• The Church as Prophetic Voice

    Posted by Salome

    5 November, 2014

    We interviewed Charles Newington, Senior Pastor of ACC-affiliated Cornerstone Christian Church and Rev Susan Pickering, Senior Minister of West End Uniting Church in Brisbane about the actions their churches are taking in conjunction with our Shine the Light campaign for the G20. 

    It’s a great insight into why Brisbane Christians are feeling the call to engage with tax injustice, and inspiring for those of us who aren’t in Brisbane, but can nonetheless take action by adding our voice to theirs.

    How is your church engaging in the Shine the Light Brisbane weekend?

    Charles: We are engaged in a Worship and Justice Evening. Our Youth Group and Young Adults in particular, but everyone has a real interest in hearing Tim Costello and Bishop Ephraim speaking on the issues. We certainly work at being both a worshiping community and also actively and practically involved in justice and equity of opportunity.  

    Susan: West End Uniting Church will be hosting a prayer and meditation service on the Saturday morning before the Public Action in Brisbane.

    Whyhas your church decided to partner with Micah Challenge in this campaign against global tax dodging?

    Charles: It is a matter of justice in the large and gracious sense of the Kingdom – to encourage powerful capitalism and power elites to see how working together for the benefit of all members of their societies is good economic sense, not just good moral sense.

    Susan: We see this as great opportunity to partner with other churches and faith organizations, an opportunity to speak with one voice against an issue of injustice. While there may be different doctrines and theologies within churches and organizations one core call to discipleship is to be a prophetic voice and stand up against injustice and this is a great chance to do just that.

    Do you think your church members know much about this issue of global tax dodging and its impact on the poor? How have people responded to the issue?

    Charles: I see Micah Challenge’s involvement as a way of educating Christians in an element of global economics. We may not consider these issues without the encouragement of the G20 bringing global economic issues to our door.

    Susan: The issue of global tax dodging was recently a sermon theme for the Sunday morning. I don't think many people are fully aware of the issue and/or its impact on the poorest most vulnerable people in our world. People responded by discussing the issue and hopefully will be participating as fully as possible in the weekend of action.

    How do you think Brisbane Christians can maximise the opportunity provided by the G20 Summit next November?

    Charles: It gives us an opportunity to deepen local understanding of global issues. Such education can inform our prayers and how we engage in the Great Commission. We can make friends with the world; we can build on the perception that Australia is generally a good world citizen, a good neighbour and helpful in resolving regional disputes and issues.

    Susan: We see this as an opportunity to be the prophetic voice that we are called to be, to call the world's leaders to listen and respond. It's an opportunity to be distinguishable, protesting non-violently and peacefully yet actively. It's an opportunity to unite our voices on issues of injustice affecting the poor and vulnerable in our world.

    To add your voice to Brisbane Christians, and others around the world who are urging G20 leaders to take action on tax dodging and corruption, go to www.shinethelight.com.au. To join us in 10 days of prayer around the G20 (7-16 Nov), download our prayer guide here.


    Salome Nel is the 2014 Communications Intern at Micah Challenge Australia.