Micah Challenge Australia Blog

 

The Micah Challenge blog is a space for discussion and debate about the issues of global poverty, faith, advocacy and justice and the Millennium Development Goals. This blog aims to provoke thought and challenge you to learn more about the issues discussed. We welcome your comments.

Micah Challenge is a global campaign of Christians speaking out against poverty and injustice. Click here to visit the Micah Challenge website.

  • Can you measure happiness?

    Posted by Amanda

    6 February, 2012

    Ever since the economic crisis, people have been questioning whether money = happiness. For years we were told that economic growth was vital for our well-being and the best way to help keep the economic engine healthy was to spend. Japan, with economic growth of 1% pa (or less) was like a spluttering 4-door sedan compared with India and China's turbo-charged growth of over 8%. You just need to look at some recent headlines from Bloomberg's Business Week to get the picture – "What's New for China's Miracle", "A Thousand Desires Bloom" and "India's New Worldly Women". More was good and happiness was shopping, as confirmed in a blog from the Economist. But times change. It's OK to save, to enjoy simple pleasures and to be content with less. Of course, Christians should applaud this trend as it echoes the biblical truth that pursuing wealth at the expense of others is unwise, greedy and even, ungodly. Some economists and politicians now talk of national well-being in terms broader and deeper than… read more

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  • Jesus' approach to poverty

    Posted by Nils

    17 January, 2012

    Towards the end of last year I discussed on this blog how we keep the poor in their place. As I think about this, I immediately think of the contrast between this attitude and that of how Jesus treated people, and how, in doing so, he turned the social order completely upside down. Let’s look at some examples from the Gospels. Firstly, there is the story of the woman at the well in John 4. When the disciples return to the well after having gone into town, they are astonished that Jesus had even been speaking to the woman. And what's more, he even asked her for something. The Son of God expressed neediness to a “nobody”, and in doing so, affirmed her dignity as a person of worth. Another story to consider in this context is that of the woman with the flow of blood, told in all three synoptic gospels. This is another situation in which Jesus affirms a “nobody”, and he does so in front of everyone. Think of what that would have meant to the woman. Having a constant flow of blood, she would likely not have been able to have children.… read more

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  • Biblical power

    Posted by Marissa

    12 January, 2012

    Towards the end of last year, Andrew Sloane, a great friend of Micah Challenge and Chair of our Theology Working Group, presented a paper he wrote called ‘Justifying Advocacy’. Some Christians might wonder, “What does this ‘advocacy business’ have to do with my faith?” Or at the other end of the spectrum some of you might exclaim, “Why do we even have to justify advocacy?? Let’s get out there and do it!” The question of what the mission of the gospel looks like for Christians is well worth pondering, and I found Andrew’s paper really helpful in unpacking biblical advocacy and the pattern of justice that God has set out for us. One of the main aspects of understanding advocacy is to wrestle with concept of power. When we look in the bible, there are power structures evident in every narrative. But theologically, God gives political power and authority to individuals for the good of those without power. The Old Testament contains many examples of how God intended power to be used in the society of Israel,… read more

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  • Celebration or Mourning?

    Posted by John

    22 December, 2011

    It’s just a few days out from Christmas. The last weeks have been filled with work parties, Christmas drinks, family gatherings and final catch-ups with friends for the year. A time for celebration! Celebration is something I like to do well. At the same time, at work I’m looking back at the past year at Micah Challenge. Thinking about work for me necessarily means thinking about global poverty and the significant problems faced by so many in our world. As always, reflecting gives me good reason for mourning. Celebration or mourning? They don’t seem to go together. Can I really celebrate this Christmas when I know the reality of the pain and suffering in our world? As I see it, there are 3 possible responses to that question: Option 1: Mourning wins – in this case I feel guilty about celebrating when there is so much pain, so I don’t celebrate Option 2: Celebration wins – this is the option that most people take – I switch off the problems in my mind (either consciously or sub-consciously) so that I can celebrate… read more

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