27 May, 2010

A newsletter is circulating from a well known Christian Lobby who seem ever so keen to suggest that anyone who doesn't fit into line with their (very) select view of Justice and our faith in general is attacking the very root of our faith.
It's no great surprise that this newsletter attempt to rally support by sensationalizing - among other issues - "the big two" hot button issues of abortion and homosexuality.
Unfortunately I can't link the newsletter as it requires a sign-in but here is the gist -

"The laws originally designed to promote social justice for all minorities are being turned around and used against Christians by hostile secularists.
The simple belief and supporting fact that a child is better off with both a mother and a father is enough provocation for Christian organizations to be attacked and prosecuted"
"elites in the broadcast media and journalism take every opportunity to trash the faith, and important life issues such as views on adultery sites on the internet, abortion and euthanasia ... This hostile attack on Christian faith is intolerant and bigoted and demands forthright rejection."
"Christians need to become much more proactive in protecting their rights against such aggressively hostile secularism."

And so on and so forth...
Such views as this are being dished out more frequently of late and it of great concern.
As Christian's we are called to be passionate about JUSTICE, MERCY and COMPASSION and of course we need to take a stand on issues of justice and issues we believe impede the desire to see "His Kingdom Come". We need to be sure however not to get bogged down in propaganda and rhetoric in the effort to do so.

I suppose it is always wise to discern between what is an "attack" on our faith and what is merely opposition to the views of a certain section of believers who take a stand on the "hot button issues" (while neglecting the greater Gospel message of Christ's love, Grace and sacrifice). As ambassadors for Justice this is even moreso the case.

Unfortunately here in Australia some are starting to go down the path of right-wing American evangelicals in summoning up these issues in order to polarize public opinion and drive a wedge between us. All the while the greater justice concerns seem to be sidelined as we pursue a can't be won argument on these few - often misconstrued - arguments.

Let's of course debate, let's wrestle - it's how we learn and grow in faith but lets never get to the point where we say - for example - that because the Government is asking Christian based foster programs to consider gay couples that everyone of Christian faith is being attacked by secularists!

OF COURSE a loving Mother and Father is the most ideal way to raise a child but the whole reason these children are in care is because that ideal has failed them!
Surely a loving couple - no matter what sex - is better than no love at all (and a childhood in the child protection system).

Let's not forget that right now there are THOUSANDS of children in Australia awaiting foster care and adoption!
Would we deny these children the opportunity to live in a loving and stable home just because some of the more conservative in our faith have decided that to do so would be to denigrate our faith?

Abortion is OF COURSE a crying shame and an absolute justice issue, no one in their right mind could disagree.
However most people who have worked with or shared life with someone who has had to make this agonising decision would agree that criminalizing the act doesn't actually benefit anyone.
In the Philippines for example where abortion is illegal (owing to the Catholic faith of the President), MILLIONS of women died LAST YEAR from botched "at home" abortions. I ask you to stop right now and imagine for a moment what these women - many of them Christians - were going through in the moments before they died...
Is seeking protection for these - our most vulnerable - women an attack on the foundations of our faith or is it a legitimate justice issue?

One could argue that if Christians were doing their job in the first place there wouldn't be a need for this kind of rhetoric.
Where are the Christians when young girls become pregnant?
Where are the Christians when rape victims wrestle with what to do next?
Where are the Christians willing to open their door's to the rough, addicted, ADHD, violent young people so desperate for a loving home and second chance? (Where were they when circumstances that led to this child being so troubled began???)

Let's never confuse arguing with the ideals of a select few (who seem happy to apply Biblical mandate's to their own view of the world) with attacking those who live a life of true faith and hope in Jesus...

Maybe if we encouraged people to love and seek global justice in the name of Jesus rather than judge in the name of Jesus then the world would be a much better place...

10 May, 2010

Fairtrade Fortnight

Make The Big Swap and help make the world a better place.

Let’s get as many people as we can to swap as much as we can. Get active, challenge your friends and swap your usual stuff – your coffee, tea, bananas, chocolate – even your cotton tee shirt – to Fairtrade stuff.

The more we swap the bigger the impact we make on the lives of small-scale producers in developing countries. With 2bn people living on less than $2 a day - swapping your usual stuff for Fairtrade stuff helps create a better life for the coffee and cocoa growers, tea pluckers, cotton pickers and banana growers and their families. As well as a guaranteed minimum price, the extra Fairtrade Premium empowers growers to invest in the future for their communities and help themselves out of poverty. So get swapping!

06 May, 2010

Just Gifts Catelogue

The Just Gifts Catelogue. If you would like to place an order by mailing in cash, money order or cheque, please print it off, fill it in and mail it to us.

Just Gifts Catelogue

Human Trafficking - Spot the Traffick

A card with information regarding reporting any suspicious behaviour to help stop Human Trafficking.

Spot The Traffick

Human Trafficking - Commitment Card

A postcard sized commitment card to sign up to Stop the Traffick.

Commitment Card

Human Trafficking - A4 Poster

An A4 sized double sided information sheet on Human Trafficking.

A4 Poster

Human Trafficking - Survivor Bookmark

A bookmark sized information card on a survivor of Human Trafficking.

Survivor Bookmark

Human Trafficking - Prayer Guide

A prayer guide to help with focusing prayers on those who are victims of Human Trafficking.

Prayer Guide

Fairtrade - Start and Share Postcard

A postcard sized "Start and Share" Fairtrade card for encouraging others to use Fairtrade

Start and Share Postcard

Fairtrade - A4 Poster

An A4 size double sided Fairtrade information sheet.

A4 Poster

Fairtrade - Demand Card

Support Fairtrade demand cards to hand out to local shops and cafes.

Demand Card

Fairtrade - Coaster

A coaster size Fairtrade advertisement.