Micah’s Challenge to Our Next President (Guest post by Jason Alfonse Fileta)

When I speak at churches and campuses around the country I’m often met with people eager to break out of the “American dream”, and give away their money to the cause of ending extreme poverty. Don’t get me wrong—I welcome their donations, and celebrate this response, but I long to see the day when folks are just as compelled to steward their voices for the sake of the poor, as they are their coin. Enter Micah’s Challenge to Our Next President…

Our government makes decisions every day (ok, lets be honest—these days it’s once in a while), and some of those decisions have a major impact on the poor! As followers of Christ was can’t just turn a blind eye to what our leaders do, but rather must hold them accountable for their decisions. As a community we have been given a powerful voice–will we squander it, or will we use it to boldly proclaim that extreme poverty must end! At a time when government spending Washington needs to get under control the questions we must ask should include:

• Are we willing to stop providing life saving medications to 6.9 million people around the world in the name of fiscal discipline?
• Are we willing to stop the distribution of millions of insecticide treated bed nets to save money?
• Are we willing to shut off the flow of over $350 Million a year to trusted Christian organizations who implement poverty focused development aid (World Vision, World Relief, Food for the Hungry, the Salvation Army and many more of our favorite orgs)

Sadly, even if we stopped all poverty focused development aid for the purpose of reigning in spending we would still be facing massive problems because PFDA only makes up 0.5% of our federal budget! At Micah Challenge we believe it is critical that people of faith steward their God given voices and speak up for those in extreme poverty who lack representation this election season—That is why we’ve launched “Micah’s Challenge to Our Next President”.

From September 9-October 7 Churches around the country will break the rules–they’re going to talk about politics from the pulpit. OK, they’re not really breaking any official rules, just our social norms regarding church and elections. Micah’s Challenge to Our Next President is not a place for partisan politics, but rather a prayerful, powerful, and prophetic way for churches to engage with the presidential election. It is a time to proclaim that our God is a God of justice who has deep concern for the poor–and that as followers of Christ we share that conviction. Neither candidate or party has it right–we want to make sure both President Obama and Governor Romney know where we as Christians stand, and how we want them to respond to extreme poverty.

Add your voice at www.micahchallengeusa.org/challenge

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