“The protection of children isn’t charity. It isn’t part of a political program fitting somewhere between tax cuts and gun rights or between carbon emission caps and a national service corps. It’s spiritual warfare.”Russell Moore, Adopted For Life.
Adoption is a privilege. And for the Christian, adoption is a priority.
Last Sunday our Church officially launched what we have called The Park Adoption Fund. This has been a labor of love for the better part of the last year and truly it is pretty special to begin to see the ripple effects not only throughout our own church at Park South Loop, but through all the locations of Park Community Church across Chicago.
Where suffering and hurting exist, God’s people have always been called to enter in. In this regard the Church models their master, the Lord Jesus. Jesus had a way about Him in which He always seemed to be spending time and caring for the marginalized and disenfranchised, the hurting and the poor, the outcast and the weak.
While certainly Church history bears scars of our weakest moments and greatest mistakes, it also bears great marks of the Lord’s great accomplishments and areas to look back at in great fondness and celebration at what was accomplished through God’s Church. One of those great marks of the Spirit of God expanding the Kingdom of God through His people has been the Church’s bold declaration that we are a people who care for orphans.
Going all the way back to the time of the Roman Empire, it was Christians emboldened by their faith and their Scriptures that brought about the end to the wicked practices of Infant Exposure (a commonly accepted practice in the Roman Empire of discarding unwanted children onto the streets and “exposing” them to the nature for the purpose of their death). Christians living in that time would not leave children to suffer, rather they stepped in and adopted thousands upon thousands of children. During those days adoption became one of the Church’s loudest proclamations of their faith. When others looked in on the early church’s sacrificial adoptive love and asked “Why,” the Church would respond with the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Throughout history the Church has established orphanages around the globe and has always led the way in adoption. Why? Because adoption is so central to Gospel.
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.“Galatians 4:4–7 (ESV)
We have watched as the Spirit of God has already boldly called many in our Church to step into the care of orphans in different ways. Some have become foster parents, others adoptive parents, others Safe Families, others have supported families who are engaged in orphan care through gifts of strollers, car seats, and diapers, others have prayed, and still others have done countless deeds that have contributed to where we are today.
Our prayer with this fund is that it would be used to adopt and care for many orphans in our day. That the Church would be mobilized to care for those who are so easily forgotten. And that the world might notice the power of the Gospel in the Lord’s Church.