God loves the orphans of this world. The Bible is very clear about this. Deuteronomy says God executes justice for the orphans. Psalm 10 recognizes God is the helper of the orphan. God instructed the people of Israel to leave a portion of their harvest for the orphans to gather, and to give alms to orphans so they may eat and be satisfied. The implication is clear. God’s people must care about, provide for, and defend orphans against poverty, oppression and injustice in whatever ways they are providentially enabled to.
It is a profoundly sad reality that so many children are without parents to be loved by and provided for. Scripture paints the grievously accurate picture that orphans are greatly disadvantaged and most often socially oppressed. They are often used as an example of the epitome of being “down-and-out.” If God’s government always worked properly (without the effects of sin) nobody would be left without a father and mother. Before establishing the church, God established the institution of marriage and the family. Not having parents is one of the more tragic consequences brought about by original sin.
God’s New Testament government has not changed in its broad applications about orphans. James tells us that one way true religion acts is in helping orphans (and widows) in their affliction. I like what Pastor Mike Conroy of Grace Fellowship in Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania, says about this. He writes, “Orphan care, by itself, will not give us a religion that is pleasing to God. Orphan care, by itself, is not pure religion. But, it is part of it. Why would religion that visits orphans in their affliction please God? Because that is precisely how God has treated us.” It is important for Christians to realize that we were all once orphans, destitute, without caregivers, and oppressed. That has all changed. In Christ we are adopted by our heavenly Father, and are called God’s children. We are no longer fatherless. We have a heavenly Father who cares for our every need, embraces us in His loving arms, welcomes us into His heavenly home, and grants us all the privileges of sonship. As people who have been forgiven much, we are to be forgiving. As people who have received mercy, we are to be merciful. As people who have been defended and visited in our need as spiritual orphans, we must also visit afflicted and helpless orphans in their time of need. We can help free them from poverty and oppression as surely as Christ has freed us from the poverty and oppression of sin!
Adoption is one example of our lives striving together with God’s Spirit to combat the effects the Fall and illustrate the saving effects of the gospel. As a people of God, when we visit orphans in their time of need, we are being used as vessels for the outpouring of the goodness of God. When we reach out to the less fortunate, such as the orphan, we help the world to see that what is cultivated and produced in a Christian’s heart as a result of the sacrifice and suffering of Christ on the cross. His love for us causes us to overflow in love for others. He produces in us an outpouring of goodness, love, blessing, and joy because our hearts have been embraced and transformed by the adopting Spirit of God. Not only that, but in a unique and particular way, those who adopt become imitators of God who is adopting people into His family every day. Adoption is a living picture of the saving love of God in action.
It is for these reasons that the elders of Christ Community Church recently decided it would be right and good to establish an adoption fund in our church. The fund is a way for us to “visit orphans” and contribute financially to help those in our church family who desire to adopt but may not have all the means to fulfill that desire. We believe adoption is a noble and worthy pursuit when it is motivated by the love of Christ. By engaging this way to help those with that desire we ALL are able to share in the joy together!
If it is in your heart to care for orphans and to help others with the adoption process, you may write a check to CCC (Christ Community Church) and write “Adoption Fund” on the memo line. Please understand that in order for gifts to the church to be tax deductible, monies cannot be designated for individuals or particular families. As with all giving of this nature (e.g., the benevolent fund), there will be people appointed to oversee the fund and ensure that the money is being distributed in a God-honoring way. We will follow a model that has been established and tested by other like-minded local churches. Members should understand that we believe this giving should be over and above your regular giving to God (we are trusting that you DO give regularly, cheerfully, according to your means, and as you have purposed in your heart — 2 Cor 8:12, 9:5, 7). While we will accept gifts from anyone, the funds will be distributed only to benefit member families in their pursuit of adopting. For our Red Barn Church family, this is a small step toward embracing a larger vision of what God is desiring to do in the world (care and justice for the orphan), and to see that mission moving forward in our own church body.
We encourage you to consider your role in this important divine purpose. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask us about it.