The words Affluence and Affliction have different meanings. Affluence means the abundance of money, property other material goods which owned by the people like rich, privileged, and so on.
Whereas, affliction means some thing answerable for bodily or mental suffering, along with a disease, grief, and so on; and the afflicted may be poor, oppressed, sick and dying, marginalized etc.
Affluence and Affliction
The rich are mainly folks who are grasping, who take advantage of the terrible, who’re so bent on earning profits that they do not even permit themselves the time to accept an invite to a banquet (Luke, 14:18f); who do not notice the Lazarus at their gate (Luke, 16:20); who conduct a pleasure-seeking lifestyle but are nonetheless chocked by cares about those very riches (Luke, 8:14).
They are at the same time, slaves and worshipers of mammon and also the arrogant and the powerful who abuse power.
Most probably the word “affluence” and “affliction” is an economic mode. The rich and poor, the privileged and marginalized are being social beings living as objectified subjects of market forces and price mechanisms.
In our Indian context, affluence and affliction are not only economic but also socio-cultural in nature. The affluent in India do traditionally belong either to the dominant and forward castes or people groups. Their affluence is mainly due to their caste related socio-economic and cultural privileges bestowed on them at the time of birth and sanctioned by certain religio-cultural discourses and traditions.
The affluent are the so called ‘self’ in relation to those who are considered and treated as the ‘others’, the unwanted. This socio-cultural ‘selfing’ and ‘othering’ makes challenge to the social system as well as to the Christian mission.
The rich are doomed to conservatism because they want to hold on to what they have. The poor are powerless, often uneducated, restrained and not able to change their own future.
Perhaps the maximum inclined many of the poor are youngsters, ladies, the aged and the disabled. Feminist critiques have drawn attention to the truth that ladies go through poverty on a extra massive scale than guys notwithstanding the growth in women’s participation within the labour market.
These set of people can be another challenge for our mission and evangelism. In our churches we have both affluence and afflicted. In such a situation what would be our response or how do we deliver our message of salvation.
Mission Amidst of Afflicted
To interpret the work of the church as the “triumphing of souls” is to make conversion into a very last product.
Conversion does not concern merely to an individual’s act of conviction and commitment. But it moves the individual into the community of believers and involves a radical change in the life of the believer. Which carries with it moral responsibilities while at the same time stressing them to their obligation to others.
In Nazareth Jesus did not soar off into the heavenly heights but drew his listener’s attention to the altogether real conditions of the poor, the blind, the captives, and the oppressed. He announced the Jubilee, which would inaugurate a reversal of the miserable fate of the dispossessed, the oppressed; and the sick, by calling on the wealthy; and healthy to share with those who are victims of exploitation and tragic occasions.
Mission Amidst of Affluence
Jesus was very inclusive in terms of mission, that both the poor and the rich need salvation from different enslavements. The styles of enslavement fluctuate, that the unique sinfulness of the wealthy is different from the poor. Just as the materially rich can be spiritually poor, the materially poor can be spiritually rich not necessarily.
We all know the fact that for doing an effective mission we need money and property. We cannot take an attitude of un-touchability towards the affluence. And, we should not forget their presence and contribution for the church and for mission.
Jesus was not exclusively for the poor but he mingled with much affluence and made them confess for the betterment of the society.
From the gospel it’s far obtrusive that jesus had many dealings with rich people; similarly, in acts, we study about wealthy and prominent individuals who joined the christian community.
One such possible response is exemplified by Zacchaeus, the chief tax-collector of Jericho, whose conversion takes as concrete a form as his preceding transgression. He was ready to repay those he had exploited and give half of his possessions to the poor.
So our task of mission today amidst of affluence should be (Affluence and Affliction)
1. The Rich are to advise to make proper use of their riches in order to obtain salvation.
2. Those who Rich, they should invite to lead a simple life by the renunciation of wealth.
3. The rich are to be learnt to shift the trust that they have in wealth and the security in to radical faith in God.
4. They need to repent for the injustices done to the poor.
5. The rich are to be heard the Word, believe it and hold it fast.
Conclusion (Affluence and Affliction)
To be real to her mission, received from jesus, the church’s preferential option ought to be for the poor.
But the honest rich who sincerely interest in the life of the Church may sometimes feel neglected. When we understand the Gospel and accept the Good News; then we must try our best to resolve the tensions between the rich and the poor.
Then we come out to guide them and live in mutual help and cooperation; as done by the early Christian community in the Acts of the Apostles (2:42-47; 4:32).
Affluence and Affliction different meaning; affliction means answerable for bodily or mental suffering, and the afflicted may be poor, oppressed, sick and dying, marginalized.