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 beauty of repentant prayer

    Posted by Rebekah

    20 February, 2012

    “I used to spend a lot of energy asking God questions. Why must poverty persist in a rich country like the USA? Why does one continent, Africa, absorb like a sponge so many of the world’s disasters? When will ‘peace on earth’ ever arrive? Ultimately, I came to see these questions as God’s interrogations of us. Jesus made clear God’s will for the planet – what part am I playing to help fulfil that will?” – Philip Yancey, ‘Prayer - Does it Make Any Difference?' I often catch myself thinking about poverty as something outside of myself; something disconnected from the real world in which I live, day to day. It is hard to fathom that while I sit at my kitchen table each morning eating my muesli and yoghurt, starvation is a reality for a large majority of our fellow humanity. It’s so easy to maintain this disconnection and not stop to consider that I may somehow, in some way, actually be responsible for the poverty in our world. Poverty is often real enough to us that we can rant about the… read more

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  • Too cynical not to pray

    Posted by John

    16 February, 2012

    Are you like me? Do you get so wrapped up in everything on the to-do list that you forget to pray? But is it really forgetfulness? If I'm honest, if I really believed in the power and importance of prayer (and I do!), surely I wouldn't forget to do it. There must be other reasons why prayer slips down the agenda of importance. About 15 years ago, a mega-church pastor from the US, Bill Hybels, released a book entitled Too Busy not to Pray - the implication in the title is obviously that the busyness of life is a reason to spend more time in prayer rather than less. I wonder whether there is need for a second book in the series called 'Too cynical not to pray'? There is a potential drift into cynicism that happens when people of faith get seriously engaged in the issues of our world. I know from experience that it is hard to be persistent in prayer when you are daily confronted with the reality of brokenness in our world. I long for God to intervene in that brokenness, but I don't always seem to get what I long for. Consistent injustice and evil… read more

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  • India and the gospels

    Posted by Nils

    14 February, 2012

    Poverty is in your face in India. It is a constant daily reality that cannot be ignored. As I tried to allow the reality of what I saw in India impact me, I was struck by how much the Gospel comes more alive in such a place, where social norms are much closer to how they were back in biblical times. There is a distinct class difference in India, mainly because of the caste system, which, while officially outlawed, still determines people’s lot in life. While India is making swift economic advances, it is crucial to remember that, in the DNA of of the country, economic growth is not inclusive. This fact is put in perspective when we remember that there are 836 million poor people in India and only 200 million non-poor, despite extraordinary economic growth of recent years. The Gospel came more alive to me in India because it was easier to see how it is the answer to poverty in India. In Hinduism, which still forms the background of much Indian culture, to aspire to something more than what you are is a sin. So, as always when approaching the Gospel, you need… 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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