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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Consider the Orphan and Fatherless Children

Job 29:12 (KJV)
Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. 

A story made popular in the news caught my eye. 

It speaks of a young man who cried in church for a family... he wanted to be adopted. There was a lot of attention, a media frenzy, as well as an out pouring of offers of adoption from individuals across the country. 
Reference: Lane DeGregory, Tampa Bay Times 

Now all of this is fine and dandy, but it still boils down to a lot of "Hoop-La." My questions are these...

Where was the attention or the offers before his plea became public? 

Why does the media (in general) wait for angles and public appeal before jumping on the bandwagon? 

 Why do we generally wait on the media?  

While I might be willing to give a pass to the media as an institution, I can not give a pass to the individual, especially not to those who follow Christ.

Everyday, as we go about our hustle and bustle, there are a countless number of children who languish without notice in the adoption system. For the most part we only recognize their existence on those occasions, such as this one, that spring to our attention in the news media. And in our attention - we seem quite comfortable in allowing ourselves not to notice or acknowledge their presence. 

America boasts of a Christian Heritage, something that is also being debated in recent times. For the sake of argument, lets say that "We Are" a nation of Christians. If Christian, then we are failing. We've failed because we have dropped the ball on the poor, the fatherless, and those that have none to help them. 

In private it's easy to say things like...

 It's not my fault.  
It's not my problem.  
It's none of my business.
They're not my children. 

All of these are excuses. They're excuses... being offered to justify an individual's lack of humanity. This is even more profoundly true of anyone, who, insists on being identified as Christian. 

Why are we so afraid to practice righteousness and perform those acts of kindness that we know to be good? 

Psalm 82:3 (KJV)
Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. 

To be fare, I know full well that not every person is in a position to accommodate a full scale adoption, I don't expect everybody to be. However, you still can't excuse that fact that there are way too many who are able, but don't lift a finger. There are Christians who possess the resources, both financial and logistic, and in a lot of cases the mental fortitude necessary. What they lack is commitment. It is to them that I offer this debunking of the excuses mentioned earlier. Hopefully my expansion will give us all some things to consider from a spiritual perspective. Maybe a few of us can find the encouragement to go further in committing to those who are hurting... "Our Children."  

Psalm 71:17-18 (KJV)
O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works.
Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come. 

It's not my fault.

Oh really, are we really going to try an hide behind this as an excuse? It's not about finding fault, it's not a blame game. OK. so you didn't do anything to bring about the conditions or circumstances that went into this tragic outcome... that may be true. Still, I don't think it fully lets you off the hook. If we are aware of conditions and circumstances that carry the potential for harm, can we comfortably turn our heads and ignore them? While we may view this as far removed and not affecting us personally, it still affects someone. Someone is hurting and feeling pain. What happened to the simple values of compassion, a quality known to be a part of Christ's character. Should it not also be the character of all who would be "Christ Follows?" 

Lamentations 3:32-33 (KJV)
But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies.
For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.


It's not my problem.

Poison in the Kool-aid is a problem. The fact that you're not drinking it might make it slightly less of a problem for you... but it's still a problem. The world we live in, our world, comes with its own set of problems. Problems that present themselves in our lifetime, that makes them "Our Problems." They are a problem for the whole of mankind, and neglecting them only passes them on to a new generation in addition to the set of problems that will come to that generation in their time. Stop for a moment and consider what we presently face. Everything from "Global Warming" to "World Hunger", these issues exist because others passed the buck in neglecting them. Issues that go unresolved only fester and become worse.  

Philippians 2:14-15 (KJV)
Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; 

It's none of my business. 

Happiness is a joint project. More so, Jesus Himself desired that our joy be full. How can we truly be happy when those around us are miserable? Everybody has needs, and among those needs are those which can not be supplied by the person in need. In addition to the need itself, they need assistance. Making life better is the business of us all, and we need to get busy making the effort. It will require cooperation because no one person is quite up to the task alone. 

Luke 2:49 (KJV)
And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? 

They're not my children. 

Careful, I wouldn't be so quick to hold such a rigid point of view! We belong to the "Race of Man" and all children are the children of men. We may not have brought them into the world physically, but they are the only children we will experience during our lifetime... that alone gives us responsibility concerning them. They will grow up, live in our communities, become our neighbors, our co-workers, our good citizens, or the criminal element that we abhor. Whatever they become depends on how we regard them now. As Christians we have been charged with training them in the way they should go. With supplying them with the value of godly principles and the understanding of "God's Will." All of this not withstanding, children still fall under the banner of those included in the "Great Commission" carrying the potential to become a "Child of God." Do we really want to ignore a member of God's family by not including them in our own? 

Mark 10:14 (KJV)
But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

In closing I encourage us all to consider that Our God is a merciful God. He takes up the cause of the neglected and forgotten, always seeking the lost. His favor is with His servants, those that take up "His Righteous Cause." I urge you to remember that as "Followers of Christ", we serve Him and not our own agendas or desires. Let us therefore be diligent, making an effort to ease the pain of those who are hurting... "Especially the Children." 

For a better understanding of Christian Character and being a Disciple with the Love of God... 
Read my book "The Jesus Command." 



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Thank You, and God Bless.

When I was a boy in my father's house, still tender, and an only child of my mother, he taught me and said, "Lay hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands and you will live. Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.

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