Monday, October 10, 2005

Food for Thought

If we could shrink the earth's population to a village of precisely
100 people, with all the existing human ratios remaining the same,
it would look something like the following:

6 people would possess 59% of the entire world's wealth and all 6
would be from the United States.

80 would live in substandard housing

50 would suffer from malnutrition

If you woke up this morning with more health than are
more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.

If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness
of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation,
you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.

If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof
overhead and a place to are richer than 70% of this

If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a
dish someplace, you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy.


Matt said...

these statistics are convicting and show me how shallow i am sometimes. but i don't want to settle for simply a recognition of the problem; i want to do more to change the existing injustice in the world. it's easy to wear a t-shirt or a bracelet; it's easy to send 30.00 a month to world vision; it's easyto read "rich Christians in an age of hunger." but the hard part is making lasting personal lifestyle changes that are caught up into God's vision for a just world, a new creation. my wife and i were just talking about this on sunday.

matt varnell

ps - brent strawn says that you were a pleasure to work with.

Ron Cole said...

Ben thanks for expressing this startling reality in such away that wecan not distance ourselves. In this global village we find ourselves, our neighbour is much closer, than we want to make it...that the gospel is about redeeming all of, all aspects of creation. Its time for the church, christians across the globe to speak and live the " whole"ness of the gospel. Hope you don't mind, I linked your post here at my site.

Unknown said...

I have tried to convey this message to my son (he is only 9),but it is hard for him to grasp. It is hard for me to grasp at times, and your post reminds me of my selfishness. How do we as Christians make an effectual change in nations like Sudan, China, and so many other opressive countries. It seems that the church in the U.S. has weakened severly over the last 40 years. We have a church on every corner, but our influence seems to be dimishing.

Ben Witherington said...

What usually removes the veneer of parochialism and self-centeredness is spending any kind of time working with the poor whether in this country or another. In my view a cross-cultural experience should be a requirement for being a church member anywhere. Then one begins to discover that one's primary loyalties should be to Christians globally, and that many of them are exceedingly poor. Sometimes this produces a Copernican revolution in someone's thinking and sometimes not, but once you realize the nature and effects of American lifestyle and its incompatibility with various parts of the Gospel mandate, then one becomes responsible for what you do and what you are consciously ignoring.