Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Psalm for Thanksgiving

Psalm 100
Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.  Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful singing.  Know that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.  Give thaks to Him, bless His name.  For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Retort to the Reluctant


It is no secret that I am an orphan advocate. While I don't believe that everyone can or even should adopt a child, I do know without a doubt that every Christian has a roll to play in their care. Just like every Christian has a roll to play in helping the homeless and the imprisoned. I, as an individual, cannot possibly meet all of these needs. It is physically impossible to do. I am however part of a larger body, the body of Christ, and together we enable the group as a whole to fulfill all the needs set before us. If our church is not even attempting to meet these needs, well, that's another post, I am just setting the stage for what should be happening and how it gets done.

Back to orphan care specifically. I have heard it argued recently that perhaps it is not the Christian's responsibility to feed, clothe, help the poor and suffering (to include orphans). That really our responsibility is only to Christ's brothers and sisters (Christians). That since salvation is only for the called, then our responsibility is only to them. I believe that this argument takes you down the road of "there is no need to evangelize because the called are called and will come to Christ", but again, that is another post for another time. I will do what I can to keep on task. I will touch on it a bit, because it is an integral counter-point to the argument against helping all.

Are we really supposed to meet the needs of everyone? Lets see what Jesus did.

In Matthew 15:32-39, Jesus had been addressing a crowd of over 4,000. Verse 32 says, "I feel compassion for the people, because they have remained with Me now three days and have nothing to eat; I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way. "

Jesus preaches indiscriminately, and He feeds indiscriminately. He never says, "Here's a list of those who have become My brother. Feed them and send the others on their way." No. He gave His message to all and He fed them all.

Ezekiel 18:5,9b
If a man is righteous and practices justice and righteousness... but gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with clothing... "he is righteous and will surely live," declares the Lord God.

Mark 16:15-16
And he said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned."

The parable of the soils in Mark 4 likens us to sowers sowing seed on all kinds of soil. He doesn't tell us to only sow on the good soil. We sow the seed everywhere. It is for God to know His gift to the Son. We are the workers.

I could go on, I just wished to establish that we are not told to be discriminate in who we give help to. In Romans 12:20 we are even told explicitly to feed and quench the thirst of our enemies. We are to overcome evil with good.

God's heart for the orphan is clear. In 36 different places in the Bible orphans are mentioned and in all instances, we are either being exhorted to help and protect, someone is being condemned for not caring for the orphan, or God Himself is protecting them.

I am never going to write that YOU MUST ADOPT ORPHANS. What I will say is that you had best be doing something, and if the Holy Spirit is prompting you to act and you are fighting Him, woe to you. What are you thinking? Don't you trust Him? Don't you believe that He knows what's best for you? Are you really going to tell Him that what He has planned for you is just not right?

James 4:17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Orphan Sunday

Every 15 seconds another child becomes an orphan in Africa.
Every day 5,760 more children become orphans.
Every year 2,102,400 more children become orphans in Africa alone.
In Ukraine and Russia 10-15% of children who age out of the system commit suicide before age 18.
60% of the girls are lured into prostitution.
70% of the boys become hardened criminals.
Many of these children accept job offers that result in their being sold as slaves.


Proverbs 24:12
Once our eyes have been opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act.