Povertywith its concomitant effects of alienation, marginalization and dependency posed serious challenge to the church and society in Nigeria.Both the Old and New Testaments condemned the dehumanization and neglect of the poor in the church community.Using the methodology of the popular reading paradigm to read Luke 16:19-31, the paper aimed at discouraging the dehumanization of the poor in the church and in the society. The study showed that both in the immediate and contemporary milieus of interpretation, the poor were ill-treated by some few rich persons in the society. Moreover, giving the poor a more human face can reshapen the economic and psychological disposition of the poor when they come around the rich. Some theological lessons derived from the study of Luke 16:19-31 showed that un-generosity towards the poor is a sin, status in God’s view is immaterial when dealing with others, dehumanization of poor people in the society is inhuman, a rich Christian must care for the less-privileged in the Church and society, a juxtaposition of the present and the afterlife gives the true picture of real life.This study was concluded on the presupposition that poverty alleviation in the Nigeria is possible if the church and the society (government) can do drastic poverty alleviation programme that can adequately address the economic situation of the poor beyond just feeding them.
Keywords: Nigerian Context, Rich Man, Story of Lazarus
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