Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Pro-Life


In community, (and outside our walls), some of us have been asking how much we can really talk about being pro-life, if we ourselves are unwilling to provide homes for the unwanted unborn.
I remember several months ago, Brian B. said that he thought that perhaps one shouldn't even speak out against abortions, unless they had adopted, (or were willing to). He was met with some pretty fierce reactions. I think that the topic came up because I asked what injustice most concerned those gathered with us, and abortion came up.

Today I saw a question quoted from the StillHaventFound blog site:


"America has nearly 115,000 orphaned kids in foster care waiting to be adopted. 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."



Many critics of conservative ministries like Dobson's, Focus on the Family, criticize them primarily because the causes that they rally against have no impact on supporters lives. It costs me nothing to lobby against gay marriage, or for protection of fetuses.

What does it day about the way that we view "this world" and its comforts if we are unwilling to become uncomfortable.

So what are your thoughts? Are you rushing out to adopt the unwanted? Do we have an obligation as Jesus followers? Should our unwillingness to pull our families into adopting another impact our stance on abortion?

I personally have a lot of thinking to do, as I won't even adopt a dog unless it is a pure breed under 4 months old.

15 comments:

heidibelle said...

Wow, I am of the opinion, that if something is convicting us, the Holy Spirit is using that in our lives to do the Fathers Will. I think it would be phenomenal if all the missional families adopted one child. We are hoping to adopt from where we end up living overseas. To change that child's life, for eternity. I also hope it hels our children see and realize that there are so many others who need our love and more importantly, Jesus's love. I know we will get a lot of 'Christian' talk about being responsible and focusing on the 'misson' work. But if we aren't loving children, who are we reaching???

Ryan said...

That's a great perspective Heidi, I look forward to hearing more about that journey when it comes.
The site where I got the original question from continues:

…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. If the pagans in our neighborhoods aren’t struck by how our churches are applying the Word of God to the needy it’s possible that we aren’t the real deal yet.

mandrews said...

I totally agree with this whole thing. We are Christians are called to take care of the widows and the orphans (along with everyone else) so how can we even begin to say anything about being pro-life when we aren't even willing to support the products of non-abortions. I know personally I have always been planning on adopting. We will see what God has in store for me, but I hope and pray that I am mentally, financially, emotionally, and spiritually able to do so.

p.s. I like what Heidi said about "if we aren't loving children, who are we reaching?" I also want to point out that if we aren't loving the unwanted, who else is going to love them? Jesus loved those ragamuffins and did wonderful things with them and we are called to do the same.

Christine H. said...

I understand and mainly agree with all of you. I must say that I AM pro-life and I support the pro-life cause financially and by marching in pro-life walks, etc. But I do not feel led by God to adopt a child. And that's okay. I can still call myself pro-life. And that's okay. That's my take on it, for what it's worth. It's hard to get too deep right now while Autumn is sitting on my lap grabbing the keyboard.

frisky said...

Why don't we as Christians hand out free birth control? That would alleviate a lot. Or would that be "bad"?

Ryan said...

I appreciate your suggestion about the pill. Maybe that would help alleviate the need for many abortions, but it's tricky because many forms of birth control, including Ortho-Cyclen and Ortho Tri-Cyclen, as well as IUD, prevent Implantation of a fertilized egg either as a primary form of birth control, or as a secondary back up function. If you believe that life begins at conception, then these devices/drugs themselves are causing abortions...what ever our response, we at least want to be consistent...right?

Dave & Katie said...

Really great thoughts. I don't know if there's really a right or wrong answer. I think the important thing is to continue to walk faithfully with the Lord. Whether you choose to adopt or not is not nearly an issue as just walking with the Lord and seeking his will in this decision. Dave and I have a strong desire to adopt and a big part of that is because I was adopted. When I think about where I could be if I hadn't of been adopted I think wow, the Lord is truly gracious to me. It definitely puts a new perspective on Ephesians 1 where it talks about being adopted into the Lord's family.

Ryan said...

Katie, I think that I understand what you are saying when you said:

I think the important thing is to continue to walk faithfully with the Lord. Whether you choose to adopt or not is not nearly an issue as just walking with the Lord and seeking his will in this decision.

but I'm not sure that Scripture gives us that leeway:

James 1:27
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.

Malachi 3:5
"So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me," says the LORD Almighty.


Maybe I fear that taking care of the fatherless is a core tenant of following Jesus, maybe equivalent to "evangelicals" asking if you have Jesus in your heart.

Regardless though, with verses like these, I don't think that we can be on the fence about it. But I do acknowledge that we can support orphans in ways other than actually adopting. Maybe it is supporting financially, other families that would actually like to adopt but can't. So, imo how we help them might be open to interpretation, but not their plight.

Dave & Katie said...

Ya, sorry I didn't clearly explain what I was thinking. I definitely believe that as Christians it's our responsibility to look after orphans and widows, but I don't think the answer to that is simply to adopt a child.

ATSmith said...

I think I need to think about this a bit more before really commenting.

Christine H. said...

I think the issue is not in adopting or not adopting. I think it is whether we are in God's will in adopting or not. I firmly believe that it is not God's will for all to adopt. Real case in point: I know a couple who wants to adopt (in Ariz.) and they are financially not at a place where they can make the next rent payment and buy groceries, let alone adopt a child (they actually want more than one child). They are very bad stewards of their money and consistently making bad choices. Do I think it's God's will that they adopt a child, or two? I strongly think not.

In our case, we do not feel led by the Lord to adopt a child, or even have abother child of our own. Our firstborn is a very strong-willed girl who needs a lot of working with so she doesn't end up being one of those teens that no one can stand. : ) And, we just don't think we can handle more kids. That is a wise choice on our part, I believe. And I believe we are in God's will in making that decision. (Of course, if our friends in Colorado ever die, we'd instantly be a family of 7 because we are the next legal guardians for their 3 kids. So, in that case, we are open to adoption.)

Instead, we pour our lives (outside of our own kids) into the lives of teens--opening our home to those "unwanted" teens in the Ojai Valley. That is what we have been called to do by God and we are in His will doing that.

Okay, so I statred out this long comment with a point, and now I've forgotten...mommy brain--proof that I can't handle one more kid. : )

But I will say this: I love this particular post, Ryan, because it's sparked some great "conversation."

Kari Rodems said...

I was adopted. This is an issue close to my heart and life experience. Not everyone, even those of us who are seeking to serve the Lord with all of our hearts are called to be parents. Just like not all of us are called to be teachers, or preachers or you name it. We are called to love.. to care and to relfect the one who was sent to save us. How that plays it self out in a life well lived for the Lord depends upon the call He has placed on your life. I just don't believe everyone was purposed to be a parent. It is a huge calling and not one to be entered into to establish your place in the kingdom. Love, care, encourge, include, and if called, adopt. Grace, peace and hope :)

hestermom said...

Wow, this is such a cool post and comments. I am so impressed, Ryan, that you are willing to discuss this issue and be open about what the Lord is showing you in regards to adoption and pro-life issues. I have some thoughts on all this, but I am like Amber. Not sure I can put them into words just yet. I also think it leads into some other major issues...some which you touched on, like birth control, etc. I think one of the underlying issues in all these things is, Do we really believe what God says, and are we committed to obeying him, no matter what it costs us? Do we believe that His way is truly best, and that He does indeed "reward those who earnestly seek Him"? I am anxious to see where this takes you and Amber.=)And myself for that matter!

Anonymous said...

Ryan,
my opinions on this subject were formed after reading the book, "The Irrisistible Revolution" by Shane claiborne. Shane touched briefly on the subject when he said, "If you are against abortions (or Prolife) then you better be ready to adopt." I don't know if that is exact word for word because I don't have the book infront of me. I also live accross the street from Planed Parenthood and I always see people protesting outside. I began to think... How are these people furthering the kingdom? How are they effecting the other people or spectators? I think a better way would be to go inside and help by taking out the trash cans or somthing. I am also at fault because I have been to pro-life walks and rides with BFC and I see now that I was doing nothing but being a spectical.... putting on a show.

Its easy to be for or against somthing as long as you don't have to embrace it, make it part of your life, or let the issue get to close to your personal life. Its easy to send money to pro life campagnes or to orphans 1,000 miles away (which isn't a bad thing) but what happens when we come face to face with the orphan? What happens when we embrace the orphan? What will happen if we actually brought the orphan into our home? What happens when we stop talking about being pro-life and actually be pro-life?
Brian

Ryan said...

If you are still reading this thread, I want to throw in comment from outside our circle to get you thinking. I know that God is sovereign, and am confident that he is in control, and yet I read a post like, The Most Merciful Death is Baby Death, and I wonder what the implications are here? Especially if the child is not going to be adopted by a family that has the child's best interests in mind.
I know that there are exceptions, and I personally know people who suffered trauma identical to Alyssa only to be redeemed later in life.
I had a very young student once, (third grade I think), tell me that they supported abortion because they would rather some babies be with God instead of with abusive parents...but ~46 million abortions a year? If those stats are correct...I'm speechless.