Sunday, September 30, 2012

Against the Lofty assumption that God has a "Preferential Option for the Poor"

This slogan, which seems to have first come from the lips of liberation theologian Gustavo Gutierrez, encapsulates a heretical dogma that has preferentially infected the recent church. The basic cluster of ideas:

1. God favors the poor over the rich or the suburban.

2. The poor are a modicum of God's saving revelation.

3. The poor are indeed the incarnation of God.

4. In order to be saved, you must help the poor.

5. In order to be saved, you must become poor.

And many more. It is quite obvious that where one of these tenets is present, the other do not naturally follow. I lump them together merely to show the basic conduits of what we are dealing with in the so-called theologies of the poor.

My solid conviction is that these concepts are not only utterly false and silly, they are poisonous to the gospel of God's grace. They have as little to do with scripture as arianism or pelagianism, although like arianism and pelagianism they claim scripture as their presupposition.

Hopefully my own interest in this stupidity will carry out long enough for me to post a series of arguments against God having a preferential option for the poor. If this happens, and if God grants me strength and wisdom, I should like to defend the scriptural truth that "there is no favoritism" with Christ (Col. 3:25). This is neither an isolated proposition nor a proof text, but the very life blood of God's dealings with mankind. I believe that its message can be found all across the pages of scripture.