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.

  • Why The 0.5% Commitment Matters

    Posted by Ben

    19 April, 2012

    "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:21). As many have noted, budgets are moral documents. To be sure they are political documents, and represent the outcome of a drawn-out, and sometimes bitter, process of contest and compromise. But they also reflect deep-rooted convictions and beliefs about what is necessary, what is good, what is worthy of investment. The budget is the Government's commitment of our shared resources to projects aimed at supporting the common good. In 2007, from Opposition, the Australian Labor Party made a historic commitment to increase Official Development Assistance (ODA) to 0.5% of Gross National Income (GNI) by 2015–16. This commitment was affirmed when Labor took office in 2007, and reaffirmed in 2010. It has become Coalition policy as well – so it is a bipartisan commitment. By the way, this bipartisan commitment amounts to investing just 50 cents of every $100 of national income in aid to the poor. Looked at that way, it's certainly not an overly generous… read more

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  • I'm tired of saving the world! (Some perspective please)

    Posted by John

    17 April, 2012

    It's a new year. I sit down around a table with a wide-eyed and passionate new batch of Micah Challenge interns. After some initial introductions, the first thing we do is to spend some time looking at the story of the prophet Micah. While most people know the famous challenge Micah issued to God’s people – to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8) – not many people actually know much about who Micah was. At the time Micah lived, the Israelites were under threat of invasion from the largest empire of the day – the Assyrians. The external pressure of potential exile was coupled with gross injustice within the nation – idolatry, oppression of the poor and misuse of power. Micah’s message into this context was not a popular one, but this 8th Century BC prophet was a courageous man who spoke God’s words to the people of Israel at a time when they weren’t particularly interested in listening. I make sure to spend some time in the story of Micah at the beginning of every year because it gives… read more

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  • Confessions of a first time letter writer

    Posted by Laura

    11 April, 2012

    I think the last time I went to Canberra was back in 2002, for a Year 6 excursion. Back then, the highlight was, undoubtedly, Questacon. I love that place! A few weeks ago, I spent two days in Canberra, but this time I was at Parliament House with the WASH Reference Group - representing 26 water and sanitation NGOs and academic research institutions. We met with politicians, and government agencies, with the specific purpose of talking about water, sanitation and hygiene. I'm far from being an expert at water and sanitation. But the more I'm learning about the impact that simple sanitation measures can have on the lives and well-being of people in the developing world, the more I'm becoming a fan of focusing our attention and aid dollars on that sector. The WASH Reference Group includes a huge range of expertise - engineers, public health practitioners and researchers, with specialties and experiences a number of different of countries, contexts and program types. The overwhelming feeling is that money spent on water and sanitation, is money well… read more

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  • Love Jesus and Love [Pure] Religion! (A response to a YouTube phenomenon)

    Posted by Matt

    10 April, 2012

    I’m unashamedly proud of my local church. We have an incredible impact on our local community, from cell groups that gather people together to share meals and fellowship in homes, to our op-shop-come-food-bank that gives real help to our marginalised neighbours, and our RESPONSE program connecting new refugee arrivals from the Congo with an Australian partner family. I’m also passionate about the global Church’s impact on the world’s most stubborn issues; things like racism, global poverty, human trafficking. When the Church unites, she is an unstoppable force for good that no one can stop. That’s why when I saw Jefferson Bethke’s YouTube sensation Why I Hate Religion but Love Jesus, something didn’t sit right. Are you one of the 20 million people who have watched the compelling video posted by 22-year-old Jefferson? What did you think? How did it leave you feeling? Pumped up? Justified in your own discontent with “the Church”? More in love with Jesus? Or perhaps confused ... wondering if you should hate… read more

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