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Let’s not delay hell, shall we?

There is a remarkable, visible, momentousness wave of adoption coming.  It is not on the edge of our perception.  It is well within sight, it runs from horizon to horizon, and already the ship of the American church is beginning to rise on it’s leading swell.   All the key leaders know it and are preparing their sails for the wild ride that is already beginning.  People are growing excited.  Resources are being produced.  It’s clear that in the next decade, justice will become what small groups were in the 90’s – the must-do marker of a healthy church – and what better thing to do to bring justice than adopt?

I’m seeing the message everywhere.  Adoption.  It’s the right thing to do.   We have a responsibility.  2523 kids in foster care in your county.  If every church took one….etc.  People are being told that orphan care is something good people do, and so if you’re a good person, get in line and get yours.  After all, it’s a child.  You can give them a better life than they will ever have any other way.

Yawn.

I’m sorry.  I’m just tired of the dumbing down of the radical message of adoption to the point where we’re placing children in nominal Christian homes in hopes that they’ll be a little better fed, a little warmer at night, and have a few more Christmas presents than they would otherwise.

If that is our goal, then we’re really not doing the spiritual work of adoption, we’re just delaying hell for 70 years.

Personally, I’m not willing to burn the candles at both ends and in the middle just to provide a fridge stocked with yogurt and a new set of soccer cleats.   The smile that comes across a child’s face when he sees a new bike on Christmas morning is not my paycheck.    I’m doing this because they deserve our care, but also because  I want real influence in decades  far beyond my earthly life.

I’m ok with being financially stretched.  I’m fine shoppers thinking I’m a nut with the big tribe at Costco.   In 100 years, people know my name because it will be on the lips of countless descendants that are going to have to acknowledge the world view of their great grandather – one that says that there was a God and they could know His power in their own life.  I cannot control where those lives end up, but I can forge the steel that builds the platform from which they will launch, and that platform will be an understanding of God as a living entity jealous for their affection.

I see justice movements everywhere that are long on immediate benefits but short on lasting ones.  By lasting ones, I mean those that will outlast the human frame.  Understand, I’m all for wells that give children clean water, for churches building parks for their community, and for kids getting out of a horribly flawed system…but it’s hard to be too enthusiastic in those cases where the designers are so short sighted as to think that they’ve actually had lasting impact without a radical presentation of the Gospel that offers hope when the well runs dry next year.

There is a subset of the justice movement that sits at an uncomfortable angle to the whole.  It does the stuff but it packs a punch.  There are some who don’t have the stomach for it – and others who don’t have the soul – but it utilizes tools of both the hand and the heart to make a difference in the now and the not yet.  That’s the movement I want to run with.

Dig your wells, welcome your orphans, serve your neighbor, but let’s not just delay hell with our talk of justice.  Let’s subvert it by infusing our spiritual DNA into generations that will follow.

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16 Responses

  1. preach it brother!

  2. Can you give me the quote from your break out… it was something like peace peace false peach but justice justice false justice.

  3. wow. that was strong..good…convicting.

  4. Bravo and amen!

  5. Thank you for a place to be encouraged by the word spoken in love and truth.

  6. Agree, Yawning over small groups… But the church’s response to the cries of orphan opens the doorway to greater revival whether they are looking for it or not. Chicken or the egg. 🙂

  7. No, I’m yawning over feel good, decaffeinated Jesurly efforts that bring half the truth for the purpose if assuaging consciences. We can’t afford to outwork the movie stars, so we must bring more than works to the arena.

  8. Fantastic!

  9. Randy:
    I have to start by saying that I LOVE you & Kelsey and we’ve never even met! There’s something about seeing our own dreams come alive in other people–something about God confirming His words by seeing it walked out in others. (If THEY can do it, so can we!) When I see you two continuing to march and linking arms w/people like us along the way, it makes my heart burn for the completion of the promise. Keep it up. People are watching.

  10. I’m sure you mean well, but your statement is SICK.

    NOTHING can show God’s love more to a child than demonstrating God’s love by giving, feeding, loving, and nurturing them.

    God is more than capable of reaching “lost” souls without you. Saying that you’re “delaying hell” if that child doesn’t end up in YOUR opinion of a Christian home is sickening.

    Nurturing a child IS being Christlike. You Pharisees need to leave the heaven and hell stuff to God. You’re doing way more harm than good.

  11. I hear what your are saying; the passion of your heart. An inheritance for the glory of the Father. The world is crying out for fathers and mothers, not only the world but the church universal. However, I would caution on judging who is a nominal christian. We can judge the fruit but not the heart.
    As a mother, I am not that interested in raising good citizens of a world that is fading. I am raising heirs to an eternal kingdom.
    Each one is precious and each one has an unique divine purpose. The Father is serious about family. Its the heart of compassion that compels me to move, to act, to touch, to speak, to stand in the gap, to adopt.
    Sheri

  12. I am a foster parent and for three years now we have shared our home with 11 different boys and one little girl. We currently have three boys (3, 4 and 11) all from different set’s of parents staying in our home. For us it has nothing to do with adoption but rather with God using us to reach not only these children but also their parents. I just hope in this cry to help children … we do not forget their parents. I think the parents need us as much as their children. We all are a part of each other … and simple Christ like love … keeps amazing even me … with every single child (and parent).

  13. Randy,

    I really like what you’re saying here…though when dealing with such issues you are sure to step on some toes and be misunderstood. Feeding, sheltering, and tending to the physical needs of children is very close to the Father’s heart and I don’t see that you are saying any differently. But seeing how the greatest enemy of the ‘great’ is the ‘good’…why stop there? Merely doing good does not make it bad…but it can keep us from aspiring to something better. Those of us who have the light should bring it to others (along with the food, shelter, love, etc) instead of appeasing our conscience with simply taking care of the physical necessities.

  14. Boycott hell.

  15. I’m compelled to respond to the ‘SICK’ comment. Paul says in Corinthians that we’re ministers of reconciliation – reconciling men to God. We’ve been given the mandate to point people to Christ so the heaven/hell issue is bigger than just judgment (which you rightly state is in God’s hands). We don’t judge but we significantly influence our children and others towards heaven or hell.
    Feeding, clothing and nurturing children is hugely important but there will be many fed, clothed and nurtured people cast into the lake of fire at the second resurrection who will wish their parents and others would have worked harder to point them to Christ our King.

    Jeff, please tell your children that Jesus is returning to resurrect the dead and those who loved the Son of God will live forever in glory and those who rejected Him will live forever in torment…you would be cruel not to.

  16. Interesting thoughts. We moved to Mexico almost 3 years ago to build and open an orphange. We have 10 precious children that have joined our family. We pray, also, for changing minds, hearts and lives. That for years, their kids, grandkids and their lines will sing about the Lord and what He has done for them.

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