Chapter 22: Poverty Is a Power Game
Secondly, service to the poor is very necessary for the Christian. If there is nobody who is poor, then you cannot go to heaven, you cannot be a saint. Your whole base of the religion disappears. The poor is a must. He should exist because only stepping on the shoulders of the poor people you are going to become a saint, you are going to reach to heaven and be rewarded by God.
But if everybody is comfortable, happy, luxurious, who needs your service? And without service there is no Christianity. The whole Christianity depends on the idea of service: service is religion.
If service is religion, then the poor, the sick, the old - they are absolutely needed. Without them the whole edifice of religion will disappear.
And he is saying to me that I do not know.
I have lived in one of the most poor countries of the world and I have seen how the poor people are being exploited by the Christians.
They are exploited by the Christians, they are exploited by the communists. Very strange bedfellows, Christians and communists. Kremlin and Vatican together. Pope the Polack sleeping with Josef Stalin.
The communist needs poor people. Without the poor his revolution dies. They both need the poor.
I want to destroy poverty. And to destroy the poverty, the first thing is to destroy the idea that poverty is something spiritual. It is not.
Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor because they shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
I say to you, “Cursed are the poor because they have already inherited the kingdom of the devil.”
Why give them hopes which cannot be fulfilled, promises which cannot be kept? All these hopes and promises prove only opium to the people and nothing else.
So the first thing is that poverty has nothing spiritual about it. It is nothing blessed. It is a curse, because when you think poverty as something spiritual, blessed, God-given, how you are going to destroy it? It seems very contradictory.
Mahatma Gandhi in India was telling that the poor are the children of God. That means God is looking very well after his children. And who are the rich? Children of devil? Then I think it is better to choose devil as your father than God. He is looking far better after his children.
On the one hand Mahatma Gandhi says the poor are the children of God and poverty is something spiritual. And on the other hand he wants poverty to disappear.
I see a contradiction there. Do you want spirituality to disappear? Do you want God’s children to disappear?
And what Mahatma Gandhi is saying is nothing but pure Christianity. He was ninety percent Christian. In his life, at least four times he was on the verge of becoming a Christian. He was constantly thinking of becoming a Christian for the simple reason because no other religion teaches service to the poor.
The first thing to me is to withdraw the idea that poverty has something divine in it.