Below are some of the statistics that Sandy Wilson, pastor of Second Presbyterian Church, gives in his message, "Let Go of Your Stuff." The key text is Deuteronomy 14:22-15:23, which is one of the primary passages that helps us understand the Missio Dei (mission of God). In this passage he talks about the relationship between our money and the poor throughout our city and the world. One of the questions he seeks to answer is, "Am I my brother's keeper?" The audio can be found here. Notes can be found here.
· If you make $25,000/yr, you are in the top 10% of the world's wealthiest
· If you make $25,000/yr, you are just above the poverty line in this country
· If you make $50,000/yr, you are in the top 1% of the world's wealthiest
· Two million children (mostly girls) will be traded in sex traffic this year
· There are more slaves in the world today than there have been in all points of history combined
· Women work two-thirds of the labor hours in the world, and they get paid less than 10% of the wages. And they own less than 1% of the property.
· There are 33 million refugees throughout the world
· The gap between the rich and the poor is growing. In 1820 the ratio was 4 to 1. In other words, the wealthiest person was four times as wealthy as the poorest person. In 1913 that ratio increased to 11 to 1. In 1950 it rose to 35 to 1. And in this last decade it rose to 75 to 1. So now, the wealthiest person is 75 times as wealthy as the poorest person.
· The biggest gap is found in China. The U.S. is in second place.
· The joblessness rate in the U.S. is now 10%. In the urban core it is over 30%
· The average church member gives 2.6% of his/her income. During the Depression Americans gave 3.3%.
· Just 2% of our giving goes overseas.