“If there is God, then there is no poverty,” according to a strong man.
Does poverty deny the existence of God? What is wrong with poverty? How do you know that there is something wrong with poverty? How do you know that poverty itself exists in the first place?
You see, it takes an understanding for us to know if poverty exists. It also takes an understanding for us to deny that God does not exist.
Where does our understanding come from? I believe it comes from an intelligent designer. Our ability to think and understand our situation is something unique for us humans, and it separates us from other species.
Based on our human understanding, does poverty exist? Yes. How do you know? Because we see, we feel, we experience the pain and suffering that goes with it.
Poverty is one of the unfortunate life situations that we encounter in the absence of the ease, luxury, and comfort that riches can give. It is one of the evils that make us so angry about our poor parents, our government, our churches, and God Himself.
We have always heard that God is good, and we become so disappointed when we couldn’t see what God is doing to stop poverty and other evil, such as war, killing, famine, and death.
But does the existence of evil, such as poverty, deny the existence of God? I don’t think so.
First, how do we know that evil exists? Simple, because we know that good exists. We know that there is darkness because we know that there is light. We know that there is the color black because we know that there is the color white. We know that there is evil because we know and we understand that good exists.
Second, how do we know what is good and what is evil? What if the darkness that we say to be dark is actually light. What if the black color that we call black is really white? We know what we know because there is a determiner or standard of knowing them.
For example, why do we say that killing is evil? Why is killing not good? Because we know that there is a standard, such as the moral law that says, “Thou shalt not kill.” It is a universally accepted virtue that once you go against that moral standard then you are doing evil which is killing.
Third, how does the natural and moral law exist? Simple, because there is a lawgiver.
Have you seen the connection yet? Let’s go back.
We know there is evil because there is good. We can determine what is good and what is evil because there is a moral law. We have a moral law because we have a lawgiver.
Question: Who is the lawgiver?
The lawgiver gives us standards to follow and whatever the result would be is already a consequence of what we have chosen, either we choose evil or we opt for good.
Well, no one chooses to be poor. Neither God or the lawgiver has chosen us to live in great penury.
We should not associate the lawgiver with the result of our failures. Poverty is independent of God’s existence. And poverty, like any other evil in our society, does not deny the existence of God. The fact is it can even prove God’s existence because it is only from the lawgiver that we have the understanding of what is good and evil that chance or evolution can’t give.
So, what can we do then? Blame God?
Here are some suggestions:
Accept the Existence of Evil
It doesn’t mean that if we don’t understand our condition and how God works, then we already conclude that an intelligent designer might not exist. It is not our fault if we were born into a poor family. We just need to accept our situation and look for a way on how to enhance our quality of life instead of blaming our parents or God.
Know That We Are Living in a Fallen World
The world is lying in moral evil due to the natural and man-made evil that affect the world around us. We will always feel the evil impact that a man creates. What truly matters is staying positive and strong enough to respond in a good manner. And if you are able, help the poor to lessen the pain. Do some charity work, community service, or advocate for change. Someone says, “God is once again released to have a preferential option for the poor.”
God Will Someday End Evil
You should not be disappointed that a good and powerful God seems immovable in every evil that is happening in our community. Someday, the King of kings and the Lord of lords, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah will come back to end every suffering, pain, and sickness that humiliates us every now and then.
Once and for all, I want to answer the question: Does poverty deny the existence of God? Absolutely, NO.