These thoughts have been bouncing around in my head a lot lately, and then today I found them well-said on Len Hjalmerson's blog:

"[The subject] of wealth and poverty is one of the most pervasive biblical themes.. In the New Testament there are more than five hundred verses of direct teaching on the subject, one out of every sixteen verses (not including implicit teaching in the actions of Jesus and the disciples). Jesus talked about wealth and poverty more than any other subject including heaven and hell and sexual morality.

"Wealth is seen, at best, as a great spiritual danger and, most often, as an absolute hindrance to God. The rich are continually held responsible for the sufferings of the poor, while God is portrayed as the deliverer of the oppressed.

"Yahweh demanded justice and righteousness and declared that nations would be judged by how they treated the poor..

"Jesus is God made poor. .His coming was prophesied to bring social revolution, and his kingdom would turn things upside down.. Jesus Himself identified with the weak, the downtrodden, the outcast...

"The Bible often refers to the oppressed, the alien, the stranger, the orphan, and the widow. These are the defenseless ones, the powerless, the disenfranchised, the voiceless ones at the bottom of the social structure. But by his relationship with the poor, Jesus establishes their value. So must the church. The Christian point of view must be that of those at the bottom. Their rights and needs should always be the most determinative elements of the church's social stance."

Jim Wallis, The Call to Conversion