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.

  • The division that drives us

    Posted by Steve

    31 March, 2011

    There is an age old debate within the Christian faith; one that will not ever be permanently resolved this side of the second coming. It's the contentious "battle" between social justice and evangelism - global justice verses personal salvation; social worker verses street preacher. As someone who pours the majority of their energy into the field of international development and advocacy for the poor, I obviously have a propensity towards social justice a significant expression of my Christian faith. And to be honest it took me a very long time come to terms with those who couldn't see my side of the coin as clearly as I could. I recall conversations in years gone by where I've debated Christians who I know are more focused on the evangelism "side" of things than I am; but nothing I said was particularly effective in changing their minds, and nothing they said ever convinced me of the need to advance the gospel more overtly than I already was. My conviction was that God's Spirit would work through my life, deeds, love and (yes) words to draw people to himself,… read more

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  • Persistant prayer for justice (Luke 18)

    Posted by John

    15 March, 2011

    Unanswered prayer. What do those two words make you think about? What emotions do they raise? They make me think about injustice - because a vast majority of my prayers are requests that injustice would be replaced by justice - that God would make wrong things right. What happens to my faith when the thing I prayed to be made right remains wrong?I was thinking through these questions with some friends last week and I re-stumbled across a little parable in Luke 18:1-8. It's often referred to as the Parable of the persistent widow: Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.' "For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually come… read more

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  • Theology and good development

    Posted by Micah

    1 November, 2010

    By Steve Bevis, TEAR Australia's NSW Educator What can theology contribute to thinking about good development? What can theology contribute to the task of speaking out about the injustices of our world? Both pursuits have their own secular raison d'etre and long histories of critical reflection that have shaped the tools they use and the goals they aim for. Much of that critical reflection is helpful. Yet, as Christians, we first seek inspiration and guidance from God. Vinay Samuel and Chris Sugden pointed out in the 1980s that the way we think and act on issues of development is related both to our theology and to our worldview. On this issue, as with many others, our theology and worldview can really make a difference. As an example, Samuel and Sugden point out that Luther's extraordinary theological insight into salvation - that it is not the goal of life but its presupposition - led him to radically re-shape his worldview and to act in new ways. They relate that:Luther and his colleague Karlsdat made provision in Wittenberg for the city council to provide… read more

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  • Voices for Justice 2010 - stories of hope and prophetic engagement

    Posted by Micah

    30 June, 2010

    Reflections on Voices for Justice 2010 from John Mark Ministries The events of last week in Canberra were life-changing, and I'm not talking about that dramatic night when the Government brought down its own Prime Minister. I am talking about the annual Micah Challenge Voices for Justice conference. I first went to this event in 2008 and I said then that it was the best conference I have ever been to, as it was a perfect combination of learning and teaching, and then putting it all into practice. So it was with much excitement that about 320 of us made our way to the nation's capital to lobby our nation's leaders on behalf of millions who have no voice. The main asks of Voices for Justice this year were for the Australian Government to increase its overseas aid giving to 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) by 2015, and to increase action on climate change. The Government has already committed to spending 0.5% of GNI on aid by 2015. This is a commendable move, but it is not enough to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which Australia, along… read more

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