I recently came across this video which puts some rather shocking statistics about wealth inequality in America into visual format. It’s disturbing to say the least. Watch the video below (it’s only about six minutes long), and then we’ll pick up a bit of commentary afterwards.

So, what did you think? Pretty heavy stuff, right? Now, before we go any further I just want to emphasize that this is a religion blog, not a political blog. I’m not endorsing any particular political solution to the problem of wealth inequality. However, I am deeply interested in how Christians should respond to this problem. First of all, do we believe that income inequality is a problem? Why or why not? If it is a problem (and I believe it is, for many reasons), should Christians be concerned about it and take action to address it? Why or why not? If we should be concerned and take action (and again, I believe we should, for many reasons), what action should we take?

In my series on a biblical theology of wealth, which regrettably I haven’t added to in awhile, I have stated several times that I believe we’re more influenced by our culture than we are by the Bible when it comes to our view of wealth. Wealth inequality is one example of our culturally-induced blindness; it’s an area Christians need to address biblically. To ignore the suffering of millions of people who lack the basic necessities of life places us squarely in the camp of the goats (see Matt. 25:31-46). At the judgment, when Jesus confronts their indifference, they reply in shock, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?” In reply Jesus reminds them, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.”

Of course, on the flip side, Jesus affirms the sheep, those who do feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned. Interestingly, though, this group also does not realize that when they did these things they were doing it to Jesus. The powerful lesson that Jesus teaches us is that whenever we care for those who are less fortunate than ourselves, it’s as if we are caring for Jesus Himself. That is how closely He identifies with the poor, the oppressed, and the suffering.

One last thought: this video only deals with wealth inequality in America. Imagine how much greater the inequality would be if we included the entire world. Imagine if we compared the wealth of the world’s richest to the poverty of the world’s poorest. It’s an almost unfathomable gap. Let’s never forget that God loves every person on this planet, no matter what economic bracket they’re in, no matter what country they are from. As followers of Jesus we should be just as concerned as He is with the plight of the poor and oppressed in every part of the world, for all bear His image, and all have been purchased by His blood.

So, how should Christians respond to all of this? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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