About twenty years ago I read a newspaper article with the title “A Tale of Two Bills.” It was the story of two men named “Bill” who had dinner together. Earlier that day one of the men had been convicted of a serious crime, yet he spent no time in jail. Instead, he and the other Bill enjoyed a sumptuous meal together at one of the most famous locations on earth, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, otherwise known as the White House. The convicted Bill was Bill Gates. His host was Bill Clinton.
Favoritism toward the rich is common. The proverb, “The poor is disliked even by his neighbor, but the rich has many friends” (Proverbs 14:20, ESV), is as true today as it was when first penned.
That is how it is with the world, but that is not how it is to be with who claim to be Christians. There are many reasons why we should not behave this way. I will highlight just two.
First, we believe in creation by one God. The atheist believes in the survival of the fittest. Those who have done well in life therefore may be viewed as being more fit, more worthy of surviving. Atheism is inherently anti-poor. Thankfully, some atheists, to their credit, resist the natural tendency of their own doctrine. Polytheistic religions naturally despise the poor. Other people may have been made by a different god. But for us, despising the poor should never even be an option. The poor person was made by the same God, and in the image of the same God, as we (Prov 14:31; 17:5; 22:2).
Second, we worship a poor Master. We believe that our Lord came to this earth and took on human form, and that when he did so he came as a poor person. He identified with the poor. To be unkind to the poor is, therefore, to be unkind to Him (Mt 25:40).