I appreciate this challenging post from new blogger Matt Moore:
Doing a quick concordance (NIV translation) search I find:
--The word love appears is scripture 310 times and the various forms (loved, loving-kindness, etc.) appears 555 times.
--The phrase Kingdom of God appears 65 times while Kingdom of Heaven 31 times.
--Faith is mentioned 256 times.
--Salvation 120 , saved 109 and eternal life 42 times
--In the Old Testament there are 236 verses that talk about God's concern for the poor and in the New Testament another 328 verses for a total of 564.
Of course, simply counting words in scripture is not the best way to judge the value scripture gives to a particular topic; it is the context and overall themes of scripture that gives it weight. So, we can't say that faith is more important than the Kingdom of God just because it is mentioned more times. However, this simple analysis makes it clear that scripture does put some pretty significant weight behind God's heart for the poor.
Compassion recently did a survey and found that nearly half of all Christians in the US had not heard a sermon about poverty and how Christians should respond to people in poverty from a biblical perspective even once in the last year.
The Bible makes poverty an important topic, but the American church does not. Why not?