Poverty isn’t caused by accident. There are unjust systems and structures that create and perpetuate poverty and human suffering. And service alone is never enough; working to change both the attitudes and institutional arrangements that cause poverty is required.
To change injustice, you must confront politics.
Jim Wallis, in What is ‘Biblical Politics’? at Sojourners (emphasis mine)
He continues (again, emphasis mine):
This is what the Bible teaches us. The scriptures reveal a God of justice, not merely a God of charity. Words such as oppression and justice fill the Bible. The most common objects of the prophets’ judgments are kings, rulers, judges, employers — the rich and the powerful in charge of the world’s governments, courts, economies, systems, and structures. When those who are in charge mistreat the poor and vulnerable, say the scriptures, it is not just unkind but also wrong and unjust, and it makes God angry.
The subjects of the scriptures’ concern are always the widow and the orphan, the poor and oppressed, the victims of courts or unscrupulous employers, debtors whose debts need to be forgiven, strangers in the land who need to be welcomed. And the topics of the prophets’ messages to the powerful are things like land, labor, capital, judicial decisions, employer practices, rulers’ dictates, and the decisions of the powerful — all the stuff of politics.
How are your Representatives and Senators doing, when it comes to biblical politics? Do they take care of the widows, the orphans, the poor, the marginalized, and the oppressed in their district or state? Or do they stay where they are comfortable, among the rich and powerful and privileged?(via undercovernun)