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 >>
The media is abuzz with stories of outrageous markups at many hospitals. One of the most eye-popping numbers making the rounds? A supposedly "non-profit" hospital charges $1.50 per pill for a generic version of Tylenol. That's about 100 times the retail price.
Obviously, health care takes too much out of our paychecks, too much from our bank accounts, and too many of our tax dollars. Spending in this sector accounts for almost 18 percent of the economy. And the rising cost of government health programs is the biggest long-term driver of our national debt. Medicare alone cost $551 billion in 2012 and is projected to cost more than $1 trillion in a decade.
The question is what we should do about it. One approach is simply to squeeze down costs, and there are certainly savings to be reaped this way. A better approach, however, is to look at what is driving these high levels of health care spending and see if we can intervene there. more >>
"Z," a victim of sex trafficking in America contributed to this column. Read about her experience here.
When I was in middle school and "pre-marital sex" was discussed at our Wednesday night gatherings it was safe to assume almost all in attendance were virgins.
When I was in high school and "sex before marriage" was discussed in our Sunday school class it was safe to assume most in attendance were virgins. more >>
When a U.S. city has a professional baseball team winning the World Series, there is nothing like it in all of sports. I am sure the same can be said of winning a Super Bowl because I played in one, but we lost to Pittsburgh.
Very few people remember the loser, but always remember the winner. As pastors in America, we play hardball for the King, and we have already played 80 percent of our games, with a short time remaining before the final buzzer. This however doesn't mean we sit back and do nothing, because we can still lose. We have to establish a game plan that calls for victory!
Our competition is against an adversary determined to destroy our Christian foundations, and the soul of America. This victory can only be won by adherence to the playbook and the coach. I can remember several years ago when the Seattle Seahawks were in the Super Bowl against Pittsburgh. There were some poor calls made by the officials and Seattle lost the game. Excuse after poor excuse was used by both fans and coaches. Well, maybe they were right in their assessment, but that doesn't change the results. more >>
Kansas Governor and former United States Senator Sam Brownback wrote "JESUS+MARY" on his talking points for a major pro-life bill that he signed into law on Friday.
He had written "JESUS+MARY" at the top of the page and "a culture of life" scribbled farther down on the front page, according to The Associated Press. more >>
Pastor Rick Warren cancelled plans to be a part of a live webcast interview discussing the subject of grief after his son's suicide with LifeWay Research President Ed Stetzer during a major church planting conference in Orlando on Tuesday.
Warren made the cancellation announcement via Twitter: "#Exponential13 Sorry I'm unable to have my heart-to-heart with you pastors I love today but the media heard so I pulled out."
Warren, who has not made a public appearance since his son's death on April 5, was scheduled to be interviewed by Stetzer on his webshow, "The Exchange," hosted at the Exponential 2013 conference on Tuesday, The Christian Post learned from LifeWay Research Monday. more >>