize society, does that preference also apply to competition among pastors and churches, and religions?
That is, is competition for adherents and resources among religious leaders healthy and beneficial for society’s spiritual well-being? Why or why not? How should Christians reconcile, the two perspectives about whether competition is a good thing?
INCLUDE SCRIPTURE WITH EACH ANSWER
Economists say competition in the free market is a good way to organize society, does that preference also apply to competition among pastors and churches, and religions?Explain
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