Thursday, September 4, 2008

On Eliminating the Foster Care System...

Filed under: "Because it needs to be said..."
The Resurgence Blog has a blog entitled, "Orphans vs. American Dream." In it, Anthony Bradley asks, "Why are there 115,000 orphans in a country that has over 224 million Christians...? Let's break this down further. The Washington Times reports that there are about 65 million evangelicals in America. So, again, why are there 115,000 orphans in America's foster care system?"

He lays down the challenge...
Some wonder how this is possible in a country with Christian families. Surely, there are 115,000 missional families in America, right? Missional families, for example, embrace the redemptive mission of God and practice "true religion" in their local communities (James 1:27). Missional Christians in America could eliminate the foster care system tomorrow if we would stop "shootin' up" with the American Dream (heroine) in order to get high on a lame life lived for the sake of comfort and ease.

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world," writes James (1:27). As a matter of fact, the Bible has over 40 verses mandating God's people to look after orphans and the fatherless for various reasons.

According to the American Religious Identity Survey, conducted by the City University of New York, there are over 224 million Christians in the United States. So, why are there 115,000 orphans in a country that has over 224 million Christians...?

...If your church is not cultivating an ethos that practices "true religion" it may not be missional at all. It may be dying or sinking into a consumeristic, entertainment quicksand where people come to have their "felt needs" stroked. Your pastor might wear "cool" clothes, have a "cool" blog, or be in the process of trying to make God and Jesus androgynous but God seems to care that his people are being led by capable men who lead the rest of God's people in bringing the Kingdom to their local neighborhood in all its forms.

While not all Christians are gifted or equipped for taking in orphans it's pretty convicting that 65 million American evangelicals can't rescue 115,000 kids from an unstable hell.
'Nuff said. Time to step up to the plate.



Joshua said...

The Prophets frequently indict the Covenant people for forsaking their responsibilities to the poor, orphaned, and widowed. Indeed, often the Covenant people were the ones driving these humiliated ones deeper into their poverty and shame.

If the opulence, wealth, and ease of Israel and Judah are anything like ours, if the effeminacy of their leaders with regard to God's Word is anything like ours, if the compromising of doctrine and practice of God's Covenant people in the days of old is anything like it is in our day, then let us fervently pray for the Lord's mercy and the renewal of our hearts in the truth, for what can follow upon such neglect but the hardening of hearts and the willful blinding of minds to the truth, if not the Lord spare us?

ninepoundhammer said...

Speaking for myself, I used to think that only folks who could not have their own children adopted (as silly as that seems now). However, the example of several WPC families (such as yours) and the discussion such as this one on your blog has caused me to reasses my thinking. I always thought of adoption as filling a void in a family (which it can be) rather than a rescue operation.

Ashlee and I have discussed adopting a child(ren) recently. I don't know how that will play out, as we are in the midst of building a family full of small children of our own as we speak. Bit it is something I have been thinking and praying about lately.

Joshua said...

Good for you Matt!

I believe that true Christianity spreads best by means of godly parents passing on their faith to their children. Opportunities abound both biologically and through adoption. May the Lord lead you to His will for your family as you and Ashley consider all the possibilities that are good in God's sight.

Joshua said...

Sorry, I misspelled Ashlee's name.

John said...

Matt, glad to hear of your thinking on this. I think your older thoughts about adoption only if one cannot have one's own kids is very prevalent, and carries the day even among Christians. I'm glad folks are awakening to our call in this, and will be praying for you and yours.

John said...


I couldn't have said it better myself!

Nan said...

You know, it's something that has been on my heart always... ever since I was a child. But I will be quite honest. Life with my brother was very difficult. Very, very difficult and it was punctuated by his early and tragic death. So part of me looks at the concept with the eyes of, "How will this effect the children I already have in my care."

I wish that there were huge stores of Christian donated monies to help those families who would like to adopt orphans do so without the financial strain.

It is something I'm working up to... something I've mentioned to Shawn several times and something that he is not yet ready for. But I think if you keep working on him and God keeps working on my hang ups, we may eventually end up there.

Hannah D A said...

This is good John. . .now if I could just get Kevin to read it. . .hmmm.