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.

  • Keeping the poor in their place

    Posted by Nils

    5 December, 2011

    India is a land like no other; both ancient and modern, with depths of poverty alongside the most extreme of riches. I recently returned from this fascinating nation where I was fortunate enough to see some of the work that World Vision is doing with street children and injecting drug users. My experience of this land of contrasts had a profound impact on me, particularly on my thoughts about the Gospel and poverty. The place where we were staying was in a satellite city about 20km outside of New Delhi, and driving into New Delhi itself required everyone to go through toll gates. Because of the nature of traffic in India, all the cars approaching the toll gates very quickly formed into a bottle-neck. And while we were sitting there in the car, beggars came up and knocked on the windows asking for anything to improve their meagre daily existence. Most of the beggars seemed to be women who were holding young babies. We were told later that some women “rent” babies in order to gain more sympathy. At the toll gates, many people ignore them and avoid… read more

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  • Biblical politics

    Posted by Nils

    8 November, 2011

    Sojourners recently posted a great blog on biblical politics by American theologian, Jim Wallis. The comment that stood out to me was: “If you work with and for the poor, you inevitably run into injustice. In other words, poverty isn’t caused by accident. There are unjust systems and structures that create and perpetuate poverty and human suffering. And service alone is never enough; working to change both the attitudes and institutional arrangements that cause poverty is required.” I remember a story a former colleague told once about when his small group watched the movie Bruce Almighty in which the main character gets to play God for a day. The small group discussed what they would do if they had the opportunity to be God for a day, and the main response was that they would redistribute all the wealth in the world so that everyone had the same. But then came the comment that the next day things would be unequal again because of systems that are in place that perpetuate inequality. Thus the need for justice and changing structures, and not… read more

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  • The poor in spirit

    Posted by Micah

    6 September, 2011

    I've always thought it's a cop-out for Christian development workers working in poor communities to say, "Well, even if these people still can't feed themselves, at least now they've prayed the sinner's prayer." But lately I've been thinking it's more than a cop-out-it's just wrong. Many Christian aid and development agencies, including those involved with the Micah Challenge coalition seek to address the needs of a child living in poverty across many different areas of his or her life. We call this approach holistic child development: programs that strive to meet not only a child's physical needs but their spiritual, economic, social and emotional needs as well. The solutions to some of those needs are clear, even though achieving them might not be simple. An economic need requires money, employment and skills. Physical needs are met through food, water and healthcare. I get a bit stuck on meeting spiritual needs though, I admit. Isn't that a pastor's job, or the Sunday school teacher? Or better yet-the parents of the child? Better still, what if we wait until… read more

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  • C.S. Lewis - Giving more than we can spare...

    Posted by Marissa

    30 August, 2011

    "Charity---giving to the poor---is an essential part of Christian morality: in the frightening parable of the sheep and the goats it seems to be the point on which everything turns. Some people nowadays say that charity ought to be unnecessary and that instead of giving to the poor we ought to be producing a society in which there were no poor to give to. They may be quite right in saying that we ought to produce this kind of society. But if anyone thinks that, as a consequence, you can stop giving in the meantime, then he has parted company with all Christian morality. I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare." (CS Lewis, Mere Christianity) Lately, as we all have, I have been confronted with the global situations, like the famine in East Africa, and the question of how we, as Christians, should respond. I find the question of Christian responsibility to give to charity a tricky one, but one that I feel compelled to engage with none the less. I think it's important to try to… read more

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