Our local newspaper, The Sea Coast Echo, reported this week that we have 163 children in the county foster care system with only 12 licensed foster care homes. This crisis drives me to prayer. How can we as believers in Hancock County Mississippi, confront this situation with the gospel? Russell Moore’s resolution at this years Southern Baptist Convention offers a challenge.
RESOLUTION NO. 2 ON ADOPTION AND ORPHAN CARE – SBC 2009
WHEREAS, In the gospel we have received the “Spirit of adoption” whereby we are no longer spiritual orphans but are now beloved children of God and joint heirs with Christ (John 14:18; Romans 8:12-25; Galatians 3:27-4:9; Ephesians 1:5); and
WHEREAS, The God we now know as our Father reveals himself as a “father of the fatherless” (Psalm 68:5) who grants mercy to orphans (Deuteronomy 10:18; Hosea 14:3); and
WHEREAS, Our Lord Jesus welcomes the little ones (Luke 18:15-17), pleads for the lives of the innocent (Psalm 72:12-14), and shows us that we will be held accountable for our response to “the least of these brothers of mine” (Matthew 25:40); and
WHEREAS, The Scripture defines “pure and undefiled religion” as “to look after orphans and widows in their distress” (James 1:27); and
WHEREAS, The satanic powers and the ravages of sin have warred against infants and children from Pharaoh to Molech to Herod and, now, through the horrors of a divorce culture, an abortion industry, and the global plagues of disease, starvation, and warfare; and
WHEREAS, Southern Baptists have articulated an unequivocal commitment to the sanctity of all human life, born and unborn; and
WHEREAS, Churches defined by the Great Commission must be concerned for the evangelism of children—including those who have no parents; and
WHEREAS, Upward of 150 million orphans now languish without families in orphanages, group homes, and placement systems in North America and around the world; and
WHEREAS, Our Father loves all of these children, and a great multitude of them will never otherwise hear the gospel of Jesus Christ; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, June 23-24, 2009, express our commitment to join our Father in seeking mercy for orphans; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we call on each Southern Baptist family to pray for guidance as to whether God is calling them to adopt or foster a child or children; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we encourage our pastors and church leaders to preach and teach on God’s concern for orphans; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we commend churches and ministries that are equipping families to provide financial and other resources to those called to adopt, through grants, matching funds, or loans; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we encourage local churches to champion the evangelism of and ministry to orphans around the world, and to seek out ways to energize Southern Baptists behind this mission; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we encourage Southern Baptist churches to join with other evangelical Christians in setting aside a special Sunday each year to focus upon our adoption in Christ and our common burden for the orphans of the world; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we pray what God is doing in creating an adoption culture in so many churches and families can point us to a gospel oneness that is determined not by “the flesh,” or race, or economics, or cultural sameness, but by the Spirit, unity, and peace in Christ Jesus; and be it finally
RESOLVED, That we pray for an outpouring of God’s Spirit on Southern Baptist congregations so that our churches will proclaim and picture, in word and in deed, that “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world.”
UPDATE: I meant to publish this to my personal blog, Locusts and Wild Honey, but inadvertently posted it here on Rebuild Lakeshore. I’m going to leave a copy here as well, because this site receives much more traffic than my own. Let me use this as an opportunity to ask our partners from all across the country to join us in prayer as we face this challenge here in our county. Let me also urge you to investigate the situation in your city or county and prayerfully consider what you may do to fulfill James 1:27 in your life.
Let me also recommend the book Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families & Churches by Dr. Russ Moore.