It seems everyone is parroting the words of soon to be Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel, who boldly declared the current financial crisis to be an "opportunity for change." The latest group to take up the global change mantra is the World Council of Churches.
The WCC claims to speak for 349 Protestant, Anglican, and Orthodox churches representing 560 million Christians in 110 countries. The truth is, most conservative; Bible-believing Christians stopped listening to the WCC years ago. My own denomination, Southern Baptists, withdrew from the Baptist World Alliance in 2004. The BWA is directly affiliated with the WCC and has long been a strong supporter of WCC policies. Recently, the World Council of Churches released public statements supporting homosexual marriage, recognizing the presence of the Holy Spirit in "other religions," condemning the free market system of economics, and condemning the war on terror.
Now they see the world financial crisis as an opportunity to redistribute wealth on a global basis. At the conclusion of their meeting in Doha, Qatar the WCC released a statement saying, "Rich, industrialized countries have...an ethical and moral obligation to pay for the ecological damages they inflicted on poor countries through their disproportionate appropriation of natural resources and unsustainable lifestyles." They also said the world financial crisis presents a "historic opportunity for world leaders to take responsibility and enact transformation towards building an equitable and sustainable global economic system that meets the economic, social and cultural rights of all, women and men, and nurtures the environment."
There you have it.... radical redistribution of wealth through government coercion from developed countries to under developed countries and the funneling of money into the bogus "climate change" agenda of the UN. It is the perfect storm of left-wing policies. For years, the UN has been looking for the vehicle that will make them the dominant force for a one-world government. Climate change and the global financial crisis presents the best opportunity for the UN to put pressure on Western nations to bankrupt themselves and submit to a financial system controlled by the UN. The World Council of Churches is the pseudo spiritual organization that supports that agenda, giving religious gravitas to the flawed idea that the problem of poverty can be solved by the “Robin Hood” method of taking from the rich and giving to the poor.
On January 8, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson announced legislation that would become know as “The War on Poverty.” Critics called the plan “tin-cup urbanism” as big cities around the country lined up for the first government bailout. The plan called for a huge redistribution of wealth through taxation and the expansion of the welfare rolls. The result… the welfare rolls increased by 125 percent from 1965 to 1970 alone. Billions of dollars were spent to eradicate poverty between 1968 and 1980. Charles Murray summed up the result of this effort in his book Losing Ground saying, “In 1968 13 percent of Americans were poor. Over the next twelve years, our expenditures on social welfare quadrupled and in 1980, the percentage of poor Americans was 13 percent.” Today, with close to one trillion dollars spent since the war on poverty began, the percentage of those who are poor stands at 12.7 percent.
In 1993 the Clinton administration authorized the Community Development Block Grant Program to spend $430 million dollars to establish a loan fund to help Los Angeles recover from riots and address the underlying problems of unrest. By the end of 1995, most of the money had gone to companies that went under or was spent on community programs that were completely ineffective.
Since the beginning of time there have been those who wish to use the poor as a vehicle for personal power or the shifting and consolidating of corporate power. Matthew 26 records the story of Jesus’ visit to the house of Simon the leper in Bethany. As Jesus sat at the table, a woman came in, opened an alabaster box of costly ointment, and poured the sweet smelling contents over His head. According to John's account in John 12, Judas protested, saying "Why was this fragrant oil not sold for 300 denarii and given to the poor?" That may seem like a very noble idea but John tells us the real motive of Judas. Judas "was a thief and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it." When Jesus responded by saying, “For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have with you always,” He was not suggesting that we should ignore the poor in favor of worship. He reminded us that poverty would never be completely erased by man. He was also responding to the motive of Judas, who didn’t care about the plight of the poor but rather how he could position the poor to cover his true agenda.
Most of the time when we hear someone clamoring for more money for the poor what they are really clamoring for is more control over money (as in this case) or more money for their particular organization. The World Council of Churches wants to redesign the financial system of the world's economies so that the producer countries are brought down to the level of third world countries by bankrupting the producers.
Poverty will not be solved by a massive redistribution of wealth. Poverty will be eased when the root causes of poverty (ignorance, sloth, greed, personal responsibility, and immorality) are addressed by people who offer a hand up rather than a handout.
Dr. Tony Beam is Vice-President for Student Services and Director of the Christian Worldview Center at North Greenville University in Tigerville, South Carolina.