Tuesday, July 6, 2010

More than a Metaphor

Thanks to one of the partners at Dustin's firm, Pete Bridge, Dustin brought home an outstanding article found in the July issue of Christianity Today, written by Russell D. Moore, on adoption and orphan care.  I just have to share a few excerpts with you.  I hope it challenges and encourages you as much as it did me - I had never considered the idea of adoption, as it relates to the theology of my faith, until reading this...  I had always generally perceived it as more of a social issue or call to action out of obedience to our Creator but this broadened my understanding to include a beautiful picture of how we all have been "adopted" into the arms of God - good stuff...

"We see something of God's fatherhood in our relationship with our human fathers... the same principle is at work in adoption.  Adoption is, on one hand, gospel.  Our identity and inheritance are grounded in our adoption in Christ.  Adoption is also mission.  In this, our adoption spurs us to join Christ in advocating for the poor, the marginalized, the abandoned, and the fatherless.  Without the theological aspect, the growing Christian emphasis on orphan care too often seems like one more cause wristband for compassionate conservative evangelicals to wear until the trend dies down.  Without the missional aspect, the doctrine of adoption too easily becomes mere metaphor, just another way to say "saved"...

*this next part is my very favorite!!!

..."There are no "adopted children" of God, as on ongoing category.  Adoption tells us how we came into the family of God.  And once we are here, no distinction is drawn between those at the dinner table. Love based on the preservation and protection of genetic material makes sense in a Darwinian - not a Christian - view of reality.  The adoption and orphan care movement teaches us something revolutionary about the [redeemed]... Would our gospel be more credible if "church family" wasn't just a slogan, if "brothers and sisters" was more than metaphor?  What would happen if the world saw fewer "black churches" and "white churches", fewer "blue-collar churches" and "white-collar churches" and fewer baby boomer and emerging churches, and saw more churches whose members have little in common except being saved by the gospel?  ... [The demonic rulers of the age] would prefer that we find our identity and inheritance in what we can see and verify as ours - the flesh - rather than according to the veiled rhythms of the Spirit.  Orphan care isn't charity; it's spiritual warfare."

Hmmm... chew on that for a few minutes - challenging stuff!  Thanks Pete!

1 comment:

  1. I have heard this comparison many times over the last several years. I really like the way it was put in your first bolded quote though. Good stuff.

    :) Krista

    (Is bolded not a word? Spell check doesn't seem to like it. Boldened? Nope. That doesn't work either. Hmm.)