Thanks to the publication of Kathryn Joyce's new book, The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking, and the New Gospel of Adoption (excerpted here in Mother Jones, and Ms. Joyce is interviewed here at NPR), there's been an online wave of criticism/examination of Evangelicals' so-called orphan fever. To some, conservative Christians are incentivizing child-trafficking, engaging in a form of cultural imperialism by yanking children from their native cultures and evangelizing them into Christianity, soothing pro-life consciences wounded by lack of concern for babies after they're born, and trying to engage in charity without adjusting underlying world views about social justice and the need for systemic change.
Before I go any further, let me be clear about my biases: I'm the adoptive father of a beautiful girl from one of the countries highlighted in the NPR interview, Ethiopia. My sister has adopted a special-needs child from China, and our church is full of adoptive families, mostly with international adoptions. Many of these kids also have special needs. In short, adoption has been a great blessing in my family's life, and in the life of our church.
I have two reactions to the criticisms outlined above. The first, more emotional response is to reaffirm something I've said before: To many on the left, if you are conservative then there is nothing you can do that is virtuous. Even the good that you do will be dismissed as cynical or destructive. The idea that my friends and family, who love their adopted children more than they love their own lives, have "orphan fever" is disgusting. Given that much of this criticism comes from unapologetic advocates for abortion-on-demand, I'm reminded of the words of Isaiah: "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter." more >>
Eugene Cho, lead pastor of Quest Church in Seattle and co-founder of international anti-poverty movement One Day's Wages, takes his message of generosity and justice to Willow Creek Community Church's Celebration of Hope 2013 this weekend. Pastor Cho shared with The Christian Post his message for the Illinois megachurch, his hopes for ODW and why he believes Christians are compelled by their faith to practice both righteousness and justice.
Cho and his wife, Minhee, and their children founded One Day's Wages over three years ago after the Washington pastor came back convicted from witnessing the challenges faced by impoverished communities in Burma. They felt a need to act and sought God for guidance. The response Cho and his family received, however, was not at all what they were expecting. But they obeyed, took up the challenge and sacrificed a year of their family income to launch a movement that has since inspired people and organizations all over the world to join the fight to eradicate extreme global poverty. One Day's Wages and its partners have managed to award grants that are helping to provide necessities like electricity to the maternity ward at a South Sudan hospital, HIV treatment for children in Togo and nutritional support and education for malnourished children and expectant mothers living in rural Guatemala.
Pastor Cho told CP that he hopes his message inspires two things this weekend among those who gather to hear him and others speak at Willow Creek Community Church. more >>
The head of an evangelical organization committed to the care and defense of children believes that combatting child abuse and neglect is "putting the Bible into practice."
Tom Pearce, national director for Shepherding the Next Generation, told The Christian Post about the growth of efforts by churches to deal with the issue of child abuse and neglect.
"I see it as something that is going to continue to grow. More and more pastors all around the country are realizing … the need within their community," said Pearce. more >>
A number of major atheist organizations have been put in a tough spot over planned protests against Bangladesh, after the country suffered a national disaster on Wednesday that left hundreds of people dead.
American Atheists and secular groups from around the world had planned to protest on Thursday outside of Bengali embassies around the world over the arrest and imprisonment of several atheist bloggers. The South Asian country, which is heavily Muslim, has been cracking down on those criticizing the faith and the government, accusing them of blasphemy and insulting Islam.
The country declared a national day of mourning on Thursday, however, after a massive building collapse in Bangladesh that left over 230 dead and 1,000 injured, with workers still digging out survivors from the incident. As a consequence, a number of planned rallies in support of the atheist bloggers have now been pushed back, but others have continued. more >>
The church is coming, says Bishop Harry Jackson, leader of a new community of faith being developed in Central Florida that will launch next year. The plant, Hope Connexion Orlando, will serve as a clarion call for the Christian Church to confront its prejudices and take on its prophetic role of speaking truth to power in its own communities and abroad. Or at least, that's the vision.
Despite the growing presence of diverse congregations across the U.S. that mirror the biblical image of Jesus Christ's followers being of every nation, tribe and language, there are still cases in which some churches and Christians seem to stumble over the explicit command for diversity Christ makes in the Great Commission and that the first century church modeled.
Last year, a Mississippi Baptist church made headlines because its predominantly white congregation denied a black couple's wish to be married at the church by their pastor allegedly due to their race. The year before, a Kentucky pastor reversed his congregation's vote to bar interracial couples from becoming members. There have also been questions about white churches having black leaders, predominantly black churches embracing white leaders and the apparent oddity of a Korean-American pastor leading a "predominantly African-American" congregation." more >>
A Texas honors student punished for saying that homosexuality was wrong has had his suspension rescinded after a meeting with the mother and her attorney.
The 14-year-old, Dakota Ary, from Western Hills High School of the Fort Worth Independent School District was initially given a suspension of one day in-school and two days full.
After hearing about the suspension the mother, Holly Pope, reached out to Matt Krause of the Liberty Counsel to be her son's legal representative. Matt Staver, founder and chairman of the Liberty Counsel, told The Christian Post that he believed Western Hills High made the correct decision in reversing their course of action. more >>